It Never Ends

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Lee Oyd:

Also, the other problem. The designer is a homophobic cuntwad.

You don't Know Kamitani well enough to make that assumtion and you seem to have missed his intenet. He has already apologies not realising his words would be taken seriously because the way male sexuality is presented in Japan is different to the west. He wasn't accusing or insulting he attempted to defuse the situation with another extreme and by his own admission failed.

erttheking:

CrossLOPER:


Art has not changed a bit over the millennia.

Might want to put a NSFW tag on that one.

Please tell me you are joking.

"Gay = bad" isn't homophobia you guys, it's like...ironic and shit. HONEST!

CrossLOPER:

erttheking:

CrossLOPER:


Art has not changed a bit over the millennia.

Might want to put a NSFW tag on that one.

Please tell me you are joking.

I see three guys with their junk bare. No I am not.

erttheking:

CrossLOPER:

erttheking:

Might want to put a NSFW tag on that one.

Please tell me you are joking.

I see three guys with their junk bare. No I am not.

You at work in the Vatican or something?

Just say you are appreciating FINE ART, because that's what it is if it's made by a dead guy. If it's made by a living person it's horribly sexist and wrong :D

1337mokro:

erttheking:

CrossLOPER:

Please tell me you are joking.

I see three guys with their junk bare. No I am not.

You at work in the Vatican or something?

Just say you are appreciating FINE ART, because that's what it is if it's made by a dead guy. If it's made by a living person it's horribly sexist and wrong :D

I'm just saying someone at work might not look that good if their boss comes in and sees them looking at that.

erttheking:

1337mokro:

erttheking:

I see three guys with their junk bare. No I am not.

You at work in the Vatican or something?

Just say you are appreciating FINE ART, because that's what it is if it's made by a dead guy. If it's made by a living person it's horribly sexist and wrong :D

I'm just saying someone at work might not look that good if their boss comes in and sees them looking at that.

Or it could go like this:

"What is that John? The famous statue of the world renowned tale of the siege of Troy?! Oh yes the wise seer struck down by the wrath of the gods when he tried to expose the horse as fake! My you have a fine taste in art my good man, I won't say much but a chap who knows his classics tends to do well on evaluation day."

Just saying a dick is a dick, but I don't know why people would get uppity of a dick that is considered art, I mean even the Vatican display this thing full frontal :P

Why does Bob's writing come off as so incredibly insincere? Maybe it's just the neutral argument that he's trying so hard to convey. I couldn't actually point to what "side" he's on, I just don't trust his words. Any English Majors want to help me out here?

Red X:

Lee Oyd:

Also, the other problem. The designer is a homophobic cuntwad.

You don't Know Kamitani well enough to make that assumtion and you seem to have missed his intenet. He has already apologies not realising his words would be taken seriously because the way male sexuality is presented in Japan is different to the west. He wasn't accusing or insulting he attempted to defuse the situation with another extreme and by his own admission failed.

I think you are wasting your time trying to correct that one, just look at his post history, wont take long he only has 6 posts.

Johnny Impact:

RJ Dalton:
Is my primary objective to this representation allowed to be that huge breasts are just a turnoff to me?

Yes and no. Breasts that size are a turnoff, but objecting for reasons of turnoff implies you think female characters should all turn you on, and any design that doesn't is wrong. Careful....

What if I'm turned on by intelligence and the reason huge boobs are a turnoff is because it's a shallow attempt to pander to me, which I take as insulting?

Also, seriously, that kind of weight would totally snap a waist that thin.

snowfi6916:
Bob, I like you a lot, and I always watch all your videos, but you are wrong here.

You claim that you are a feminist who supports everything that feminism stands for. Yet, in your next breath, you claim that you find absolutely nothing wrong with the Sorceress (or any of the other female characters that are portrayed in this game), saying that you find her "pretty".

Sorry Bob, but what the Sorceress is, and the other female characters in this game are, is objectification of women. There is no other word for it. It is painting unrealistic views about what women should be. NO WOMAN looks like this, and it is wrong for us to think that this is what they should be.

If you truly claim to be a feminist, you would be shouting from the rooftops that this needs to change, not saying "oh but I'm a pig and I like this."

