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JosephCampbell's blog

2:15 AM on 01.23.2013

In regards to the cross gendered avatar and sexuality

Though I'm certainly not the first person to tackle this subject, and likely not the most educated, I believe I've come upon a milestone that may provide insights to some more educated in psychology, sociology, and game culture.

While it's easy to associate those who primarily use avatars of the opposite gender with transsexual tendencies, there is a fallacy in assuming that this is always, or even often the case. The misconception is in the association of an avatar or custom character with the person who controls it.

This association could likely stick if the person commits to role play. For most people who stick to cross gendered avatars and avoid role playing, the argument is the preference of aesthetic, in what they'll be staring at for the next ten to fifty hours of gameplay.

The difference is not in a meter of one's gender identity, but in the player's comfortable level of immersion. Those who wish to truely immerse themselves conform their game avatar to their ego's image. Those who wish to externally experience the game's story may choose to either use a protagonist with no identity that conforms to their aesthetic pleasure.

There are many others likely sociological causes and effects, and I'd like to hear other's thoughts on them.   read

3:46 AM on 06.18.2011

The WoW Killer...

This always happens on the sequel or expansion of any loved product, the inevitable bad review claiming how a product had ruined the franchise. I won't go to the extent of claiming that the entire Warcraft franchise has been ruined by WoW:Cataclysm, but at very least there's no foreseeable future for expansions if they are to keep to what they promised.

This damning promise is the dynamic world that was either promised or hinted at for its teaser, and how theoretically unfulfillable it is. Personally, I'd like to think that by this time Blizzard has developed a world editor program that allows them to make NPCs and items by selecting a model and skin from a customizable gallery and adding stats and text, and quests would be as easy as typing in a few paragraphs of dialogue, set completion conditions, and finish off with rewards.

With the entire face of the WoW game-world changing every few major updates, there's nowhere to go in promise for a new expansion, and with the lore severely limiting any new expansion bosses, but that was eventual.

From a dynamic world, there's only one more place to go in a game world that lets you fly anywhere in its established world, and that's space. To quote the great game reviewer, Yahtzee, once you go into space, anything else seems like a step back, which would be the game equivalent of calling the next WoW expansion "The Final Chapter."

In addition to the many lore faults inherent in making an MMO with a large writing staff working off of four games with two expansions and dozens of series worth of books, and decisions set out to please a fraction of the demographic instead of staying true to form leaving a bittersweet taste of acceptable constant canon instead of pleasing one fraction and annoying or drawing ire from another.

Personally, I'd like to see the Warcraft series try something other than the MMO genre, whether it be to going back to their RTS roots or more preferably going into more console friendly genres, like an Action-RPG or Sandbox game, or better yet, an amalgam of the two with PSN and XBL network play features. The way that Blizzard runs the important events anymore, it's not the players who do the important things anymore, it's their title NPCs. What better way to showcase their main heroes doing important things in their universe than a third-person action game where the players team up as, for example (player selected) Thrall, Chromie, Tirion and Ysera taking out Ragnaros, instead of a 10, 25, or 40 man raid of nobodies doing an intensive fight so that the Cenarion Circle can swoop in save the day and take all of the credit, if the players can fight hard enough to earn the cut-scene where they lose.

I'm rather sure that Blizzard was aware of all of this when they decided to start Project Titan, so they could start a new MMO fresh and without all of the adaptation problems that WoW has faced. Though they specifically stated that Project Titan was not supposed to be their replacement for WoW, that's more words to their inverters, Activision, and diehard fans than it is to their mainstream crowd. Besides, even if it's the final chapter in the MMO incarnation of Warcraft, if they were to admit that, then said diehard fans would stop playing Warcraft, thinking that their efforts will eventually mean nothing, investers would see it as a doomed project and pull out, and Activision might start interfering with their work, and put more chefs in their kitchen, (apologies for the tangential idiom.)

To conclude, I'll only say that I excluded going into specifics on this to avoid drama about what is or isn't in canon or a poor plot decision, and for, whether or not you'll believe me on this, brevity.   read

7:28 AM on 05.10.2011

Game advertising failures

Greetings and salutations;
I come to you in hasted nights lack of sleep, under the hastened rattle of keys clicks and clacks after many unrealized similar rants.

What sparked my desire to digitally log about today's subject would be the commercial for an upcoming game, "the first templar." I dare not capitalize the title as proper, for they found it urgent enough to use the t as a crucifix to highlight the Christian feel of this game, and not use a bit of capitalization themselves. The actual video animation is simple, only showing slow graphic scenes, either trying to show that the game contains the special feature called pacing, or as to not distract from the gratuitous Latin required for any christian mythos/historical game, as though Catholicism is the only branch of Christianity. It might as well be, as far as the gaming industry is concerned though. The inquisition, Constantine, his labarum and the shift of the roman empire into a christian empire, the years before that when Christians were being oppressed, and several crusades, Catholicism stands out as the highlight of Christianity as a game religion and general tone, just look at the space marine faction in Warhammer 40k. But I'm getting distracted from the point at hand. What the commercial was highlighting was the voice acting, church latin and almost following famous prayers. I know the demographic this is selling to, I know the thoughts that went behind it, which is almost precisely "Assassin's Creed clone, throw in the word templar because it sells well. Why this add is going to fail though is from the focused voice acting: If you're shooting for a semi-historical setting, screwing up the voice acting, not just the pronunciation but the words themselves. "Hallowed" and well, "Haloed" isn't even a word, much less the same word.

A lesser point of contention is in the still add, as it depicts a token female character. Either this is going to be the initially strong Action Girl trope designed to undergo Badass Decay for the simple male superiority common to the time, but if they were going for historical accuracy, then the female wouldn't have become a hero in the first place, at least not without being a Joan of Arc ripoff, which I'd think would be more tasteful than throwing a anachromatic Laura Croft into their game to claim that the game is targeted towards both genders.

I'm not saying that this game is or will be passable or terrible, this rambling is only covering the perceptions I get from the adds.   read

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