The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on December 8th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

If you link me, I will link you.

Sundays are for weeping uncontrollably, but consoling ourselves with the sweet succor of a week’s worth of game writing.

  • I left this link here for John last week, but I guess he abhors the arboreal. Simon Schreibt pits an Oblivion tree versus an Enemy Territory: Quake Wars palm. Which has the best level of detail blending? Which offers the greatest variety? Find out, then search the rest of the site for similarly excellent articles on game design and art.
  • Philippa Warr talked to Charles Cecil in advance of last week’s release of Broken Sword 5, covering Gnostic Gospels, conspiracies and religion. It’s strong stuff. “As Cecil explains it, the game takes a dualist perspective, similar to that found frequently in Gnosticism. ‘Our stance is that you have two powerful forces that are not gods. They exist but not as gods – the power of life and the power of knowledge with man in between. The ‘between’ is what gives man strength and free will – that’s the core message through the whole thing and it pulls through the history of Montségur, it pulls on the strength of the Gnostic Gospels, it pulls on all those things.’”
  • For more on the technical side of level of detail in trees, check out this detailed-at-any-distance post from the Wolfire blog. I love this stuff. “Now that we have our imposter surfaces to draw on, we need the imposter images themselves. To match the shading of the 3D object, we will need to draw them in the same way that the object is drawn, combining a color map, normal map, and shadow map. To match the orientation of the 3D object, we will also need several different angles of the object. For now, I chose to use eight different angles, inspired by the old 2.5d shooters like Marathon and Doom.”
  • Cassandra Khaw writes on the dangers of remaining silent in response to abuse in esports, as the scene continues to expand and mature. “The issue here isn’t that inappropriate words were spoken. In an industry fueled by personality, it’s not unusual to see someone capitalizing on their smarminess, on the expectation that they will indeed ululate something elegantly crass. Edgy invites attention, after all. The dilemma here is that so few influential voices were raised in protest. No media outlet crowded 2GD for apologies. No official statements were made.”
  • Polygon’s Tracey Lien writes in No Girls Allowed about the persistent stereotype that videogames are for boys, as it exists from marketing to the playground. “When Romero’s daughter Maezza was 8, she returned home from school with a story for her mother. Maezza had told her classmates that when she grows up, she wants to be a game designer. She was a level 90 in World of Warcraft. She loved wearing her Blizzard T-shirt to school. She wanted to learn how to code and make games. A kid in her class turned around. “Girls don’t play games,” he said. “Fortunately, my daughter had a great response,” Romero says. “She said to the boy, ‘My mommy makes games.’ She owned him entirely.”"
  • Finally round off this week’s tree-themed links, Nathan brings this Tumblr celebrating Videogame Foliage. Also from my GIF folder, a good tree.

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117 Comments »

  1. Ich Will says:

    Didn’t realise Blizzard had apologised…. well, sort of in a very PR way.

    • tasteful says:

      your avatar is a tree so why arent you talking about the tree article

      • Ich Will says:

        I….. I’m sorry.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          This just made me fully laugh out loud, in a cafe. Everyone looked at me like I was mad. People just left. Good lord it was worth it

    • Ernesto25 says:

      Same, then i made the mistake of reading the comments below and immediately regretted it.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        A shared experience. Regret, oh such regret.

      • Fenix says:

        Your comment made me read those comments,
        “Damnit man, you totally owned the RPS dude and we loved you for it. Don’t apologise.”
        and my day has sort of been ruined :c

      • zachforrest says:

        I like the comment from the chap pretending to be his own girlfriend

        • Premium User Badge

          RedViv says:

          I always take that as a cry for help.

        • Ernesto25 says:

          That one was brilliant! i mean i know they missed the point but they seemed to think rps was anti blizzard rather thna asking a question that should be asked more imo.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        On the one hand, comment sections like that make me long for the day when a giant meteor will fall and annihilate all mankind.

        On the other hand, anything that upsets douches like that is good.

