Marginalisation in games.

(Note – This is kinda political, although it isn’t. I am noting something that I have observed which is neither good nor bad. I try to present it in as balanced a way as I can, but that doesn’t mean much these days. The issues are complex and subjective.

Also, I might come across as defensive or entitled, but that isn’t my aim. I’ve come to terms with most of this, not through some sense of optimism but rather a looming nihilism.

Feel free to disagree but let’s keep it civil, eh?)

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Marginilisation in games is something that is being discussed more and more within the industry itself and the wider media sphere. Progressivism and diversity are big buzzwords that have been drawing a lot of emotions from both sides of a widening political divide. Is the media spin that gaming is still a straight white male environment hostile to other groups a fair representation though? Continue reading

Parent Gaming Prima – Raising Children in the Video Game Generation

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I’ve debated this topic with myself for a while now but haven’t really commented on it due to not being a parent myself. However, I did grow up from a young age surrounded by video games and am now an adult who watches the industry closely. I have seen the gaming climate shift from nerdy pariahs stigmatised by society to a mainstream activity that has become a core part of modern day life. I have seen communities change and have witnessed the good and bad of gaming’s rise to power.

With this knowledge I want to impart some advice for parents bringing up children in this digital era. Parents who themselves are already gamers will know and understand most of these points but if you are unfamiliar with the medium then it can be a mystical and complicated concept to tackle. You cannot avoid it though. Your children will be exposed to games so it is vital that you give them the correct support because it is far too easy for games to create bad habits in children. Continue reading

The Nintendo Switch Needs to Switch up Nintendo.

When Nintendo first announced the Switch I was excited. This kind of surprised me though since I have never really owned a Nintendo console. Sure, I’ve owned several handhelds from the Gameboy to the 2DS but they have literally just been dedicated Pokemon machines. We also had a household Wii that saw action with Wii Sports Resort and Link’s Crossbow Training but little else.

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The Switch was an interesting concept. A console/handheld hybrid sounded cool and the initial trailer was pleasantly devoid of any gimmicks beyond this portability. They were showing off Skyrim which suggested stronger links with third party developers and most of the actors were young adults instead of children. It looked like they were trying to market the Switch as a more matured console, still fun but aimed at the people closer to my own age who had grown up with Nintendo and still made up a massive portion of sales despite Nintendo’s drive to be a child-oriented company. Their move with the Wii U to add Bayonetta 2 to their exclusive list and include her in Smash Brothers was a step in the right direction so maybe they were learning. Continue reading

Opinion – Use of the Term ‘Gamer’

Gamer. It is a pretty loaded term in modern society, isn’t it? Between negative press, dilution into mainstream entertainment and a breakdown within the gaming community, there has been growing opinion that the term ‘gamer’ has become redundant or elitist. I would like to put forward an argument to counter this rising sentiment.

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Outward perception of gamers by some people.

For me, gamer has always been a term of acceptance, a label that applied to me that wasn’t directly insulting. When I first started playing video games it was still seen as a social stigma. Words that are positive now such as geek and nerd were insults back in the Nineties and gamers were outcast basement-dwellers. Games were an escape and finding others who played games was the only way that I could make friends since my social anxiety has always made small talk difficult. Gamers back then were kindred spirits in a hostile world. It was an ‘us versus them’ type mentality so there was no room for infighting. Continue reading