The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for finishing off an epic videogame play-by-mail battle, trying to shake a nasty lady gaga obsession and compiling a (particularly enormous) list of the interesting (mostly) games related reading from across the week, without linking to some manner of hastily lobbed up you-tube entry by the alt Lady Gaga. Go!

Failed.

151 Comments

  1. Dominic White says:

    On an interesting minor aside on that Bayonetta article (the game is also fantastic – probably the best in its genre, my only complaint being some overlong exposition scenes) is that Leigh mentions that the character designer spent a lot of time getting Bayonettas backside ‘perfect’.

    Bayonettas character designer is a middle-aged woman. It does kinda throw a spanner in the works regarding claims of horrible sexism.

    Now, you want horrible, exploitative character design? Any female in the Ninja Gaiden series. Key example: Rachel, AKA Tits Mcgee, who spent most of her time being wrangled by tentacle monsters, knocked unconcious, being carried around under the arm of a villain and generally being a hapless damsel in distress – link to videogamegeek.com

    Now THAT is sexism. Bayonetta is just sexy.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yet ironically I find the idea of a woman painstakingly seeking the perfect lady bum sexy and funny in equal measures. All chewing on her pen lid as she watches old Oliva O’lovely videos and making a life size version of the “Callipygian Venus”.

    • Mike says:

      I’ve never really bought into the idea that woman can’t be sexist. Just because it was designed by a woman doesn’t mean it’s empowering anyone.

    • Dominic White says:

      Personally, I see Bayonetta as kinda like the female polar opposite of character designs like Marcus Fenix from Gears of War. Both are ridiculously caricatured to the point of absurdity. In Marcus’ case, it’s the fact that his entire body is made out of chunky, sausage-like muscles. All of it. About 400lbs of it.

      In Bayonettas case, it’s that she’s over two meters tall, most of that being spindly, almost spider-like limbs. It’s funny-sexy, not porno-sexy. And as for empowerment, she’s the only protagonist in videogames I can think of who can out-smug, and out-sass Dante from Devil May Cry. Nothing upstages her. She’s this invincible walking zone of destruction.

      She doesn’t even bleed. Get hit, and a plume of roses sprays out from where she got hit.

    • qrter says:

      I don’t know. To me there’s a sense about Leigh Alexander’s piece of moving the goalposts when it suits her.

      On the other hand, it’s good not to get hung up on principles and view each case on its own merits.

      I am left with two thoughts. This game reminds me of cinema that portrays a lot of graphic violence to show the audience how bad violence is – fine, but there’s the uncomfortable sense that the maker is also trying to lift along on the popularity of ‘violence as something desirable’ (having your cake and eating it, so to speak).

      I also wonder what the influence is of this game coming from Japanese culture. How would this game be seen if it was, say, made in America?

    • Noc says:

      The problem with passing off a questionable female character design as a “hilarious caricature,” though, is that a good 90% of female characters in games are ALREADY basically caricatures.

      There wouldn’t be anything wrong with a particularly sexualized character design if it weren’t a continuation of a tired and obnoxious trend, the same way nobody would be objecting to the next FPS’s Faceless Macho Space Marine protagonist if carbon copies of them hadn’t already appeared in every shooty game since Doom.

      I think this is the point Leigh’s missing in her article, too. Like, she calls Bayonetta an “innovative approach,” as if having hyper-sexualized female characters prominently displayed in videogames is something new. It’s, uh, really not.

      . . .

      (She does have a point, I think, in that the stock “progressive” female character is strongly desexualized, and is essentially a male character with some aesthetic tweaks. I’m pretty sure that the conclusion to draw from that, though, is just that game designers have no idea how to write female characters . . . rather than that there’s anything “empowering” about a shift back towards eye-candy character designs.)

    • Dominic White says:

      If Bayonetta were American, it’d be Stripperella. (Which, tangentially, I couldn’t stand, but my ex loved it… go figure)

      Perhaps part of my thinking is because the women in my life have been pretty weird and never really stuck to standard gender roles.

    • Radiant says:

      Questionable female imagery in a male dominated audience shocker!
      Can we stop being surprised about it now? It’s been decades.

      Seriously though Bayonetta has got that beautiful 80’s “long butt” that seems to have disappeared somewhere in ’94; it’s good to see it again.

      2010 bringing back that long butt like a pair of high waisted stonewashed jeans.

    • Nick says:

      To be fair, most males in games are macho caricatures as well.

    • Oak says:

      Questionable female imagery in a male dominated audience shocker!
      Can we stop being surprised about it now?

      Who’s surprised by it? It may be nothing new, but it’s still worth discussing.

  2. Adam Cadwell says:

    Thanks for the link!

    That Amanda Palmer video/song is great.

  3. Andy says:

    Ah I’m just too late to send you this link to an article in todays Observer:

    “Why playing in the virtual world has an awful lot to teach children”
    link to guardian.co.uk

    It’s responding to a YouGov poll which suggests that children who spent more time in front of the telly or video games are more likely to develop speech problems. Goes off into other areas though, I especially liked the discussion about DKP towards the end.

  4. Stu says:

    Don’t fight the Gaga obsession; it’s only normal and right to be fascinated by her/her music.

    (You forgot to linky-linky the Hype Machine thing btw, and forgot to mention yer boy McKelvie’s swish La Roux illustration. Tsk.)

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Stu: Thanks. And just singling out McKelvie felt wrong, as I’ve several friends who’ve done art for it.

      KG

    • Tim says:

      We need a Lady Gaga JRPG. It would bring my guilty pleasures all together in the same room.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      It’s not “normal”, nor is it “right”. Nor is it “wrong”, but she “writes” “music” (yes all those quotes are used on purpose) aimed squarely at modern-day dance-floor-savvy chavs with no taste.

      Stop perpetuating her manufactured bullshit, please.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Casimir’s Blake: That’s an interesting rhetorical technique you’re using. That “quotation mark around a word to distance its use in your context from the real use of the word” thing. That’s brilliant. How did you think it up?

      KG

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Ah Kieron, I don’t know how you deal with that gigantic ego AND all that testosterone. How do you walk through doors?

    • mpk says:

      How do you walk through doors?

      Rolling forward while screaming “Cover me” and then checking his six, like a real man.

      That’s how I do it anyway.

    • Muzman says:

      re: Gaga.

      Was it here I got linked to an article about her being all Bowie/Manson esque post modern hype manipulation?
      Might have been. That was interesting. We call most pop ‘manufactured’ anyway. But that refers to innocent young glee clubbers dressed and thrust into the limelight by the cruel and faceless machine. The artist being the driving force behind the image is a fairly unusual. You’d hope someone who dresses like that is somewhat self aware in any case.
      ‘s long as I don’t have to listen to her it’s all good.

