Who is the DJ? I'm not really a DJ at all to be honest. If you really want to know just ask me...its a long story. I'm a Canadian gamer who reads and writes about video games. I am just as hyped on the industry as I am on playing the games.
What games do I like? I'll try everything and anything twice.
Music is another awesome thing in my life, I've been a part of a lot of fun projects. I'm just learning guitar casually on my own time, but I played drums for about 8 years or so.
Also I work as an compositor (visual effects) in the television and film industry.
Be gentle, it has been a terribly long time since I've posted here. Like others, I agree it's a big step up from Halo 3. I enjoy that they have brought back a pistol that is useful and sort of gotten into load-outs. I feel like it has that classic Halo gameplay I loved so much in the first 2 games, but I feel like this game has an identity crisis between the old and the new.
In some ways Reach is trying to be like modern shooters such as Modern Warfare 2, but also trying to stick with it's classic gameplay model. Additions like load-outs is a nice touch, but then just like every other Halo, you still find maps littered with weapons. Bungie can you please just choose already? What kind of a game do you want to be? Either go with full out load-outs with unlockable weapons, items, etc, or just stick with what you know.
This really creates balancing issues with the game and hopefully they will tweak the balancing a lot before the full version comes out. I feel like the new "armament-abilities" are very unbalanced and a bit of a gimmick just like equipment was in Halo 3. They aren't necessary for a fun Halo experience. Certain items such as the rocket pack don't seem very helpful compared with being invisible. Going back to Halo Reach's identity crisis for a minute, the control scheme for aiming and everything feels outdated as well, and running should be a standard ability not some tacked-on armament.
Overall, the updated engine and new weapons are really fun, and their matchmaking system is top notch as always. Bungie is at odds with this title. If they fully embrace the modern era of the fps, then they might have a shot at something fresh and amazing. If they decide to stick with their classic Halo experience, dedicated fans with certainly be happy, but I think it will alienate newcomers to the franchise. It's a tall order, but if they can do all of that, we will see something of true greatness from Bungie yet.
Yesterday it was revealed that Square Enix’s upcoming action RPG has a bit of a twist with an intersex character. There has been a lack of respect in some of the gaming blogs about the announcement, to say the least. Gender identity is something that has not been on the radar much in gaming and I would love to see this change in the future.
A little aside; I would just like to say, while I did recently have a rant on the controversy surrounding Shadow Complex, it does not mean I have some sort of LGBT agenda. I just have very strong opinions on these topics and am very passionate about positive activism.
Continuing on with the subject at hand, Gaygamer’s newest writer, VorpalBunny recently pointed out Kotaku’s lack of respect and understanding on the subject. Kotaku was quoted in the article saying “Her, his, its Kaine's attitude and manner of speech are manly -- but she/he/it emphasizes her female qualities through her racy fashion style.”
Like Gaygamer points out, proper use of pronouns seems to be a big issue here. In any case, “it” used as a pronoun is highly inappropriate. The characters should be addressed as they identify, not what’s between their legs. Also, to add to this point, using the term “hermaphrodite” is hardly a fair term to use in the 21st century, even our very own Jim Sterling from Destructoidis guilty of that. To be respectful, the proper terminology in this case would be intersex. I really feel like these are smaller issues and I am being a little nit-picky, but it is all about educating people about these things for the future.
Now that the little stuff is out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about Gender Identity in videogames. As much potential as NieR has in breaking new grounds, it may very well be the “Brokeback” of videogames, or perhaps a better comparison “Trans America” of videogames. What I mean by that is, the character transcends gender because of the fact that she is some sort of demon, where she grows a penis during possession.
Just like NieR’s movie counterparts, there is an underlying reason and explanation as to why she is the way she is. I hope one day we get to a point where characters can be gay, straight, bi, trans, for no other reason simply because they just “are” and not be the single focus of the story. That’s one thing I love so much about the television show “Torchwood”. The character of “Jack Harkness” among others, is bisexual, not because of any magical reason or it is not the centerpiece of the show. He just happens to like men and women equally and that’s all there is to it. There isn’t some elaborate back story as to the why or who’s, it just is.
I'm excited to see what future news on this title brings us. Although it is still up in the air if this title will make it's way to North America, I really think it should. This game is just the visibility our society needs so that this kind of disrespect is not tolerated.
I wasn't really planning on writing more on this, but after some heated discussions, I felt like it was necessary. For those interested, I already talked about the Shadow Complex situation on the latest Drunkcast but I feel like there is more to say. For those of you new to the situation, Orson Scott Card is a board member for the National Organization for Marriage, a group that fights against gay marriage equality. OSC has been cited on numerous occasions as being homophobic and a bigot. He also happens to be involved in the making of Shadow Complex.
Like I said in the podcast, if he was just a homophobe and not involved in such an organization I would buy the game in a second. I have nothing against the game personally, it's just that OSC potentially could use profits from the game to fund anti-gay agendas.
What does need to be talked about is what we can do about this. From heated discussions I've had over the last few days, it seems that some people feel like we should just accept the fact that he is homophobic and just buy the game because there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. This could not be further from the truth. There is plenty to be done.
Just take the word “homophobic” and replace it with “racist” and nobody would dare get away with such things. Look at Glenn Back from Fox News for example. More and more advertisers are pulling their support for his show because he basically called Obama a racist on national television not to mention just a general nut job. If Microsoft simply pulled it's support for the game, wouldn't it yield the same result? I do not see how Glenn Beck's situation differs from this at all. Both are high profile individuals in the media spotlight and have a great influence on their target audiences. We need to get Microsoft in that spotlight and take the heat if they continue to support OSC and his intentions.
I don't blame people for buying the game, since it deserves rave reviews. Unfortunately I won't be buying the game because of OSC's connections with an anti-gay movement. The lines between racism and homophobia are intertwined and we need people to wake up and realize that. We cannot continue to have such double standards taint our society.
EDIT: Falinter brought up a good point: For those who have bought the game already, why not donate something to a LGBT organization to balance things out? Here are a few that I recommend: