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Caesar's Comments - Page 1

The Not so Nice Update and Stuff

Posted on 06/25/2014 at 08:13 PM | Filed Under Blogs

I know how you feel.  I haven't been gaming as much this past year, a lot of things in life haven't been going well for me at all--and I really know what it's like to need insurance and not have it.

And plus, I know what it's like to be absent from here for a while.  My last blog post was from November, and logging on just a few minutes ago my inbox had 365 messages in it.  So trust me, you're not alone on (m)any of those points.

My Animal Crossing Daze

Posted on 06/22/2013 at 01:19 AM | Filed Under Blogs

I don't think it's gay at all.  I find the series to be refreshingly gender-neutral in its presentation, and I think the "girly" (or maybe even "gay") reputation it's earned over the years has been more than a little unfair.  Home decoration has been a part of every Animal Crossing game, and having the option of customizing your appearance more with clothing is, I think, very refreshing to the gameplay (well, for as much as these games really have, anyway).  I'd hate to be playing what's really the fifth generation of the game and still have my clothing limited to a shirt and some pre-rendered shorts and sneakers.

Also, I got quite a kick out of the cross-dressing aspect.  While visiting a friend's town I visited her clothing store and considered buying her a skirt that was on display.  When I clicked to see the price, I saw it gave me the option of putting it on.  So I did.  But I enjoyed just as much Sable's somewhat bemused reaction to asking to try on a skirt--kind of surprised and describing it (to a male avatar) as "feeling adventurous," but also kind of like, "Hey, if you want..."  The game certainly has many humorous bits worked into the script, and I think it suits that particular situation quite well.

Vindication #2 - The hardcore video gamers' voice is heard.

Posted on 06/21/2013 at 09:22 PM | Filed Under Blogs

Her music is pretty bad...but man, Carly Rae Jepsen is easy on the eyes.

Stop toying with me, Kojima!

Posted on 06/04/2013 at 05:44 PM | Filed Under Blogs

First Rule of Hideo Kojima: never believe a Kojima product exists until you're actually holding/playing it.

Actually, I think that's the only rule.  But it's a good one.

Update 6/4/13: Long break, but I'm back now

Posted on 06/04/2013 at 05:26 PM | Filed Under Blogs

I got my arm cut open a few weeks ago!  There's a picture of my awesome scar on my most recent (or second-most recent) blog post.  Other than that...sadly not much with me.

Are you back on here for a while, or should we expect some more radio silence soon?

Games and Girls--Why Feminist Attacks on the Hobby are Largely Misguided

Posted on 06/03/2013 at 07:20 PM | Filed Under Blogs

It is.  The discussion is something new, something "foreign," and there is a fear of that and a resistance towards it.  Therefore...

Games and Girls--Why Feminist Attacks on the Hobby are Largely Misguided

Posted on 06/03/2013 at 06:16 PM | Filed Under Blogs

There's a difference between setting out to do something with realistic expectations and declining to do something - either from apathy or resistance - because failure is the perceived outcome.  I'll concede that, from an industry standpoint, marketing action games to females may be more difficult.  But that doesn't mean those audiences don't exist; surely you've heard of communities of female gamers who enjoy playing shooters or other action-oriented games.  I assure you, they're out there.  Just as well, one of the neat things (maybe the only aspect I like) about marketing is selling something to someone that they didn't know they wanted in the first place.  This is what drives innovation (and capitalism itself) in the first place--Henry Ford said if he'd asked people what they wanted, they would've said "faster horses."

But the industry is showing that wear as well, and a number of women who work in games have come forward with their stories of how it's still a predominately male business.  I tip my hat to Gabrielle Toledano, an executive for EA, who wrote this piece for Forbes saying that the biz (along with STEM fields on the whole) needs more women.  But just as well, it needs to be addressed that too much of the industry is still dictated by a "men only" culture, which certainly needs to change.  For years we've heard complaints about the booth babes at E3, and it really says something that not only has that not changed (at least not by much), but that these outcries come from both men and women.