    • Rinox says:

      The entire song and video for Bad Romance is a metaphor for her rising to stardom, the hype machine, the industry and her willingness to play the game.

      The industry ‘buys’ her (shady mafia types, row of laptops with counters bidding up to millions for her, the shower of diamonds) she becomes their ‘prostitute’ (she dances for the mob types, then walks into the bedroom of the head honcho) and sells out, but she breaks away and proves to be more than they can handle (the fires blazing behind her while she’s posing, the guy’s corpse on the bed). The bad romance is the her using the industry and the industry using her, even though they don’t care for each other.

    • TeeJay says:

      I’ve only just noticed the Hitchcock references:

      I want your *psycho*
      Your *vertigo* stick
      Want you in my *rear window*
      Baby you’re sick

    • Nathan says:

      Too cool for pop!

  5. Lack_26 says:

    Ah, Amanda Palmer, how we love you. I remember her music video of Tegan and Sara’s ‘Hell’, cue her jumping around New York dancing in terrified people’s faces and singing along to the song on her I-pod.
    Link to vid

  6. The Hammer says:

    Woah, lots of links, and interesting ones at that, in this week’s papers! I’ll have to find time to get through them all, somehow.

  7. Rinox says:

    Wow, Amanda Palmer and Gaga mentioned in the same post on a PC gaming site? That’s why I love RPS. Gaga is the only pop artist worth her salt these days, and Amanda…well what else is there left to say when there are songs like this

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      If Lady Gaga is “the only pop artist worth her salt” these days, pop really has gone to hell.

    • Rinox says:

      It pretty much has.

    • TeeJay says:

      “pop really has gone to hell”

      …funny you should say that:
      The 2009 VMAs: The Occult Mega-Ritual
      Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance – The Occult Meaning
      The Occult Semi-Subliminals of Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One”
      Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams – Occult Mind Control
      link to vigilantcitizen.com

      I usually avoid any/all conspiracy theory sites as they are typically about as fun as repeatedly head-butting my desk, but this one is actually quite readable.

      I wonder if anyone has done any of this nutty-deconstruction – getting screen-caps of hidden/subliminal pillars, pyramids, goat-heads and triangles etc – in Modern Warfare 2 or Half-LIfe?

  8. LewieP says:

    “I’m going to write about VVVVV soon, and have a worryingly gynaphobic analysis of one bit in the game. Man!”

    If you are talking about the bit I think you are, I managed to succeed at that particular spot once, but am struggling to do it again.

    Edit: You also horrendously misspelt it, it is “VVVVVV” not “VVVVV”

  9. the wiseass says:

    I respect Leigh, I really do but I can’t do otherwise than shake my head at this article in utter disappointment. Honestly, I can’t see the difference between Bayonetta and say Tomb Raider. Both are disproportional, both are sex objects, both try to appeal to the male sex-appetite.
    The first screenshot I saw of Bayonetta was her brilliantly modelled butt. It is no secret that the developers clearly tried to establish another sex-oriented franchise in the likes of the horrible X Blades and the well known Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 ‘boob jiggle’ disaster. No I’m not prude, I’m fine with erotic games appealing to a male audience, but I find it really astonishing to find the great Leigh Alexander advocating this.
    Lemme quote her:

    But what about her unrealistic body, her gratuitous sashaying, the lollipop-licking? The hypersexualization of Bayonetta is intentionally unrealistic — just as unrealistic as the superhuman aplomb of the Devil May Cry boys.

    This is nothing new, comic books have been doing this even before games were made socially acceptable. Ridiculously strong muscled males and derisory inflated female breasts have always been an ailment of comic art. In my opinion the farcical exaggeration of attractive body parts renders most characters less likeable! The same goes for the hideously disproportional Bayonetta. The designers tried to make her sexier but in the end, they failed horribly. But who am I to criticize the great Leigh :)
    By the way, Michael Thomsen must have tried really really hard to come up with one of the most ridiculous and (pardon me) plain stupid titles ever: “Vaginophobia”, really? Dear Mr. Thomsen, there is more about women than their vaginas, but reading your article I think you were simply unaware of that fact.

    Nuff’ said.

    • Sagan says:

      Bayonetta is just a sexy character. That doesn’t automatically make the game sexist.

      By that logic Beyoncé would be sexist.

      Also I’m pretty sure that the Tomb Raider games are widely considered to be not sexist. Some of the early marketing was, but the games themselves never were as far as I know.

    • Dominic White says:

      Lara Croft is exactly the kind of heroine the Leigh is complaining about, though – she’s Indiana Jones with boobs and tight shorts. Aside from aesthetics, there’s nothing that defines her as a woman.

      Bayonetta dances, twirls, snaps and poses her way through the whole game, taunting pious angels (the enemies of the game, making it a nice reversal of black magic vs heavenly forces) with her body, flustering the hapless male token character, and generally laying it on thick with utterly inescapably feminine style. No male character could get away with doing 90% of the stuff she does.

      It’s ridiculously, excessively feminine in the same way that Kratos from the God of War series is absurdly masculine (stomping around wearing nothing but a loincloth, boots, and the blood of his enemies, screaming in rage and tearing the heads off his foes) – both are fun to play with as they’re not realistic. They’re exaggerated and interesting to watch at work.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @Sagan
      I don’t really have an opinion, having not got around to Bayonetta yet, but I don’t think that makes sense.

      Beyonce is real. Bayonetta lady is pure fiction, devised by a team of devs. While Beyonce herself may be sexy and that can be that, Bayonetta lady is sexy because it was decided she should be, for whatever reason.

      So a sexy fictional character can be indicative of sexist views, while Beyonce can only reinforce ’em.

    • Thirith says:

      @Liliput King: Arguably, any of those celebrities that are marketed primarily on their image have a pretty big aspect that is constructed and fictional. The distinction between fictional and non-fictional isn’t really all that binary with respect to celebs.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I was thinking that while writing it, but I decided it wasn’t how Sagan was trying to use the example of celebrity.

      Anyway!

    • the wiseass says:

      @Sagan:
      I DO think that Beyoncé is more about sex-appeal than good music.

    • Psychopomp says:

    • Psychopomp says:

      DAMN XHTML CODES

      [Kanye joke goes here]

    • Sagan says:

      Having now actually played the demo I have changed my opinion somewhat. A sexy character doesn’t automatically make a game sexist, but in the case of Bayonetta I think it does. At least that’s the impression I got from the demo. While playing the demo, I was thinking of Leigh’s piece, and I simply could not agree with her.
      The reviews for the full game give a very different impression from what I experienced in the demo, (calling Bayonetta a great character and everything) so I would probably change my opinion again if I were to play the full game. However I don’t have a console so it’s unlikely I will ever play the full game.

