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Googleshng - October 28 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

I don't mean to slight anyone with the title of this column, but you know, when you stop and think about these things...

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I wish this person worked in Baten Kaitos for relevancy's sake.

Our D&D meetings have been all but cancelled here recently, so I've nothing to do but look forward to the number of games being released in November (FFXI being just too boring anymore...). I'm surprised that I'm not really hyped about any of the RPG nature, I'm actually looking forward to games like Resident Evil 4, Jak III, and Metal Gear Solid 3. And who could forget Metroid Prime 2?

I was thinking about all this the other day and it got me thinking about the GameCube. The GameCube hardly has a library that can stand up to the PS2, but all the games on it are really good. I've stepped away from an anime club recently do to their rather...aggressive hatred of this console. I really find it odd when people make fun it GC and call it a "little kid's system". Actually, the graphics on a GameCube are pretty good, Resident Evil 4 and the new Zelda installment seem to show off what the system can really do.

There's a lot of people out there who call it a "kid's system" but really, Nintendo just aims to please everyone. With the number of new games coming out that seem to have a mature air about them, do you think that people will still refer to it as a "kid's system" by the end of the year?

Shane McCloud

Googleshng:
People will always refer to the GameCube as a "kid's system" for one very simple reason. These people in question are complete smurfing morons who will refuse to acknowledge anything that goes against an arbitrary notion that possesses them, which they presumably absorbed from someone they consider cool, who got it the same way, from someone who got it the same way... until you get back to someone who was paid to say it.

If you want a more psycho-babble sort of explanation for this though, I can do that too. People who fit the key demographic of the videogame market these days tend to have certain... hang ups. You pursue a hobby which is generally perceived by society as somewhat childish. As you have recently reached the age where you take great offense to being perceived as a child, and set out to prove that you have very mature and refined tastes. You do this by making sure everything you play/watch/listen to is dark, disturbing, gritty, violent, and otherwise unappealing to little kids, and you ignore everything else you can. The irony of course is that this sort of behavior is, itself, childish, and it takes a truly mature person do say "Yes, I am 20 years old, and I still enjoy Muppet Babies. I don't care what you think of this fact."

Anyway though, here's the problem. Every system out there has a lot of "mature" games like Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil, Dead Or Alive... and a lot of games with silly cartoonish visuals. However, the people you hear about games from, they fit in this demographic too. So they're going to focus the bulk of their attention on the "mature" stuff, unless something cute looking comes along that's too good to ignore. Say, for instance, any given game by Shigeru Miyamoto (although, seriously, the Pikmin games really are more disturbing and violent than just about anything I can think of). It's not really that there's more of them, just that the ones there are are actually worth mentioning.

 
WoW!

Hey, Googs.

Your point about them RPG cliches-lackings are bretty grating when you think about them. Fortunately, some people are fighting the norm. Disciples 2, though technically a turn based strategy game, has female dwarves who use magic. There'll be lots of female orcs in World of Warcraft. I once played a kind of Ogre-battle esque tabletop game where I distinctly remember an aquatic race based in a snowcovered mountain chain, who survived by melting snow with vents from a magma stream. And I'm still writing that book, in which after the first violent death, the main characters (besides an Orc and mercenary) really freak out for a few days until they kinda block out what happened.

So, I'm-a ask a question, and see if you'll help me with this. Are you going to play World of Warcraft (I encourage readers to asnwer this for me, too,) and if you are, will you play in character? Because I don't need to hear Dwarves in Khaz Modan talking leet about the way they they felt up that girl at that frat party last week.

Thanks, Kenny C.

P.S. "VERY NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" is undoubtedly a quote from Poor, poor Pedro, made famous in Excel Saga's telling.

Googleshng:
I'd be willing to bet good money (if I had any), that populations in WoW are going to break down something like this, gender wise:
Humans: 65% male. Orcs, Tauren, Dwarves, anything else big and beefy, 90% male. Night Elves: 20% male.

You can extrapolate the rest. How can I say this with confidence? People are overwhelmingly inclined to go with clichéed character archetypes. This is why The Gamers is such an amusing movie, because you know people just like these. This is why 90% of all fantasy novels suck, because they reuse the same characters.

