I'm a girl who would steal your grandmothers teeth just to have a Knights of the Old Republic 3 game made.
I am deadly serious!! In fact look at this awful, vile thing I did years ago due to my obssession.
Methods of stalking can be found here, aren't I helpful!
It's hard to play a game like Bioshock Infinite and not noticed or worse yet, ignore the potent level of symbolism, allegory and references to religion. This isn't meant to be a stirring article, it's not meant to be a conversion one either.
So a disclaimer prologue is going to happen just in case you get confused. This article is mainly about what is all very obvious anyway in the game and my points of view regarding it, some opinions will be expressed coming from a gamer perspective, a no doubt failed comical perspective and being a Christian myself.
Now lets get a move on...
Welcome to Columbia
Those who have played Bioshock Infinite already know the plot, either in it's basic sense or entirety. Up high in the sky there dwells a city, floating thanks to the technology of a brilliant scientist named Rosalind Lutece. The city is ruled by a supposed prophet of God, Zachary Hale Comstock. Comstock is revered by the people of Columbia, aided by visions sent by the Angel Columbia, which might have actually just been him cheating via using the skills of Rosalind.
Treading on blasphemy
From a Christian point of view it's quite easy to find the whole game to be quite blasphemous in its symbolism. For many believers or theologians, the lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ and to adorn that title upon Elizabeth, who will ultimately lead to the destruction of the 'sodom' below can be a bit jaunting to people. But as a Christian I'm not too put out by these references because we're playing characters who have been deemed labels and fates not always by their own actions but by the doctrine of others.
One issue I find intriguing and somewhat blasphemous if I were a citizen of Columbia, is the worshiping of the cities founder. I mentioned above, Comstock is revered by the citizens of Columbia in a manner that makes me wonder if they're confused and assume he is God, not just an apparent prophet. When you see giant statues of the man, posters scattered throughout the city and golden effigies of him in airships and museums it also makes me wonder if they ever heard about a little party that went down that made God and a cool dude called Moses pretty ticked off.
Whether Comstock is truly a man of faith, is something that I'm still not entirely convinced off even on my second play through. I find that yes he has a belief and it's quite strong, but his methods are clearly questionable. Outside of his moral actions throughout the game there is one scene in particular that makes me wonder how anyone could truly believe him infallible and worthy of adoration. When Booker is on board an airship, as he changes the trajectory, Comstock appears before him on a smaller vessel and says "The Lord forgives everything, but I'm just a prophet so I don't have to. Amen.".
Now Zachary, that's a bit of a cop out isn't it. If you are a prophet of the lord then you should at least try your best to be like the Lord, striving to always do the right, just and forgiving thing. But no you abuse the power of the word prophet and use it as a means by which you can do what you want and it's ok, because you're not suppose to be a 'forgiving' as God.
Burn them all...with Vigors
So you're a god fearing citizen of Columbia. You live in a time where you'd mistreat people that had different coloured skin and a different accent to you. A woman working is considered "not the done thing" and moral standards are deemed by society, a holy society.
And yet....you don't seem to fussed by these magical witchy death-dealing elixirs that give you powers, that in reality back in the good ol' days would deem you a witch or warlock!?!
Even though the accompanying tutorial videos that feature these Vigors are repellents against devils, some are quite macabre and gory. You have one that sends a flock of crowds to peck humans apart and rip to shreds and then of course there's the Devils Kiss, you drink the energy drink of the devil and get to throw flame balls everywhere. How about the vigor called Possession? Yes that's not something that would put fear into holy people. Oh lemme drink this lemonade thingy and do something that is usually featured in films where Tubular Bells is the main theme score. Columbia would make for an interesting episode setting in Touched by an Angel.
The origin of all Infinite's
The events of the game seem to come from your decision at the brink of possible baptism. If you interpret the ending in a certain way, it seems that after the battle of Wounder Knee Booker had a choice to be baptised, hopefully ridding himself of the sins of his actions on the battlefield or to declined the baptism. Cleansing meant he would become Comstock and refusing would mean he would remain as Booker, tainted and set on a dark path that would eventually and with him losing his daughter Anna. Whether Irrational meant to infer the notion that salvation only come from baptism is something I can't comment on but I can give my own viewpoint.