I don't know if blaming the lacks of foresight, creativity, and/or innovation from the games industry on just cultural mores alone.  Yes, any system such as this is inevitably bound and as guilty as the larger society as a whole.  But we've been living in changing times, not just from the past five years, but for decades; and I don't think giving a free pass to any enterprise "just because" is exactly right either.  In the case of the games biz (and even to a number of gaming journalists and news outlets), there's some blame on them for failing to realize that, no, games aren't just for males aged 13-25.

For that reason, I can't exactly excuse them whenever attempts at putting in a female character come off as insincere, awkward, or both.  Just because there is a female present, in any capacity, doesn't mean that's "good enough" or that she's somehow a realistic or even appropriate depiction by any measure.  You can look through decades of popular media and find problematic portrayals of whatever group, really, including token characters--and NOBODY in this discussion wants to see any of those.

Saying that any criticisms are invalid because "games are art" ducks into a very contentious gray area; I think most would agree that they are art, but they're still bound by their conventions as an interactive media, as well as the executive/marketing meddling which may befall them.  Like films, there's also that angle of, while art, is it actually sincere in its presentation?  Apocalypse Now and Air Bud IX: Not What I Had In Mind When I Went to Film School sure were products of their respective creators, yet by no means did they set out to accomplish any similar goal other than being pieces of film.  Likewise, just because something is bold doesn't mean it has a larger, deeper meaning to it.  Suda 51 makes some pretty outrageous games (I am indeed a fan of No More Heroes) and no doubt are they sincere reflections of his vision(s), but I don't think anyone could try affixing some pretentious themes or messages to them (least of all he himself).  The film Hollywood Boulevard described that best: "This is not a film about the human condition, this is a film about tits and ass!"

What lies at the heart of your post is the same xenophobia that's persisted throughout this entire discussion.  It needs to end, not for the sake of saying any party is right, but because it's completely unnecessary.  There are some changes, yes, if only in what we're talking about and how we discuss them.  Yet writing these kinds of posts doesn't make you or anyone similar a vanguard, the last line of defense against the marauding armies of "feminists" you so demonized who are coming to certainly destroy your way of life.  I assure you, there is no battle, such invaders exist only in your mind, and you have very few allies from the start.  So please: lay down your arms and open your mind.

Games and Girls--Why Feminist Attacks on the Hobby are Largely Misguided

Posted on 06/03/2013 at 01:46 AM | Filed Under Blogs

Oh wow.  It's like I just entered straw man (or maybe straw woman) country.

Myth 1: I've never heard, seen, or read anything stating that says, in any terms, that men and women play games on an equal basis; what I have read is that females comprise more of the gamer market than many previously thought or still believe.  Those figures, from what I recall, also indicate that there is indeed a divide in the genres of games either sex predominately or typically play.  However, that alone doesn't justify any of the culture's "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" stance in many, many situations, either in-person or online.  Anecdotal tales of harassment online, look up the story of Capcom's Cross Assault; gender roles aside, I think that's pretty damning proof of why some women might be turned off to certain genres.  If a certain group of people is discouraged from participating in an activity, they'll be less likely to take part in it.

Myth 2: You hit a bit of a fallacy yourself.  For one, the games you listed all came out within the past five years--not exactly a wide swath of games history (although to your credit, I'd put Sheva from RE5 on equal footing with Jill from RE).  Secondly, just because a female protagonist is strong or "feisty" doesn't invalidate the fact that she may possibly be a sex symbol, an object; Tomb Raider pretty much defined that, and to my understanding even the most recent installment didn't fully grow out of it.  Lastly, you're insisting there are "too many" strong female protagonists; not only is this a wholly subjective claim, you're saying this in reference to characters of action games.  Asking for "kinder and gentler" in that genre is like expecting a Michael Bay film to ease up on the explosions.

Myth 3: Having previously addressed the market share misconception, I wish I could say that the economics of this point are the most troubling part.  But they aren't.  By saying that something - in this case, an opportunity for something a bit more equal, even just a bit more new for the status quo - doesn't exist, therefor it shouldn't exist, speaks less of sexism in gaming and more about sexism in the whole society.  You do realize that same rationale discourages people from following their dreams, because it's used to keep those certain people out, right?  It's the same reasoning why certain career fields are so terribly male-dominated, and guess what: it's not quite working to anyone's benefit.  Wouldn't you know it, STEM happens to be one of them, and that's just one part of this bigger discussion.

