WTF: The E3 edition (with lots of pictures!)

Hi, folks. I’ve been coming across so much WTF coming out of E3 that I decided it deserved its own post. I had big intentions of surfing all of the major gaming news sites (Kotaku, Joystiq, IGN, etc) for their E3 news, but it took me so long just to get through all of the fail on Destructoid that those intentions didn’t last. Besides, I can’t pretend that I don’t love picking on Destructoid, because I do. So! On to the WTF!

Fail the first: boobies are important news hurr hurr

Well, it seems like I can always count on Dale North to really cover the important things: boobies!

Real subtle. It helps that he also lists some variant of ‘pretty girls’ twice. Because who cares about getting to go to the biggest gaming convention of the year when there are BOOBIES to see? Come on people. Priorities.

Of course, given that Dale North seems to be the designated boobular cosplay correspondent, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the boob-centric nature of his E3 coverage. But remember, folks, these are boobies that think that Dale isn’t sexist, which is really all that matters.

But let me not give the impression that Dale is the only one doing some boobie-loving in the name of GARME JURNALIZM (as Jim Sterling calls it). No, it seems that Destructoid felt the need to further strengthen the mental link between its brand and BOOBIEZ by having their mascot photographed with hordes of boobular cosplayers:

Way to stay classy, guys.

The most disappointing instance of this that I saw, however, was this video by Jonathan Holmes of all people that was nothing more than a few second clip of a large crowd of attractive women and talking about how this was clearly very important video game news.

Et tu Jonathan? ET TU???

I previously had become a fan of Jonathan’s when he did a Constructoid episode featuring a conversation between Princess Peach and Bayonetta in which he examined the stereotypes that they were each based on. I also quoted Jonathan in my post about Bayonetta about his view that Bayonetta is a hollow character based on stereotypes and gender misconceptions. So I have to confess that right now I’m feeling pretty betrayed. So, Jonathan:

I know you work for Destructoid and all, but you’ve proven yourself to be different from Dale North and Jim Sterling. I expect better from you.

Fail the second: Game trailers

The obvious contender here is the trailer for the new Tomb Raider game. I’m actually going to save that for it’s own post. It might wind up being a bit short, but it’s sufficiently fucked up that I feel it deserves to be singled out. Still, there’s plenty of other completely fucked up trailers that deserve mocking.

Take, for instance, this interview with Dax Ginn of Rocksteady about the upcoming Arkham City game:

Charming thumbnail. And it gets better, the fail begins at 2:40 when the interviewer asks Ginn “tell me about this lovely lady right here”. We then see lots of clips of Catwoman in action with camera angles that play up her… ahem… assets:

And oh god, the fail-worthy interview over top just makes the whole thing worse. It’s actually kind of embarrassing, and makes me less likely to have any real interest in the final product.

There’s also the Dead Island trailer that was released which seems to heavily play up the ‘tropical island = bewbs’:

To be fair, this still doesn’t have anything on DNF. But still, it seems like a pretty cynical attempt to combine breasts, zombies, and violence to appeal to the ever sought-after “18-24 male and his penis” demographic. Disappointing.

The worst, however (okay, that’s not Tomb Raider), is this trailer for Dragon’s Crown:

Holy shit, people! Those breasts put even Ivy’s to shame! It’s a good think that skeleton is dead, otherwise her nipple would put an eye out for sure.

What’s incredibly bizarre about this game is that it’s 2D, using glorified sprites. And the sorceress’ breasts STILL jiggle every time she moves. You have to watch the video to truly grasp the titanic amounts of fail that this game has. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen something that fails harder than Soul Calibur IV, but this trailer definitely manages that feat.

Fail the Third: DNF release party

All right, this is cheating slightly since it’s not tied to E3, but it was announced during all of the E3 hype so I’m including it. Gearbox is apparently having a release party for DNF that will feature sexay wimminz and be DJed by Jazzy Jeff. And just in case you’re not getting the theme, they’re calling the party Happy Ending:

Way to go, Gearbox. You guys never disappoint.

85 thoughts on “WTF: The E3 edition (with lots of pictures!)

  1. Brace yourself, this is a long comment.

    OK. Now that we’ve established what we’re talking about, I still have to ask about why it was so bad. I am guessing that your critique of it runs like this:

    “Holy shit, that game is psychopathic in its sadism… As far as we’ve seen Lara is just a doe-eyed young girl that horrible shit happens to for no reason. I guess the idea is that in order for her to grow from a weak character into a strong one she has to be beaten, bondaged, stabbed, and raped and then at the end she acts slightly badass and you go “Oh I guess I *didn’t* just sit through 5 hours of torture porn after all it’s really a coming of age cinderella story”

    This was a comment posted for your previous blog entry.

    Becoming a “tougher” character can happen many ways. Endurance through extremely painful and traumatic events can break people, but some people make it through them, either because they are already tough to begin with, or because they adapt. I noticed you’re a fan of Mass Effect – you must know the story of the Sole Survivor Shepard then. If there were a movie showing how a Shepard’s unit got wiped by a Thresher maw, and Shepard was seriously injured and had to survive alone for a week while under extreme physical and psychological duress, would depiction that be sadistic and demeaning?

    Adding to the loss of Shepard’s entire unit, suppose that Shepard has to eat insects or carrion or anything particularly unsavory. Suppose Shepard is attacked by ravenous beasts, and because his or her weapon is damaged or lost, must fend them off hand to hand and sustain further injuries in the process. Suppose Shepard almost dies from near-dehydration and must resort to drinking a heavily contaminated water source to survive. Suppose Shepard had to retreat to a cave to escape the Thresher Maw, only to have that cave start collapsing, upon which escape was necessary. Suppose Shepard was found by Batarian thugs and was constrained and tortured.

    These are certainly demeaning actions in and of themselves, but does how demeaning they are really depend on the sex of the person they are applied to? If a male Shepard goes through all of this, is it any less demeaning than if a female Shepard does?

    One might say that Shepard’s suffering has a point – Shepard was in the military and was attacked, while Lara’s suffering has no point and/or stretches into unnecessary brutality. But I think this critique unfairly detaches the Tomb Raider video from Lara’s story and identity. Lara is an adventurer and explorer – albeit inexperienced. Like Shepard, her path or profession has risks and dangers. When those risks and dangers are realized, some (or a lot of) pain is going to be inevitable.

    In the Tomb Raider gameplay, we see Lara:

    -Get tied up in some sort of web, like prey
    -After she frees herself, she get pierced by some sharp object on the ground, which must be removed
    -After an explosion, the save starts to collapse on her
    -While trying to escape the cave, she is chased by a man who claims to be one who can help her

    While the overdone voice acting certainly doesn’t help, I do not believe the suffering Lara is experiencing is because she is a woman, or because the developers get some kicks out of seeing her suffer (I winced). Given the situation she’s in (survivor from a shipwreck on some FUBAR island), it’s inevitable she’s going to suffer injuries. And so would anyone else. If the protagonist did not experienced any sort of intense physical hardship, I do not think the game would have as much thrill or point. A survival game in which you only gather food and water and make sure the fire is burning is not a fun survival game.

    If a male character had undergone the same routine demonstrated in that video (with the same groans, except just being in a male voice), would it be reasonable to attack the video as an insult to men? Maybe some people would call the guy a sissy for groaning so much, but that is a response to pain (even though its overdone).

