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christian.estopare
03-28-2013,
In light of all this talk about the Bayonetta 2 review (specifically the Polygon review)...it reminded me of the NYT Last of Us review...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/arts/video-games/in-the-video-game-the-last-of-us-survival-favors-the-man.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"This is another video game by men, for men and about men"

To be fair, mainstream videogame press was pretty complimentary of the title and it got multiple game of the year awards and it wasn't universally panned for having Ellie as a typical "woman in distress" role but instead most video game media praised the character of Ellie and lauded Naughty Dog for having strong and realistic female characters.

But even a game like Last of Us that gets pretty much universally praised STILL gets criticized in the New York Times for being yet another video game by men for men and about men.

The NYT did publish a rebuttal from a female member of Naughty Dog - http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/30/game-theory-the-last-of-us-revisited/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Can Bayonetta 2 be thought of as a really good videogame version of a B movie? Like a Grindhouse type of game? Can you envision the Source, Spin or Rolling Stones bashing a specific hip hop album because of the crude lyrics towards women? Hip Hop as a genre - YES, we have seen that...but imagine Ludacris getting slammed and singled out because his lyrics are degrading and only getting 2 mics because of it.

If Last of Us was made in an environment or parallel universe where videogames had the same history as art, music, books, and movies do you think it would receive the same kind of criticism?

ChrisMarshall
04-04-2013,
In light of all this talk about the Bayonetta 2 review (specifically the Polygon review)

Do you have any links to any forums or articles about this? I haven’t been following Bayonetta 2 and this is the first I’m really hearing about a backlash against the reviews. I’d like to see what people are saying/criticizing.

This is another video game by men, for men and about men

The best description of the basic critique NYT made about TLoU that I’ve heard is this: TLoU, Bioshock Infinite, and The Walking Dead were a distinct step forward for games, they’re more mature games made for a more mature audience. However, they’re all essentially games about being a father, which means you end up with at least one interesting, non-sexualized female character, but the games themselves are games by men, made for men, except the men are now older and have daughters.

But even a game like Last of Us that gets pretty much universally praised STILL gets criticized in the New York Times for being yet another video game by men for men and about men.
I loved TLoU, it’s become one of my absolute favorite gaming experiences. I even kept the game for a while after I sold my PS3 so I could lend it other gamers I met that hadn’t played it. However, being a great game doesn’t mean it’s absolutely perfect in every respect. If even the works of Shakespeare and Citizen Kane can be fairly criticized, TLoU is fair game too.

Can Bayonetta 2 be thought of as a really good videogame version of a B movie? Like a Grindhouse type of game?

I don’t think so, B movies tend to be low budget and generally lower quality (e.g. basically any direct to DVD movie). Bayonetta is more like the Transformers or Fast and Furious movies; big budget, high quality, but generally terrible plots with female characters largely acting as sex objects.

Can you envision the Source, Spin or Rolling Stones bashing a specific hip hop album because of the crude lyrics towards women?

They tend not to bash misogyny directly, but they tend to view more socially conscious and higher concept albums more favorably than albums that are just radio friendly songs about "money, clothes, and hoes". For example, Ludacris’ highest rated album by Rolling Stone is Theater of The Mind which is an album that was attempting to be distinctly theatrical and contained less misogynistic and radio friendly songs than a majority of his other albums.