Monday, June 20, 2011

Opinion: Games for Me?

So I spent some time catching up on all the buzz about E3. Well some of the buzz really. And while some may be excited, I've found nothing on the horizon that lifts my spirits. I'm starting to worry about the game development industry.

Nintendo Not Cool Anymore?
You know, I grew up with Nintendo. Its the company that got me back into gaming and was the only console we ever owned. I'm nervous about what this company is doing. The WiiU seems like a smart step as it is iPad in disguise. Although I like the 3DS, I don't see any interesting or fun release titles. I bought a 3DS in part because of the new Zelda and Kid Icarus but mostly because I wanted a new DS that actually connects to my wireless and I can download games on. (Because its a platform my company is considering in the future).

Perhaps Nintendo is banking on their portable devices since their gimmick devices are not doing so great anymore. However, the series that got me back into gaming, Legend of Zelda, seems like its singing its swan song. I'm setting my bar low for this one.

Games for All Audiences?
Outside of Nintendo and a few art games (which are AWESOME) I'm seeing a flood gate of FPS games. With space marines or a sci-fi setting. Not to harp but I'm not a fan of the space genre. There wasn't really any games that I could get pumped about or even INTERESTED. I suppose because they all came out this year. :/

There really wasn't anything that seemed to have an intriguing or welcoming setting for my interests. Which I guess leaves ME time to finish some other games or replaying some of my old favorites.

I suppose I'm just really, really frustrated that the releases are basically focused on two audiences: Adult Male Gamers (dedicating several hours to gameplay) or Kids/Casual (basically "non-gamers").
OMG...really how loud do I have to effen shout here. There is a demographic of Adult FEMALE gamers that dedicate several hours per DAY to games. And chicks LOVE shopping so we'll be taking that DLC thank you.
And as much as I like EA games, they still SUCK at marketing it to BOTH males and females. Which is a SHAME because their games are REALLY well written to fantasy/sci-fi fans of both sexes. And yes their style of game play allows for that. I suppose I'm a floozy and I want MORE than one company to cling to.
Well, I do have Atlus but they've been disappointing of late. While part of me is very curious about's still a male perspective.

Where My Girls At?
Maybe I'm blind, but is Tomb Raider really the only title with a female lead I can look forward to? I mean, I'm proud of where Laura has come from and really what she represents in her GAME (not her marketing). She's a woman in a male-dominant profession, but still treated like an object by marketing. Even SHE is not for female gamers and SHE SHOULD BE.

Really, can't I even have one? What Commander Shepherd? because it's still marketed as a MALE lead character despite the user being able to change that. And I love the company oodles and oodles but would it hurt to market at game with a female protagonist?

Do male gamers really feel SO EXCLUDED if the lead character is female? Does that make the game "not for you"? I understand if the main character is Princess Peach then yes, less appealing. That game is not for me either. I want more Lara Crofts...I want more Captain Chris (Suikoden 3)...I want more female Hawke/Shepherd,

And I really wish there was more I can do besides rant on a blog. It's whiny and stupid. I get emails every day from the Women in Games group and it is mostly letting off the steam we feel in the industry. So I've steamed off.
Speaking of Steam...I should re-download that and get Portal 2. That'll boost my spirits. :3
Or I can dream of the day when I'm ridiculously wealthy and have a game studio at my beck and call to make games tailored to ME. That would be bad ass.

1 comment:

  1. Samus Aran should have been in this topic somewhere. Or Lightning from Final Fantasy 13.

    Also, you're being way too harsh. You have to remember, the vast majority of girls have no interest in making games, let alone writing one with a female protagonist.

    Yes, women are objectified in video games, but that's because the number of men making video games, compared to women, is a number barely worth mentioning except to say that it happens. This is then further reduced because women rarely make it to the top level in game design companies. There are probably less than a handful of lead designers who're women. Men don't make games featuring female leads because the characters and story are so difficult for, not only the writers, but the players to relate to, even if you're a woman.

    What this, for better or worse, boils down to is men are making games for men because making games for women is difficult if you don't have a female perspective. Men are not women. To ask a man to write a story with the lead character being female is assuming that man can accurately portray how a female would see things. Sure, women have just as many perspectives as men, but the whole reason for the argument about women, sex, and video games is due to the fact that men simply do not understand the way women work.

    And you know it would turn into an issue. Men take issue with male characters behaving a certain way when that character is difficult to relate to. Nevermind how anyone would expect a man to relate to a female character. That's not to say it can't be done, but it can't be done on a scale to challenge this argument, nor would it be possible to do it regularly enough to negate the argument.

    Simply put, Lara Croft is who she is because she was drawn up and written by men. Women take to her because she's a strong character (I'd argue that, but that would be getting off topic), and other women are offended by her because she fits too many stereotypes men have about women.

    If you do not know how a woman's mind works and you don't have the resources to find out... but you WANT to make a game with a female lead character your options are to simply not make the game for fear of offending women with your pretentious character (which Lara is), or do it, and hope it's successful, hope you learn from it, and maybe even hope that it gets women more interested in games so this kind of situation happens less frequently.

    I'm inclined to believe the latter happened. Lara Croft may be portrayed as a shameless sex symbol, but how else are men going to market her to other men? It would likely end up worse if they tried marketing her towards women and failing miserably (She's too this, not enough that, so on and so forth. Crowds get offended, stocks drop, Female lead kills game company), so they took the safe route and marketed her sex appeal. If more men are playing her games, more women will notice because more articles will be written about it, blasting it here and praising it there.

    And that's only Lara Croft. Personally, I'm a big fan of Lightining from Final Fantasy 13 because she's the first lead female I've seen who's strong and independent and still beautiful with a sex-appeal that isn't, in any way (from my perspective, at least) trashy or shameless.

    Your gripe isn't unreasonable, but the logic is. Don't be so harsh on game designers. I'm sure they're doing the best they can (most of the time... probably)