Kierkegaard's forum posts

#1 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

Transistor was lovely. The mutability of the combat and the evolution of the story were complex but worthwhile. Two amazing moments stick out (spoilers):

When you find the boss has committed suicide with his lover, distraught over the damage he created. Just a powerful and sympathetic end to a character that doesn't require a fight

When you realize that your enemy can now stop time and attack you without you being able to do anything. That reversal in the final fight killed me instantly the first time and I loved the powerlessness and requirement of mastery it provoked. I had to be really efficient with my tools and attacks in and movement in order to win.

Transistor was great!

(Also, also, as others have said, requiring the player to experiment with weapons and powers in order to unlock story that builds the world was a clever synergy that many games should copy).

#2 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

Bayonetta is not a new character. The dudes have talked about her multiple times including, as was already mentioned, on day one of the 2010 Game of the Year podcasts and article where they celebrate her as a very interesting, sexy character who defies expectations.

If they do decide to talk about the sexy nature of Bayonetta 2, that'd be a potentially interesting discussion to listen to, but I pretty strongly disagree with the idea that they have an obligation to talk about it or take a stance, even if not taking into account that they've discussed it in the past.

You make it sound like this is a chore. It's a part of the game. If you talk about the feel of fighting with chainsaws on your feet, you can talk about how the character fits into the ongoing discussion of female characters and sexuality in games.

I guess... here's the thing. There exists an attitude that to talk about race, gender, sex, sexuality, politics, or any of that is to do live out a fad or appeal to some minority or follow a trend. It's not. These social issues exist and matter. If we continue to focus only on how the jumping feels in Advanced Warfare rather than the military themes within it, if we look at a game through the lens of gameplay and maybe plot but leave out how it reflects society, we do a disservice to the art form.

There is no single conversation about any topic or character. Bayonetta 2 is a different game; it's evolved, and lots of commentary seems to say for the better. Regardless, the decision to talk gameplay or basic plot only and leave out this topic is a decision to limit our criticism of the medium to what is safe rather than what is true.

There is an obligation to discuss all relevant aspects of a piece of art in order to critique it fairly. I'm happy to field counter-arguments to that rather than reading 50 more posts about how I need to play the game to make a judgement on it I'm not making....

#3 Edited by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@bargainben said:

@cianyx said:

Why would someone who doesn't have a grounding in sexual politics have a responsibility to comment on it? It's like asking Ja Rule to talk about 9/11

My thoughts. I dont know who insists on elevating these guys to diplomatic status, they only deign to represent themselves and have no responsibility beyond that. In all the talks they've had they seem more intent on endorsing a game that's doing something new and interesting because the sales are poor and they want a sequel.

If your concern, OP, is the propagation of objectifying women or whatever it is your imagination combined with Polygon's review convinced you of for this game you never played, I guess take heart in the fact that not a lot of people have seen its content.

Anyway it doesnt stand a chance, Shadow of Mordor is probably taking that category handily. Patrick will probably make a quick note about what you say but in a fair world it'll still make it in the top three unless Brad gets all weird and pushy about some new bullshit obsession game

I don't think that analogy or mode of thinking holds up at all. Do you need to be a political theorist to vote? No, no you don't. Having a degree in something is not required to say what you think about it. Sure, it helps to be informed, but that's not an issue here anyway--the guys are more informed about video games and representations of characters in video games than most people in the world. As public figures, and as human beings, the crew does have a responsibility to represent themselves thoughtfully.

@darthorange said:

@kierkegaard said:

@jasonr86: @brandondryrock:

Yup, going to use this term: Privilege. It is an abuse of privilege to not talk about a relevant aesthetic and thematic part of a game because you have a false notion that it "does not affect you." It affects all of us. And, again, if it's a positive part of the game, talking about it and relaying it as a good lesson for games going forward is just as important as critiquing it if it's negative. That's how progress happens--by talking about stuff.

You are talking about a video game made in Japan that you have never played nor do you have the intention of playing. Have you ever thought about putting all this energy into a more pressing societal issue, like literally anything else?

Also, just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living?

