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Worth Reading 03/08/2013

It's all Hexels all the time in Worth Reading this week, full of the Internet's thoughts on Tomb Raider, SimCity, and plenty more.

This weekend should prove interesting. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate showed up, and it's the next logical step for my pursuit of expanding my gaming horizons.

I’ve had good luck so far. XCOM was one of my favorites from last year, and Fire Emblem: Awakening has a good chance of being there, too, when 2013 winds down (it’s weird to say that). Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan was my first stumbling block, albeit one that wasn’t entirely unexpected. A hardcore dungeon crawler is both not in my wheelhouse and isn’t necessarily a genre I’m all that interested in getting into. I knew the game wouldn’t get covered on the site unless I picked it up, and rather than just pop it in, I wanted to give it a few hours, and have the game open itself up to me. Maybe I’d be wrong? Maybe I’d fall in love? Probably indifference?

You can’t love everything, but you can certainly give it a chance. That’s the driving factor behind playing all of these games that would otherwise fly around in my periphery, and get little more than an eye roll. It’s important to have a better idea why I like or don’t like the things I like or don’t like, especially when it comes to genres that I haven’t visited in ages, and my feelings have crusted into a mass of unknowables.

Anyway, who knows what will happen with Monster Hunter. There’s just as much of a chance that it won’t click for me, but I’ll sleep better knowing that when people ask me why I don’t like Monster Hunter, it won’t come from a place of brushing off the franchise and, instead, from spending some hours with the game.

Hey, You Should Play This

Did you play Mirror’s Edge for iOS? It was one an early games from a traditional publisher on Apple’s platform, and remains a favorite. It wasn’t a first-person platforming affair, but it condensed some of that Mirror’s Edge magic into a 2D platformer. The Button Affair plays around with similar concepts, except dropped into a world of spies and deception. The cutscenes have a charming MS Paint quality to them, and while the mechanics aren’t as twitchy as I’d like, it scratched an itch I’ve had for a long time now.

And You Should Read These, Too

Considering our lengthy Hideo Kojima digressions on the podcast recently, thanks to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Brett Fujioka’s lengthy look at the designer is fascinating. Fujioka presents a compelling essay about the reasons for creating Raiden the way he is, what it says about the Metal Gear fan base, and the potential motivation behind keeping the Raiden’s central, controversial role in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty a secret from everybody. He doesn’t just piece together quotes Kojima, either--he takes a hard look at the concept of “otaku,” and how Metal Gear’s broader mythology works as social commentary. Even if you don’t buy some of the junk Kojima’s selling, this makes great reading.

“None of Raiden's psychological traits are unprecedented if you look at Evangelion's characters. What's different is that MGS2 directly correlates the relationship between otaku-like groups and the internet. Before the U.S. got the notorious 4Chan, Japan had 2Channel. Like its American successor, anonymous postings were the popular mode of conduct, even when internet anonymity was still controversial. If people could write anything without repercussion, it left room for libel and other falsehoods to stream freely. Bearing this in mind, The Patriots -- MGS2's antagonistic shadow government -- agenda of internet censorship is more easily understood.”

"Gameological Q&A: Not Again" by Gameological staff for Gameological

A bunch of Gameological writers are asked to confess their greatest pet peeves in game design. I wrapped up Tomb Raider earlier this week, and it brought to mind one of mine. Collectibles are a cheap, easy way to motivate players to explore the world in a way they might not do on their own or along the directed path of the story. That makes sense. But I can’t stand collectibles for the sake of content padding. Only the journals in Tomb Raider add to the plot, the rest are hidden objects that stop being hidden when the game hands over a treasure map that makes their locations explicit. It’s even worse when the game implies through a line of dialogue that one of the collectibles, the GPS caches, might have payoff. Unfortunately, they don't. Argh.

"I can’t stand games that make you mash buttons to perform a simple action. You know the kind: You have to turn a valve or pry away the cover to an air vent, and the game puts a prompt on screen with a throbbing button icon, inviting you to hit the X button a thousand times. I suppose it can be mildly effective at times, when time is of the essence, but in most cases, it’s the lowest form of busywork. For all their good points, the Arkham Batman games do abuse this gimmick, as does Asura’s Wrath (to the point where it’s almost hard to mind anymore). But my “worst example” is Dark Void, for personal reasons. I was playing through a prerelease demo of Dark Void with one of its producers, Morgan Gray, and we were having a fun conversation about pet peeves. I complained about this particular design trope, and I didn’t hold back. You know how the story ends: Not 30 seconds later, one of those throbbing X prompts popped up on the screen, and I just let out a quiet groan. Gray was an awfully good sport about it, though."

