[Edit: Ich hab niemals behauptet, dass Ubisoft irgendwo das Zitat “Nutten, Bier und Burger” gebracht hat oder dass Ubisoft Prostituierte für das Event gebucht hat. Das hat ein von mir im Blogpost anyonym gehaltener Twitterer, der allerdings weiter unten seine Urheberschaft kommentiert hat.]
Ich habe in letzter Zeit extrem wenig gespielt, und noch weniger gebloggt. Gestern war ich allerdings beim Launch von WatchDogs von Ubisoft eingeladen und hab mich riesig drauf gefreut. Immerhin bin ich ein großer Fan von Ubisofts Assassins’ Creed-Reihe (hab meine MSc-Thesis drüber geschrieben), von der WatchDogs angeblich Anleihen nimmt. Das Setting des Open World Action Adventures finde ich auch ziemlich cool und trifft den Zahn der Zeit: Es geht um Verschwörungstheorien, Hacking … und die totale Überwachung. Dementsprechend die Deko in der Arena Wien mit Warnhinweisen auf Überwachungskameras und der Security Check beim Eingang – sehr stimmig das alles, und viel Aufwand, der da für uns betrieben wurde. Beim Event mischten sich ein paar aufällig gewandete Leute unter die Menge: Der, wie sich später herausstellen sollte, Moderator in Schwarz mit Iro, seine Begleitung “Baby” in schwarzen Overknees, Fishnets, breitem Gürtel und mit einem Dekolletee, das man anschauen musste ob man wollte oder nicht, und als zumindest Dritter im Bunde ein Polizist in einer Uniform, die zwar nicht aus Chicago (dort spielt WatchDogs) war, aber “auch aus einem Schwulenporno sein hätte können” (wörtliches Zitat, aber nicht von mir). Der Moderator und “Baby” (der nannte sie mehrfach so) drehten ein paar Runden, um Aufmerksamkeit zu erregen (und die Wortwahl “erregen” ist vielleicht die bestmögliche hierfür) und gingen dann aufs Klo, um eine kleine, von Pornoklischees triefende Nummer hinzulegen, die auf allen Bildschirmen der Location übertragen wurde. Weil, eh scho wissen, Überwachungsstaat, wir sind nirgends sicher, auch nicht bei der schönsten Nebensache der Welt. Manche waren entgeistert, manche begeistert, manche hatten wohl auch nicht gemerkt, dass es eine Show war. Nach der kleinen Episode zerrte der verkleidete Polizist Baby später aus der Location, wegen ungebührlichen Verhaltens. Kurze Zeit später ging der Moderator wieder mit “Baby” im Schlepptau auf die Bühne und eröffnete offiziell das Event. Den Rest der Show hab ich nicht mehr mitbekommen. Mir ist die Lust vergangen, ich war peinlich berührt und verärgert. Wieso? Continue reading Nutten, Bier & Burger – was das Gamer-Herz begehrt?
I was interviewed (in German!) about women in games by Robert Glashüttner, digital lifestyle editor for Austrian alternative radio station fm4. It was awesome to be back at a radio station – I was an intern at one in 2005! 😉
Here’s a screenshot of the preview of the interview on the fm4 website:
As always, I’m looking forward to your input or feedback. Is there a special female character you’d like me to discuss in my next blog post? Also, what is your favorite female character in games and why?
As I announced in “Glamgeekgirl hits GameCityVienna“, which reflects my first impressions, I went back to the event this Sunday, with Laura and her boyfriend Markus (http://www.konzeptionist.at), who was taking pictures. (Which was awesome because I could focus on the games – yay! Many thanks!) By the way, this post is pretty much spoiler-free!
I tried skateboarding on the Wii… and totally got pwned! Markus commented that the controls weren’t intuitive at all – yes, everything he says – it had NOTHING AT ALL to do with me!
Then Laura and I tried Raving Rabbits, but didn’t have a clue what to do….
We also played some things on PlayStation Move, but if I were to pick a motion-controlled system, I’d stick with the Wii. (Side Note: I was very eager to try out Kinect, but you were filmed if you played and had to fill out a form accepting to be filmed and whatnot, so I declined.)
There were separate areas for 18+ gamers for both PlayStation and XBOX 360. They did NOT list the presented games outside the area, which struck me as pretty stupid. I got to show ID, by the way – YAY! 😉 There was a loooooooooong line in front of the PS area, which had Kung Fu Rider, RUSE, Killzone 3 etc. I was dissappointed with my own experiences with them, and didn’t see other gamers who seemed to have exceptional amounts of fun either.
