Let’s use this first post to problematize our favorite hobby with respect to the way it conflicts with our personality and the principles that we hold close to our hearts. We can make a list of problems in this first post, and then go deeper into those problems from there.
First though, another list to preempt that one. Hopefully, starting with this light planning activity will lead to a blog that differs from our past blogs in the following ways:
- This will not become a heap of insipid emotional ramblings.
- This will be maintained over an extended period of time, and we will write here significantly more than once every three months.
- This will have something to say besides, “We like that.”
- This will use Majestic plural because gosh darn it, this is our blog and we’ll be as pompous as we want to be. Also, Tim Rogers is our favorite dreamboat.
Now that we know our mission, on to our list of standard video game tropes that conflict with our insides:
- We have always considered ourselves to be a feminist and an overall socially liberal person who is accepting of other people unless they’re assholes. We are also the sort of people (correct use of the royal we? who knows?) who enjoys playing fighting games immensely. How do we justify the misogyny and racism that seem to be inherent in the fighting game genre with our socially liberal principles? These sexist and racist stereotypes go well beyond fighting games into most video game genres. Laura Mulvey wrote in her 1975 provocation “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” about the problems with the male gaze in cinema and the dominant, sadistic perspective that it forces upon spectators of both genders. There are a lot of holes that can be poked in her essay, but this same general problem is present in video games and is exacerbated by the perception that the audience is largely made up of teenage males (it’s not). Let’s look at what stereotypes exist in video games and talk about them.
- Since we’ve had the will and been of the proper mind to choose a belief system for ourselves, we really haven’t. If we had to pick one though, we would definitely be a Taoist. Being the rock that the river flows around seems natural to us. Why do we like games whose difficulty border on sadism? The furthest thing from solving problems and finding resolutions with minimal effort is a SLASO run in Halo 3 or making it through Ninja Gaiden’s Master Ninja difficulty. For the sake of full disclosure, we haven’t actually managed either of those feats, but we’re actively working toward both and they have a definite appeal to us. How can we, a faux Taoist, apply the concepts of Tao Te Ching to a Monumental Video Game Task?
We suppose that’s only two things, and two things don’t make a list. You can’t really call either of them tropes either. But it’s a start, and now our wife can quit asking us when we’re going to start our blog.