    • Moraven says:

      They did awhile ago. I was surprised to see no follow up here. Thought about posting it but probably would just cause a shitstorm anyway in the forums.

  2. tasteful says:

    that tree article is so charming

    • cookieheadjenkins says:

      It was treelly well written

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        Oaken see what you did there.

      • tasteful says:

        before you even scrolled through the comments, did you deciduous going to make a pun

        • cookieheadjenkins says:

          No, it just acorned to me that it would be a good idea – planting a seed as it were

          • Premium User Badge

            tigerfort says:

            Leaf it alone, will you?

          • Geebs says:

            Yew arbored already?

          • cookieheadjenkins says:

            @tigerfort – Wood you just relax. Don’t worry, be sappy

          • cookieheadjenkins says:

            @Geebs – not arbored, I’m tree-total

          • SuicideKing says:

            Go on, i’m rooting for you.

          • cookieheadjenkins says:

            It’s a releaf to hear that someone is! I’m not sure if they’ve twigged that I’ve replied

          • tossrStu says:

            It’s a bit annoying that the puns have branched off into two threads instead of one. Or maybe it’s the only way the comments system can handle such a larch amount of puns.

    • pilouuuu says:

      I think those games had the tree creation in the palm of the hand. But Skyrim + Flora Overhaul wins.

  3. Glow says:

    Interesting piece in the Guardian on Friday if you missed it on how games naturally reinforce capitalist economies – regardless of what you think about the relative pros and cons of different theories the writer makes some good points:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/06/how-computer-games-can-help-overthrow-capitalism

    • Kylind says:

      I don’t really see it.
      There is not much interesting gameplay behind actually ‘working’ in a video game to gain resources.

      Money in action and adventure games is a tool to gate the content and make it contingent on your advancement in the game. So the longer you play, the better the equipment gets you can afford and therefore your character also becomes more powerful. It doesn’t really have a lot to do with capitalism or the free market.
      I guess you could use a reputation system instead. As you fulfill quests for your local soviet, you unlock more and better gear that is provided to you free of charge. The end-result would be the same.

      • Bull0 says:

        Pretty loose article. Seems to think Skyrim is an MMO. Which I guess with mods it can be, but it muddies his whole angle to compare what’s happening in a mod to in, say, EVE.

        • Lanfranc says:

          I assumed he was referring to (confusing it with?) the new Elder Scrolls Online. But yeah, seems pretty vague what he actually wants in terms of gameplay.

      • Volcanu says:

        I agree with @ Kylind

        “Where instead of being a badass in LA, you can be a goodass on a communal farm in Andalusia” – I mean that would be novel, sure. But would it actually be something you’d want to play? Not me. It sounds like simulated drudgery. Although if it were a ‘management sim’ it could be pleasantly diverting for a Sunday afternoon I suppose – but would be hamstrung by you not being able to decide what to do other than to vote on, or propose an initiative that may or may not be approved by the other AI commune members.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Multiplayer Minecraft could serve as an example of how gamers can pool labour and resources in cooperation to create value if they so choose. In a game like Skyrim though, what’s the point? It’s a fairly rigid RPG where the main mechanic is making a character ever more powerful and the economy is just there to facilitate that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Worth pointing out that in a lot of 4X games you’re pretty much playing as a dictator in a command economy; even in SMAC’s democracy, you still can’t be voted out of office, and you have complete control over what people produce and when.

  4. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    From what I gathered from that “No girls allowed” article the stereotype that games are for boys comes from the fact that when most people think of video games they think exclusively of the violent stuff that gets all the attention from the moral guardians and the yellow media.

    So basically “male gamers” tend to play the the awesome games with all the shooting, fighting, killing and carnage in it whereas “female gamers” tend to waste their their time with bullshit like facebook and cellphone games and everything that comes out for Wii…

    That didn’t really deconstruct anything for me :|

    • Lone Gunman says:

      Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda, Metriod Prime, non of these things are played by men of course.

      • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

        Their public is gender balanced, probably.

      • Dark Malady says:

        It’s also a factor of what is a game/gamer.
        A good deal of the females I know play the Sims and those hidden object Mystery games, A good Portion of the Males I know play FPSes and MOBAs… somehow only the males are viewed as “gamers” despite the fact that fairly even amounts of time are being spent on Both. None of these people View Video games as a particularly important part of their lives, it’s just something they do during Downtime.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      I think the main scope of the article was in how marketing creates narratives that are best for a company’s profit, not for society as a whole. It’s interesting that games became gendered in the ’80s or so.

      I think the same is true for comics – comics are ghettoised because large companies have decided to focus exclusively on power fantasies, and created a market around this that is largely male. In the French-speaking world, comics are hugely diverse with comics marketed at a huge variety of people with a variety of settings both real-world and fictional. Of course, there are a wide variety of comics in the English-speaking world, but the public face of comics is nearly always spandex-covered – walking into a comic book shop in Paris is worlds away from walking into one in London. That could change, but why would Marvel and DC, or Forbidden Planet and its ilk risk their relatively safe money-train? Same with publishing – publishers can apparently be very hesitant to market female protagonists in case it puts off men who’ve been told that masculinity is important and that relating to women is “teh ghey” or whatever.

      • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

        I hadn’t read it like that, thank you for the contribution :)

    • DanMan says:

      True. Which is because men and women actually are different. Anyone claiming differently is wrong. There are always exceptions, but in general women like to create whereas men get their kicks from breaking stuff. Especially in their earlier years.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Difference between “are” and “should be”.

      • Ich Will says:

        This is not even remotely true, please don’t post faux science!

        The truth is that there are two distinctly different types of brains. They have been labelled as masculine and feminine types because of the innate beliefs of the scientists conducting the study. Those with a “masculine” brain develop a smaller straight gyrus which is a narrow strip of cerebral cortex running along the midline on the undersurface of the frontal lobe. They also discovered that these structures can change in a very short amount of time (months) – put simply, treat a person with a smaller SG as a very girly girl and it will increase in size.

        As of yet, it has been deemed exceptionally unethical to put newborns under general anaesthetic to scan their brains so we can’t say how these different brain types correlate to genetic gender.

        You act in a way in which society labels “masculine” or “feminine” because you are encouraged to develop that way by society, and from a very early age. Usually as a preconception of what’s between your legs.

        http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/3/2/168.full
        http://people.mills.edu/spertus/Gender/pap/node7.html

        • poetfoxpaul says:

          YOU! TREE MAN! I like you. Thanks for the source-ery. That is all.

  5. Yosharian says:

    “No media outlet crowded 2GD for apologies. No official statements were made”

    It’s almost as if you want the people involved to be fake and PR-oriented. Because that’s the only reason they’d apologise. These ‘oh I’m so sorry for what I said’ things are almost always fake PR bullshit comments designed for damage limitation. They produce no real change in attitudes.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Id much rather forced politeness than heartfelt nastiness.

      • Yosharian says:

        I’d rather have everyone be genuine and then we can discuss these things truthfully, than have everyone behave like a corporate entity where nothing honest is ever said and all we get is bland, ‘sanctioned’ entertainment. Say what you like about 2GD, he’s a very entertaining caster despite all his assholery, and I’d rather listen to him and occasionally wince at some tasteless comment than listen to some bland fuckwit who’s scared to speak his mind.

        Acting like an official apology would have solved anything in this situation is pretty delusional in my opinion. Keep the politics out of it, get enough of that shit in the ‘normal’ media.

        • WrenBoy says:

          To take a more mainstream example, Ron Atkinson was extremely entertaining in his own way. Do you think he should have been encouraged to continue broadcasting after his remarks on Marcel Desailly?

          • Yosharian says:

            Ron Atkinson called a black guy a ‘lazy thick nigger’. 2GD has said nothing that even comes close to such stupidity. A slippery slope fallacy is still a fallacy.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Yosharian
            I assume that you dont know what the slippery slope fallacy means. Its certainly irrelevent to my comment.

