BaconGames's forum posts

#1 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

There's a lot going on here and a lot to unpack and so even though I add my own perspective, I can't help but put on my analytical hat and contribute that way.

First I'll refer to the article which immediately invokes the theoretical orientation of queer theory which I'm aware of and I have some reading in but I'm not that versed in it so I won't go deep in. But nonetheless the usage in academic scholarship and social theory is to effectively cross-interact the theoretical perspective with the topic in question and see what shakes out. Often this means making as best an argument one can with it despite the fact that the initial comparison or usage is arbitrary. We can sit here all day and take even just critical theoretical perspectives (queer theory, race theory, colonialist, feminist, Marxist, etc) and have them interact with games. And believe me, it's been done and will continue to do so if only because all forms of art are being examined similarly. We just don't tend to see it that often because they're buried in critical theory journals.

Anyway, the article effectively brings up the idea of queer relationship or trans-gender enactment by "playing" the opposite gender which I disagree with if only because there's a more fundamental mechanic at play. That of vicariousness and the interaction between player immersion, character, and design. Whether it be the dot in Adventure or Lee in the Walking Dead and everything in between, taking on the role of "player" first and foremost tends to inevitably produce some amount investment in the character being embodied. At the base level, keeping with the dot from Adventure, you can just be "you" or "player character" but with that comes the assumption and interpretation of environment, tasks, agency, meaning, and all the other things that come into play because you're playing a game. Otherwise the illusion wouldn't work and it's "just" a dot of color moving around other abstract boxes of color. Night Driver is another great example of this. You're supposed to be a car driving at night when graphically it's just falling pixels to create the illusion. However that simple tricks works to make the player take on that player role in this referential context (a driver at night and not just lights on a screen).

Now imagine blowing that out with characters that are more realistically rendered, have their own dialogue, voiced performance, and choices. And in this brings up the second half to my point which is the interaction with design. This very discussion actually hinges upon it by which I mean a game has to be designed to give the player the choice of gender or character creation to introduce this dynamic. What of games that only offer their definitive protagonist? And controlling for that, a game can give you choice of character but no control over the look or outcome of their look like a Bethesda RPG or MMO would. For instance, Costume Quest lets you pick which sibling to go with male or female but really there's no changing their look.

Therefore to consider the underlying issue of how players and player characters interact, and therefore how and why players choose which character to be, we have to take into account the different design scenarios which can produce different outcomes. For instance, how might the same player rationalize their experience when confronted with a game that offers no choice of character, choice of character but no customization, full customization but a mechanical gameplay experience (think more MMOs) and full customization but a more heavily story-based experience (Fallout 3, Mass Effect etc.). In other words, how deep does the "might as well hot ass" rationalization go across these outcomes and is that player also looking at story or characters in games different than one who sees that reasoning as irrelevant and/or off putting.

I know for me, I've come to realize that it really does depend on the game. And for full disclosure I too have found and continue to find the "might as well make it a hot lady ass" reason off putting to say the least. Generally speaking when given full customization I tend to make "me" aesthetically and that means a tanned skin bearded dude with black hair. Despite being vaguely Mediterranean/Turkish in appearance any attempts to make myself tend to produce Latino looking male characters. Which I'm actually totally happy with and adds to the experience; it's me but also different and also not an arbitrarily white male character either. Granted, with that comes the inherent bias of not stepping outside your bounds BUT in practice there have been important counter-examples. In Dragon Age II, I played the female character because I thought the actress was better done but with the fact that a number of major party members are female, I actually found quite a lot of value in the vicarious female/female bonds I made. And indeed it was compelling to project who I thought was an attractive male character for my player character to fall for etc. In the end, the choice of female had great value as a written character and as a means to explore that perspective as a male. I'd imagine that this won't be the last time a female character will inherently have added value as a chosen character.

Aside from the "hot ass" reasoning and my own above, there's one last perspective that is worth mentioning and that is the meta-representation reason which I take into account as well. Case-by-case many players would probably go along with their self-image biases but those choices are not done that way in a vacuum; instead they are done in consideration of games over time. At least for some players, there is a real consequence to the relative saturation of male characters in games and more so if one is not male. Therefore while a person may otherwise go with characters that reflect their own appearance and identity, there is a contingent who are going out of their way to pick female characters precisely because women are overall underrepresented as player characters in games. And for certain, individual motivations can be layered and can change over time. For instance, I might eschew the white dude character if it otherwise won't matter but if female character design is actually worse, choice is offered to customize, or there is a outstanding reason to go with a male character over another anyway, I'll do that.

