We don’t expect much from games, do we?
It bothers me, yes. It has real repercussions. For example, some reviewers and some gamers finished Ethan, just took what they saw and formed an opinion, and didn’t think to dig deeper. I already wrote about it once (warning, spoilers!) but to be clear, I don’t blame anyone. As I said, we don’t expect much from games, so why should things be different in Ethan’s case?
A fun fact: there is a thing about The Vanishing of Ethan Carter that no one has discovered yet. I’m not talking about a secret or an Easter Egg, it’s out there in the open. It’s an important part of the game’s overall construction, but no one notices. Is it because it’s hidden a bit too well? Heck no. I bet if Ethan were a book or a movie, people would spot it right away. But it’s, you know, “just a game”.
Of course, some people trust video games a bit more. Take Plastic’s Datura, an experimental PS3 game. No reviewer realized what it was really about, but one gamer did. I remember talking to Michal, Plastic’s head honcho, and how happy he was that at least one person saw through the veil. Maybe one day it’ll happen to Ethan too.
Who’s to blame that we don’t expect much from video games?
I do blame creators first. Because the story is often merely “a layer”, and not an integral part of the experience. And, let’s be honest, even that “layer” is rarely more than an afterthought or a mess that only a thirteen years old is not embarrassed by.
Second place belongs to the journalists, because “the story of this action-adventure is boring and weak, but it’s a still 9/10 game” is a thing that still exists as of October 2014.
Does the third place belong to gamers themselves? No, but I think there is something they can do to help change things for the better. What exactly? Watch these seven minutes of the latest episode of Extra Credits. Yes, the whole blog post is just to lure you into watching that video. But seriously, do it. Then give it a little thought. Quite an interesting proposal, that video, isn’t it?
And this is coming from somebody who has made video games their life & career— we do not need “gamer pride.” We can do all the things we do already that are good for ourselves and our industry & our hobby without “gamer pride.” Games cannot be tied to your ego so closely that they can’t grow outside of your own personal needs.
"Gamer positivity" now seems to have the mountain dew and doritos angle slowly gravitating about it, gently stroking the ever-fragile egos of masculinity. The idea that this hobby is a point of pride and personal identity seems like it would be good for developers and for selling products, but— not really. It’s not good for selling games. It’s good for selling a particular image of what games— and gamers— should be.
This kind of “pride” is an illusion that comes at the expense of the artform’s potential, because it’s like the consumer culture of video games has met its whiny teenage years— clamoring desperately for respect without preparing itself to deal with the kind of critical examination that comes alongside it.
But the thing is, it’s not even real. It looks nothing like the very real world that actual, mature adults live in when they make games.
The dissonance is actually pretty staggering.
Somebody Big on Tumblr was complaining about how “gamer culture” wasn’t just the awful parts and that feminists and a diverse set of people who consider themselves gamers should focus on reclaiming it. I think we should just accept the fact the label belongs to awful people right now.
Yeah. I’ve been playing games longer than most of gamergate has been alive but I am generally always have been—except for shorthand purposes—someone who plays games as a hobby, rather than a “gamer”. In all my adult life I’ve never found it a community I can be myself in*, so I can’t really relate to the people who are holding onto “gamer” with white knuckles as it sinks beneath the waves under the weight of a bunch of dreadful shitheads who are perversely proud of their racism and misogyny.
*I spent years in a single WoW guild with a relatively stable membership and only one other person in it ever knew I was trans because even among these friendly, gay-positive, barmy eurodorks I still didn’t feel safe coming out.
After threats against her life, Anita Sarkeesian canceled an upcoming talk at Utah State University. Gamergate trolls are celebrating on Twitter while simultaneously dismissing the threats as nothing. Does this read like nothing to you?“I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”
The email’s author threatened to murder feminist women indiscriminately in a mass shooting. And because carrying guns on campus outweigh the right of students and guests to be safe, Anita Sarkeesian canceled her talk.
BUT WE SHOULDN’T FEEL THREATENED, RIGHT?
