To Hell With The PC “Master Race”!

I am so SICK and tired of hearing how AWESOME the PC players are with their nonsense gaming experiences! Playing games on the PC fucking sucks! I mean completely! I have had enough of the obstinance from the PC community thinking they’re superior to the rest of us. I’m a console player through and through and there’s a reason why.

With a console I don’t have to worry about tweaking my damned game to work right. I don’t have to fine tune the details until it is visually acceptable. It works right when I put it in. The controllers do EXACTLY what they’re supposed to do! I don’t have to download this driver or that update. On a console it just does it! This is the disconnect between PC gamers and console gamers. PC gamers don’t understand WHY console gamers like their consoles.

“Well it’s outdated as soon as it releases!” And I say True! But I don’t have to spend 20 hours trying to get my software to work in the vein hope that there won’t be any issues at the end of the process. With a freaking PC I have to be a fucking programmer with advanced knowledge in C++ to make the goddamned game play. This is true for Steam products and EA products and any games that you have to download! Sure, y0u get to customize your experience but keep in mind this you, “master PC gamers”, those of us who like consoles like them because we DON’T have to be fucking programmers to play one fucking game!

It’s fucking ridiculous! If I buy a controller for the PC and plug it in, the mother fucker should work the second I plug it in! I shouldn’t have to find some obsolete driver that may or may not still exist on the internet just to use it! I shouldn’t have to update my windows os to some newer version I just don’t fucking want just to sample the newest game released! Plug N Play is a term for a reason jackasses! And it’s not for me to sit there and pretend I’m something I’m not and to be berated for not being on board with your bullshit to begin with!

What’s great about the PS4 or XBOX One is that you can just put in a game, plug in a controller, and sit back and enjoy the fucking game you just spent 70 dollars on without having to jump through a million hoops! I HATE, HAAATTTTTEEEE PC gaming! It is soooooooooo inconvenient and frustrating! There is NO fun to be had in it unless you’re some psychopath who has hours a day to spend on specking your rig to the optimal settings and knowing what graphical cards you need, what audio drives you need, what cooling systems are required to make your fucking PC actually fucking work!!!!

To HELL with that shit! Sorry for my obscenities but I’ve had enough! Stop claiming to be the superior gaming society when you have to go through a military boot camp just to play the latest release! It’s annoying and inconvenient! You want to know why so many gamers like console releases!? It’s because they don’t have to spec their PS4 or XBOX One every time they buy a game! They can just plug it in and it works! Period! After a dozen hours of just TRYING to sample a new game, I’ve entirely given up! It’s not worth the stress and agitation! It’s not worth the grief! I’ll stick to my consoles thank you fucking much and don’t you come at me anymore with your bullshit PC master race crap! Because I’ll just call you a sadist and a masochist who’s only happy to suffer under the most unbearable of electronic circumstances!

I just wanna play!

Anyhow…that annoys me sometimes so I won’t be doing that anymore. Just wanted to vent my frustration because, damn, it’s ridiculous. But, you know, if that’s your thing, more power to you.

Viva La Console Race!

Why Are Women In Games Still Marginalized?

So I was watching the AngryJoeShow on Twitch.TV and seeing what the new Dead Rising 3 game was like. As always, it seems like just another slasher game with generic interactions and a somewhat clever interface with the creation of new weaponry able to slaughter hordes of zombies with little to no effort. Your typical action hack n slash game. If you’re into that, no big deal. Hey, someone has to play them. I myself am into heavy story oriented games, which seem to be on the decline in recent years. What with so many people looking only for the gratuitous fix in beating something up. The American way nowadays it would seem. Well, the game Dead Rising 3 serves up plenty of onslaught and destruction to give a perfect fix to those who don’t like to do a whole lot of thinking in their gaming. And then DR3 gets to the sequence where the woman, Rhonda, is abruptly abducted by a motorcycle gangand taken inside a small room where, presumably, she will be raped to the pleasure of the macho mad thugs riding in to destroy the day. Meanwhile, our hetero male hero must fight off the horde of motorcycling devils to swoop in and save our damsel in distress.