  10. Bhazor says:

    That Eurogamer article is really long winded way to say its better to be a heroic failure than average. The opening three paragraphs in particular are whats wrong with new games journalism. But all that said it’s worth it for the line “failure terrified them like Swiss schoolchildren locked in a room with Roman Polanski”.

  11. TooNu says:

    Jubilee said it best, “what can she do besides sticking out her chest?”

    • Chalee says:

      Transform into a panther, slow time and cut building sized angels into tiny chunks immediately spring to mind. Also, suck lollipops.

  12. Robin says:

    I was really hyped for Metaplace, and have written some thoughts about what it achieved and possible reasons for its ultimate failure here.

    Projects like Garry’s Mod, LBP, Wikipedia and Everything2 show that creative people will put lots of time and effort into making content and extending the capabilities of the system if it’s easy and rewarding enough to do so.

    I think there will be a breakthrough in the ‘democratised virtual world’ category sooner or later.

  13. Heliosicle says:

    That gamasutra article from the RS San Diego wives is upsetting, and the comments from people below perhaps even more so.

    • SteveHatesYou says:

      @Heliosicle: Rockstar has been pulling this shit for years. It’s nice to finally see them being called out on it in the media.

  14. Chalee says:

    Hey KG play Bayonetta while listening to Lady GaGa – it’s an explosion of girly empowerment fun! You’ll want to have boobs and wear tight cat suits within an hour. And this is a good thing.

  15. Vinraith says:

    So, help me out here, Bayonetta is a (presumably console-only) action game whose protagonist is a 50’s librarian with a carefully sculpted rear?

    • Heliosicle says:

      and shes in a suit of her own hair which unravel’s as you do better.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Heliosicle

      Does that mean she eventually loses the god-awful bee-hive hairdo?

    • Chalee says:

      Yes, more or less. It is also made completely out of win and candy.

    • Vinraith says:

      Things like this have a way of making me think mainstream gaming and I aren’t even on the same planet anymore. There’s no implied judgement there, incidentally, I’m sure it’s a wonderfully crafted action game. I just can’t imagine personally getting excited about something like this, whereas something like Armored Princess or Heir to the Throne requires a pre-order.

    • Dominic White says:

      Bayonettas intro:

      link to youtube.com – watch it.

      What really sets it apart from most games in the genre is that it almost never takes itself seriously. The only times it does are the eminently skippable exposition scenes (where Bayonetta herself just largely stands around looking bored). The whole thing is played for laughs otherwise.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I think it wins its critical acclaim through excellent gameplay rather than interesting concept.

    • Dominic White says:

      The gameplay is pretty much the best in the genre (it has one of those combat engines where you’ll barely scrape through a level on your first try, but coming back for a higher score will have you breezing through without taking a single hit – not because you’ve memorized the levels, but because you’re just so much better in general), but it does also win points for having a lot of imagination in character and enemy designs. I mean, a quad-weilding gunslinger witch who literally weaves spells out of her own hair, battling legions of angels? That’s pretty new.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Vin

      Here’s why you should be excited:It’s made by the same folks that created Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil, Okami, and God Hand

    • Vinraith says:

      @Psychopomp

      Well, that does at least explain the hype and fanfare. Of those you mentioned that I’ve played, none have really been my cup of tea. Action games (in that sense, anyway) aren’t really my genre, Japanese ones even less so. But at least now I know how something that is apparently a giant release to many people completely slipped past me, thanks for the clarification.

  16. Vinraith says:

    I haven’t made my obligatory “Chris Park rules” post in this thread, so here it is. Um, Chris Park rules. We need more indie devs creating games with real depth and long-term play potential. Art games are fine such as they are, but in the long term the stuff that sticks with me is the great RPG, the great strategy game, the game that ate hundreds of hours of my life because I just kept playing the hell out of it. More of that, please.

  17. Nero says:

    Many interesting articles this game again. I particularly enjoyed the ones by Lewis Denby.

    • Lewis says:

      I honestly half-expect you’re my girlfriend taking the piss.

      But assuming you’re not: thanks!

  18. Dean says:

    For anyone struggling with the Rockstar wives article (I found it nearly unreadable) there’s a decent edit of it about 2/3rds of the way down the comments that makes it a bit less of a head-fuck.

  19. MWoody says:

    A list of best board games for the decade with no Arkham Horror? Pshaw. I SAID PSHAW.

  20. Kniferetta says:

    Re: Bayonetta

    Don’t really see what the dealio. The designers seemed rather unabashed in previews and interviews saying that sexiness was the main driving force behind the design and the marketing behind it emphasizes the “non-stop climax.”

    Judging from this gameplay, they succeeded (possibly NSFW…1:30 min mark):
    link to gametrailers.com

    I find it “better” that their honest about it with their 13 year old mentality rather than pulling off crap like X Blades.

    • Dominic White says:

      Everyone links that sodding scene – it is the single most explicit thing in the game and stands out as such, and it’s a long game (15+ hours first run, easy).

    • the wiseass says:

      She’s glowing joyfully from her vagina!

    • Bret says:

      I know it’s a bit off topic, but…

      15 hours is a long game these days? Really?

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exceptionally short. Metroid Prime 3 was about that long and I felt like I got my money’s worth, but Deus Ex’s twenty hours when I already knew how to get through the first half feels a lot more like a long game.

      Or, you know, Dragon Age.

    • Dominic White says:

      For a pure action game, 15 hours is epic-length. It’s pretty much one extended setpiece from start to finish, wheras something like Metroid Prime – while very lengthy – has a lot of exploration, backtracking, searching and generally padding out. It’s rare to go more than ten seconds in Bayonetta without fighting something. 15 hours of that will leave you mentally exhausted.

      Also, it’s 15 hours for a first playthrough. That unlocks Hard mode, which actually reworks all the encounters through the whole game – endgame enemies rigth from the start, so add another 10 hours to get through that. And then there’s a ton of hidden areas, an arcade mode. I’ve currently got 32 hours on the clock and no end in sight.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Knife

      Difference:Xblades just made Tits McGee, and slapped a shitty action game on top of it. Bayonetta revolves almost entirely around hilariously ridiculous sexiness. Unlike Xblades, the character isn’t just forgettable Action Man#32523 with boobs, it’s a core part of the game.