I'll start. How about having female characters with realistic fucking breast sizes? Is that so much to ask? Why do they need to be so huge that they look like they are their own body, and move independent of the rest of the character?

Riot Games changed Sejuani because they realized no warrior would be dressed the way she was in the middle of winter. Her original character design had her basically wearing a bikini in a freaking snow storm. Now, she actually looks like a warrior. Yes, she is still a beautiful woman to look at, but she is not just eye candy anymore.

THAT is what we need. You can have beautiful female characters without making them into sex objects or eye candy.

This argument is one of the reasons that feminism doesn't understanding gaming and fantasy. Supporting equal rights, dignity, and opportunity for all people does not mean you have to stop enjoying your fantasies. Feminism needs to figure out how to become more realistic and let people like things. Deriding what people like as childish and shaming people for not being "progressive" makes feminism looks like it's becoming a morality movement that's going to start handing out scarlet letters.

There is room in the world for people to enjoy (or not) the Sorceress, the original Sejuani, the new Sejuani, and many others. People can separate what they like in fantasy with how they treat people in reality. This game is not telling people what they should look like. It's giving a niche audience something they enjoy. If someone is confused about whether this type of exaggerated art is how they should look, then they need to remember the difference between fantasy and reality. Games, like other media and art, depict a lot of things that shouldn't and can't exist in the real world. No one should be confused about this.

It's good for feminism to argue for more diverse and feminist characters, but it's wrong to enforce feminist morality on people's fantasies and try to censor what is created and enjoyed.

snowfi6916:
Bob, I like you a lot, and I always watch all your videos, but you are wrong here.

You claim that you are a feminist who supports everything that feminism stands for. Yet, in your next breath, you claim that you find absolutely nothing wrong with the Sorceress (or any of the other female characters that are portrayed in this game), saying that you find her "pretty".

Sorry Bob, but what the Sorceress is, and the other female characters in this game are, is objectification of women.

So? They're ficiton. Why should we care?

snowfi6916:

There is no other word for it. It is painting unrealistic views about what women should be. NO WOMAN looks like this, and it is wrong for us to think that this is what they should be.

It's not a glamor magazine it's a video game. Everyone knows that women don't look like that.

snowfi6916:

If you truly claim to be a feminist, you would be shouting from the rooftops that this needs to change, not saying "oh but I'm a pig and I like this."

It doesn't NEED to change, you just want it to.

snowfi6916:

I'll start. How about having female characters with realistic fucking breast sizes? Is that so much to ask? Why do they need to be so huge that they look like they are their own body, and move independent of the rest of the character?

They have those, and they have some with unrealistic sizes. Even ridiculously unrealistic.

PunkRex:
This is why I love you Bob, agreements all round. I was raised by my mum, little sister and nan but gawd damn if I just don't like me a busty red head.

Then I think you'll like Faye Reagan, just a hunch.

Anyway, I don't really mind if a game has overly sexualised characters, but if it is overboard then I can't play for the awkward: See Lollipop Chainsaw massacre.

Father Time:
It doesn't NEED to change, you just want it to.

If you want to be able to enjoy playing games with normal people, it does. If you enjoy character design that isn't absolute shit, it also does.

Can I just simply say? I'm sick of arguing about this topic.

Moreso when even MovieBob says there's "no easy answer". That pretty much amounts to "This is a war where no one will ever win, everyone's just going to lose."

So the next time I read this article or get into this kind of debate, I will crack skulls if it means I'll be free from the skirmishes between 2 parties with increasingly less of a case for me to support wholeheartedly. Just escape, run into a cave, and care only about how I handle fantasy and how I handle my diversity with women, and hope no one has the sheer balls to question me, despite them having called me out for questioning both sides and questioning fantasy as a crutch for poor writing and lack of variety.

Mankind never ceases to give me a reason to be a misanthrope.

JoshuaMadoc:

Moreso when even MovieBob says there's "no easy answer". That pretty much amounts to "This is a war where no one will ever win, everyone's just going to lose."

Not really. I think Bob is precisely pointing out that this shouldn't be perceived as a "war" and that people should be more considerate of others and strive for a calm discourse about these issues.

Uhura:

JoshuaMadoc:

Moreso when even MovieBob says there's "no easy answer". That pretty much amounts to "This is a war where no one will ever win, everyone's just going to lose."