Not a photo from GameCity, but I have to show you that game, the premise is just too funny:
Nobody was waiting in front of the XBOX 18+ area – what kind of feeling does that give you? I wasn’t expecting anything really. We went in, and saw three row of XBOXes set up, I think 2 per game. Most were occupied, so I walked down the middle row… there was one free spot, and guess who is looking at me from the screen? HAWKE! He-Hawke actually, well hello Mister!
Being the console noob that I am, I didn’t know how to restart the game, so I just picked up where someone had left off. In the middle of a dialog – well yeah, if you don’t like dialogs, BioWare isn’t for you! Sadly, the volume was down and it was too noisy around me, so I can’t tell how he sounds – but I could see the lips move, and thus assume that they TALK! Hawkie-Talkie, yeah!
I then had a nice talk about choice with a lovely elderly lady… The dialog wheel now shows the tone of the options (although I haven’t figured them all out, but I think: there’s a red clenched fist for defiant/violent/evil ones and a white twig-thing for the good ones. The third was a blue drama mask with, a more neutral expression).
Here I’m in the middle of a fight with a party that’s already wounded due to whoever started to play before me. Anyway, I kick ass – and that’s saying something about XBOX controls being intuitive!!!
The demo was soon over, and the game restarted itself (thanks, very noob-friendly). Same as Laura, I picked a Warrior She-Hawke out of the available Warriors or Rogues of both sexes – the Mages were, much to my disappointment, locked.
Now a close-up of She-Hawke and Bethany. In the beginning of the demo, you’re fleeing your home, and Beth isn’t the only of your kin you’ll be talking to.
In the meantime, I was fighting waves of Hurlocks with AWESOME moves, like a multiple-enemy sweep of my two-handed blade, and then finally…. look, an Ogre!
And here’s a Dragon crashing my party! (How many dozens of meanings does “party” have, anyway?)
Unfortunately, I don’t have screenies of the guys who tell Hawke’s story in the future/present. It was implemented well though, and based on my first impressions, I think it could work out after all!
I had lots of fun playing Dragon Age 2 on the XBOX 360. The combat is very responsive and immersive, throwing you right into the action (not in a bad way, unless you want to hit Pause and plan ahead constantly), and the special moves are great – that circular sweep bloodily pwned several Hurlocks at a time! The graphics are awesome and the characters look really cool. FemHawke could really be the next FemShep (perhaps that’s exactly what they’re aiming for? Would you be so nice, BioWare people, to drop by this blog and tell me?). The dialog wheel indicator seems a good update, as I sometimes wasn’t sure what my Warden was getting at in DA:O. If you liked the Intro art in DA:O, you will love what you see in that demo – I never understood why BioWare didn’t use that style more in the first installment, but I’m hoping for the best!
I can’t say much about the plot, as for starters, I don’t want to spoil what I experienced, and secondly, I also, stupidly, didn’t pay enough attention. It was too loud to listen, and to bothersome to read all the text while I could just randomly try the dialog and combat systems instead. Thinking back now, I should have stayed and played this much, much longer. But I thought I was missing something else… something that never came!
So, in conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed GameCity, but there are several points worth improving… yet they all FADE (haha, Dragon Age pun!) away after playing the DA2 demo. March 2011, I am looking forward to you very, very, very much! This could be EPIC! And, hey Mom, if by any chance you read this… I want an XBOX for Christmas!* 😉
Sigh. Yes, I’m heartbroken. It’s the Year of the Maker 2010, and us girlgamers still face the same clichés as ever. Besides, us GAMERS, guys and gals alike, should not be the ones to prolong the stereotype of “immature, silly gamers” who can only get close to the opposite sex in virtual worlds.
Two recent infuriating examples on which I have commented are:
“Five bloody new video games for guys” on CNN, where Mr. Steinberg seems to think that only guys like violent games. So if I like those games, I must be pretty confused about my own gender to pick the nick “glamgeekGIRL”, eh?
Now get this quote from his article:
“Here are five testosterone-drenched games that rub us the right way. Try not to drool as you shoo the wife out the door or tuck the kids in to sleep and race back to whipping up on the bad guys all in your man cave.”