            Ron Atkinsons racism is a pretty clear cut example of heartfelt nastiness. It doesnt matter whether his comment was more distasteful or not. Were you pleased to hear his racism since it appeared genuine? Were you happy with the oppurtunity to discuss racism truthfully?

            If not why not? Do you draw the line at overt racism?

            If you just think its too extreme an example, what did you think of the more recent example Andy Grey and Richard Keys gave us? Should those comments have been encouraged?

          • Yosharian says:

            “@Yosharian
            I assume that you dont know what the slippery slope fallacy means. Its certainly irrelevent to my comment.”

            It’s perfectly relevant. We’re talking about 2GD’s comments towards a transgender person, which were basically tasteless and unpleasant but not anywhere near on the level of RA’s flat-out racist comments. You’re saying that my statement is unreasonable, because of [insert extreme statement here]. Hence slippery slope argument. Hence a fallacy.

            “Ron Atkinsons racism is a pretty clear cut example of heartfelt nastiness. It doesnt matter whether his comment was more distasteful or not. Were you pleased to hear his racism since it appeared genuine? Were you happy with the oppurtunity to discuss racism truthfully?”

            ‘Heartfelt nastiness’ was in itself a slippery slope argument, so your extension of it leads naturally to fallacy. Not going to discuss it further.

            “If not why not? Do you draw the line at overt racism?”

            This argument isn’t about racism.

            “If you just think its too extreme an example, what did you think of the more recent example Andy Grey and Richard Keys gave us? Should those comments have been encouraged?”

            Not aware of this incident, don’t care, everything you’ve said so far has been irrelevant and misleading.

          • WrenBoy says:

            For starters I was not even making a slippery slope arguement, never mind using it fallaciously.

            Here is what I wrote and what you disagreed with:

            Id much rather forced politeness than heartfelt nastiness.

            The fact that the word nasty is general enough to describe comments which are somewhat nasty or very nasty has nothing to do with a slippery slope arguement and you are using your misunderstanding of the term to hide from debate.

            For the record Keys and Grey were laughing at a female official and implying that her gender meant she wouldnt understand the rules of the game.

      • Steven Hutton says:

        Give me heartfelt nastiness any day.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, I think the issue is that even if it’s forced politeness, you’re creating an environment where certain things aren’t casually acceptable. Smack-talk is one thing, but it’s easy to let casual bigotry seep in if you treat, say, homophobic insults as normal.

        • Yosharian says:

          Homophobic insults? I’ve never seen 2GD make any homophobic insults.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            OK, I admit I haven’t read the article yet (shameface). If it’s just about fairly neutral smack-talk, I’m less concerned.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Gap Gen
            Its actually a terribly written article. I had to read it multiple times to be able to tell that only the midly offensive remark was made by the commentator in question and the highly offensive comment was made by a random guy on reddit.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            Can someone explain the commentaters comment. I’m assuming it’s this bit:

            “I’m fine. In all fairness, Scarlett is here. Best of both worlds. She actually bought me a Jack and coke a little bit earlier. Absolutely lovely lady. And, uh, all I’m saying — get me a couple more.”

            I don’t get it – I feel like I’m missing some additional piece of information here. (because as I read it he seems to be expressing a desire for more drinks, which is hardly offensive)

          • Baines says:

            At least from Googling her name, Scarlett is apparently transgender. I don’t know, as I’d never heard of her before today. My guess is that people are up in arms about the “Best of both worlds” line, taking it as a derogatory remark about being transgender?

            Maybe with the rest of the quote being taken as a bit sexist?

  6. Premium User Badge

    daphne says:

    Nothing personal, but it feels like (read: it is the case, but I’m too lazy to compile an actual report) the Sunday Papers have been getting thinner lately. And only two of the articles are actually from this week.

    And no, I’m not complaining, it’s just kind of sad and I felt the need to point it out.