Not really. I think Bob is precisely pointing out that this shouldn't be perceived as a "war" and that people should be more considerate of others and strive for a calm discourse about these issues.

Except it's clear that there's more people who don't realize or refuse to realize that it's not a war (of copout statements), and a lot of the times, they still kill each other just so they can feel better about themselves when they've managed to be on top of their opponents. I'm tired of the smell of entrails coming out of them with each bloody debate.

Fuck them, both sides of the debate. I'll make my own comically busty women and make them actual compelling characters with story arcs, and god forbid my tiny size 9 boots don't dig into their teeth if they have a problem with that, which I am convinced they all would.

Huh, another thing to add to the long list of things Bob and I have in common- while I'm a liberal and a feminist and I think we see FAR too much ridiculous male-targetted nonsense in the gaming community (to say nothing of too much outright mysoginy) I also find the design of the Sorceress as sexy as hell.

castlewise:
It is unclear to me why Dragon's Crown gets to be star of the show in this latest round of internet drama but a game like Starcraft 2, for instance, gets a free pass on their character design. Why is the Sorceress over the line but Kerrigan with her impractical zerg heels and meticulous non-chitin covered ass is somehow ok?

It depends on what websites you read. Rockpapershotgun.com certainly complained about Kerrigan.

I quite like this summary provided by Bob - the issue being that sexualised females are the standard, rather than the niche. Hooters should be fine, being that every restaurant is not a Hooters.

What interests me is why everyone hates Kotaku so much. I find it hard to disagree with anything this guy said, immature insults asides, but even if I didn't, I don't see how that would make Kotaku the worst gamesite ever.

This reminds me of that Thread about Saga, the comic, where they were debating a particular picture from it, and some people jumped in on that one picture saying "Well, this is garbage, I see why this picture got it banned...blah blah snap judgements based off a single image or trailer"

I looked at all the character designs, and the sorceress looks appropriate in the theme. Now, if all the other characters didn't look ridiculous, then we might be onto something here.

CrossLOPER:


Art has not changed a bit over the millennia.

That strikes me as dishonest. On a pedantic level, art has clearly changed, in the sense that the mainstream male audiences no longer goes in for Rubenesque females or naked men.

On a less pedantic level, whilst we have always had art that sexualises and exaggerates physical forms, they are far from the only kind of human depictions that exist, which isn't so much in the case with games. Game depictions of females are far less diverse than the contents of an art gallery. Had we a healthy library of alternatives to voluptuous females, then game art could be comparable. Even individual artists provide a range of depictions of women (compare Degas' sketches of dancers - in some, the emphasis is on bare backs and cleavage, in others the emphasis is on postures and gestures), which tends not to be the case in games.

Even if art has not changed, and forms have always been sexualised, that doesn't discredit the complaint being voiced by Kotaku. Historically, art has long been made by men, for men, to suit male tastes. To argue that games are a continuation of art traditions, is an argument that games are a continuation of male orientated, patriarchal conventions, with games made for the benefit of males and with neglect to the females. Supposing you can even find a woman who is attracted to the dwarf muscle men, it is largely a fluke that the woman finds it attractive, rather than a deliberate attempt to reach out to female audience members with a beefcake male character. The new DMC - now that is a rare example of female fan service.

-------------------

I'm assuming this post was inspired by one of the commentators on Kotaku, who tried to justify the depictions of women by suggesting that they are just another reference to classical art. The commentator claims that as certain art pieces in the game are clearly referencing Classical depictions - things like Thor's hammer or the Tower of Babel - the depiction of women are also similarly a benevolent reference to such artworks. I think this is bullshit too.

It would be easy to argue with the premise "all the necromancers in Atlus games are referencing this a statue of a big titted necromancer" by pointing out that they clearly aren't all necromancers, but I'll confront them on the argument's own terms. Whilst the warrior's hammer is near identical to the famous, Classical depiction of Thor's hammer, and the ruined arena looks exactly like the iconic depiction of the Tower of Babel, the women look nothing like the relatively obscure, non-Classical sculpture of a nude necromancer provided. The Atlus characters aren't bare breasted, their costumes are totally unalike, and there is literally no point of similarity between games and the statue beyond the existence of ample tits - which are hardly rare in the art world. It's a huge stretch to make that connection.