  21. Helm says:

    Sexuality & gender analyses of video-games (or in art in general) will continue to avoid the elephant in the room for as long as they don’t tackle the aspect of capitalist consumerism and the society of the spectacle. It is of lesser (though not of none at all, I grant) importance whether a video-game can be seen as sexist and/or empowering (and also something that can easily be spun either way, as Leigh Alexander shows here. Who of us cannot imagine her in the neighboring Quantum Universe, writing the opposite, condemning article about Bayonetta?) and of more importance what the video-game is trying to do with its sexuality. Is it an attempt to portray anything about the human condition in honest terms, or is it just another round of ‘it’s cool to be _________!!!’ where in gap the player may fill in “guy, girl, consumer, cog” et cetera.

    Bayonetta doesn’t fail because it’s sexist, it fails (arguably) because it’s yet more dangerous, diverting spectacle, in a long continuation of such. The lack of profundity in the analysis doesn’t mean Alexander’s article is useless, I’m sure a lot of readers will take a long of thoughts to chew from it; at some point however, the depth must be explored. What are gamers, what are consumers, what hole are they plugging with their persuit of ‘coolness’ from their video-games, what is the function of aesthetics and art in an ailing society.

    • Dominic White says:

      Bayonetta doesn’t set out to be art, though, or say anything about the human condition – it’s a homage to how awesome, ridiculous, cool and funny videogames can be. It also makes nods to pretty much the entire history of action games, with direct quotes from about a dozen titles and extended homages to physically improbable arcade classics like After Burner, Outrun and Space Harrier.

      It’s a game where you can be fairly sure that the developers had fun making it.

    • Helm says:

      “Videogames are fun!!!” might be a meritorious center for game design, Dominic, I don’t know. But if we are going to discuss sexuality in this videogame (as we are), then we need to look deeper. If it has breasts and an ass and a tiny waist and the long limbs of the woman, does it also have the inner depths of a woman, or it is just a facade? Whether or not it references classic action games does not answer that. Whether it’s a good game, finely crafter or not, does not answer that, actually.

    • Chalee says:

      Helm, overall you make an interesting argument. Having said that I don’t understand how you can conclude that Bayonetta ‘fails’. The fact is that Bayonetta ‘the video game’ does not fail. It is uproariously good fun, and a game which is that much fun cannot be deemed to be a failure. Whether it honestly portrays the ‘human condition’ (whatever that is supposed to be in tangible, real world terms) is entirely immaterial to its success or otherwise as a video game.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Does it need to be anything other than a facade, Helm? For that matter, for it to even be a facade it would have to be concealing something. Bayonetta doesn’t seem to be concealing anything (hurr hurr!), nor does it seem to be trying to trick us into believing there is anything to conceal.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “or it is just a facade”

      I think Dominic is fairly clear in his analysis. She IS a facade. The game is an homage to video games. Her ‘character’ isn’t worth considering because she isn’t being put forward as a character to be considered, but rather an avatar for everything that is brilliant and awesome about our hobby.

      You can then analyse that and ponder what it means about us as a group, but it’s missing the point. She isn’t really a woman. She is not intended to be cohesive.

  22. Ben Franklin says:

    Why does the blind man’s wife still paint her face?

  23. LaundroMat says:

    It’s sad and telling that when reading
    various lovely indie comics folk are going all the way through Magnetic Field’s 69 Love Songs
    I wondered why I had never heard that the developers of the Lotus trilogy on the Amiga had also made excellent music.

  24. Kniferetta says:

    @Dominic

    Yeah but it’s funt to watch.

    @Helm

    Bayonetta strikes me as a character that revels in her own sexiness and is empowered by it and embodies it rather than a character with no soul and core…fluff… designed purely for marketing reasons to cater to the male audience for superficial reasons?

  25. Tim says:

    As a 21 year old from NJ, Lady Gaga makes me feel inadequate. She’s from NY (New Jersey’s big bro), and has more talent than I will ever have.

    I guess that’s why I play video games. Less pathetic than drinking.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      But Tim, you don’t write manufactured girl-pop-dance bullshit for 12-year-olds. So don’t worry about it.

    • Thants says:

      Man, did Lady Gaga run over your dog or something? I’m sure she’s very sorry.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Blake

      Get the fuck over it, for fucks sake. God forbid someone like something you don’t.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      @Psychopomp – People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Totalbiscuit

      There’s “This is trash, and everyone who likes it is equally trash,” and then there’s dismissing an entire game, because the main character happens to revel in the fact that she has breasts.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Must remember not to go to gaming websites and talk music. It seems taste in both is mutually exclusive at the best of times. Either that or none of you have heard any Bjork, Joanna Newsom, Imogen Heap, or Tara Busch…

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Bjork, Joanna Newsom, Imogen Heap, or Tara Busch…”

      Hahahahahaha.

      HAH.

      Haaa.

      Heh.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “My opinion>Your opinion”

    • Funky Badger says:

      Dammit. If he’d said Tori Amos as well I’d have had House.

  26. Dagda says:

    Normally I click on two or three links the Sunday Papers offer. This time I clicked on all BUT two or three, most of which I’d never have come across otherwise. Thanks!

  27. tomwaitsfornoman says:

    RE: Ready-Up interview

    Those games were all terrible stories. Is that irony? I can never tell.

  28. Starky says:

    Non-existent father figure in the sky-damn… I’ve read google translations of Japanese web pages that read better than that EA/Rockstar wives monstrosity.
    I refuse to believe that anyone who’s primary language is English could have written that, it’s utterly atrocious.

    Actually you know what it reads like, and probably exactly what it is… Someone who wanted to sound formal, intelligent and serious, broke out a thesaurus and just swapped every other word for the synonym with the most syllables.

    Though it’s worse when professional writers do the exact same thing, pulling out the word-of-the-day obscure wordage, when 90% of readers would probably need to look it up.

    • Thants says:

      Eschew obfuscation!

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Actually you know what it reads like, and probably exactly what it is… Someone who wanted to sound formal, intelligent and serious, broke out a thesaurus and just swapped every other word for the synonym with the most syllables.”

      That’s essentially what I thought.

      And then I felt sad, because it’s a serious situation being undermined by cunts like us.

  29. Bursar says:

    So… I’m guessing Lockheed’s not going quietly?

  30. Martin Kingsley says:

    Personally? I think the Escapist is the home of half-arsed, semi-brain-damaged critical writing at the best of times. Anything said there on the subject of gender politics was already said on a feminist blog (say, Feministing or Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose [kateharding.net] in a far more succinct fashion, at a higher level, and months/years earlier. Attempts to analyse the sexual politics of gaming end in spouting of the sa…me old talk, re: dearth of female developers, and make mention of vagina dentata.