    I do think the overdone voice acting is problematic though. Try watching the video completely muted and give me your thoughts.

    • Yeah, I agree with you about the brutality, unless there’s something I missed — it’s disturbingly violent, but surviving that and pushing on in spite of it isn’t exactly a female-specific role.

      On the other hand, there are a few points in which Lara’s gender might make it seems worse. If the hypothetical Logan Croft were to be tied up in a web, people wouldn’t immediately relate it to bondage; if he were to be chased by a shadowy cave-dweller, people would assume the danger was of death rather than of violation. (This is something that causes me no end of annoyance because it’s a pointless double-standard that limits the options one has with female characters unnecessarily)

      • The problem I have with it is that it’s part of a larger trend of taking strong female characters and brutalizing them in the name of showing how “vulnerable” they are. Really, I don’t need to play through some torture porn Lara Croft fantasy to get that she has a softer, more “vulnerable” side. And I’ve been super creeped out whenever I read something about how “realistic” the deaths are. I get that it’s a part of the game, but the fact that her “realistic” deaths are touted as a feature is just creepy.

        And I especially don’t like how the devs are basically saying ‘but all this torture is what makes Lara the strong badass she becomes later!’, because where is it written that the only way for women to become strong characters is for them to be brutalized/tortured/raped/etc? And yet you see it ALL THE TIME.

        • The whole realistic deaths scene thing, yeah they did that in Dead Space 2 to the male protagonist. So on that front the whole realistic death scene happens to both male and female protagonist with equally disturbing effect on the person watching them. It is not sexual in nature, might be sadistic, but it does not come from a sexual spot in the brain alone.

          Second the whole vulnerable female thing, you are the sexist here because you notice it for women but not for men or you notice it for men too but do not offer up comments (at least I have not found any) on whether or not the whole vulnerable hero theme is applied in the same way to men and to women.

          • Huh?

            Okay, first of all it’s a little unfair to expect me to have played/have knowledge of EVERY VIDEO GAME EVER. I’ve never played, nor have even watched someone else play Dead Space, so I know not of what you speak. (Nor have I ever played any of the Resident Evil Games) Ironically, writing this blog keeps me too busy to play many games anymore. So I will comment on the stuff I have experience with, or the stuff that I have done a lot of research on like Bayonetta. But expecting me to have some sort of gaming omniscience is just silly.

            Second, you can’t take one example and use it to say I’m ignoring the suffering of male characters. The VAST MAJORITY of strong male characters in video games are allowed to be strong without having to be brutalized/tortured/raped/etc to “find” that strength. This is absolutely not true of women. First of all, there aren’t really a whole lot of strong female protagonists out there. And the few that do exist continually face this brutalization in the name of vulnerability. Look at what they did to Aya Brea in The Third Birthday, for crying out loud. And now Lara Croft is just another example of the same goddamn trend. It’s like game devs can’t stand having strong female characters be strong on their own merits – like the only way they feel they can make their strong female characters more appealing is to remove the strength that makes them great.

            If there was a significant trend of male characters facing this treatment, then yes I would speak out against it because whether it’s happening to men or women, it’s still creepy. Contrary to popular belief, feminists DO care about people who happen to not be women. But again, this is something that OVERWHELMINGLY affects female characters and OVERWHELMINGLY does not apply to male characters. So I’m not really seeing the sense in picking an isolated example and saying OMG UR A SEXIST.

            • I’m not much of a comic book fan these days, but even I’ve heard of the disturbingly large amount of female heroes who had rapes shoe-horned into their backstories, because the writers just can’t concieve of women being strong for any other reason than that they were *forced* to be strong.

              As for the “but this happens to men, too” comments going around… When it happens to men, the focus is on them being manly and super-butch and rising above the pain with such grim-faced determination that it’s hard to tell they were ever in pain in the first place. With women, it’s all “look at the poor little flower trying to brave and nursing her ouchies”. Basically, it *doesn’t* usually happen to men. Their “power through perseverance” is treated pretty differently.

              PS: Did anyone get strong sexual undertones from the shot of Lara drowning? Her expression was just so placid and passive, not to mention her “O” face. If it was a dude, no way would he have drowned quite so “sexily”.

              • I’m not much of a comic book fan these days, but even I’ve heard of the disturbingly large amount of female heroes who had rapes shoe-horned into their backstories, because the writers just can’t concieve of women being strong for any other reason than that they were *forced* to be strong.

                I’m confused as to why rape is in any way relevant to that Tomb Raider demo. I see no reason whatsoever to think that they plan on going there (or, at least, no reason that wouldn’t imply that every grabby humanoid monster is a potential rapist if its intended victim is female).

                As for the “but this happens to men, too” comments going around… When it happens to men, the focus is on them being manly and super-butch and rising above the pain with such grim-faced determination that it’s hard to tell they were ever in pain in the first place. With women, it’s all “look at the poor little flower trying to brave and nursing her ouchies”. Basically, it *doesn’t* usually happen to men. Their “power through perseverance” is treated pretty differently.

                I just don’t really see it. Every example of it I can think of, male or female, puts a huge amount of emphasis on the hero’s weakness so their eventual victory seems more impressive. It doesn’t work unless the camera lingers on the hero in utter agony, breathing too hard and struggling to get back on their feet, manly stoicism all but discarded. Here’s Cloud vs. Sephiroth (Advent Children Complete version), to show what I mean: Cloud obviously gets his Heroic Second Wind at the end, but he spends more time getting stabbed repeatedly and trying not to fall over.

                And I really don’t think they’re going for “poor little flower” with Lara, considering that she set herself on fire to get out of the cocoon thing at the beginning and gets right back up and keeps moving forward after every injury. If that counts, I’m not sure how one would go about judging whether that’s what’s happening or not. =/

            • I am not talking about the trend in general to brutalize women to make them heroines, that exists not going to deny it and more importantly I agree with you women should not have to be brutalized in order to become heroines, but that is where your preconceptions and experience with the subject take you in a different direction then what I see, you see I have seen the whole girl gets brutalized and turns hero thing and I have also seen a lot of the whole good girl in sexy clothes heroine too, and neither of those is what I saw in the new Tomb Raider play footage.

              What I saw instead was a take on Lara Croft more in line with today’s survivor horror game standards, that is what I meant by vulnerable hero theme being applied equally to men and women because you see the most famous male representative is Isaak Clarke of Dead Space video game series, so if you want to give a proper rant and/or comment on the matter of survival horror’s vulnerable hero character template and whether it is something you want in video games or not and whether it is a gender biased part of the industry you are going to need at least a crash course in the character build.

              So to save you some time and keep myself on the Lara topic here: just go on Youtube and find a playtrough or walktrough (what is the difference between the two anyway?) of Dead Space 2 without commentary and in high definition (so you can observe the characters without static from the guy playing the game and pick out details for yourself) and then just watch the protagonist and also the survivor Ellie Langford as she is the female vulnerable hero present in Dead Space 2, even if she is not a playable character most people who have seen and/or played the game consider her a kick ass, and also she may have an influence in the new Lara being the way she is now. So that is the ammo that you will need to take on the new Tomb Raider game from the perspective of the new generation survival horror games.