And really, how can you comfortably call yourself a gamer with that kind of resistance to change?  Is a game somehow inferior if it stars a female protagonist?  Do sales figures of titles like Beyond Good & Evil really speak to their respective qualities?  I admit that I'll end up playing as a male in any choice-based game such as Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, but I assure you that they're the same game regardless.  But even without that choice, looking at a game with a female protagonist and judging it based on that is a great disservice to its creators and to the hobby itself.

Myth 4: I've never heard anyone - not even Sarkeesian herself - say that tropes are "evil."  I've only seen the first episode of her series, but even that was more informative than anything, least of all condemning of any particular audience.  Tropes just are.  But they really suck when they portray a certain group of people (especially your own) in a less-than-glamorous light.  You opened this whole entry with something that clearly criticizes stereotypes affixed to gamers, so why the double standard?  (he asked rhetorically)

This whole discussion needs to take place, even if it's not self-evident and especially if it makes some of us uncomfortable.  Has it been a topic abused by outlets too eager to cash in on its controversy?  Yes.  But these kinds of responses aren't just delaying the inevitable, they're back-tracking on larger issues that need to be addressed in our culture.  Judging from this, the only reason you feel you're being put on a guilt trip is because you've got a reason to feel guilty.  Look: no matter who writes, says, or thinks whatever, games will always be games, and boys and girls of all ages will want to play them.  But saying females in games and playing them has to be handled "with realistic expectations" isn't building a bridge--it's putting up a wall.

The "PC"ing of our gaming consoles has begun

Posted on 06/02/2013 at 05:42 PM | Filed Under Blogs

As far as hardware and many of the features are concerned, it's like I said: a natural progression.  I don't think any of the Big Three are exactly competing with the PC gaming market at this point as much as they're competing with one another, plus Apple and the smartphone market.  The Steam Box might change things up, but we'll have to wait and see.  That being said, the fact that the hardware specs of the systems are quite close to many gaming computers is, I think, more of a coincidence than anything else; I don't really see the PS4 or the XBox One trying to put Alienware or whoever out of business.  Instead, these systems just so happen to have really high-end, somewhat-PC-but-not-really builds.  Cloud-based services and always online functioning are also what I'd consider part of that natural progression.

As for the XBox One attempting to do other things aside from gaming--well, Sony's just as "guilty," really.  It's surely never downplayed the other capabilities of its hardware, from playing music to watching movies; if I'm not mistaken, the PS3 was the best thing to own if you wanted a Blu-Ray player, because it did some other stuff too (like play games!) which made it pretty much the best dollar-to-feature appliance out there in that respect.  Using a game console to update Twitter, browse Facebook, watch TV, etc., isn't my idea of necessary or even really useful, but it's nothing that should make the gaming audience think consoles themselves are on the decline.  So jokes about the XBox One reveal event aside, it's a no-brainer it'll actually get games.  Now, what kinds of games and for what types of gamers they might try getting down the line, we'll just have to wait and see.

I hadn't considered the Apple TV angle, but I'd say that you're on to something with that.

Why The Internet Is A Horrible Place For Gamers

Posted on 05/30/2013 at 05:51 PM | Filed Under Blogs

I can think of countless other ways the internet is a horrible place for gamers (and for just about anyone viewing it); I'll mention some of those ways eventually, but you're probably just as familiar with them as well!

Anonymous sources are, I suppose, one of those double-edged swords of journalism.  They're great for grabbing readers' attention and journalists themselves rarely want to turn down getting the scoop, especially if the stories of said sources hold up.  But if it's just rumor or speculation (or worse, an outright fabrication), the audience gets frustrated and at least one person may be out of a job.  It's dicey, for sure.

Thanks for the read!  Keep writing and maybe you'll have a future doing that sort of thing. :)

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