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Casey Baker 's blog
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About
Casey Baker is passionate about all things video game, and has been this way since very young. His earliest memories involve trying to get E.T. out of a hole.

Casey plays nearly all genres of games, excluding most sports games (save Super Dodgeball for the NES), and pretty much any fitness games.

Casey has been partnered for 9 years, and though his partner Mike doesn't share quite the same passion for games as he does, Mike can kick his ass at Mega Man 2 and Castle Crashers, and loves Journey and Rez.

Casey also plays several online games with his twin brother, and is always happy to find others to play online with.

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Xbox LIVE:RigbysFace
PSN ID:caserb
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Hey Destructoid people,

Just letting everyone know I too got the proverbial axe yesterday within the cuts, so I won't be writing for Dtoid or previewing events anymore. Unfortunate, yes - but I actually was more surprised by some of the other people leaving - I've been technically available to write and be an active part of the Destructoid site less and less, as I'm a full-time student working towards teaching credentials now and have a bazillion constant family obligations between my own family and my partner's family out on the East Coast. I harbor no ill will though, I've loved my time with Dtoid as a writer and the opportunities I've had to attend cool events, go to PAX a couple of times as a journalist, and review the odd game or two.

However, I will never stop being an avid gamer - (Currently I'm playing Kirby Triple Deluxe on my 3DS, Dishonored's The Knife of Dunwall on my 360, Trials Fusion and Mercenary Kings on my PS4, Guacamelee on my Vita, and whatever latest PSPlus game on my PS3 I feel like playing...) and I do plan to still be around in the comments here and there, possibly to engage in heated discussions with trolls and fellow gamers alike. ;) <-what the hell is this

Anyhow, Don't cry for me Destructoid-ina, the truth is I've never left you.

I'll be around. :)








Greetings Destructoid Community!

I have been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf obssessively lately and my needy villagers want me to sign petitions now. Problem is, I have only about 20 3DS friends and only one is as into the game as I am.

Edit: 
After playing with the one friend I have who also obsessively plays the game, I've realized that playing with more people adds a lot more depth to the game and more access to good stuff. And yeah, I realize that there is a forum thread for this, but frankly I'd rather friend people here, where I post stuff and have contributed in the past, then somewhere where my posts are moderated by mysterious mods.

Here are things I will and won't do as an Animal Crossing friend:

Will:

- send you rare gifts in nice letters when I visit your town.
- talk to your villagers a lot. Maybe even send them letters too, if the game lets me.
- bury random treasures in your town when you're not looking.
- plant flowers if the mood arises
- Be a huge dork and dance at Club LOL with you for a bit!

Won't

- run around crazily and trample the grass
- dig holes
- axe trees
- be mean to you or your villagers, unless you want me to

I'm all about friendly nice play and I love Animal Crossing, as my house may attest to!

So please, give me your friend codes, let's exchange, and open your gates from time to time! I try to keep mine open unless I'm on the island!

Also, in case it's not listing correctly in the sidebar, my 3DS code:

2363-5651-9256

;)








Since I'm already trying to get into a writing mood for college-related (read: boring) stuff, I'm going to continue doing these haiku reviews. I'll be sporadically updating with more when I can. I will try to go for daily - but...we'll see.



Call of Duty 3

After so many
World War II FPS'es
You are forgotten.


Call of Juarez

Billy Candle and
Native American Tropes
The mountain was fun.


Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Decent Western Style
No true cooperation
Why so linear?


Condemned: Criminal Origins

Holy shit hobos
I live in San Francisco
Nightmares forever


Condemned 2: Bloodshot

'Spooky' elements
Living dolls and tar monsters
Still with the hobos.


Crackdown

Gotta get those orbs
Sproing! Gotta get those orbs. Sproing!
Oh look, some bad guys.


Crysis 2

"Cloak Engaged" again.
You should probably shut up.
wish I had PC.


Deadly Premonition

My partner saw this
"What the hell are you playing?"
"I don't even know."


Dead Rising

Frank West, journalist
Has trouble navigating
Oh wait, that's just me.


Dead Space

Basketball in Space
Necromorphs must lurk nearby
Eh, I scored a point.



