News: Feminism Happens on the Internet

A game can only be 'INCLUSIVE' by not appealing to men.
“It seems that Mr. JASON SCHREIER is pleased also with neither sorceress nor amazon. The art of the direction which he likes was prepared.” ~ George Kamitani

Feminism Moves Past Demanding Bans On Content, Demands Bans On Artstyle Now Too

Are Lusireaders outraged this week? One hopes that they are, because failure to properly outrage me be indicative of sexual perversion and/or RAPE!

When holier-than-thou Kotaku hack, Jason Schreier, accused Dragon’s Crown artist and Vanillaware president, George Kamitani, of being a fourteen year old boy for daring to portray busty female mammaries, Kamitani responded by posting some hilarious online art [pictured] which he asserted would be viewed much more favourably by Shreier. This should have been the beginning and the end of this grubby and confected little affair, but sadly an increasing number of internet offense-junkies have been clambering aboard the umbrage-wagon to wring their hands and shake their fists at Vanillaware for producing this shocking SEXISM!

The most recent industry person to enter this most public of debacles is Gearbox artist Shaylyn Hamm [such an apt lesbian name], who not only implied that that Kamitani was a poor artist, but also bluntly stated that he was basically a sex offender for depicting animated female jubblies.

I want to see more women getting interested in games and game development, but stuff like this only serves to further cement the idea that you’re stepping into a male hobby rather than something that is more inclusive.

Also, this is the first time I’ve seen that character and holy shit, ahahahahahahahahahaha. That’s actually something that made its way into a basically finished video game, fucking lol! Some juvenile delinquent kid in my 5th grade class used to draw girls that looked like that (only without the creepy blank, featureless samefaces and wizard hats), and I think he was actually better at it. I also think he’s in jail now. This is amazing.

…But it’s not even the boobs and ass itself that creeps me out with this kind of stuff, it’s those awkward painful-looking sexy poses combined with identical faces that are completely devoid of features, expression, or personality. It’s super creepy and makes it clear that the focus is meant to be their sexual features and not the characters themselves, and to me that’s an artistic cop-out and boring.

Hamm could be talking about any of Gearbox’s own catalog of games, all of which range from middle-of-the-road [Borderlands] to downright awful [Duke Nukem Forever, Aliens: Colonial Marines] in the visual department. Moreover, the character model for Borderland‘s busty Siren is almost indistinguishable from Borderlands 2‘s Mad Moxxi, save for the identifying tattoo that Siren has scrawled all over her bosoms. Both characters mentioned are also wont to pose in all manner of impractical ‘sexyposes’, the better with which to show off their not inconsiderable cleavage.

Then there is also the fact that Borderlands is one of Gearbox’s least sexually offensive offerings when compared to their blow-job happy graphical mess, Duke Nukem Forever. But all this is besides the point when one realises that naysayers do not even understand what they are talking about. Dragon’s Crown is a game which seeks to channel the essence of Capcom’s old Dungeons & Dragons arcade brawlers, and has arrived at its striking visual style by attempting to embellish the dominant generic visual features of each character-type. It seems a little wrong-headed to suggest that the Amazon character-model is sexually objectifying women, when her freakishly large thighs look like a couple of Christmas hams. If her character model was geared towards male sexual gratification, then Vanillaware is certainly looking to service a decidedly niche circle of body building fetishists.

Even this immutable fact is besides the point however, as, even if the character designs were created solely for the purpose of male sexual gratification, the question remains: so fucking what? If Vanillaware enjoys making such games, then why should they be prevented from doing so? And if a largely male audience enjoys playing such games, then why must such benign enjoyments be quashed? The intellectual myopia of Feminism is once again asserting that games should not be produced if they service specifically male tastes [not that I think for a moment that Dragon’s Crown actually falls into such a category]. This is rank hypocrisy on their part when they spout this nonsense out of one side of their mouth, while tirelessly advocating for more female oriented games from the other. As far as totalitarian ideologies go, feminism is a particularly annoying one.

Nintendo Wii Message
“Prease be buying our console.” ~ Satoru Iwata

Nintendo PSA to Wii Owners: Wii U Exists

There is something wonderfully forlorn about Nintendo contacting every Wii system connected to the internet in order to beg their owners to consider an upgrade. The fact is that the Wii U has been doing abominably poorly on the global-scale, and Nintendo has identified the marketing efforts of NoA and NoE to be the system’s one key failing, seeing as this is the one key failing which does not reflect poorly on Nintendo’s Japanese management.

Did you know that you can play nearly all your existing Wii games on Wii U? Your Wii controllers and many Wii accessories can also be used with a new Wii U console – along with any downloaded games, save data, and other info stored in your existing Wii console.

It’s time to discover Wii U.

Wii U is the all new home console from Nintendo. It’s not just an upgrade – it’s an entirely new system that will change the way you and your family experience games and entertainment.

The second screen on the included Wii U GamePad controller enables never-before-seen ways to play games and enjoy TV And for the first time ever, you can see Mario and your favorite Nintendo franchises in glorious HD.

