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The following is a guest post from Max Seidman:
Bactroban For Sale, Max Seidman is a game designer at Tiltfactor, a game design and research lab located at Dartmouth College dedicated to developing games for meaningful social change. He posts design philosophy and game concepts on his blog. Max lives in New Hampshire with Clementine, the Crystal Maiden to his Lycanthrope.
I love DotA. I've been playing for over eight years at this point, and over that time I've sunk an absurd and unspeakable number of hours on the game. I played it as a custom map for the original Warcraft III, then in the expansion Frozen Throne, then on the Garena client, and now in Valve's standalone Dota 2. And while I love the game, there's one think I don't love about it: its representation of women. These are my thoughts on the things Dota 2 is doing poorly on this front.
Lack of Representation
A dearth of female characters is endemic to video games. In games with a protagonist the argument is often made, "We're marketing our game to men, Bactroban recreational, so we're going to make our main character male." While this is bullshit, Bactroban from canadian pharmacy, I at least understand the argument. However, not even this is a shield that games in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre, games like DotA, Bactroban mg, can hide behind, Low dose Bactroban, as these games often have dozens of characters to choose from.
Dota 2 itself currently boasts over 100 heroes that players can play. As you can see below, exactly 16 of them are female, doses Bactroban work, identified either by their backstories, Bactroban pharmacy, names or voices. This is rather pathetic, and seems to imply that male players would be offended and turned off to the game by the mere presence of female characters, which I find fairly insulting, online Bactroban without a prescription.
[caption id="attachment_10987" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Women: 51% of the U.S, Bactroban For Sale. population, Bactroban for sale, 16% of the Dota 2 population.
(Hero selection screen alternating all heroes, Bactroban no rx, and just female ones.)[/caption]
Dota 2 heroes are split into three categories of proficiency which determine their roles in the game. Strength heroes are primarily defensive, wear armor and wield melee weapons, Bactroban dose, and are often extremely muscular. Bactroban maximum dosage, Agility heroes are mostly offensive, look slimmer than strength heroes, and can wield either melee or ranged weapons, where can i find Bactroban online. Intelligence heroes support the other types by casting spells, Bactroban photos, and are usually ranged. Bactroban For Sale, Of the 16 female heroes, 9 are agility, 7 are intelligence, and none are strength. In addition, only 4 are melee, buy Bactroban from canada. This limits the types of roles that players see female characters in. Effects of Bactroban, The game sends the message that women can be intelligent or agile, but never strong. They can be in combat, comprar en línea Bactroban, comprar Bactroban baratos, but only at a safe distance. Furthermore, because of these limitations, it is extremely rare to see a female hero carry a team to victory in the same way that certain male heroes often do, Bactroban For Sale. Where can i buy Bactroban online, Finally, the heroes are divided into a team of good and a team of evil heroes. Two-thirds of the female heroes are on the good side, Bactroban duration. By relegating what few female characters there are to either fragile ranged support roles, Where to buy Bactroban, or fragile ranged offense roles, Dota 2 is sending an extremely gendered message.
Lack of Diversity
Of the 16 female heroes, order Bactroban from United States pharmacy, 12 share one body type; they have light skin, Bactroban long term, are small, thin and busty, with conventionally attractive facial features. They wear clothing (only occasionally armor) that reveals a fair amount of skin. And they are never muscular. This stands in stark contrast to the male heroes in the game, where can i cheapest Bactroban online, who have a tremendous amount of diversity. Male heroes range from short and stocky, Buying Bactroban online over the counter, to tall and lanky, to portly and not conventionally attractive. They range from fit to body-builder in their musculature, with the occasional pudgy, ordering Bactroban online.
[caption id="attachment_10988" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Bactroban For Sale, Despite one of them having a deer's bottom half, their builds are pretty similar.
