Making gaming open to everyone -

CatParty

Boo
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net


As our media continues to go further down the neoliberal alley, with the likes of US President Donald Trump's Twitter feed haunting our social lives, you’d be surprised to find a bastion of progressive values beginning to embed itself within an unlikely sector of the economy, the gaming industry.

Melbourne-based indie videogame studio House House recently announced on Twitterthat it “will be paying at least 1% of [its] income to Indigenous groups, in perpetuity, as part of the Pay the Rent movement” and encourages “others to do the same”.

This kind of recognition on a platform such as gaming is substantial and a start towards pushing the industry in the right direction.

This complemented the studio's recent project Untitled Goose Game which features an acknowledgement of country in its end credits: “This game was made on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay respects to their Elders, past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.”

The game itself involves the player taking control of a goose described as “chaotic-neutral”, with a set list of tasks aimed at bringing disorder to an English village.

When asked about the “very small but angry political responses”, game developer Jacob Strasser told Vulture: “We have a joke canonical version of the world of the game, in which... it’s set in a world where a goose chased Margaret Thatcher out of office, leading Tony Benn to take over the UK and enact social democracy in the UK”

This outlandish yet casual depiction of an alternative universe and anarchic caricature is exactly what led the questionable "protagonist" towards the anti-Brexit icon it found itself to be during October last year. Twitter user @sarahhiraki can be seen with the infamous goose holding the European Union flag, along with another depiction chasing Prime Minister Boris Johnson out of the country.

However, the response videogames get by attempting to include progressive values hasn’t been all positive.

Temtem was developed by Crema games, through publisher Humble Bundle, which is well-respected for its "videogame collections for charity". Its latest campaign — "Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle" — was made available in an early access release. It allowed for players to choose their preferred pronouns when creating their online avatar.

It has, overall, been well received among the gaming community as a promising challenger to Pokemon’s monopoly of the monster collecting genre. But it has also been the target for ridicule by an outspoken minority as “SJW (Social Justice Warrior) propaganda”.

To be fair, the videogame has several shortcomings as an early release, but some user reviews were more concerned with “choos[ing] your own pronouns” and its “LGBT views” in their critiques.

Gaming news website One Angry Gamer, notorious as the “Kotaku for right-wingers” (or “Breitbart for gamers”), gave a greater voice to these criticisms, with the site’s founder William “Billy D” Usher inferring it as the developer’s means to “accommodate mentally ill people who have ravaged all of our cultural norms”.

Usher descried the an attempt to normalise mental illness… Leftists keep giving these mentally disturbed people a platform to spout their nonsense and sprout their degenerate religion to everybody else, especially in the media”

It’s this conservative minority that alienates both consumers and producers, and ultimately prevents videogames from reaching a broader audience as opposed to the hyper-masculine identity that they would like it to maintain.

Although there are various groups subscribing to a range of genres that do challenge this, the mainstream of videogames continue to attach themselves to the status quo and help to suppress attempts towards progressive changes.

However, it is largely the fault of the industry giants that would like to appeal to shareholders and loud but small stakeholders by unapologetically parading their totalitarian colours.

Blizzard Entertainment issued a ban on Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung on October 8 for publicly expressing his support for the Hong Kong protesters during a Hearthstone competition live stream.

The following day, The Guardian reported: “Ng believes the developer could be bowing to Beijing’s world view by silencing him.” This is not too far-fetched, as Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent owns a stake in their parent company Activision Blizzard. It is known for aggressive expansion and string-pulling behind several other studios, displaying the hierarchical structure typical of these corporations.

Funnily enough, at the start of last year, Blizzard attempted to build “depth” in one of it’s intellectual properties, the Overwatch universe, by revealing in a short comic that one of the game’s characters is a gay man.

Besides being criticised as a completely reactionary and pandering manoeuvre to create appeal within their soulless videogame (which it evidently was), it provoked an uprising among the homophobic section of gamers.

In January last year, Usher wrote: “Blizzard’s war on the straight, white male culture continues ... [the] Last Normal Character … Soldier 76 identifies as a thoroughbred gay man ... He’s a patriotic military man, a hard-fighting soldier with undying loyalty, and a code of honor. He’s the perfect representation for what the majority of gamers like to see out of a hero … one normal sized, healthy, properly muscled straight, white male with all of his limbs intact.”