Oh, don't do that! Instead of actually responding you are saying this isn't worth talking about it and how about I go out and stop genocide. C'mon. There's value to all of this.

And I'm a high school English teacher, so I spend a lot of my time encouraging people to think harder, be critical, and question everything. I also try not to be a pedantic dick, but I don't regret my tone here. Not talking about it in their most public media is a problem.

@sinusoidal You show a real misunderstanding of that term. Inaccuracy in physics can certainly propagate unfortunate notions that the disasters in that film are possible, but there's no equivalent to privilege there. Privilege is acknowledging that within the United States, due to social and historical power dynamics and active subjugation of certain people, it remains, and research backs this up, easier to attain success and respect as a white person, a male, a heterosexual person, and/or an able-bodied person. It is also possible for these people to live their lives without facing dismissal or disrespect on the bases of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Because of this arguing that this is a topic that can be ignored because it doesn't affect you is an example of privilege. It's something to be informed about.

#4 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

Huh, so that's what it feels like to be at the bottom of a dog pile. Alright. Here we go y'all!

@kierkegaard: I agree with what you're saying. I understand that well known critics do have power to change how an audience feels about something. My problem is telling critics what to talk about. Some websites like talking about social issues like sexism and female sexuality in a game to get their point across. Other websites don't. As an audience, we can't force a critic's hand. If a critic feels uneasy writing about it, then they don't have to. That is my belief. It is cool if you don't agree, that's what makes us all unique! But just because something is important to one person doesn't mean it is important to everyone else.

Uneasiness is a part of criticism, though, right? LIke, great critics are always learning and growing. What's weird is that not mentioning it is weirder than mentioning it. I think people (lots in this thread) frigging love these guys and react rather poorly to criticism sometimes. In the case of Bayonetta, positive or negative it's a part of the text of the game. Like, her sexuality is an active part of that character and portrayal. It would just be a strange thing to ignore in a culminating discussion about the game.

@kierkegaard:

Here's the thing, reviews are a reflection of the individual creating them. Dan can say and write about whatever he wants with his review.

Stating he should talk about something is a bit ridiculous. No one should have the power or ability to dictate another's actions, much less their opinions. If you think it should be talked about, there are many other reviews that have talked about it, and you should read them if they are more in line with your views. However, it apparently was not important enough to Dan for him to bring it up, and that's perfectly ok.

Why do people keep insisting that it's wrong for people to have differing opinions, or that people MUST talk about a subject?

They aren't.

They don't.

They won't.

Because having an opinion is different than not speaking about something intrinsic to a piece of art. Dan can write what he wants, and I'm free to criticize that. I can say "should," doesn't mean anyone has to listen. I think I'm right, doesn't mean I am. But if a subject is there and it affects people, then it's probably worth talking about.

@altairre said:

@kierkegaard said:

@dudeglove said:

@kierkegaard said:

I do not have an informed opinion of this game. I haven't played it or even watched a bunch of it on youtube.

The "danger" here comes from people like you baiting other forum users into creating drama on topics where there is hardly any. Bayonetta is not "misogyny: the video game", and it's blatantly clear that you're actively looking for controversy. What are you basing this off? That one Polygon review?

If, on the other hand, you'd actually like to have an informed opinion of Bayonetta, you can read the several thousand tweets from Kamiya's twitter feed (you can skip all the ones where he says "banned"), or read the excellent blogposts over at Platinum Games' website, and while you're there you can watch the series of 60 videos wherein Kamiya plays through the entirety of Bayo 1, explaining where Bayonetta's design comes from and the whole sexiness aspect you seem to be dreadfully fearful of, which is kind of ironic because while the fictional character of Bayonetta has absolutely no hang-ups about her sexuality, it seems you might.

Who are you talking to? All of those sound like great sources of information if my purpose was critiquing the game. It's not. I'm critiquing the silence on this part of the game. I'm not baiting anyone. I'm actively looking for a discussion of whether critics need to talk about these things, which I deeply believe they do so as not to disrespect and alienate the people these artistic decisions can directly effect--positively or negatively! It sounds like Bayonneta 2 could be a positive expression of sexuality! Great! Talk about that, giant bomb guys.