    I mean, really. I know the readership of The Escapist consists almost solely of sixteen year old boys of questionable educational integrity and that the website exists almost solely as a medium through which they can bemoan the loss of Dimebag Darrell and continue the endless Console Wars. I know this, and by that standard, thusly, I should applaud that they even allow gynocentric critiques to be published at all, but for fuck’s sake. Try harder. Try *at all*.

    Also, re: Leigh Alexander and Bayonetta and the idea that because Bayonetta was designed by a woman this somehow makes the whole issue of sexism and patriarchal objectification disappear in a vaguely breast-shaped mist of female empowerment: as was said recently of a woman of colour writing up an incredibly bizarre and ‘other-ing’ list of Christmas presents that, presumably white, people could buy for their friends (of colour!), for the NYT, because you are of the group/minority/marginalised fringe being oppressed does not mean that you cannot end up working hand in hand with your oppressors, whether consciously or otherwise. It is, in fact, the means by which most oppression actively comes into being and remains invisible to the vast majority of onlookers (i.e. yet another elephant in the room).

    Personally, I don’t think consciously crafting a collection of body parts into the shape of a comically voluptuous woman for the purposes of attracting further sales BECAUSE YOU KNOW it will attract further sales is any kind of empowerment. You’re perpetuating the same old cycle of objectification and abstraction, but for financial gain.

    • Thants says:

      It just continues the sad terrible tradition of men thinking women are attractive.

    • Psychopomp says:

      There’s a difference between sales gimmick, and something worked into every aspect of a game. They did not sit down in a meeting and say “You know what? Let’s make out main character a woman, so we can get more sales!”
      The theme of the game is sexiness. Raw feminity is in every aspect of the game, from the music, to the way she shoots her guns. Bald Space Marine is more of a sales gimmick than this.

    • Mil says:

      Oh my. Patriarchal objectification… oppression… other-ing… Bayonetta’s butt is clearly SERIOUS BUSINESS.

      On the other hand, at times like this I wonder if I should demand that our customers who use the software I help to write are duly informed of my needs and emotions as a human being. Because, you know, right now they’re not even aware that I exist; the software could have been written by an AI for all they care. For all practical purposes to them I’m a software-writing soulless machine — another turn of the crank, another feature or bugfix. That’s right, they’re objectifying me. WHERE’S MY HUMANITY?

      Thinking about it, maybe I should write to my local university to see if they would offer me a job as the new “software engineer studies” chair (not to be confused with software engineering). If they accept I’m set for life! Now, where did I put my horn-rimmed glasses?

    • Funky Badger says:

      Remember, people: SEX IS WRONG.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Anything said there on the subject of gender politics was already said on a feminist blog”

      “You’re perpetuating the same old cycle of objectification and abstraction, but for financial gain.”

      Hmm.

  31. Vinraith says:

    Lady Gaga is one of those performers whose primary value is to be an object of parody. Both South Park and Christopher Walken have done far more entertaining things with her material than she’s ever likely to. It’s important for every generation to have trash-pop to make fun of, so I’m glad to see there’s no threat of the well running dry.

    • Rinox says:

      I think Lady Gaga takes herself (ie her persona) even less serious than her parodists, while at the same time being hard-working and serious about her music.

      That polar bear fur coat in the vid for Bad Romance? Yes. Yes please.

      At the very least, she has a bravado that has been missing from pop for too long.

    • Thants says:

      Yeah, “Lady Gaga dresses CRAZY!” is kind of stealing her joke.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Rinox

      To each his own, of course. Do get back to me in about a decade, though.

    • DXN says:

      Thants: Yeah, “Lady Gaga dresses CRAZY!” is kind of stealing her joke.

      ‘Zackly.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Thants

      “Yeah, “Lady Gaga dresses CRAZY!” is kind of stealing her joke.”

      Perhaps, but most of the parody work I’ve seen has been more centered around the music itself, which is absurdly self-serious even if her wardrobe isn’t. She wouldn’t be a good parody target if she were aware of just how silly her songs are, but I see no evidence that she is.

    • Rinox says:

      How about this over-the-top ‘ acoustic’ (well ok it’s a keyboard, not a piano, but whatever) version of Paparazzi? :-)

  32. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Hey, let’s re-channel our currency flows! It’ll be awesome.

  33. manveruppd says:

    I can see the headlines now…
    GAME CRITICS IN HOT STEAMY “SEXY ≠ SEXIST” SHOCKER!!

    Seriously though, while I personally agree with Alexander’s general point that Bayonetta is far too caricatured to be sexist, I have serious objections to the way in which she makes her argument, which rests too much on the rest of the “feminine” imagery surrounding her (the red roses and blowing kisses and all that) providing a context of a female dominated world in which the protagonist is the main actor rather than just a passive piece of eye candy.

    I used quotation marks around “feminine” because I don’t personally know any women who cast butterfly shadows or bleed roses, or who think that butterflies and blowing kisses is the epitome of cool and put wallpaper with these designs all over their flats. Well, not past the age of 12 anyway. But that’s the core of my problem with her argument: that the so-called female-dominated world that they inhabit is itself structured out of silly caricatures of feminine imagery. It’s probably what 11-year-old boys think of as feminine imagery (the kind of 11yo boys who would play this game in a Hazmat suit so they won’t get cooties). I get her point that all the stuff she does (like fighting with her hair and blowing kisses at things) is cool because she really does “fight like a milkmaid”, doing characteristically “feminine” stuff rather than doing the same stuff that male characters do except “with breasts and a ponytail”. But since that “feminine stuff” are also based on caricatured ideas about what constitutes “girly” behaviour, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it empowering!

    The reason she doesn’t find it offensive is simply that it’s all intended (and very carefully designed by a lot of talented artists) to be funny rather than to titillate. And the reason the designers succeeded in making it funny instead of titillating is because they meticulously crafted everything to conform to a specific aesthetic vision rather than saying “let’s make all the wobbly bits bigger and hope the horny 14-year-olds all buy it”!