In terms of the Wii U’s visibility in the video game console marketplace, Wii U marketing definitely takes some share of the blame – yet this blunder is not so large when compared to some of the incomprehensibly poor decision making to come out of Japan. Bizarrely, it was Japan’s decision to name and style the Wii U to be virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor. Even this state of affairs could have been salvaged if Nintendo had some day-1 Nintendo software which was able to set the Wii U apart from the Wii in terms of visuals. Instead Nintendo opted to launch with New Super Mario Bros. U as its only recognisable Nintendo-brand property – a game which is almost visually identical to its Wii counterpart in every way, save for screen resolution [which does not translate into screenshots and television spots].

This is not to say that NoA do not deserve to wallow in similar proportions of blame for the fact that Wii U sales have fallen off a cliff. Nintendo as a whole were broadly responsible for alienating core Nintendo gamers by placing a larger emphasis on the casual market – but Nintendo of America seemed particularly malicious in this regard, as they deliberately went about attempting to block core Japanese content from reaching America in a seeming bid to quash unsightly core gaming on Nintendo consoles. This lost them a portion of core Nintendo customer goodwill and support.

It is only Nintendo of Europe which looks as though it is working hard to shift Wii U’s by allowing European retail chains to lower the price of the Wii U – though NoE may have had no other option depending on the strength of their bargaining position. At any rate, it will take a lot more than a wretched and grovelling PSA to Wii owners in order to get the Wii U selling, as Nintendo will first have to make the purchase of the Wii U into a desirable proposition – a task they seem ill-suited to at present.

Sony proved with the PS3 that success does not automatically transition from one console generation to the next, and Nintendo are only just learning what was patently obvious over a year ago; that a lazy appeal to casual Wii owners focusing on the dubious strength of the Wii brand simply will not be successful in shifting units. Nintendo will have to find some marketing point more compelling than their reliance on the strength of brand-Wii if they wish to regain any sort of traction whatsoever for their moribund console.

Red Nintendo Flag
“Hey Nintendoroonies! I sure bet you’d like to pay up front for a game that is just like Eternal Darkness, only a little bit different, and called something else!” ~ Dennis Dyack

Dennis Dyack Wants to Waste Your Money

What do bad companies do when on the brink of financial ruin? They change their name and then host a Kickstarter of course! Precursor Games, an alleged developer which [probably] exists in the same capacity as Black Isle studios does [as one man and a computer in a basement], is set to launch a Kickstarter for the development of a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness called Shadow of the Eternals, set to debut on the 6th of May. The project is to be headed by Dennis Dyack, the man responsible for running Silicon Knights into the ground, and is said to consist of twelve episodic games. A gameplay trailer has already hit the internet, yet it is likely comprised of gameplay footage generated from the Eternal Darkness 2 vertical slice which [the now defunct] Silicon Knights developed with stolen Activision money. For the first episode alone they will be asking for 1.5 million dollars.

Our primary goal for Shadow of the Eternals is to raise 1.5M dollars. Any money raised beyond this will contribute to stretch goals that go beyond the first episode, including future episodes, additional characters, additional platforms and in-game perks. The more money that we raise, the more we can deliver, which is a win for everyone.

Fantastic. So the asking price of this extravagantly expensive Kickstarter is just for the first episode of twelve – with Dyack’s new company presumably returning to Kickstarter each time. Some of the last news to come out of Silicon Knights was that Dyack was madly trying to pitch Eternal Darkness 2 to Nintendo in order to save his mismanaged company. Nintendo rejected his proposals, and they were right to do so, because Dennis Dyack is an incompetent manager and an untrustworthy man. One would like to think that gamers are not possibly stupid enough to fund this looming disaster, yet Dyack has opportunistically seized upon the desperation of the stupefyingly optimistic Wii U crowd to fund the game, by primarily targeting the project for Wii U release. One fervently hopes that the project does not get funded – that would be a win for everyone.

9 comments

  1. What Mr. Kamitani did is absolutely hilarious. Many cultural mediums oversexualize womeb; what makes Vanillaware any more accountable? Grotesque musculature is an oversexualization of men, even if most men don’t recognize it as such. I feel bad for girls and young womeb who are constantly bombarded with cues and images which make them think, “is this all that I’m supposed to amount to?” But it’s still equal-yet-opposite for boys and young men: instead of big breasts and submissiveness , it’s you have to have big muscles and dominate everything, which is also incorrect and unreasonable. Once again, games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI give much, much more reasonable models of who people are and what they do instead of oversexualizing and stereotyping to either extreme. So I think it’s bunk to assume that games exclude women, just because there are some poorer examples out there.

    Nintendo, I will always have a place for you in my heart, but it’s time for you to move on. Things aren’t what they used to be, and they haven’t been for a long time. You need to be out there meeting new people, having new experiences, being more responsible and growing up. You can’t just take me for granted anymore, to do the same thing over and over again. I love you, but it’s over. I wish you the best. Goodbye.

    When is Kickstarter going to end? It’s just a breeding ground for shit. It should be mandated that all Kickstarter-funded games be made for the Ouya.

