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Feminisms... with Nihil: Retrospective, Retro-Action, and Reapers

Another week, another game, another embedded video something something purple rain.

I bought a couple XBLA games. Every week I have a notion to sit and start playing something from start to finish so I can put it behind me, but a lot of things have been preoccupying me. One thing is the internet. Another one of those things is online traffic school so my insurance doesn't sky-fucking-rocket. And another was going out to see Sucker Punch, one and a half times.

The first time I attempted to watch it, I got bored halfway through and hopped into Battle: LA, which was no better. Incited by a friend who wanted to talk spoilers, my second attempt had me see it all the way through... And feel even more disappointed in Snyder. Granted I didn't have terribly high expectations for it, but by god, man. PLEASE hire a writer next time!

It's come to my attention again - a few days after watching the movie and reading more negative feedback on the internet - the mechanics of feminism in fiction. And some new light has been shed on it for me, which I must admit now does put certain parts of my Heroine entry to shame, just a bit. Then again, part of the reason for writing it was to find answers that probably would've took more searching than what my overtly masculine manbeardhood would allow.

"What interests me in these stories is how, if possible, opposition can be met and overcome with a purely female response. Does such a thing exist?"

This was a question that I legitimately pondered over, but who's to say what a "purely female" response is? Breaking down and crying? Throwing a temper tantrum? Making babies? It's a pretty dumb question unless you're fixing to crack a joke about menstruation. Which you are more than welcome to do in the comments.

"Do you find violence betrays or undermines femininity in the face of its principle nurturing, peace-driven attributes?"

This one however, is a bit less dumb, but it opens a Gräfenberg labeled can of worms that I even couldn't (and still can't) convey clearly or properly enough at length. Because I'm stupid. Luckily, Son of Makuta's brilliant comment pretty much covers it:

While society and even subtle evolution are gradually merging most or all of the disparate 'roles' of men and women, the mental underpinnings of what we used to be are still there, and that's why we are depicted so starkly differently in fiction, which after all - especially the escapist fiction found in space operas, action movies and video games - is built on simplified, amplified, fantasy versions of us. Nobody is truly evil or truly good; nobody is perfectly masculine or feminine in today's world; there is nothing that men in general can do that women can't, and vice versa, although aptitudes may vary with gender. But in video games, just like we have evil overlords and purehearted, spiky-haired protagonists, we have impossible-bodied sexy women wearing completely inadequate armour (see Bayonetta for a perfect lampshade-hanging poke at this) and burly men with arms thicker than my legs and enormous overcompensatory guns (see Gears of War for an unashamed, slightly-saddening example of this trope). Sure, the perceptions are skewed because the games are largely made by men, but then, ultraviolence is still much more a man's thing than a woman's; these are male entertainment just as romance novels are female entertainment...

A bottom line on the subject if there ever was one, I'd say. It's painfully apparent that Sucker Punch missed the target as far as female empowerment is concerned, and that with the concept given, there was so much more fucking awesome to be had with it than just disjointed music videos.

Each dream world visited could've been a representation of the individual character's mind. The emotional stakes would've been higher if we witnessed or at least were given hints to the abuse in the hospital. They could've gotten better actresses. Etcetera. I dunno, given the mindfuck nature of the story, I don't even care if it makes sense, just make me give a shit. Maybe that's too much to ask for a blockbuster action film with an all-woman cast at this point? Meh.

Anyway, vidjagaems.

I played the first The Dishwasher when it came out and was mildly amused with its tone and story vaguely reminiscent of The Crow and a webcomic that shall not be named. But the gameplay was pretty tight and semi-replayable, making it a commendable effort from a fledgling indie developer. And now with their sequel, Vampire Smile, I'm expecting great things from the brains behind it, because this shit is solid. The presentation, the detail, the blood.... My god, the blood. It's fucking glorious. If this game doesn't make you feel like a superpowered psycho killer, you're doing it wrong. From its darkly adorable artwork, to the on-point 2D brawler nostalgia, plus co-op and more replayable options, ten bucks makes it worth your time.

The other game I bought on sale the other week was Costume Quest. I haven't gotten to that yet... RPGs in general have been a big no-go for me, much to my chagrin. One day, goddamn it. One day...

this picture just amuses me for some reason...

Although another vijagerm thing I've been doing lately is watching a Bulletstorm walkthrough series on youtube, for the ball-to-the-wall, honest-to-goodness action/sci-fi B-flick that it is. I didn't think I would share the same opinion on it as many others, but I think Bonerstorm is one of those rare games that I would rather watch somebody else play, mainly because the impression I got from the demo was that the campaign would be a chore to go through, despite the fantastic visuals and amazingly decent voice acting & script that brings the thread-bare premise to life. It's an odd combination of FUCK YEAH and MEH that I can get behind, but only for a certain amount of time before my ADD makes me wonder off to surf alt porn or something, which is just as satisfying.

And finally, two worlds collide!

The labour of love from my illegitimate Mommy in the basement meets his half-brother from the surface world...

Much raping ensued.

Goodnight everyone, and see you soon.
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About Nihilone of us since 6:11 AM on 12.19.2009

Hi. I'm Dan, an admin in the forums. Come down and say things to us. You'll float, too.

"Nihil" is the pseudonym I use for writing and gaming on the internet. I came across Destructoid by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic had the most comprehensive coverage on it I'd seen anywhere.

For that, and for leading me to this extraordinary community, I thank him.

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