Posts Tagged ‘Women



The last time I posted about Bioshock 2, I was royally disappointed. I revisited it a million years (read: a couple months) ago and gained a whole new appreciation for it. That post is still forthcoming, but while the love (and continued annoyance with Sofia Lamb) is rolling over me:

Sofia Lamb = Joan Allen in the movie version, yes?


In defense of Carth

If you’ve poked around a bit on this blog, you may have noticed that I’m a fan of Bioware’s roleplaying games. A huge fan, in fact. One of the things that drew me into Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (and my subsequent Bioware love) back in the olden days of 2003 was KOTOR’s inclusion of romance quests. While watching my ex-boyfriend play KOTOR, bored nearly to death (KOTOR is one of those games that’s so much better to play than watch, no?), a lightbulb went off in my head.

“Wait, there’s a romance element to this game? You’re going to hook up with that Bastila chick?”

“And you can make a female character, right?”

“If you make a girl character, do you get to hook up with one of the dudes?”



Well hello there, Mr. Onasi.

Continue reading ‘In defense of Carth’


On Geek Goddesses

Olivia Munn’s (of G4’s Attack of the Show) star seems to be on the rise these days. I noticed her brief cameo in Iron Man 2 a few weeks ago, and now she’s apparently got a gig with The Daily Show. Today Jezebel ran a piece on Munn’s “geek goddess schtick” that I found interesting.

It seems like women in technology-related media can’t win. They’re wildly discriminated against if they don’t meet a conventional standard of attractiveness, but if they are considered “hot,” their geek or gamer cred is constantly called into question.

I’ve never been a fan of Munn’s marketing of her own good looks, because I feel that it encourages viewers to look at her (and by extension, other women) primarily as an object to be looked at, rather than an intelligent human being with something to say. Since I graduated from college, got poor, and stopped paying for cable television, I haven’t kept up with Attack of the Show, so I can’t personally verify some of the Jezebel commenters’ claims that Munn routinely makes misogynist jokes and mocks other women’s looks. If those accusations are true, I find them highly distasteful. All I’ve got to say is this:

Though I was conflicted about my girl-crush Morgan Webb’s bikini-clad appearances in FHM and Maxim, I have never, EVER heard accusations or seen recorded evidence of her bagging on another woman.

You’ll always be the Tech TV goddess of my heart, Morgan.


Assault is not sexy, Zoo Today.

I haven’t heard much about Heavy Rain since its release. I wrote earlier about my distaste for Quantic Dream’s focus on a female character’s sexual assault in the game’s marketing, and hoped that the scene might be handled more sensitively in-game than promotional materials suggested.

Last night, I stumbled across this on the website of “lad’s mag” Zoo. If you don’t care to click through and give a pageview to rape-appreciating misogynists, I’ve got you covered. The piece in question is a slideshow preview of Heavy Rain titled “The List: PS3 Goes X-Rated!” It focuses entirely on Madison Paige’s storyline, and includes several nude screen captures of her. It also includes this quote, which realizes my worst speculations about players finding Paige’s sexual assault at gunpoint “sexy”:

“What you’re supposed to do next [to avoid being forced to strip and save the female character’s life] is obvious fairly early on (hit him with a lamp, so that you can tie him up and interrogate him), but clearly we wanted to play the scene out for as long as possible. You know, for research.
We’re pretty sure that you would do the same.”

This text appears under a screenshot of Madison Paige naked in a shower. Her head hangs dejectedly, and the water is running down her hair into her face.

I am utterly and thoroughly disgusted. I realize this vile attitude comes from Zoo, a publication that exists to objectify topless women. Unfortunately, Zoo has many real, live, human readers who presumably share and support the views expressed in its pages and on its website. I originally found the idea of a simulation of a woman’s sexual assault being used as some sort of proxy for male players to experience a shadow of the degradation inherent in such an experience distasteful, but I found it far preferable to the thought of players being titillated by a woman’s violation. The appearance of the latter point of view on a popular magazine’s website forces me to revise my notion that only a few sickos might take pleasure in the scene.