Just because some reviews mentioned it that doesn't mean everybody has to talk about it. If the depiction was extremely negative and if it is something that stood out to you while playing then yes it's something you can and probably should talk about (and I imagine they would have, especially Patrick). Secondly, how you look at the depiction of sexuality in Bayonetta is very much a personal preference thing (which has been mentioned before). There are a lot of women that think she is a positive example (Susan Arendt from joystiq and Brianna Wu come to mind) and there are women (and men like Arthur Gies) that are uncomfortable with it. It is also fairly difficult for the crew to decide if it's female empowerment since they are men. Nobody has brought it up as a negative and that should be enough in this case.

A lot of people said this in here--that because this isn't "negative" it doesn't need to be talked about. That's crazy! Like I said, if Bayonnetta is a great sex-positive female figure, everyone should be talking about and learning from that! Because that's how the community of developers and players learns to be better--by looking at great examples. See, just like gamergate, it's better for the crew to weigh in on something than not. And promoting what is positive and good is in many ways more valuable than only criticizing what is bad.

@hassun said:

@kierkegaard: Have you listened to Patrick talk about Bayonetta 2 at all? Because I'm pretty sure he has already talked about this. Especially in relation to the Polygon review of the game.

As for your other points, nobody at Giant Bomb has to do anything of the sort. They will if they want to, they won't if they don't want to. Who knows they might have already had long discussions about it off-camera/mic. Or maybe they would address it if they thought it was a problem and them not addressing it is just another way of saying that they don't have a problem with it?

The thing is, there will always be someone out there who takes offence or issue with something you do/did or don't do/didn't do. It's no use trying to please everyone, it's never going to happen.

Is that in a coffee thing? Always mean to watch those. I was focusing on the bombcast, the review, and the quicklook because those are kinda the mass media things here, the widest reaching big audience stuff. The game of the year discussions are all long form discussions about the merits of certain games, and I think it's fair for this inherent part of this game to be discussed--positive or negative. The point is that this isn't about offense or controversy. It's about artistic critique--not mentioning this part ignores a rather major aesthetic and thematic piece of the game. If Patrick talked about it, great! Hope he brings it up in the official discussion bit, because the fact is these guys have a huge audience and they have an influence. Showing they care by talking about it is a good thing to do.

@damodar said:

I'd say it's maybe exaggerating to call it an elephant in the room but yeah, sure, it's worth talking about, even if that is just to praise the way it handles that stuff. It seems like a good Bombin' the AM topic, if it hasn't already been one.

@itwongo said:

I remember them talking about it multiple times on several videos and podcasts, as well as twitter. I don't remember witch pieces of content specifically, but they all more or less reflected Ryan's sentiment in his review of the first game.

:D

Thanks for the totally sane and considerate response!

Hi, I'm a woman and a huge fan of Bayonetta. Portrayals of female sexuality in media really doesn't need to be a hot button issue unless it's derogatory, because making the fact that "This Lady Is Sexy" into a huge deal is incredibly counter productive to an actual conversation about, y'know, being sex positive.

These conversations always turn out the same way, just like people said. You don't have to like Bayonetta and people are allowed to have problems with it or her or even Kamiya, but the general consensus and popular opinion (from what I have seen) is that, hey, Bayonetta is theatrical and sexy and sassy and cool. And that's ok.

I really wanted to make a joke about a witch hunt here, but I had to restrain myself.

Hello, I think there's absolutely a danger in people searching for sexism and seeing sex-positivism as negative because they see nakedness. I'm not trying to condemn the game at all here. Sounds like it plays great and many people think she owns it and the camera can fuck off. Great! My only point is that since it would be good for games to mature in their representation of sex, speaking to this apparent success in this game in a GOTY talk would be a good idea. I don't want controversy; I want honest conversation about all the important parts of art and, dammit, sexuality, race, gender, politics, metaphors--all that deep and social shit is important to talk about, especially if this is an example games should learn from.

@kierkegaard said:

@dudeglove said:

@kierkegaard said:

I do not have an informed opinion of this game. I haven't played it or even watched a bunch of it on youtube.

