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Fri 28th Feb 2014

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Champollion commented on Super Mario 64 Gets The Oculus Rift Treatment:

Looks cool to me — particularly the slide at the end. And surprisingly, the problems don't seem to come so much from the game itself (I mean, platform-oriented level design), but from the game engine that was not meant to display everything from a (moving) first-person perspective. So I find the result rather encouraging, overall.



Champollion commented on Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshid...:

I wonder how many people work on moderating the MiiVerse. It must be a daunting task — I mean, how many users? Algorithms can help, but they're still limited — it's easy to find a set of words, but meaning and information (e.g., spoilers) is quite an other thing. I really wonder how they proceed.



Champollion commented on Goodbye Galaxy Games' Hugo Smits Unveils Gomba...:

Interesting. I'll have to take a closer look at the online version. I've been waiting for this kind of tool for ages. I'm a mediocre programmer with a lot of game ideas, and I'm sure I'm not the only one around. There's so much potential in putting creation tools in everyone's hands. I hope this will be supported by Nintendo.



Champollion commented on Soapbox: Ignoring The Objectification Of Women...:

Wow. What a debate. Is there something more to say here? Well, actually, yes.

First of all: it's not about this particular game and whether or not it should be banned or censored. I see many comment asking "what about this or that other game, they are not singled out, why are they OK and this one not?". Well, they're not either. This game is singled out, not because it's the only one of its kind, but because BOOOOOBS are its main selling point and raison d'être.

Second: it's not about sexuality, or even porn. It's about objectification, which — as several people already pointed out — is not the same thing as idealisation. The problem is not that women in video games are sexy, it's that most of the times they're hardly anything else but sexy. If the main character is a warior / soldier / adventurer of some sort, of course he or she's not going to look like a couch potato. If it's a man, he will most likely be fit and muscular, because that's part of the job. If it's a woman though, in most games she will more likely have impractically huge breast and an excuse of an armor that hardly covers anything but her lady parts. (And, the camera will focus on said lady parts, too.)

Objectification of men in romance novels is really not on par with objectification of women in general. Somep people cited Twilight as evidence of men objectification. Come on! Men may be eye-candified here, but they're still the main protagonists as far as action is concerned. Bella is passive, submissive, almost inexistent in contrast. (In that respect, though, I'd argue that objectification in SKB is not as bad as in other games, since at least women, however impossibly "sexy", are protagonists, and from what I've read seem to really lead the story and have personalities. But again, it's not only about this game.)

And it's not really the same problem as violence either, for at least two reasons. First, in our society, violence is perfectly OK is some contexts — war is violent by nature, it is socially accepted, if only as a necessary evil, and if you want to make a game about war, it has to be violent. Sexism is not OK in any context, save maybe for pretends in the intimacy of the bedroom. Yet, and that's the second point, sexism is about everywhere. In character design ( ), in the lack of character design — so many more male than female characters ! —, in background / secondary characters, etc. Part of this is the reflection of the real world (e.g. "podium girls" and "race queens" in racing games), but that doesn't make it any less sexist, and why should that be kept in the game anyway?

People say: "there are exceptions" or "it goes the other way too". Indeed. This game or that one may have strong female characters. They are still minority. This game or that one may have weak male character only there as eye candy for gay men and hetero women. They're also the exception, and not only that : it's just as wrong. The only reason it gets less attention than sexism against women is that, once again, it's much, much less frequent.

I read many coments going "you think it's sexist, but it's Japan's culture, so it's OK". Well, Japanese culture IS pretty sexist, so that's basically saying sexism is OK. So much for that argument. (Japan was recently singled out as one of the country that has the lowest number of women in politics. It ranks in the very bottom of the list, well below such countries as Ukraine or Russia, North Korea, Syria or Saudi Arabia. Not saying that there's a direct relationship here (see below), nor that the percentage of women in Parliament is the key to everything (Saudi Arabia is also slightly above the US in this list...), but I can't help thinking there may be a problem there.)

There are also many comments dismissing the issue on account that "it's just a game, it doesn't influence people". There's a big misconception here. When people say games or media have an influence, they don't mean playing, say, a violent game will turn you a mass murderer. It's not an all-or-nothing situation, and it's not necessaryly 100% either. Saying : "I've been playing violent games for so many years, and I haven't killed anybody", is akin to dismissing the link between smoking and cancer saying "my grandpa was a heavy smoker and he died aged 100 from a non smoking-related cause". Not everybody reacts the same, the correlation is a matter of statistics, of average reaction — and even if you've performed well at school and remained staunchly non-violent after a life of playing violent games, who's to say you wouldn't have done even better if you had not played those games ? And I believe evidence is there that, yes, violent games encourage violent behavior (don't have time to look for references to back this claim now, but I'll check that later.) I'm not sure if there is scientific evidence that sexist representations in games have an influence on players, but one thing I know is that anecdotal evidence is not relevant to the question.

Anyway. I'm sure I'm still forgetting some points, but I have to stop somewhere.

TL:DR: This particular game is not a problem or a proof in itself (anecdotal evidence again!), but yes, sexism is a real issue.



Champollion commented on Video: The Dubious Charm Of Senran Kagura Burs...:

@rastamadeus @ B3ND3R: "You can NOT judge it until you try it.": of course I can. I don't see why not. It's not just a case of "you don't judge a book by it's cover". I can get a precise enough idea of the contents to make an informed opinion without playing it myself. I can understand why someone would like to play it regardless of its theme, I can understand that some would play it because of it, Please understand that some would not play it for the same reason. It's a perfectly valid argument as far as I'm concerned, not just an "excuse" (Why would anyone need an excuse not to play a game anyway?).

This kind of issue has been debated over and over about other media — books in particular, I have Louis-Ferdinand Céline in mind. Some games, books, movies can be "HUGE awesome gems" as you call them, from a certain point of view (gameplay, writing style, screenplay, acting or direction) and have contents that offend some people or make them feel uncomfortable (nudity, racism, violence, gore, whatever). By chosing not to see / read / watch, those people may lose on the good parts, that's true, but from their point of view they would lose more by actually playing / readin / watching. And that's not "dumb and immature" as someone put it. Quite the opposite, in my opinion.



Champollion commented on Video: The Dubious Charm Of Senran Kagura Burs...:

@B3ND3R : I can think of so many reasons why it's not worth one's time. Even if the game's that good, that are countless other games that are also worth it and that one may try instead. Even if the game's that good, one doesn't have submit oneself to material that go against one's beliefs / ideology / opinion. Even if the game's that good, one may not want to support a firm that produces such material — and incite them to produce more. Etc. etc. Noone can play all games, anyway, so there's nothing "sad" in refusing to play one based on it's artstyle. I'd say forcing oneself to play it against one's best judgement would be sadder.

(I mean, just imagine, and replace this particular "art style" with whatever you find most offensive... Would you play a game that uses that as it's main selling point, even if the gameplay is good?)



Champollion commented on Developer Interview: PhobosLab on XType Plus, ...:

Great interview, thanks ! And special thanks to the developper for responding the reader's comments. As an amateur developper I'm definitely taking the "change some stuff around an existing game" approach, but when / if I get to something that's worth the effort I'll definitely have a look at this Impact engine. (Now working with Python/pygame, which is the one language I was familiar with, and the one in which the game I started from was written.)