BECAUSE IT’S JUST THE INTERNET, RIGHT?
The bullies won this time. And if you think this shit isn’t dangerous, I’m fresh out of fucks to give and I’m not restocking any time soon. It’s goddamn wrong to to dismiss this by claiming the author isn’t serious. Elliot Rodger’s rantings were dismissed until it was too late.
This. Is. Not. OK.
guns… literally more important than the lives of women in the state of loveable mormons
I sure hope the death threats aren’t fake or self-planted using sock puppet accounts.
While there are legitimate threats against women, there are some people who just want to wank and draw attention, so they fake threats and vandalism and everything.
Please don’t even start with that “maybe she faked it for attention” bullshit.
I don’t want to, but I’ve lost faith in the internet.
I’ve seen the controversy about Anita Sarkeesian in particular, and all the bad shit thrown at her. I don’t doubt genuine death threats have been made to her.
At the same time, I’ve seen cases where rape charges turns out to be fake, and it’s made me skeptical whenever this kind of thing happens. I now make it a habit to take everything I hear on the internet with a grain of salt until I find out more about the situation.
"I don’t want to, but - " No one is forcing you to say anything. If you “don’t doubt genuine death threats have been made to her,” then why did you make that post at all? Was that really, absolutely necessary? You see a story about threats that have been made on a woman’s life, and your response is “yeah but it might be fake and done for attention”? You heard on the internet that a girl lied once maybe, so now you need to add “yeah but maybe she’s faking” to posts about other girls being victimized? How about this. Instead of spreading unfounded misinformation and derailing the issue and casting blame on victims, go do your research, go find out more about the situation like you say you want to do, since you’re the apparently the researchy skeptic person and all.
Firaxis Games’ concept artist Sang Han Sang on how to give your digital art a traditional look and feel. [source]
00. BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Many people have tried using brushes that simulate analogue bristles, but they may not have thought about how the paint is applied. Traditional painters take great care in applying each stroke of paint, which has been thoughtfully blended to the right colour and value on a palette.
Since the digital medium is so fast and forgiving, we tend to dive right in without much thought and noodle around until something happens. I think this leads to muddy colours, and the energy of the initial gesture gets lost.
01. SKETCH IT OUT
I begin with a rough sketch, trying to keep it loose and gestural. It’s difficult to think about design, colour, lighting and composition all in one pass so I break it down into steps and keep it simple at the beginning. These early steps are important because not only are they the foundation for an entire painting, but some of these strokes may show through in the finished work.
02. LAYER IT UP
Here I create a new layer and change the mode to Multiply. I then paint on this layer with a colour that resembles yellow ochre or burnt sienna. This will help to gauge value and colour more easily than if it was a white canvas. I could have simply filled the layer with a flat colour, but again, the painted strokes may show through and add to the final painting.
In this step, I block in the local colours and start rendering. As I do this, I try to remember not to overly blend or noodle around too much, as mentioned above. One of my goals is to retain the energy of each brush-stroke and put paint down with a sense of conviction. Sometimes I put a single stroke down, undo it and repeat this process many times until I’m satisfied.
04. LEAVE MARKS
Keep in mind that you don’t have to render everything. You’ll notice in traditional paintings, certain details are kept as abstract marks. This adds another level of interest to the viewer. As you get closer to the end of the painting, lay the strokes down with lower opacity to give the effect of thicker paint. I like to do this when rendering certain accents, such as highlights.
I need this like burning.
NEW ALBUM: “Floating Rooms” is out now!
You can stream / download from my bandcamp here. The price is $10 with the option to tip more if you’d like.
This is my first album since “Thank You” and I really feel I’ve made huge leaps forward since then. If you folks could help spread this like WILDFIRE I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. And I really hope this finds you well and that you enjoy the heck out of it.
Let’s help spread the word! <3
Reblog for afternoon crew! Please consider chipping in if you like the music, or help me spread the word! Above everything else - I just hope it does nice things for your ears and smiley bits. ~ v~ <3