Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gender Roles

Something I think that is severely lacking in my adopted state of Iowa is Feminism. They want to vote and have a career but it is time that the role reversal goes comfortably all the way around. I like to write, play videogames, and read. All of these are hindered by a 8 hour a day job. I believe in hard work and do find fulfillment in menial tasks but I also like to cook and love children. House husband. I’m calling it now. I’ve had enough of brilliant woman squeezing one out and quitting doing great work. I’m calling dibs on the house.
Why yes, I did watch Staying Up All Night.
Gender roles in games have been hit or miss. There have been very few games that attempt to go deeper in character than princess peach.
Perspective is how the player sees things, thinks about problems, and goes about making decisions. It is amazing to think about no matter how a characterized an avatar is after minutes of people start referring the events of in the game and needs of the character as their needs. “It’s killing me!” “I need your help!” “I cannot walk into the item shop!” “He caught me while I was reloading!” “I was walking through the city and being flashed by these flying cameras. I found myself being beckoned to a house and then everything fell apart as police started beating on everybody!” This is called immersion. When the player gets their mind into the events of a game. Until you can literally become part of the game you are projecting yourself onto a controllable part of the games world.
Immersion can be broken by the story, graphical flaws, AI behavior, and demanding a difficult or unsavoury task.

In Duke Nukem you’re Duke, a bulky, strong but intellectually limited, and brutally lethal misogynist. Gordon Freeman is a voiceless mirror on which the player may project themselves. Dom and Marcus are characterized have wives motivations and opinions but they still swear about messing up a reload and respond to EVERYTHING by frowning and grunting.

What happens when a girl plays these games? On the podcast Hey Ash, What’cha Podcast?, star of the web series Hey Ash, What‘cha Playin’?, expressed her experience playing Half Life 2. Where the male player goes through the game and builds an attachment with the support charcter Alex, the designers anticipated this and put several underlying hints to this in the dialogue of the other characters. Males do view Alex as a flirtatious and possibly romantic counter part. Ashley, on the other hand, saw Alex as a cool friend like any other girl-pal and the assumed romantic theme was lost on her.

As social changes start to sink in and the widdening influence of videogames sinks into the female population. I expect the faceless characters to become more vague and more developers tip their hats to the female audience. And I am very curious to see if it spreads to other mediums.

Guys if you live in your parents basement, clean yourself up, learn to tidy, and pick up some house keeping tips from you mom

Ladies, don’t over look a guy that lives in a basement and doesn’t have a job, if you want a career out of life. He is prime house-keeping material.

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