Excuse me? You can’t be serious! If his testosterone-drenched ramblings rub you the wrong way, please click the above link and give him a piece of your opinion! (Sometimes I can’t see my comment below the article, sometimes I can, don’t know why. I posted as glamgeekgirl and threatened to beat him with a frying pan, alluding to his “shoo your wife” remark. And the original credit for me making any kind of “frying pan remark” should go to my HS arts teacher, who was a really funny guy…)
For one thing, there doesn’t seem to be a list for the Top Leading Ladies – which is a problem in itself, because there still aren’t that many great heroines.
Secondly, MaleShep from the Mass Effect universe takes the #1 spot, for, among other reasons, his ability to “bang Tali like a snare drum” and “bone her silly” until she considers him a god!
Yes, both Shepards can have sex with some of the NPCs. But thanks to BioWare’s writing skills, the romances are done in a very respectful and charming way – quite unlike some in The Witcher or Alpha Protocol (the latter of which I haven’t played, but I read the great article “Women aren’t Vending Machines“; it even has a valid, critical point about the romances in ME that hadn’t ocurred to me before). I haven’t played either gender of Shepard as a pure renegade, so I don’t know how the romances play out then, but I can’t wrap my brains around Shepard using sex to influence his or her crewmates. (Please comment, with spoiler warning, if you know more. I’m curious!)
So we’re talking actual game content with a “sexist wishful thinking” interpretation on that gamer’s part. And for protesting against the sexism in the post, I was called a gamer-basher (thanks Damon for backing me up! [I’d link to you if I knew where!]). I then replied with this comment (excerpt): “I know it’s fun to explore your moral options especially in RPGs – being the nice guy/gal, or the arse, or something in between. But the bad behavior shouldn’t resonate in our real lives, like it has here. I wish you could leave those fantasies of “a girl considering you a god for banging her” behind when you exit the game. With that attitude, it may not happen in reality, y’know?”
I usually tell people outside the fandom that games are an exciting medium that is adult and mature, and gamers are great, funny people. Yet sometimes, like right now, I grow so tired of defending my beloved game community, because we’re proving our critics right! We’re hurting our own cause of being taken seriously!
[Funny sidenote on gripe #2: The post’s author misspelled “crewmates”, so it read “former cremates compare him to a god”, which instantly made me picture a game revolving around “Shepard the Mortician”. After all, as Davidsfunstuff pointed out later on Twitter, you CAN incinerate your enemies… 🙂 ]
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all game characters are created equal, that they are endowed by their developer with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Hmm, self-evident. Really?
I was thrilled and amused when the thought ocurred to me that the US Declaration of Independence would be such fruitful material to further my ponderings on equality in games. 😉 Apart from the equality debate itself, the three aforementioned rights are essential to games as well: You (usually) can’t continue if your character dies, you have to have a certain degree of liberty in your game decisions (games that fail in this aspect are often mocked as “interactive screensaver”), and must be able to persue happiness, i.e., enjoy the game. I paused my first playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins for a week because a certain end-game choice made me very unhappy. That was so….. unconstitutional!
But let’s return to equality. As has been discussed before in Call me Lady Gama, I feel at ease with the “girl gamer” label, and I think my playing style is feminine. (What I wanted to add to my last entry was that, as a non-girly example, I don’t mind blood’n’gore in a game, and have always enjoyed things like Fallout’s Bloody Mess Trait/Perk. It’s a caricature, taken to such extremes that it couldn’t ever appall me. So it’s not all black and white, y’know?) I love being able to play a female character, and I want her to “act it”, in an equal, emancipated and confident way (as I try to be, myself). And I do want her to be sexy, just in a more realistic and credible way than what I usually get treated to.
As Jenn Frank pointed out in When “You” is a girl on the great site Infinite Lives, games are usually developed from a male point of view, and then, the option to play as a female is grafted onto it. You can basically put boobs and make-up on your hero and voilà, that’s your heroine! (I only recently read that Dragon Age 2 will introduce a female skeleton version for all characters! About time, fellas!) Nothing in the plot, dialogs or quests changes, apart from the flirts and romances (apart, again, from the homosexual ones, which often have an “explanatory opener”, but then proceed like the heterosexual ones). There are still few “female-avatar-only” PC games (Venetica or the Lara Croft series instantly come to mind), compared to “male-avatar-only” or “you-can-choose-but-not-quite” (see the link below on the difference between “sex” and “gender”).
