Sunday Swatch

It’s Sunday! Ignore that sinking feeling signalling the coming work week by checking out these great posts on games.

Mafia III has put race and race relations openly at the centre of its game. For some this is a bold choice that’s welcome in a world of Aug Right’s Matter and Elven discrimination. Others find the depiction of racism to be unrealistic. Read all about it here, although if you’re feeling down due to the state of the world, be warned there’s an amount of ‘all lives matter’ and racism deniers. Maybe avoid if you want to keep your Sunday light and carefree. However, it is interesting to read the more positive reactions of those who enjoy using Clay as a means of revenge and retribution.

On a similar note have a look at this article from Comic Alliance. It focuses on the divide between creators and their ‘problematic’ content, and the fans who are desperate for positive and nuanced representation. While it does focus on how this plays out in the comic book industry, it is equally applicable to video games. It’s defiantly worth a read.

Battlefield 1 was released this week, and while it does look to be a great game, I can’t help but feel uneasy. Morphing war into a kind of play detached from its grim reality always makes me uncomfortable. The First World War was one which saw the introduction of chemical weapons that are now banned from warfare; it saw technical advancements solely for killing in large numbers; and trench fighting with its assorted illnesses and horrific fighting which scarred the land and soldiers. This war wiped out almost a whole generation of men from towns and villages. While I find myself torn between wanting to play a good looking game and these feelings, this article about virtual war zones made engaging related reading.

Never mind all that dour musing, here’s some good stuff. This is a great documentary about a summer camp encouraging young girls to make games. It really made me smile to see the girls talking about the games and the world they were creating.

Paste Magazine asks for more enemies that are understandable, more human. And I wholeheartedly agree. I’m so fed up of baddies who want to destroy the world because they’re crazy, or so evil or just because. Enemies who are relatable allow writers to create a narrative where we can question what is right and wrong, and even question the actions of our hero. These are the kinds of stories that stay in my mind.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday I wrote about my love of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft. What I didn’t mention is the discomfort I felt as a young girl seeing the way Lara was sexualised. It clearly signalled to me that despite my love for her, Lara wasn’t for me. This article helped to fit Tomb Raider and it’s conception in with feminist politics of the time. It does bring up the argument of is-Lara-exploited-or-empowered, and it is interesting to consider both sides, even if ultimately it needs to be pointed out that since she is not real, Lara has no agency and makes no decisions of her own.

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a trailer. Many media outlets are dissecting the video for clues about the game. This one focusing on all the good animals in the trailer is the essential reading for this teaser. Who cares about plot when you’ve got dogs?

Finally, a little bit of news. Voice actors in games are on strike. To my shame I haven’t been following the story too closely, but here’s a short article about the situation.

That’s it for me. Hope yous enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and let me know what you’re reading and playing. See yous later!

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