The best part of this year’s Rise of the Tomb Raider is the tomb raiding. This may seem like a banal observation, but there’s a large percent of the game that’s spent not tomb raiding. I do highly recommend the tomb raiding, though…
The American holiday of Thanksgiving marks the start of shopping and gluttony, and also the Hollywood Oscar Season, when movies considered “Oscar-worthy” are released in theatres. The thinking is it keeps important films fresh in the minds of the nominating committee, whereas something that came out last spring is easily forgotten. The same happens with gaming, for different reasons, yet this year’s holiday was a very quiet time. Practically nothing of interest happened.
No, not even that.
It’s that time of year again. A time for quiet reflection. A time for looking ahead. A time for staying up super late and celebrating solar mechanics. Most importantly, though, it’s a time for reminding ourselves of some awesome games we played in the last 365 days – measured in the gaming world as “the time between the releases of Retro City Rampage and Dr. Luigi.”
Some years there are games that characterize my gaming experience. That sum up everything that was most memorable about that year in gaming. Other years, like this one, it’s hard to point at any one title or experience. This last year was, for me, more of a tidal shift. I’m a lot more of an indie player than I was twelve months ago (though that’s a highly relative thing). For probably the first year ever, the pinnacle of my gaming experience didn’t come (at least not definitely so) from a console release from a major publisher. That’s not to say I’m shelving my PS3 and swearing off the AAAs, but the reality of how much they’re losing their power really struck home for me personally, rather than just academically, in 2013.
This year’s Eurogamer Expo took place over the weekend and I, along with Mat C, Joel ‘Harbour Master’ Goodwin and a couple of other friends, had the fortune of being able to attend again and spend a few days bumbling about sampling whatever we could. And there was a lot more to sample this year.
Regrettably, it won’t surprise anyone that the internet – and gamers with internet access – are not always the most forward-thinking bunch. One of the latest instances of this is the response to the Tropes vs. Women Kickstarter to do a series of videos based specifically on women in video games.
Unfortunately, this is just one in a long line of issues, whether with the portrayal of female characters in video games or the treatment of female gamers or the position of female game developers, to hit truly repugnant levels. There’s an outcry and blogs and strings of comments everywhere, some inflammatory, others seconding opinions.
But everyone’s preaching to their own choir, most of the time. The state of women in games is complex, to say the least, and some of the hard parts of the issue get lost in all the shouting. Dix and AJ try to have this conversation, maybe ask some difficult questions, and try to feel out the facets of what is, plainly, more than just a two-sided topic, with a minimum of sandwiches and death threats.
Sir Peter Molyneaux, Commander of the British Empire, has dished publicly about what he believes to be the five most innovative games of the past 20 years. I agree with him on all but one.