All About vadicta
Reading my blog is like getting kicked in the back. It hurts and you don't know where it came from or why it happened.
Gaming industry, you gotta make up your mind.
This sorceress has giant boobs. She's going to be in a video game. This is a problem.
Kotaku and Gearbox have pinned Vanillaware's lead artist and president with being everything from a teenage boy to a sex-offending criminal. There's no shortage of slurs and swears in what is no longer a discussion as it is a schoolyard name-calling match. I'd say Gearbox is winning, by the way. I guess stones thrown from glass houses pick up momentum.
Why is it that we've reached a point where breast size is equal to controversy? Gaming characters have a long line of big breasts, ranging from fighting games, to actions games, RPGs, and so forth. It wasn't an issue then, but it certainly is one, now.
Most of this rage comes from an industry that wants to shed the days when the industry was a boy's-only (if it ever was) clubhouse and allow admittance for females. Any girls who want to play in the house shouldn't have to play with GI Joes, sure. But should they only be able to play with Barbies that have their clothes sewed on and breasts hacked off? That doesn't sound right.
Any videogame character with large breasts is automatically sexist. This is a scientific fact. Any sexualized female is a part of a male-centric power fantasy. This is what we're supposed to believe.
But does this fit every fantasy?
There is this concept that videogames since the 80s have been developed for straight white male boys. Anything that doesn't go out of its way to show how progressive it is is clumped here.
The concept is that the boy plays as a big, strong, muscle-glimmering alpha male who roams around, beating things up with his alpha man fists and saving the super sexual woman. Imagine something along the lines of Golden Axe--but forget that you could play as a woman. Something like Mario--except neither of those leads are sexualized. Maybe Mega Man--but he's an adorable robot and doesn't save a woman. Maybe, ahm--you know just smash those three games together and you'll see what games supposedly have always been.
Gamers have argued that men in videogames are just as sexualized as women, but the counter-argument here is that the men are a part of the male fantasy as well. The male plays the big strong man saving the sexual woman. Easy enough.
Here's the problem in pushing this idea into Dragon's Crown: You are the female. You don't have to save her; you don't have to win her over. You play as her kicking ass and saving the day. She's her own power fantasy. So then, who is this power fantasy for?
To say that it's for straight males again leaves little room for women to have fantasies at all. This isn't even to mention the fantasies of gay or bisexual people, let alone transsexuals. Figuring out what fantasy is for whom is tricky and pretty well impossible.
One thing I do know is that my girlfriend always prefers to make a character for herself who has big breasts and wears provocative outfits. She's a straight white female. She should hate this, but she genuinely enjoys being a badass and sexy woman who saves the day. She says she likes to play as "pretty" women. And why wouldn't she, if the concept of the male power fantasy is that we like to play as rugged, handsome men? Women should find escape in pretending to be those stereotypical caricatures of themselves, too, right?
Why would women only want to play as rugged, flat-chested she-hulks
So the industry reacts. They react by lashing out, screaming slander, and fighting against people's creative expressions, because they don't agree with those expression. That's not how inclusion works.
Not only that, but it's an impossible way to include women in games. You can't tell the rain to stop raining, and you can't tell an artist not to draw breasts. The idea isn't to make less games that feature super sexualized women, it's to make more games that have what would be considered the standard archetype for women. The industry sees where women are being under-served in their escapist fantasies, and they need to fill those gaps. They don't need to lash out at those who are not.
So then the gaming industry is doing that, right?
Of course not. In fact they're completely against it.
With Epic expressing that a Gears game starring a female would never sell, and the developer of Remember Me describing their trials and tribulations with publishers demanding the protagonist of their game be a male, it seems like the game industry doesn't actually want games that appeal to women. They want manly masculine games for men, because girls don't buy games.
But then they yell at people who make what they consider manly masculine games for not trying to appeal more to girls?
The industry is in an inclusive conundrum right now where it knows that it needs to make games for women, but no one wants to take the first step and actually do it.
In the West, anyway.
Japan is Better
The country responsible for the jiggling woman that has burned a fire of controversy is actually the country doing inclusion right. They make dating sims, dress-up games, RPGs, and plenty more solely crafted for a female audience. Not to mention Capcom was the only publisher willing to pick up Remember Me. They actually have a system in place where boys and girls can play with their Barbies and GI Joes, big breasts and no, together in harmony.