Baptism would have given Booker a chance to start anew and to be forgiven in the eyes of God for his sins. Whether people believe or not isn't the point within this story, for this is a story about belief and how integral it is on an individual basis, as much as it is a story about a mad city in the sky.
But then again, the way the story pans out seems to confuse us about the utter good that comes from baptism. Even cleansed Booker's path goes horribly wrong and he becomes a man who misuses his power and hurts his own child.
It seems like Booker can't win no matter what he chooses. For me I think that no matter whether he took baptism or not, that it was his actions afterwards that led him to wherever his verging selves went. We're baptised not to get exemption from all follies of life but as a step towards salvation. We can still fuck things up every day and that's why we need confession. The game is all about possibilities and infnites, the Baptism is no different. It's easy to look at the baptism scene as merging only in two directions depending on choice, yet to me it offer many branches, because choice, ultimately the use of our free will is integral in the world of Bioshock.
I'm one of those people that arenít always up to date with other people when it comes to fashion or watching certain viral videos. It's not exactly a conscious choice, it's not even really a choice, and itís just not something I care about. I'm usually aware of what is going on for the most part, I just have no current interest in involving my own sense to it, until a random change occurs. I didn't watch Gangnam Style until everyone else had already become sick of it, even those who originally loved it and I didn't wear chinos until recently, even then my main dress code consists of geeky pyjamas.
The same can be said now and again of games. I've just completed Episode I of the Walking Dead and I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the series. Everyone else has already played, raved and reviewed all the episodes and it's won many accolades, yet here I am late to the party. It's also worse because there's no guarantee that me playing this game would not have happened later rather than sooner or if at all. I got the game in iOs because I had been randomly gifted an iTouch for Christmas. My first apple product and despite it actually being quite nifty, I hope my last.
Iíve also picked up Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 and begun slowly playing it. I had originally gotten the first game in the series but it simply refused to play on my computer, then I traded in at CEX for the standard trade-in price of -£4.05p. Again another game that has already done its rounds being talked about and Iím just picking it up.
Let the poor man go
Walking Dead Episode I is free on iOs and I thought well may as well make use of this device and take advantage of this freebie that people have raved about. I started playing the game and then thought "you know what I'll at least finish it and see how I feel" but then I started to go through what I'm assuming most of you who have played this did - caring about the characters and enjoying the plot immensely, wondering what will come next. I'm glad I haven't spoiled myself so far. FYI making sure the 'p' in spoiled is there, makes that phrase less dangerous.
But to be fair one of the reasons I usually try well received games after a while is because Iíve gone through my own personal want list and I am bored. Itís the same for some television shows or films. When youíve exhausted your current stock of entertainment and diluted the internet, you need something to do with your free time (other than getting fresh air, being productive and socialising of course).
Oh gawd Iíve run out doing things that involve my bed
Sometimes boredom is what leads us to try new things and some of the time if not most of the time we end up being pleasantly surprised and glad we had some sort of inner arrow pointing in that direction.
As I said the reason for being behind the game so to speak, can be just by choice, not really caring or free time. But there are other reasons of course, primarily dah monies. How you gonna play the games if you donít have the monies? Oh but wait, if you canít afford to play games and get every game upon release, you should maybe pursue a less financially burdening hobby like underwater knitting. SeriouslyÖthatís one of the most redundant, ridiculous sentences Iíve heard in any context. Check yoíself before you wreck yíoself.
Have you ever finally gotten stuck into a game or given one a go, long after the fact? Do you feel the ache of loneliness when you want to talk about something you finally came across, but everyone else has set sail on that ship long ago?
How can we complain about bad representations of feminism when the basic principle topics they talk about are without a doubt true and exist? Why are we arguing over who made a better case for the existence of something so prominent?
Instead of ridding ourselves of the problem of sexism as a whole, we are too busy finding arguments for the representation of an ideal or group of self labelled people. Pro feminists saying some feminists are extreme feminists and some extreme feminists saying that more lax feminists aren't truly supportive of womankind because they don't act as aggressively. It's all so tiring and redundant.
Do we have to hit a quota on YouTube of how many videos exist that talk about sexism or feminism in any manner before we finally take our fingers out of our asses and fix the problem?
