Re: Opinion: Video Games and Male Gaze – are we men or boys?

Today my attention was drawn to an article called “Video Games and Male Gaze – are we men or boys?” This article raises a real issue in my book about how women are portrayed in video games, especially in the recent trailer for the popular Hitman franchise, where some scantily clad nuns are dispatched by Agent 47.

I don’t want to sound like a bleeding heart when I say this, but I’m tired of seeing so many boobs and butts in video games. Some would argue a sort of Camille Paglia argument, saying that these women are sexual conquerors. They are able to control hetero-sexual men (and sometimes lesbians) with their bodies. I understand that when game developers do this they are trying to attract their primary audience, which are heterosexual males, but what about the rest of us?

Does anyone else remember feeling embarrassed while playing Soul Calibur II when Ivy’s boobs and butt are submitted to ridiculous jiggling fits every time she moves?

Frankly, that looks uncomfortable.

But I understand what Brandon Sheffield is saying about the “Male Gaze” in movies and video games. The Male Gaze is used to purposefully draw attention to a woman’s curves, whether she is real or fictional. But I have a major problem with the Male Gaze.

I feel like game developers are forgetting that women make up a large portion of the market and that we’re not going anywhere. We’re slightly more eclectic when it comes to games. We’ll play anything, even though developers are under the impression that we’d rather play games like Cooking MamaThe Sims, or Harvest Moon they need to move past this. We DO play games like Halo Reach and my biggest beef with that game was the size of my character’s butt.

But as my friend said: “You’re an eight foot tall Spartan. You’re gonna have a big ass.”

It seems that I’m not the only one who noticed the “largeness” or the female Spartan butt though…

People say that even though these women have on very little clothing, they should be figures that women admire because of their strength. I’m sorry but I do NOT admire Lara Croft. I feel embarrassed for her.

She’s hot but I wish they would dress her better.

Young women need role models and they’re not going to find them in video games, especially when the development of female characters is so focused on the so-called “Male Gaze.”

 

And let me put it out there that I don’t think it’s wrong for men to look at women. That’s fine. Men can look and women look too. It’s the elementary stages of new life, but I still feel embarrassed with the proliferation of lady parts in video games.

I want to know something right now, are you there to play video games or are you there to be aroused?

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Skyrim DLC released and ME3 Extended Cut

I’m gonna keep this one short guys. I’ve been sick lately, so I haven’t had a whole lot of online time, but here are my take-aways from this week in gaming:

This week was a relatively big week in the world of video games. The new Skyrim DLC was released and so far I have heard some good things about it from friends. So far I have found that the main concerns are “OMG VAMPIRES” and “should I be a vampire or should I stay with the Dawnguard?” I don’t know. I’m not hear to tell you what to do, but so far reactions have been mixed.

What I do know is that this DLC was even bigger than any of the DLCs released for the past two Fallouts. That should add A LOT of hours to your play time. This is what a proper RPG expansion should be like.

Finally I want to address the fact that BioWare finally released the extended cut of Mass Effect 3. The general consensus has been “Too Little Too Late” or tl;dr on the ME3 revisions, which is understandable. BioWare really left its fans unhappy and on top of that it gave them what they wanted entirely too late. Many of you have stopped caring.

Still, it looks PURTY:

Halo 4 at E3 through the eyes of 343

I want to start out by saying that I am a Halo fangirl. I get overly excited about Halo anything. For example, not too long ago my boyfriend and I invested in Turtle Beach Headsets to help us with our game play. When we brought them home and started playing Reach, we realized that all of our friends needed them too, so we bought a set for one of our friends for his birthday and have been prodding our other friends to get them for themselves. They make playing Halo so much better to the point that when the loading screen for Reach comes up, I cry a little.

So now that ya’ll are thoroughly creeped out, I want to share a video that 343 released recently of their experiences at E3:

343 at E3 with Halo 4

While I did, and I quote here, “cry like a little bitch” when Bungie left, I am still excited about Halo getting a make-over.

I play with a Guild or Clan called the “Atomic Wranglers” and I have to admit that when I polled them before and after E3 their reactions were worlds apart.