If You Click It, It Will Play

Kickstarter Has Promise, Hopefully Developers Don't Screw It Up

  • Empire Eden is one good looking 2D action game.
  • In Pulse, the only way forward is to utilize the sound around you.
  • Some folks are still trying to bring Homeworld back.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

For those worrying about how you’ll play always-online games, like Sim City, decades into the future: the answer is piracy.

— Mark Brown (@britishgaming) March 7, 2013

Piracy offers the all-encompassing archive of discontinued video games. Heck, you can play Bandai Satellaview games thanks to SNES emulation

— Mark Brown (@britishgaming) March 7, 2013

All those games that have been removed from the Xbox Live Arcade servers? You can pirate them. I wouldn’t worry.

— Mark Brown (@britishgaming) March 7, 2013

Hexels is a Nifty Art Program Helping Artist Make Beautiful Stuff

(If you're interested in seeing more, make sure to follow http://madeinhexels.tumblr.com.)

Lara Croft is Back, And People Have Thoughts About It

SimCity's Launch Has Prompted Some Iiiiiiinteresting Articles

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
158 Comments
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Edited by Linkster7

I found the Anita movie kinda anticlimactic, after all this fuzz on the internetz about it. I kinda knew about everything she was talking about, and while I don't particularly disagree with any thing she says I found it came of as truism most of the time.
Maybe the next ones will be a bit more interesting.

Posted by Hailinel

@milkman said:

@hailinel: Did you donate to the Kickstarter? I'm going to take a wild guess and assume no, you did not. So, my next question is why the fuck do you care? It's not your money. Why do you feel the need the need to defend these people? What are you some kind of white knight? (see what I did there)

If you're ready to declare that she "scammed" these people out of their money after one video, fine whatever, no one can stop you. Just know there's something like 23 more to go. But if you think you know so well how all the money was spent, keep making your assumptions. Because if there's one thing people on the internet are good at, it's knowing how much things cost.

If you're going criticize the video, criticize it. Getting into semantic arguments about things surrounding the video is just plain lazy.

@hailinel:You must have sunk a lot of money into this Kickstarter to be so mad at how it's being spent.

She asked for $6000. Her obligation is to make $6000 worth of content, not the next fucking Star Wars. The fact that people donated significantly more is meaningless.

Huh. So I either didn't give her any at all, or I gave her a whole lot. I'll let you guys sort that out yourselves.

After a night of sleeping on it, I will say that it was wrong of me to say she scammed the money from people. However, the content of the video itself still isn't anything that hasn't been said elsewhere before by other, generally more reasonable people.

Edited by ManMadeGod

I found the Anita movie kinda anticlimactic, after all this fuzz on the internetz about it. I kinda knew about everything she was talking about, and while I don't particularly disagree with any thing she says I found it came of as truism most of the time.

Maybe the next ones will be a bit more interesting.

She has a lot to prove. The problem with her video is that she merely points out examples of women being
"captured" and.......... that's it. She needs to prove intent otherwise she has no argument.

Look at Luigi's Mansion. Mario is a powerless figure that gets capture. King Boo and Luigi are playing a game to get back Mario (an object). If Peach had been captured by Boo than that game would be in her video. But it's Mario, so who cares. Who cares about all the male hostages you rescue in COD? Saving Donkey Kong in DKC2? Meh. Saving Helios in God of War: Chains of Olympus? Lame.

I could go on. Her video was kinda pointless.

Edited by Shivoa
Edited by DeadFish

I found the Anita movie kinda anticlimactic, after all this fuzz on the internetz about it. I kinda knew about everything she was talking about, and while I don't particularly disagree with any thing she says I found it came of as truism most of the time.

Maybe the next ones will be a bit more interesting.

I agree in that the video came off as a bit dry and hard to argue about either way. That's probably the point though, considering the reaction to her Kickstarter. I don't blame her for sticking to the basics for now. We haven't even been able to agree on "Yes, this is problem.", so logically the first part of the series isn't too controversial yet.

The research and production values are significant, though, and I'm looking forward to upcoming videos already.

And if this kind of stuff has been "said already and by more reasonable people", then please show me where. I'm genuinely interested.

Edited by OriginalGman

Patrick, when are you going to try out Valkyria Chroncies or The World Ends With You? These are the games I've been waiting to see covered on this site.

Posted by Redhorn

@linkster7 said:

I found the Anita movie kinda anticlimactic, after all this fuzz on the internetz about it. I kinda knew about everything she was talking about, and while I don't particularly disagree with any thing she says I found it came of as truism most of the time.

Maybe the next ones will be a bit more interesting.

She has a lot to prove. The problem with her video is that she merely points out examples of women being

"captured" and.......... that's it. She needs to prove intent otherwise she has no argument.

Look at Luigi's Mansion. Mario is a powerless figure that gets capture. King Boo and Luigi are playing a game to get back Mario (an object). If Peach had been captured by Boo than that game would be in her video. But it's Mario, so who cares. Who cares about all the male hostages you rescue in COD? Saving Donkey Kong in DKC2? Meh. Saving Helios in God of War: Chains of Olympus? Lame.