              Also and I have to mention this because of the whole porn game blunder I made in one of your earlier posts: this is in fact a survival horror game and if you do not like being scared and freaked out by a video game, seriously Dead Space is for this decade of gaming industry what Resident Evil was for the previous one: a game filled with a lot of disturbing and unnerving themes that leave most people with nightmares because they are a possibility for our society in the moment they are made, do not watch it but understand that is the direction the authors of the game are taking the Tomb Raider series in.

              • Oh yeah I forgot if you do watch a Dead Space 2 game on youtube do not turn it of when you get to the credits, there is an action sequence a little bit after the start of the credits in the game that is one of the better scenes of the Dead Space series in my opinion.

            • Funny thing, the first stories for me that springs to mind when “Put them through hell” storytelling comes up is Berserk, (which is perfectly egalitarian in the distribution of rape, torture, and mutilation) Die Hard, and the Odyssey.

              Thinking of video games, I Want to Be the Guy comes first, followed by Resident Evil, (which you have no excuse not to know about) and Devil May Cry.

              Not many of those things have female protagonists.

            • I wonder how many male characters are strong later in life because they were raped when they were little.
              My guess: not one.

              • I don’t think anyone here thinks the overuse of the rape backstory is fair. On the other hand, I’m not sure how relevant it is to Tomb Raider.

            • But again, this is something that OVERWHELMINGLY affects female characters and OVERWHELMINGLY does not apply to male characters. So I’m not really seeing the sense in picking an isolated example and saying OMG UR A SEXIST.

              I think it would be more fair to say that it overwhelmingly applies to survival horror characters, and that survival horror is one of the few genres with equal representation for men and women so a higher percent of women will come from a survival horror game.

              But there isn’t really enough information to tell whether there’s a sexist reason for the popularity of women in survival horror or whether it’s an artifact of the lack of women in “power fantasy” type games (or, more likely, a mix between the two).

        • Really, I don’t need to play through some torture porn Lara Croft fantasy to get that she has a softer, more “vulnerable” side.

          I’m not sure that’s necessarily the intention here. There’s a long tradition of survival and persistence in the face of massive crippling pain being a form of strength in and of itself. Practically every combat anime works that way — the hero is beaten to a pulp, impaled, blown up, and barely able to stand up before coming back for a win — and it’s considered a show of the hero’s strength even if they don’t actually succeed.

          Pulling a spike out of one’s own stomach and wrapping one’s own wounds before sprinting and leaping giant chasms is pretty impressive, I’d say. And I’m not convinced that the level of helplessness they show is necessarily representative of the whole game; the second part of the demo apparently shows her saving her (male) mentor from a wolf and going into the wolf’s den of her own accord to save him.

          And I’ve been super creeped out whenever I read something about how “realistic” the deaths are. I get that it’s a part of the game, but the fact that her “realistic” deaths are touted as a feature is just creepy.

          They’re probably touting that because creative death sequences were something that were part of Tomb Raider from the beginning, which had to be taken out in the PS2 games when the ESRB became stricter. Using them as a selling point does seem somewhat sick, but it’s not unique, and the other games that do it aren’t really any more likely to star a woman than a man as far as I can tell.

        • Yes, you see it happen all the time to characters in general…horrible scarring series of events and challenges makes them into harder/tougher people.

          I dont think its restricted to females though and Im not sure I’ve ever seen a story where a character toughens up (for lack of a better phrase) without going through at least a small amount of horrible shit and suffering first.

          Per ardua ad astra springs to mind.

      • “If the hypothetical Logan Croft were to be tied up in a web, people wouldn’t immediately relate it to bondage; if he were to be chased by a shadowy cave-dweller, people would assume the danger was of death rather than of violation.”

        Obvious, because bondage and rape are things that happen mainly to women rather than men. I’m sorry, but we don’t live in a world like South Park where a picture of a bunch of white guys hanging a black guy isn’t racist or anything “because it’s just people being violent to people” (ep. 4×08). If we lived in an absolutely equal world, then your complains would make sense. Please, fight to achieve absolute equality. Once you have done that, you can complain about people having different perception of what’s about to happen depending on the sex of the victim.

        • The difference is, it’s really easy to avoid a group of white people hanging a black person if you want to avoid racist subtext (all you have to do is make your violent mob racially diverse, which you should have been doing from the beginning).

          Avoiding every kind of violence that could have sexual undertones is sufficiently difficult that creators would be more inclined to avoid female characters in the first place, which seems like the more pressing issue here. Both tying the player character up and trying to grab them to hold them back in an environment that’s falling apart are far more basic to the creation of a game than a highly-contrived coincidence could ever be, and forbidding the use of staples of game design makes the use of female characters less appealing to developers, and we definitely don’t need that.

          I mean, by all means, avoid situations in which questionable game mechanics seem superfluous. But there have to be some limits, because virtually every form of violence is sexualized or otherwise off-limits as far as women are concerned, and I like violent female characters who aren’t treated with kid gloves.

          • Want to design a dangerous scene that doesn’t look like the heroine is about to be raped? Easy: design a dangerous scene.

            That’s it.

            If you design a dangerous scene and then add elements with blatant connotations in the way sexual violence against women is and continues to be portrayed because the protagonist happens to be a woman, then the consequence is obvious. The answer to that is not to stop creating female characters, but to learn to give men are women equal treatment.

            And no, not “every kind of violence is sexualized”. Just two examples of many you could have found.

            • Want to design a dangerous scene that doesn’t look like the heroine is about to be raped? Easy: design a dangerous scene.

              That’s it.

              That certainly didn’t seem to work for Crystal Dynamics. At the very least, I highly doubt that they would have passed up the opportunity to make the rape threat more obvious if that’s what they wanted the player to be thinking about (it’s not like there weren’t a few other much more visible reasons for Lara to want to get away; my immediate assumption when watching it was that she thought that he intended to string her up to the wall as some kind of ritual sacrifice like that corpse in the room with the candles).

              And no, not “every kind of violence is sexualized”. Just two examples of many you could have found.

              Well, it’s easy if you have the characters mutely fight robots with lasers, I guess. (I’m honestly not sure what the second video’s supposed to show… that you can have someone sneak up on a woman without looking like a rapist? I went through the video in case the timestamp was wrong, but there didn’t seem to be anything relevant there, either)

              But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole ton of combat scenarios that become very awkward once opponents of the opposite sex are considered. Grappling is, essentially, right out, because it tends to look really bad no matter what you do to avoid it. Likewise with a fair majority of submission holds (hence the utter ridiculousness that is the Standard Female Grab Area* ). In fact, any kind of humanoid Personal Space Invader* is a problem — if Zelda games actually starred Zelda, they’d almost certainly have to get rid of the Redeads, for one.

              Other problems include being tied up, significant portions of the range of pained noises, villains that blatantly savor their power over the hero when they succeed, the hero getting beat up too much, the hero remaining perfectly clean and unharmed (Beauty Is Never Tarnished* ), and any opponent with tentacles. (There aren’t many limitations on heroes’ success, admittedly, but a hero who always succeeds is a Boring Invincible Hero* )

              See, here’s the thing. I want men and women to have equal treatment. I want to be able to play games starring women that are just like the ones currently being made starring men, because I like to play games as someone the same gender as myself. But that can never happen when the range of potential actions by characters is hampered by the need to make sure nothing looks untoward, because there are just so many things that can look untoward. =/

              * See TV Tropes for trope explanations

              • “That certainly didn’t seem to work for Crystal Dynamics.”
                It worked for Bioware. Maybe Crystal Dynamics, whatever that is, should do better next time.