    *heads to Critical Distance*

    • Alexander says:

      Well, Jim had a baby and that’s more important than providing us with quality writing…

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        I think that his work on Sir also takes up a lot of his time.

        • Skabooga says:

          And they put Graham Smith in charge of sweeping up all the fur Horace sheds in Castle Shotgun. He barely has time to sleep, let alone collect articles.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Re: the Wolfire trees, coincidentally I was also looking at billboarding this week (for volume rendering). Finding good information on fast OpenGL algorithms is unreasonably hard.

    • Geebs says:

      “Draw less stuff, go faster”, is the most important algorithm in OpenGL ;-)

      I get the impression the best thing to do is ignore white papers (vastly over-sell pointlessly complicated stuff which only looks good under special circumstances) and look at a decent textbook; but I totally share your pain.

      For simple foliage I think that instancing techniques now allow you to go so fast that going through a lot of transformations to render a bunch of billboards might now be more expensive than rendering some very low poly models. Geometry is starting to look cheap vs. a lot of alpha blending.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        My problem is that I’m rendering a bunch of SPH particles as billboards, which creates a huge number of fragment operations when you have complex scenes filling the screen. I’m beginning to think that their suggestion of pre-rendering complex geometry from various angles might not be the dumbest idea, but you’re right that it’s hard to optimise.

        (As an aside, my main problem with OpenGL is that the API is way too complex and difficult to debug; when you hit a problem it’s hard to get information on what exactly went wrong).

        • Geebs says:

          From the official Manual of OpenGL Fail States:

          “Your application will fail in one of the following ways:
          1) Crash:
          a) application only (no error information will be offered)
          b) Entire operating system (will generate spurious and non-informative crash report which will automatically email itself to your OS vendor’s junk mail folder)
          2) Random Polygons:
          a) Hedgehog soup.
          b) Random lines to vanishing point.
          3) Draw nothing
          4) Draw random bits of your desktop
          5) Appear to do everything properly:
          a) one element is drawn upside down. Attempting to debug this will cause everything else to be drawn rotated by 90 degrees in another axis.
          b) two bugs operating in different directions. Bug may or may not be replicated within expected life-span of the universe.
          c) Undefined behaviour indistinguishable from intended behaviour.
          d) Everything actually draws perfectly. This is considered a bug in the driver implementation.

          What method are you using to draw particles? I basically find it to be mostly a balance between number of draw calls eating up CPU, and dynamic attribute buffers taking up bandwidth. You can get away with a lot with two buffers updating asynchronously on alternate frames, or updating a fraction of a ring buffer per frame. I am pretty sure, however, that you’re not going to see much benefit in instanced rendering of billboards from trying to cull instances and I think that brute-forcing the whole lot tends to work out just as fast. One other optimisation is to orient your billboards to the screen rather than the camera, hence requiring only one rotation matrix – works OK for rounded particles (I have a feeling that I’m offering advice to somebody who knows more than I do, though :-) )

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Ha, nice summary.

            I multiply the number of positions and particle extents by 3, add a coordinate attribute (0, 1 or 2) and pass it to the vertex shader as a draw array. The vertex shader offsets the particle positions in the screen x-y direction into a triangle, and draws a 2D gaussian (or whatever profile) over it as a texture. The main thing killing the speed seems to be the pixel fill, since it’s a 3D particle field that I’m plotting the column density of (zooming out or just drawing points is much faster). Oh, and I also run a shader that takes the logarithm of the image, since the image contrast is pretty big.

        • LionsPhil says:

          my main problem with OpenGL is that the API is way too complex

          I miss OpenGL, the high-ish-level abstraction, as opposed to this newfangled ES variant that’s made of “do it yourself” low-level shaders.

          I’m learning Irrlicht instead of that, moving in the other direction.

        • speps says:

          You might hit a fillrate issue with rendering fluid particles. If you use quads and render a radial gradiant for example, you’re probably using alpha blending. That means even if pixels are completely transparent they will still have to be processed. There are similar issues with classic vfx particle systems. For you it might benefit from being circles instead of quads.

