Social justice in video games: what went wrong?

To an outsider, the video game community may appear to consist of childish and immature antics involving sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and the like. To a certain extent, that is true, and probably always will be, but for those who care to give their attention may notice how the gaming community has in fact matured over the years in regard to these subjects. While these various forms of unacceptance are still prominent within the community, they are not, by any means, widely accepted. Video game critics, Youtube commentators, and journalists alike have all stepped up to the plate to voice their concerns and defend those who are all too often targeted by those unwilling to accept people outside of their social comfort zones. Critiques of race and gender equality, as well as LGBT acceptance have since risen to prominence, not only in regards to gamers, but developers and other industry figures as well. This can be seen as one of the positive ways in which the video games industry has matured as a whole (or in the process of maturing, rather). However, these social justice viewpoints do not come without their negative aspects.

Pokemon X and Y — Thoughts and Reactions from a “Genwunner”

Ever since I picked up and played a Pokemon game for the first time, I’ve been an avid lover of the games, show (but not that ridiculously dumb Ash Ketchum) and participant in the fandom. My favorite generation was the first, but it is only slightly above the third. I became a Genwunner after feeling mass disappointment with Diamond and Pearl, and then again with Black and White. I was concerned that Pokemon was degenerating and ruining its own former glory by creating abominations like Trubbish and Vanillite…

Idea of 10-year-old kid turned into hit game

Most of the games now days are created by experienced team of developers, designers, project managers etc… But, what happens when you give chance to a kid with just a vivid imagination and passion for drawing crazy creatures? Zombies: Run or Kill is a result of one of those situations. Peaksel LLC has just decided to start making games, with biggest focus on girly games, when a friend of theirs brought in her cute, game obsessed boy. As soon as he saw the owner he starred trowing his ideas about what would be the best game ever to play and what no one has yet made.

5 reasons why Pocket Trains is better

Let me start by saying I love NimbleBit games and the studio as a whole. I, like many of you, was hooked when I discovered Tiny Tower. I love the pixel art, the bitizen characters and the little attentions to detail in their games like the Bitbook (mock in-game Facebook). Not only are their games good but it seems like they are the underdogs that everyone is rooting for, and I mean “underdog” in the best way possible as in they don’t have the capital or resources that their competition has. It’s hard not to respect them when they send notes like this to studios who copy their games.

Sympathy for the Devil: The Secret Brilliance of LJN’s Liscenced Games

Since the early beginnings of gaming media, the classic mantra of most critics and fans is that games based on licensed properties are terrible–which was especially true in the 8 and 16-bit console generations. Nowadays, our children and inner-child have a bit more luck when it comes to finding video games based off a TV show or film that are not utterly terrible. Obviously, this rule is not true in all cases: even in the eighties and early nineties we could point to examples like Batman for the NES and Genesis, or the Disney titles developed and produced by Capcom and later Virgin Interactive.

The Best of Gaming Horror: “Extermination”

Next on The Best of Gaming Horror list is another PlayStation 2 classic that have players fighting against a deadly mutation at research facility in a frozen wasteland of Antarctica (and no I’m not talking about The Thing). Extermination was a unique horror game for its time that sadly was quick to fall into obscurity among the PlayStation community.

The Emotional Effectiveness of Mass Effect

When I think of the word “immersion”, I see myself being lost in a game’s world.  I focus on the screen and ignore everything else, unaware of how much time is passing in reality.  I become the character and never truly stop playing even after I’ve pressed the pause button.  I’ve known what immersion is for a while, but something happened that made me realize just how effective it is as a tool; a tool not just for having fun with a game, but discovering more about ourselves.

How League of Legends can attract more female gamers

Recently I’ve tried to get back into League of Legends, with moderate success. I’ve never been much for PvP, so the last time I played I gave up only after a few short hours. This time around I got a little further, but in the end the sheer weight of the game coupled with a certain something that seems to be missing from the gameplay experience had me flustered. I like LoL, I want to enjoy my time in it, and half the time I really do. But I play games for different reasons than the target audience — a young, predominantly male player base. A young male I am not, and yet I represent a growing segment of the gaming population that is definitely worth courting — no pun intended. Thus I find myself contemplating the problem of gender equality in League of Legends.