I don’t generally dislike games that have only one option for the avatar’s gender – but I want it to be meaningful. In other words, it should make sense that this plot, dialog etc. can only happen to a woman or man. Ideally though, I get to pick my avatar and the game reflects that choice in distinct reactions, just like many games do depending on your karma/class/origin/faction. (Think about it again, as I just did for a while: Usually, when a game distinguishes between male and female avatars, we’re talking romance. Not main quest and plot line!) Settings like in Dragon Age or Fallout would give plenty of opportunity for that – but especially Fallout gives you 100% the same game, whether you play a guy or gal. As Jenn Frank put it in aforementioned blog post: “You may choose the sex of your avatar, certainly, but you do not choose your gender, which itself is essentially written into the game dialogue and scenarios.” In Dragon Age’s defense, I just read the post “Gaming as a Woman and Dragon Age Origins” by “Petite Chablis” that the Origin stories differ from male to female – I have tried each Origin and a little ways into the main plot as male or female, but no Origin as both; need to check that out! (My first choice is usually a female elf mage, if applicable. On later playthroughs, I often play as male to check for new twists and turns – more than often enough, all I get to see is a difference in necklines of my equipped armor suit.)
Many male players pick the female avatar for their first playthrough – and many of them agree that it simply means they can watch a pretty rear for dozens of hours 😉 – and it doesn’t really matter gameplay-wise anyway. Makes me wonder about two things – does over-the-shoulder perspective, or would a more “gendered” gameplay influence the percentage of guys playing as gals?
Or more generally speaking: Is it possible to create a game that really and truly treats us as “different but equal”?
I’ve spent some time thinking about why I play, and how I play recently – and that I agree with many of her reasons, but come to a different conclusion:
I AM a GIRL GAMER. Similar to how I am human first, female second, I am gamer first, and girl gamer second. Just as I do many everyday things the female way, I believe I also play in a feminine way. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It doesn’t mean I only play The Sims and own a pink PlayStation.
To set the record straight: I don’t do pink (The only person I know to have a pink PS is a guy). I don’t do chick flicks. I build my computers from scratch. I am not addicted to chocolate. 😉 I am certainly not your cliché blonde. On the other hand, I can’t deny that I’m also quite girly: I love shoes. I love Johnny Depp. I love clothes, jewelry and make-up. I totally go awwwww at cute kittens. (I posted some details on my inner dilemma in Girl vs. Geek Part One. Let me know if I should see a shrink yet).
So, how does me being a woman affect how I play? Or does it affect what I play in the first place? Some of my all-time favorites are: Baldur’s Gate I+II, Fallout I-III, TES: Morrowind, Dune, Planescape Torment, The Dark Eye Trilogy, Colonization, SpellForce II, Mass Effect I+II, Dragon Age, The Witcher and Tropico II. Are those per se girly games? (Oh, I also loved Rollercoaster Tycoon III, but it was way too easy to beat. That one is definitely girly. Perhaps they thought that girls wouldn’t dig a harder game – which is part of the problem Next_Jen’s been discussing…)
I don’t think my choice of games is too girly. But let’s look at how I play. Say I’m faced with a quest that I can solve with brute force or with diplomacy, a special skill, trade-off, or some such. I’m well aware that this is a cliché, but isn’t there a bit of truth in that women tend to try to solve problems through talking and compromising rather than direct confrontation? I’m not saying that all guys will pick the fight, nor will all girls play nice. But I certainly would like to see statistics or a survey on that! It’d be nice if you commented on your playing behavior! I’m really curious!!!
I think all that dialog and relationship-building in the Mass Effect or Dragon Age series appeals to women more than to men. I totally loved it. Not just the romance part, but all that banter and teasing. Awww, Wynne taunting Alistair about being enraptured with “me” was so endearing (watch on YouTube). And one of the funniest romance dialogs of all times in Mass Effect 2, which I won’t go into because it has early-game plot spoilers (I can reveal more if you’re too lazy to search, just contact me). So there definitely are girly parts in those games. I don’t care for relationship-building and romancing as the sole purpose of a game, like in Japanese otome games or in “Singles”. But I love how you can win a battle and then discuss it with your companions especially in BioWare’s games, it adds so much to your character’s progress that can’t be shown in XP and talent points. And I will admit that I was really touched when Kaidan Alenko grabbed my depressed Shepard’s hand and pulled her up in Mass Effect I. (Literally speaking, you’d have to be “up” first in order to “get laid”, right? But that pun could quickly get way out of control… ahem.)
I would never want the label “girl gamer” to mean ridicule or not being taken seriously. Or being not equal in any way to a “guy gamer”. But if it means “girl that loves games”, I’m, well…. I’m game!
Speaking of equality… *sigh*. Regarding that, I have a bigger question in mind… which I will ponder in my next post.