    As an aside, a couple of commentators in this thread seem to have slightly misunderstood the way Alexander used the word “caricature”. Caricatures are meant to be funny – sometimes in an affectionate way, sometimes in an insulting way, but “to caricature” something generally means you’re poking fun at it. Female game characters with massive boobs isn’t intended to make you laugh, it’s intended to titillate. Dominic White used it right when he said that Marcus Fenix is a caricature: his oversized muscles are so unrealistic that I’m pretty sure they’re meant to be amusing (unless some character designers at Epic really thinks that girl gamers would go weak at the knees over that sort of thing)! Not everything that’s stylised is necessarily a caricature: Marcus Fenix, Lara Croft and Bayoneta are all “stylised”, but they’re not all caricatures because the intent behind the stylisation of each one is different. The reason I agree with Leigh Alexander that Bayonetta is a caricature rather than an attempt to tittilate is for the completely subjective reason that I don’t find her a turn-on! Not that I get turned on by every other chainmail-bikini-wearing disproportionate superwoman in games, but I can tell when something tries.

    In another aside, where does Leigh actually say that Bayonetta’s character designer was a woman? Scanned through it a few times and didn’t spot it, but some of the comments here claim she said it.

    • Funky Badger says:

      If you can stand the horror, check out the sales figures for Hello! magazine and all its bastard children. Or the sales figures of Hello Kitty (core demographic: 30+ professional women).

      Nerd-dom – well, this thread – apepars to have a somewhat platonic, idealised view of women in general.

  34. Tim says:

    I seem to have touched a nerve. All I was saying is that I, a humble college radio DJ, will never be as awesome as Lady Gaga. Few people can become what they’re making fun of, and then have fun while doing it, but Gaga’s doing it in spades.

    Please provide proof for David Bowie * (Mae West + Andy Kaufman) != Awesome

    • RobF says:

      I wouldn’t want to.

      Everyone watched the Glasto performance, right? Bloody magnificent showmanship, totally how to work a crowd.

      Me and the missus were wetting ourselves laughing at how utterly fab it was.

      Ah, pop. I loveses thee.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Tim: Basically, some people hate pop music and turn their brains off the second it enters the room.

      Ironically: I always remember talking about the late-Sugarcubes/Early-Bjork back in the 91-93, and someone dismissing Bjork because – basically – she’s a girl making pop songs. Casimir’s Blake shows that particular misogynist knee-jerk never ends – the give away clue is the refusal to engage with the music, only to dismiss it.

      RobF: And yeah – those festival performances have been what’s feeding my obsession this week. I mean, she doesn’t even barely move in Paparazzi and it’s pretty fucking mesmerizing.

      (I think it was Simon Price who’s started throwing around the Prince comparisons, as well as all the Bowie ones. I can kind of see the point.)

      KG

    • Psychopomp says:

      @KG

      Now, it’s not exactly fair to say he’s dismissing Gaga because she’s a female singing pop. He does hate her with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, but the fact that she has breasts doesn’t look to factor into it, considering the fact that he apparently enjoys the likes of Bjork and Imogen Heap.

    • Slaphead says:


      Ironically: I always remember talking about the late-Sugarcubes/Early-Bjork back in the 91-93, and someone dismissing Bjork because – basically – she’s a girl making pop songs. Casimir’s Blake shows that particular misogynist knee-jerk never ends – the give away clue is the refusal to engage with the music, only to dismiss it.

      Might be just me, but it seems that RPS seems to be trying way too hard with this feminism treak you’ve got going? You might not have paid attention, but Casimir’s Blake made a post earlier where he mentioned Bjork as a noteworthy musician, among other female solo acts, like Imogen Heap. Now that he dismisses one female musician, you’re accusing him of misogynism?

    • Slaphead says:

      Yeah, I don’t know what a “treak” is either, but it sounds bad.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      I can see the anti-pop point though, I listened to Bad Romance today (first time, after following your link), and did a mental double take when Gaga sang “I want your disease”; it was unexpected, and I wondered why I hadn’t heard anything good about her previously. Then, at work, I was singing BR and a co-worker caught on. Neither of us could believe the other liked the song, but it soon became clear why; she started singing “Ra-ra ram-ma-ma” etc while flailing her arms around in joy and the realisation struck that, indeed, if all I’d heard of Bad Romance was the inane chorus and the kind of joyfully bad dancing she subjected me to I would have no idea of it’s nasty undercurrent which, for me, is crucial to appreciating the song. (I just like nasty lyrics.)

      Same for Bjork; you listen to Venus To A Boy or Big Time Sensuality (as I did back in the day), and it’s pretty easy to dismiss her, not as a pop artist, but as someone who’s going to offer something to a kid who would go on to buy The Holy Bible on the back of hearing Faster. (I’ve never really understood how you enjoyed the Manics and Bis, for example.)

      It’s rare that “chavs” or “12 year olds” (Gaga’s audience according to Blake) actually enjoy the same things I do, so it doesn’t seem especially ignorant to dismiss Gaga along with burberry and Bratz. Not to call it worthless but as something that would have no worth to me. (Not that I did that, she’s just not that popular in Korea, my current home). But similarly, like your shout out with The Ting Tings over on Whitechapel, unless someone comes along and says to me this is what it’s all about it’s just often easier to dismiss something than try to engage with it flailingly and uselessly, especially when everyone who seems to likes it does so for easily dismissable reasons, like an inane but catchy chorus.

      There’s a massive gap between asking, “Does this engage with me?”, and beginning to ask, “How do I engage with it?” and I can’t blame anyone for sticking with the first (although it does seem somewhat parochial).

      (And, to repeat a question (soz), if you have the time, any links to some nice places that’ll help peeps (me) appreciate pop would be welcome, cheers.)

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Psychopomp/Slaphead: Point being: He’s dismissing her with the same misogynist* manner as my old mate in Stafford dismissed Bjork. Through a certain world-view all manner of stuff gets dismissed without a thought. It’s the sort of world view which starts dismissing what other people like as “music” and it’s hateful.

      (You’ll note I didn’t jump on Destroy.All.Monsters in the way I have Casimir. Because he’s not being insulting about anyone else about it.)

      Tom: Crikey. That’s an enormous question. I’ll have a think.

      KG

      *I didn’t even mention the bloody class-system stuff. “Oh no! Poor people who dress badly like it! That makes it untouchable. They probably never even did A-levels!”.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ Slaphead or Psychopomp

      To be fair to KG, there is a massive difference between how Bjork is seen now, and as the girl singing “It’s Oh So Quiet” on Top of the Pops. Not that I know why it’s misogynistic to dismiss girl-pop while still liking other music by girls (although it’s a perfectly acceptable argument since some misogynists like women as long as they know their place, in this case, as long as they’re playing indie music).

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Tom

      I don’t think the core of the issue is the inability of some folks to engage with their music. At the end of the day, the types who will do that will grow into it, and the rest will be happy with their catchy choruses.
      The problem is the level of hate that people seem to have for anything they don’t personally like, and the acid they spit at any who dare disagree with them. Some seem to be incapable of having any sort of intellectual discourse with another person, and still maintaining a civil, respectful state of mind. Hell, it’s often those that *do* engage with their music that are the most hateful.