And that concludes the second row of my shelf. Tune in next time to learn what other games I've been duped into buying! (Though I must admit, none of my poorest choices will ever appear here, as I traded them in. *cough* Fuel *cough)







Casey Baker
4:51 AM on 10.14.2012

For the hell of it, I'm going to start doing short haiku 'reviews' for all of the games I've had and/or completed. They're sort of in alphabetical order, but some are out of the shelf space because I'm playing them or they're sitting elsewhere. I'll get to those eventually.

I'll start with the first row (of 8 rows) of Xbox 360/PS3 games and sort of just go from there (including Wii games).

I'm doing this mostly to remind myself of what I haven't finished yet, and how I'd quickly summarize what I have finished.

Okay, without further ado (These are all Xbox 360)...

Alan Wake

Alan Wake writes
and wanders into forests
flashlight, coffee mugs.


Assassin's Creed

Altair is quick
though animations are slow
much repetition


Assassin's Creed 2

Ezio fights well
through beautiful Italy
welcome's overstayed.


Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts

I like to build things
Banjo holds place in my heart
fly gyrocopter!


Battlefield Bad Company

So many matches
I dominated the field
Enter twin brother


Bionic Commando

Swinging around here
to avoid the purple haze
Hate my metal wife.


Bioshock

Andrew Ryan's dream
will be your fucked up nightmare
and you will love it.


Burnout Paradise

The critics loved it
Open world race takedowns
Hate the handling


Bulletstorm

Hey you there dicktits
Let's snap into a slim jim
Slick arcade shooter



All right, that's the first batch of many, many more to come...








I was recently looking at a trailer for Black Ops 2 and thinking that I might just be interested in the CoD series again. I mentioned this to my partner, who told me he had read something recently about how the game seems to have "a bit of a Repulican bent" and that it was written by the same guy who did The Dark Knight Rises, David Goyer.

In curiosity, I looked up the article my partner was referring to and was further linked to This Article that also contains a trailer detailing the next game's villain and his involvement in the story.

Holy fuckballs, Batman, to the propaganda machine!

Now, I understand the idea of a terrorist influencing an angry mass to do his bidding is a familiar war story trope, but it's incredibly irresponsible of Activision of all companies to think it's cool to release a game that's effectively telling its core audience, "You're all a bunch of sheeple and potential terrorists!"

I'm also casting a leery eye at Goyer, as his common theme seems to be to help villainize the 99% and if this a common theme of his, he can go fuck off on a private jet to the moon.

Granted, I haven't yet seen The Dark Knight Rises and I hear it's an excellent film, but I'm not a huge fan of this sudden turn to make it seem like the discontent masses are potential weapons for any terrorist to funnel their specified rage at their desired target.

Furthermore, that trailer for Black Ops 2 is so disgustingly condescending towards pretty much everyone who actually buys and plays video games, I.e. the 99%. This is an Activision game, so calling it anything other than propaganda will make me laugh heartily.

For this purpose, I will be making a stand by buying the game USED when it's pretty cheap, partly as a cultural artifact and partly just to satiate my curiosity of whether the game itself will actually be any good.

Of course I expect to only be able to play a portion of the actual game (mainly the general single player campaign) without being asked to dole out more for DLC, but then again...that's pretty much all I'm interested in.

Way to go Activision.








Lately, news stories revolving around the game culture have had a disconcertingly similar theme. This theme has existed for awhile now, though with a couple of specific recent examples, the controversy has reached new levels of Internet drama and debate.

The first and most disheartening example of this recurring theme of misogyny comes with the ugly yet ultimately redeeming story about Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter project that will be a meaningful attempt at examining female tropes in video games, and all of the incredibly moronic backlash that resulted from her idea. Ironically, much of the anger and hatred she had to deal with just strengthens any argument she may present in her film.

Then came the sensationalist Hitman: Absolution trailer, which found its lightest offense in featuring persons of the cloth wielding deadly weapons against the antihero assassin.

And of course, barely needing yet another mention would be Ron Rosenberg's comments on the delicate nature of the new, younger version of Lara Croft that - paired with an E3 trailer that rubbed some people the wrong way - came off to many as a reinforcement of the existing misogyny/sexism in the portrayal of female characters in video games.

Personally, while I wouldn't go quite as far as calling the recurring and seemingly growing misogynistic culture that exists in video games a so-called "rape culture" because of the connotations with brutes and jocks that this inevitably conjures, the culture perpetuated is undeniably a culture that by and large portrays women in a negative light and very actively discourages the female voice in gaming.