If that's what it takes, I'll make a video dressed as a wok and I'll say the words "sexism" and "feminist" over and over until the end of a Nicki Minaj song. Oh Iíll do it!
Too busy arguing over labels and who has a rougher time of it. For every complaint there is about female degradation, someone says "well men go through similar" and vice versa, back and forth. Why exactly are we wasting time repeating issues and not actually just doing something? Can we not just except that sexism and gender pressure exists regardless of what is between your legs or sitting on your face? Women and men are both subjected to assumptions, presumptions and degradation based on their gender and itís rife within video games.
Objection to it all!!
There's this notion that as time moves forward advancements come along, that what was will be improved. So over the years racism was suppose to deplete and be eradicated, hatred towards homosexuals was to blow up in a never to be seen again smoke and that sexism should no longer be something we have to worry about, especially during the indulgence of recreational activities like gaming.
How is it that in 1986 a film came out called Aliens, written by a man called James Cameron, featuring a female character that for some reason has not been replicated honourably since - a film where an individual who happened to be a woman was the saviour, the most competent person and she didn't hold a gun or have big biceps for the majority of the film or the series for that matter. Nor did she adhere to any of these images or tropes that exist. Like her or loathe her, Anita Sarkeesianís video about tropes highlights one thing that the trope does exist. It's more common to have a group consisting of a bunch of guys and one token girl.
The outspoken elephant in the room will say ďwell men are the main market audience so theyíre catered too, because companies only care about moneyĒ
Oh so the sales of Metroid, Tomb Raider, Mass Effect, Half Life 2, Perfect Dark, Portal Ė Aliens, Terminator, Buffy, Harry Potter, Kill Bill, Silence of the Lambs Ė were figments of our imaginations?
I donít really care how annoyed I come acrossÖ
Oh no! The fucks seem to have escaped my basket
This is clearly a peeved write up by me, but overall I hate procrastination of serious issues, I hate excuses and laziness for things that make life so irritating, when they can be resolved. But instead we loop the same olí shit and talk without doing.
How did we manage to revert instead of progress as time went by and arenít you just sick of it?
Letís start this off in a professional manner shall we:
I do not give a damn about graphics in computer games exceeding what they are now. It does not keep me from slumber, it does not hold much weight on how I spend my money and it does not equate a good or great game.
The Playstation 4 unveiling, revealed two major pieces of information - it would have 'better' graphics and offer more social networking and sharing options. Ok so what? Did we not already have that with this generation?
Do we even need a new generation of consoles at the moment? Why not just bring out aesthetic modifications to change up the consoles we currently own and focus on making more innovative games, with interesting fun and unique storyline and game play and utilising not just 'realistic' graphics but making games where the art design is varied and completely unrealistic.
Knights of Amalur is a beautiful game, the art design, the landscapes are wonderful to look at, colourful, fresh and far reaching. Mass Effect offers barren landscapes, with ancient architecture and modern lightshow spectacles. Assassins Creed recreates history in detail, offering us not only wonderful landscapes and cities to gaze upon, but roam, climb and kamikaze off.
In terms of requiring a means of sharing what you do in a game with the world, we already have that. There are applications out there that let the world know your current gaming choice, scores and achievements. Raptr, Steam, Xbox Live, various backlog and statistical banner sites exist with the sole purpose of acting as an advertisement for your own accomplishments and showing off. Now if weíve come to the stage where weíre in such a rush to have our scoreboard updated as soon as possible that needing a button to do so on a controller is worth the money over taking a few moments to post it ourselves or wait until our affiliated extra curricular social websites do it for us, then I am very worried about how lazy and reliant we are on technology over our own ability to chill the feck out or move of our asses.
Interacting and sharing game play with friends is offered in real time to us via Xbox Live friends, Steam, Skype, Google Hangout and a host of other third party options. Thereís also the phone if you felt like it.
Hmmm why are they all rounded logos. Omg Illuminati!
I want gaming to sort out the messes it currently has itís feet firmly stuck in before it worries about bringing a whole new expensive wave down upon our heads, which will come with their own burdens. When thinking about the negativities of gaming, you only have to say some key words ĖEA, sexism, DRM, Online Pass, Pre-order Pre-orders to name a few.