                “it’s easy if you have the characters mutely fight robots with lasers”
                It’s just as easy if you make two drones shoot at the woman, and then you have two dudes killing another dude with a spike, and then you see the dudes going after the woman. It’s obvious they are going to do to her the same thing they did to the man they just killed. No implied sex anywhere. But of course it wouldn’t be realistic if the dudes didn’t smile and drool with lust before going after her, right?

                “I’m honestly not sure what the second video’s supposed to show…”
                It’s a dangerous scene that happens to a woman and it doesn’t have sexual connotations. The guy is about to butcher her the same way he would butcher a dude. Those two big knives are quite blatant.

                “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole ton of combat scenarios that become very awkward”
                We were not talking about “a whole ton”, but about “virtually every form of violence is sexualized”. Well, that’s not true. I have shown it can be done, and it can be done easily. You just have to not being sexist while designing the scene, nothing more.

                Grappling is, essentially, right out, because it tends to look really bad no matter what you do to avoid it.
                Watch the Femshep/Saren Virmire grapple on youtube. Not awkward at all. They did it simply by giving Manshep and Femshep the same animations during that cutscene. Same goes for the other problems. Which are not problems at all once you get rid of sexist assumptions about “how it should look like if a woman were the protagonist”.

                “I want men and women to have equal treatment.”
                You enjoy your male protagonists being put in a situation where it looks like they’re about to be raped? If not, why do you want exactly that for female protagonists then?

              • Why does a woman running away from a man mean the man is going to rape her? I didn’t think about that while watching the video. My thought was that Lara was afraid and was doing whatever she could to escape from an unknown figure. Rape never came into my mind.

              • It worked for Bioware. Maybe Crystal Dynamics, whatever that is, should do better next time.

                They’re the development team behind Tomb Raider. =P

                It’s just as easy if you make two drones shoot at the woman, and then you have two dudes killing another dude with a spike, and then you see the dudes going after the woman. It’s obvious they are going to do to her the same thing they did to the man they just killed. No implied sex anywhere. But of course it wouldn’t be realistic if the dudes didn’t smile and drool with lust before going after her, right?

                I’m… confused. Who’s smiling and drooling with lust in anything at all relevant to what we’re talking about, and why do you think I’d want that? There’s certainly nothing like that in the demo I was defending.

                And I obviously realize that it’s possible to create violent scenes that don’t have any sexual undertones (though apparently hyperbole wasn’t the best idea). My point isn’t that there are no options, just that there are fewer options than what men get.

                It’s a dangerous scene that happens to a woman and it doesn’t have sexual connotations. The guy is about to butcher her the same way he would butcher a dude. Those two big knives are quite blatant.

                See above.

                We were not talking about “a whole ton”, but about “virtually every form of violence is sexualized”. Well, that’s not true. I have shown it can be done, and it can be done easily. You just have to not being sexist while designing the scene, nothing more.

                See above, re: hyperbole. And I’m still not convinced that you wouldn’t see the result of treating a female character the same way that one would her hypothetical male counterpart as not-sexist if outside double-standards are in play (in which case “don’t be sexist” probably isn’t the best way to phrase the suggestion).

                Watch the Femshep/Saren Virmire grapple on youtube. Not awkward at all. They did it simply by giving Manshep and Femshep the same animations during that cutscene. Same goes for the other problems. Which are not problems at all once you get rid of sexist assumptions about “how it should look like if a woman were the protagonist”.

                You seem to have missed my point. That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m defending! The statement of yours that I was responding to was what I saw conflicting with it:

                “If we lived in an absolutely equal world, then your complains would make sense. Please, fight to achieve absolute equality. Once you have done that, you can complain about people having different perception of what’s about to happen depending on the sex of the victim.”

                You basically said “things that are okay for men aren’t always okay for women, depending on the audience’s perception.” And, regardless of either of our thoughts on the topic, some people are inevitably going to see a woman being pinned to the ground by a man as a sexual threat regardless of how well any outside cues are avoided or whether the animator even realized there was a woman in the scene at all. Which means that, if someone attempted to follow your suggestion, they’d end up following some of the sexist lines of thinking that you have a problem with.

                You enjoy your male protagonists being put in a situation where it looks like they’re about to be raped? If not, why do you want exactly that for female protagonists then?

                Nice misrepresentation of my argument.

                I have no particular desire for protagonists of either sex to look like they’re going to be raped. I just have even less desire to see options restricted from female protagonists because of audience double-standards that see identical situations as sexually-threatening when the character model is female but not when the character model is male. If that means that the female version can’t avoid those implications, there’s not much that can be done about it… at least, not beyond normalizing it as non-sexual through pointedly downplaying the sexual undertones the audience reads into it.

              • Listen, the thing is very simple. I have given you examples of how violence can be done in a non sexist way. If, given that, you prefer to have a growling dude grab a weakened woman by the legs, and make the woman squeak and scream “get off me!!!”, like in every rape scene in every movie ever made, (that is what happens in the gameplay trailer), that’s fantastic, but don’t expect me to believe you are all for equality and gender neutrality. Imagine a man squeaking and screaming “get off me!!!” in that imploring way and tell me it wouldn’t look fucking ridiculous. But because it’s a woman, then the problem is the people is not the scene but the people who see obvious connotations. Nope, sorry. Doesn’t work.

              • I have given you examples of how violence can be done in a non sexist way.

                Not very helpful ones for anyone using horror tropes. You responded to a point that I never intended to defend.

                If, given that, you prefer to have a growling dude grab a weakened woman by the legs, and make the woman squeak and scream “get off me!!!”, like in every rape scene in every movie ever made, (that is what happens in the gameplay trailer), that’s fantastic, but don’t expect me to believe you are all for equality and gender neutrality. Imagine a man squeaking and screaming “get off me!!!” in that imploring way and tell me it wouldn’t look —-ing ridiculous.

                Well, I’m obviously not defending the voice acting for Lara. I’ve only said that about a dozen times already, but I’ll say it again: the voice acting is a problem. (I will, however, say that the “growling dude”‘s voice acting isn’t part of the problem — “Stop it, I’m trying to help you” is not anything that anyone would ever write into an attempted rape scene)

                What I’m defending is a hypothetical version of the demo in which everything is identical besides Lara’s terrible VA, because Personal Space Invaders are basic to practically every game with any intention of being scary, and the animation was about as neutral as it could have been as far as I could tell.

                Does that clear things up somewhat?

              • The point you “intended” is this: “virtually every form of violence is sexualized”

                If you didn’t intend to say that virtually every form of violence is sexualized, maybe you shouldn’t have written it. Okay, you didn’t mean to say that every form of violence is sexualized, perfect. Now we agree on that there are plenty of possibilities for danger and violence that don’t look like sexual assault. Great!

