Escapist Podcast: 047: Listener Questions About Gay Game Characters

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047: Listener Questions About Gay Game Characters

This week, we delve into our pile of user questions and discuss what games can or should have gay characters, American vs. British TV, and what Susan's forum avatar is all about.

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I shall restrain myself.. however I really want to quote the 'take my money' meme for
cdprojekt's new cyberpunk world I love the witcher and if they can make it anywhere near as good I will pre-order it before it's even finished being written

as for tv programs, I'm currently catching up on the game of thrones hbo series here in the uk
and you're right we do tend to pick and choose the best because why watch anything else? lol
I suggest the Bbc top-gear if you want something uniquely British

also.. ants.. ants are my frogs :S

Sounds like they were talking about "Lip Service", the Scotland lesbian group O' friends. I haven't watched it yet, but the L Word had a similar issue regarding pandering. Also most of the characters were idiots. I hope Lip Service is better.

Interesting talk, really enjoyed these few subjects being addressed.

The Heart Planeteer's name is Ma-Ti, and he is indeed Brazillian, in case anybody cares. XD

Frogs II: Acid Pee...I would watch the shit out of that.
Also there is this one old horror flick with locusts.

Steve, did you know there's a sequel to Phibes? It's called "Dr. Phibes Rises Again". It takes place in Egypt. If you liked the original, you need to watch the sequel.

When it comes to British TV, I agree that we tend to get the cream of the crop; I have a bunch of British shows that I absolutely love, but I don't even love everything that gets exported, let alone everything that the British TV industry produces.

Examples of British shows that I love:
Blackadder
Coupling
Top Gear
Fawlty Towers
The Good Life
Jeeves and Wooster

Sorry Susan, I haven't been able to get into Doctor Who.

I'ld want a t-rex in my postapocalyptic posse.

British Shows I enjoy:
Top Gear
Misfits

I was under the impression that the hardcore vs casual question was saying that hardcore games simply impacted your life were as casual games didn't. So Bulletstorm would be considered a casual game where as Angry Birds might be considered a hardcore game.

In terms of more recent game incarnations in the cyberpunk genre, I would say Hard Reset would be a good example with cyberpunk elements at least.

Truly cyberpunk are definitely Syndicate (I understand it is really bad, but still) and E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy.

I thought you weren't going to report on E3 because the ESA supports SOPA! What happened to that whole thing with the video *goes to check guy from LRR's name* Graham Stark was in?

Wait a minute... *notices annotation* OH, the ESA has pulled their support! Leave it to me to ignore news like that! And yet I looked around this site and Bing searched and found no news about that. It's strange.

Xman490:

Bing searched and found no news about that. It's strange.

you use Bing? that's strange. Also, ESA withdrew their support around January, it's June now.
I think you are a bit out of touch with the world of video game journalism. Not saying that's a bad thing, it usually means you have a life.

Well, I don't know much about british shows. Used to watch red dwarf tho. Catchy theme.

Certainly watch alot of japanese stuff though. Well, specifically anime mostly, and the occasional kooky live action movie. And not just stuff like Attack Girls Swim Team vs the Undead. They have some pretty gloriously f'd up gore films, too. Anyway, tangents, then again maybe they are along the point. Anyway, anime! Interesting divergents from american tv. Getting all manner of full-show running stories you get in the occasional HBO series or some such. While still having a number of good shows of more american style episodicness. Also always interesting how much the supernatural always permeates. Less in the way of classic western magic or divinities, but more of spirits and manifestations of superstitions. Lets not forget, as you've mentioned, seeing the family structure and roles of another culture is always kinda cool. I should start eating rice with every meal. Hmmm.

UNHchabo:
Steve, did you know there's a sequel to Phibes? It's called "Dr. Phibes Rises Again". It takes place in Egypt. If you liked the original, you need to watch the sequel.

When it comes to British TV, I agree that we tend to get the cream of the crop; I have a bunch of British shows that I absolutely love, but I don't even love everything that gets exported, let alone everything that the British TV industry produces.

Examples of British shows that I love:
Blackadder
Coupling
Top Gear
Fawlty Towers
The Good Life
Jeeves and Wooster

Sorry Susan, I haven't been able to get into Doctor Who.

Well, Coupling was genius, so I almost forgive you.

I've been watching the new-Who, from the 2005 reboot onward. It's enjoyable, if fairly standard fantasy fare. It honestly has a Buffy vibe to it.

As far as a gay call of duty character, I think it could be done, just very lightly... Like if you come up on a group of soldiers who are showing off photos of people waiting for them back home, and snuck in a gay or lesbian soldier into that moment, that might work. couldn't be a foreground thing, but could very much be a background thing.

