Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

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The Hunt For People Of Color

October 7, 2009

Not white? Working in a games or tech-related business? Token Minorities wants to talk to you. Just post a comment with some contact info and background (or email it to pattheflip@gmail.com) and we’ll get in touch!
pat m.

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“Sambo” Is A Viable Scribblenauts Term

September 23, 2009

…and it summons a watermelon.

Good going, guys.

There’s no point to writing any kind of in-depth insightful commentary on this one – intentional or not, it’s hilariously fucked up.

Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Scribblenauts and see what kind of offensive stories I can put together, though.

Read up more here:

Ian Bogost – Gamasutra

Kotaku

pat m.

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Player Characters of Color: Talim (Soul Calibur)

September 22, 2009

Since the vast majority of traffic to this blog comes from Google searches for the guys in The 13 Hottest Men of Gaming, In Color, I thought I’d encourage the trend (read: pander to the masses) by giving some dap to the random people of color that show up in video games. We at Token Minorities know that it’s not easy being the only brown character in the instruction manual, guys, but we appreciate the pleasant surprise that comes up when we find you in the middle of your lily-white game world.

The inaugural character for Player Characters of Color is none other than Talim, from the Soul Calibur series.

While it’s no surprise to Token Minorities readers that one of the easiest places to find brown PCs is in fighting games, Talim gets extra dap for being the first Filipina in a video game and the least mindlessly sexified female character in a series that might as well have all their other women characters put the swords down and beat each other with their ballooning bosoms. That hasn’t stopped certain gaming magazines from including her in a swimsuit issue (PSM) or a “Girls of Gaming” spread (Play) – for shame, for shame.

Here’s hoping that she continues to kick colossal amounts of colonial ass with her two arm-blades while managing to wear more clothes than the rest of her female counterparts.

Matchup I’d like to see: Talim vs. Ferdinand Magellan.

pat m.

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Race Mods for Popular Games, 9.17.2009

September 17, 2009

Grand Theft Auto:

Black male player: Wanted Meter starts at two stars. When the player is on foot, all white NPCs within eyeshot will cross to the opposite side of the street. Game can only be played on Very Hard difficulty level (does GTA have one?).

Asian female player: Wanted Meter starts at one star. When on foot, all white male NPCs within 20′ radius will run to player and proposition her (dialogue takes about half an hour to click through). Add one to Wanted Meter each time she rejects advances. If player has short hair, rejected NPCs will call her a lesbian.

Resident Evil series

Black male player: when other friendly characters are present, the game will not progress until the player is the first to open door/turn corner/walk down hallway/other situation which places him in mortal danger. also includes new Second Person Perspective camera, which remains fixed on white NPCs for duration of game. Game ends when player is killed, zombified, and killed again.

Latino male/female player: Game ends when player is killed, zombified, and killed again. (Game duration: five minutes.)

Asian female player: see Ada Wong.

Ico

Black male player: Player character has Afro instead of horns. Also, mysterious black shadows trying to separate Black male PC from white female NPC are now mysterious figures in white robes and hoods.

Madden 2010

Asian female player: No penalties are called on opposing team.

Phoenix Wright

Young white female player: Opposing attorney is Kanye West.

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War Games

August 5, 2009

Check out the PC World website for a piece that I’ve been working on for a while. Not related to games and race, but it IS about games and the military, and I figured that would be interesting to y’all. This is the edited version (unedited draft came out to about 2x the length).

Read it here: G.I. Joystick

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A Good Post On Resident Evil 5

February 13, 2009

…Is right here.

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On Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

November 14, 2008

I think that the “Metrovanias” that Konami has been releasing for the last decade or so are gaming’s equivalent of Dragonlance novellas, or something like that; they’re amusing and fun experiences, but generally not worth dwelling on. All told, I’ve played Symphony of the Night, Circle of the Moon, Aria of Sorrow, parts of Harmony of Dissonance, Dawn of Sorrow, parts of Portrait of Ruin, and now Order of Ecclesia, and I’ve got to say I’m damned if I can remember a whole lot of notable stuff about any of them save Symphony of the Night, which is the only one I’ve bothered to play multiple times. Oh wait: I do remember JONATHAN! CHARLOTTE! JONATHAN! CHARLOTTE! JONATHAN! CHARLOTTE!

…Just had to get that out of my system.

Order of Ecclesia took an interesting tack with the Castlevania standards; all your moves use MP, so you’ll have to manage the meter, the difficulty level has been cranked up significantly, the Glyph system feels pleasantly customizable without making me feel like I gotta catch ‘em all, and it’s nice to have a world map with multiple level setpieces and Dracula’s Castle. When it comes down to it, though, there’s not much I’m going to remember about it except that I got to play as a woman this time, and not just a rather womanish-looking dude.