Anyway though, WoW has a lot more promise than any other licensed MMORPG out there, but that doesn't change the fact that I have neither the money nor the inclination to play with it... besides, I'd want to be a goblin with a happy lumber harvesting mech and a pair of aviator goggles.

 
R U RELY A GIRL

Ok, so let's make a distinction. I have zero problem with an actual Role Playing guy playing a female character. Sometimes they're sickos. But not as often, in my experience. The issue I tend to have is the anonymity of online game players playing a female character when they're a guy. Now, I just don't buy that there's that much Role Playing in Everquest or FFXI or whatever. There is a bit, but no one pays any attention to it. It's all just munchkiny power-leveling. The fact that noone knows who you really are and has no basis on which to understand how you're doing things is the catalyst for saying they're weird.

As far as your 'skimpy chainmail and/or leather with Charisma of 1' bit. Have you ever BEEN to a renaissance fair? I swear, that's the most disgusting place I've ever been to. I just don't buy that there were that many 70 year old 'wenches' in Elizabethan England. Or that anyone ever really walked around with a beer guy and just a teensy little rabbit skin in place of a fig leaf. And you know what? Your tunic (if all you're going to wear is a tunic) should never be so short that it displays any sort of creases.

Googleshng:
Yes, but see, there's a distinction between being physically unappealing and wearing inappropriate attire, and creating a character who fits such a description in a setting where everyone has a "perfect body" by default.

Anyway though, back to the cross-gender roleplaying bit there. I assume what you're saying here is, actually playing a character of the opposite gender=fine. Trying to convince people that you are a teenage girl playing a character who is a Lesbian Dark Elf Assassin™ when you are in reality a fat bald guy playing a character who is a Lesbian Dark Elf Assassin™=creepy. I agree. Almost as much as I find the person playing the Big Dumb Fighter™ to be creepy for wanting to track you down in real life based on this misinformation you feed him to get free stuff.

 
OK....

Hi! ^^ You posted a question regarding the single-gender races in FF XI. Here's the two-part answer:

1. The mithran race is matriarchal. The men in their race are considered little more than wimpy sex toys for their own, personal amusement. They aren't shown at all in the game, even when you visit their homeland, simply because they aren't allowed to even set eye on members of another race. Rumor has it, they're all locked-up in a basement somewhere and only released during mating season...

2. The Galka are asexual. As-such, they do not reproduce. Instead, they travel to their ancient homeland when they feel their time is getting near and are reborn with all of the memories of their previous lives. Because they are asexual, Galka are also not allowed legally sanctioned marriages in the gameworld.

Those are teh official explanations for the single-gander race options in FF XI!

Googleshng:
I wasn't asking just about FF11, but that's a good start. Incidently, in some half-finished game of mine, there's the rationalization that the reason you only see males of a certain race is simply that the females look just like the males, at least based on any anatomical features that are visible when clothed.

 
Working in a plug.

Hey Googleshng,
I was looking at the replies to reasons why people, while playing games, choose to play a character of the opposite gender. While some of the answers I saw yesterday were interesting, it seems that the most glaring reason was left out. Perhaps it's just me, but I prefer to play as a female character in many games, simply because they're more pleasing to the eye than the male characters and I would imagine that that is a big factor to players of both genders.
As for genders fitting character concepts, I know exactly what you're talking about. One of hobbies is writing, my website is http://zelyadrin.tripod.com/chronicles.main/index.html, and you're right, gender is extremely important when trying to get a character type across, especially when you take into account cultural norms. Your necromancer character would most likely be far more disturbing than funny if only the gender were changed. Also, tying everything together, one of my characters is a being that has to take a host body to survive, and she's had both male and female hosts.
General Janik

Googleshng:
Right, the age old argument of "If I have to stare at someone's butt for the next 5 hours, I want it to be a cute one." Of course, this only applies when you get to see your character, and kinda goes against the whole roleplaying concept.




The Last Laugh:

Wow, it's late. Have a good weekend.



Googleshng "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK..." @rpgamer.com

That's all.

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