Now if Atlus really were looking for Classical art inspirations for their magically imbued female characters, then their female characters would look nothing like they do now. Magical females are traditionally depicted as hags and witches. The emphasis is on wrinkles and age, rather than sexiness, and that is fairly consistent in Medieval, Renaissance, Raphaelite and Classical artworks. There are plenty of works where magical females are shown as generic, pretty maidens, or in some cases (Medea, Cerces, Morgan Le Fay etc), as attractive, shapely women, but notably, they still wear modest outfits and they don't have absurdly oversized tits. If Atlus purposely ignored the countless depictions of crones and based their art on these sexy women, their characters would be covered up and moderately proportioned.

It seems unlikely that if they were going for art references for their females, they would ignore the ample library of magical female depictions and go for a totally obscure piece of non-Classical art. Even in their male character designs, Atlus' artwork is far more exaggerated than any notable piece of art. The references, like Thor's hammer, are clear but the warrior looks nothing like Thor, Hercules, or any traditionally muscular male. They came up with an original concept for a muscular man. Likewise, I don't see any female figure in popular art who resembles the women. Perhaps the sorceress' staff is a reference to some painting, but she isn't.

maninahat:
What interests me is why everyone hates Kotaku so much. I find it hard to disagree with anything this guy said, immature insults asides, but even if I didn't, I don't see how that would make Kotaku the worst gamesite ever.

Because they are really the bottom barrel for gaming journalism. For example the day of Walking Dead episode releases they would front page spoilers of the episode, so you saw it the minute you went there. There are other reasons, but i stopped frequenting it long ago to recall them.

Here's how I see it:

Will the *game* be good?
>Probably

If the game is good, should anyone care about the design of one character?
>No

There you go.

It's in the same vein as "graphics vs gameplay". Do graphics matter if gameplay is superb? Not in the slightest.

maninahat:

Even if art has not changed, and forms have always been sexualised, that doesn't discredit the complaint being voiced by Kotaku.

Nah, his personal attitude discredits his complaint, I don't expect much from Kotaku but the way the subject was approached was all wrong and for me at least made bigger than what it was.

Now if Atlus really were looking for Classical art inspirations for their magically imbued female characters, then their female characters would look nothing like they do now. Magical females are traditionally depicted as hags and witches. The emphasis is on wrinkles and age, rather than sexiness, and that is fairly consistent in Medieval, Renaissance, Raphaelite and Classical artworks. There are plenty of works where magical females are shown as generic, pretty maidens, or in some cases (Medea, Cerces, Morgan Le Fay etc), as attractive, shapely women, but notably, they still wear modest outfits and they don't have absurdly oversized tits.

not really, some depictions of them where half naked and had realistic boobs.
I'm not saying you are wrong but don't forget the cultural significance because the "ugly hag" witches where really a way to insight hatred and suspicion towards jews which the stereotypical witch came from. And Morgan and Circe have been depicted with and without "sex" as part of the image way back when (I find the creep looking ones the best).
A traditional witch is pleasing to the eye, whether sexy or simply non-threatening.

Good article.

I still despise the tactics and people on both sides far too much to support either.

I'm not one of the dicks trying to STOP the arguing, I'm just on the side of total and complete apathy.

They want to change gaming as we know it, sure why not. Could be interesting.

The other side wants to keep gaming exactly the same? Whatever. I like gaming regardless.

bandit0802:

RJ Dalton:
Is my primary objective to this representation allowed to be that huge breasts are just a turnoff to me?

Amen. This idea that "bigger is better" is just...weird. Who started this and how can I put a stop to it?!

Well even if the big boobs lovers are the minority which I don't think they are, it's still reasonable to cater for them, right?

BIGGER IS BETTER!

You can all cry, scream and bitch all you want, nothing will change. Game production is a business, and as they say in Avatar: "The only thing our investors hate more than [bad press], is a bad bottom line." The gaming industry will keep cranking out these tried and true formulas, including ms. titty boob monster, until they stop making money.

erttheking:

CrossLOPER:

erttheking:

Might want to put a NSFW tag on that one.

Please tell me you are joking.

I see three guys with their junk bare. No I am not.