I could go on. Her video was kinda pointless.

Says the male, who does not live in a culture that reduces him to an object because of his gender and then says "this is pointless" when someone points it out.

Posted by ManMadeGod

@manmadegod said:

@linkster7 said:

I found the Anita movie kinda anticlimactic, after all this fuzz on the internetz about it. I kinda knew about everything she was talking about, and while I don't particularly disagree with any thing she says I found it came of as truism most of the time.

Maybe the next ones will be a bit more interesting.

She has a lot to prove. The problem with her video is that she merely points out examples of women being

"captured" and.......... that's it. She needs to prove intent otherwise she has no argument.

Look at Luigi's Mansion. Mario is a powerless figure that gets capture. King Boo and Luigi are playing a game to get back Mario (an object). If Peach had been captured by Boo than that game would be in her video. But it's Mario, so who cares. Who cares about all the male hostages you rescue in COD? Saving Donkey Kong in DKC2? Meh. Saving Helios in God of War: Chains of Olympus? Lame.

I could go on. Her video was kinda pointless.

Says the male, who does not live in a culture that reduces him to an object because of his gender and then says "this is pointless" when someone points it out.

Again, you need to prove intent. The video simply lists examples of when Peach [with a few random cutscenes from other games] has been captured and than cries objectification.

A lot of this is about perspective. If you view everything though a sexist lens then yes, everything is an egregious offense against women. Why is the white mage in FF a female? OMG, it's because they think women should stay at home and play supporting roles! This is where the above line of logic will take you. Under what circumstance can a female be captured without the game turning her into an "object"?

I ask again, if Mario was replaced with Peach in Luigi's Mansion, would that game be guilty of objectification (and thus something we should condemn)? It would have to be under the definition from the video.

Her argument is inconsistent.

Posted by happymeowmeow

@patrickklepek Monster Hunter is another one of those games you can't just jump into, unfortunately, but don't let me dissuade you from the goal of branching out.

I'm bummed out by the vehement reaction to Sessler's review of God of War (specifically his comment on a unfortunately named trophy) but not exactly surprised.

Edited by sadsadsad

Patrick, when are you going to try out Valkyria Chroncies or The World Ends With You? These are the games I've been waiting to see covered on this site.

This quicklook from 2009 might suffice.

Edited by 1101101

@manmadegod said:

Again, you need to prove intent. The video simply lists examples of when Peach [with a few random cutscenes from other games] has been captured and than cries objectification.

A lot of this is about perspective. If you view everything though a sexist lens then yes, everything is an egregious offense against women. Why is the white mage in FF a female? OMG, it's because they think women should stay at home and play supporting roles! This is where the above line of logic will take you. Under what circumstance can a female be captured without the game turning her into an "object"?

I ask again, if Mario was replaced with Peach in Luigi's Mansion, would that game be guilty of objectification (and thus something we should condemn)? It would have to be under the definition from the video.

Her argument is inconsistent.

It’s not really necessary to prove intent. Yes, intent makes it worse, but it is possible and even common to do sexist things without intending to. The kind of consciousness raising Anita does is, in that context, especially valuable. Please note that in her video she accuses barely anyone (and certainly not Miyamoto) of intentionally doing sexist things and no one of being sexist.

I also think you kind of missed the point of her video. The Damsel in Distress trope (DiD) in isolation and without context clearly wouldn’t be a problem. Sometimes people really are caught and helpless (become objects) and other people have to heroically save them (are the subjects). Nothing wrong with that. If only the Mario games used the DiD trope and nothing else, there would be no problem. If the stereotype of the weak and passive woman didn’t exist and there would be more gender balance in who has to be rescued, the DiD trope would also be no problem.

The problem is the prevalence of the trope, how it fits right in with stereotypes of women and men and enforces them.

The problem is not that no games exist where a man is helpless and has to be saved.

Edited by OriginalGman

@sadsadsad: Nah, I don't think that Quick Look gives the game its dues. They do like, two turns, and it was a game that obviously didn't interest Brad or Dave very much. But Patrick seems to understand the allure of strategy games now, so I'd like to see him champion what turned out to be one of the best PS3 exclusives to ever come out.

Edited by Fobwashed

Read most of what was on this list but passed on the pokemon one till now. And holy good gravy that's damn impressive. Great collection of interesting links =)

Edited by Th3irdEye

Damn, Sessler got mad in that review. That was kind of weird.

Posted by SexyRandal
@hailinel said:

Huh. So I either didn't give her any at all, or I gave her a whole lot. I'll let you guys sort that out yourselves.

After a night of sleeping on it, I will say that it was wrong of me to say she scammed the money from people. However, the content of the video itself still isn't anything that hasn't been said elsewhere before by other, generally more reasonable people.