                Certain situations don’t look like sexual assault because people have double standards, but because that’s how they are portrayed everywhere, every time. If you’re watching a comedy and there are two guys in a prison shower and one of them leaves the soap bar fall to the floor, you know what’s about to happen. If you’re watching an independent movie about life in a catholic school and at some point a nasty looking priest manages to be left alone in a small, dark room with a kid, you know what’s about to happen. You don’t have a double standard concerning soap or priests, you just have experience with those kinds of scenes. Even if you don’t have such experience and don’t recognize the obvious connotations, everyone else does. And this is certainly the case with the trailer.

                You never mentioned Lara’s voice until now. Maybe you did it in another post or mentioned it to someone else. However, I’m glad you agree the voice acting is a problem in the trailer.

                As for the rest of the trailer…for the sake of being constructive, I went and watched it again, but imagining Logan Croft doing everything they made Lara do, having the same attitude, the same facial expressions, the same animations. Didn’t make the slightest bit of sense. It was so unnatural it was actually funny. I am a Femshep player: I know what equality looks like.

  2. Dragons crowns art style looks strangely similiar to Magna carta…only more so which is sort of an achievement I guess.

    I must admit I’m eager to see your take on the Tomb raider footage because from what I saw I didnt see a huge problem, given that its supposed to be a survival game set 10 years before she becomes a bad ass tomb raider, except Lara seems to have lost her English accent😦

    Booth babes/booth babe photos always creep me the fuck out, possibly not for all the same reasons as you but mainly because they smack of sad-desperate-gamer-loserism of the worst kind. Seriously guys/gals get the fuck over it, it was demeaning enough when ‘we’ were all socially awkward 16 year olds but now that we’re moving into being 30 something professionals* with partners* and familys* its just becoming fucking insulting to everyone involved.

    *blah, yes, these are all just poor shorthands for ‘sort of mature and stable adult’ not mandatory goals to achieve or you fail at life.

      • Truthfully, I feel its the same thing but not quite.

        It all stems back to the ‘you man, you must obey the Penis*, this woman endorse this product, penis like woman, man like product’ mentality but with gaming booth babes there seems to be this extra sticky layer of Otaku desperation in the coverage “OMG I was like this close to a womans boobs FTW”

        *It is true that the Penis is a mighty master but his decision making capabilities should be revoked around about the time he starts mistaking internal combustion engines for foreplay, this sentence made more sense in my head.

          • I’m think I’ll say ‘”the point at which you stop advertising the product and instead start advertising a randoms pair of breasts that may or may not be recognised as being attached to a human being, all in the hope that no one will really question the fucking point or value of your product”

            Then again I tend to find a lot of advertising just simply insulting to the average person any way and not for anything as highminded as gender equality or a dislike of sexism.

          • Contrary to popular belief, women have money. And sometimes we’re allowed to spend it on stuff like cars. omg! So maybe not marketing cars exclusively with boobular models would be nice.

            • To be fair to car adverts (in the UK at least) they seem to be trying to go 50/50 on the exploitation of male/female sex for the purposes of advertising.

              yay equality, we can all go home now.

              -end sarcasm-

              This would be the privilege thing I keep hearing about, I dont even see that the ads often are excluding women cos I’m in the core demographic. Still insulting though,

    • She did not lose the English accent, I heard it here and there, it seems to have been altered a bit and less exposed then in the previous games, but I could be wrong.

  3. I’m eager to see what observations you made about the new Tomb Raider game as well, as I personally thought it looked interesting and think it has a lot of promise (especially compared to the previous games). I must admit I don’t really care for her voice acting but you know how the saying goes… Don’t judge a game character by it’s voice (or something like that ;]).

    And yeah, I’m pretty much over with DNF and it’s ridiculous sexism. I can’t stand to even think about it, it’s so exhausting.

  4. OK not touching the Destructoid part of the post, you hit the nail on the head on that one.

    I agree that Catwoman has the same fail you ranted about in Mass Effect 2’s fail list a few posts back, the girl made to be superior by having perfect shape thing, butt is the real problem here, you see Catwomen was and is a dominatrix comic character so the v-slit and tight leather suit is expected, having that suit stuck up her ass is not.

    OK the Dead Island trailer thing: What is your problem with it? The Zombies? Or the whole island resort poorly dressed women thing?

    OK are you or are you not for the equality of genders? Seriously after watching the E3 2011 Dragon Crown trailer I can tell you right away that unless a friend asks me to play with him/her I am not touching that game, and even if I sit down to play the game I’m either the Wizard or the Elf. The fighter is Johny Bravo in plate mail pajamas with a short-sword and small shield as his weapons (overusing steroids will do that to you) , the Amazon is a female bodybuilder overdosed on steroids and growth hormones in a thong chain mail bikini with boots and gloves, the Dwarf is Amazons male counterpart minus the growth hormones, the Sorceress looks like she performed an extreme fat cell repositioning spell and decided since she had to maintain such a powerful magic (she does ,does she not?) that it would be a waste if she did not use it in battle, the Wizard is your standard issue robed male mage that you like to gripe never gets an equally robed female counterpart and the Elf is your standard archer and a female that is in long boots, shorts, a green tunic on top that covers her pants and with a belt from which her quiver hangs, cloak and simple hand gloves, the combination strangely works from what is shown of her movements ,although she does take up some questionable poses she is the best shaped of the female characters with only the her arms and legs being (maybe, I’m not sure) the wrong diameter.

    I see you have noticed that DNF is like the crapping frost mage, too easy and obvious to give more then a passing mention.

    OK now something more then what you posted: http://pc.ign.com/articles/117/1174901p1.html ,this game was on E3 and that link is the post about it over on IGN. I am rather curious to hear about your opinion of it.

    • OK the Dead Island trailer thing: What is your problem with it? The Zombies? Or the whole island resort poorly dressed women thing?

      My problem is exactly what I said in my post. The trailer is 1) boobs 2) zombies 3) violence, and in that order. If you’re making a zombie game, is it too much to ask to sell it on THE FUCKING ZOMBIES and not on tits?

      OK are you or are you not for the equality of genders? Seriously after watching the E3 2011 Dragon Crown trailer I can tell you right away that unless a friend asks me to play with him/her I am not touching that game

      Okay, you’ve totally lost me here. You ask this really confrontational question and then you proceed to agree with me about the fail-worthy character design? But yes, you’ve seen right through me. I’m actually just like all those other feminists. What I really want is to turn the matriarchy into a patriarchy. You know, like the Drow, only with less murder and more sexay pantslessness.

      (That was sarcasm)

      • I’m not seeing anything questionable about Dead Island. I didn’t even see much (or any) focus on tits in the trailer you linked– the screencap you posted blurs and flashes away so quickly that there’s no possibility for the typical “lingering gaze” and the focus of the composition highlights both her well-dressed friend as a focal point and the entire length of the dead(?) woman’s body to show her corpse-like state with no real preferential treatment given to her tits or crotch. Men appear to be similarly underdressed: not wearing shirts etc.
        Finally, the game is a juxtaposition between a zombie apocalypse and a party resort island. The prevalence of big titted party girls in bikinis is true to the setting and reinforces that juxtaposition. It would also be difficult to say that bikini girls typify the female cast considering what we’ve seen so far in trailers.
        I’m honeslty seeing something a lot more like 1) zombies 2) violence […] 29) boobs, here.

