Below is an essay I’ve written for my SOCA1010 major essay. The question I was asked is how the media reinforces gender stereotypes. I decided to go with video gaming since it’s a current topic, is relatable to my readers and it’s an interesting topic. Enjoy. – Rade (more…)

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Xbox One

Xbox-One-Console (more…)

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Today, EA announced The Sims 4, coming to PCs and Macs in 2014.
dsa

The Sims 4 has been the topic of much speculation between Sims Gurus and it’ll be interesting who got what right when more details are revealed about the series.

In the media release, EA were sure to note that this was an offline experience. Considering the drama the Internet caused over the “Always-Online” SimCity debacle, this statement wasn’t surprising.

The heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever in this single-player offline experience.

When EA release more details on the upcoming series, I’ll be sure to tell you first!

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I’ve seen a few of these beauties floating around the net, and I’ve compiled some of the best for my wonderful readers. The following pictures are in reaction to the latest Grand Theft Auto: V trailer and they’re even better than anything Rockstar could have done.

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EA hasn’t had the best start to the year and it’s just getting worse. For the second year in a row, Consumerist have named EA “Worst Company in America” according to the voters. But, in light of all the problems that America has faced in the last few years, are EA *really* the worst company in America or are gamers a loud minority with out perspective?

When Peter Moore heard the news, he published a letter which, in my honest opinion, sums the situation up quite clearly.

(more…)

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According to both Gamasutra and Kotaku AU, SEGA is closing down the Australian arm of its development studio later this year.

After last year’s staff layoffs, this closure may come as no surprise to some watching the market closely. While the media release doesn’t say how many employees will be affected, this recent closure adds to the worrying trend of Australian development houses. Team Bondi closed its doors in 2011 after the controversy that struck with the Triple-A game, “L.A. Noire.”

Not only this, but this is the second development house to be killed off by their parent company this week.

Disney representatives announced that it would be shifting LucasArts to a new licensing format instead of a internal development studio. LucasArts were responsible for Psychonauts and Grim Fandango and had been working on Star Wars: 1313, which had great interest from gamers.

Whatever games these development house had in store for us will either be sold to other developers or left to linger in the world of “what if?”

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Bioshock: Infinite unboxing. All the goodies that are included in the Songbird Special Edition. Make it to the end and enter the competition! (more…)

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Ah, Anita Sarkeesian. Love her or hate her, she’s taken whatever vitriol thrown her way and used it to make sure you know her name and what she’s done. After her INCREDIBLY successful Kickstarter campaign, she’s finally released the first video in her Tropes Vs Women series which explores the roles of women in video games. The first in her series is the Damsel in Distress.

One thing to note, I feel, is that Sarkeesian played the Damsel in Distress role when her Kickstarter took on a life of its own. While she may not have done it herself, when people began attacking her based on her sex, religion and so-called “girl gamer” status, backers of her Kickstarter ran to her rescue, as did the media. People wanted to rescue her from the people trolling her Youtube page, her Wikipedia page and the rest of her social media and accidentally (or intentionally) made her out to be this poor girl who needed someone to come help her overcome this horrible ordeal. It’s an interesting look on how we’ve gotten to this point as normally something like this series may just be pushed to the back of Youtube, never to be seen again.

Sarkeesian discusses how games like Donkey Kong were based on the notion of the Damsel in Distress. With the hero trying to rescue the princess and whisk her away to a new life and how these games try to appeal to a male sexual fantasy of being a hero character. She makes some very valid points in her 20 minute video. For instance: she makes note of a Real game that never came to light. The game was about a 16-year-old strong heroine named Crystal, until Shigeru Miyamoto hijacked the game and made it into another instalment of the StarFox franchise. They completely remade Crystal into a prize to be won and Sarkeesian uses this example to explain how strong female characters are easily looked over for a more traditional male hero.

But in other parts, she seems like she doesn’t believe in what she’s saying. However, it may be because she has no screen presence whatsoever. Sarkeesian is clearly reading from a script and she sounds like she has only read it once or twice before. Emphasising the wrong words and her tone is constant. She’s just… bland. I’d be more interested if Sarkeesian expressed an emotion other than mild-annoyance.

It’s an interesting start to a series that is only going to get better. I only hope that the presenter can take criticism (constructive, not hatred) and use it to try to use more personality to engage the audience.

 

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Ron Gilbert, best known for his games Manic Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island revealed that he would be leaving the quirky director via his blog earlier today.

After development on “The Cave” finished, he decided it was time for him to move on.

Now that The Cave is done and unleashed on an unsuspecting world (ok, we did do a bunch of PR, so it wasn’t exactly unsuspecting), it’s time for me to move on from Double Fine and plot my next move.

This raises a question: What’s happening with the incredibly successful Kickstarter that Schafer started last year? If one of his lead developers is leaving, what on Earth is going on?

I, unfortunately, haven’t had the pleasure of playing any of Gilbert’s games but from what I’ve heard, they’re great fun. I should probably invest in a copy of Monkey Island…

Anyone wanna add that to my list?

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SimCity launched the other day. It’s had a pretty disastrous first few days with server issues plaguing users and everyone is pretty pissed off about it.

Amazon has temporarily pulled SimCity from their catalog, EA have disabled some global features until they can get the server issues under control and give a pleasant experience for their users. All-in-all, they’re desperately trying to avoid a mass exit of their customers. The masses seem to have another idea. News outlets like Kotaku US and Kotaku AU are reporting everything and anything as fact and inspiring a lynch mob. People are even bombing Metacritic so that the Metascore of SimCity is negative and everyone is bashing EA without looking from the facts.

A source, who wished to stay anonymous, has revealed that EA had different plans for the relaunch of one of their biggest series. Attempted to provide resources like a server base similar to SW:TOR so that there would be enough servers to deal with the enormous load that they expected. However, the Maxis department (owned by EA) wanted to go another direction which is the way that SimCity is now set up. Since the game is being distributed by EA, Origin is how you download the SimCity client. Origin handles the authentication of servers then hands it over to the Maxis side of things. It’s pretty much the same way Steam handle their MMO’s.

While none of this has come to light (it probably won’t because the aforementioned news outlets won’t research anything past hits and revenue), it’s important for users to remember that this has happened before and no, I’m not talking about Diablo 3; I’m talking about Guild Wars 2. I remember that Boyfriend and I had issues connecting to servers, Amazon pulled their digital distribution of GW2 until ArenaNet got their issues sorted.

Don’t remember that? There wasn’t a lot of press about it but there were a lot of people who had issues like myself.

Unfortunately, what you learn from this is that bashing “evil” developers is the cool thing. EA bashing has been in fashion for years and even I’ve been guilty of bashing EA over their constant stream of The Sims 3 expansion packs every few months to get dollars from their users. (You thought I was infallible?)

It’s disappointing that the news outlets won’t present an unbiased front on the game because, when you can get on, it’s a spectacular game. It’s beautiful, challenging and a great amount of fun and all that gets drowned out by all the entitlement of gamers of our generation. I hope that one day we mature past this childish behaviour and can enjoy games without complaining about the first few teething days.

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