Kierkegaard's forum posts

#1 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

I think the full analog movement is helping make it feel easier. Also, after hundreds of hours in the last game, of course this one feels easier now. The Mom safe spot from BoI doesn't work anymore, as I just found out....

#2 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@turambar said:

I am essentially paid to help facilitate discussions and debate between high school kids on historical and social issues at a maturity level dramatically higher than adults twice their age have managed on the internet. It's pretty great.

I'm a high school English teacher. Feels like I should be doing something similar, but this greater maturity thing has eluded many of my students so far. Now I'd love to hear that you actually work as a counselor at a prison.

Got my job by graduating college with an English Major and going to grad school for a Masters in Secondary Teaching. I was very lucky that after two weeks of sending out lots of applications I got an inroad at this school, did well in the interview, and got the job.

It's hard some days, but I never feel like I'm in the wrong place. It's a good place to be.

#3 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

Interesting take though maybe a little overthought; would certainly like to see a Spec Ops: The Line + Shadow of Mordor meshup in the future though.

For sure, modern military combat mixed with humanizing enemies (Spec Ops more went for monsterizing the player) could be powerful. If it gives players an understanding of the horrors of war, great!

for the love of god someone make a game of throne nemesis system game.

This is correct.

@joshwent said:

@themanwithnoplan said:

I really hope this game represents the first step in advancing AI systems for the current generation. It's something we've needed for a while and I'm glad to see somebody take a chance and get it right.

It still blows my mind that more devs haven't realized this is where games should be going. Video games all look pretty great. We have a whole mess of transistors in those consoles. We're sort of done with that.

AI is the next frontier, and I can only hope we get even just a little more advancement there than, "Wow! Look at the reflections on that car in this average serialized racing game!!".

Right? Make me care about the computer people rather than focusing on making their follicles nicer. Feels like games have been aiming at AI that is more responsive in combat, but not AI that is more believable as a responsive agent. This is heading in the right direction.

@harkat said:

The dream for me in terms of technical feats in videogaming has always been to blow up a massive skyscraper with incredibly detailed and dynamic destruction mechanics, where every floor has furniture and lamps and shit on the desks. Just topple that shit in the middle of the a perfectly rendered city and keep it at a manageable framerate.

Battlefield 4 had you taking down a skyscraper but that was a canned animation.

Technologically, deeply impressive. Humanistically, I couldn't give a shit. I mean, that sort of comprehensive physics rendering could be used in much more interesting, non terroristic ways, yes?

I do wish video games could find an elegant way around YOU JUST STABBED HIM IN THE FUCKING FACE AND RAKED IT ALL THE WAY DOWN TO HIS DICK ... now he's at 70% health!

Huh, realistic combat response to horrific violence is an interesting thought. Weird how Mordor makes Orcs feel like people but makes death feel far less real and permanent.

#4 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@excast said:

How central of a role do you believe they should play before something goes from discussing a game to being more of an essay on one's views of perceived injustices and societal wrongs? I suppose you could say the same thing about a film reviewer like Armond White who became infamous for injecting his views on perceived racism into almost everything he writes.

It seems like a delicate thing to balance. I certainly don't want reviews to be these sterile pieces where only things like music, gameplay, and controls are considered, but in a growing number of cases on a variety of gaming sites it seems as if reviews are more concerned with pushing some kind of social message than they are about telling me if the game is a fun, entertaining experience.

After reading Polygon's review of Bayonetta I found myself thinking back to classics and how they would be perceived now. Would a game like Final Fantasy face lower review scores because of the way they portrayed a character like Barrett or the fact they gave Tifa an enormous chest and a belly shirt? Is that something that would have been highlighted in a review instead of the overall package that most would consider a classic? Is a game like FInal Fantasy 15 going to be docked points because of an all male playable cast?

At some point are those kinds of reviews a disservice to readers?

Like others have said, when reviewing games as art rather than consumer products, it is possible and even necessary to respond to their social and political implications and arguments. If a reviewer personally feels that the Male Gaze in camera work is objectifying, and that a game rife with that is a worse artistic product, he can express that.