There isn’t an adjective powerful enough to express how much this horrifies me.


All I want for Mass Effect 3 is plausible clothing

Game Informer’s Matt Miller posted an excellent Mass Effect 3 Wishlist today. I agree with most everything he said, but would like to add my biggest pet peeve about ME2 to the list:

I WANT THE FEMALE CHARACTERS TO WEAR SOME CLOTHING. Clothing that is flattering, that doesn’t look like it belongs at a fetish party.

In the first Mass Effect, the female characters’ costumes adhered to those guidelines. Yes, Ashley’s pink and white armor was silly-looking. Yes, it had boob compartments in the chest plate. Still, it looked like ARMOR. You had the option to change her into different armor, as well, so Ashley could wear green or blue or black instead of looking like Space Marine Barbie for the entire game.

Liara and other characters wore form-fitting bodysuits, but they looked like wetsuit-type garments that could fit inside armor when necessary, rather than ME2’s skintight latex. Continue reading ‘All I want for Mass Effect 3 is plausible clothing’


Heavy Rain and exploitation in marketing

Today marks the release of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream’s groundbreaking new game for the PS3.

Heavy Rain appears to be far more cinematic than your average game. The four main characters are connected only by their search for a serial killer known as the Origami Killer; the player directs their actions through a choose-your-own-adventure style control system, selecting options based on the situation each character finds him or herself in. The story each player experiences is unique, dependent on the order in which each character’s story is played and the various mundane actions undertaken by characters throughout. This is no alien shoot ’em up where the player can reload upon dying; the characters in Heavy Rain are “normal people who have landed in extraordinary situations.” These characters can die, lending the player a sense of vulnerability that leads to harrowing and emotionally charged situations.

My apprehension about Heavy Rain stems from its marketing of one particular emotionally charged situation involving the lone female of the lead characters, Madison Paige. TRIGGER WARNING. Continue reading ‘Heavy Rain and exploitation in marketing’


The cake is NOT a lie!

This has been a long week, so I’m going to write about a game that makes me exuberantly happy.

It’s short, but uh-mazing. My love for this game knows no bounds.

The premise is simple: you play from a first person view, with a portal gun. You make your way over, under, around, across, and through various obstacles by shooting portals and stepping into one and straight out the other. The portals don’t affect velocity, so if you find a way to hurl yourself through one at high speed (such as leaping into a portal from a high place) you’ll fly out of the other portal at high speed. This lends itself to all sorts of interesting scenarios. The puzzles are challenging, and the satisfaction of finishing each one is addictive.

Portal has received wildly positive reviews from myriad sources, so I’ll leave further straight-gameplay review to them and get onto things that I particularly like about it. SPOILERS AHOY! Continue reading ‘The cake is NOT a lie!’


Social game statistics and common sense

Articles about women and gaming tend to catch my eye, and I noticed this one tonight.

Here’s my experience with social gaming:

I went through a Pet Society-playing phase during my last semester of college. It was a fantastic, absolutely mindless distraction in times when I needed a break but was too tired to focus on anything more complicated. My interest waned, however, when my B.F.A. show was completed and I had time to sleep again. My boyfriend’s pet, Jean-Claude, became my pet Gerald’s sugar daddy for a while, sending him expensive gifts, but eventually grew disenchanted with Gerald’s lack of reciprocation and stopped calling. I occasionally receive a notification that someone’s pet went round to kiss, hug, or dance with Gerald, but for the most part he’s sadly neglected. If I logged back in I’d find him surrounded by a cloud of flies, moping around with his head hanging. Poor Gerald. He just couldn’t keep up once I had time to play my Xbox 360 again.

I'll give you a bath soon, Gerald. Promise.

Judging by my facebook feed alone, I could infer that many people enjoy social games. The statistics revealed in Popcap Games’ survey, namely, that more than 50 percent of social gamers are women and only 6% are under 21, don’t surprise me at all. Here’s my armchair psychology speculation: Continue reading ‘Social game statistics and common sense’

August 2020