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Uncharted 2

…to push the player forward, they have their own motivations which intermingle and entice/intrigue/mystify a curious Drake. On the other hand, Snake Link Sonic acknowledges the strong female characterization but felt that “the game would have functioned just fine without [Chloe].” G. Christopher Williams’s “Sorry, But Our Princess Wants To Be in Another Castle” likens Chloe to the more provocative side which Elena lacks, using sex to play the game from Nate to Flynn as her assets allow — an effective way to piss off the player with an emotional connection to Drake. At first seeing her as a princess…

May 20th

…ourselves at the end of play.

RockPaperShotgun’s Adam Smith takes issue with the term ‘cinematic.’ Meanwhile, throwing ludology to the wind, Eric Lockaby stomps back in from the cold this week with the first chapter of his ‘playable critique’ of The Great Gatsby. While his design is still a little rough, Lockaby’s work is, as always, worth investigating simply for the strangeness of it.

Cody Steffen breaks down the portrayal of sex and gender in The Witcher 2 and finds it wanting. On a more high profile subject, we could not go this week without mentioning Brandon…

June 3rd

…because they rejected the familiar settings or the guns or the hero/villain dichotomy, but because they made these the very subjects of their scrutiny.

(The following section bears trigger warnings for discussion of rape, misogyny, violence toward women, and the inclusion of ableist and sexist language.)

On this note, the subject of the game industry responding to its own conventions, we’re brought to what was unquestionably the leading topic of the week.

You may have heard a thing or two about Hitman: Absolution‘s notorious new trailer, in which the game’s protagonist takes on a squad of…

July 22nd

…that games are not places where we let ourselves run wild so we can write about it later. Is the value of a game really only in what we, as individuals, get out of it? Or is there something to be said about the game itself, the way it operates, the way it plays itself?

I would be remiss in addressing some of the higher-profile pieces of the week, starting with Leigh Alexander’s opinion piece for Gamasutra in which she speculates we’re finally seeing a positive, rising trend in the discussion of sexism and misogyny in the industry…

August 12th

…flippant depiction of gender and sex in a medium I want to see grow, see mature. I should be repulsed.


I don’t. She’s the woman I’ve desperately wanted to look like all these years.

M is for More, as Yannick LeJacq takes on the same:

The problem with Lollipop Chainsaw, Richard Clark explains, is that Juliet has been coerced by some force greater than herself to “accept and revel in her reality.” But while it may be a reality to her, it’s a fantasy for us. And there’s a real difference…

September 23rd

…(The next section bears a trigger warning for discussion of rape, sexual assault and objectification.)

1UP’s Jeremy Parish takes aim at Western media’s coverage of “weird Japan” and a so-called fixation adult games:

Make no mistake, the fact that Rapelay entered the American conscious right around the time that gaming blogs began to supplement their 24-hour news cycle with “scandalous” content is no coincidence. What might have been a minor blip a few years prior became a widely reported new story as bloggers licked their lips at the prospect of the traffic a sex scandal could bring.

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

October 21st

…that I have a symptom of some larger, mysterious disorder.”

PopMatters’ G. Christopher Williams surveys the role of the prostitute in games versus in other media.

Katie Williams observes that the gaming scene is changing, and for the better:

The gaming community has seemed noisy lately, there’s no denying it. Every week we pick through the debris of a new controversy. There’s already a fatigue in relation to issues of sex and gender, but women have felt fatigued far longer by the prevalence of skimpily-dressed female characters and sexualised violence in our hobby. We’re noisy…

October 28th

…actions since, supported by people who know better, have made her a focal point for a piece that was never about her. She has faced the ugly side of these internet dramas, where people dig into your past and highlight all your mistakes. She’s faced nasty comments based on her sex and her looks, because that’s what some corners of the internet do to women.

And it has to stop.

Because here’s the thing. This story – my column, Lauren’s reaction, Eurogamer’s edit, my stepping down, the whole aftermath – is not about writers. It’s about PR. It’s…

January 13th

…does similar passion about digital avatars create such a hue and cry? If you say you are tired of the slate of straight white men, you are a whiner. You do not understand that “sex sells.” You are a troublemaker. You are a “feminist bitch” and worse.


Problem Machine lays down the issue of the sorts of physical proficiency that games privilege, to such a degree that they become impenetrable for a great number of prospective users:

Basically, by pseudo-Darwinistic processes, we’ve created a development culture that a) has, as common perspective/capability, above…

January 20th

…every single level of participation, women are feeling the effects of sexism. Female gamers are sexualised, demeaned and assumed to be fakes by their male counterparts; those who go into STEM fields despite this abuse frequently find themselves stifled by the sexist assumptions of professors and fellow students alike; they must then enter an industry whose creative output is overwhelmingly populated with hypersexualised depictions of women and male-dominant narratives, and where the entrenched popularity of these tropes means their own efforts to counteract the prevailing culture will likely put them at odds with not only their colleagues, but also the…