Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sarkeesian's "Tropes vs. Women in Gaming" is Good for Gaming

     Gamers are an odd bunch. On the one hand, you have a large contingent of gamers that very much wants their hobby to be taken as being as culturally relevant as other forms of entertainment. If movies, comics, music, and television can be the topics of serious academic discussion, then why can't games? Likewise, if movies, comics, music, and television can be respected as being potential works of art, then why aren't games afforded the same chance? This is the group of gamers that want games taken more seriously.
     The problem with that desire for serious discussion, though, is that it can lead to a pretty strong division within gaming culture when the serious discussion starts to get serious. One need to look only as far as the recent God of War: Ascension trophy debacle to see an example of what happens when one side of the gaming coin welcomes serious analysis while the other side does not. This second contingent of gamer out there wants that first group to stop taking the games so seriously because games are just games.

Monday, March 11, 2013

God of War: Ascension's "Bros before Hos" Trophy: An Editorial by Jonathan Ruiz

     I've been trying really hard to think of how to correctly approach this topic. I also feel that it's something that I absolutely need to address. It's not necessarily that the offending situation has me all that bothered (though it does bother me a good deal). The real problem, I think, is that I am ashamed of how many of my fellow gamers are dealing with the events that are taking place.
     Let's start at the beginning. In just one day, the new God of War game, Ascension, is coming out. In it, there is a part of the game where, following a gruesome scene of male on female violence, there is a trophy that pops up saying, "Bros before Hos." Generally, this kind of nonsense would not be enough to cause such a stir. The reason it did, though, is because a certain reviewer, Adam Sessler, decided to focus on the trophy during his review for the aforementioned game.
     In that review, he stated, and I quote:
"There's one more depressingly unfortunate aspect to God of War Ascension. After the very best boss battle in the game, there's a cutscene which displays one of the most violent things I have ever seen in a video game. It's Kratos boot stomping a fury's face in. While the image of a woman's face being kicked in is borderline, the overall dark nastiness of the franchise and its lack of gender roles outside of the famous sex scenes kept it just inside a tonal context, but following the conclusion of the cutscene, you get a trophy, this one, bros before hos. This gut punch of misogyny irredeemably sours this game and is shocking that such a talented developer would traffic in such a contemptible attitude. I have always liked the adult fantasy of the God of War games. (couldn't understand his speech here) silliness, and in this moment, it's all reduced to some frat house joke. Making me ashamed that I ever thought it was more than that in the first place."

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Overview and Review: Tomb Raider US Collector’s Edition (Amazon Exclusive Final Hours Edition) (w/Pics)


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Note: This review is for the US Collector’s Edition of Tomb Raider and NOT the game itself. 

Tomb Raider, being one of the most anticipated games of the year, has been graced with the now requisite Collector’s Edition treatment. The title has also had pre-order bonuses doled out to all the big name retailers. The edition I will be reviewing here is the Amazon.com edition that they have seen fit to title the “Final Hours Edition.” This review will make note of when a specific inclusion is specific to Amazon’s offering. Without further ado, here are the contents of the US Collector’s Edition of Tomb Raider:


1. Tomb Raider
2. Survival Tin
3. 15x19 inch Double-Sided Island Map and Poster
4. 5x7 inch Lithograph
5. CD soundtrack
6. Weapon Pack DLC
7. Patches
8. Lara Croft Figurine (8 inches)
9. Art of Tomb Raider Artbook (Amazon Edition Exclusive)10. Hunter Skin (Amazon Edition Exclusive)
11. The Final Hours of Tomb Raider “Director’s Cut” Kindle Edition (Amazon Edition Exclusive)
12. Tomb Raider Scavanger Hunt Code (Pre-Order incentive for various stores)
13. Shanty Town Multiplayer Map DLC (Pre-Order incentive for various stores)