Bringing a new generation of consoles out now isnít going to help anything. If you want to make a lot of money then produce a game worthy of our money, our time and our praise. The Steam Box Ė Piston that is apparently not the official steam box despite their initial marketing making it seem like it could only be that, clocks in at around $900. Do you think that a whole heap of people are going to be able, let alone want to pay that sort of money?
We want great games for the machines weíve already invested in. Unless youíre going to offer us something truly revolutionary, then just hold your horses, because if gaming companies believe that the next big cash flow will come from new consoles, they might be in for a shock. People donít have the money and a lot of people seemingly donít have the patience anymore.
OK THIS IS REVOLUTIONARY AND USEFUL HRRNGGGH
Nothing truly mind-blowing or even underwear wetting has come from hardware announcements lately. If youíre just offering more hard drive and HD blah blah with the added option of posting your face instantly whilst you play yet another Call of Duty whilst masturbating to the Skyrimís soundtrack, then you donít need to fork out a load of money for a new console.
I can only speak for myself, but to be honest Iím happy with my Xbox 360 and PC, I want games with good stories and fun game play. That can be done without having to spend a lot of money as a consumer. Sometimes itís healthy for everyone to cool your jets, sit down and just grab your controller and play some games that you already have.
Did you know that Judi Dench got an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love despite having only appeared on screen for roughly 10 minutes? You probably did, but did you also know her role is credited as a cameo by many critics and reviewers?
Well I finished Max Payne 3 recently and got to thinking, which caused unspeakably erotic spasms in my head. There are some games out their, on that open range that would either benefit greatly from the cameo of another gaming character or other times, it simply makes sense for one to appear.
[Spoilers ahead] In Max Payne 3 you play some levels as flashbacks, one in particular has you hold up in a cemetery trying to escape a bunch of hired mob goons who are after your neck after you killed a prominent corrupt fathers son. Max seems to be lucky enough to have James Bond-atitis, in whereby every time he should be dead, the villain takes too long ranting on or providing elaborate methods of death, instead of just shooting the protagonist in the head. Max and his friend are caught, unarmed and instead of being shot in the head, are left alone with two guards as they dig their own graves.
You know what would have been less repetitive and ten times more awesome. If in this moment where you assume Max has run out of what tarnished luck he has, bloody Mona would appear sniping the guards and rescuing Max's butt. Sadly Mona doesn't appear in this game at all, unless you play multiplayer and then it's just part of a classic pack.
My next suggestion for a cameo or random appearance of a character is yet another that exists within the game, but if the following had of happened, then it would have gone down in history! Down like the character herself after a night on the town.
You are Shepard, transported from the Citadel to meet the little brat who tells you what's what and that you will have to decide the fate of the universe. Why on earth didn't they send Dr. Chakwas up? Do you think she would have even given the kid 5 minutes to talk? No she would have slugged some Ice Brandy, shoved the holographic brat out of the way and probably urinated on all the option chutes on board the vessel. The Reapers would have probably melted, the a galaxy would have been fine and Chakwas would suffered a terrible hangover.
That's the ending we all wanted...we all needed from Mass Effect 3.
Next up is a little game called Hitman Absolution, in which we see a comical caper series of levels where poor Agent 47 is close to taking out his targets only to keep having a tall handsome man in a long white hoodie jump on them, taking the kill for himself. Conor the Assassin aka lovable, but bland scamp, showing up in the future to show Hitman that you don't need fancy gadgets or disguises, you don't even need those shiny guns you always carry. All you need is a high that exceeds 6 feet and a good sturdy aimed jump.
If we are to drown in more Pokťmon games, I'd personally love it if the original and lovable Team Rocket came back - Jessie, James and Meowth! The variations of Team Rocket and various villains haven't quite been that interesting or lasting to me. Some of them seem to have deep agendas, philosophical tree hugging desires, Team Rocket just wanted to run the world and steal Pokťmon. Sometimes simple is better.
I think I started out with a clear idea in mind and now I've come full circle and realise what I'm truly proposing. More games should cameo Judi Dench. Strike that - ALL GAMES SHOULD!