The first offense that many video games incur is to treat women like objects. This can be seen with the popularity of the Dead or Alive games and their "jiggle physics" (That term always makes me think of Jiggle Billy from Aqua Teen Hunger Force - commence the jigglin'!) and of Lara Croft's original character design, causing many sweaty hands to massage the controller while Lara swam to get a peak of pixelated...something. Black squares? ....hot.

Next, like the Tomb Raider revival controversy, many video games treat women as vulnerable and weak. Even one of my favorite games of all commits this offense, with Ico's sidekick Yorda seeming to be the most useless female creature to exist. Unless you compare her to the female character in Shadow of the Colossus, who certainly gives you a compelling protaganist with a main role as "unconscious/possibly dead love"

Our own Sophie Prell ran into controversy awhile back when she suggested that Skyrim reinforced this trope, and while I didn't quite agree with her talking points on this matter I definitely understood where she was coming from. Though your character can be a strong female lead, many of the women in the game who are not you are either conniving temptresses or are willing to bow down to their male counterparts when leadership roles are handed out.

Strong female lead characters in video games have to always be sexy, always wear revealing clothing, and always be appealing to the average heterosexual male gamer.

Which is fine, if games existed in a vacuum where all gamers were male and females really did only exist as objects of lust or as obediently kept women who gladly cooked and cleaned for their brawny and heroic male counterpart.

Honestly, what really bothers me about the obvious vibrant misogynist culture that is present today in gaming is simply that it isn't what I grew up with - it isn't really what any of us grew up with.

While it's true that Mario and Link were on a quest to save their once useless princesses, neither of those games actively reinforced any idea that the princesses were (excuse the term) helpless hot bitches who would expose 8 bit breasts as soon as they had a chance. In fact, Zelda has matured into many admirable female characters, especially notable in Wind Waker as the tomboyish pirate who goads Link on in the first half of the game. And Peach...well, I'm sorry but your princess may truly be in another castle. Maybe next year.

While it's true that Samus did her best to die sexily in 8 bits in the original Metroid series, just the fact that she played an incredibly strong role of a space adventurer and the average gamer imagined her to be a brawny male until her first death (I remember being incredibly confused at seeing Samus Aran die the first time, but I didn't really care after that) made her a figure to admire, at least until the new gaming culture reared its ugly head and gave the protagonist in Other M an annoying vulnerability.

True, many of the games we grew up with did have an absence of females, but instead featured action hero males, action hero earthworms, spiky blue hedgehogs that had to go fast, Italian plumber brothers, kids with magical power-granting helmets, and Polterguy. The point of games was once to appeal - not so much to children - as to the power of all of our collective imaginations, not specifically to heterosexual dudes and their carnal needs.

Hell, one of my cherished memories growing up was playing Super Mario Bros. 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Boogerman with my cousins - male and female. We were certainly not exclusive about our video game habits, and shared all of our games and devices,

I find it strange that a common argument raised by commenters to stories on Destructoid or elsewhere about this recurring theme is that it's "just video games" - as if this portrayal of women that has emerged and grown stronger through both Western and Japanese influences is "just games" and has always been part of that dynamic, that part of what makes games fun is not ruining them with too much critical thinking.

Uh, it hasn't always been part of that dynamic and if you think it has you are either too young to know better or too ignorant to think critically about the issue.

If I may be so bold to state the obvious here - it seems to me that as video games evolve, they also regress by decades. Now we have glorified violence towards women, women with godly powers that run around naked save for their magical ass kicking hair, and sexy cheerleaders who fight zombies. Is any of this really very imaginative or creative? Sure, the games that involve these characters or acts may actually be fun to many, have incredibly imaginative elements, and have solid gameplay - but where the hell is the true creativity in appealing to the basest root of a supposed majority population?

Especially when this population is actually diversifying and becoming a much larger crowd of both men and women from all walks of life?

And before I get ahead of myself - I don't mind adult themes in games. I don't even mind if games sometimes come off as exploitative for these very same reasons. What I mind is the incredible imbalance between the incredible popularity of these types of games and the smaller support for games that are creative for creativity's sake. What I mind is that there continues to exist a culture that says that exploiting women is cool as long as it's "just a game."

Clearly, as in the case of how Sarkeesian was treated for her desire to critically examine an important topic regarding the portrayal of women in video games - to many of these male gamers, it's much more than "just a game."