There is no danger here. Even a review that is factually inaccurate or rude does not endanger the game or the readers--it will be dismissed by the majority who write with care and caution.

Fact is, whether you personally care about the examples from past games or not, a reviewer caring about them is never a problem. It's just more information for you to take in and consider.

There is no danger in criticism, only in being afraid to know and experience more thought.

Personally, I try to give money to games that I respect. Respect, for me, comes from a game that respects its subjects. So, I listen to Arthur's point and consider it.

Leah Alexander and others argued that Bayonetta 1 was sex positive feminism, that Bayonetta was confident in her body and self and not being exploited. Arthur is distinguishing the camera as a demeaning tool, focusing on her sexual parts to titillate the presumed hetero male viewer. It'll be interesting to hear what others think about this.

#5 Edited by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@humanity said:

@kierkegaard: I just don't think we will ever agree on any of this because to me, historically Metal Gear games have had some of the strongest female characters in the entire industry. Meryl, the Boss, Naomi, Sniper Wolf even, they weren't just window dressing with nothing to say - they were all very much independent, strong women, with their own ideologies and unflinching resolve.

I can entirely agree that Quiets outfit is meant to sexualize her, but I don't think that makes it lazy design. It also doesn't have to make it exploitative. But like I said, these are things we clearly don't agree on so there is no real point in continuing to argue about it. I could talk about how it's strange that in the gaming industry any women portrayed in any sort of sexy outfit is instantly branded as exploitative and demeaning but I know it's an increasingly uphill battle. I can agree to disagree on this. At least we can both agree that, all differences in aesthetic presentation aside, Phantom Pain is looking like a really fun game.

I know you were trying to end the argument, but I have to respond to the points here. No one, not Anita, not anyone, is saying video games cannot have sexy women and men. No one. That's a false enemy to fight here.

You are ignoring each time I say this, but one more time: Quiet's outfit is not sexy. It does not demonstrate her strength or her allure. It is a stupid combination of ripped pants and bikini that communicates nothing but exploitation and objectification. This is not new for Kojima.

Meryl is defined by her ass in MGS1 in finding her; there are easter eggs to systematically strip her.

The Boss happens to have a scar along her cleavage.

Naomi's breasts can be jiggled via the six axis in MGS4

Sniper Wold for no reason has her navel and cleavage exposed at all times

All the beauty and the beast characters are reduced to skin tight outfits and photo posing in MGS4

It is better that these women do have complex stories and strong characters--they do make their own choices and do important things. But goddamit. All of the above demonstrates that Kojima has a real problem letting any woman exist as a person rather than a sex object.

And yes, he does this with Raiden, too. But gay and male sexiness is generally played for laughs, not for titillation.

There's a problem here. Admit it.

Phantom Pain does look interesting, but I may vote with my wallet here and not buy it, just as I didn't buy Ground Zeroes after the horrible vagina bomb info came out. Giving my money to that is wrong.

#6 Edited by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@humanity said:

@kierkegaard: I find it nonsensical that a characters outfit automatically defines who they are, regardless of backstory or outside motivations. What is the context and purpose of her character exactly? Isn't it even more disempowering that you are completely writing off an entire character because she doesn't speak, and because she happens to be female this can only be understood in one way? You could instead view it as Quiet overcoming adversity and becoming a powerful soldier despite whatever traumatic experiences had befallen her.

You can criticize her outfit on a stylistic level and thats fine. But without knowing more about her backstory I think it's a little shortsighted to proclaim from the get-go that shes "defined by her boobs and silence," especially in a Metal Gear game.

Why does this sniper WHO RUNS A LOT AND IS SHOT AT need to dressed in a non-supportive bikini top and ripped up pants? Admit that it's because the character designer made her boobs a focus of the design. If you admit that, the only valid conclusion is that the artists are choosing to define her in this way.