      • Your sarcasm needs a better revisionist, the current one missed the fact that you swapped the words matriarchy and patriarchy, and I do not want either of those social structures present in the future of the human race.

        Now I asked that confrontational question because you only listed the fail of the sorceress and forgot to mention the other three fail worthy characters (one of them female) and you also left out the whole skimpy dressed female mage vs fully robed male mage rant from your description of the game, and you did not even comment on the elf even though she is the only archer (not ranged just archer) in the game.

        The premise of dead island makes what you ask for rather unlikely and a bit unrealistic, correct me if I am wrong but in a summer vacation resort aren’t everybody wearing swimsuits most of the time or is that propaganda spread by the TV networks?

      • ,,If you’re making a zombie game, is it too much to ask to sell it on THE FUCKING ZOMBIES and not on tits?”

        Oh yeah that comment is something I read in between the lines of your original post which is why I put up that link to IGN’s E3 2011 page about the game Amy: so you could tell me if that was a zombie game that sells it self without the boobs?

      • dammit WG stop leaving the sarcasm markers till the end, I was halfway through burning my pants(jeans).

        This is costing me a damn fortune.

        • Wundergeek as you know I like to post an answer to everyone of this kind of jokes that gets posted on your blog so here goes:

          • Okay, I’m trying to read charitably, but my first impression is that the context of the exchange makes this a really tasteless link. Mind explaining your intent, there?

            • She said she was half way through burning her jeans because she did not read your sarcasm note which is an act of that strain of stupid humor to which I like to add.
              So I added on your whole sexy pantslessness sarcasm comment and her burning jeans comment with this stupid song that celebrates sexy with the pantslessness which if I was not clear here is me being as stupidly sarcastic as I have seen you two being. Seriously I’m not looking for a fight or anything wundergeek but yours and hers sarcastic comments together just made me think of this song, not about women’s rights or the equality of genders, but about a song in which gals take switchblades and cut a guy’s jeans up just because he is wearing them and their male leader did not like them.
              So with words this time: you two have done a fail on the sarcasm front with these two comments:
              ” But yes, you’ve seen right through me. I’m actually just like all those other feminists. What I really want is to turn the matriarchy into a patriarchy. You know, like the Drow, only with less murder and more sexay pantslessness. (That was sarcasm) ”
              and
              “dammit WG stop leaving the sarcasm markers till the end, I was halfway through burning my pants(jeans). This is costing me a damn fortune.”

              • Your sarcasm in this case to me is not connected with you posting name and I did not understand the wit part of the post what did you mean to say with it?

  5. What ever happened to the “no more booth babes at E3” thing that was going on a few years ago? For a little while, it sounded like it was gaining some steam. Clearly though, that’s not how it ended up.

    If I went to E3, I would be there to look at -GAMES- not tits. The people that spend so much time fawning over the booth babes are pretty pathetic, IMHO.

      • Indeed. Although the whole dickwolves fiasco ruined any good feeling I might have toward PAX. And apparently some companies still try to circumvent the policy as well.

        • I am going to sidestep this landmine and just say that if you’re writing of PAX because so many people made a clusterfuck out of the dickwolves then I think that is a mistake.

          I wonder how the fuck you would get around that policy though, iirc its pretty blatant.

  6. At least the Amazon in Dragon’s Crown has the muscles to back up that name.

    Seriously, though, Vanillaware’s entire history up till now has been making incredibly beautiful games inspired by other proporties, Odin Sphere and Muramasa being the obvious, but GrimGrimoire is basically a gay take on Harry Potter (like all HP derivatives, really). I’m guessing this one is “Western P&P RPG games” because that trailer is such a hilarious caricature of 70-80s role-playing games that Something Awful nominated it for [grognards.txt. I will be so incredibly sad if this game is serious.

    • What Sam said:
      Vanillaware (the people behind Dragon’s Crown) basically have a history of making gorgeous, visually-oriented games with non-sexualized, strong female lead characters: Odin Sphere may just be one of the best games (gameplay, story, design) for the PS2: Out of the five main playable characters, three of them are women, one of them sexualized etc. Grim Grimoire (just finished it last week!) was a noble attempt at a PS2 RTS. Again, gorgeous graphics and non-sexualized, strong female lead: She starts out cautious and not knowing anything, by the end she’s conning demons and putting elders in their place. Oboro Muramasa has a strong female lead, one of two main playable characters. There’s been some minor eye candy here or there, but nothing distracting.

      But man, Dragon’s Crown: Given their history, I too have to think that this is basically their tongue-in-cheek take on classic Western/American fantasy roots. It looks like a side-scrolling simple attack game (roots in the D&D Mystara video games made in Japan for the arcade, those were CLASSICS), so likely the strength of personality and story won’t be there to redeem it. If anything, I will venture that at least the Amazon is probably the first “strong” female character that Actually Looks Strong: Super abs, tattooed muscular thighs, etc, so I’ll…uh… buy off on that one. The Sorceress though, basically looks like The Pickle-Seller Chick at the Renaissance Faire (with, as one friend puts it, “A corset with a Shelf of Boobs”. If you put a gun to my head and said that I had to say one nice thing about it, I’d probably cough up the fact that she’s actually curvy, and not another Western-style stick figure no-ass sporting melons the size of her head. But that’s a stretch for the RenFaire PickleSorceress…

      • As much as I like being affirmed…

        non-sexualized, strong female lead characters”

        What. Seriously, what. Now granted, it’s impossible to create a character no one would want to fuck. But Velvet? Lillet ? Momohime? These are non-sexual lead characters? You sure?

        • Er… I’d go either way on Velvet (her personality is the killing blow to the sexualization of her character, IMO, but I’ll buy that at a glance she looks like a chick in a bikini and cape).

          But Lillet and Momohime? Yeah, if you want to make the case that Lillet is sexualized, then you’re going to have to start from “I want to fuck every single female form that appears on the screen, regardless of what they wear, how they act and what they do” and build your case from there in terms of some psychopathic gibbering masturbator ala Silence of the Lambs…

          • “her personality is the killing blow to the sexualization of her character”

            We don’t care about personalities here, just costuming. Remember that.

            “Yeah, if you want to make the case that Lillet is sexualized[…]”
            Lillet is such a stereotypical schoolgirl lesbian that it’s nearly painful to watch. Maybe you can miss it if you’re not into anime but otherwise you spend the game wondering when the lilies and flowers are going to explode out of nowhere.

            • We don’t care about personalities here, just costuming. Remember that.

              Cut that passive-aggressive nonsense out, Sam. It wasn’t funny the first time, and it’s not funny now.

              It’s perfectly legitimate to care about characters’ personalities while still thinking the costumes are problematic. And I know you know that; you’re not dense. You just want to make everyone else look bad, for whatever reason, and it’s lowering the standard of dialogue for everyone. (I know I don’t have any real power here, but I think something really needed to be said about that in Wundergeek’s absence)

              • I specifically recall questioning Wundergeek’s inclusion of Morrigan on the previous header under the thinking that “it is contextually appropriate for a succubus to be sexy and it is contextually appropriate for he to be a succubus” and that didn’t fly, so no, I’m not really saying anything that hasn’t been implied.

                I’m not trying to make anyone look bad. This is a blog by an artist, so it’s a blog about character design. I don’t expect people here to care about psycho-analyzing characters to determine if they “would wear that in the real world” like these pixels are people or whatever. Frankly, the lack of that sort of nonsense is why I’m posting here instead of elsewhere.

