Recent comments

  • Sexuality and Sexual Orientation in Computer and Console Games   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I myself am a transgendered gamer. I of course have made few transitions in my past due to to...

    1. My Families views on who I am.
    2. I a few years back accepted Christ into my life. While I have been told by some not all friends at my church. Whenever my femininity come to the point I think I'm ready to accept who I am. I get told off that I need to pray more harder.

    Which I've tried that and I feel an inner change in me due to my faith and am more kind hearted and forgiving towards others often no matter what they do or say to me. I just feel that I was meant to be female not in my view that God made a mistake because he is perfect in all he does. But because I feel being born in the body I was given I was tested by God. Like for example kids who are born with deformities or life threatening illnesses. Me I'd call my male body somewhat of a natural defect. But I am most the time timid when talking to people and back off often to avoid conflict especially with friends who disagree with who I am or just wish for me to keep sexual topics to myself whether or not they are related to my gender issues.

    Also I kind of feel hurt by some of them I know they are only looking for my best interests. But anyways...

    I often unfortunately can't associate completely with most game characters. Though I like many genres but there are a small handful I can but unfortunately not all of them are me either. One is from a Japanese dating game that
    1. I don't own. Though I've tried it at a friends house.
    2. From what I've heard has no actual translation patches only way to translate it is a translation device that I had a hard time using.
    3. Besides she is not the protagonist of the game but a dating option. Of which I like women and other MTF transgendered people as far as my love interests.

    Of course playing as a game like that would be perfect to me if I could play as a MTF and have the option between women and other MTF's but only games like that are MMORPG style games and I don't have enough an imagination for that. Plus I prefer not interacting with strangers in video games. But the dating game I was speaking of of which your forced to play a male protagonist and only have one MTF love interest to explore out of all the women and like I said is only in Japanese is none other than Happiness Relucks. The MTF is known as Jun Watarase.

    Two other MTFs of whom are in fighting genre style games one is only a villain and that's Poison in some versions of the first Final Fight game but as I was saying being she's a villain I can't play as her which makes me feel a little bad when fighting her.

    The other of which I never bothered getting the games but would probably enjoy them is Bidget in the Guilty Gear though do to her backstory does not consider herself female but being she prefers her appearance and the comfort of women's clothes I'd say that there's got to be more to her than trying to prove herself a man which I could relate to her perhaps. Being this world and society we live in can often bring confusion to someone like me.

    And finally my favorite and with the track record the series bringing her back as a hidden bonus boss. The reason I 100% hope for a sequel to Chrono Cross in chance she may become an actual playable character is Flea in Chrono Trigger. I know first thing she says in similar to the the personality of Bidget is "Hey I'm a man" or in the original she used the term guy. But if you enter Ozzie's fort in the DS version I believe without Magus in your party you can still have Magus just not in your current group but. She refers to herself as a woman meaning she has to have some confusion about herself as well. Other than that I can't think of anymore MTF transgendered characters. If it's OK I have one request if anyone knows of any others please reply to this post and let me know. Thanks.

  • The Orientalist Perspective: Cultural Imperialism in Gaming   5 years 31 weeks ago

    "In Dynasty Warriors, for example, a highly idealized Chinese history of the Three Kingdoms period is presented by Japanese producer, Koei. This adaptation of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms epic of course presents the history in a certain way, displaying a Japanese adaptation of a Chinese classical work. This therefore seeks to assert Japanese cultural superiority by telling the Japanese version of the story, elevating Japan to a higher status than China via retelling of their own stories. By elevating themselves above other Asiatic nations, Japan attempts to place itself in the ‘conquering’ position in the Orientalist perspective, proving its power to Western peers by showing its superiority vis-à-vis other Asian cultures."