          Example : http://humus.name/index.php?page=Cool&ID=8

          • Premium User Badge

            FriendlyFire says:

            I’d recommend using a discard as early as possible to check for fully transparent pixels. The conditional statement is much cheaper than drawing the pixel these days, especially if you can determine transparency before doing much shading.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Interesting! Thanks, peeps. I used a triangle to optimise on GPU bandwidth, but you could be right that putting out more complex polygons might be faster. I don’t want to rely on tessellation shaders because I’m unsure which graphics cards support them.

            FF – how do you throw away empty pixels? I am still a bit of a shader noob.

            Also, do you know of any good forums for discussing this kind of thing?

          • Geebs says:

            You have to do it as a conditional; for example, if you wanted to discard on the basis of a threshold value on the alpha channel:


            float threshold = 0.3; //for example
            vec4 myTextureValues = texture(myTexture, texCoords);

            if (myTextureValues.a < threshold) {
            discard;
            }

            myFragmentColour = myTextureValues;

            Theoretically if you do your discards as early as possible you can save on fragment processing, and in my experience alpha-to-coverage works out much cheaper than sort-and-blend. Some implementations apparently do better with all of your texture lookups before any conditionals, and some apparently reject early-z if you do discards.

            I’d recommend arcsynthesis’ stuff on impostors but you need to do a bit of translation of the GLSL if you are using newer openGL. Otherwise stack exchange is ok if you can deal with the high incidence of patronising answers and ideological bickering

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Sweet, thanks! I had not seen the discard keyword before.

        • Premium User Badge

          FriendlyFire says:

          Not to enter into a holy war or anything, but tools is the primary reason why I’m still developing under Windows with DirectX. The debugger in Visual Studio (both the DX debugger and the standard debugger) are just SO GOOD and I haven’t found anything remotely equivalent to those for OpenGL (though I’d have to check NVIDIA’s stuff now that I have one of their GPUs).

          That, and I really dislike the C-style API OpenGL uses where everything is a global function. It’s needlessly confusing and can get really wordy.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Yeah, unfortunately I’m not developing on Windows. But you’re almost certainly right.

        • DanMan says:

          For debugging, according to Valve/Nvidia:

          * NVIDIA Nsight (supports GL 4.2 Core).
          * PerfStudio and gDEBugger
          * CodeXL
          * Apitrace

          https://www.opengl.org/wiki/Debugging_Tools

  8. Alexander says:

    Some people really like foliage, I guess.

  9. Universal Quitter says:

    “The issue here isn’t that inappropriate words were spoken.”

    Egregious verbal abuse should be taken seriously, I suppose, but I wish less of an emphasis was being placed on putting up a show against it, and more of an emphasis was placed on helping people realize why it’s wrong, and that it is a real problem.

    Maybe I’m just a little naive, but I prefer my moral crusaders to have a touch of authenticity, as well as the wisdom to choose effective and winnable battles.

    Blindly shooting from the hip over a lack of display of contrition AFTER an apology has been made accomplishes little and says basically nothing.

    • Baines says:

      It generates page hits and stirs up the masses. Even if a site isn’t in it for money factors of page hits, they might cover and spread the news for the “moral” factor of stirring up the masses.

    • Yosharian says:

      Yes, that’s exactly the point I was trying to make further up

  10. phenom_x8 says:

    DJ earworms are the best, glad you’re like it, Mr Smith~
    My personal fave till now is Like OMG, Baby! :

    It’s even make Bieber looks great!

    • Tams80 says:

      United State of Pop 2008 is still my favourite, but then Viva La Vida is one of my favourite songs.

      For people who like DJ Earworm, they may like to check out Norwegian Recycling.*

      *hopefully you won’t find search results for recycling in Norway. As exciting as that is, it is not what you are looking for.

