There’s been a lot of talk in the wake of E3 about how very violent video games have become. I want to talk about it in detail when I have more time, but below is a bit I wrote on the subject in order to spark off discussion a couple of years ago that I thought I’d post here.
Violence in video games.
Does it turn kids into mindless killers with a bloodthirsty thirst.. for.. er.. blood.. <_< erm… whatever… or is it just that people who are already violent are attracted to violent things?
So, Kotaku posted an article that got people upset, talking about how people will want to “protect” Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, with quotes from executive producer Ron Rosenberg.
There were a couple of disturbing things in there: firstly, the idea that people don’t project themselves into Lara as a character. The viewpoint presented here is that all gamers are men and therefore don’t identify with Lara, instead they want to protect her. Later on, there is talk of an attempted rape, where Rosenberg describes her as being like a cornered animal. Just clumsy language, but ultimately dehumanising. Tit.
So, why am I here saying that the game itself isn’t that bad?
I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit over the last couple of weeks and decided to make it the subject of a blog post. I’m a heterosexual white guy living in Western Europe, and I know that means that in general I have life set to easy mode. Male privilege, that’s what that means, and Video gaming ably demonstrates how years of male privilege can have a detrimental effect on our relatively new art form.
Sexism is rife within games. I don’t think anyone would really sensibly argue with that. There are very few games with female central characters; those that do have a central female character can fall into the trap of her being a male fantasy type, and using her as eye-candy. Bayonetta I’m looking at you.
Microsoft has had a funny old time with Windows over the years. The butt of jokes to many, it’s either unstable or it stole all of its ideas from somewhere or other… but let’s face it, it’s popularity came for a reason.
Windows for a long time has been considered the best option for a general computer used by a normal person. I don’t think there are many out there who would argue with that. Certainly *.nix systems are technically superior – including OSX – but seeing as it’s only relatively recently that Linux has become friendly enough to consider an option for general users, and Apple machines are closed and overpriced*, Windows for a long time has been the best option.
Windows has had its ups and downs though; ME was dire, Vista was awful.. and Window 8 looks like being a Frankenstein’s OS with some sort of bizarre mix of tablet OS and desktop OS that excells at neither.
Let’s get this straight, Windows is a desktop OS first and foremost. I have no issue with Microsoft making a tablet OS, but Windows is not it; the vast majority of their potential user base will be using mice and keyboards and have no desire to put their fingers all over their screens. People like being able to run whatever web browser they like, to be able to run whatever software they want in whatever size of window they want.
With the current iteration of Windows 8, Microsoft are at serious risk of losing the people who care about flexibility at the expense of their entry into a market that is already crowded with myriad Android options and the iOS market leaders. I can’t see myself changing away from Windows 7 to anything other than Linux.
*To all Mac fanboys – yes, I know Apple machines are very nice and epically well built, but that doesn’t justify quite as much an increase in price as that. No, it doesn’t.
One of my main goals with writing a blog detailing my struggles with both writing and depression was to document my progress in both so that maybe others might gain insight from my journey. However, I’ve been a little too apprehensive to make my thoughts and feelings public.. but then I realised it wasn’t actually serving its purpose.. so.. I was conflicted
In the end I’ve decided to make my blog open to people to view, and hope some folks will find some of what I’ve written here instructive, or at least if I don’t serve as an example to others I might at least serve as a warning.
Allowing myself to be depressed is one of the first real breakthroughs I feel like I have had, despite it not sounding like one, but I’ll explain.
Guilt has often been one of my real issues. Guilt at not being ‘ok’, guilt at not being ‘normal’, at not being capable of work at the moment. I’ve spent so much of the time kicking myself while I’ve been down that I’ve failed to notice how down that has made me, and I’ve failed to deal with the real problems.
I sometimes wish I didn’t worry and think about things like “the future” so much, but such is the nature of this tangled mind of mine. I sit, I ponder, and my mind seems determined to focus on the things that I have no control over, and determined not to accept them.
Love is an interesting thing.
Everyone thinks they know what it is, but any definition we try to come up with just falls short of the reality. I quite like the idea explored in Shakespeare in Love, that Romeo and Juliet, as one of the greatest tragedies as well as one of the greatest love stories ever told, is possibly the best definition of what real love is.
I worry sometimes whether I’m deluding myself. These are often my darkest moments, when the muse has gone quiet and I’m sitting with a notebook or an app of some sort in front of me, and the thought presents itself: “I’m not actually any good at any of this”.
At these points I start to doubt my abilities, and begin to believe – and I’m having to tell myself now that this belief is in spite of evidence to the contrary – that I am simply not cut out for anything other than what I am right now.