Does upcoming film help gaming or further stereotype it?

After more than 30 years in gaming, I have always found the different ways gaming is portrayed in the mainstream interesting.  Sometimes I find humor in it, sometimes it’s made me mad and still other times it has made me shake my head.

Today’s gaming culture is far gone from the “kids thing” it used to be painted as, even if a great deal of the mainstream media still paints it that way.  With celebrities becoming more involved and museums recognizing video gaming history, it could be said that gaming culture has finally reached the same level of respect as other forms of entertainment such as television and film.

Noobz-Movie-Poster

This summer a video gaming film is set to debut.  Noobz, a film about a gaming team heading off to a major gaming tournament, is set to make it’s worldwide debut on June 6 at the Nokia Theatre, right as the E3 Expo is in town.

Upon watching the trailer I am given mixed emotions.  Some of it made me chuckle a little, such as the little kid on the other end of the XBox headset, the team name being spelled as “riegn” (the type of horrible misspelling one cannot play a game online without coming across), and a little homage to classic arcade gaming.

However, I can’t help but feel this film also pushes stereotypes of video gamers that simply don’t apply to the majority of gamers today.  The film seems to feature a number of foul-mouthed little kids, girlfriends that hate games and bash their boyfriends for playing them and loudmouthed stoner types that simply have nothing else to do.

I feel I speak for a large number of gamers out there when I say I tired of the “video gamers are basement dwelling virgins” stereotype a long time ago.  As a happily married man and father of two children, I can tell you firsthand that I know more die-hard gamers just like me, with families and an awareness of the world around them.  My wife is also a gamer, something else that is pretty common these days as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB1zJU08IiA[/youtube]

Basically, I’m mixed.  I want to say that anything that puts gaming center stage is a good thing for gaming culture, but I’m also reminded that this isn’t the first time I felt this kind of embarassment as well.  I was annoyed at how The Wizard and Video Power portrayed gamers back in the day and have a similar gut feeling about Noobz now.  The trailer reminds me more of why I started going into private party chats on Call of Duty instead of listening to the main lobby.

Therefore I am opening up the floor for discussion about this one.  Please take a moment to watch the trailer to your left and comment below or contact me via Twitter or direct message if you like.

Is Noobz a good thing for gaming culture, or does it base itself off of too many gaming stereotypes?

 

Wes Paugh: Fusion Reactions

100 Rogues logo
100 Rogues logo

Name: Wes Paugh

Company: Fusion Reactions, partnered with Dinofarm Games

Job Title: Lead Software Developer

Favorite Classic Game: Perfect Dark

Quote: This is the only game for which I think the term ‘even more perfect’ isn’t completely asinine. Goldeneye established paradigms for the genre that are rarely met with as great success by games with much larger budgets and much more content. Perfect Dark ramped up the formula in almost every way.

The difficulty of the game is cyclically reinforced by its pacing. Level / encounter design was woven brilliantly with story and non-combat objectives to provide non-life-threatening, but often intense, breaks, but I still felt free to explore at my own pace if I wanted. Further, each mission’s golden path was short (3-10 minutes), so they could each be brazenly unforgiving with to-the-second timing that had to be researched and rehearsed to be successful on the harder difficulties. And yet, it was never any less fun or intense going back to easier ones. I just felt more awesome taking the improved skills back in time.

Everything about Perfect Dark felt streamlined and polished, with enough to do to keep me satisfied no matter what experience I craved. Throw in a phenomenal multiplayer and it’s a formula that has kept me coming back for a decade, especially with its recent XBLA rebirth.

Bio: I began working for Fusion Reactions just under two years ago, with prior experience on Vicarious Vision’s Spider-man 3 as a scripter, with a degree in Software Engineering from RIT.

Fusion Reactions had decided to develop an iPhone game, somewhat on a whim. A roguelike RPG called 100 Rogues was born of our partnership with Dinofarm Games in Westchester, NY. Where our team brought software know-how to the project, Dinofarm’s Keith Burgun and Blake Reynolds brought design, music and artistic expertise.

My current work is the continued support for 100 Rogues, with more character classes, worlds and monsters, and features they require. I am currently the iPhone Game’s only full-time software developer.

Project Name: 100 Rogues

Project Info: 100 Rogues is a re-imagining of a genre of games called roguelikes. The genre is defined by strategy against a wealth of opponents with esoteric and widely varied abilities, including the world itself.

Set across a series of 3 dungeons (at time of writing), the player must navigate downward between floors, encountering new monsters and defeat each dungeon’s boss, becoming stronger along the way.

The game currently has 3 unique player classes (Crusader, Wizard, and the recently shipped Scoundrel), each with their own combat advantages and strategies focused around the skills they can learn as they progress.

Although the game is relatively short, completing it is no easy task, and could scarcely be called the point of playing. Randomly generated dungeons, permanent death without chance of reloading from a save point, and different skill-tree decisions make each play through a unique challenge that can take month of practice to reach and defeat the final boss.

Production values also raise 100 Rogues beyond the traditional roguelike, with fully-animated pixel-art, which gives the game a distinct, rich look. We poke fun at genre conventions relentlessly, too; the primary quest-giver nearly passes out from boredom as he hands down the done-to-death ‘Go Kill Satan’, and one player class is actually one of a race living, breathing skeletons… only she, in particular, has been killed and reanimated.

