Friday Fun: Open Thread!

A unicorn striding majestically across a stream. A brilliant sunset lights up the landscape, and a rainbow rises above the sunset.

Today’s Friday Fun is hosted by this fantastic post.  Ever wondered why there just aren’t enough male characters in video games?  Want to hear quotes about why this blatant sexism is going on?  Read this for an exclusive look at why there are no men in video games.

Go on, talk amongst yourselves!  Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. :)

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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40 Responses to Friday Fun: Open Thread!

  1. ninjapenguin says:

    Playing Okamiden. I still wish Chibi was Amaterasu’s daughter, not son, but otherwise I am fairly pleased so far.

    • Kimiko says:

      Does it come up often then in the game that Chibiterasu is not a girl but a boy?

      • ninjapenguin says:

        More so at the beginning when you are being introduced, as to be expected. But I loved that Okami had a female protagonist, and for a while at the beginning of this game it looked like it was going to be only guys who ever got to do anything. I’m in the middle now, and it’s better.

        • Ike says:

          I’m playing through Okami right now, and you know what bothers me? Sakura’s outfits. The first one had a hole specifically to show off her butt crack.

  2. TheLaquidara says:

    (The unicorn is fine… it’s the landscape behind that’s buggin’ me out.)

    Lately I’be been playing Darkspore Beta. A really weird game in terms of its lineage, but if you can put that aside it’s actually a fun game when dig into it. I highly recommend checking out the beta before it ends this Monday.

    I’ve also been playing Super Street Fighter 3D on my fancy 3DS. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, I’m (still) TERRIBLE at fighting games. I’ve even spent some time looking at YouTube videos just to learn some of the basics.

    … Anyone recommend a 3DS game? I’m looking at Rayman 3D and Samurai Warriors.

  3. Kimiko says:

    (Science fail: rainbows always appear opposite the sun)

    I’m playing Persona 3 Portable now. When I started I was worried that MegaTen games would be hard, but now I think I could’ve picked Normal difficulty instead of Easy. Ah well.
    I’m playing as the female main character of course. A few times the text and voice used the wrong pronoun, which seems just careless in a game where there is a voice clip for each of the dozens of summonable Personae.
    Junpei has irritated me from about the second sentence he spoke. His calling me ‘dude’ and ‘man’ all the time doesn’t help any either. I’m leaving him out of my team on purpose now, planning to put him in again for a battle that’s too hard for him (he’s now 3 or 4 levels behind) so he’ll get killed. I hope that’ll remove him from the social side of the game as well.
    I wish I could work on more Social Links and stats per in-game day. My Charm/Academics/Courage are still at the lowest level :/

    • Maverynthia says:

      But it’s a magical UUUuuunicorn rainbow and thus doesn’t follow the ways of science!

      Also Persona by it’s nature it’s a MegaTen game at all but an MegaIbun game and thus might be easier for that. I couldn’t get over the pink on that game, I was like “Are they really trying to insult me?”

      • Kimiko says:

        The pink interface only becomes annoying when you compare it to the male main character’s blue interface. Since I don’t intend to ever play him, I can pretend that the pink is just an unusual color choice. It’s not that bad actually.

  4. Maverynthia says:

    Let’s see what am I playing? I’ve been doing a bit more Minecraft, trying to find a world editor since I can’t get the water the way I want it. Trying to finish SaGa2, so I can review it. Got distracted with Monster Tale and it is AWESOME! One quip I have about it is the lack of teleporters, but that can be overlooked for OMFG A Metroidvania FINALLY!

  5. Gunthera1 says:

    That unicorn and the related post make me so happy!! Thank you for having it host this week’s open thread. :-)

    I will be playing my second run of Dragon Age 2 (this time as a male mage) and also continuing in Okamiden.

  6. Alex says:

    I finished DA2 so now I’m back to Origins in order to get another save to import. DRAGON AAAAAGE

  7. Zaewen says:

    I finally got to lvl 50 in Rift a couple days ago and finished the Kira and Uriel plot line. I <3 those t-two soooo much. I think they <3 each other too, but we'll have to wait and see where the story line goes from here with the next xpac or content update. Despite the inane armor models (tho I'm in a mostly full covering plate suit atm, yay!) I am still really impressed (and really in love with) most of the women in the storyline for the Defiants.

    Also been playing Sims Medieval off and on. I really like it, its a nice blending of the Sims-y type stuff we're used to and some good action/adventure questing type stuff. What I especially like, tho, is that even though this game is obviously their attempt to get more men interested in the Sims and to reach out to new markets, they haven't forgotten who their core audience is or sold out to a sex sells or hyper-masculine ideal to do so.

  8. Zoe says:

    So, I have a question for you guys, it’s something I think about now and then, and I wanted other opinions.
    When people talk about being “gamer girls” almost all the time you can read a line like “I could kick all the boy’s asses” or something similar. Now, to me that sounds like this would be the legitimation for being a gaming girl. And my problem is, I’m not particulary good at games. I rarely win a round of Halo and I never play games in hard mode (when playing with my male friends). And I sometimes feel bad about this, like I’m a really bad example for a gaming girl. What do you think of this?