    I don't think so. ROTK has been a popular story in Japan for a long time. It's a compelling and intricate story about human ambition that has captured the imaginations of millions. The story has modified so that a 20th century or 21st century audience in Japan can relate to the characters more, as the original story was written in the 14th century and written by elite scholars for the elite. You are expected to memorize the names of over 400 characters who are sometimes only mentioned once. It was not written for the masses. If anything reading the Japanese versions of ROTK makes you respect the Chinese and Chinese culture and think they're awesome. Not sure how this qualifies as cultural imperialism from the side of the Japanese. As for KOEI they are making games that will sell. If I'm not mistaken they used to be a company that made money via porn and were able to make it into mainstream gaming because of their earlier ROTK games which were much more complex than Dynasty Warriors. In the original game I don't believe there was any option to conquer China from Japan. The entire scenario took place in China and only had Chinese characters in it because it's Chinese history. Sadly, the mass market version of their ROTK games (Dynasty Warriors) is what's popular in the west.

  • New Cyborg Philosophy: Techno-Religious Hybridization in Marathon and Halo   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Great presentation, really enjoyed it. I wish the text was available at the website as well. The author really managed to highlight the lack of boundaries between the concepts mentioned by Haraway. However I didn't get the main point about religion, it seemed to me that it was the weakest of all parts. There is a certain analogy, I agree, but it does not go to an extent of an integral part of cyborg (or human-machine hybrid).

  • Sex, Games and Fatherhood   5 years 35 weeks ago

    good for you for wearing the baby! I bestow upon you the Cookie of Excellent Parenting!

  • Ring in my Pocket   5 years 36 weeks ago

    You're welcome, Tim.

    I didn't mention economic inequality because, while money matters, it's much too easy to pretend that that's all that matters (if you have cultural privilege). I've known more than a few straight white men who were Marxists of one stripe or another and didn't "get" why women, queers, and minorities didn't always agree with them.

    That said, I think that one of the most effective things that can be done to combat inequality is to address the pain and stigma of poverty across the board.

    Of course, one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing poverty is to give women control over their own reproduction, which requires increased equality as well as sex education and access to contraceptives.

  • Ring in my Pocket   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Thanks for introducing me to the concepts of "privilege of invisibility" and being "unmarked". This is highly relevant for game designers interested in giving players challenges other than stealing the frog people's idol and scorching people with flamethrowers ;) Especially traveling adventurers would have a hard time of fitting in in a new place. Having to look like the social class you're dealing with to be accepted as equal can be a major challenge, especially if you consider the difficulty of looking like a nobleman in a medieval setting, or if you don't have a workplace in a local, rural setting. If you don't work, where does your food and clothing come from? Must be a thief, then. :)

  • Strategy Game Reviews   5 years 36 weeks ago both Ralph and Dana.

    Ralph, IMHO, games are basically structures - sets of rules. I don't mean that games should be completely constrained (the way, for example, that rail shooters are) but that game designers have to work to build meaningful choice into games. "Open world" often just means "unbalanced play and insufficient consequences."

    Dana, have you checked out Gameology's main page? There are two blog posts by me there with links to reviews and further thoughts (on sex and romance in games).

  • Gabriel Knight 3   5 years 38 weeks ago

    "As far as I know, there's no way to get the game into an unwinnable state"
    Well, ehm at the morning of the second day, Gabriel plans infiltrating himself into the hotel bedrooms of the other guests, you have to unlock the service elevator door in two room meanwhile the waitress is cleaning the toilet, in order to lift yourself up to these rooms in the kitchen downstairs and break inside through the service lift door. In the other two rooms you have to hide in the balcony meawhile the waitress is cleaning the toilet staying hidden behind that door unil she leaves the room, then unlock the door from inside granting free access for future raids, at least until the other guests are back from the tour. You have to scavenge these rooms, "borrow" some items, especially the map of rennes le chateau making some discovers (I don't wanto to spoil) copying them in your computer. You have two chances of being saw by the waitress, then you can't risk anymore. Also you need to talk with Jean to get some clues about how to plan to free the access to these rooms, but meanwhile you talk the waitress do her work, quickly and in real time! (in an adventure!)
    Excepting Madeleine and Lady howard's room where you can climb from either balcony to the next one just, by freeing the access to either room. The other three or two rooms accessible by the goods lift will need to be unlocked individually, unlocking their own lifts!
    Once the waitress do her job in one room you have no chances to break inside anymore, that I know.
    But the Rennes map is essential to progress forward in the adventure. You have to save as soon as you wake up after the cut scene of the waitress cleaning Gabriel's room.
    Isn't this an unwinnable state?

