So yesterday, Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency released a new video in a new series on videogames focused on positive depictions of women in games. It seems that these will be much shorter than those found in Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, and will focus specifically on a single character, rather than a laundry-list format.
On the one hand, this suggests that Sarkeesian is listening to some of her (rational) critics, who dislike the laundry-list format. And I think this is a good move – it allows for more focus, more nuance, and avoids the problem of rapid-fire lists. My write-up for TLF is here (includes links to video and transcript).
So I finally got around to playing Gone Home, mostly because I put it on my syllabus to force myself to play it (in that “I keep meaning to but just don’t” kind of way – not the “oh god don’t make me” kind of way). My review of it is up on TLF, and it’s mixed.
My students’ reaction was also a bit mixed. Some of them got very immersed in the atmosphere, so much so that I had a few afraid to finish it in the wee hours of the morning because it made them feel like something was going to jump out and get them. I had others who were just confused, since they didn’t really feel like they were actually playing anything. And others who were bored, wanting something interesting to happen or wanting some kind of specific choice to make that would matter in the long run.
But it keeps coming up in class. Today we started Portal, and they immediately compared the narrative and exploration mechanics in Gone Home to the (lack of obvious) narrative in the first 10 rooms of Portal – although we’ll see how that comparison continues as the game develops.
Another Inquisition As-I-Play is up over on TLF, this one talking (appropriately, given my last post) about sexuality in BioWare games and why it – and the NPCCs in BioWare games – are so important to players.
There was enough anger left in me to have more to say about the most recent Law & Order SVU episode on GamerGate. Here it is.
The TLF post contains a much more detailed breakdown of what went wrong in the episode and how, exactly, it undermines not only the project of feminism in gaming, but of game culture and the industry in general.
So one of the games I did manage to play over the holidays was Peter Molyneaux’s Godus – my review is now up over on TLF, just in time for the east coast to find something to download and play while stuck in yet another gigantic snowstorm.
And Part Five of my As-I-Play Inquisition… including MAJOR plot spoilers. Seriously.
The next installment in my playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition is up over on TLF. I finally made it out of the Hinterlands (for the first time, although not the last), and moved on to smaller and better things.
My second As-I-Play for Dragon Age: Inquisition – The Unending Hinterlands – is up on TLF. The Hinterlands really do feel like they will never end. Ever. I will spend all the time in the Hinterlands.
But not really. Although every time I had to go back there, I twitched a little.
New Borderlands 2 post over on TLF! More chasing Roland around Pandora!