  11. Tams80 says:

    No mention of the foliage in BF3? I was hoping to hear more from those marine biologists. :-(

  12. bill says:

    I meant to forward this article for the Sunday Papers:
    About how embodying a virtual avatar of a different race can reduce racism
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23709836

    Seems game related.. and an interesting argument for why we should have more varied main characters.

    • Tams80 says:

      I really struggle trying to understand racism, so articles like that one are hard for me to understand. It means I don’t see racism where at lot of people seem to.

      • Ich Will says:

        I guess there are several ways to think about what is and is not racist. For example, a news channel which has an editorial policy of only reporting black on white crime is almost certainly being racist.

        Am I racist because I wouldn’t discuss my latest court bouillon recipe with a Japanese chef, under the assumption that it would be of no interest to them, they are likely to make their stock of bonito, dashi, miso, soy et al. I am certainly changing my behaviour based on their race, so probably I am. The point is, while my intention is not negative, is my behaviour a problem?

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          I think a bigger problem is that people who are white, straight or male (or whatever) often don’t see prejudice, because it doesn’t happen to them. By playing an avatar in a minority race, I suppose the point is to experience that prejudice for yourself. Another thing you can try is stepping just outside social norms, and seeing who gets angry or weird about it.

    • Dave Tosser says:

      What the fuck is “implicit racism” measured in? Race Cubits?

  13. HadToLogin says:

    I’m pretty sure when someone says “girls don’t play video games” they mean “girls don’t play stereotypically male games like Battle of Duties or Saints Theft Autos or other kill-just-for-fun”.
    In a same way when someone says “boys don’t play with dolls” they mean Barbie, not those GI Joes, Action Mans or other Spider Mans.

    • Bull0 says:

      You’re right, they’re mostly talking about the “Male Crime Simulator” genre

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      I think when someone says “girls don’t play videogames” there’s a good chance they don’t know what they’re talking about either.

      Also fuck the patriarchy. Just sayin’.

  14. Shuck says:

    All you need to do is read the comments section of Kotaku to see that the “stupid obsolete stereotype” still holds sway in many imaginations.* Hell, a game designer colleague of mine was once told by another developer that “women don’t play games” to justify some position being taken. Either he failed to notice my colleague is a woman, or he simply wrote it off as another “exception” to some mental rule of his. Reality doesn’t do much to change stereotypes.

    *A corollary: the assertion that games stereotypically most popular with female players don’t count as “real” games, therefore women still don’t really play games. Never mind that women are playing all types of games in large numbers; your “women play Candycrush” stereotype is just as obsolete as the other, really.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, people have this amazing ability to ignore evidence if it doesn’t fit their worldview. People blame the government for all sorts of things, but often bad policy is the result of idiot voters mandating bad policy, and then smugly saying otherwise on radio panel shows.

  15. Scurra says:

    Well yes, exactly. As a male, I am acutely aware when playing hidden object games (and I play an awful lot of them, because I like puzzle games) that they are very much targeted at women – your game character is almost always female – and I have commented on other forums that this entire genre is almost completely ignored in the “games are only for boys” articles despite the fact that it must be successful enough to support several portal sites.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I also play hidden object and casual games; I think my Big Fish account would have at least 100 paid for titles. There are very strong female-centric overtones in virtually every one.

      As a male gamer who oft enjoys stereotypically ‘female’ themes, however, I would be concerned that trying to ‘gender-balance’ the genre might take something away from what I actually like about it. Presumably, the same might be said of He-Man style FPS games.

      For what it’s worth, the popularity of creepy horror titles in HOGs clearly says something about gender preferences, although it would probably take an essay to tease that one out.

  16. The Random One says:

    Alternate music for this week is the new album by that guy wot did a music out of snippets of text from Carl Sagan in Cosmos. I especially like the Charlie Chaplin track.

  17. Wedge says:

    I think the Oblivion tree should be disqualified for taking SpeedTree boosting supplements.

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  19. Yosharian says:

    Hammer. Nail. Head.