And that got me to thinking about all the recent garbage I’ve been reading on comment boards over the last few months. About how there are not any good games with female leads. Mostly they’re not good, according to the male populace playing them, because they have females in the lead. Because, obviously, a woman can’t carry a game. She’s automatically considered weaker and must by nature take on the role of the damsel in distress or cower down to the ‘might’ of the grunting male who is quite possibly more able to carry the title than she. And I began to wonder, why? Why is this mentality so prevalent in gaming? Why do so many men believe that women are automatically weaker? Is it a symptom of the western world? Have we been brought up to ‘keep women in their place’? Why are women portrayed in this fashion?

Particularly since we have such great games as the new Tomb Raider reboot and the cult classic Mirror’s Edge. Hell, Jade in Beyond Good and Evil carried herself with a bravado that male protagonists would be the envy of. Yet still women are looked down upon. Has history not taught us ANYTHING about the strength of women? What is a woman exactly? What is the difference between a man and a woman? Why, I do believe, it is one lowly chromosome. The Y chromosome. And it makes me ask WHY all the time.

As a culture, America seems to ignore all the historical figures that have demonstrated quite convincingly that women are not at all weaker than men and, in fact, are often stronger. Joan of Arc, Boudica, Cleopatra, Tawakul Karman, Hatshepsut, Mulan, Elizabeth the I, Tomoe Gozen, and even Gladiatrixes in ancient Rome. And the list goes on. As many men are reknowned through history there are the same in the woman variety and yet women are looked down upon still. I had a debate on youtube with a guy who believed that women shouldn’t be in games because men represented what players most wanted to be: badasses. Yet when I posted my retort with a list of badass women, he was unimpressed. Likely because he was a troll. But also likely because the mentality in this country still exists that women need to be protected. Which is nonsense. Sure there are women who are abused and taken advantaged of. The same is true of an equal number of men. But men, out of some distorted sense of honor and wounded pride, are far less likely to report these abuses. But in gaming, companies are more than happy to keep the stereotype going.

While on the ubisoft forums, I stated I wanted to see more female assassins represented in the lore. And I got flack for that! Guys saying that that ‘isn’t realistic’ and that ‘women weren’t active in those conflicts in those time periods’, which completely ignores the fact that women have fought in every major combat throughout history. Women disguised themselves as men during the civil war and no one was the wiser until long after the war! Women fought in all the major World Wars, built advanced weaponry in World War II, and still today serve in active duty rosters throughout the world! Yet somehow they are still considered ‘weaker’! How is it that history can show us so much about the strength of individuals in humanity, yet we’re so shallow as a people that sex is the only defining factor!?

It annoys the piss out of me and I’m tired of it! I want my games to reflect the truth. That women share in the burden all people carry throughout the world and throughout history. We all struggle to survive and take care of our families. Whether or not you have a certain body part does not change the desire of the individual to make a difference! Games may be an escape from reality, but every game trying to capitulate to the desire of ubermales is a great disservice to gamers everywhere and a disgrace! If women were so much weaker than men, a goddess wouldn’t be the major threat in Assassin’s Creed, the term ‘Amazonian’ wouldn’t exist, Jade and Faith wouldn’t be able to change the dynamics of the worlds they inhabit, and Queens wouldn’t be knealt before in high fantasies!

It’s far past time that this debate was changed and such insolence to diversity and understanding nipped in the bud! I want my badass woman protagonist already, and I want her to be taken seriously!

Video Games Still Have A Lot of Growing Up to Do

So, I’m still upset. March, 2012, I’m waiting desperately for the grand finale of my all time greatest video game series to date: Mass Effect 3. I love Mass Effect. The immersive story telling, choices that effect a galaxy, intense character interactions. This was literally the game that let you decide the fate of the galaxy based on your actions. The first game was phenomenal. The second game very actiony but took the story down to a more personal level with an epic conclusion where your character might not even survive! And then came ME3. So much anticipation. Yet, as soon as the action starts I’m already losing some of the story. Where was the trial of Shepard? Where was the Batarian/Human war? Eh that was miniscule. I dived in and enjoyed the game immensely. Right up until the final fifteen minutes of the game where suddenly the narrative took a turn for the worse. Suddenly, we get this starchild who has all the answers in the galaxy (and all those answers were asinine and ridiculous to boot), the Reapers –the ultimate baddies we’ve been gearing up to do battle with–were nothing more than pawns to the starbrat, and none of our choices we made over the course of three games mattered one iota!  It was a slap in the face and I couldn’t help but stare at the screen in dismay and hatred and depression and regret. How could this have happened? I was justifiably outraged and wen to the internet looking for answers. Maybe there was a secret ending? Nope. This was the final ‘artistic’ vision of Bioware. So I gave my own two cents worth to the growing backlash to the ending of ME3 which was starting to look like Mass Effect-gate. But the developers stood behind the ending and decided to give dlc that would answer burning questions to the fans eyes, ears, minds, souls, and whatever. Only those answers didn’t really answer anything and the narrative of Mass Effect remained destroyed.