The "danger" here comes from people like you baiting other forum users into creating drama on topics where there is hardly any. Bayonetta is not "misogyny: the video game", and it's blatantly clear that you're actively looking for controversy. What are you basing this off? That one Polygon review?

If, on the other hand, you'd actually like to have an informed opinion of Bayonetta, you can read the several thousand tweets from Kamiya's twitter feed (you can skip all the ones where he says "banned"), or read the excellent blogposts over at Platinum Games' website, and while you're there you can watch the series of 60 videos wherein Kamiya plays through the entirety of Bayo 1, explaining where Bayonetta's design comes from and the whole sexiness aspect you seem to be dreadfully fearful of, which is kind of ironic because while the fictional character of Bayonetta has absolutely no hang-ups about her sexuality, it seems you might.

Who are you talking to? All of those sound like great sources of information if my purpose was critiquing the game. It's not. I'm critiquing the silence on this part of the game. I'm not baiting anyone. I'm actively looking for a discussion of whether critics need to talk about these things, which I deeply believe they do so as not to disrespect and alienate the people these artistic decisions can directly effect--positively or negatively! It sounds like Bayonneta 2 could be a positive expression of sexuality! Great! Talk about that, giant bomb guys.

What are you even talking about? If you have no actual criticism of how they handled Bayonetta's sexuality, and the crew has no problem with how it's handled, then what is there to talk about? You don't discuss something when it has no conversational value... Even if they were going to bring up that her expression of sexuality is a positive one, so what? What is there to say after that? If there happens to be some reason that the crew feels it's necessary to discuss her sexuality, then it will be brought up, otherwise they won't. There is no elephant in the room. Her character is what she is and that is that.

Because, like it or not, these guys are public figures whose discussions and words affect others. They aren't just a bunch of dudes in a room. They care about this job and their audience. I'm saying that, especially if this is a positive thing, emphasizing that for the masses that listen would be a good thing to do. It's how a community grows, pointing out areas of strength and weakness and learning from it. It's a part of the game, and I think it's their responsibility to mention it in the talks.

@flstyle said:

@kierkegaard: I would think twice about starting such a thread about a game you seem to have little knowledge on in future. Especially when there's no discussion to be had outside of people telling you over and over again of your misinformed, unresearched view of Bayonetta 2.

Own up to your mistake and ask the mods to lock this up.

Incorrect! Valuable discussion about criticism here from people who didn't misread this as a critique of the game.

#5 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@jasonr86: @brandondryrock:

Yup, going to use this term: Privilege. It is an abuse of privilege to not talk about a relevant aesthetic and thematic part of a game because you have a false notion that it "does not affect you." It affects all of us. And, again, if it's a positive part of the game, talking about it and relaying it as a good lesson for games going forward is just as important as critiquing it if it's negative. That's how progress happens--by talking about stuff.

#6 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@splodge said:
@kierkegaard said:

@splodge: I hope you're right. And I hope it is all positive. It's just a communication thing, you know? I care about games doing and being more, about them conveying the world in interesting and new ways, and it annoys me that the crew still shy away from topics that are, to many, just as important as gameplay and graphics. People have been waiting and crying out for games to mature in their depictions of sex and women for years; it is not unreasonable to be unnerved when a game that clearly approaches both directly is not spoken of in that light.

I do agree with you on this, and I apologize if I came off as combative earlier, but it is for these very reasons why I think Bayonetta does such a good job. It is, in its own absurd way, a very mature representation of sexuality. The game treats the player as an adult. You can admire this woman, who is sexy and strong and not feel like a complete pervert for doing so. There are no un-nerving up-skirts or flashes of cleavage while a character bends over to pick something up. I HATE it when a video game tries to "tantalize". It is creepy as fuck. Bayonetta herself is an overtly sexual person, and displays it through her actions and the way she engages with the world. And, by the way, it is but one aspect of her personality. It is not the entire focus of the game, but more of an aesthetic choice.

That's great! Seriously, good for them. I hope other games take note. And thank you for telling me about it! Hmm, my S.O. really loves the yarn aesthetic of the Kirby game and the upcoming Yoshi game, so maybe I can spring a Wii U. Thanks for hearing me out and talking rationally on a video game message board.