So what does this all entail? The gaming scene is convoluted and rigid, restricted by phenomena like Gamergate, a harassment campaign in 2014 that targetted women developers amd feminist media critics. There’s still a long way to go if we are to create a more safe and embracing environment.

When we recognise gaming as a different kind of media, we can see the importance of introducing progressive ideas, albeit slowly.

Unlike other art forms, videogames go beyond the third person. The audience doesn’t just project themselves, but are an integral part of the experience — a player. Thus building a healthy relationship between developers and players becomes paramount. By being more transparent and addressing social issues in their business model and the games themselves, the needs of the broader community can be met.

Does suddenly introducing token marginalised characters help gamers feel more accepted? No, far from it. Being more aware of the conditions that restrict or hinder people from margalinised communities from playing videogames in the first place is the perfect place to start.

And like we were taught in the playground, the key to having fun is allowing for everyone to feel included.

As House House's Stuart Gillespie-Cook told the ABC: “We're more about making sure people are having as good a time as possible while they play."
 

6thRanger

kiwifarms.net
>20% of all gamers are LGBT
>50% of all gamers are women
>we need to make gaming open to everyone

Seems like they're doing a good job already, what are people bitching about again?
It's pretty insane. Even if you agree with the exceptional concept that EVERY activity should match up with reality in terms of representation (I don't see people advocating for more female garbagepeople), LGBTQ individuals are < 5% of the population. It's astounding how much they're catered to in the US. Granted, I expect that number to steadily rise as there's an entire generation who was raised and is raising their children to believe being LGBTQ is hip, rad and special.
 

Skin and Bones

kiwifarms.net
Being more aware of the conditions that restrict or hinder people from margalinised communities from playing videogames in the first place is the perfect place to start.
There is literally nothing preventing anyone from playing video games other then a serious disability. If they spent as much time playing games as they do whining about them, surely they could find some games among the thousands out there that appeal to them.
 

Fuck Y'all

local slav lawnjockey
kiwifarms.net
Where is it, where is the mention of Gamergate? There! There it is in the bottom third of the article. My God. 20 years from now they will still be bringing their revisionist history of Gamergate to articles.
the whole problem is every try to disprove their myth is discarded as sexism because "HOW DARE YOU INSULT A WOMxN?!" of course they don't know their goddess is immoral psychopath
 

thismanlies

The Funnest Part of Gaming is Looting Corpses.
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Some Faggot Journalist said:
It’s this conservative minority that alienates both consumers and producers, and ultimately prevents videogames from reaching a broader audience as opposed to the hyper-masculine identity that they would like it to maintain.
Maybe it's because that "conservative minority" (see: customers) are the ones who, you know, purchase video games with money that the game developers use to make more video games? This is like me bitching about Hollywood not making movies for me when I can't be arsed to go to a theater because I don't want to spend 26 dollars on a ticket and popcorn.
 

Mr. Skeltal

Calcium fortified at your own risk
kiwifarms.net
Reeeee Its no working we must spread propganda in other areas. MOMMY WHY ARE THE PEOPLE DISAGREEEING WITH MEEEEE.

seriously, cant the Terrrorists just Hebdo them.
Fuck the optics, I'm going in! 👌:punished::aug:

>20% of all gamers are LGBT
>50% of all gamers are women
>we need to make gaming open to everyone

Seems like they're doing a good job already, what are people bitching about again?
The fact that WHITE MALES play video games and that said games are often tailored to them.
Essentially this:

 

Safir

The woman from Snowy River
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Even if you agree with the exceptional concept that EVERY activity should match up with reality in terms of representation (I don't see people advocating for more female garbagepeople)
Garbageperson is not a fair comparison. It is the most thankless job ever, by far, and you don't see people advocating for it because it isn't something anyone should want to do. But people are advocating for women in other "unpleasant" and physically taxing jobs. Russian women have been suing the government since 1993 to declare the Soviet profession ban unconstitutional, because they want to do the hard jobs, and also because they are already doing far more harmful jobs in the same environments with less protection for less pay and with zero career perspectives. "Oh noes, you can't be a $800/mo engineer, the machinery hall is too poisonous for wamenz even in a respirator. But, you can clean machinery rooms for $150/mo, 9 to 6, 5 days a week. Here's your rag, bring your own uniform. Protection? `Cleaner` is not on the ban list."

But the uniformity drive in already open occupations is exceptional, doubly so in hobbies, and everything it does for women is makes them lose to mediocre men in "their own" hobbies they had thought safe, like with all the makeup "influencers" on youtube.
 
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