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Why Modern Video Game Armies Lack Female Troops

So what do y'all think? Personally, on one hand I'm kind of boggling over the fact that rendering walls is deemed more important than rendering women and on the other, I'm sighing at how much gaming is one of the last, unabashed bastions of unrepentant Male Privilege.

Homophobia in MMOs

The Issue and Consequence of Homophobia in MMOs

The Internet has positively influenced our lives in an innumerable amount of ways; from the revolution of the standard business model to the friends we decide to go out with on a Friday night, we've come a long way in such a short amount of time. The Internet has forever changed the video games industry as well. As multiplayer gaming gained momentum in the late-90s, players began to coalesce on the Web in virtual communities, ultimately paving the way to the massive-scale gaming networks, like Xbox Live and MMO environments, we use today.

The ubiquity of online gaming communities comes with a price, though. It's easier to spread bigotry and inflict prejudice in virtual spaces than ever before. That's not to say that problems like these are anything new, or exclusive to online mediums like gaming networks. By middle-school, practically every student in the country is exposed to defamation in some form. Homophobia is particularly one of the most-debated issues in online gaming today; harassment of gay and lesbian gamers in virtual communities is drawing more media attention than ever before, and some analysts believe it's only getting worse.

Thoughts? It seemed like a good article, albeit it short, and rehashing a lot of things--but it seems like this rehashing is necessary, for more people to see it, and maybe think about what they say and do, and how it impacts others.

That said...Do. Not. Read. The comments. At. The. Source.


At the moment!

Quick! What games are you currently playing, and what games are you most looking forward to?

I'm currently playing FF13 (I'm on the last chapter, but I'm doing some side missions before I finish the game), and am seriously looking forward to Heavy Rain--looking so forward to it that I might quit doing the side missions so I can be done with FF13 and ready for Heavy Rain the day it comes out.



'It’s just a game': Post-racism and Video Game Culture

This article, which is kind of long, looks at the reaction of gamers to N’Gai Croal's somewhat infamous accusations of racism in the RE5 trailer. It doesn't look at if the criticism was correct or not, but at the reactions to the criticism, and (too briefly) the effect it could have on people who try to point out racism and sexism in games.

I think this is a good start--it feels like he didn't really focus in, or was sure exactly where he was going. And I agree, there is a definite, nigh-across the board reaction that the 'hardcore' gamers have to any slight, at all, to gaming (some of the Kotaku comments to Miss America saying kids should go outside and play...good lord) that is knee-jerk, to put it kindly. Any criticism is seen as bad, and anything that tries to analyze games, unless it is glowing, is met with scorn, derision, and "it's just a game!"

I think there was a lot in this article, but it wasn't really explored--I felt like something was lacking, but that this was a good jumping off point (I'm still trying to figure out where I wish it had gone). What do y'all think about it, and the reaction in the gaming world to criticism?


BioWare is locking and hiding any topic related to homosexuality on its message board, especially those asking why you can have female-on-female sex in Mass Effect, but can't have male-on-male. Rather than discuss the double standard, BioWare is keen to bury any and all questions.

Thoughts? To me, this smacks of BS, especially since the Ars Technica story it originally comes from says:

According to a reader who first contacted Ars about the issue, "There are a bunch of gay and gay-friendly gamers who are posting topics about why male/male romances (because, of course, they have female/female) were deliberately left absent from [Mass Effect 2] who are finding that moderators are taking a tad too much liberty with their ability to close topics. Nearly every thread about the issue has been closed for the most minute reasons, even so far as going to say that the discussion of same-sex romances in the general forums is considered spoiler material."
Ruling to Boost Sale of 'Cyber Money'

The Supreme Court made a landmark ruling Sunday, allowing "cyber money," or fictional money used in online games, to be exchanged for hard cash.

This is the first such ruling in Korea, court officials and game experts say, raising expectations that it will provide new territory for the booming online game industry by attracting people seeking not only entertainment but also money.

The court acquitted two gamers, who were indicted on charges of illegally making nearly 20 million won by selling 234 million won worth of cyber money earned in the online game Lineage to other gamers.

