Sonic made me appreciate indie games in a way which current AAA games couldn’t possibly equal.
Look at Satchbags’s video about the Sonic & Knuckles games. When he references the difference in behavior between Sonic and Super Sonic, specifically the different sprites for “oh shit I’m about to fall over this edge”, it reminds me of the days when I was six or seven years old and playing these games for the first time. I understood, as much as I could at such an age, that there was limited space on these cartridges for the developers to store their game and the files necessary for them to run, so when I found a secret or discovered it online and proved it through gameplay, it was a huge deal because i had found another level of depth that Sega was able to squeeze into this tiny, finite cartridge.
I’ve spent the last week trying desperately to come up with a well-informed and well-researched post for you all to defend my position on file sharing. I’ve talked about it before, saying to anyone who would listen that it doesn’t really hurt the industry and that there’s no way to stop it and x y z you know where this is going. Now, my position hasn’t changed but it is… Let’s just say it’s “in flux” and let the physicists get their TI-84s in a knot about it. My ideals haven’t changed at all, nor have my reasons for supporting “piracy” and calling it by a different, more appropriate name*, but I have been forced to think about it from a different angle recently.
Here’s a story I’ve been meaning to tell you all since, well, this thing got posted. A Closed World, as you might remember, did manage to touch a part of my life which I haven’t really had to wrestle with for a while despite not quite living up to what I and a number of other LGBTQQAI folks feel like a game which is meant to tell straight folks what’s what should have been. It’s nice for what it is, and it might even give some gay or lesbian kids some hope while they’re wrestling with the idea of coming out to their families, but like I said a lot was left out. That’s what we’re going to talk about now.
The simplest way to approach the topic is this: The game’s too simple.
Your character is either male or female. Rigidly. The gender binary is upheld throughout, because telling straight, cis folks that the whole thing is a sham would be too hard for their fragile sensibilities. They’d just fall apart if they heard mention of trans* people, or gender-fluid, gender-neutral, third-gender, gender-queer, and so on down the line, right? Right.
If you’re confused already, you might as well stop here.
By now we’ve all heard the rumors about the next-gen Xbox blocking used games. Chances are, you’re reacting in one of three ways: either you don’t care because you can afford to buy new games anyway, you see what Microsoft is doing and figure they’re just doing what’s best for business, or you’re pissed off because what they’re doing is making a direct impact on what you can do with the property you bought under completely legal circumstances.
Wanna guess where I stand?
The idea is sound from a business stand point: developers and publishers get nothing from retailers for games bought used and, sure, maybe they deserve a cut of those profits. Blocking used games from being played in a console other than one belonging to whoever bought it would certainly remove the incentive to go out and buy a used game a few weeks after launch and maybe persuade folks to save up and just buy new. If you’re nodding your head right now, I respect your opinion but I question whether or not you’ve taken the time to think this through.
I recently came across a video on YouTube which suggested that Homestuck might be the Ulysses of the Internet. For those who don’t know, Ulysses is a famously incomprehensible novel by James Joice, so analogizing it to Homestuck works just fine for me. The idea stuck with me, and after a long while of thinking and watching JonTron videos for hours on end, I had it: Conker’s Bad Fur Day is the A Midsummer Night’s Dream of gaming!
Remember this game? I do. The impression it made with its marketing was weird, shocking, and powerful. I remember wanting to run out and buy it on launch day, but for reasons I’ll explain further down the page.
Whether we’re looking at Mortal Komat‘s Mileena or Vagina Dentata, it’s no small secret that men almost universally fear female sexuality whether it is controlled by patriarchy or left unrestrained. I’m not smart enough to unpack the reasons why, but I can predict with reasonable confidence that a perusal of folklore will turn up more feminine monsters of sexuality then masculine. I’ve never seen any “Penis Dentata” anywhere… yet.
Don’t draw it!
By itself, that’s just sort of interesting. Looking only at the fear and setting aside the inexcusable horrors committed in its name by hairless apes with ideologies can tell us more about how to stop rapes, child mutilations, and Drano abortions, but that’s not what Catherine does.
Thanks to Hyrule Chozo for making me aware of this game through their blog.
The down and dirty of this game is pretty simple. It’s a short, RPG-style top-down adventure game with turn-based combat which doesn’t stray far from a rock-paper-scissors battle system. It tells a short, but poignant story about a young person who ran away from home, their family, and their lover’s family, to find a new life on the other side of the forest and fog. It’s functional, clean, and includes some gorgeous designs and beautiful, fitting music. Fun times all around.
I’ll need my most cordial and diplomatic tone for this one.
Recently there’s been some controversy sturred up around Smite, an action RTS being produced by Hi-Rez Studios which will allow players to take on the roles of various and sundry gods and goddesses and then beat the cosmic tar out of each other. The vitriol started with the Universal Society of Hinduism who claim that allowing Hindu gods to be playable in Smite trivializes these “supreme beings” by allowing a mere mortal to control them.