The Western gaming industry makes a lot of fuss about the Japanese industry, where they are and how they have to catch up to where we are, but this is a case of not recognizing when something is actually ahead of its time. They're in the future we're too afraid to reach. They should be the model, not the issue.
We're also yelling at a completely different culture to be more like us, so that's a problem, too.
So, What Do We Do?
If the gaming industry wants to be more inclusive to women, then it needs to be more inclusive. They need to make games with strong female leads, make the games they think girl gamers want. But they can't try to force games featuring sexualized females out the door. It's not only the opposite of inclusion, but it's also impossible. Everyone has different fantasies; there's no way to know who wants what. They just need to make a little bit of everything.
Games for Western girls are coming, and they will come soon--
As soon as the industry has the balls (or breasts) to be more like the country they point fingers at and say is so far behind them.
My mother used to sing a song:
Some men go to Heaven--While others find the ground--The world ain't no place for livin'--Unless you're in the clouds. Some men say they're crazy--While others say they're gods--We all work the earth, now--Wrestling against the odds...
She had a lovely voice.
Water beats against the black spikes jutting under the cliff. The sky paints in dark blue streaks, dotted with glittering stars. Dad says the night sky is a ball gown that only Mother Nature gets to wear. His hand clasps my shoulder.
"I don't want you thinking what she thought," he tells me. He points a finger to where a dark mass slowly glides over the moon. "Now, you watch. Are you watchin'?"
A black spear drops from the mass. It plummets and bursts into the waves. And another falls. And another. They dive like dead birds and pound the water, too far off to swim out or for them to wash in.
"Hats, coats," Dad says, leaning to my ear. "We'll collect them off the shore in the mornin'." He shakes my shoulders. "You listenin' to me? What you see out there, boy, they ain't no fallen angels."
Some men die for their wives--While others die for themselves--A man who dies for nothin'--Will surely burn in Hell. Life is the risk--A man is willing to take--If he lives for nothin'--he will mourn the mistake...
We live under Columbia, the Living Heaven, the City of the Stars. "We breathe the fumes of their freedom," Mom used to say. She would look to the sky every chance she got. She would even stare out to Columbia from under our roof. She could sit there for an hour, fingers stopping any work they were doing, eyes locked to our ceiling beams. I'd ask her what she was thinking, and she'd say, "Oh, I was just in a better place."
She was there when Columbia took off, when men became gods. She said that she tired to climb over the dirty and downtrodden, fools who didn't deserve the chance to watch the city disappear into the clouds. She fell to the ground, pushed over by a swatch of reaching arms and pounding feet, stampeding toward the haven screaming, "Take me! Take me away!" They trampled her body that her kneecap pointed to the left, and her shoulder popped out of place. She only ever walked with a cane after that day. I never knew her to walk straight, and yet I've never seen her as anything other than upright.
At night, when she used to get me ready for bed, she would show me an old torn ticket and say, "I was supposed to go up there. We're supposed to be in the stars right now. For longer than just how long we can dream." Then, she'd slide the ticket under my pillow, kiss my head, and whisper, "Maybe they'll still come down and fly you away."
She'd call me her little Bird Boy, and to put me to sleep she'd sing:
Every night when the moon--Is taken from the sky--A black bird will take flight--With light from its eyes. It comes for a boy--Who does what he's told--It'll take him in its wings--If he's very bold. The boy will close his eyes--And he will find rest--And he'll wake in Columbia--In the black bird's nest...
She crafted me a bird suit from raven feathers. It took her months to put together, working her fingers all day. I would ask her if it was done, and she'd say, "If you want to look like a bird, then it's ready. But if you want to be a bird, then you need to wait."
She finished it the night the town took her away. She woke me up. Muffled bangs rose from our front door. "Ignore that," she said. "It's nothin'. Look." Then, she lifted a bird-faced helmet to my eyes. It was splendid. Leather underneath black feathers, goggles for eyes, and a painted beak carved from wood.
"Go on. Put it on," she said. "Put it all on. Hurry."