BEFORE E3 we were all a little whiny about what the rumor mill was saying about what was going on with the next Halo. We kept hearing and reading that it would be more like Call of Duty (which all of us make fun of btw) and that our favorite multiplayer mode, Fire Fight, would be scrapped.

AFTER E3 we’re all a little happier. The Halo 4 presentation was amazing and we’re  all excited about how 343 is reinventing and bringing new life to the game. While we will all miss Bungie, we are looking forward to the future and I hope that ya’ll will join me in looking to the future too.

What are your reactions post-E3 to Halo 4? Do you feel better or worse about the changes being made to it? Tell me in the comments below.

Wii U: Possibly Friendly for Used Games

In my internet adventures today, my friend shared an article about the Wii U stating that Nintendo will not be including any measures to prevent gamers from playing pre-owned games!

Whoa.

I mean whoa.

Seriously.

Whoa.

Anyway, the reason why I am so excited about this is because I think that other developers should take a page from Nintendo’s book on this one. For example, it has been rumored that Sony’s next-generation console, “Orbis,” will not offer backwards compatibility and will be using anti-preowned measures. This means that if you want something different, you will have to pay full price every time. Personally, that is just wrong and unrealistic.

Trading games is part of gaming culture and as long as they’re playing their traded games on YOUR console, I don’t see what the big deal is.

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Now I have heard the argument that this is a ploy to ensure that more profits from games go to the developers and in the spirit of capitalism I am all for that. On the other hand if you want to make gaming more accessible to more people then you need to stop making everything so freaking expensive! I wanted to buy a new game the other day and I couldn’t because I chose a week’s worth of grocery money over the game. It was $70. That’s a lot of money.

Make it less expensive and maybe people will be less willing to buy used games. I know I would. Frankly, I want to be able to eat AND play video games. Remember:

Soda + Doritos = Gamer Breakfast of Champions

Nintendo Games Will Run At 1080p Soon After Wii U Launch?

This is odd because I had read that the resolution for the new Wii U games would be comparable to to that of the 360 or the PS3.

My Nintendo News

Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffitt was asked whether Nintendo first-party titles would run at 720p or 1080p. Moffitt answered by saying, “I think it’s 1080p.” While it has been confirmed that the first batch of Wii U games will run at 720p, most Nintendo games will probably run at 1080p soon after the upcoming console’s launch.

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The Wii U: More Information for U

Nintendo did show us the future this year at E3 2012. As the first next generation console to be announced, reactions are overall pretty good for Nintendo.

I know that many of us in the gaming world were wondering how Nintendo was going to beat their mind blowing “revolution” with the Wii a few years ago and I must say that they sure as hell delivered with the Wii U.

The Wii U combines the traditional video game console that we all know and love with a handheld console. And the graphics will finally be on par with the XBOX360 and PS3.

Wii U Wiki run down

Possible Release Date

The Wii U’s biggest player (in Miyamoto’s brain) is Pikmin 3.

Other games in the works for the Wii U include but are not limited to:

1.  Assassin’s Creed III

2. ZombiU, a game made exclusively for the Wii U. This game was one of the biggest players at E3 this year.

3. Battlefield

4. New Super Mario Bros. Mii

5. Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Unfortunately for all of you Legend of Zelda fans out there, Miyamoto says that it is still in the research phase with the Wii U.

Top Five Games of E3 2012

5. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Dawnguard

Skyrim has been the big kid on the playground this year as far as gaming for the PS3 and XBOX360 go. Therefore the new Skyrim DLC trailer was anticipated to hold that position for Bethesda during E3. Unfortunately, I feel like it left a lot to be desired. While this was a highly anticipated trailer it was rather lackluster in my book. Blood and gore, creepiness, guy with a foreboding voice and wow cool you’re riding a dead horse… yeah not my cup of tea. For me it just seemed like more the same with Skyrim. Now don’t get me wrong, Skyrim is great, but this trailer left me almost as disappointed as the Fallout New Vegas: Honest Hearts DLC. I was seriously psyched for this trailer, but it feels like a let down.