If your workplace would throw you out for what I posted, you may want to consider quitting because you are probably working for imbeciles.

maninahat:

CrossLOPER:


Art has not changed a bit over the millennia.

That strikes me as dishonest.

I'm trying to say that, while I understand the lack of well thought out female characters in games and that they tend to have some of their "assets" exaggerated to the point where girls and women who play games may receive such display poorly, that art has always exaggerated the human form into the ideal. There are not many women out with perfect DD breasts and excellent thighs and there are not many men with massive cores and chiseled jawlines that make them look good with long hair. I have seen that it was pointed out that, such as the case here, women are SEXUALLY OBJECTIFIED while men are PORTRAYED AS DOMINANT. I can understand this argument, but I don't think the case is so bad, even here, that females are being treated like mindless meatsacks like they are in DoD Beach Volleyball or whatever. I admit I am unfamiliar with the series, but it appears to be a fighting game, where everyone beats the hell out of each other.

As per your argument about male taste, YES this game was made by men for people that we could classify as men. It is being marketed to a specific audience. Part of me thinks that this is simple marketing and that publishers are falling back to the incredibly ancient hips to chest ratio to make a sale, but there is another part of me that says that publishers/developers know shit about what a large part of the market wants and don't want to risk trying that market out. The even more cynical part of me wants to say that the people involved in the games know shit about women in general. Even The Witcher, in my opinion one of the best games, has fallen victim to this. I wasn't really bothered by the sexy postcards that much, but I do find it troubling that there were next to no fleshed out female characters in AoK, compared to the first title. At least it tried, where most games don't even have good male models and most men in the game are cookie-cutter human being with two very narrow emotions. Then again, the original Witcher was a rare breed.

You can see this in other works as well. My friend tried to get me into Game of Thrones. I noticed that the author is apparently unaware of how females think. While the majority of the subject matter is mature and fairly well written (I still don't like it for the excess of drama and the over emphasis on every minor aspect of everything), there were several passages that involved Daenerys which had me laughing. There was one part where she was putting on her cloths and thought how the fabric was brushing her nipples. In another, she was bathing and remarked how the cool water felt against her "lower lips" (ACTUAL PHRASE). Can you imagine a male equivalent of this type writing?

There are some pretty bad examples and this type of art is fairly inaccessible to those who could probably make a decent contribution. Games cost money. There is crowdfunding now, but it is still young and there are scammers galore.

Evil Smurf:

PunkRex:
This is why I love you Bob, agreements all round. I was raised by my mum, little sister and nan but gawd damn if I just don't like me a busty red head.

Then I think you'll like Faye Reagan, just a hunch.

Anyway, I don't really mind if a game has overly sexualised characters, but if it is overboard then I can't play for the awkward: See Lollipop Chainsaw massacre.

*Ahem* Weeeell I... may know of her...

This is why I appreciate Bob more than Jim. Well written, Sir.

Well heck do you know what I find offensive here? they way Bob compares the "two sides"

"I'm a feminist, an out-and-proud "social progressive" in the parlance of American politics and a full-bore proponent of knocking down, busting up and sweeping away the white/western/heterosexual/cisgendered/male power structure not just in gaming but in everything, so of course I'm sympathetic to those who looked at The Sorceress and saw just one more neon-lit "No Girls Allowed!" sign going up in the window of the Game Culture Treehouse. I get it. I know where they're coming from - or, rather, I understand where they're coming from as best I'm able."

"On the other hand... well, how best to put this? I'm a bit of a pig. Above all else, a man needs to be honest about himself, and my self is pretty much the target for this type of "Female Perfection as Imagined by Over-Imaginative Pubescent Schoolboy" character design - not my only hang-up, by any means, but certainly on The List. I am a red-blooded, All-American, Hooters-patronizing, Baywatch-nostalgic connoisseur of sleaze and debauchery. So not only do I get the aesthetic wellspring from whence The Sorceress seems to have leaped, I actually find her design rather pretty - as cartoons go, at least. And those who know me can, hopefully, can attest that in spite of this I'm rather far removed from the basement-dwelling, socially inept, casual misogynist that this outlook is alleged to only be shared by."

So heck if I enjoy they game according to Bob im a ... pig ?, instead if i bash the game cause the caracter designs Im a out-and-proud social progressive............