ARCTIC_EAGLE:
British Shows I enjoy:
Top Gear
Misfits

I was under the impression that the hardcore vs casual question was saying that hardcore games simply impacted your life were as casual games didn't. So Bulletstorm would be considered a casual game where as Angry Birds might be considered a hardcore game.

i think everyone has their own impression of what hardcore means, as with most labels

personally if any game for-fills ANY of these criteria:

- takes a significant amount of your entertainment time, or all of your free time..
- you WANT to practice and, or to get better
- it takes significant care concentration or consideration

i could consider it hardcore ( basically any game, if it matters enough to you )

as in strategy versus twitch versus pure out planning, you could studiously plan your game of 'worms' down to the spreadsheet level if you really wanted to and many people play browser games like a tournament e-sport
but nobody's forcing you to
I've played eve totally casually on and off for a couple years now, most people consider that game an impossible enigma code of statistics, but really it's only that if you want it to be you can use fuzzy logic and sheer time to overcome any obstacle

but then my definition really depends on the gamer as much as the game
i could imagine a super-hardcore tetris player relaxing in a nice casual cod match not caring who got shot, so-long as his c4 blew up the whole team at once now and then :P

I have four words for you, Susan Arendt: Night of the Lepus. Cute, fluffy bunnies OF DEATH. And if you want scary frogs, read the Hellboy comics with the Hell Frogs...

"Steve" from Blues Clues did not commit suicide, nor was he a drug addict, nor was he "replaced by a look alike", contrary to the odd rumors all over the internet. The actor's name is Steve Burns, and he left the show simply because he was getting tired of the role (in his own words, his role "was beginning to chafe"). He actually pursued a career in music, and his band was actually pretty good. Look up the song "Mighty Little Man" on YouTube sometime.

Anywho, just figured I'd mention that. Love the podcast, guys! ^_^

ivc392:

Xman490:

Bing searched and found no news about that. It's strange.

you use Bing? that's strange. Also, ESA withdrew their support around January, it's June now.
I think you are a bit out of touch with the world of video game journalism. Not saying that's a bad thing, it usually means you have a life.

I use Bing for the prospect of getting a few hundred Microsoft points to spend after doing a few hundred searches and other tasks in the Bing Rewards program. I don't know if Google has something like that, but there's no difference I care about in how well the different search engines work.

As for not knowing about the ESA, it's less "bit out of touch with the world of video game journalism" and less "have a live" than you might think.

Hardcore gamers and games are defined by it being almost as competetive as an eSport. For example 87% of all the people that play CSS are either casual or mid-core gamers... meaning that they would never even have a chance of winning at low end tournaments such as Enemy Down.

A hardcore gamer is usually part of a group of very enthusiastic people who don't have any major sponsors. For example my CSS clan only has two minor sponsors and we only have 7 hardcore gamers out of 48 members.

-We always watched Are You Being Served? on PBS. Also Red Dwarf (as sparringly as they aired it)

-Never beat P.N. 03, went straight to the final boss and my suit upgrades weren't up to snuff. This was before I knew the concept of grinding, so maybe sameday...

I'm British but I've started watching mostly American things. Certain tropes in British tv have really started so annoy me (no rational reason just because I know notice them more). Such as the writers always being overly sympathetic to the working man and casting Americans (or people with fake American accents) as jerks. Although in the 90s the Americans always cast the British as villains, so I guess we're even.

Haha "Are You Being Served?" actually when I watched that in the late eighties it seemed like a different country to me and I'm British.
American tv we'd get:
Simpsons; Colombo; Get Smart; The Man from U.N.C.L.E; Bewitched; I dream of jeannie; Cosby show; Fresh Prince of Bel Air; theres probably a lot more...

And I have to agree US talk shows are better by far.

Children's shows should have LGBT-characters, the same way they have straight characters. I don't think dating and relationships is something shows aimed at kids should have, at least as their focus, but having couples, like the parents of the kids, is something that could be in them.

But in a lot of kid's shows, especially those aimed at the younger audience, the characters don't need to be gay or straight, or even male or female.

I remember I had no idea as a kid what gender the animals in Winnie the Pooh were, except for the kangaroo, and I was fine with that.

As for the 'it's not appropriate for the time period', it depends on how historically accurate it actually is. If you're not going to bother making it historically accurate anyway, it's just an excuse. Let's say you're making a WWII-era movie. Obviously, as just presenting the events as they happened would be a documentary, you're going to stray from accuracy somewhat.

But at what point it's too much? Changing the events to fit the story, changing nationalities of the characters, having them use modern language, have them be black, or gay, have them fight aliens?

I've heard the 'it wouldn't be historically accurate' excuse when referring to something like Skyrim.

As for British Tv-shows, Red Dwarf and Black Adder have already been recommended, but they really are awesome.
I prefer British comedies, because they just tend to be more what I find funny. There are some good US sitcoms, but usually they are too optimistic and cheerful for my taste.

I like my comedy with kinda unlikable protagonists that you still root for some reason. Which is why Peep Show is one of my all-time favourite comedies, and I'll recommend that. I just need depressing stuff in my comedy, you know?

Also, there are just much more relatable characters in British shows.
I like both 'Keeping Up Appearances', and 'Jam and Jerusalem', because both have characters that are so much like people I know.
Maybe that's because I live in Finland, I don't know, but the village in 'Jam and Jerusalem' is so much like my home village...

I also watch a lot of British comedy panel shows.