(Row of male heroes with diverse body types; row of
female heroes with generic, 'thinwashed' body types.)[/caption]
Around half of the male heroes are distinctly monsters, Bactroban treatment, with many more a mix between monster and humanoid. A similar spectrum between humanoid and monstrous does not exist for female heroes. The 12 slim female heroes are all distinctly humanoid, Order Bactroban online overnight delivery no prescription, even if a few are animals from the waist down and another is riding a tiger. The remaining 4 female heroes are complete monsters (one is a giant spider, another is a butterfly-like dragon, the third is shadowy blob, online buying Bactroban hcl, and the last is a gorgon). Buy Bactroban without prescription, [caption id="attachment_10989" align="aligncenter" width="400"] (Spectrum of male heroes: human, tree-person, about Bactroban, fish-monster with legs, Bactroban natural, humanoid shadowbeast, and giant scorpion. Spectrum of female heroes: human, order Bactroban online c.o.d, human with wings, No prescription Bactroban online, shadow monster, dragon, spider.)[/caption]
There is a clear message being sent here: while there are all types of male creatures, Bactroban online cod, from ugly to beautiful and human to inhuman, Bactroban from mexico, females are only allowed to be pretty humanoids or hideous but technically-female monsters, with no in between.
While a lot has been said about sexualization of women in video games, and much could be said about Dota 2, I want to highlight a specific instance of blatant pandering. Several months back Valve released a patch to the game, as they have fairly frequently since it's still in beta. In addition to many mechanical hero changes and bug fixes, there was a change unlisted in the patch notes: all of the hero portraits used for hero selection changed resolution. But more than just resolution... in order to add height to the images, more of most heroes' bodies were shown. While you can see the portrait expansion didn't really have much of an effect on male heroes (on the right), the changes were striking for female heroes. Windrunner (on the left) is a great example of a reasonable and representative portrait that was turned into just cleavage. Other portraits had boobs featured before, but were edited to ensure they were in the players' faces, Bactroban For Sale.
I think the differences are striking.
Staunch Dota defenders are probably itching to come to Valve's defense with the argument, "They're just copying what was done in the original DotA, and don't have say in character creation." This is obviously not an excuse for sexualization, but nor is it for representation issues. For example, Valve has already rebranded the previously sexless Puck (a faerie dragon) as female. This is a step in the right direction, and I would like to see it carried further. Many such sexless heroes exist: the shapeshifting morphling who is somehow male, and Enigma, of whom nothing is supposedly known (except apparently his sex) are prime examples of heroes who had genders arbitrarily imposed, and could have been made female. Bactroban For Sale, In addition, however, women who fill the spectrum between gorgeous human and hideous monster must be added. Muscular melee armor-plated female strength heroes are a necessity, preferably wielding wicked weaponry (a place where League of Legends is superior to Dota 2). Overweight and twisted women should exist in the game to parallel the same types of male heroes. The evil team (called The Dire) should not lack for female participation, since in a world where evil for its own sake exists, women should not be above enacting it. Finally, it would be nice to see a few male human heroes with the same body types as 75% of the women in the game.
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If the game design of 2009's Velvet Assassin were half as interesting as its history, I might be able to bring myself to play beyond the first mission. Velvet Assassin is loosely based on the story of Violette Szabo, Low dose Soma, a Parisian-born, British-educated woman who enlisted in the elite Special Operations Executive after her husband died in the Second World War. Although the game takes substantial liberties with the facts of Szabo's life, is Soma addictive, the premise alone makes for a compelling game pitch: still grieving the loss of her husband, Soma natural, Violette devotes herself to sabotage and subterfuge behind enemy lines.
Velvet Assassin wastes this rich history on a clunky, tired game, Soma used for. The Metacritic average for the game settled at a failing grade: fifty-six out of one hundred. But, having played and enjoyed some poorly-reviewed games, I decided to take my chances, Soma For Sale. Soma maximum dosage, By the end of the first full mission, I was ready to watch the rest of the game on YouTube. Suffice it to say that Velvet Assassin is a frustrating and thoroughly uninteresting experience, online buying Soma hcl.
But this game's story deserves “AAA” treatment. Soma no prescription, Consider all that it has to offer from a back-of-the-box perspective: a compelling female character with strong motivations, a well-known historical setting (World War II), and a delicious mixture of stealth, Soma results, deception and demolition. Soma For Sale, Despite this strong premise, Velvet Assassin didn't get picked up by Electronic Arts or Activision or Ubisoft; it was produced by a team of “about 35 people” (according to a developer interview) and published by Southpeak Interactive. Where can i cheapest Soma online, With those financial limitations in mind, it's a miracle that Velvet Assassin was playable, even if it turned out to be a mediocre game, Soma from mexico.
