I love gaming, and I love the culture that?s developed around it, but at the moment it?s the emotional equivalent of a drunken frat boy who?s still stuck in his mother?s basement- complete with misogyny, dick jokes, and poorly directed rage. The problem lies in the fact that every child of the nineties who grew up gaming- every kid who ever picked up Super Mario World or Megaman ? has grown up(mostly).
But their games haven?t, in a few very noticeable ways.
Misogyny Ahoy:Gaming culture still doesn?t understand how to relate to women. Truth be told, I?m not really sure where to start on this point. There?s so many examples of the downright misogynistic attitude in gaming that it?s downright overwhelming. Should I talk about the disgusting debacle at Cross Assault? What about the Tropes vs Women debacle, and the hostile backlash it provoked against creator Anita Sarkeesian? Fact is, even though gaming isn?t chiefly the purview of women-hating, testosterone-addled adolescent males, a casual observer might not realize as much. For some reason, gaming is still very much a man?s world. Female gamers are objectified, female characters are oversexualized, and the whole industry is, quite simply, embarrassing itself.
Vitriol in the Global Village:I?ve just gotten finished with a long day of work, and I?m looking to get some gaming done. I pop online, toss on a headset, and within minutes, the name-calling has already started. Sighing, I reach for the mute button. Rinse and repeat. Online harassment is an ever-present problem when it comes to gaming- anyone who?s ever played League of Legends knows it?s true. Something about the ?net seems to just bring out the worst in some people.
The Glory of Violence:In an interview this week, game development legend Warren Spector stated that we need to focus ?less on violence, and more on creating believable characters.? I couldn?t agree more. A lot of games seem to revel in violence for violence?s sake- all while sacrificing believable characterization, top-quality narratives, and better non-combat AI. Even when games don?t focus solely on violence, it?s still an ever-present element in the vast majority of gaming media. Think about it- what?s the last game you played which didn?t feature slow-motion killshots, or some other mechanic to glorify death and wanton destruction?
I?m not saying violence is a crippling, terrible problem. I enjoy a good shooter as much as the next guy. What I am pointing to is the fact that, in many cases, it seems like violence is all there is. And that?s a crying shame- since those games could be so much more.
Flaming Fanboyism:In a sense, this one ties in with the sort of vitriol most of us have simply gotten used to when it comes to online games. Let?s face it: when someone doesn?t like what we like, or hates something we enjoy, it?s pretty difficult not to simply dismiss them outright. It?s tough not to believe they?re idiots. For some, it?s hard (or even impossible) to hide their contempt for their others. Back when I played World of Warcraft, I was actually involved in an argument- in person- with someone who expressed outright hatred because I played both Horde and Alignment. I was actually addressed with outright hostility because, out of two fictional factions in an imaginary world, I never picked sides. This sort of thing seems blessedly less common now than it used to be- but it still happens entirely more often than it should- and something needs to be done about it.
Developer Relations:Last but not least, let?s have a look at how developers related to gamers, and vice-versa. The word of the day here, folks, is ?entitlement?: and it exists on both sides of the developer-consumer spectrum. On the one hand, there?s always a loud, angry, and selfish crowd which makes it out like the developers exist only to serve them. Their immature cries make any legitimate complaints look like more of the same. On the other end, you?ve got developers who seem to think that their customers are stupid or childish- those developers who don?t bother to put any effort into innovating and creating, who nickel and dime their customers with underhanded schemes, and generally treat the consumers as walking wallets rather than human beings.
Both sides are in the wrong, and both sides need to effectively vanish if the industry?s truly going to move forward.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."
Five Things Riot Needs To Do With League of Legends
The folks at Riot already have their work cut out for them moving into Season 4, and they?re doing a damned find job of weathering the transition so far. That said, here?s a few changes we?d like to see as the new season draws near.
The Five Best MMOs of 2013
2013 was quite a year for MMOs. Not only did we enjoy a whole host of strong releases; a bunch of already excellent games were made even better. Here's just a few of MMO Attack's favorite MMORPGs of the year.
Five Trends That Reshaped MMORPGs In 2013
It's been a hell of a year, hasn't it? As we move into the first days of 2014, let's take a look back at how the world of MMOs has changed - and how that might impact the future.
Best Free MMORTS and Strategy Games List (2014)
A top 10 list of the best free MMORTS and strategy games so you can give them all a try in one place and not have to worry about scouring the internet to find the best ones
The Lack Of Quality In The Survival MMO
We've seen an abundance of new titles join the genre this year, most hot on the heels of the incredibly popular DayZ mod from ARMA II, but they all seem to share a certain lack of quality and polish