      For chrisake, I don’t think there’s been a single piece of music Kieron’s linked to that I’ve liked. I’m more prone to listen to folk, blues rock, and cheesy metal. And that’s perfectly fine. He’ll listen to what he likes, I’ll listen to what I like. It’s not wrong to go into a comments thread and say “You know what, I didn’t like that game/song/article, because of X, Y, and Z.” As a matter of fact, I’d be one to encourage that. Unfortunately, most people who are inclined to do such, seem to be incapable of doing so in a civil, debate-like manner, and have to throw in a few insults for good measure. There’s too many Lobotomists on the internet, and not enough Vinraiths.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Me

      Christ you ramble aimlessly

    • Slaphead says:

      @KG


      Psychopomp/Slaphead: Point being: He’s dismissing her with the same misogynist* manner as my old mate in Stafford dismissed Bjork. Through a certain world-view all manner of stuff gets dismissed without a thought. It’s the sort of world view which starts dismissing what other people like as “music” and it’s hateful.

      Well, you’re being an Internet White Knight in the same manner as some men have been throughout the history of the Internet. See how easy it was to just label you, and dismiss you into a safe little box?
      Which is what you’re doing with the “misogynist” argument.
      Personally, I find Lady Gaga’s music insipid, and devoid of any artistic merit. I tend to change channel if I hear her on the radio. However, her live shows might have some elements that add additional depth to the music, so she may very well be a great artist. It’s just that her music sounds bad enough that I consciously avoid being exposed to more of it. On the other hand, I hated the whole brit-pop genre in the nineties. Does that make me a misandrist?


      (You’ll note I didn’t jump on Destroy.All.Monsters in the way I have Casimir. Because he’s not being insulting about anyone else about it.)

      Yep, but being insulting doesn’t make Casimir’s Blake a misogynist. It makes him a person with narrow musical taste, and he’s being a dick about it. There’s nothing wrong with particular music being shallow pap, anyway. If it entertains someone, it has done it’s job.

      I’ve followed this site for a good while, and I respect your opinions about gaming, so it’s ugly to see you dump common sense away like this.


      *I didn’t even mention the bloody class-system stuff. “Oh no! Poor people who dress badly like it! That makes it untouchable. They probably never even did A-levels!”.

      That bit left a bad taste to my mouth too. All the ragging on “chavs” is a symptom of wider problem IMHO. The political left all around the World has stagnated and started eating it’s young, after the fall of the Eastern Bloc caused free market capitalism to declare itself the winner and the “only true way”. It’s now forbidden to talk about the plight of the working class, unless it’s said in jest. And the working class kids are a convenient spittoon for everybody. Had the left not disintegrated completely in the nineties, the problems we’re seeing in the game developement industry might be much rarer too.
      But this is a completely different discussion, and probably not suited here…

    • Kadayi says:

      I have to claim a near complete ignorance of Lady Gaga (save that some people believe she’s a he, whatever), however that clip you posted intrigued me KG. Was it my imagination or was she channelling Max Headroom at the beginning of that concert footage?

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ KG, ok, no worries.

      @ Psychopomp, I disagree, I think you ramble aimfully. I would add:

      It’s rare that someone goes on the internet, posts something derogatory, and has the time or inclination to jot down their mood that morning, which I think is another factor (because hey, why disagree reductively with each other when we can just list all the different things that cause people to be asses about music).

      I’ve been in the position before where I’ve been grumpy, saw something I disagree with, and unleashed the hate, not because I particularly care, but because at that moment, I suddenly find I care. (And that happens all over, from people making a Custer stand against some telephone salesman, to the abuse heaped at customer servicemen.) It just happens that on the internet, you have to care to post a comment, and if someone cares it’s usually them complaining rather than being complementary. (It’s like the old story about the kid who never talks, then says “Pass the salt” and explains he hasn’t needed to talk before because nothing was wrong.)

      So I agree with you, and then some. Also, yeah, Kieron’s taste in music, IIRC, he purposefully puts himself in the line of fire; he could play it safe (he listens to Bo Diddley, it’s not as if he’s musically illiterate) but tends not to. I think his mindset is: he likes to dance, and a lot of indie stuff, especially obscurities that would earn him kudos if he posted them up, whither and die on the dance floor because no-one knows the beat, whereas pop really comes alive, uniting everyone. So, in that way, pop is better and deserves more recognition from its opponents.

  35. Hugo says:

    In actual paper news, this months issue of PC PowerPlay (Australia) has a six page feature on Black Mesa: Source. They even gave it the front cover! I thought that was neat.

  36. Muzman says:

    Man, each of these opines on sexism/sexuality are growing in word count by a half. By the time Wulf shows up he may break the comment system (and the internet!) personally.

  37. Helm says:

    Chalee I do no think Bayonetta fails as a piece of entertainment (or as a game, if one’s definition of one rests only on how much fun they had with the software). I think it fails on being anything deeper, more significant, more human. Whether you have these expectations from it or not is up to you, but Leigh Alexander, given her analysis of it, does, hence my points. If nobody discussed sexuality related to Bayonetta that’d be fine with me, but now that people have it begs that the subject, to second be sexual, must first be human. It’s not. I hope I was clearer this time around.

    “You can then analyse that and ponder what it means about us as a group, but it’s missing the point. She isn’t really a woman.”

    I think it’s besides the point some of the time, but personally I think we should make it more of a point to inspect why in our hobby, we have so many glorifications of shells of humans that aren’t really men, women, or anything.

  38. invisiblejesus says:

    So I’ve been trying to put a finger on what it is that bothers me so much about this Bayonetta business. And I think I’ve got it. Here there’s all this sound and fury about whether Bayonetta is sexist, whether it’s shallow, whether girls want to play a magical dominatrix (sorry kobzon, but yours was the last post I read), and so forth. A great deal of concern about this game and what it means to women. From posters who are all or almost all men. Obviously there’s no way of telling on the internet, but seriously, if there’s more than a couple women who’ve commented on this thread up to now, please speak up and let me know I’m talking out my ass. I’m pretty sure I’m not.

    So if we’re all so concerned with what girls want in a game, what’s empowering to girls, what’s objectifying, so on and so forth, why is it that we’re all working so hard to tell an actual card-carrying vagina-having female that she’s wrong? Doesn’t it strike anyone else a bit funny to see a bunch of guys arguing that a woman is wrong to see this game as empowering? I’m not saying necessarily that she’s right, but it strikes me as pretty ass-backwards for us to presume to decide that. Maybe it’d make a little more sense for us-wot-has-penises to just chill out and let women sort out what empowers them and what doesn’t? On topics of female empowerment, it seems to me that the last thing women need is a bunch of men telling them how it is instead of just taking it easy and listening.