                One last thing:

                “it’s lowering the standard of dialogue for everyone.”

                Did you really forget that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time arguing against your obscurantism here? Are you joking? Is this to try and make me come off as a douchey ePsychiatrist by accusing you of projecting? I’ll just say this: You are arguing in bad faith. It’s demeaning to both of us. Stop it.

              • I specifically recall questioning Wundergeek’s inclusion of Morrigan on the previous header under the thinking that “it is contextually appropriate for a succubus to be sexy and it is contextually appropriate for he to be a succubus” and that didn’t fly, so no, I’m not really saying anything that hasn’t been implied.

                I had much more of a problem with how you said it than what you said. It’s not untrue that we’re arguing from the premise that design trumps context, but the way you said it came off as suggesting that we’re being unreasonable in thinking that. Whether you meant to say it that way or not, you’ve done it twice now and it’s really rather frustrating.

                Did you really forget that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time arguing against your obscurantism here? Are you joking? Is this to try and make me come off as a [ ePsychiatrist by accusing you of projecting? I’ll just say this: You are arguing in bad faith. It’s demeaning to both of us. Stop it.

                …what. Where’d you get the idea that I thought you were accusing us of projecting? That makes no sense at all.

                You’re lowering the standard of dialogue by derailing conversations into your own mostly-irrelevant personal interests/arguments based around philosophical premises that we’ll never agree with and have no interest in accepting, and by making statements that, at the very best, look like attempts to cut us down (whether that’s your intention or not). And I have no idea why you think I’m arguing in bad faith to say that.

              • “I had much more of a problem with how you said it than what you said. It’s not untrue that we’re arguing from the premise that design trumps context, but the way you said it came off as suggesting that we’re being unreasonable in thinking that.”

                See, that’s your problem: I’ve implicitly stated, and now am explicitly stating, that that my objection to the Morrigan thing was a case of anthropic fallacy and reification; I applied agency to something that lacks it. That was a mistake, and one that someone in my position has no excuse for. So I’m not sure how you could state that I’m distorting anything. If a clear and straight forward description of your position makes you uncomfortable then, as much as I hate this phrase, you might want to examine yourself.

                And remember that tone arguments are usually frowned upon in places like this.

                “…what. Where’d you get the idea that I thought you were accusing us of projecting? That makes no sense at all.”

                That was rhetorical. I asked whether you were trying to get me to accuse you of projecting by being so transparently hypocritical. I’m picking up some nasty habits here, and that’s my point: You have accused me of lowering the standards of discourse when you yourself have been arguing against higher standards in discourse for literally months. You have made philosophical defences for mysticism and obscurantism; there is no way you are unaware of what you are doing or what I am saying about it. As such I think it’s pretty clear that you aren’t here to have an actual debate or have a discussion. Hence, bad faith.

                Now, I want to make something clear. I can tolerate mystics; living withing the same two blocks as seven churches will do that. Go ahead with this sort dialectic if it pleases you! Nothing of meaning will actually be said, but this is an art blog so I’m alright with words being of secondary utility, plus grandiloquent vagaries are fun, so I joined the game. None of this is an issue.

                The problem is that by judging me by standards you have personally argued against, you are being a complete hypocrite, much like when creationists spending years arguing against empiricism being a valid epistemology all the while trying to “scientifically” prove the existence of a God.

                But the curious thing is that I don’t think you care. You’re much more concerned with me making you look bad than being wrong. (once again, I’m not say that you are wrong, just that the fact that you are very upset when positions you argued for are put into precise and concise statements) You seem to be paranoid about it, which is odd, considering I’ve been jovial with a woman (Lilith) that called me a rapist. It took my a while to notice it, but the blatant hypocrisy crystallized something I’ve perceived, but was never really aware of about you before. To elaborate:

                Do you wonder why I engage you more thoroughly than anyone else here? Because no one else is arguing in bad faith. Lilith has the integrity born of a principled extremism and Wundergeek can admit to error, but you are always, including now, trying to save face via weasel words and blatant duplicity.

                As soon as you read this you will, just like every other time I examined your output, claim that I’ve misunderstood you, that you never really said it, that you and I were saying the same thing all along (which is, of course, not what either of us actually posted…) and that it’s no one’s fault really, as though decoding words is naturally impossible on the Internet. And you are terrified that others will call you on it, as you have just demonstrated.

                To make this clear: until you are more concerned on whether a statement is accurate, meaningful, or useful than with how nice it sounds or how ‘safe’ you are in making it, then people – and not just me, Lilith’s eviscerated you beautifully in the past – are going to make you look bad. It is not a deliberate plot against you, merely a natural consequence of your deliberately and intentionally vacuous arguments being encountered by persons that philosophize with a hammer.

                So here’s the thing: If I strawman you, sure, get angry! But I’m not going to jargonize your arguments and positions when I address them, I will not give dignity to a fucking tone argument, and I will not help you obfuscate what you actually (claim to) believe. Maybe if you were an entertaining mystic I could see joining in, but you are no Lacan.

              • See, that’s your problem: I’ve implicitly stated, and now am explicitly stating, that that my objection to the Morrigan thing was a case of anthropic fallacy and reification; I applied agency to something that lacks it. That was a mistake, and one that someone in my position has no excuse for. So I’m not sure how you could state that I’m distorting anything. If a clear and straight forward description of your position makes you uncomfortable then, as much as I hate this phrase, you might want to examine yourself.

                I’m not talking about the Morrigan thing, at least not directly.

                What I’m talking about is the fact that this sounds like sarcasm:
                “We don’t care about personalities here, just costuming. Remember that.”

                It’s a very broad statement with far-reaching implications that you know we don’t agree with (if you’ve read even one of the “Characters Done Right” articles, you know that character very much does matter here; it just doesn’t excuse poor design choices), and it’s one step removed from your own opinion because you phrased it as “we don’t care” rather than simply using it as a statement of fact (like you do whenever you correct us).

                In other words, it’s not a clear and straightforward description of my position, nor the one I see other people here taking, and I’d prefer you not set it forward as such.

                And remember that tone arguments are usually frowned upon in places like this.

                Tone arguments boil down to “you’d get more agreement if you acted nicer.”

                That’s not what I’m saying at all.

                What I’m saying is, “if you’re going to agree with us, setting up a strawman version of our argument isn’t the best way to do it.”

                (In any case, my understanding was that the “tone argument” has as much to do with a history of silencing/shaming women for being overly emotional as it did with any inherent conversation rights. The validity of one’s argument is, obviously, separate from the attitude with which one sets it forward, but I would much prefer that not to mean I lose the ability to call you out for being arrogant)

                That was rhetorical. I asked whether you were trying to get me to accuse you of projecting by being so transparently hypocritical. I’m picking up some nasty habits here, and that’s my point: You have accused me of lowering the standards of discourse when you yourself have been arguing against higher standards in discourse for literally months. You have made philosophical defences for mysticism and obscurantism; there is no way you are unaware of what you are doing or what I am saying about it. As such I think it’s pretty clear that you aren’t here to have an actual debate or have a discussion. Hence, bad faith.