The conversation surrounding female lead protagonists in games is louder than ever. Soma over the counter, When Grand Theft Auto V was announced, podcasters and journalists speculated about the possibility (and the viability) of a female protagonist in a Rockstar game. Could she kill, buy Soma from canada. Could she fit in a GTA story, Soma For Sale. The inclusion of playable female characters in Gears of War 3 left fans asking if the Gears franchise would ever have a female character in the starring role. Soma treatment, And Mitch Dyer at IGN, presumably prompted by the portrayal of Aveline de Grandpré in Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, asked Ubisoft if there would ever be a female protagonist in a main entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise, Soma pics.
It is astonishing that, Rx free Soma, in 2013, the inclusion of female leads in mainstream video game releases is still a faraway dream. Rare games like Tomb Raider and Bayonetta bet big on their female leads, buy Soma without a prescription, but the discussion surrounding them rarely moves beyond the (de)sexualization of their protagonists. Soma For Sale, Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto V will have three protagonists, all of them men. Canada, mexico, india, Adding to the trend, Chris Perna from Epic said that it would be “tough to justify” having a female lead in a Gears game given sales expectations. And Ashraf Ismail from Ubisoft told IGN that, where can i order Soma without prescription, when designing the lead character for the upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Soma cost, his team “actually never thought, 'could this be a woman?'”
We're not just lagging behind as a narrative medium, we're stubbornly stagnant and we're risking complete cultural irrelevance as a result, Soma For Sale. Soma trusted pharmacy reviews, Imagine the absurdity of a novelist saying that it would be “tough to justify” telling a story through the eyes of a female character. And where would film be as a medium if producers never even considered casting female leads. Alien was made in 1979 and went on to earn back ten times its budget at the box office, Soma no rx. But, Generic Soma, in 2013, video game developers are still trotting out the same tired excuses for failing to change the representational landscape of the medium. Soma For Sale, With respect to games set in historical contexts, we can't rely on the excuse that women did not participate meaningfully in major world events. When he was questioned about Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Soma price, coupon, Ashraf Ismail relayed that, Buy cheap Soma no rx, while “there were a few famous women pirates,” the phenomenon “wasn't common” and they “didn't want that element to be a detail people got stuck in.” But good historical fiction is precisely about highlighting the uncommon, the exceptional and the rare, Soma blogs. If a team of thirty-five people can locate and research Violette Szabo for Velvet Assassin, Doses Soma work, then surely the veritable army of developers at Ubisoft can find an interesting female pirate for their game (someone like Anne Bonny or, if they could sensitively handle a nuanced gender presentation, someone like Mary Read), Soma interactions.
It's also becoming increasingly harder to believe that a publisher like Epic Games could not market a successful game with a female star, Soma For Sale. Gears of War 3 sold over three million copies in its first week, purchase Soma. And, Soma use, according to VGChartz, the franchise has shipped over seventeen million units to date. Gears is one of the most popular and beloved series of games for an entire generation of players, Soma long term. Presuming that the quality of the Gears games remains constant, Soma used for, does Epic really believe that there are players out there who would refuse to buy the next entry in the series if a bulky, rectangular woman were on the front of the box instead of a bulky, rectangular man, Soma recreational. Soma For Sale, And, if so, are those players worth holding onto. If anyone is poised to forge new ground for the mainstream of our medium in a forceful and highly visible way, Online Soma without a prescription, it's a powerhouse studio like Epic.
But as long as large publishers continue to craft characters based on the whims of the most narrow-minded and reactionary portion of their playerbase, the medium at large is going nowhere, get Soma. The best we can hope for, Soma natural, under the current way of doing business, is a big-budget game like Spec Ops: The Line which at least attempts to approach the subject of war in a nuanced way. If mainstream developers finally manage, buy Soma online no prescription, after all these years, Soma samples, to produce the perfect masculine war story, what will be left for them to create. What large swaths of human history and experience are being left behind, Soma For Sale.
I have my own faraway dream for the portrayal of women in video games, Soma images. If mainstream games can start to explore some new mechanical territory (something besides object collision which, as Ian Bogost pointed out to me on a panel we were on together last year, is the dominant mechanic of virtually all mainstream games), then they might be able to tell stories about spheres of human life that aren't wartime violence. Indie game developers have been thriving in this experimental space with incredibly scarce resources.
But imagine what would happen if mainstream developers started to explore new frontiers beyond bullets hitting people. In this hypothetical new era of game development, there would be even more female historical figures available for developers to incorporate into their lavish fictions. There would be more games like L.A. Noire, in which conversations can be just as suspenseful as shootouts, Soma For Sale. The experiences of women and other underrepresented groups of people could finally be incorporated into the medium in a meaningful way. We could produce serious cultural texts that explore the diversity of human experience, instead of rehashing Apocalypse Now, ad infinitum.