    • Jazmeister says:

      “So I’ve been trying to put a finger on […] penises.”

      That is literally what my brain did when I tl;dr’d your lenghty post. I would comment further, but I’m a one-a-day blogger now, so we need to save that shit up.

  39. Tei says:

    “The turning for the worse came approximately in the month of March of 2009. Till present, the working conditions persists to deteriorate as employees are manipulated by certain hands that wield the reigns of power in Rockstar San Diego. Furthermore, the extent of degradation employees have suffered extends to their quality of life and their family members.”

    Theres a software engineer way to view this:
    CMMI levels
    1. Initial (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) – the starting point for use of a new process.
    2. Repeatable – the process is able to be used repeatedly, with roughly repeatable outcomes.
    3. Defined – the process is defined/confirmed as a standard business process, and decomposed to levels 0, 1 and 2 (the latter being Work Instructions).
    4. Managed – the process is managed according to the metrics described in the Defined stage.
    5. Optimized – process management includes deliberate process optimization/improvement.
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    “Heroic/Kamikaze” efforts on software development are a symptom of low level of organization of a organization. CMMI 1

  40. sigma83 says:

    Dear lord Casimir’s ego is huge.

  41. destroy.all.monsters says:

    I am dumber for having read the drivel spewed out by Ms. Alexander, everything on the Excapist and the whole Rockstar SD wives. There’s been more thought expended in the comments here than by Leigh. Riot grrl has no place in an “issue” about Heavy Metal. Nor does Erin make a single cogent point in her dramatic spew that has any sort of grounding in reality. Feminism as navel gazing.

    Until this industry starts unionizing its people get what they deserve. It’s one’s only choice other than litigating or developing independently. Derek Smart had some of the more intelligent commentary on that page.

    Also – nice fail on the Escapist for not only not knowing a damn thing about Heavy Metal but glossing over it as if it weren’t a legitimate art form (something that compared to Lady Gaga for example it most certainly is). Paying lip service to a genre is no benefit.

    Maybe this was a bad week for articles but this is just a depressing round up.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Destroy: I admit, I had to go and check the Escapist issue, as I thought it was a feminist special. But no! the theme is really Heavy Metal. Crikey. That’s some impressive commissioning fail (or, just as likely, pitching fail on the part of the writers). If I *were* pitching, I suspect I’d have done something autobiographic – there’s something distinctly *midlands* about the combination of Metal and Videogame obsession. Distance from anywhere, fantasy, etc. I mean, Games Workshop were involved with a fucking metal record label for a while.

      KG

    • Lewis says:

      I still tend to think The Escapist is the strongest thing-of-its-kind on the web. It was a major reference point for the sort of stuff we’ve always gravitated towards at Resolution. Only on a much smaller scale, obviously.

      Then again, there isn’t really much else like it on the web.

      And then again, I would say all this, as I’m constantly pestering them for work and they pay handsomely.

    • Lewis says:

      Actually, worth reiterating KG’s point that it’s most likely just a shaky pitch week. The Escapist’s weekly issues are almost always entirely freelance driven. If you’re on their freelance mailing list you get sent a round-up every quarter of all the stuff they want to hit within those three months, with dates, and then you pitch specific pieces based on that. With the actual staff beavering away on the regular website updates, I suspect they don’t usually have time to fill in shaky weeks with their own work.

      Not that I’ve read the latest Escapist yet.

    • Chaz says:

      Trapped in purgatory
      A lifeless object, alive
      Awaiting reprisal
      Death will be their acquisition

  42. Kieron Gillen says:

    Kobzon: I dunno actually. While the RPS-sort-of-readership are doing what you’ve said, I’ve seen a lot of the more general XBox doing a I DON’T WANT ANY GIRLS, WHERE’S MY SPACE MARINES?

    (i.e. The anti-Lady Gaga response.)

    KG

  43. Tei says:

    Re: Bayonetta

    Maybe people are reading too much into a videogame character. He.. Mario is mario, not because some weird obsesion with italo american plumbers of his authors, but because was easyrecognozible. It was first the pixels, and later it was the lore. It was not premeditated to write a videogame about the plumber italo american culture. Feel free to introspect into “Mario Brothers” as a reading of the italo american brothership culture, but is not.

  44. Urthman says:

    Are Games Design?

    Yes (x3)! It seems so obvious to me that what makes games great is design and not when they try to be movies or (for John Walker) books.

    • Sonicgoo says:

      When people use the word ‘design’ it’s usually used for industrial design, consumer products. Other fields of design usually get another word added, like graphic design. Along with things like movies, haute couture and other such things they all fall somewhere in the spectrum that is applied arts. It’s all part expression, part practical demands.

  45. Corporate Dog says:

    I’m digging S.W.O.R.D. myself. So much so, that I’m able to overlook Beast as a blue Joe Camel.

  46. Funky Badger says:

    Compare and contrast with the anti-Zev response around Dragon Age.

    Also: Bjork = Impenitrable Harpy

  47. Dominic White says:

    Yeah, I’ve noticed the whole ‘uncomfortable with Bayonetta’ thing around. Yet I’ve also noticed that a lot of those who complain about it being too sexualized will also lap up the ridiculous Dante’s Inferno game, which, without a hint of humor or irony, shows you Beatrices boobs in three different mediums (pre-rendered high-res, 2D hand-drawn and in-game) in the space of five minutes JUST IN THE DEMO.

    I got called a prude when I called that tacky. Go figure.

    Fun fact: There’s no actual nudity in Bayonetta. There’s always something blocking the view. They play around with this a lot.

  48. Chalee says:

    What the hell there are things on the escapist apart from yahtzee???

    • Brumisator says:

      Absolutely nothing at all, there is nothing worthy of even a bored click on the escapist.

      I’m even getting bored of Yahtsee, his is basically an interchangeable rant about nothing every week, since the last couple of months. But I guess that’s just me.

  49. junkie says:

    Glamour is the annoying thing, its annoying buying into glamour.
    Its also fun and works, you want to be cool and ”I LIKE BAYONETTA.”
    That’s the most annoying thing about it, its dividing marketing technique of coolness vs. uncoolness. You’re on the cool side if you invest in it and take its side. so it uses peoples insecurity and desire to be cool…the market’s dividing technique.
    What side are you on? is the effect of Bayonetta so the insecure people all coolly want to buy and LOVE it.