Either you have a poor understanding of sarcasm or were being willfully ignorant but no, it's pretty clear you did not contribute to the Kickstarter. Hence why your objection to how the money is being spent is utterly baffling.

Also, I don't understand your new goalpost-shifting argument. If something has been said before it isn't worth saying again? What does "reasonable people" mean? How is she being unreasonable?

Posted by Hailinel

@sexyrandal: Actually, I took you literally because that's sometimes the best way to disarm sarcasm. And since when did someone need to contribute to a Kickstarter to feel justified in commenting on a Kickstarter's funding? I've contributed to other Kickstarters in the past and I've seen them met with varying levels of success and failure. I'm aware of the risks involved any time a pledge is made that there is the stark possibility that nothing of substance may ever come of the money donated. In this case, "substance" referring to the actual existence of these videos and the content within.

I'm not sure what goal post-shifting argument you're referring to. I merely stated that her first episode is focused entirely on the lowest-hanging fruit of the discussion, which in my mind is not the best way to kick things off. As for the "reasonable people" comment, Anita has not had a history of being the most reasonable of people to debate. To be fair, she doesn't exude the shrill idiocy of Bill O'Reilly and his ilk, but even so, there are better people to talk to if you want reasoned discourse on her chosen topic.

Edited by Psychohead

While I'll agree that the first entry in the "Tropes" series is pretty dry, it's just that: the first entry. From the word go, it's presented as the first section of a larger statement. Unsurprisingly, she's spending this first segment laying groundwork. Was it boring to me, personally? Well, yeah. I already know this stuff.

But I'm not everyone.

By doing this, she gets everyone up to speed on the topic. "This is the history, this is where we are, this is why this is sucks." The rubber will really meet the road in whatever she has planned for part two. I'll be much more interested in being critical of her work when it's more than just a rote history lesson.

Edited by ManMadeGod

@1101101 said:

@manmadegod said:

Again, you need to prove intent. The video simply lists examples of when Peach [with a few random cutscenes from other games] has been captured and than cries objectification.

A lot of this is about perspective. If you view everything though a sexist lens then yes, everything is an egregious offense against women. Why is the white mage in FF a female? OMG, it's because they think women should stay at home and play supporting roles! This is where the above line of logic will take you. Under what circumstance can a female be captured without the game turning her into an "object"?

I ask again, if Mario was replaced with Peach in Luigi's Mansion, would that game be guilty of objectification (and thus something we should condemn)? It would have to be under the definition from the video.

Her argument is inconsistent.

It’s not really necessary to prove intent. Yes, intent makes it worse, but it is possible and even common to do sexist things without intending to. The kind of consciousness raising Anita does is, in that context, especially valuable. Please note that in her video she accuses barely anyone (and certainly not Miyamoto) of intentionally doing sexist things and no one of being sexist.

I also think you kind of missed the point of her video. The Damsel in Distress trope (DiD) in isolation and without context clearly wouldn’t be a problem. Sometimes people really are caught and helpless (become objects) and other people have to heroically save them (are the subjects). Nothing wrong with that. If only the Mario games used the DiD trope and nothing else, there would be no problem. If the stereotype of the weak and passive woman didn’t exist and there would be more gender balance in who has to be rescued, the DiD trope would also be no problem.

The problem is the prevalence of the trope, how it fits right in with stereotypes of women and men and enforces them.

The problem is not that no games exist where a man is helpless and has to be saved.

But because that stereotype does exists, we can never have have a female be captured and saved by a man. You say that if the DiD trope existed in isolation it wouldn't be a problem. But it CAN NOT existed in isolation. The stereotype is real and will continue to be, even if everyone rejects it's legitimacy. I think the example of Luigi's mansion still holds: it's offensive if Mario is replaced with Peach because it is now seen as fulfilling the stereotype. This is why I simply can't follow her line of thinking.

I'm not saying that the existence of a man being saved somehow over rides the fact that DiD exists. I simply don't see how offense can be avoided going forward unless a male is used as the "object". What you're left with is an un-winnable scenario of special pleading.

The answer for me is to reject and remove the stereotype. This returns to your point of DiD existing in isolation, which at that point it is no longer a problem (your words). But that returns to the problem of intent. If no one intends to fulfill the "females are weak and need men" stereotype, yet get blamed for doing it anyway, then what's the outcome here? Casing offense seems unavoidable. Female characters are simply not allowed to play certain roles in video games without a stereotype being evoked.

Posted by Centurypunk

@manmadegod: Tropes are not bad.

you can still create situations like with a damsel in distress, you just have understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Edited by ManMadeGod

@manmadegod: Tropes are not bad.

you can still create situations like with a damsel in distress, you just have understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Can you give examples?