Since Johnny Mnemonic takes place in the same world as Neuromancer, first in the series of books which pretty much defined cyberpunk, I'd say it's pretty likely that Johnny Mnemonic should be considered cyberpunk and not "Shadowrun."

As much as it pains me, I have to sort of agree with Susan on the subject of cyberpunk in popular culture. While I don't think there are anywhere near as many examples of "bad cyberpunk" that have corrupted the brand as she implies, I do think it has become somewhat diluted. The hallmarks of the genre have definitely transcended into tropeville. Even as a huge fan of the genre, I find myself curious about whether the simple Cyberpunk name will or even should stick. Though, in contrast, I think most "cyberpunkish" names that could easily be brought forward would probably feel just as vacant.

But Susan.. you haven't read any Gibson? As a vocal fan of Bladerunner, you really really should.

I need to start doing that twitter thing the young people do these days and follow you guys and the LRR guys.

StriderShinryu:
Since Johnny Mnemonic takes place in the same world as Neuromancer, first in the series of books which pretty much defined cyberpunk, I'd say it's pretty likely that Johnny Mnemonic should be considered cyberpunk and not "Shadowrun."

Yeah, basically I remembered half way through that the Molly character, although she's renamed in the film, is the same character from Necromancer. I think Jones somehow through me off into thinking it was Shadowrun.

As for that question I said I'd respond to in the comments, we discuss how we all got into writing/working for games in this episode.

Mr. Butts, I respect you immensely for the Thufir Hawat reference, and I will forgive you for not liking Dune. In my opinion, Dune wasn't so much "adventurey" as it was a reflection on religion, prescience, ecology, economics, politics, what you're willing to do for love. It runs much deeper than your average scifi books, and that's why I love them to bits.
BH & KJA's works, however... Not so much. (that's putting it mildly)

I think it is important to have a distinction between casual games and hardcore games in the same way that it's important that there's a distinction between shooters and platformers; so that we can better define what we're exactly talking about when we're talking about these types of games. But the fact that there is that distinction doesn't make one type of game superior to another (in the same way that shooters aren't superior to platformers).
As for the thing about the name "Cyberpunk" I have to side with Greg and Justin on this one. When I think of the word cyberpunk I think Blade Runner, Minority Report and Ghost in the Shell, philosophical stories that work alongside a unique aesthetic with cool gadgets.
I have to agree with what Susan Arendt said about there being a lot of shlock in the genre, but I think the same can be said for other genres, such as fantasy. For every Tolkien or George R. R. Martin there are a dozen people with unimaginative "elves this" and "orcs that" and "insert bland adventure story here". But those stories and worlds of inferior quality are not what define a genre as much as the real pioneers and true visionaries and I don't think it's any different for the cyberpunk genre. In my opinion a lot more damage would have to be done to the genre to erase the reputation of games like Deus Ex and System Shock.

* Podcast bump

The more you make of it, the more you feed the trolls, yo.

Acid pee, really??

*Golf clap

Frank Herbert/Jean Luc Picard: "Moods are things for cattle and love play, not fighting!!!@"

_____THIS POST WAS MADE IN REAL TIME LISTENING TO THE PODCAST, IT DOESN'T"T MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE BUT ME, CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SONS/DAUGHTERS______

Make love, not war.

And if you wanna post like I do, or better, try to listen to more than just the first 20 minutes or so...

hehehehe

EDIT: 'Thanks', to my PS Vita for the self pic. I welcome ridicule and hate, as long as it's witty and/or interesting!

Farther than stars:
I think it is important to have a distinction between casual games and hardcore games in the same way that it's important that there's a distinction between shooters and platformers; so that we can better define what we're exactly talking about when we're talking about these types of games. But the fact that there is that distinction doesn't make one type of game superior to another (in the same way that shooters aren't superior to platformers).

I have to agree with this. I suppose I understand the perspective Susan has where it's not really fair to instantly dismiss or deride something simply because it's a "casual" game, but the fact is it's pretty blatantly obvious that they are a unique sub genre of game. That doesn't necessarily make them worse or less fun or less potentially impactful on your daily life, but they are most certainly beasts of a different colour.

In my opinion...
a casual gamer might just simply enjoy the up front experience of the game.
a hardcore gamer might enjoy the experience more in depth like diving into the meaning of the game's mechanics and understanding what the designers are telling them.

Quick example, in a platformer there's an arch of coins that leads to a pit. a casual gamer might think hey coins, but i don't want to lose a life i'll move on, where a hardcore gamer might be like hey, that looks like a path maybe there's an invisible platform for me to land on and find something secret.

I want to know where I get the Escapist Podcast theme song. I've followed the links to Ian Dorsch's web page, but I can only find a 60's funk type song. What gives?

Even thou more than a bit childish series Sailor Moon from the '90s had somewhat great LGB-characters for PG-13 anime (thou those aspects of characters were censored in the USA). It also did a great job showing two lesbian support characters caring about one another, but never showed the kissing or do something else one would call typical anime fanservice; they do flirt, sometimes hold hands and all, but there's nothing inappropriate for kids.

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