    Anyway, I didn’t want to ruin the “fun” aspect of this thread, so here’s what I’m playing right now, has anyone ever heard of the GC game Phantasy Star online? I didn’t know about it but I read somewhere on the Internet that it’s good and then GameStop had a really cheap copy, so I bought that. But I don’t know waht to think about it right now. It’s hard to get used to Gamecube graphics again.

    • coffeechica says:

      I am so glad you mentioned this, Zoe, as it’s something that I struggle with too. I identify very strongly as a gamer girl, but at the same time I’m also a mother working full time, and I just don’t have entire days to devote to leveling characters and honing my play skills. Even if I did, I have a feeling I would still simply be an average player.

      But just like the decisions between family and career, hobbies and activism: feminism for me means I have the right to make choices that are true to myself and not who someone else thinks I should be. I should not have to bear the reputatation of my entire gender

      • coffeechica says:

        …my Nook decided I was done with that comment, sorry! Cont:

        I should not have to worry that if I make a mistake during a raid, my whole gender will look weaker for it. I am an average player and that’s true to the whole picture of who I am.

    • Gunthera1 says:

      Personally I think of anyone that plays video games as part of their entertainment is a gamer just as anyone that reads books for fun is a reader. I am disappointed when people start putting strict limits on what is or is not a “real gamer”. I see room for people that play all sorts of different games at various skill levels to be called gamers. I’d much rather include than exclude.

      I have never played Phantasy Star Online but I have heard a lot about the game. From what I understand it is very grind heavy, with a lot of room to keep leveling characters bit by bit so you can get through the next dungeon, beat the next boss, and just keep slowly progressing. The sci fi setting sounds fun to me!

    • Kimiko says:

      Yep, what Gunthera said. Anyone who plays games is a gamer. Not all of us can top the hiscores list all the time after all.

      As for PSO, I haven’t played it, but after playing Phantasy Star Portable and PSP2 for several months each, I’d love to play through PSO‘s and Phantasy Star Universe‘s story modes at least. If I had the necessary consoles that is.
      There’s supposedly going to be a PSO2 later this year. I hope it’ll get ported to PSP or 3DS so I can play it too.
      Are the GameCube’s graphics bad? I still have Phantasy Star Ø waiting to be played. I hope the DS’s graphics won’t be super bad after playing PSP and PSP2 on the PSP.

    • chrisy says:

      PSO was originally released for the Dreamcast, meaning that the game you’re playing on the GC is actually a port. So even when it was released back in 2002, the game looked rather outdated by GC standards. Episode 2 is entirely new though, as it was created specifically for the release of the GC version. As a result, you’ll probably notice that the environments of episode 2 are much prettier than those of episode 1. Otherwise, PSO is pretty much an old school dungeon crawler complete with a single town and a dungeon that you’ll continuously descend upon.

      There’s also a PC port of PSO called Blue Burst, which comes with an additional episode. Blue Burst is probably the last version of the game that can still be played online via a private server called SCHTHACK. It’s free to download if by chance you’re interested. Though, I’m not sure how well the community is, so you’ll have to enter at your own risk. That, and there are certain system requirements that must be met:
      http://www.neoseeker.com/Games/Products/PC/phantasy_star_online_blue_burst/

      Anyways, enjoy the game.

    • FarisScherwiz says:

      I play absolutely everything, and I especially love really old games (been playing through PC88 games atm), but I’m really only average myself. I don’t have high scores in things, I don’t have a lot of achievements.. but it doesn’t matter. If you play games, you’re a gamer, end of story (I absolutely include people who just play games like farmville or tetris, why not?)

      No one should have to carry the expectations of their entire gender on their shoulders, that’s just crap. Whenever I run into people doing this, I just tell them to screw off and go elsewhere (although sometimes I have stuck around and kicked their asses, this doesn’t always happen though, ehehe.) Just keep playing the games and having fun, gamer dudes are slowly coming around, one day it’ll be more fair.

      Also the GC version of PSO is fun, but extremely grindy. There’s not much of a story and little in the way of unique quests, it’s a pretty early MMO. I love dungeon hacks though and can play it for hours and hours (don’t look at my combined playtime in monster hunter games!!)

      BTW, there is a free server that still hosts PSO and you can connect to it with your gamecube: http://schtserv.com/
      It’s not a huge server or anything, but it might be fun to try it online with others if you’re able to connect :)

  9. Now I want a game with rainbows and unicorns in it >.<

    (Actually come to think of it, that picture reminds me of my childhood, which is kind of weird because I didn't think my childhood was all that girly o.o)

    …that isn't Robot Unicorn Attack; I got tired of that one pretty fast, unfortunately.

    • franzferdinand2 says:

      Oblivion technically has a unicorn in it. I was excited as all get-out when I found it and was able to ride it around. Unfortunately, it turns out Unicorns are assholes.

  10. ninjapenguin says:

    Anyone considering LA Noire? I’m a huge mystery junkie, so part of me is dying to see if it’s as good as its advertising, but the screenshots seem to indicate that it might be incorporating the …frustrating… sexual dynamics of classic noir literature and movies.