The video shows a clip for RE4. Ashley is the president's young daughter and is being infected with a virus so that she can infect America. Seems to me that Capcom understood what and why it was creating that situation. It's inclusion in the video seems to say that they don't.

Edited by Nekroskop

@efesell said:

The Trophy seems very unfortunate. Not so much the events around it, that's God of War and from the sound of it not even one of the worst things done in the series, but I don't really see a need to turn it into a silly joke.

The best thing about that trophy, is that it's title was written by a woman.

Edited by RoBear

Patrick as an experienced Monster Hunter (300+ hours on the portable titles) I highly recommend My Fair Hunter's Monster Hunter Beginner's Guide. I purchased it for a friend and gave it a read myself to make sure it was all solid. It's easy to follow and gathers everything you'll need to know before venturing out on your first quest. It's the best guide for entering the world of Monster Hunter. Having said that I still recommend playing and absorbing all you can from whatever tutorial they put into MH3U. I got hooked from a friend but much of my early learning was from the psp game's tutorials and solo hunting, so hopefully the MH3U tutorial is also worth wile and should be taken seriously.

Edited by 1101101

@manmadegod: You reject and remove the stereotype by (among other things) not re-enforcing it with you own depictions of the stereotype, i.e. by avoiding or subverting the DiD trope. That’s it. It really is as simple as that.

You cannot wave a magic wand and make a stereotype disappear. In many ways that stereotype is constructed by stories using the DiD or similar such tropes. To separate the two is hard and often makes no sense. You can always ask which was first (the stereotype or the trope), but the stereotype likely owes its continued existence to DiD and similar tropes (among other things, obviously).

You treat the situation as though the situation of men and women were exactly equal and thus arrive at your conclusions. When a MiD (Men in Distress) trope is ok, why then is a DiD trope not ok? Because the stereotype of the weak and passive man does not exist the same way that stereotype exists for women, that’s why.

Edited by SexyRandal

@hailinel said:

@sexyrandal: Actually, I took you literally because that's sometimes the best way to disarm sarcasm. And since when did someone need to contribute to a Kickstarter to feel justified in commenting on a Kickstarter's funding? I've contributed to other Kickstarters in the past and I've seen them met with varying levels of success and failure. I'm aware of the risks involved any time a pledge is made that there is the stark possibility that nothing of substance may ever come of the money donated. In this case, "substance" referring to the actual existence of these videos and the content within.

I'll back up a little bit on the Kickstarter criticism point. It isn't wrong to comment on a Kickstarter even if you haven't contributed to it. It's happened on the Bombcast a few times (like that guy who wanted some absurd amount of money to make an MMO despite having no experience with it). So in that sense I agree with you.

The problem I have with people complaining about the Tropes Kickstarter is the absurd standards it's being held to. The original Kickstarter asked for a relatively small amount of money to make a series of videos. That is exactly what she has done so far. Anyone who had contributed to the Kickstarter received regular updates on how the videos were progressing and knew how their money was being spent. So nobody was "scammed" in the sense that she took the money and ran.

Everybody who put money into the Kickstarter also did so voluntarily. Not only that, they knew exactly how much money had been raised when they made their contribution, so if they felt that more than $X was too much they could have simply not contributed. Again, if they didn't feel like such a cause was worth that much money all they had to do was not give money. So not really scam there either.

Honestly most of the people complaining about how the Kickstarter money is being spent clearly did not contribute to it, but speak as if they have some financial stake in it or are "concerned" about the plight of those who did contribute. While I can't read the mind of every angry internet commenter I'm willing to hazard a guess that this has less to do with the integrity of Kickstarter and a whole lot more to do with the fact that it's a woman criticizing something they care deeply about.

@hailinel said:

I'm not sure what goal post-shifting argument you're referring to. I merely stated that her first episode is focused entirely on the lowest-hanging fruit of the discussion, which in my mind is not the best way to kick things off. As for the "reasonable people" comment, Anita has not had a history of being the most reasonable of people to debate. To be fair, she doesn't exude the shrill idiocy of Bill O'Reilly and his ilk, but even so, there are better people to talk to if you want reasoned discourse on her chosen topic.

I say goalpost shifting because the argument turned from "she's stealing people's money" to "well other people did it better so this whole thing is stupid anyway". Edit: and it looks like you made that complaint from the beginning so my bad there.

I really would like to know what you mean by her not being the most reasonable person to debate, any examples would be helpful. I'm not being facetious here either, I genuinely want to know what you're referring to.

Edited by JadeGL

@manmadegod said:

@centurypunk said:

@manmadegod: Tropes are not bad.

you can still create situations like with a damsel in distress, you just have understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Can you give examples?

The video shows a clip for RE4. Ashley is the president's young daughter and is being infected with a virus so that she can infect America. Seems to me that Capcom understood what and why it was creating that situation. It's inclusion in the video seems to say that they don't.