The game is constantly expanding and moving forward, with a fourth player class and world already in the works, a challenge mode with strategy puzzles that will continue receiving additional content, and a bevy of new game modes and features ahead.


Article Source: http://100rogues.com

Villian Spotlight: Kefka Palazzo

Insanity Kefka Palazzo demotivational poster
Insanity Kefka Palazzo demotivational poster

Kefka Palazzo

Since the dawn of video game culture, there have been a lot of subjects you don’t bring up unless you want some greasy, unhygienic, nerd frothing from the mouth with a rabid induced rage. One of these subjects that is commonly brought up by RPG geeks which ends up in a heated debate is who is the greatest Final Fantasy villain? Normally, the debate is stomped by a wave of Sephiroth loving assholes. For some reason, long white hair, trench coats, and absurdly gigantic katanas are cool. Not just that, this guy’s freaking theme song is an orchestra chiming in death and destruction. The problem a lot of people seem to not realize is that the question asked who is the GREATEST villain in Final Fantasy. People seem to confuse cool with greatness.

I’m unsure if the sway towards Sephiroth is because a lot of people played FF VII as their first real RPG and considered anything before that garbage or mediocre. I do agree that Final Fantasy VII was a fantastic game and that Sephiroth was indeed a cool villain. The thing is, he didn’t accomplish much and his role as a villain was rather one dimensional. His creativity for slaughter was usually left with a sword swing and some fire. His actual development as a character was rather bland and nonexistent.

I know. I know.

Take a deep breath.

It hurts to hear this kind of criticism about the One Winged Angel but I’m about to open your eyes to a true villain. Someone who’s appearance was comical but their lust for destruction was their only drive in life. There wasn’t a waking moment where this monster didn’t think about the end of the world. Many villains feel this way but he isn’t a Cobra Commander or Doctor Claw replica. Where many villains fail and constantly try again, Kefka succeeds. Here’s a look into the devilish antics performed by the supernatural sociopath known as Kefka Palazzo.

As the game begins, Kefka Palazzo is only known as the Emperor’s Court Wizard and doesn’t seem to be more than just some queer looking clown. The Emperor decides to begin a process of infusing Magitek into humans. Kefka decides to volunteer for this process and is able to wield magic. Come to think of it… how was this guy the Court Wizard if he couldn’t control magic to begin with? Anyway, an obvious homage to Captain America occurs and Kefka becomes Captain Magitek and stops the World War that is plaguing the planet and is pronounced the savior of the world.

The End.

Things didn’t work out that way, sadly, for Kefka and he turned into a psychopath who deemed that everything ever in the entire world had to die. He became the Joker with magic. He forces Terra, the main character in the story, to wear a slave crown and attack a town that claims to have an Esper in their mines. Terra manages to escape the enslavement and runs off. Kefka, obviously angered by this decides to burn down an ENTIRE fucking castle just to kill a bitch. Pretty hardcore right? Sephiroth lit up a small secluded town but Kefka razed a whole castle.

Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Palazzo – poison
Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Palazzo – poison

After burning down a castle what else should you do? Grow impatient obviously! The Empire decides to attack the Kingdom of Doma and begins a long and drawn out siege. What does Kefka do to make things move a long faster? Does he impale a girl in the back with a sword? Hell no. Kefka poisons the kingdom’s water supply killing everyone inside, including Cyan’s, one of your party members, wife and his children. I don’t remember any Final Fantasy villains poisoning the innocent because they were consuming too much of their schedule.

When you’ve poisoned an entire kingdom what else can you do at the end of the day? Drink a cold beer and watch some TV? Take a hot shower and go to bed? Or freeze all your enemies in place and order one of them to prove their loyalty and kill their friends? The latter sounds like the best idea for this bad ass motherfucker. Unfortunately, the character he ordered to prove their loyalty stabbed him instead. But guess what? Big whoop. Instead of getting medical treatment he kills his king and draws in the powers of a couple of magical statues to become a God.

Looks like your team fucked up, huh? This guy is God and you know what his first order of business is? He isn’t going to hang a meteor over your most populated city. He reshaped the entire planet pushing it into a post apocalyptic world and then demanded people to worship him. You know what happened to the millions of people who said “Fuck that!” collectively? Independence Day. He burned them down with enough force to carve scars into the planet’s surface.

He became a God and forced people into his worship and still that isn’t good enough. This cum dumpster decides it’s a damn good idea to just end life since that shit is meaningless to him. Sure he’s defeated by the heroes of the story but that’s the point! He didn’t care if he died. In reality, he probably let them win because he was too much of a bad ass to die. He figured he was way to cool for the world of the living anyway. His death was his final “F U” to the world since he already fucked it up and now he’s dead and doesn’t have to bother to clean that shit up.

By now, I’m hoping your frothing has ended and you realize the error of your ways. I know it’s going to be hard to put away your Sephiroth figurines and wall posters but you have finally been educated or rather re-educated in the makings of a true monster and villain. You may subconsciously still blurt out Sephiroth’s name like a slutty wife screaming out her secret lover’s name when the question arises as to who is the greatest Final Fantasy antagonist but you will feel that itching in the back of your mind. You know you’re wrong and some day you can even accept that.