Remaking Final Fantasy VII in HD may be the most common sense decision that a gaming company has ever ignored. A revolutionary title in its day that has dug a comfortably nostalgic place in most gamers’ hearts, the relatively cheap process it would t...
I first heard of Ultimate Gay Fighter through a friend’s Facebook post rather than any gaming news outlet, because do you really think that mainstream gaming outlets are going to bother with anything like this? I gave the trailer a look-see, wr...
I’m coining the word “xbroglio” as of today. It means, “any incidents occurring as a result of Microsoft assuming players to be heterosexual dudebros”. It’s quite a flexible concept, too – in fact, I’d ...
The idea of a game designed with queer themes at its heart is not a new one. Titles like Mattie Brice’s Mainichi and Anna Anthropy’s Dys4ia have already made waves in the indie scene, opening up dialogues about their creators’ exper...
When comes to groups that the most vile of gamers dislike, gay men are miles above common fodder like women and “the blacks.” The industry has spent so long catering strictly to the angry white kid demographic that its visual mythology and cultural p...
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...
Scottish people love talking about Scotland. It’s kind of to be expected, since we’re a groovy bunch. We’ve got kilts – widely regarded as one of the sexiest pieces of gear ever – and we’ll fry and eat anything if ...
Over on PBS’ new Game Channel, a gaming-centric Youtube series ala their popular Idea Channel (which I highly recommend for plenty of thought provoking nerdity), host Jamin Warren asks, “Are games ready for gay main characters?”
While the video paints broad strokes on the queer side of gaming that we here at GayGamer spend every day exploring, it nonetheless poses some very interesting points of discussion. The most interesting being the issue of player-avatar relationships and how that affects player perception of gay game characters versus gay television characters. It’s that direct connection between player and avatar that is the cause of the white cisgendered heterosexual mid-30s scruffy bearded power fantasy archetypes becoming the industry standard.
And while Warren makes sure to give a shout out to the ever growing gayming community (with shots of gaymer.org, r/gayming, and our pals Matt and Kayce from GaymerX), he ends his presentation by asking if the gaming world could handle a gay main character. Well there are already lots of games not just starring gay characters but lesbian characters, trans characters, and queer identifying characters of all kinds.
Remaking Final Fantasy VII in HD may be the most common sense decision that a gaming company has ever ignored. A revolutionary title in its day that has dug a comfortably nostalgic place in most gamers’ hearts, the relatively cheap process it would take to polish up the texture work and put Uematsu’s score to a symphony seems like a no brainer. Hell, they’ve pretty much done it already through the years, with touring Final Fantasy concerts and a series of game spinoffs that sold far more than they deserved. But if there is one thing those in the internet trenches love to do more than bemoan the lack of a Final Fantasy VII re-release, it’s theorizing why it hasn’t happened yet.
While I can’t pretend to have the answer, I stumbled along a factor that could be contributing to Square Enix’s reticence. In a story filled to the brim with corporate overreach, grandiose environmental messages, and clones, we take a bit of a detour in the first act to dress the game’s spiky yellow haired male lead Cloud as a woman to try and seduce information out of a gangster. It’s played off with a lot of sitcom-esque humor, but this mission takes a few turns that could be problematic if bumped to HD.
I first heard of Ultimate Gay Fighter through a friend’s Facebook post rather than any gaming news outlet, because do you really think that mainstream gaming outlets are going to bother with anything like this? I gave the trailer a look-see, wrote up a quick “this is a thing” post for Towleroad, and then forgot about it.
Except I didn’t. It stayed in the back of my mind, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that while this is a project with its heart in the right place, its execution is horrible. Offensive, even, in cases that can’t be defended with the whole “it’s a tongue-in-cheek satire.” The characters can be broadly categorized into “Good”, “Eh” and “Bad.” Let’s take a look…
Well, today’s contribution to the continuing imbroglio can be foundover on the site for the Xbox One – in the form of the “We Got Your Back” email template provided courtesy of Microsoft, replete with mad-libs style fields where you can customise a desperate e-plea for an Xbox One to a co-habiting human being and email it off. Which sounds fairly innocuous – if a little obnoxious – were it not for the weirdly gendered and heteronormative format of the entire letter itself.
The newest entry in Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series has arrived, focusing this time on the Ms. Male Character trope. Worth noting is that this video, despite being the fifth in the series, is actually only the second episode from Anita’s original list of planned topics.
This trope hits home for me as a big fan of characters like Pretty Bomber, Dixie Kong, and Amy Rose. These characters have, of course, come into their own over time (with Dixie taking the starring role in Donkey Kong Country 3, and Amy Rose having taken major roles in many Sonic titles) but it’s still worth noting how problematic their initial conceptions were.
Also very interesting is how the use of supposed ‘feminine’ signifiers affects the portrayal of trans and gay characters in video games.
What do you think about the Ms. Male Character trope? Let us know in the comments!
Scottish people love talking about Scotland. It’s kind of to be expected, since we’re a groovy bunch. We’ve got kilts – widely regarded as one of the sexiest pieces of gear ever – and we’ll fry and eat anything if it stands still long enough. To date, the only other people I’ve found who emphasize their nationalism in the same (non-creepy) way are Canadians; I can’t help but wonder if it’s something to do with being attached to a country that gets a bad rap internationally and wanting to distance yourself from them — in fact, the people of Scotland want to distance ourselves from England so much that we’re even voting on leaving the United Kingdom next year.
So, given this predisposition to singing the praises of all things Scottish, and given that Rockstar North, the team behind Grand Theft Auto V, are based in Scotland, I really, really want to talk about how brilliant Grand Theft Auto V is (and, by extension, how great Scotland is, because that’s totally how it works).
But I can’t, because it’s festooned with misogyny, transphobia, and creepy rape jokes that don’t really seem very funny.
[Update] The Eurogamer Expo Emcee featured in this story has since released an apology for any offense caused in the matter, and claims to have never referred to the journalist as an “it”. Any indirect pronouns heard were reportedly used during the hectic fervor of a convention event. Neither Microsoft nor the journalist subject of the below story have updated their statements at this time.
Original Article is as follows:
Here we are again.
The games industry looks to be collecting transphobia controversies these days, with another pungent example of mobilized hatred rearing its head just over two weeks after theGTAV review fiasco. What’s even more horrifying is that the situation has appeared to have escalated, more malicious and certainly more personal than when we last heard trolls bitching on this specific subject. Which makes writing about it all the more difficult, because we’re not exactly going to tell you what went down.
Now, we are fine name-dropping Carolyn Petit in the wake of the comments her Gamespot review received. While the language directed towards her frequently dipped into the obscene and personal, it was largely diverted into calling her credibility into account as a reviewer and demanding her dismissal. Yes, that’s a light offensive these days.
The basics this time around was that a Microsoft conference Emcee at this year’s Eurogamer Expo brought a transgender games journalist on stage during an Xbox One event. During that time, she was both misidentified and referred to as an “it”. Expressing her discomfort at the treatment, she was given the traditional PR reach-around known as the “We’re sorry you were offended” line, and not given the opportunity to speak to the Emcee directly. So far, so frustratingly expected.