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Tropes vs. Women, a video series that looks at recurring stereotypes of female characters in video games, has released its first video in the series after being funded on Kickstarter last summer (the project received $158,922 of its requested $6,000 goal). As a trope the Damsel in Distress is a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must then be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest.
So fake it hurts
2013 is starting to feel like other gold-rush eras of videogame history... like the CD-ROM scramble of the early 1990s, when every consumer electronics company on Earth tried to jimmy their way into the console market... most of the new consoles crashed and burned. The thing is, the one that didn’t was called PlayStation.
As the end of the year comes upon us, Gamasutra is rounding up its most notable articles of the year, including an opinion on what is perhaps Metal Gear Solid 3's greatest boss battle, and indeed one of the most memorable bosses ever: The End.
MGS3 is a favorite in part because of the "sheer elegance and restraint it displays as an entry in a series known for overt and often strange authorial self-indulgence."
In the confrontation with The End:
The battle quickly becomes a tense, psychological game of cat-and-mouse -- find The End before his preternatural sniper's eye finds you, the pair of you stalking one another across massive areas. The best boss fights ask the player to make use of skills he or she has accumulated thus far in the game and this one's no exception: Players will have had to master the camouflage system and hunting for stamina in order to survive what can become a battle across realtime hours, and use tools like thermal goggles and a directional mic to stalk The End's location.
It was a pseudo-commando attack, as if the killer were playing a video game and racking up points for every victim. Once again, the crime appeared to be staged for maximum shock value. And once again — just as in Aurora, Colo., this past summer — there was the element of overkill, with multiple weapons, a military-style rifle and massive amounts of ammunition.
A Washington Post article today connects the grisly acts of a troubled youth to ultraviolent videogames, highlighting continuing opprobrium of the industry, including one quote from a "forensic psychiatrist":
I point the finger unreservedly at the entertainment industry, which has spawned and cultivated gaming that by design is increasingly real, geared to action as the shooter’s point of view, increasingly dehumanizes victims, and increasingly rewards players by how many they kill.
The article concludes that Adam Lanza, the now infamous murderer of twenty schoolchildren and several of their teachers, may have suffered from a mental disorder like schizophrenia, which "appears to increase the risk of violence."
However, this mass murder, along with the one in July in an Aurora, CO movie theater, come along the heels of an E3 that showcased some of the most ghastly, gratuitous, and conspicuous violence ever seen in videogames. A separate Washington Post article notes that even as mass murders continue (and videogames become disturbingly more violent), fewer and fewer Americans are concerned that the escalating violence is a result of a broad cultural problem.
How did the company that missed the CD-ROM revolution because it disliked load times make an OS that feels like watching YouTube on a 56K modem?
Vagrant Story as a tabletop session
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a game I've been excited about since I learnt about its cousin Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madoshi on the Nintendo DS years ago. It's nearly out in America and Europe (and Australia, whoo!) and I've got my Wizard's Edition on pre-order. So Namco Bandai Games released a demo on the PlayStation 3 this week. It has one gigantic flaw: it's not out until next month and I'm extremely frustrated by this. Read on
A little idea for next year's Halloween costume (only 334 days left).
So, you tend to get three types of videogame commercial on TV these days: straight-up game footage with a tagline, "artistic", high-budget efforts like the Halo campaigns and Nintendo's "fun for all the family" clips. Things were different in the early days, though. Advertisers seemed unsure how to translate the charms of this new medium into a thirty-second advert, and more often than not they decided to go weird. Sometimes deeply, bafflingly weird...
Parents concerned about this new "video games" phenomenon? Want to reassure them that it's a fun, harmless pastime? Why not show a commercial that equates playing The Legend of Zelda with completely losing your fucking mind!
BlogI decided to play Pokémon for the first time recently, more than fourteen years after the original Pokemon Red and Blue came out for Game Boy. I guess the reason I picked it up is because I was sad that Jeremy Lin has a favorite Pokémon and I don't. Not to mention all the excellent Pokemon nostalgia that one is inundated with!
Anyway, I decided to start with the LeafGreen version, and, following the appropriate criteria, chose Bulbasaur as my first Pokémon. And with my excellent girl (!) Bulbasaur, I kicked the booty of the kid who I've been rivals with ever since I was a baby.
I'm in my 30s now, but I'm looking forward to finally catching them all!
After a few weeks of downtime, we're back with a bunch of new features and updates. Check out what's new
Double Fine Productions is running Amnesia Fortnight public this year, and all the votes are now in. The pitches chosen (in order of popularity) are Hack n' Slash by Brandon Dillon, Spacebase DF-9 by Jean-Paul LeBreton, The White Birch by Andrew Wood, Autonomous by Lee Petty and Black Lake by Levi Ryken Read on
Each year Double Fine Productions drops everything they're working on and allows any willing employee to pitch an idea for a new game - this is dubbed Amnesia Fortnight. This year the company has opened up the process to the public, and allowing people to contribute funds in order to vote for their favourite game ideas. Hosted on Humble Bundle, the contribution each person makes can be divided up based on personal preference between Double Fine, the charity Child's Play and the hosting. Contributors also receive prototypes from the two previous years: Happy Song (the prototype for Once Upon A Monster) and Costume Quest as well as the top four prototypes based on this year's voting. Contributors who pay more than the average amount also receive the prototype Brazen, a four-player action co-operative game led by Brad Muir. The fortnight will be live-streamed and documented by 2-Player Productions.
You can view the pitches and contribute here: http://www.humblebundle.com/double-fine
Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for "Harry Potter” and “Star Wars,” the two most successful movie franchises of all time. Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013.