                I’m not being hypocritical. I merely believe that an on-topic conversation using lay terms is a higher level of discourse than a conversation that’s constantly derailed by philosophical bullying of varying levels of relevance, which I don’t think is an untenable position.

                I’d be glad to have an actual debate or discussion with you if you stopped trying to turn this site into something it isn’t by browbeating everyone into agreeing with you on philosophical issues.

                Now, I want to make something clear. I can tolerate mystics; living withing the same two blocks as seven churches will do that. Go ahead with this sort dialectic if it pleases you! Nothing of meaning will actually be said, but this is an art blog so I’m alright with words being of secondary utility, plus grandiloquent vagaries are fun, so I joined the game. None of this is an issue.

                The problem is that by judging me by standards you have personally argued against, you are being a complete hypocrite, much like when creationists spending years arguing against empiricism being a valid epistemology all the while trying to “scientifically” prove the existence of a God.

                I am very much confused as to how advocating that people use language in ways they’re familiar with rather than submitting themselves to your personal understanding of how language should be used is equivalent to mysticism.

                I would also like to suggest you kindly stop treating religion as a whipping-boy on sites in which religious debate/discussion is not an expected conversation topic. It’s just common courtesy.

                But the curious thing is that I don’t think you care. You’re much more concerned with me making you look bad than being wrong. (once again, I’m not say that you are wrong, just that the fact that you are very upset when positions you argued for are put into precise and concise statements) You seem to be paranoid about it, which is odd, considering I’ve been jovial with a woman (Lilith) that called me a rapist. It took my a while to notice it, but the blatant hypocrisy crystallized something I’ve perceived, but was never really aware of about you before.

                Again, this would only be true if your restatements of my position were both precise and clear. They’re not. They’re overly broad and paint the position in a worse light than it would be seen if the more nuanced version were allowed to stand on its own.

                To elaborate:

                Do you wonder why I engage you more thoroughly than anyone else here? Because no one else is arguing in bad faith. Lilith has the integrity born of a principled extremism and Wundergeek can admit to error, but you are always, including now, trying to save face via weasel words and blatant duplicity.

                You engage with me more thoroughly because I respond to you point by point. 😛

                As soon as you read this you will, just like every other time I examined your output, claim that I’ve misunderstood you, that you never really said it, that you and I were saying the same thing all along (which is, of course, not what either of us actually posted…) and that it’s no one’s fault really, as though decoding words is naturally impossible on the Internet. And you are terrified that others will call you on it, as you have just demonstrated.

                Nope. I only say that I’ve been misunderstand when the nuances that I’ve been trying to make are lost… which happens a lot, because the vast majority of people simply do not deal with nuance well. I don’t backtrack nearly as much as you make it seem; I’m just forced to drag my point back to where I wanted it to be to begin with after you run away with it.

                To make this clear: until you are more concerned on whether a statement is accurate, meaningful, or useful than with how nice it sounds or how ‘safe’ you are in making it, then people – and not just me, Lilith’s eviscerated you beautifully in the past – are going to make you look bad. It is not a deliberate plot against you, merely a natural consequence of your deliberately and intentionally vacuous arguments being encountered by persons that philosophize with a hammer.

                I do, in fact, think that it’s important for statements to be accurate, meaningful, and useful, and I have never paid much mind to whether or not a statement is “safe.”

                It simply frustrates me that you insist on calling perfectly serviceable lay language inaccurate, meaningless, and useless and looking down disapprovingly at anyone who chooses to use it instead of simply asking for clarification when something’s vague. It’s distracting, insulting, and disrespectful, which is a far, far worse offense to reasonable discourse in my eyes than calling a game that appears from the linked trailer to be filled with fanservice of “chibi”/”SD”-styled anime girls with huge breasts a “loli game” could ever be.

  7. You were a fan of Johnathan Holmes? Who am disappoint? I became aware of this blog through GJAIF, that introduced me to Holmes last year thusly: http://gamejournos.com/post/712464210/destructoids-jonathan-holmes-holds-e3-booth-babe

    I’ll say this about Lara – When Uncharted 2 came out, I thought that it was Drake’s emotional and physical vulnerability that made him much more interesting and charming than the two-dimensional Croft. It’s not abuse of woman, it’s simply following the footsteps of your superior competition.

    • Oh man. I hadn’t heard about that. I am even more disappoint.

      It’s just… man. So pretty much everyone who writes for Destructoid is guilty of gender fail on a horrifically frequent basis, and they’re PROUD of it. Jonathan Holmes at least has done some pretty thoughtful stuff saying, hey – maybe some of the stuff we’re doing here is bad. So that makes me really sad.

      • One could seek to let him off by saying his response was appropriate to the woman’s contracted role on that day. When someone is being paid it’s a lot easier to forget they’re a human, which breeds this, shouting at telemarketers and road rage.

  8. Thinking on my last point, from Indiana Jones onwards it’s been the mark of a good treasure hunter to get thoroughly beaten.

  9. I don’t mean to double comment, but I think you should take a look at this IGN article that defends the Capture The Babe mode in DNF:
    http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/115/1158444p1.html

    I would rather have emailed you about this, but I don’t know your email, so I’m sorry for posting off-topic. I actually found your blog through IGN and it has been wordeful reading your posts and knowing that there were other people out there who felt just as uncomfortable and angry at how women are portrayed in games.

    • I’m always leery of making claims that video games cause actual violence, but there are so many other ways in which Capture The Babe is problematic that I think the author shouldn’t have even tried to defend it. Leaving aside the issue of violence against women, it’s a game mode in which women are LITERALLY objects to be fought over, and that’s just fucked up. The author should have just said, look, I get that DNF is full of fail but it is so very much not the average game and given some examples of games that don’t completely fuck up when it comes to women. Hell, pretty much any game by BioWare in the last 10 years will have a female character that can be used as a sufficient counter-balance against games like DNF.

      • I doubt pointing at other examples in the same medium would work because by the sounds of it he was on a ‘wont someone think of the chillllldreeen please’ daytime tv show and at best he would have had his examples dismissed out of hand, probably with a snide “well I wouldnt know because I dont play with toys” .

        I wonder if ‘CTB’ would be less offensive/fail if it were just done escort mission style with your team escorting/rescuing a female civvy from a warzone…I mean it would have fitted in with DNF quite well and been less obviously…shit.

        Im thinking ICO crossed with counterstrike🙂

    • Oh no not this, you know this is just bad, as bad as Jim Sterling defending rapelay on the basis of freedom of expression grounds, I mean I agree with everything this guy says about video games in general, the same way I agree with the right to the freedom of expression, but as with Jim Sterling’s rapelay article, I have no idea what is an argument against the rigid censorship of games in Australia doing in a text about DNF.

  10. […] an animated, side scrolling dungeon romper…. with BOOBS. Lots of boobs that jiggle… and, as Wundergeek pointed out in her E3 review, because its aniamted the jiggle had to be drawn in…seriously WTF. And its not […]

  11. Dragon’s Crown looks alright. Seems like a spiritual successor/homage to Capcom’s D&D-based brawlers.

    Shame about that Sorceress. That is…it’s just embarassing. I can’t think of another word for it. I am physically ashamed that that exists.

    But I would be fine with the Amazon (fantasy needs *way* more visibly ripped girls) if she put on pants or something.

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