Across the Divide – 1/6/2011

A closeup screen capture of a newspaper clipping with the headline "Claims allege Nintendo is hiring too few blacks".

Here are some links for your Thursday evening reading enjoyment. (well, not exactly enjoyment given the subject matter of the posts. ¬†Thanks Ben for pointing that out…)

Looking Back: When Nintendo Was Accused of Discrimination (Joystiq): “On January 4, 1991 — twenty years ago today — Nintendo of America responded to ongoing racism accusations and protests by adopting its first affirmative action policy. The policy, according to the group leading the protests, was inadequate, leading to even harsher criticism in the future.”

It’s Not Easy Being Deaf in World of Warcraft (Kotaku): “Earlier this year World of Warcraft player Unwelcome suffered an accident that permanently robbed him of his hearing. Feeling alienated and shunned by his real life friends, he returned to World of Warcraft for some online alienation and shunning.”

S&M Toy Removed from Popular RPG (Kotaku): “This is a “wooden horse”, used for torture in Japan during the 15th century’s Warring States Period. These days it’s used in S&M play. But it apparently won’t be torturing the ladies of popular Japanese role-playing game Disgaea 4.”

The PSP For Girls (Kotaku): “Due out in Japan in February, the bundle includes a “Blossom Pink” PSP-3000, headphones, a fluffy pouch and pink screen cleaner.”

ECA Institute launches a Gamers for Health program: “Exercising using video games can be used for physical therapy and team building, as well as fitness. Gamers for health is an important component in getting Americans more healthy, and more active by the way of video games. National studies have shown that 97% of children play video games daily and the average age of gamers is 34 years old.”

Leave your links in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Across the Divide – 1/6/2011”

  1. Not sure how much reading enjoyment we’ll get out of racism, sexism, and a failure to account for the disabilities of certain gamers, but I guess at least the Nintendo article resulted in something being done about the issue.

    I wonder what the numbers are like today.

  2. It’s also to note in the Disgaea Kotaku article that it was removed from the Japanese version of the game.

    Then again is IS Kotaku so, avoid the comments if you can.

  3. I saw the “pink PSP for girls” link at Joystiq (avoid Kotaku at all costs). My first thought was “*eyeroll* Why always the girls == pink?”.

    When I looked at the Japanese page, I saw that it was the PSP color I’d wanted myself, way back when I bought my PSP (got a red one instead). So, am I a stereotypical girl like the advertisers meant?

    I’ve decided that, no, I’m not like that. I would’ve bought a pink PSP if it had been available as one of the regular colors (like I did with my first DS), not because it is marketed at girls. In fact, if it had been marketed like that back then, I might’ve bought a different color to spite them.

    1. The ads for the recently released purple PSP has the tagline “Girlz Play Too!”. It would not surprise me at all if they did the same thing again in the US with the pink system.

  4. Oh dear, the link about the S&M thing has me rolling my eyes before I even follow it. (Which I’m not going to; a Kotaku after a link is practically a trigger warning, considering how often their content needs them.) Because apparently all masochists are women now ._.

  5. Or more troublingly Emily, the message that all women (little girls in Disagea actually) like to be brutalized. I’m very disturbed by the inclusion of torture in a cutesy videogame. To make the (all female) characters like it just makes it even more skeevy.

  6. Oh, certainly including torture in a cutesy video game is really creepy, and the omission is hardly a tragic loss, I was just facepalming at the sentence excerpted from Kotaku. (Although if the cast of Disgaea is all female then it probably isn’t quite so facepalm worthy, but I still don’t trust it, because Kotaku is saying it.)

  7. Yes, the problem with the “Value Pack For Girls” is, if it were called something not overtly sexist, I would absolutely own it. Well, if I didn’t already have a PSP, anyway. I like pink, is what I’m saying. Not ashamed of it! But really… “value pack for girls”? Thanks, gender normativity.

  8. Emily, from what I have read, the main character is male and he can only use the torture option on female soldiers.

  9. … Quite honestly, I found the inclusion of an explicit torture element in Disgaea 4 awkward and pretty uncomfortable for a cute series with a cast composed 90-95% of children… but reading the article, I’m not too thrilled with how they decided to soften it, either. One of the changes shown in the latest trailer is the wooden horse being replaced with a sabretooth cat plushie. … I… Yes, softening this element or removing it is a good thing, but could you replace it with something that doesn’t make my brain try to claw its way through my forehead from the sheer randomness of it all?

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