You are acting as if I owe the artist the benefit of the doubt. I don't. Historically, Kojima has sexually exploited women in his games. There will be a backstory. It doesn't matter. Nothing can defend the dislogic and laziness of that outfit. It's objectively a sexually exploitive artistic choice. Why is that so hard to admit? What do you lose if you see this for what it is?

The fact is, the style overrides and derides the character. No matter what backstory she has, it will always conflict with her non-sensical, exploitative outfit.

#7 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: I was joking about the parka but I wasn't joking about design guilt. Sometimes you just want to have a sexy looking character - and thats ok. Not every female in Phantom Pain is going to be wearing a bikini top. It's not like this one character is representative of all females in the entire game nor does she somehow represent the views of the company on women. If anything Metal Gear is a series that actually handled women surprisingly well throughout it's many incarnations. The Boss is a great example of a strong female lead for a variety of reasons.

If Snake was constantly flanked by an armed guard of bikini soldiers and it was constantly in your face then yah shame on them. But this is one unique character with a unique backstory. I guess as a designer I personally feel affected by this backlash because it feels like this ethereal censorship. When I draw something or design a character I don't want to constantly keep thinking that I don't want to anger anyone so I better design this "safe." Sometimes you're designing a character and something looks sexy and you just want to go for it - and it's not to objectify women, but because stylistically it looks cool.

Just my 2 cents I guess.

I find this nonsensical. An artist is free to create what they will, but art necessitates criticism and judgement. So, if you create a character who runs around a battlefield at super speed but has no physical support for her breasts and no armor against bullets, then it is completely in my right to question that character.

If you create a character within the context of the world of 2014, where we recognize that defining a character as a sexual viewing thing via their outfit should either fit the context of that character or will be justifiably criticized, then expect justifiable criticism.

If, as an artist, you feel like what you've made will be criticized and feel guilty about that, it's up to you to decide if you want that.

Quiet has awesome powers. But she's another female character defined by her boobs and her silence, she is inherently disempowered. Even if she does cool stuff and has a cool backstory, she falls into sexists tropes.

It is completely fine to both praise her mechanical design and gameplay (she looks like a great and interesting supporting character!) while criticizing her ridiculous outfit and mutism. See, you don't have to like 100% of a thing. You can be critical without hating something and you can like something without loving all of it.

Quiet is not sexy. She is trashy and ridiculous. Any backstory to justify that misses the point--it's justifying a look that does not fit the context or purpose of her character. It's lazy design.

#8 Edited by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

Hang in there, Jeff. You are a great person and have built a great place here. So sorry your dad died. We love you, despite having never met you.

#9 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@bigsocrates: Okay, that gives me some structural understanding. I'm in Act 2 now and it is clearly based around the big war stuff and the particular players are less developed. I like that Leah's mom was not actually fridged as motivation for Cain and Leah. The Enchantress looks ripe for a midriff-based disemboweling, though. Also, shiny things and I love the sentry and raining arrows and gattling gun R2 attack for the demon hunter.

@mbradley1992: Thank you! Essays will always be harder than anything in math ever.

#10 Posted by Kierkegaard (605 posts) -

@bigsocrates: You know, I hear this. But it's weird that there are, like, lots of conversation options with the characters and tons of audio diaries to pick up. I mean, I can ignore it, but there was effort there. It seems like it's a bit disingenuous to say that there is just as much story as Gauntlet. Blizzard clearly tried, pretty hard at points even. Maybe it's crap, but you can't say it meant to be crap.

@kierkegaard: Man, what do you teach? I'm a teacher as well and I have plenty of time for gaming. I don't have kids yet, and getting off work at 3:30 gives me a decent bit of time. I plan once a week for the whole week, and I laid out a lot of general benchmarks to hit on my calendar before the year started. I definitely know of other teachers who are in the same boat as you and seem to dedicate 60 hours a week to it. My wife is a teacher, as well, and she has time during the week to watch Netflix, read, and relax.

High school English. It's my second year so I'm still figuring it out. It's definitely easier this year. Feel free to PM if you wanna talk more about it!

I do have some time, but something like Diablo is perfect for my current level of stress.