Queer Mechanic is a regular feature here on GayGamer – each month, we’ll be presenting a new game mechanic that could be used in games that include or focus on queer identity or culture. Queer Mechanic is a thought experiment, to see both what we cou...
When Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us took the gaming world by storm last year, some gamers were surprised to find that a major supporting character was gay. Bill, the gruff old man that players encounter during the main campaign, was a refreshingl...
My apologies for the linkbait-y sensationalist title, but it’s worth noting that very few AAA games prominently feature queer characters in any major roles, let alone playable ones. Sure we have characters like Poison and virtual-Darren Young, ...
Over on GamesOnly.com Dutch game dev Robin Ras has released Putin’s Olympic Game, a title designed as protest against the Sochi Olympics and host country Russia’s anti-gay laws.
The game sees players controlling Russian President Vladimir...
Have you found yourself sitting on a great idea for an article or a feature about video games? Board games? Cosplay? Got something to say about queer issues in gaming? Or maybe you’re just really passionate about a certain series or character?
For the past two years there has been one invention grabbing the attention of game developers everywhere: The Oculus Rift. The Kickstarter-funded virtual reality headset is being touted by many as the next big thing in interactive entertainment. Ever...
Harassment seems ubiquitous, inevitable and inescapable in the world of videogames, and targets of harassment run the gamut from folk who show the slightest interest in games, to folk who regularly play and write about games as a career, all the way to folk who create games – and that harassment can come from folk in those roles, too.
Folk of other sexes and genders don’t fare much better, nor do gay gamers, or indeed, folk from any given group of people that aren’t the “straight white middle-class cis male” profile that’s continually reinforced as the norm.
Ever get the feeling that, despite your pectoral girth, silken pelt, and display case full of PS3 trophies you’re just not quite manly enough? Are Commander Badass and Canada Guy of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things the epitome of machismo you just can’t quite reach but don’t know why? NFL punter, ally, and GayGamer bestie has got you covered. In an essay he wrote for Esquire, he offered an array of tips, including:
Sleep by “nesting in a pile of bearskin rugs”
Plastic cannot withstand a manly grip; carve your 360 controller out of mahogany
Beta males, poser gamer girls, and weakness are never to be tolerated
Own a pet crocodile, preferably named Frederick
The whole piece is giggle-inducing, so go give it a read. If you really like it, or just want to support an amazing ally, he wrote a book called Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities that can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and probably you local bookstore if you ask really nicely, and comes in digital and dead-tree editions. Or, if you really need more Kluwe, you can get the audiobook version narrated by Kluwe himself from Audible.
It’s probably a pretty odd question, but it’s one I kept brushing up against while I was brushing up on my Francis Bacon know-how for a previous article on Silent Hill right here on GayGamer.Net. Bacon had a massive influence on the artistic direction of Silent Hill, and his work often contained themes of sexuality and/or violence. As a gay man, however, most of the paintings that were explicitly sexual in Bacon’s work were focused on the male form – but as a whole, the Silent Hill series is very much a negative heterosexual male perspective on sexuality (particularly female sexuality).
This may not necessarily be as oppressive as it might sound, given that the narrative of Silent Hill goes to great pains to demonstrate that its protagonists have very problematic, negative ideas about sexuality. In fact, the narrative makes it pretty clear that any representation of human life the player comes up against (from sexuality to family, from guilt to being teased at school) are by definition the protagonist’s own profoundly negative ideas.
That doesn’t change the fact that most of Silent Hill‘s representations of sexuality come from straight male characters and their attitudes to female sexuality, whose perspectives can pretty much be summed up with “women’s bodies are mysterious and foreign and sexy and scary.”
[Trigger warnings for discussion of sexual abuse from here on out, and spoiler warnings for the main themes of Silent Hill 3, as well as bosses in Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill: Homecoming].
Mondays are the worst. The start of another work week. Nothing good on TV. New games come out on Tuesdays! What’s a gaymer to do but sulk? Why couldn’t every day be like Saturday? If only we had a geeky male model to brighten up our Monday and give it some of that weekend-energy. Someone like…Parker Hurley, perhaps? Wearing nothing but his Flash underoos, lounging around his nerd-shwag filled apartment playing video games and reading comics.
Well turns out photographer Gabriel Gastelum had that exact idea and decided to make it a reality with his editorial series Saturday Morning Cartoons. On the series he writes:
Remember when we were kids and we used to wake up on Saturday morning really excited to watch cartoons? Well, some of us never really grow out of that. The cool ones don’t at least. Who is to say that age should stop us from sleeping in late, watching some cartoons, reading some comic books, playing with action figures, enjoying a good video game. Who is to say you can’t enjoy those Saturday mornings you did as a kid. No one. So go ahead. Parker does.
Superheroes, villains, stories, excitement, sugar, nunchucks and undies. A good start if you ask me.
And before anyone accuses Mr. Hurley of appropriating our geek culture, check out his personal tumblr where the self described “Artist. Actor. Nerd. Model.” regularly posts about the likes of Cowboy Bebop, Adventure Time, Marvel Comics, and, of course, video games. He even lists his top five titles, which happens to include Pokemon Snap. A man who looks like that and loves some Pokemon Snap? There aren’t enough in the world.
In the never-ending war of PC vs. console gaming, graphical fidelity has always been the personal computer’s upper hand. Consoles are king of the hill for only about the first year or two of their release. After that, ever-improving graphics cards will leave the hottest Playstation title looking dated while your freshly upgraded desktop renders more bloom effects and lens flares than a freshman Photoshop project.
PC graphics are a double-edged sword, however. Compared with the it-just-works-ness of consoles, computers require no small amount of fiddling. Assuming all of your drivers are up to date, you still have to contend with your clock speed and available memory, so going for hi-res shadows and maximum draw distance could wind up turning your brand new FPS to the prettiest slideshow $500 can buy.
Obviously, there will be bloopers when recording the voice work for a videogame, but in the case of Rockstar’s L.A. Noire, the groundbreaking motion-tracking technology meant that the gag reel would be visual as well. Depth Analysis, the Australian tech firm that supplied the technology used by Team Bondi in L.A. Noire released this video of bloopers from their recording sessions.
After you get past the idea that it’s slightly insane that they would take the time to render the bloopers as fully as the final scenes in the game, it’s actually an amazing demonstration of just how amazing the technology is. It really does capture every single minute expression, down to the sneezes and tongue movements.