I still like Mass Effect, mind you, but something got lost in the translation of fan outrage that I think developers are still ignoring to this day. I heard a lot of ire being cast out by the development community: entitled fans, vocal minority, people who just didn’t ‘get it’. But this confuses the issue. It wasn’t entitlement that created the backlash. It was the failure of actually writing a decent story in the end. Looking back on ME3 I see now so many issues that plagued this game. Lore was ignored, characters did dumb things, the Reapers weren’t the real threat–Cerberus was (a terrorist organization in the fiction that somehow got a hold of an army that must have been cloned on a private world because damn that was a lot of them) and the Illusive Man was now completely evil and idiotic. The developers didn’t understand one crucial thing: we weren’t pissed Shepard died, we were pissed that you didn’t finish the story! It just…ended! And then we get a bunch of nonsensical scenes to wrap up the very last narrative in Shepard’s story and this iteration of Mass Effect. Nothing was explained! We’re not dummies. We can infer. But we’d much rather you just finished the story and not give us lazy cinematics! If you wrote a book and then in the end the lead character just died and everything that happened just went into limbo you’d expect the readers to stop reading that author’s books. Period. 

But apparently video games have a different idea of story telling. The problem lies in how the narrative unfolds. We have a game. You play a game. And oft times the story is secondary to the gameplay which means oft times more you get really ridiculous stories with piss poor climaxes that don’t serve the narrative at all. This is what I felt about Mass Effect 3. But that game isn’t the only perpetrator of bad narrative in the end game (or even in the game itself.) Over the years gamers have been given all sorts of lunkers that fail to deliver a logical narrative that delivers the impact that we’re looking for. Assassin’s Creed III took a similar avenue in not delivering the goods by just completely ignoring the narrative’s direction and decided to just call it quits with the lead character’s story. Granted the lead character had gone stale because the writers didn’t know what to do with him. But I’ve seen this lazy execution before: Deux Ex, Final Fantasy, Xenosaga, Assassin’s Creed, a slew of RPG’s…hell the list can go on indefinitely.

Here’s a thought, perhaps the writers should have an end game in mind BEFORE they start making the game. Especially where you have a multi-game narrative spanning over so many titles. Mass Effect seems to exist purely for the choices players can make and exploring cool worlds. But with the end of that the choice angle disappeared as did world exploration. So what happened? They didn’t have a plan. They didn’t have a total story outline. Same thing with Assassin’s Creed. It got so sloppy that they didn’t know what else to do with it other than just end the story.

It seems to me game developers are only concerned with the action a game develops. But, games have come quite far in terms of narrative storytelling. So you can’t just ignore story like the old days with the Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. Those games were just about the fun. Nowadays the medium has to tell a compelling story as well. Just look at the phenomenal Last of Us. Naughty Dog game us a superb game with fun gameplay mechanics, intense scenarios, and guess what? an awesome end game! The narrative was complete! Did bad things happen? Yes! But it was an excellent experience that puts it at the top of my list of all time great games, even beating out Mass Effect in my opinion.

Story story story, guys! Lay it out first then bring it to us! And if you fail own up to it. Don’t insist we just feel ‘entitled’ because you are way out of the ballpark on that. We want the complete package. If Shepard has to die, so be it. But you’d better do it in a compelling logical fashion not give us some Star child that makes our character choose one of three pretty colors where the character then jumps into a beam and desintegrates leaving a galaxy in turmoil, our teammates abandoned, and the economy in tatters. Oh and then try to suggest no our teammates were evacuated while being fired at by a massive two kilometer tall instrument of death and somehow leaving the solar system just when all hell is breaking loose! That is illogical and unacceptable! You can write better than that!