Isn't the point that they decided to make the person in peril the President's young daughter instead of, say, the President's young son? I mean, we know that the writers of the game come up with a reason for the events to propel the game forward. They have to or else no one would want to play the game or find the action compelling. But the person in danger could have easily been a teenage son, so why did they choose to go with making the character a daughter?

And of course there are examples of men being in danger, but just because you can point to 10% of the time the trope being reversed doesn't suddenly negate the 90% of the time the person in danger is a woman.

Mind you, this is what I think her point would be, and a point I have tried to elucidate myself in discussions here. However it usually falls on deaf ears. I mean, we can always find one example of a different scenario, that doesn't mean the trope as stated is any less pervasive as a storytelling device. It also doesn't make the trope any less effective in some ways, but also cliche or played out as well.

Edited by ManMadeGod

@1101101 said:

@manmadegod: You reject and remove the stereotype by (among other things) not re-enforcing it with you own depictions of the stereotype, i.e. by avoiding or subverting the DiD trope. That’s it. It really is as simple as that.

You cannot wave a magic wand and make a stereotype disappear. In many ways that stereotype is constructed by stories using the DiD or similar such tropes. To separate the two is hard and often makes no sense. You can always ask which was first (the stereotype or the trope), but the stereotype likely owes its continued existence to DiD and similar tropes (among other things, obviously).

You treat the situation as though the situation of men and women were exactly equal and thus arrive at your conclusions. When a MiD (Men in Distress) trope is ok, why then is a DiD trope not ok? Because the stereotype of the weak and passive man does not exist the same way that stereotype exists for women, that’s why.

In your other post you claim that "The Damsel in Distress trope (DiD) in isolation and without context clearly wouldn’t be a problem."

Yet that scenario is impossible You just admitted that the stereotype will always exist, which is the problem I was alluding to. Women simply can not play certain roles in video games without it being deemed offensive. The only way to avoid the DiD is to replace it with the MiD. This basically is a form of censorship. Same holds for women in supporting characters roles (white mage). This can be seen as social commentary on the role women play to men and thus should be avoided.

I want to know WHEN is it ok. Give me an example of when a female character can be taken hostage and saved by a male. Your post seems to say never. There has been a lot said about the gaming community "maturing" yet that idea doesn't seem consistent with the notion that women's roles need to be limited based on perceived sexism.

I do understand what you are saying and appreciate the response.

Posted by ManMadeGod

@jadegl said:

@manmadegod said:

@centurypunk said:

@manmadegod: Tropes are not bad.

you can still create situations like with a damsel in distress, you just have understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Can you give examples?

The video shows a clip for RE4. Ashley is the president's young daughter and is being infected with a virus so that she can infect America. Seems to me that Capcom understood what and why it was creating that situation. It's inclusion in the video seems to say that they don't.

Isn't the point that they decided to make the person in peril the President's young daughter instead of, say, the President's young son? I mean, we know that the writers of the game come up with a reason for the events to propel the game forward. They have to or else no one would want to play the game or find the action compelling. But the person in danger could have easily been a teenage son, so why did they choose to go with making the character a daughter?

And of course there are examples of men being in danger, but just because you can point to 10% of the time the trope being reversed doesn't suddenly negate the 90% of the time the person in danger is a woman.

Mind you, this is what I think her point would be, and a point I have tried to elucidate myself in discussions here. However it usually falls on deaf ears. I mean, we can always find one example of a different scenario, that doesn't mean the trope as stated is any less pervasive as a storytelling device. It also doesn't make the trope any less effective in some ways, but also cliche or played out as well.

Do you want me to list more examples? Is that your only stumbling block? She only showed a handful of DiD scenarios in the video.

You're right, they could have made the story about the President's son. But they could have also made it about his daughter, and they did. It shouldn't make a difference. There should be no difference to an objective game player.People seem to being looking at these games with a preconceived notion of sexism and flip a switch when anything regarding a women happens. In how many games do you have to rescue the president? A male president? A shit ton. Those games could have been about the President's daughter or wife. They were not. Yet she find the one example about the President's daughter and throws it in a video about tropes. The answer seems to be that every game in which a character is captured, the captured character should be male. Problem solved?

I wish we could be at a point where it wasn't inherently wrong for a daughter to be rescued. It's just what happened in the story, no dirty strings attached.

Edited by 1101101

@manmadegod: Your view is too black and white. I do not want to censor any games, I don’t think Anita wants to censor any games. It’s possible for a game to be good – great, even – and still use the DiD trope. Great games (or other cultural artifacts) can have flaws. (Scott Pligrim vs the World has some nasty sexist flaws that annoy me but I still love it to death.) That all is not really the issue here. (And I also never said that it is impossible to eliminate a stereotype – eliminating it is exactly the reason why people speak up, it’s exactly the goal. It’s why I care about this. You only have to look back at history to see that pushing a stereotype to the margins is very possible.)