With all that said there's arguably a whole other long post to make deconstructing the nature of viewing the chosen female character as having values exterior to character and player character immersion and as an attractive conception in and of itself. Namely an idea like moe and all manner of projected attractions in fandom of character works which need not extend purely to uncharacterized player avatars in games like WoW.

#2 Posted by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

Sure, why not. I'll take this over an embarrassing reboot that just sexes up a heroine and/or contributes to more "lady-" prefixes in the comic world. I think it's fair that comics have already done everything to everyone at this point but as I said, at least this one isn't embarrassing.

#3 Posted by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

I know it doesn't "hurt" anyone but boy nothing says forum etiquette like a 1-post account necro'ing a thread from three years ago. I mean this is not to disparage the message because damn, that dude sure took it raw to computer science.

#4 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

I'm no mod to dictate this proper but Dan has twice responded here as a considerate and mature person that properly accounts for the behavior in question. Which I think means we can safely return and keep on the thread topic at hand.

#5 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

@danryckert said:

@hassun said:

Behaving like a common internet troll? Really?

Also Dan, if you're reading this, people are not mentioning pro wrestling during your sad trolling attempts because they think wrestling is a sport. They mention it because they think pro wrestling is terrible / way worse than football.

It's not funny, it's the kind of behaviour people would be reprimanded for on Giant Bomb by the mods/staff.

You know, I completely agree. Deleted the tweets as well. I've tried to tone down the heel-y trolling stuff recently, but soccer has been one of the things I've been a bit of a dick about my whole life. That's the way my dad always talked about soccer, and I guess some of it rubbed off on me.

Gonna try to cut that stuff out, which should be way easier now with the World Cup being done. It's not necessarily funny, and I shouldn't feel the need to get on some anti-soccer soapbox whenever I see people talking about it or paying attention to it. Apologies for being a dick, and you're totally in the right to call me out on it. Thanks!

I'm glad to see my trust was not misplaced. I can't speak for everyone here but I think stuff like this serves to build and earn a lot of respect here especially in these early goings where staff and community and mutually feeling each other out. I'm sure this means a lot to people and I can say it does for me, especially after giving the benefit of the doubt. Welcome to Giant Bomb Dan.

#6 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -
@majid said:

@hassun: Completely agree. It's petty, ignorant and reveals a great deal about himself than it says anything about football or football players. Also, harping on the crying thing is ridiculous: these guys are shattered having all played a full season and then contesting a world cup. These players are not wimps, they're elites.

I might be wrong but I recall Dan not being a huge sports fan in general. It's kinda dumb to call out the crying because really, let's cut to every instance of a losing side crying at a championship; you'll see it in most every country and in most sports and competitions. It was just to get a rise out of people and frankly, it's the kind of shit I could do without from anyone on staff and it's the side of Dan I'll probably always disagree with.

Mostly though, I was disappointed at the implication of Dan holding a rather ignorant view of "men don't cry." I choose to believe he knows better than that and so at this time I'll leave it as a rather superficial comment.

#7 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

There were some amazing honorable mentions, Costa Rica and Mexico chief among them for me, but I think the best team throughout the tournament won. I feel happy that this generation of German players gets their trophy.

#8 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

I've been alive enough to say that I don't think I care enough about hot dogs to make them at home. Occasionally if they're the only thing around I'll boil them and eat them with some mustard and bread, but those aren't proper dogs at that point. I think it's one of those foods I'll leave up to restaurants and food carts to make for me and probably a lot better than I can ever do for myself.

As for style preference I've had both boiled and grilled and depending on the quality of the dog they can both be shitty.

#9 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

I'll just leave this right here.

#10 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

While they're less sophisticated than a sampler/drum machine in terms of making music, that subversive turn of using DJ equipment to make both a creative and performative craft is what makes two turntables my favorite instrument. Like with any instrument, it takes a lot of practice to get really good at cutting records on two turntables and even more so to master it. As with sampling, the open library of choices is a unique avenue of creativity and challenge but it's that extra layer of technique and dynamic performance that I think makes it a more compelling "instrument" than the SP/MPC which rightly and necessarily focus on sampling and production. The line between production/composition and performance is not absolute and that applies to any way of making music but in this way one is inherently more on the production side and one more on the performance side.