See footage of the Oklahoma tornado form and devastate in seconds.
You know how it is, right, ladies? You know a guy for a while. You hang out with him. You do fun things with him—play video games, watch movies, go hiking, go to concerts. You invite him to your parties. You listen to his problems. You do all this because you think he wants to be your friend.
But then, then comes the fateful moment where you find out that all this time, he’s only seen you as a potential girlfriend. And then if you turn him down, he may never speak to you again. This has happened to me time after time: I hit it off with a guy, and, for all that I’ve been burned in the past, I start to think that this one might actually care about me as a person. And then he asks me on a date.
I tell him how much I enjoy his company, how much I value his friendship. I tell him that I really want to be his friend and to continue hanging out with him and talking about our favorite books or exploring new restaurants or making fun of avant-garde theatre productions. But he rejects me. He doesn’t answer my calls or e-mails; if we’d been making plans to do something before this fateful incident, these plans mysteriously fail to materialize. (This is why I never did get around to seeing the Hunger Games movie. Not to name any names, but thanks a lot, Tom.) Later, when I run into him at social events, our conversations are awkward and lukewarm. This is because the moment we met, he put me in the girlfriend-zone, and now he can’t see me as friend material.
I must say that I find this really unfair. I mean, I’m a nice girl. I have a lot to offer as a friend, like not being a douchebag and stuff. But males just don’t want to be friends with nice girls like me. They can’t help it, I guess; it’s just how they’re wired, biologically. Evolution conditioned our male hominid ancestors to seek nice girls as mates and form friendship bonds only with the other dudes that they hunted mammoths with. It’s true—I know this because I studied hominids in my fifth-grade science class.
So what’s the answer? Should I take up mammoth-hunting in an attempt to appeal to the friendship centers of men’s primal lizardbrains? Should I keep making guy “friends” and then prevent them from making a move on me by subtly undermining their self-confidence? Should I just give up on those manipulative, game-playing, two-faced bastards once and for all? I don’t know. I mean, I’d really like to have a true friendship with a guy someday, but it’s so hard to trust and respect them when they never say what they mean—and you never know when you might be relegated to the girlfriend-zone.
Confession: While I want to let Loghain live at the Landsmeet and join the wardens, I don’t want to condemn Alistair (even hardened) to a loveless existence with the constant threat that his evil wife Anora will see him dead once she has a child. I dislike Anora - intensely. Of course, it’s likely they won’t have a child, but then after a year or so she’ll want another mate believing the third time is the the charm - so he’s dead either way. Not the end I want for him.
…the number of ways in which this confessor misunderstood the characters and situation must have set some kind of record.
Confession: I find the final look Alistair gives the Warden during the Big Sex Scene creepy as all hell. I imagine it’s supposed to be read as a loving gaze, but it just makes my skin crawl.
Yeah well the shit his fandom does to him is way creepier, confessor.
Also sorely misunderstood is how video game developers, in spite of their mysterious shroud of secrecy, are just people, who are perfectly capable of making bad decisions and be completely oblivious to them for years because video game development is done in a vacuum until the the very last second when marketing begins and the game is released.
By this I mean that any designs and ideas are discussed and judged by the same group of people. For years. So if there are problematic attitudes and politics going on in that decision-making group, or they’re ignorant to certain social problems, or they’re aware but don’t give a flying shit, or none of them know what [x] looks like or how [y] works… well. They’re calling the shots. Also, because game dev takes years, people get used to things. Discussions are put off until later and forgotten. New tasks overwhelm the old problems. Something doesn’t look as bad when you’ve been looking at it for 16 months, and it might seem perfectly fine after 30. Fresh perspectives are few and far between.
Which reminds me, there is a just not a lot of consulting going on in this industry. I was shocked when the AC3 people brought in actual Mohawk scholars to teach them a lesson, and went on to (iirc) hire members of the Mohawk community for voice acting and some of the soundtrack. Pick a different studio and they might have settled for stereotypes without even realizing that’s what they had made.
This isn’t meant to demonize game devs, just to explain some reasons why bad shit happens and why it’s important to call them out on it. Loudly.
ALL OF THIS. Particularly the point that by the time a game is publicly announced and showcased it’s been in development for a long time already. It’s closer to ‘done’ than not. The game might even be 80-90% complete and by the time of a reveal/showcase most things you see will have been locked in already. That’s why it’s particularly important to inject critical thinking and self-examination into the development process itself, not just past the point where it’s almost if not completely too late to redeem the possible egregious issue. (see: tomb raider rape scene that was fortunately cut out of the final game)
There’s focus group testing, but that’s a limited sample size and can even affect the game negatively if the feedback is taken too much to heart. The more secretively the game is developed the more insular the development process will be and the less there will be critical outside eyes on it to catch problems devs grow blind to. And they definitely do grow blind to them. I’ve experienced it myself firsthand.
Yeah, there is definitely a risk of focus testing being taken too seriously, and considering the nature of most focus testing…
The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog had to request the game be focus tested on female players as well as male, after the research firm it was working with was planning on running it by male gamers only.
In an interview with The Escapist, the company’s creative director Neil Druckman explained how the studio stepped in after discovering the notion of polling female gamers for their take on the upcoming apocalyptic adventure game wasn’t on the table.
It’s more likely to affirm the bullshit than challenge it.
The way the industry works is almost deliberately designed to perpetuate this crap.
These stories reek of complacency and and institutional inertia. There are poor assumptions being made time and time again that either result in misinterpreted data, or data that’s inaccurate in the first place due to flawed research.
It’s easy to read in a level of arrogance in continuing to make those assumptions - or worse, defending them - especially in light of numerous and persuasive contradictions from thoughtful developers and critics alike.
Perhaps there is some corner of the world where white kids desire to be Timothy Geithner instead of Tom Brady. But I doubt it. What is specific to black kids is that their dreams often don’t extend past entertainment and athletics. That is a direct result of the kind of limited cultural exposure you find in impoverished, segregated neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods are the direct result of American policy.
A gorgeous view down river from above the Grotto in Zion National Park.
Photo: Tom Morris
Yeah, we sort of get the “Zion” part now.