My arms slid into wooden tubes running with frames for the feathers. My legs slid into other tubes laced with feathers. From leather shoes, three yellow prongs of wood stuck out for talons. My claws were real and large. "From a bear," she said. Mom helped me button the suit up my chest. It hung in an array of black with a tuft of a tail hanging from the back of the lapel.
"Do you like it?" she asked me.
I looked over myself and nodded. I grinned. I loved it.
"Great." She blinked, and her cheeks got wet. "You're my little Bird Boy, now."
More bangs pounded at the door with yelling behind it. Mom shuddered; her hands shook. "Now-now, you take that off, and you hide it under your bed, you hear?" She wrapped her arms around me, and pulled her little Bird Boy against her chest. "You hide that from your dad. Only take it out when you're ready to fly away, okay?"
I nodded, and she walked backwards, cane rattling against the floor, toward my door. Her fingers clung around the edge of its frame. "Now, you go to sleep, my little Bird Boy. Go to sleep. Go to sleep." She pulled my door shut, and I stood staring at the wall.
I heard the front door burst open to shouting. Mom screamed. Furniture moved, fell over, shattered. I heard my mom gag. "Get her out of here! Go! Go!" they yelled. I trembled, worried they would walk up the stairs, that they would take me. But no one did. Soon the yelling drifted up the road, and our house gave to silence.
I blinked the tears from my eyes and looked up the ceiling. I thought of a better place.
They wrapped a rope around my mom's neck, dragged her to the town square, and threw rocks at her face until she died. Just for singing her song.
My eyes stare open wide--while my mouth prays for the sky--There are men who hate a free voice--And say that it should die. We need to rise above--While the nation crumbles down--We need to find the bird--That can free us from this town...
On a night as late and cold as the one where my mom died, a gunshot rips me from my dreams. "Oh! Oh, god! Oh, god, no!" I can hear. "You can't do this!" Dad hollers. Another gunshot blasts, ringing in the house.
I stand from my bed, listen. No more sounds are made. From under my bed, I slide a dusty trunk. My fingers twitch over its latches. They flip up, and I throw the lid open. I reach inside, dig out my wings and beak. I button my feathers over my skin.
It's time this Bird Boy flies.
Downstairs, Dad's hand lies open just in view from the staircase. Blood speckles his palm. Each step down creaks. I keep my eyes staring ahead. I don't want to see him. His body lies in front of the doorway out of the house. I hold a shaking breath in my throat.
I look to the ceiling. I look to a better place.
I walk forward over each creaking floorboard. I stumble when my talon knocks against Dad's stomach, but I keep my eyes up. I swallow a lump and step over him. I walk until I see the stars. I breathe the night air.
Just outside our house a man stands, clutching a smoking revolver. He looks over his shoulder at me. His lips tremble. "Gambling debts, you know, I could forgive," he blubbers. I continue to walk. "But my wife--a man's wife! Your old man, he brought it on himself." I march passed him and continue to the cliff. He calls after me, "He did it to himself! This ain't my fault! This ain't my fault!"
The water beats against black spikes of rocks jutting under the cliff. My eyes stay to the sky, looking over the jewels on Mother Nature's gown. It sparkles beautifully, except it's missing its crowning jewel. The moon is gone.
I flap my wings and I stare at where the moon should be. My talons tear the grass to dirt. I bend my body. I run, and I jump. I continue to flap in the free air. Your little Bird Boy is coming. My wings out to the sides, I feel them catch the air, and I glide over the water. I lower slowly toward the waves. I close my eyes, expecting to feel a cold death.
Light flashes. Something sweeps around me. It hits me that my wings push against my sides. The black form cradles me, and I feel it soaring. I look down, and I can barely see the water, now. We fly through a thin grey of clouds. I look up, and I see it. I grin.
Columbia floats in the night sky. Large cogs turn on its sides; smoke blasts from stacks on its top and bottom. There are more platforms than I can count as we soar over them. They're all dotted with houses and buildings. I can see little people. I've made it, Mom. The black bird took me to Heaven.
Still high up, its wing unfurls from my body. I lose my breath. I drop. I flap my wings, but they won't catch the air. I close my eyes.
