Tagged: feminism

Very Very Gaming Show – Episode 8

This episode we talk about one of our all-time favourite games, Project Zero (aka Fatal Frame) 3. If you’re a horror fan and you haven’t tried this series, it comes highly recommended – see here for a good intro/overview. For this episode, Maya asks the question: is Project Zero 3 the most feminist game ever? “Yes”, she says, even with a gratuitous shower scene…”still yes”. Minor spoilers.

Episode 8: Haunted Shower Scene

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Pioneering Women in the Videogames industry

Adrian and I have been talking about women in the videogame industry a lot recently (as have many others from what I can gather). One of the weird things I’ve noticed is that what most people mean by women is white/American women (see this article for “The Most Important Women in the History of Videogames”). What about the contributions of women in Japan to videogames, I wondered? I am not going to contest the indisputable fact that women are under-represented in the games industry globally; this is undoubtedly true, and there are many factors for why this (women are under-represented in all STEM industries). I decided to do some research for myself into the matter, specifically to look for Japanese women developers.

I found some interesting women in the industry I hadn’t heard of before, and decided it was worth putting it out there. Because of my interest in a redressing the balance of most US-centric lists – and therefore reflecting women’s contributions worldwide – I’ve deliberately left out well known Western women who are covered in other lists. I also left out a number of women composers (of which there are many, especially in Japan), in order to focus on the game design/production side of things. Continue reading

GamerGate, feminism and videogames

Being a retro game blog, we’re always late to the party. That has its perks: now that the heat is dying down on GamerGate, perhaps we can understand it better as a cultural phenomenon, and particularly Anita Sarkeesian’s analysis of videogames, from a more objective perspective. What interests us is why the “feminists VS gamers” debate and Sarkeesian’s analysis of videogames have gained so much traction in mainstream media.

There are a number of problems with the media’s approach to these issues which we’ll get into, but let’s have a disclaimer right here. We definitely don’t endorse or intend here to defend the behaviour of the people who have, for whatever reason, decided that sending death threats and the like to other people is normal and somehow justifiable – especially over something dumb like videogames. The personal campaign waged against Sarkeesian is utterly irrelevant at best and malicious, sadistic and cruel at worst. If you don’t like the ideas someone espouses, come up with better ideas and present them, better. Personal attacks make the attacker look bad, petty, and morally and intellectually bankrupt, not the other way round. That’s why this post isn’t about criticising Sarkeesian on a personal level and instead considers Sarkeesian’s feminist approach to videogames in a specific political and cultural context. Continue reading

Very Very Gaming Show – Episode 4

You’ll never get rid of us. It’s all about the franchises this week: Harvest Moon, Civilization and Excitebike. To be specific, we offer up thoughts and impressions on Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Special Edition, Civilization IV, and Excitebike 64. Adrian finishes the segment with some brief impressions of satisfying fare which did not receive sequels, namely ChuChu Rocket and Steamgear Mash.

Impressions out of the way, we return to the old chestnut of women in games. This time we come at the topic via that old chestnut of a blog, A Most Agreeable Pastime. It seems AMAP’s post about Ubisoft’s recent gender slip-up regarding Assassin’s Creed has turned us into die-hard feminists, because despite intending to cover multiple topics in this second segment, we ended up devoting the entire second segment to this issue. In our efforts to rescue the gaming world from inequality one creative director at a time, we discuss everything from the impact of Japanese versus Western game design on gender, through to questions of genre. Finally, we address that all-important question: what might “visual assets” actually mean when used in reference to designing female characters?

And that’s the show. Back in two weeks, and if you have any feedback or suggestions for the show, please drop us a comment!

Episode 4: I’m Not Sexist…My Best Friend’s Metroid

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