REALLY ?!!

Well I guess I'm a goddam pig, since I have been waitng for this games for what? 2 years to come out, but hey if this is the way things are supposed to be, then well i was apig since i was what? 7 and saw who frammed Rogger Rabit, really talking about beingsocial progressive.

Great article Bob.

But seriously, I'm getting really tired of the silliness of complaining about games that come out that are like this. Yes, as you said Bob:

The problem isn't, and has never been, that The Sorceress (or Ivy, or Cammy, or Lara, or Daphne, or whomever else) look like they do... it's that everything looks like they do.

But I have a problem with how you pointed out the problem, the phrase used should be "many" look like they do, not everything, because that is untrue.

The problem I have with people that throw insults at companies that make these games is that they are trying to get their message across in a hateful and really unproductive way.

If gamers want games with more seriously looking and portrayed women characters, they should ask, maybe even petition, or fund for such games to be made. If people want to create games that don't fit your view, just move along and let them, or give them a reason to make the games you want. Attacking them doesn't work. I for one would never want to make something for someone that was trying to bully me into making it, or putting me down because they think what I'm doing is stupid.

Be understanding, game companies are businesses that need to make money, or they can't continue to make games. Say, "Okay, we understand you make games with women characters we don't like, because there is and will always be a large demographic for it. We want to tell you that there is also a demographic for games with other styles of women characters(less exaggerated).

Throwing tantrums and insults will get your agenda nowhere. Really, I think the best way feminists will get the characters they want in more mainstream games, is to turn to the Indie market. Find Indie developers that are willing to work with you on what you want. Because the point of doing that is, it is obvious that these days, the big developers like to try and copy the Indie scene, because they have seen how such games make money hand over fist. So if you can get a feminist approved game that makes loads of cash, you will be able to get the other companies to notice.

Don't push for the removal or end of "sexist" games, just push for the creation of the games you want. Again, insults make things to go nowhere.

grigjd3:

castlewise:
It is unclear to me why Dragon's Crown gets to be star of the show in this latest round of internet drama but a game like Starcraft 2, for instance, gets a free pass on their character design. Why is the Sorceress over the line but Kerrigan with her impractical zerg heels and meticulous non-chitin covered ass is somehow ok?

The difference is in quality. Starcraft is generally an excellently made game (if completely lacking in innovation in the sequels). I mean, Skyrim on the PC often gets converted to an effective porn sim and yet no one complains about some of the characterizations done there either (note a certain red-head werewolf in the fighter's guild). The truth is, people don't mind hyper-sexualized characters nearly as much as they may seem to. What people really don't like is mediocre and poor games using hyper-sexualized characters as a crutch to up their sales. This problem would go away if people refused to play bad games. On the other hand, many game developers make bad games before they make good games so sometimes it pays to support even the bad games on the idea that the risk could lead to something really good.

So you've played it? A sexy character or two automatically means its bad? Logic at its finest.

Just two points from me here.

1. As a hot-blooded, heterosexual male, I find the Sorceress's figure downright grotesque. It's almost a caricature of the human form- but then again, that can be said for four of those six character designs; the Amazon looks like a parody of a male bodybuilder, with boobs (and part of a halter top) slapped on and the head reduced in size by half. I honestly have to wonder at the tastes of anyone who finds that top-heavy figure attractive, let alone arousing.

2. The argument "there's a lot of nearly-naked men too, so this makes it equal" is absolute crap. The whole Boris Vallejo-style "mountain of meat in a loincloth" archetype isn't necessarily what women find arousing- it's more what men think women find arousing. It's just another factor of the male power fantasy, where all you need is a display of brute strength to get the women to line up for you.

Y'know, what happened to voting with your wallet? Do you not like something? Does it offend you? FUCKING TOUGH. I'm not buying this game because it doesn't look specifically fun to me, but beyond that I don't much care about the character design. It's a parody, a joke, and the fact that so many people are MISSING the joke [This is how silly our character design is! Isn't it hilariously exaggerated? :D] is goddamned depressing.

Everyone has the right to be offensive. You have no rights protecting you from being offended. Don't like it? Don't look, listen, or participate.

To quote the Heavy "CRY SOEM MOAR!"

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