  • Bitmap Sprite Animation, Circa 1917   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Ha, cool! Mondrian was also an influence on elements of my game. Between Gamma and Blip I had some time in New York to check out MoMA, and I took some pictures.

    If anyone has a chance, it's a great museum, and free on Fridays!

  • Strategy Game Reviews   5 years 40 weeks ago

    "It also reminds me of how gaming can become a kind of a passive absorption into the spectacle and rhythm of play. Games are not defined by freedom, but by constraint, by rules. In dividing planning and execution so sharply, and placing so much emphasis on passive watching (spectatorship) GSB draws our attention to where our interaction actually takes place, thwarting passive absorption"

    I really think this is true. Games thrive on structure I think. I often find that the more open ended games are not as fun, at least for me. I like them to be open ended to a point. If they are going to be 100% open ended I feel that it should be within the MMORPG type setting where you have others to play with.

  • Sexual and Romantic Content in Games   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I think you're right that the industry continues to cater to the "hard core" in a way that reminds me of how "Spawn" and most other 90's era Image Comics (the new, much smaller Image is a different animal) participated in the "growing up" of comics - more violence, more amoral behavior (not meaningful moral ambiguity), and bustier female characters, all without anything resembling maturity.

    Of course, in the parlance of marketing, if you're over 28 (I think that's it) you're "old" and if you're "old" and female, the entire entertainment industry considers you irrelevant. I was just looking for a source I saw recently about this, but I can't find it at the moment, and I don't have time to search further riight now.

    But at least other media seem to recognize that they have a female audience, not to mention that not all men (not even all "young" men) are all about guns and cars.

    There is an exception, as the other comment reminded me. Many "casual" games (marketed almost exclusively to women) feature relationships in some sense, but tend to be absolutely puritanical about sex: the entire romance novel business would go belly-up if it took this perspective.

  • Sexual and Romantic Content in Games   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Iggy's review is really amazing - and "ie, tatemasu" does some interesting things. It's a shame that I can't read Japanese, or I'd have to see if I could get my hands on a copy.

    I really like the fact that the game transitions from being about sex to about relationships and love: inasmuch as "ie, tatemasu" reflects gay culture and not just gay porn (Iggy's contention), this is yet another way in which gay culture is both more honest and, IMHO, more healthy than the straight world.

    I hadn't seen Emily's post before, so you didn't get that from me. Interestingly enough, the option to choose friendship over romance is also present in a game that I'm considering adding to the list of reviews for this series, but I'll hold my tongue until I make up my mind about that review.

  • Sexual and Romantic Content in Games   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I think that your question as to where all the Romantic games are suggests a very interesting line of thought about why the videogame industry is what it is today. Much of it has to do with the way that the industry defines itself and its audience, with the small segment of "Hard Core" gamers being designated as the most desirable and profitable demographic, while other groups, including women, are marginalized. These companies most generally recruit from within the narrow demographic of their audience, thus reinforcing the same cultural norms.

    This is, of course, far from a complete answer. There are many other factors that may or may not contribute to the game industry's approaches to sex and sexuality. One particularly interesting example of industry intervention was Nintendo's long-time policy of forbidding sex and nudity (along with religious imagery) from American releases. While excessive blood was also restricted, violence itself was deemed much more permissible. Echoes of this policy can still be seen today in videogame companies, such as the submission guidelines for Microsoft's Xbox Live Indie Games (which is still much harsher on sex and relationships than it is on blood and violence).

    I look forward to reading more of your scholarly musings on the subject.

