I MADE A THING it’s a mashup ENJOY :D
- Accepted Trevor, of Norsham
- Redeemed Compton, of Battle
- Kill-Sin Pimple, of Witham
- Fly-Fornication Richardson, of Waldron
- Search-The-Scriptures Moreton, of Salehurst
- The-Peace-Of-God Knight, of Burwash
- Stand-Fast-On-High Stringer, of Crowhurst
When I read Fly-Fornication Richardson, I initially thought it meant flies having sex.
My Puritan name would be Constantly-Flagellated-Because-Her-Mind-Is-In-The-Gutter Fordyke
I read it as, “pretty fly for a puritan guy.”
The most perplexing element to gamergate for me is the idea that reviewers shouldn’t talk about narrative/symbolism/cultural issues, that they should only talk about the gameplay, they should only talk about how fun the game is.
If a reviewer is talking about these things, that doesn’t mean that a SJW cabal is influencing the review, that just means that people are taking your medium seriously enough to subject it to exactly the same cultural criticism as every other medium and artform.
I haven’t played either Bayonetta release, so I can’t really comment on whether the character is sexist or not, I don’t really have an opinion though I do find the idea that reviewers should just not mention it utterly bizarre. It would be akin to complaining that a film reviewer mentioned that, yes, Leni Reifensthal’s use of mise-en-scène in Triumph of the Will is utterly masterful but the film as a whole is frightening Nazi propaganda. Should they just not mention the whole Fascism thing? Or, imagine a book that was incredibly beautifully written, amazing prose, brilliant use of metaphor and so on. But moral of the story is that all black people deserve to be enslaved. Should reviewers ignore the racism and just focus on the prose? Final example: Imagine a game called stopgamergate2014. It’s an inredibly fun FPS, the controls are brilliantly intuitive, the graphics are beautiful and the difficulty curve is pitched just right but in the story you play a SJW tasked with hunting down and killing every single Gamergate supporter, who, by the way, are all portrayed as overweight, whiny teenagers who wear yellowing underpants. Would you be cool with that? I mean, if it’s only the gameplay that matters, right? All this political stuff is irrelevant, isn’t it?
I think John Walker absolutely hit the nail on the head with his take on politics in games reviews. You cannot keep politics out of games reviews, politics affects every aspect of our life. To say, “I’m not going to be political in this review,” is in itself a political statement. To ignore sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and so on is a political act. When you say, “Keep politics out of my games reviews,” what you’re really saying is, “only adopt political positions that I agree with.”
I don’t really want to get into a massive ludology vs narratology debate here but I think it’s fair to say that modern games can comprise both, games can be a medium for story-telling with a ludological bent so why should reviewers ignore the story, the characters and the art design? These are as much integral parts of the game as the gameplay (unless you’re a hard, HARD-line ludologist, in which case I urge you to read "Ludologists love stories too: Notes from a debate that never took place," and then get back to me). Games can and do tell stories so to tell games reviewers to ignore that aspect of gaming is at best unreasonable, at worst, exactly the kind of unethical censorship you supposedly stand against.
If games are being put to the same critical analysis as poetry, prose, photography and movies, that just means that games are finally being allowed at the grown ups table. We don’t have to rail against this, we should embrace it. Calls for hardline ludology and media specificity will only isolate the medium. No one is going to take away your FPS games with your favourite muscle-bound white male protagonist, diversity and social inclusion is not a zero-sum game. If there is market for those kinds of games, someone will make them. All the ‘SJW’s want is for the industry to wake up to the fact that the market is far more diverse than the “young, straight, white male” demographic. And even if the market does diversify, that demographic will still be catered for. If, however, you find that your white male protagonist shooter with sexist elements is criticised by the media, take it on the chin. That’s not censorship, that’s not a conspiracy, that’s just cultural criticism. Free speech does not mean only one side gets a say. You can have your shooters, but people have the right to say it if they think they are stupid.
If you can’t handle that, I strongly suggest you grow a thicker skin. That’s what women in gaming have been told for years, after all.
EDIT: It’s been suggested to me that reviewers should make their ideologies explicit and transparent and should mark a clear separation between appraisals of the game as a game and analysis of its moral/political/cultural content.
I would hope that gamers would have enough reading comprehension to figure out when a reviewer is talking about purely technical aspects of the game and when they move on to analysis. I would also hope that they have enough reading comprehension to figure out the difference between subjective opinion and objective fact (but even reviews of a game’s technical aspects can also be subjective. One person’s slow-moving snoozefest is another person’s thoughtful, meditative reflection. If you want to stamp out all subjectivity in reviews, you’re going to be shit out of luck. Can’t be done.).
Sax: I’m worried about Ann.
Me: That’s because you looooove her.