A pile of stiff cloth catches me. I bump and twist my body, sinking into it. A face peers in the dark from the mounds of cloth. I look to it and shudder stiff. It's pure pale under the stars, mouth and eyes open. I yell, try to pull myself free, but the pile of bodies only sucks me deeper the more I fight. My wings won't allow my fingers to grab an arm or leg to pull free. My talons sink into bodies, only holding me to the pile.
I yell, flap, panicked.
Hands grip my shoulders. "Now, what do we have here?" The hands lift me from the corpses. They turn me over solid ground, showing me to a bald and fat man in overalls.
"What the Hell is he?" the fat on asks. He leans in to get a better look at me. "A-a bird? A black bird--" Then, his eyes move up to the man holding me. They shake, wide and frightened. "You don't think?" he asks.
"I don't wanna find out," the man says. "What do we do?"
The big man swallows a lump, scratches the back of his neck. "I guess what we're doing anyway," he mutters. "Toss him."
The arms holding me sweep outward, over the water. I feel the cold air against my face. The wind cuts around me. I plummet like a dead bird.
I've been rejected from Heaven.
A man can never be free--Until he leaves this place--How can our god love him--If there's dirt on his face? We are all oppressed--Our legs shackled to the earth--How can we reach Heaven--if we're damned from birth?
I drop like a speck of glitter from a gown. Through my goggles, my eyes watch the clouds part to the beating waves of the ocean. The wind pins my arms to my side. My feathers break from their frame, dancing in the sky. I watch my wings fall apart, and for a second--
I feel like a fallen angel.
When Sony released the CD player, no one asked if it could play vinyl records. When Sony released the Blueray player, no one asked if it would play Betamax. Why is the PS4 any different?
Thanks, Sony for this new machine; can it be my old machine, too? This isn't exactly the forward thinking a new generation should bring to mind. The PS4 is a new machine; it needs to move passed what the old machines do. Your old Monkey Island disk won't run on Windows 8--without some sort of outside workaround of course--because technology changes for new systems. Sony announced there will be no backwards compatiblity or Dual Shock 3 support on their new console, and this is all right by me.
The architecture for the PS3 was a terrible hurtle for most developers to overcome when programming for the console, which is partially to blame for its slow start. Continuing that into the next generation would have been a nightmare. Given all the developers working with the PS4's architecture right out of the gate, Sony has clearly learned from its mistakes. Why would they want to continue to carry their mistakes with them?
Is this the PS4 you want?
Backwards compatiblity creates extra bulk inside a console at a higher price just to play your old games. Imagine what a Wii U would look like with ports for NES, SNES, and N64 cartridges, along with a port for those tiny Game Cube disks. Newer, slimmer, cheaper models of consoles have all but phased out backwards compatibility. Consoles are getting more expensive and tacking the still-pretty-expensive older model's hardware onto the new one's doesn't make any sense at this stage. It's like when DVD players first arrived on store shelves; buying one machine to play both DVDs and VHSs cost not only your arms and legs but your head and shoulders, as well.
A clean slate is a good thing. As far as hardware is concerned, Sony needed something completely new to grip gamers' attention and bring interest to the next console generation, and they've done it. Maybe with streaming and emulation software, a year or two down the road, the PS4 will be able to support the classics people loved and never knew they loved.
But until then, you can still play PS3 games on your PS3.
P.S: I obviously don't know everything about everything, so feel free to disagree
My Recent Reviews
May 14, 2013 2:24 pm GMTvadicta began Following The Punisher
May 6, 2013 1:51 pm GMTvadicta began Following PhotoKano Kiss
May 1, 2013 11:11 pm GMTvadicta posted a new blog entry entitled Inclusive Conundrum
Apr 29, 2013 2:06 pm GMTvadicta began Following Unit 13
Apr 29, 2013 2:04 pm GMTvadicta began Following Meikyuu Cross Blood: Infinity
Apr 22, 2013 2:31 pm GMTvadicta began Following Golden Sun
Apr 9, 2013 8:07 pm GMTvadicta began Following Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Apr 9, 2013 3:06 pm GMTvadicta began Following Spelunky
Apr 9, 2013 3:05 pm GMTvadicta began Following Lone Survivor
Apr 9, 2013 3:03 pm GMTvadicta began Following Terraria