Kind of makes me wish I could mod the game so I was playing as Wesley Snipes from Blade though.

pat m.

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Gender and Class in Mega Man 9

October 21, 2008

 

A few words on Mega Man 9:

That said, there are a few interesting things that stood out to me. (Spoiler alert!)

There’s a bit more storyline in Mega Man 9 than I remembered in the older MM games, all delivered through cutscenes. Basically, the premise in MM9 is that several utility robots who were soon nearing their expiration date (where they would be cast off into the dump, apparently) were incited to rebel against society by Dr. Wily, who had convinced them that they deserved to live past some arbitrary cut-off date. I don’t know about you guys, but this sounds like a critique of capitalism if I ever heard one. Cast off your chains, robots! Overthrow the oppressors! When I saw this, I thought, “Hey, why aren’t I helping them?”

Then I rememberedthat I was controlling a white guy who dresses in blue, carries a gun, and sees fit to destroy hundreds and hundreds of robots who look different from him without compunction.

 

Somehow, despite destroying each robot master twice, they’re still alive and ticking by the end of the game, and instead of consigning them unto the scrap heap, Mega Man happily returns them to household slavery (chores and such). Way to break a strike, Mega Man. The proletariat will rise yet! Maybe after I get By Any Means Necessary made, my next project will be a labor organizing simulator with a Mega Man motif.

Also: anyone who grew up alongside Mega Man during the NES days will immediately notice Splash Woman sitting alongside Mega Man’s usual assortment of robot dudes. Yes, women have broken through the glass ceiling in the year 20XX, so much so that little girl-robots can one day aspire to be one of Dr. Wily’s henchbots.

However: Capcom, why’d you have to make the woman robot weak to the Mega Buster? That’s some sexist shit. And you know what her “useful function” is in the ending? Sexy photos. Yep, the first woman pioneer in Mega Man does cheesy idol DVDs.

At least they didn’t make her weak to the Jewel Shield, I guess

pat m.

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Shameless Plug

October 20, 2008

I’ve got a piece on the latest web-fad to hit Japan, WebKare (“web-boyfriend”) over at GiantRealm.

Anyone want to help me find a job?

pat m.

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The 20 Most Important White Women in Gaming

May 26, 2008

Bonnie Ruberg blogged over at Heroine Sheik about her piece over at Gamasutra, “Women in Games: The Gamasutra 20″. Which is great! We need more pieces about women in the gaming industry – lord knows there aren’t enough of them (women, and pieces about them).

But, being the long-time veteran of the Internet that I am, I already knew what was coming before I even opened up the 21-page article. Click.

White woman.

Click.

White woman.

Click.

White woman.

And so on, and so on.

From what I can gather, the article’s nominees were recommended and deliberated by a panel of Gamasutra editors. Now of course I don’t know who was on that panel, but I’m willing to guess they’re white, too. So we have a panel of white people in a white-dominant industry talking about some of the other great white people they know. I get that it’s also a white male-dominated industry, so I’m all for pieces like these that highlight the important work that non-white-men are doing in the industry, but it seems pretty shitty to give women of color the short end of the stick.

The tricky thing about all of this is, I doubt any of this was intentional in the least; I can’t imagine Ms. Ruberg calling a secret meeting of her local chapter of the Gamasutra White Supremacists to figure out Yet Another Way To Keep Those Pesky Colored Folk Down. In fact, I have no doubt that the article’s nomination process sounded like a perfectly good idea at the time, whatever it was – and it could have been something as innocuous as a few people getting together and talking about women that they really admired in the biz. The point to take away from all of this is not that the gaming industry is racist (if you’re taking that away from this article, you must be a newbie to this blog) but rather, if the status quo is an industry that excludes people of color AND women, doing a project aimed at promoting the women in the industry without any kind of thought for race produces a project that still leaves plenty of people feeling screwed. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The response to this kind of criticism is, inevitably, along one of two lines:

1. We would have more women of color on the list, except they just didn’t seem to measure up along our eminently objective standards of XYZ. This basically translates to, “women of color just aren’t good enough to hack it with us. That’s not racist at all!” Um, yeah.

2. Well, Pat, since you’re so smart, what women of color would you have added? To which I say, considering I don’t work in The Industry, I haven’t the faintest idea. But I wonder: was Nichol Bradford, Global Director of Strategic Growth at Vivendi Games (parent company to Blizzard Entertainment, among others) was ever considered for nomination? Considering her rather impassioned speech at last year’s GDC, and the work she’s doing with arguably the most influential gaming company of the last few years, I can’t imagine it would have been for lack of impact.

That’s enough from me at the moment – I’m currently still reeling from a bout with tonsilitis. Peace.

pat m.

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