But, for now, I would settle for a lady pirate in Assassin's Creed and a female Gear on the front of the box. It's time for mainstream developers to stop making excuses and start having some aspirations. We pride ourselves on being a young but fast-moving medium. Let's kick it into high gear and give Lara Croft some company in the world of leading ladies.
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A GDC Online 2012 panel entitled Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling Methotrexate For Sale, is now available streaming for free from the GDC Vault. The speakers--Leigh Alexander, Methotrexate description, Methotrexate overnight, Jenn Frank, and our own Mattie Brice--tackle the topic of gender and diversity in games by addressing it as a writing and storytelling issue, where can i find Methotrexate online. Online buying Methotrexate hcl, The panel gets beyond the usual issues that come up in "women in games" panels and offers ideas for expanding the kinds of stories games can tell. It's definitely worth a listen, Methotrexate online cod. Methotrexate photos, Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling -- GDC Vault. Methotrexate forum. Methotrexate wiki. Where can i cheapest Methotrexate online. Methotrexate without a prescription. Buy Methotrexate from mexico. Methotrexate alternatives. Methotrexate blogs. Methotrexate for sale. Methotrexate photos. Methotrexate trusted pharmacy reviews. Buy cheap Methotrexate. Is Methotrexate safe. Purchase Methotrexate. Methotrexate steet value. Buy Methotrexate from mexico. Buy Methotrexate online cod. Methotrexate schedule. Methotrexate coupon. Where can i find Methotrexate online. Methotrexate from canadian pharmacy. Is Methotrexate addictive. Purchase Methotrexate online. Methotrexate use. Methotrexate without a prescription. Order Methotrexate no prescription. Discount Methotrexate. Ordering Methotrexate online. Methotrexate from mexico. Methotrexate pics. Methotrexate description. Methotrexate wiki. Methotrexate cost. Methotrexate used for. Methotrexate dose.
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The following is a guest post from Kaitlin Tremblay:
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For my Master’s final paper I choose to focus on depictions of the masculine body as a machine and how these inevitably intersect with madness and violence, Viagra treatment, specifically with “anti-hero heroes,” like Michael Ondaatje’s Billy the Kid. Needless to say, Viagra price, the moment I put on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Viagra cost, listened to Adam Jensen’s gruffy Christian Bale-Batman voice and watched him die, and be reconstructed/brought back to life with mechanical prostheses, my curiosity was piqued, taking Viagra.
I want to talk about the male body as a machine. Comprar en línea Viagra, comprar Viagra baratos, It’s common, but it’s a metaphor that speaks volumes about stereotypes of masculinity, especially of the “hero.” The reconstruction Adam Jensen experiences is more like a tune-up that the Impala undergoes in Supernatural than Dr, australia, uk, us, usa. Frankenstein creating his monster, Buy Viagra Without Prescription. The difference is that with the Impala and Jensen, Viagra dosage, both get recreated through mechanical, not biological, upgrades, is Viagra safe.
When I had originally wrote on masculinity and the machine metaphor, Viagra canada, mexico, india, I discussed it specifically in relation to violence and madness: namely, that the heroes/anti-heroes typically depicted as embodied machines are both extremely violent and extremely insane, and that the machine metaphor was the bridge between, where can i buy cheapest Viagra online. Being a frontier cowboy like Billy the Kid, Generic Viagra, meant creating a dissonance between self and the violence necessary to survive; it is the machine metaphor that encapsulates this, holding it like a nuclear reactor.
It’s also worth noting that when Malik tries to get the angsty-Jensen to open up about how it feels to be augmented, buy Viagra without a prescription, she admits to having some neural-augs, Purchase Viagra, herself. Buy Viagra Without Prescription, Mailk’s augmentations are discreet, hidden: they are implanted in her brain, becoming fused into her body invisibly.
Jensen’s augmentations, on the other hand, order Viagra online c.o.d, replace his biological body, Buy Viagra from mexico, literalizing the machine metaphor. This is a trope specific to masculinity because masculinity has stereotypically being defined alongside notions of physicality and violence.
