While most games entertain players by guiding them through vast, mysterious worlds or challenging them to become great and powerful, the communist state in Papers, Please entertains its players through brutal oppression and hard labor. Fortunately, you have been randomly selected in the October Labor Lottery as the immigration inspector for your great and beautiful country. As creator Lucas Pope describes, “your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia” — all you have to do is inspect a piece of paper and accept or deny the owner of that piece of paper.… Read the rest
A fellow classmate already tackled this topic, albeit in regards to race. I highly encourage you to read that post, and, depending on how angry you want to be today, the discussion that followed.
At the end of the day, there’s no arguing that the bulk of the gaming industry, just like any other industry, must be profitable in order to survive. That truism has been used for years to justify the narrow demographics represented within video games: video games have traditionally had excellent sales among straight white young cisgender men, so the majority of characters represented in games should, accordingly, be straight white young cisgender men.… Read the rest
Riffing off of Maurissa Tancheroen’s song, Nobody’s Asian in the Movies, I thought it’d be interesting to offer up my perspective on Asian representation in videogames–specifically, the lack thereof.
I was going to do a close reading of the game Portal, and possibly discuss how the main character Chell strikes me as parallel to Lola in Lola Rennt and just about as badass as Ash in Avalon. However, despite their similarities–they’re women, they learn from their mistakes, they pick up clues on the way leading to a grand finale/showdown, they don’t take anyone’s crap, they’re damn good shots (Well, Lola’s more skilled at Roulette, but she does pick up that gun thing pretty quickly)–there was a striking difference.… Read the rest
I was hanging out and watching some friends play Portal (and resisting the urge to grab the controller and do the puzzle for them). They were positioned between two portals so you could see Chell when one of their roommates walked in. He immediately said “Wow, she’s ugly” and wondered why someone would make a female character unattractive. He also said that if she doesn’t have nice tits she doesn’t belong in a game. Well then.
Thinking on that then segued into me thinking about when my sister and I would play Dead or Alive 3 together, a totally appropriate game for an eleven and eight year old to be playing mind you, which then morphed into me wondering if game developers knew how breasts worked.… Read the rest