Overall it’s very short and while it does do a good job with creeping us out, it doesn’t make me want to pick up Skyrim right now to play it. It all seems like more of the same to me and that’s why it’s number five on my count down.

Oh and by the way, Kinect will be incorporated into this DLC. Joy…

4. Dishonored

Based on the steam punk trailer alone, Dishonored is looking pretty creepy. Bethesda has promised us good things before and while there are still a lot of unknowns about it, Dishonored has been called the Dark Horse of E3. It’s something that was unexpected from Bethesda. While this developer is known for its first-person RPGs (Skyrim, Fallout 3), it was originally thought that it would unveil the next Fallout (possibly the MMO), but when Dishonored was announced a few weeks prior to the show, fans were stunned.

Dishonored has the potential to be put up for game to the year if its trailer has anything to say about it, but we will have to wait and see until its release in the Fall.

3. Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin’s Creed III has been long anticipated. It has actually been in development for three years meaning that Ubisoft has spent a good deal of money on it. Hopefully, the trailer is telling of things to come with the game play.

Anyway, AC3 will not be set in Europe this time. This is a first this well-established franchise as it moves through time to the American Revolution. We are introduced to what appears to be a Native American youth fighting to protect his land and his people. In this trailer, he appears to be fighting for the American’s best interest as he decimates a large band of Brits. Everyone knows who ends up winning the war in this case, but this adds another dimension to the fight.

Based on the trailer, AC3 is promising. By adding some dimension to a well known section of history, it is sure to stick in the minds of many gamers until its release date in October.

2. Watch Dogs

So I’m going to break down Watch Dogs into two trailers since it’s the new kid on the block here. The first trailer is an introduction to the whole concept to the game and the second is a game play demo.

Everything is controlled by computers in the world of Watch Dogs and as a hacker you can hack into anything at any time.

But what is truly revolutionary is that this game runs on a new engine, an engine that we as gamers did not think would be introduced until the next generation of gaming consoles. This game features Unreal Engine 4 developed by Epic. This is part of the reason why Watch Dogs has received so much press during E3. Overall it makes the game feel more real than any which we have seen previously.

Overall what is even more revolutionary about this game is that it has not even tied itself to a single console yet. It has not even limited itself to the console world and the developer says that he would even be willing to put it on the iPad. This is a huge plus for me considering that I get a little mopey when I see a hot looking game and its not for my console.

The reason why I have chosen Watch Dogs as my number two is mostly based on the first trailer. The premise that it sets is highly realistic for the world that we live in today. As an information scientist, it amazes how much of our private information ends up online today. Your medical records, social security number, phone number, address, SAT scores, etc. are all on some sort of network connected to the internet. There is so much information out there about you that it’s not even funny and Ubisoft is able to piece some of my greatest fears into a video game.

For more about Watch Dogs, click here.

A hacker who can hack anything at any time… This game is promising.

1. Halo 4

While I have seen some amazing live action Halo trailers before, this one blew my mind. I mean literally blew it away. If anyone sees it floating around out there, email me so I can get it back. Anyway, from the very beginning this trailer has your attention. At first, you think “Holy crap the graphics are amazing!” and then you realize that 343 has gone live action on this one. It’s odd, but the fact that there are real people in it makes you want to watch it even more. The CG mixes with live action in a practically flawless manner in this trailer. What also mixes well is the voice over about peace and prosperity while the gigantic frigate and its crew is pulled to pieces. On top of all that, we get to see actual game play so Halo fans can actually figure out how this new game will stack up against all the others.

Seriously, this is my favorite trailer from E3 and it’s not just because I love Halo. The trailer is just all around well done considering that the entire Halo franchise was recently picked up by another developer.

What really gets me about this trailer is that we, the players, are introduced to a brand new mysterious enemy who we have never met before. At first we are led to believe that our enemy will be the same old familiar Covenant, but we are soon proven wrong when creepy birdlike things begin shooting fire at us. We are also introduced to s new weapon and new armor features.

This trailer shows us the shiny new future of Halo, which is what E3 is all about to begin with: The shiny new future of video games.

Feel free to dispute me in the comments section below, but for me, these are the Top Five Trailers of E3 2012.