In The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Ondaatje, Viagra maximum dosage, the mechanical embodied masculinity was the answer: the frontier world Ondaatje created necessitated a machine-like response in order to survive. Viagra pics, The mechanical embodied metaphor/representation of masculinity operates no differently. It’s a dissonance, a reconfiguring of self in terms of embodied subjectivity and violence, Buy Viagra Without Prescription. Non-augmented Jensen failed. But new, buying Viagra online over the counter, robot-arms Jensen will save the day, Viagra gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, repeatedly. It’s the same narrative in Mass Effect 2: human bodies aren’t up to the gruesome job, so we create new, after Viagra, mechanical bodies that can not only do it, Get Viagra, but that we can safely distance ourselves from, as well. More on ME2 in a minute, kjøpe Viagra på nett, köpa Viagra online, though. Buy Viagra Without Prescription, So what does this mean for masculinity and gender studies. Low dose Viagra, Christopher Forth, in Masculinity in the Modern West: Gender, Civilization, about Viagra, and the Body, Viagra blogs, discusses the Industrial Revolution as the real Crisis of Masculinity (never mind Fight Club), because with the advent of technology meant the eradication of dependence on a man’s supposed strength. Julien Offray de la Mettrie wrote Man A Machine in 1748, Viagra coupon, a pretty strong indication that this time period represented a shift in attitudes about bodies and their capabilities. Viagra over the counter, Simone De Beauvoir even talks about this as levelling the playing field between genders: with technology, it doesn’t matter which sex is stronger, because that bulldozer is stronger than everyone, buy generic Viagra. Okay, Viagra from mexico, so she didn’t say that exactly, but she did mention how technological advancements make moot the age-old argument of who is stronger, males or females, Viagra natural. Now, I’m saying this is a good thing (unlike Guy Garcia who, in Decline of Men thinks this is the reason why America is faltering as a nation), Buy Viagra Without Prescription. The more we think about embodied subjectivity in non-gendered terms, Online Viagra without a prescription, the better. The dissonance created by the machine-metaphor exposes the construction and performativity of gender. As N, Viagra no prescription. Katherine Hayles says, Viagra pharmacy, “The computer moulds the human even as the human builds the computer” in Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers. As technology changes our conception of humans, it affects our understanding of gendered constructs.
Deus Ex: HR Buy Viagra Without Prescription, falls short of this, but it’s a good place to start thinking about it. DE:HR still largely stays within the confines of the masculine machine, especially when you compare Jensen and Malik’s augmentations. Malik’s augmentations don’t change her feelings of embodiment or subjectivity, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, but with Jensen we’re directed specifically to think about how they shape him. No prescription Viagra online, Malik is still separated from machines: she’s a pilot who controls her use of technology, whereas Jensen is conflated with technology.
The Mass Effect 2 example is an apt comparison here, purchase Viagra online no prescription, because the character customization available is indicative of how studying represenations of femininity, Buy cheap Viagra, masculinity and how the machine metaphor can operate to blur the gendered notion of strength and violence. DE:HR exposes the representation of masculinity as mechanized and violent, and ME2 allows for this to be taken further (sidnenote: I’m ignoring the release dates here, but just looking at how the similar narrative is operating in both), Viagra steet value.
If we’re thinking in these terms, then ME2 shows that mechanized metaphors for the body can expose a dependence on thinking of gender as a natural product of one’s sex. The reconstruction and augmentation Commander Sheperd undergoes is not tied to a specific gender, Buy Viagra Without Prescription. It is open. Technology recreates our conception of ourselves by recreating how we are represented.
This is why I enjoyed specializing in gender studies: studying representations of gender, both femininity and masculinity, work to expose these categories as artificial constructs, both with the capability to oppress and empower. We’re never going to escape representation. We are steeped in a visual culture, and representation operates as a bridge for understanding and assimilating information, for both good and ill.
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This week, there has been discussion about whether League of Legends character Taric should come out of the closet as a gay man (by Todd Harper, Patricia Hernandez, and Kristin Bezio). It is argued that having a character be openly gay, rather … Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_8628" align="alignleft" width="302" caption="Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft on a motorcycle."][/caption] Trigger warnings: rape, violence against women. Tomb Raider holds a fond place in my heart as a cultural icon, if only for the sexual awakening I shared with many … Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_8597" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="World of Warcraft branded Monopoly set."][/caption] The Shepard/My avatar discussion from WisCon was one of several gaming related panels this year. A section titled “Gender and Class in Gaming” had the following description: This panel uses … Continue reading