Using the DiD trope doesn’t make you a sexist monster, though I would argue, given its past prevalence, it at least makes you a lazy and unimaginative storyteller, one that re-enforces a stereotype no less. Think about that and maybe pick a different approach. Is that so much to ask?

All this is is being critical of culture and the stories it tells. You are free to make as many DiD games as you like, but don’t be surprised when you get called out on it.

When is it ok to use the DiD trope? Well, it’s legal and always should be legal. I don’t think anyone is calling for a legislative ban of the DiD trope. Given its past prevalence however, and the context in which it exists I wouldn’t recommend any game developer (or screenwriter, or author, etc.) to use it, at least not without also subverting it. That’s just it.

Posted by JadeGL

@jadegl said:

@manmadegod said:

@centurypunk said:

@manmadegod: Tropes are not bad.

you can still create situations like with a damsel in distress, you just have understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Can you give examples?

The video shows a clip for RE4. Ashley is the president's young daughter and is being infected with a virus so that she can infect America. Seems to me that Capcom understood what and why it was creating that situation. It's inclusion in the video seems to say that they don't.

Isn't the point that they decided to make the person in peril the President's young daughter instead of, say, the President's young son? I mean, we know that the writers of the game come up with a reason for the events to propel the game forward. They have to or else no one would want to play the game or find the action compelling. But the person in danger could have easily been a teenage son, so why did they choose to go with making the character a daughter?

And of course there are examples of men being in danger, but just because you can point to 10% of the time the trope being reversed doesn't suddenly negate the 90% of the time the person in danger is a woman.

Mind you, this is what I think her point would be, and a point I have tried to elucidate myself in discussions here. However it usually falls on deaf ears. I mean, we can always find one example of a different scenario, that doesn't mean the trope as stated is any less pervasive as a storytelling device. It also doesn't make the trope any less effective in some ways, but also cliche or played out as well.

Do you want me to list more examples? Is that your only stumbling block? She only showed a handful of DiD scenarios in the video.

You're right, they could have made the story about the President's son. But they could have also made it about his daughter, and they did. It shouldn't make a difference. There should be no difference to an objective game player.People seem to being looking at these games with a preconceived notion of sexism and flip a switch when anything regarding a women happens. In how many games do you have to rescue the president? A male president? A shit ton. Those games could have been about the President's daughter or wife. They were not. Yet she find the one example about the President's daughter and throws it in a video about tropes. The answer seems to be that every game in which a character is captured, the captured character should be male. Problem solved?

I wish we could be at a point where it wasn't inherently wrong for a daughter to be rescued. It's just what happened in the story, no dirty strings attached.

I never said it was wrong. It is a choice someone made. That choice doesn't devalue the game or the experience. But to deny that there is anything to discuss is pointless. Games are becoming a medium on par with film, television, music, and literature. All of these mediums have in depth discussions involving issues like this and many others. I think people are getting caught up in whether it's right or wrong. I don't think that's the point at all. The point is to be mature enough to realize that there are many different people in the world with backgrounds that vary exponentially. Those people bring those backgrounds to the table so a 30 year old white female may find a different meaning in the novel Mrs. Dalloway than say a 20 year old Asian male. That doesn't make either person wrong. It just means they view the world in different ways.

Posted by hinderk

@manmadegod: It isn't inherently wrong in having a women that needs to be rescued. The problem is that it is almost always women that are in need of rescue. People aren't choosing randomly or it would be closer to 50/50 split between women and men needing rescue. Why are writers and developers choosing women in roles where they need to rescued and not men? That is the question I think the video tries asks.

Posted by LikeaSsur

@hinderk: If you're talking about Anita's video, it doesn't ask anything. It just shows a lot of examples and gives a history lesson. She's notorious for pointing out flaws while not offering a solution, but this is a completely different series, so we'll see if that changes come the final episode.

Posted by wrathofconn

@nettacki: Moderating YouTube comments? Go ahead and let me know when there's a way to navigate that pool of filth.

Posted by reruns

It shouldn't make a difference.

It doesn't, unless you have context. In this case, the context is the real world, where it turns out men and women aren't equal.

Edited by crusader8463

@hinderk said:

@manmadegod: It isn't inherently wrong in having a women that needs to be rescued. The problem is that it is almost always women that are in need of rescue. People aren't choosing randomly or it would be closer to 50/50 split between women and men needing rescue. Why are writers and developers choosing women in roles where they need to rescued and not men? That is the question I think the video tries asks.

