I'm TheManchild, though I go by many names. Two, actually. Although it's only really one, because TheManchild is not a real name. So um, well, sorry for wasting your time.
I guess I kind of like video games. It's the only thing I'm really interested in apart from occasionally farting. I believe that might is right, that survival of the fittest is our only calling. I guess that makes me something of a paradox since I'm located somewhere between pond scum and bong water in the proverbial food chain.
My favorite games are the ones that make me feel superior to you for having played them. Games like Larry's Quantum Physics Adventure, which I just made up now. But if you question me on the subject matter and probe my understanding of it, I won't respond. I'm just kind of a dick that way.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of my favorite things to waste time on.
You know, in between farts.
Ecco the Dolphin
Dem Sega Mickey Mouse Games
Sonic the Hedgehog
Super Meat Boy
Star Control 2
Galactic Civilizations 2
Alien Motherfucking Soldier
I hate to be so pessimistic, but right out of the gate, I had my doubts about Lollipop Chainsaw. And by doubts, I mean I thought it was a fucking idiotic concept wrapped up in a paper thin facade of done-to-death gameplay mechanics. Zombies and cheerleaders, okay, whatever. Maybe that was humorous or quirky, but I just saw another silly action game wearing parody as a mask, and I still feel that way. However until I actually play the game, I won`t really know, but seeing some fairly mediocre reviews so far makes looking back at the controversy surrounding it, well, feel kind of...un-controversial.
Time and time again, the portrayal of women in games has come up, and time and time again I have realized that as a human with a penis who spends most of his day farting and then laughing at the presence of the odor to follow, I am probably not the authority to go to when it comes to this issue. In fact, men in general probably aren`t. There have been a few times when I have been around my Asian friends when someone came up and started trying to have a conversation with them on their level, like an awkward social worker trying to talk slang to kids in order to make them feel more comfortable about the current lecture of what happens when pee pees penetrate hoo hahs. It just comes off as sort of degrading, and sure enough, to my Asian friends who are even whiter than I am in spirit anyways, I hope they can understand that I am not going to try and gab China with them, ever, on any fucking level.
One thing I do know though, is that despite getting analyzed from several angles, the constant argument revolving around Lollipop Chainsaw as either it being a game which is gratuitously sexual to its own detriment, or one that is doing it in a tongue in cheek way in order to purposely provoke controversy. However, none of that, NONE OF IT, makes any damn difference either way if the thing bombs and is forgotten about a week after its release.
That makes me feel kind of good, in a way. People talked about issues in games like Fem Shep in Mass Effect 3, the crappy ending of it, or in the case of Destructoids own Sophie Prell, Skyrims lack of catering towards females because very simply, they were good, memorable games. People are still talking about the ending to the former, because it actually meant something to them, and despite the detractors trying to downplay its importance, the controversy continues. It gives me hope that, at the end of the day, it really ISN`T just about people making a stink for the sake of bitching, and ethics and how games are treated as a cultural art form etc. is still second banana to what is most important; is the game good, and is it fun to play.
Today, Tomb Raider is a big deal because of the alleged victimization of Lara, the suggested rape culture marketing, and a slew of other more subtle factors which are stirring up a lot of discussion. But if it came out tomorrow and was an awful, grating, teeth pulling chore of a bastard game which nobody wanted to play, I honestly wonder if anyone would really continue to care. I would guess that it would simply dwindle into mediocrity, being remembered about as fondly as games like Thrill Kill or Night Trap which were hyped beyond belief and raked across the coals for their subversive, apparently X rated content, but which were not released and flopped, respectively. Now, nobody gives a shit that Thrill Kill featured a sadomasochistic gimp as a training dummy, or that Night Trap had a bunch of shitty actresses dancing around in their night gowns because the games either sucked, or were never put out to begin with. Their legacy of horrible mediocrity will live on only with the few who remember them, because they were not notable enough to have any kind of a lasting impact - on anything.
For games like Lollipop Chainsaw which is already looking bleak in its initial reception, I have a feeling that all the effort talking about it will disappear and be forgotten, even faster than the game itself likely will. You can take that as you like. In the case of something blatantly offensive such as Thrill Kill, it was probably good for the industry that that turd never made it to print, and that it never was a success. Successful games do impact the market, and they shape its future path. Just look at Call of Duty, and the numerous uber-realistic clones that have followed, or GTA, which was unapologetic in its content and which certainly helped pave the way for other mature rated games to come. Of course, the content and just how dangerous or offensive it is really is arguable, but success is really what sets a precedent, not the mere existence of a concept or title. If you do argue that Tomb Raider will set a bad standard, or that Lollipop potentially could have, what you really need to worry about is just how well the game does. Even though game communities like this one are quite large, it is only the few huge big budget titles that will really matter in the scale of things, because for all the people who sit in here and on the internet abroad and discuss these issues, there are millions more who will be buying the A titles, and not analyzing or giving a shit about what they are subconsciously absorbing. And that is when it becomes really dangerous to be blatantly sexist, to misuse the topic of rape, or to aggrandize extreme violence, without any sort of consequence.
I have always said this, but people vote with their wallets, period. And I really truly believe that if you do not agree with the type of content a title provides, you should cease to support it because that is really what speaks volumes in the end. I used to have a much more passive aggressive approach to the controversies, but at the end of the day I think it is important to discuss them, to dissect them, and to create an awareness about them. But ultimately, no argument is stronger than the mighty mighty dollar. And that, my friends, is why Michael Bay continues to be allowed to make movies.
Far more offensive than boobs, bondage, and things blowing up is a worthless piece of shit game. And it is just nice to see that regardless of all these other factors, this is still what really matters, and still what ultimately drives the evolution of the industry. No amount of controversy can save a piece of crap, and a title like Lollipop Chainsaw is a good example of how even the cheekiest, most scandalous marketing of your title cannot save it in the eyes of the public, very much for the better.
If E3 had nothing but games, ditched all the racy advertisements, and the booth babes, gamers would still attend in droves. If the games were gone and there were nothing but busty blondes dressed up like Firiona Vie, all you would have left is a bunch of lonely perverts with cameras.