#7 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@kierkegaard said:

I do not have an informed opinion of this game. I haven't played it or even watched a bunch of it on youtube.

The "danger" here comes from people like you baiting other forum users into creating drama on topics where there is hardly any. Bayonetta is not "misogyny: the video game", and it's blatantly clear that you're actively looking for controversy. What are you basing this off? That one Polygon review?

If, on the other hand, you'd actually like to have an informed opinion of Bayonetta, you can read the several thousand tweets from Kamiya's twitter feed (you can skip all the ones where he says "banned"), or read the excellent blogposts over at Platinum Games' website, and while you're there you can watch the series of 60 videos wherein Kamiya plays through the entirety of Bayo 1, explaining where Bayonetta's design comes from and the whole sexiness aspect you seem to be dreadfully fearful of, which is kind of ironic because while the fictional character of Bayonetta has absolutely no hang-ups about her sexuality, it seems you might.

Who are you talking to? All of those sound like great sources of information if my purpose was critiquing the game. It's not. I'm critiquing the silence on this part of the game. I'm not baiting anyone. I'm actively looking for a discussion of whether critics need to talk about these things, which I deeply believe they do so as not to disrespect and alienate the people these artistic decisions can directly effect--positively or negatively! It sounds like Bayonneta 2 could be a positive expression of sexuality! Great! Talk about that, giant bomb guys.

#8 Edited by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@splodge: I hope you're right. And I hope it is all positive. It's just a communication thing, you know? I care about games doing and being more, about them conveying the world in interesting and new ways, and it annoys me that the crew still shy away from topics that are, to many, just as important as gameplay and graphics. People have been waiting and crying out for games to mature in their depictions of sex and women for years; it is not unreasonable to be unnerved when a game that clearly approaches both directly is not spoken of in that light.

@liquidprince You're not responding to me, but some false version of me that is attacking the game's depiction of Bayonnetta. I'm not. I'm saying that it is a critic's responsibility to talk about it, regardless of where they stand.

#9 Posted by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@splodge said:

@kierkegaard said:

@donchipotle said:

I don't want to sound mean but you admit that you've not played or even seen the game so you kind of don't really have a leg to stand on in th great 'Bayonetta is male gaze bullshit' debate. I haven't played Bayonetta 2, but in the first one there was just one moment where the whole sexual thing was overdone (ya'll know what it was). In the first game Bayonetta was confident about pretty much everything about her, down to how she looked and by extension how she talked about sexual things. There wasn't much subtle about Bayonetta but it wasn't trying to be this silent critique of sexuality.

You didn't come off as mean. You did prove you didn't read the full post though. They need to talk about it. That's it. Even if it's a denial of its existence, they need to talk about it.

You are making assumptions about the content of a game you have not played. Why would they NEED to talk about it? If there was something worth talking about, they would have talked about it. As I said above, it is not what you think it is.

No I'm not. I'm saying that female and male critics who have played this game have mentioned it. Maddy Myers and Arthur Gies and more. I am happy to have this game be a fantastic and powerful use of sex in a positive way. I am not attacking it. I am attacking silence here. The sexual politics of the game exist, and in the modern age of video game criticism, it is irresponsible to not talk about them.

#10 Edited by Kierkegaard (604 posts) -

@donchipotle said:

I don't want to sound mean but you admit that you've not played or even seen the game so you kind of don't really have a leg to stand on in th great 'Bayonetta is male gaze bullshit' debate. I haven't played Bayonetta 2, but in the first one there was just one moment where the whole sexual thing was overdone (ya'll know what it was). In the first game Bayonetta was confident about pretty much everything about her, down to how she looked and by extension how she talked about sexual things. There wasn't much subtle about Bayonetta but it wasn't trying to be this silent critique of sexuality.

You didn't come off as mean. You did prove you didn't read the full post though. They need to talk about it. That's it. Even if it's a denial of its existence, they need to talk about it.

@splodge Again, not my point. There is no reason to not talk about a part of a piece of art. It is the responsibility of a critic to speak to this fact of the game. It may very well be sex-positive feminism and yay! But you gotta talk about it.