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
Today’s post by Maya looks at Another Code: R for the Wii, and continues a recent trend on here of using average or mediocre games to think through what distinguishes the gaming wheat from the chaff when it comes to narrative in games.
Oh, wait, I’m having a flashback…Eike, protagonist of Shadow of Memories (aka Shadow of Destiny)? What are you doing here? No – this is all wrong. I’m meant to be writing a piece on Another Code: R… So, why is Homunculus here? Why are Eike and Homunculus holding hands?! What is going on?!
Is my flashback an accurate recalling of a narrative sequence? Or is it an elaborate ploy in which to make several interrelated points on the problem of translation in narrative-heavy games and story order? Or did I simply want you to have a bizarre image in mind when reading this post? Whatever the case, flashbacks are an important element to the argument of this blog post, a conceit used in many games, but especially important in story driven games. And so I’d like to explore why Cing’s Code: R is a disappointing game compared with Shadow of Memories and other story-driven games, because of its failure to utilise the full potential of the gaming medium. Continue reading
“Stuff your Combo Burger. I need a Combo Review” – these exact words are being said right now as you read this at a fast food outlet near you (I almost want to call the fast food places “vending machines” they’re so heavily mechanised). The Combo Review will not quench your physical hunger though, only your whetted gaming appetite. Yes, I’m using a nerdy metaphor for what is in simple terms a double review. That is to say I will attempt right here and now to review two games at the same time. I might choose to do so for sequels, or mayhaps because both games are in the same or related genre.
In this case the comparison stems from each of these game’s reliance on story over gameplay, as opposed to the more conventional Other Way Round. First up, I’ll talk a bit about Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, a 2005 PS2 game by Quantic Dream, who went on to make Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. Second on the menu, we’ve got Shadow of Memories/Shadow of Destiny, a 2001 PS2 release by Konami. The game was directed and written by Junko Kawano, who has been heavily involved in the acclaimed Suikoden series from its inception. Let the battle begin. Ding ding! Continue reading