According to game experts, the cyber money, called "Aden" by Lineage, was surreptitiously traded at a ratio of one million Aden for 8,000 won.

The accused were indicted in 2008 and a provincial court slapped them with fines of two and four million won, respectively, citing a law banning the exchange of cyber money for hard currency.

But an appellate court overturned the decision, drawing a clear guideline on such exchanges.

The amount of game money exchanged online in Korea topped 830 billion won in 2006 and might have exceeded 1 trillion won in 2008.Collapse )


So basically, in-game money can be legally sold for real world money in Korea. I wonder how the game companies are going to react to this. And if this means there will be more people trying to make in-game money and get items to sell. What do y'all think?
I posted this to one of my journals a while back, but seeing this travesty (and as an aside--the Longfellow version? Really? Really? The public domain version you can find online and also one of the most bleh translations? Gah) has brought my frothing rage back, so I'm reposting this here for opinions.

I have serious issues with pretty much everything having to do with EA's "Dante's Inferno." And for the sake of my sanity, I'm going to refer to the game as "DI" and the actually poem as Dante's Inferno or The Inferno, for the sake of cutting down on confusion and because it almost physically pains me to attach Dante to EA's travesty.

There's a lot about DI I hate that I could write a tome about, including its marketing, but this post is very specifically about the imagery of women in the game, focusing on Beatrice (and oh, man, I'm seriously wishing I had my notes from college from the class on Dante I took--part of my hate of this game stems from the fact that I love The Divine Comedy, and EA has turned it into a pathetic God of War clone) and all the things they've done so wrong with her.

Long and unedited; if you see any rough spots tell me, because I wrote half of this secretly at work and filled in the blank spots after I got home...and y'all know how my mind wanders.Collapse )

And apologies for this being all over the map; I feel like ass and so my brain is kind of scattered, plus I wrote this in the LJ post window, so. I'm sure I'll poke around and clean, edit, and expand, because as I was writing, different things were occurring to me that I didn't really get to explore (mainly the role reversal of Beatrice and Dante). ^^;;

Do JRPGs need fixing?

IGN gives Top 10 Ways to Fix JRPGs.

Japanese gamers respond. (If you can read Japanese, you can read the direct responses here)

Personally, I love JRPGs, even if at times the grind fest makes me want to punch bunnies. But other than that...NO, I do not want multiplayer, NO, I do not want open world exploration, NO, I do not want non-linear stories, and GOD NO, I do not character design like most western games have. I play JRPGs because I like the way they tell stories, I like the characters, and because I do not want to have to blunder across the world trying to find random a story thread (and I play them because I play game so I don't have to interact with other human beings; if I wanted to interact with people, I'd go outside.)

And also, looking at IGN's suggestions, I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with one of the Japanese commenters:


"If they resolved all these 'problems,'
they'd be making Western games, not Japanese ones."

Basically, it seems like IGN wants Japanese games to stop being so darned Japanese.

Gaming and Violence

Quantic Dream Exec Talks Violence and Games

Guillaume de Fondaumiere, one of the CEOs of Quantic Dream, talks about how the media presents violence in video games.

I think he makes some very good points. However, I also think a lot of people in the gaming industry (and who are avid gamers) are so defensive of gaming that they gloss over the way that games do have a desensitizing effect. No, that doesn't mean that people run out an become mass murderers, but games aren't completely harmless. No medium presenting anything is; they all have an impact on us.


What are you playing now?

Hey, everybody! Things have been a wee bit quiet over here (ok, a lot quiet), so I figured I'd do a "What are you playing?" post. So...what are y'all all playing right now?

I'm playing two games right now, "Final Fantasy Gaiden: Hikari no 4 Senshi" for the DS and "Fragile" for the Wii. So far, I am loving them both. They are very different in feel--Hikari no 4 Senshi is very cheerful, perky, neo-old school Final Fantasy, but Fragile is very heavy and depressing. One game you're fighting to save the world; the other, the world was destroyed before your character was even born, and you're just trying to survive both the ghost and demons around you and your own loneliness.

Also, what games coming up are you most looking forward to? I've already got my FF13 preorder done. :D