    • Gunthera1 says:

      I have L.A. Noire in my GameFly queue. I am interested to see it but I don’t have a good feel for what to expect of the game yet. So far it seems like all the main characters are male police officers which isn’t the most interesting thing to me, but the story might prove to draw me into the game.

    • UbiquitousGrue says:

      Ooh, I am! :D So excited. But then, I’m pretty fond of noir (with caveats), and you’re right, the trailers and promotional materials so far seem to indicate the game is gonna steep itself in the more problematic aspects of the genre rather than subvert them.
      Of course, it is Rockstar, and they do sometimes manage to sneak commentary in. …And on the other hand, it is Rockstar.
      Can go either way, really.

  11. Nezumi says:

    I have a whole load of RPG PDFs and actual RPG books to read through. Been playing Rayman 3D lately, but thinking of getting back to RIFT or Dragon Age: Origins. Thus, pies.

    • Nezumi says:

      Oh, yeah, also currently plotting to get back to reading the Oz books. Also, things have been fun lately. Mom’s stomach cancer has returned (it’s just some gists, nothing too serious as cancer goes), and the stress has destroyed my sleep schedule and left me exhausted.

      Plus, I need to start on a story for class Monday. Plus, at the teacher’s request, it’s a Changeling: The Lost fanfic — she didn’t know it would essentially be a fanfic at the time she requested it, but she seems okay with that now. And I need to decide whether to make the lead character Chinese-American or Japanese-American. I know more about Japanese culture, and it fits better with the ironic theme I realized of someone Asian being made into a decidedly Western clockwork doll as the West co-opts so much of (primarily Japanese) Asian culture… but Japanese characters are almost cliche by now.

      • Nezumi says:

        Aaaand, in my stress, I forgot to mention that because it’s a C:tL fanfic, I’ll need to refresh my knowledge of the game.

  12. Nezumi says:

    Aaaand now the people at RPGnet have badgered my into coming out to them by considering it so freakish and bizarre that I wouldn’t want to share my last name with people I know online, even if they’re my friends. Because… fuck, I have no clue.

    • Nezumi says:

      I went back and edited that part out. Also, I seem to kill these. I apologize. Or maybe I just get to them too late.

    • Eeep that’s not fun.

      I’ve been trying to be really careful so people can’t find out my real name (well, other than my real first name, guess what that is) for a variety of reasons; being harassed into providing information like that sounds really unpleasant. ._.

      Changeling: the Lost is pretty much awesome though.

    • Korva says:

      Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that. Male privilege at play there?

      Some of my friends don’t mind sharing their names, but they fully understand and respect why others do. I’m quite “paranoid” about privacy, too, especially since my name seems to be pretty much unique.

  13. Kimiko says:

    Oh, btw, a request to the Border House editors/web site maintainers, could you please add a favicon image / feed icon so the site looks even more awesome in my bookmarks toolbar and RSS reader?

  14. FarisScherwiz says:

    Playing Jikandia and Gods Eater Burst, both are pretty fun. GEB is a pretty neat dungeon hack sort of game, although some of the costuming for women annoys me (although many of the men have weird costumes too.) It’s really interesting that it’s in a very anime-looking style, most games of this type try to go for the semi-realistic look of Monster Hunter (which I loved the clothing in, men and women are dressed basically the same.. if you go out into the snow as woman, you’re in a huge heavy parka just like the dude.)

    Jikandia is a pretty odd little game. It’s a platformer, but you are running against the clock. You can set the time for each dungeon and then run through it before time runs out. You can be a boy or a girl and the costuming is totally reasonable for all the characters (although it’s all flat-looking sprites anyway). I eyerolled when I looked at the box art, as the boy has a sword and the girl has a staff.. but when I actually played as the girl, I started with a sword (and can use every weapon in the game.) The art on the box was pretty misleading that way.

    Also have Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky coming tomorrow, hoping it’ll be good. I’ve played the old ones, which were a translation disaster, but don’t really know what the new series is about at all. Nice thing about these niche titles is that even if I hate them, I can easily resell them for a decent price, hurrah.

  15. Korva says:

    An absolutely lovely couple I’m friends with recommended Magicka to me as something we could play together when we don’t feel like WoW. It sounded odd, but I watched some videos about it and laughed my ass off at people blowing themselves and each other to bits as they muck about with the spell system. So I gave the demo a whirl today and what can I say, I was hooked. It feels so incredibly creative — worlds beyond the boring old pre-defined spells that we usually get in games.

    Then the two gave me a part of the four-couple bundle as a gift and made my weekend. Now I need to get a headset so we can chat when we do play this together. Can’t wait.

    My only quibble is the apparent lack of female wizards.

  16. March is the visual-novel equivalent of NaNoWriMo, which means a bunch of (generally short) new free story-games have just come out. Including a semi-sequel to “Digital: A Love Story”

    http://blog.scoutshonour.com/post/4338258019/dont-take-it-personally-babe-it-just-aint-your

  17. Joejoestar says:

    I had no idea IGN had a amateur game developer competition; one of the ideas, and theyre all kinda bad, is a post-feminist apocalypse
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb5ev2Dp4I0

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