  • Sexual and Romantic Content in Games   5 years 40 weeks ago

    iggy at insert credit did a pretty cool writeup of ie, tatemasu that talks about ways in which it subverts (gay, bear) eroge/porn conventions and ends up being sort of unnervingly realistic, the meat of what he talks about is in the third page here:

    i can't remember if i originally got this link off of you but emily short had interesting things to say about the relationship dynamics in emily's holiday season:

    also you might check out lost in blue or harvest moon/rune factory if you're looking for something more mainstream

  • Becoming Dragon: Race and the War Machine in Battle for Wesnoth's “Flight to Freedom”   5 years 41 weeks ago

    A great post on racial politics in the fantasy genre & ethics of in-game violence as found in one #wesnoth campaign:

  • Gaming as religion?   5 years 41 weeks ago

    It's very enlightening (not to mention fun!) to see so many people from such varied backgrounds responding to this post. Here's my one cent as a theater scholar looking at video games.

    I would agree that gaming has much in common with religious ritual as gaming also attempts to reconcile social or personal rifts that appear. If one looks a Victor Turner's analysis of tribal communities, there are stages of Social Drama that deal with crises and the resolution of them.

    Dramatic Narrative and by extension, narrative in gaming also reflect this inherent need to bring some kind of elegant order and explanation to chaos to paraphrase Campbell.

    Theater, Religion and Sport all have common roots in the Dionysian ritual of Classical Greece. If Theater was supposed to cleanse the soul (katharsis) and restore personal and social virtue in the same manner as many religions: it's quite possible that the spiritual self can reach a similar release.

    I've recently endeavored to bridge gaming and spirituality though autoethographic study. As opposed to autobiography, my hope is to draw attention to the gaming subculture and reveal what personal attributes make up those whom avidly game.

  • Gaming as religion?   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Some people say that games are time wasters, and games could not be a religion is healthy and productive while gaming is not. How is religion productive in any way? People will go to a church for hours, pray for hours, and for what? Eternal salvation? If it is not true, then, what a waste of time! Then people would say, it gives comfort to the soul, and does gaming not do that? Does it not give peace to a weary mind? Yes, it can be taken to far, and so can everything else, especially religion.

  • The Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2011   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Ah, I see. You are correct. I have made this change in the listing.

  • The Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2011   5 years 46 weeks ago

    The given URL for the conference site links to the site for the 2009 conference. The url for the current conference appears to be:

  • Indie games and "that solitude whose final form is one's confrontation with one's own mortality"   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Zach, thanks for bringing up my own ideas on videogames and reflection. I don't think there's anything inherent in videogames that makes them good or bad at encouraging reflection, though certainly it's easier to design games in which stillness or stoppage only denote PAUSE or GAME OVER, rather than some diegetic player event. Ian Bogost's A Slow Year is a recent game-like experience that explicitly encourages reflection, and you could argue that Heavy Rain is a non-indie game that does the same.

    In my piece on torture and videogames I ultimately argue that it's not simply the act of reflection that needs to be built into games---we need spaces for deliberation, which I see as reflection + action. Games should ideally not only give us pause to reflect, they should then spur us into a decision based upon that contemplation.

  • Monstrous Cultures: Embracing and Resisting Change in the 21st Century (Edited Collection)   5 years 46 weeks ago

    This CFP doesn't mention videogames by name, but there are enough popular cultural texts here that I'd bet the editors would be OK with that kind of thin (under "not limited to" category, perhaps).

    Certainly, videogames are a rich medium for exploring various forms and implications of monstrosity.

  • World Without Oil: An ARG Worth its Weight in Carbon Credits   5 years 47 weeks ago

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  • Japanese and American Video Games: Player Preferences, Translation Concerns   5 years 49 weeks ago

    In the Japanese version of Halo: Combat evolved the grunts weren't translated, so anyone unable to speak english was missing one of the best parts of that game. The things grunts say in that game give comic relief to the player and make the game more enjoyable. I'm not saying this'll help you with your writing a lot, I just wanted to see if you could use it.

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  • World Without Oil: An ARG Worth its Weight in Carbon Credits   6 years 3 weeks ago

    cool post!