  2. Three awesome news stories this week.

    1) George Katamari’s artwork reply to Kotaku’s shill bleating is one of the best responses I have ever seen by a company to its detractors.

    2) When I received the message on my Wii noted above, I laughed. I laughed and laughed. And then I went on Skype and told my staff members. Because it is LULZ. Oh Nintendo. You so desperate.

    3) Dennis Dyack is a fraud. He should be wearing an orange check suit and a derby hat, he should have a brass-topped cane and a moustache he can twirl. He should be standing on a soap box, promising everything to everyone. Like Peter Molyneux.

  3. Anyone else notice that the notification about the WiiU can’t be “marked as read”, it will keep your Wii inbox glowing. They really want you to see it! DELETED!

  4. I have a related, but otherwise tangential, bit, on ‘inclusiveness’ in video games, as far as depictions of the genders are concerned. (Also, first comment ever on Caspius.com. Woo!)

    I made a friend this past semester with the name of Amanda. She apparently plays no other real amount of video games besides free-to-play MMOs. She told me, with glee, that she played TERA Online. Being familiar with this game, I asked, “Really? I know the female models in that game are super revealing.”

    “Yeah,” she said, “but so are the men! A thong on a girl character will be a thong on a guy, too! It’s equal-opportunity sexualization!”

    And you know what? I think I am ok with that, as a female gamer/non-feminazi-feminist (it’s sad I have to qualify feminist with ‘but I’m not a feminazi’). But also, I have gotten to the point as a gamer where I don’t really notice sexualization happens unless it’s something like Black Mageweave on a female character VS a male character.

    And hell, there’s in-context sexualization too. The sorceress in question with Dragon’s Crown, from the sound of her seiyuu (though I lack the ability to understand Japanese), is supposed to be stupidly sexualized because that is her character. She’s a sexual being and clearly has embraced that. All I gotta say: Whatever; you go, sorceress lady! (Besides, as feminists, aren’t we supposed to be glad this character has embraced herself?)

    Whatever. At the end of the day, it’s video games and I fail to see why some feminists are criticizing one particular game for sexualization.

  5. Welcome, Lilith!

    You do a good job summing up the frustrations I have as a feminist as well. Isolating a single example with no context is not helpful. I understand (and share) annoyance at the fact that many women characters are reduced to objects-and-not-characters and appeared to be designed skimpy-costume and seductive catchphrase first and then…well..then nothing after that, but to look at these things without context is farcical. Sure, the scene in God of War III when Kratos bangs some Goddess while her handmaidens get so aroused when watching that they pounce on each other isn’t really an accurate representation of…well….anything, but I don’t think Kratos is an accurate representation of most men and I don’t think God of War is an accurate representation of Greek mythology, nor is it trying to be.

    The knee-jerk reactions come out when people see a busty character wearing little clothing because it IS sometimes the case that it’s just horny men catering to horny boys, but to judge on the costume alone is counter-productive. Like you mention, is it just a hyper-sexualized game? Or is it a well-realized character who – as you point out – has just taken control of her own sexuality? Because you’re right, defending equal rights and sexual liberation INCLUDES defending busty scantily-dressed women who like it that way.

    I understand wanting to be inclusive and maybe said busty scantily-dressed women (in conjunction with the clumsy baby cutesy girl type) far outweigh examples of other types of women in gaming, but to be honest, it is not developers’ responsibility to mathematically level the playing field. And, as you point out, if you’re going to look at over-sexualization, it’s stupid to not include men in that analysis; even if men’s sexuality is often painted in a stronger, more heroic light (compared to women’s sexuality in gaming (and movies, etc) which is often portrayed as conniving and something she should be ashamed of).

    I think the appropriate issue to look at is the general lack of character-first storytelling in gaming. I’ve already written about how writing in gaming is shittier than most of us like to admit, and I think simplification of character is a symptom of that. “Cover the women up” won’t fix the problem and is – it fact – a harmful thing to assert. Don’t shoot the symptoms, look for the actual cause.

  6. I regularly see women who wear less clothing than the Sorceress, and they look much tackier – so I don’t see what the big hullabaloo is all about. I guess everyone was particularly histerical about her jiggle animations or something…

    As a fun footnote to the Dragon’s Crown story, I didn’t have the inclination to go into it in my post, but the women who was making all that fuss about ‘sexism’ was eventually challenged about her role on the equally exploitative Borderlands 2. Her answer to this was that characters like Mad Moxxi were OK because their suggestive conduct and attire were justified by their narrative role, which really highlights the hypocrisy of her position for making such accusations of a game that isn’t even on the market yet.

    Anyone remember all the fuss and furor about what a misogynistic female disempowerment narrative Tomb Raider was? You don’t hear much of that anymore because it wasn’t fucking true. People just faux hyperventilated about this blatant disinformation because a) it allowed them a fora at which to grind their favourite axe, or b) they thought it made them look all good and morally superior to say ‘tut-tut’.

    Very large portions of the gaming community are starting to resemble medieval peasantry – though they’re not half as charming.

    Burn the sexism…

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