Video games, female body size, and the real problem

lara croft

I hesitate to talk about this subject because it is one that strangely attracts ire and vitriol from basically everyone along the spectrum. However, it’s something important in the video game industry that I’ve wanted to write about for some time, and a recent post about body size creates a nice platform for this. I also have a 20 month old daughter and I want her to grow up in a society where the video game culture isn’t as toxic, unwelcoming, and harmful to women as it is right now. Recently Bulimia.com, a website that exists to help those suffering from eating disorders, published a post about “Visualizing women from video games with average American body shapes.” The post claims that too many female representations feature “ultra-slim waistlines” that don’t accurately portray the female body. They then altered many iconic female characters with Photoshop, making them represent “the average American woman’s measurements.” So why is this problematic? And why is it well intended but wrong-headed? Continue reading

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Adding depth to Destiny with almost no development

DESTINYI have written quite a bit about Destiny as well as re-purposed all that content into videos for my YouTube channel. Something I wanted to flesh out a bit more was a topic I touched on in my split identity post. I believe there are some very simple things Bungie could do right now, to add depth and replayability. While I know and readily admit this is unlikely with all the patching and tweaking going on to prepare for the House of Wolves DLC, these are things that could also be done post DLC as a way to give some depth in between House of Wolves and the big content drop known as “Comet”. And if these ideas aren’t implemented in the present version of Destiny, they could certainly be applied to Destiny 2 when it enters production if it hasn’t already. Continue reading

The risk of free-to-play and always online video games

neverwinter logoOne of the greatest advances in video games was the ability to get online and play with or against your friends. I remember late nights figuring out how to play Rise of the Triad against my friend and then wasting many hours shooting rockets at each other. Online gaming has become more than just an added feature to a video game, it’s become the expectation. Always online and free-to-play games are becoming more common than ever before, but they come laced with risk. Microspending can become problematic, servers can crash or have scheduled maintenance, and more serious and more recently, a game can suspend or permanently end all services. Fans of the game Destiny of Spirits will have a special appreciation and aggravation with this reality. So what are gamers to do? Continue reading

Battlefield Hardline Blood Money Tips

Battlefield-HardlineIf you haven’t already read it or watched it, I already posted tips for the the game mode Hotwire as a blog post and a video. Those looking for hot pursuits and big action moments will enjoy Hotwire, and those looking for intense firefights full of attacking, defending, and running your butt off will enjoy Blood Money. Initially I didn’t enjoy this game mode all that much, but as I was playing it to record clips for a video I discovered some very effective strategies and tips. Continue reading

Ori and the Blind Forest Review

Ori and the blind forestThe side-scrolling platformer is a video game genre that seems as transcendent as video games themselves. No matter how many times I sit down to one, the subversive nostalgia is immersive and instantly accessible. With the indie title landscape rapidly filling with creative titles like Guacamelee, Shiftlings, and Ori and the Blind Forest, those who enjoy this style of game have plenty to choose from. Fans of classic platformers like Metroid and even a newer title like Rayman Legends will gladly find a rich and innovative home in Ori and the Blind Forest. Continue reading

Console Gaming. Past. Present. Future.

A GUEST POST BY CODY WOLF

Blow in the Cartridge.

marioI don’t think you can accurately put your finger on why the gaming industry has changed without thinking about how the world has changed since video games were first introduced. I live in America and things have changed quite drastically since then. Our culture now accepts gamers, and gaming represents a very large part of our culture. The industry has blown up. More money is spent on gaming than music and movies combined. It is the number one form of entertainment in America for most households. Continue reading

Veteran gamers need to walk away from Call of Duty

Call of Duty Advanced WarfareCall of Duty has gone through a strange metamorphosis. They’ve taken us on epic campaigns with movie quality stories and voice acting while continuing to add to and attempt to elevate the multiplayer experience. All along this journey, however, they’ve seen a decline in sales, player base, and title longevity. In fact, the most recent title, Advanced Warfare, saw a 49% decrease in US retail sales from Modern Warfare 3 with all the titles in between showing a steady decline toward the 49% drop. So what happened? And should long-time fans of the franchise even bother with future titles? Continue reading