What cameos or comebacks would you have like to have seen in games?
Remember that game where you're a female cop who's washed out after some bad luck, bad choices and lost her family? You know the game right - where your primary goal is to chaperone and subsequently protect a wealthy heir, yes a male one?
No? Hmmm ok how about this. That one game that came out where you can choose between a male or female character and there's a scene in a nightclub where you have to rendezvous with a contact who happens to be seated in front of a completely nude male dancer on a stage?
Damn I don't know where the mix up is coming from. Perhaps...perhaps it's because these games don't exist, at least not this way, they certainly do exist when all roles are reversed.
I was playing Max Payne 3 recently and thoroughly enjoying it, finding the writing and voice acting (mainly of Max) to be quite entertaining and well done. Max was plagued with memories of having lost his wife and daughter and throughout the game things go from bad to worse as you have to rescue several members of one family, most of the time a lady. Max Payne 3 seems to pull of this endeavor quite well and in a seemingly non sexist manner. Max himself does not come across as masochistic or arrogant. Yet it got me pondering, where is the female version of this game?
Also got me pondering why on earth you'd want such a tacky gun
The noir games like Max Payne are quite enjoyable, especially from a style and narrative point of view, but I find it ridiculous that there are no real female protagonists in this genre, especially AAA games. I've been writing a trilogy series for the past few years (and if it ever gets published I'll eat my own ass) about a female detective, set in a noir-esque corrupt city. The very prospect of that as a full blown game is extremely exciting, what would be even more pants-wetting would be if such a game was in development. But while we can talk and talk about more female lead roles that aren't objectifying or causing a massive gender barrier, I got thinking about general female characters in games, the nameless ones - I'm here to speak up on behalf of the NPC's.
Anita Sarkeesian as we all probably know focused her Damsel in Distress series on primary characters or secondary one that have a voice or plot point of some sort. But a lot of games are littered with NPC's and nameless extras that have no role in a game, but still because or their design, nudity or degradation get a lot of youtube videos and stares, while the action goes on in the background.
While I'm not using the above image as proof of sexism in the game, it's more just a showcase of that slum area and culture, it still got me slightly annoyed. Hitman Absolution was doing quite well until there were a bunch of naked strippers everywhere (yeah it was a strip bar essentially but there's more in the adult entertainment industry than just women in no clothes, especially these days).
Duke Nukem Forever is basically the story (which I use loosely) of a roided up Guile cosplayer trying to stop an alien invasion and salvage a handful of abused, stripped female NPC's en route.
Yes she has been held captive&possibly impregnated, but we must show them titties at all times
I'm not even saying that we should have images of dead naked male prostitutes on our screen - but it still begs the questions why do games feature females ones so often, if you want to be 'real' then male or transgendered characters are also able to fall foul of violent scenes. Are there so few humans and scenarios that exist that we need to bulk up gaming level backgrounds with degraded images of females or images of females doing a profession that isn't necessarily negative if they enjoy it but still rinsed and repeated too often?
Just because they're NPC's doesn't mean that it doesn't have an effect and it's not as irritating as creating submissive, incapable sex dolls out of primary female characters.
Saints Row 2, Mafia 2, The Saboteur, Duke Nukem, GTA, God of War - to name a few are games that feature female NPC's that seem to be catering towards the overindulged young males. And that's just games that featured specifically stripper scenes.
In fact having so many female NPC's litter the backdrops of games screams to me an added layer of sexism, that we either have to scramble to list female protagonists who are straight up heroines with no flaws that are predestined by their anatomical parts or we get the genuine offerings of having naked, dancing, slapped around, raped by pigcop lifeless blow up dolls. Not the best compromise eh.
NPC characters shouldn't be treated as fodder for what's between someones legs, they shouldn't be thrown in as eye candy so damn often. And if you want to showcase a seedy world, what one do you live in where men aren't treated like sexual tools and submitted to debauched acts as well. If the fear is that consumers are predominantly male in the gaming market and you don't want to upset or scare them...grow a pair, because that's not a good enough excuse. If you're old enough and mature enough to pick up an adult rated game featuring adult content then you should be able to handled the facts and find the whole affair of NPC bashing to be pretty pathetic and should be weeded out.