Because games are made for straight men and not women. Mass market logic is that men can only relate to male leads since that's what they are, and the basest desire for most men is getting the girl at the end of the day. Not to mention that in most of society men are brought up to believe that they are big, rough, and tough and women are delicate flowers that need to be protected by them. So until you change societies view on that kind of stuff the damsel in distress is always going to be more common then anything else.

Edited by Oscar__Explosion

@notdavid said:

While we're on the topic of shitty trophy names, I was playing Enslaved a while ago.

After Pigsy sacrifices himself by blowing up the Leviathan, a trophy called "Smoky Bacon" pops up and totally kills the mood. It fucking sucked and actually made my experience worse. Sony still refuses to allow the option to disable trophy notifications.

My friend just finished playing Enslaved and while I was watching that trophy came up and I agree that it totally messed up the scene.

Posted by bassman2112

That Journey thing with Austin Wintory doing commentary is fucking incredible. Thank you so much for that, Patrick - I totally would have missed it otherwise.

Posted by project343

I would really like to hear what all the GB crew think about the whole "tropes vs women in video games" topic since most of them (like myself) have lived through and played a majority of the games in question.

Man. That was a spectacular video. I tend to hate everything about Feminist Frequency (for mostly being 'psycho feminist harpies'), but that was an mostly understated argument that was also really educational.

Posted by BR4DL3I9H

I always look forward to Worth Reading. Although I don't really check out the videos, the articles are always a good read. This is why this week I was surprised that Patrick choose the 'Addictive' article from the Kotaku website. I can't be the only one who found that article obnoxious, and, actually, insulting. I mean, calling people stupid from wanting to get a good number of hours out of a game they have bought?! As someone who has limited gaming time on my hands I don't want to play a game that requires hundreds of hours to complete, but at the same time I appreciate that there are people who do. I think a big issue with games journalism is that the writers sometimes can't think from the perspective of an average gamer when their whole world is in games, and make brash judgements.

Anyway, thanks Patrick. I found the SimCity articles all interesting. And, as a fellow gamer who has never played Monster Hunter, but is constantly surrounded by it, what with living in Japan, I am looking forward to reading about your experience with the game.

Edited by wrathofconn

@crusader8463: Gosh, if only the media had some sort of power to influence the way people viewed certain issues!

Posted by budgietheii

The AX tracks were always available in F-Zero GX, you had to complete all the cups on master difficulty if I remember correctly. Still funny to see all the arcade front end was in there as well.

Posted by AssInAss

I don't get the Kickstarter remorse article, he just focused on Banner Saga Factions and it seems more like a whinge than a detailed journalistic article. He didn't even bother to ask the developers to respond as to why they released a F2P version of the game's multiplayer.

Posted by Rodin

i just want to say that zelda was totally the star of both Zelda: wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure.

Posted by cooljammer00

Kinda weird to see both Adam Sessler and Arthur Gies address the same few issues they each had with God of War Ascension, and even weirder to see some people (and women, no less) telling them to fuck off with their "white knighting" of women.

Edited by AssInAss

Kinda weird to see both Adam Sessler and Arthur Gies address the same few issues they each had with God of War Ascension, and even weirder to see some people (and women, no less) telling them to fuck off with their "white knighting" of women.

It's just the typical fanboys who've been led through a hype train and don't want anyone to let them off. They don't have an actual argument.

Wasn't God of War 3 similarly creepy with having you drag a naked woman in chains around a level and then having her getting smashed to bits under a gear?

The trophy was called "I didn't do it...but I wished I did!". (go to 7m24s for trophy)

Edited by beef_melody

Hexel looks very cool but its a shame it limits you to plain hexes in the demo. The art produced from the other settings are really stylish and kinda remind me of this guy's work.

Posted by mrangryface

@patrickklepekThanks for covering Etrian Odyssey 4. Its probably one of the best 3DS releases right now, and they have made significant changes to specific game mechanics to try and appeal to a larger audience (sub dungeons, ease of travel, more casual harvesting process, more revenue options). Of course that only bears fruit if its given a chance, and not shoved aside as a simple iteration of a series that HAS up until this release, been a predictable one

Posted by clarkj1981

Enjoyed the article as usual. But I really think the tone on Tomb Raider has been a bit harsh here - especially on the podcast last week. Of course, that's likely self-inflicted given the bizarre (and off-putting) statements that came out from the game's developers in the months--maybe years--before launch. But I thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt like it was a triumphant reboot that was made with real care to details both big and small. Further, I felt like the aforementioned statements that stirred up such controversy really never manifested themselves in the game. On its own merits--perhaps not on its own marketing--it's one of the most enjoyable and thrilling game experiences I've had this year.

Edited by MattGrant

Ok. That 16-bit Doctor Who RPG video is probably the single greatest thing I have ever seen in my life.

Posted by Legion_

I wondered why Patrick included Sessler's review of God of War. When he talked about that trophy, it all made sense. #GettingTiredOfThisShit

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