Thursday, March 2, 2017

GDC slides, Political Correctness and why your game is crap.

So I've had the pleasure of looking through the highlights of some of the notorious GDC slides of this year, and much like the previous year's slides, this is definitely something....

I'm going to show you a few of these slides and express my discontent at the opinions presented.

 Without further ado.. let's get it on!


>If video games are such an expression of culture, why the hell are you so quick to censor the ever loving hell out of Japanese games because their culture is incredibly relaxed concerning sexual situations and actually more conservative when it comes to violence?

> If ethics were even a factor in your reasons for wanting to be better developers then you would leave the choice up to both the developer and the player as to what messages are to be taken from the work in question instead of trying to heavy handedly push your own opinions, beliefs and ideals on other people in some grossly narcissistic show of clemency.

> Maybe if you were trying to get people to be creative while actually showing the social issues you want people to take interest in, perhaps in a neutral light, in a way that leaves the player to decide for themselves, perhaps people would be a bit more accepting, here.

Instead, you decide to turn a developer's conference that should exist for expanding ideas and helping to push creativity into a full-grade camp for producing Stepford automatons willing to tow your line at a moment's notice. And when those robos produce a failing business model and close their door, due to a set of shitty games, then who's fault is that?

>Broader social context doesn't consider the fact that people have to actually be entertained for at least a few hours in order to actually warrant someone even considering to spend their disposable income on your product.


Because America in 2017 is the most fascist regime you dyed haired despondents have ever existed in, correct? American twenty-somethings sitting in an air conditioned room in a nice conference center, capable of saying anything and everything negative towards God or government without fear of retribution, from either. Yet, on the flip side of that, these are the same people who if they find someone with an opinion contrary to their incessant psychosis, the textbook response is a willingness to utterly ruin someone's life for it.

> I'm really over this notion that children - and yes I am going to go there -  who basically have the privileges and means to saunter into an industry that people have fought to get into, busted their asses to stay in, and in some cases made sacrifices to maintain, can just sit around and piss and moan about things they have likely never experienced due to being in a first world country, and will likely ever know about.


learned language is a skill , as is social graces required to help you network and find like minded people in the career you're trying to get into. Stop making excuses for not attempting to be well rounded and prepared for situations that come with maintaining relevance in a business.

> Being black may have made it easier for me to get an entry level job as a graphic designer, but my learned skills are what kept me doing that job for five relatively fruitful years. Skills like email correspondence between clients, maintaining a rapport with co-workers and finishing your tasks in a timely fashion are all skills that are vital to employment. Even now, I still have to work in a team environment, reading charts and using my best judgment to create store fixtures and displays for new products. Those skills aren't just there for show.

> The ignorance displayed in this slide is especially terrible. “Focus on the factors you can control and if you don't succeed it's not necessarily your fault” sounds good on paper, but maybe at some point you failed because you weren't knowledgeable enough on a particular subject, or you didn't try as hard as someone else who had the passion and drive you didn't? Then what? Are you not going to push yourself that much harder next time , or pick yourself up and try again with a bit more edge and diligence? Blaming everyone else for your own failures only gets you so far in life. That's where self reflection comes in and eventually figuring out what to do, now.

To all you prospective creatives out there, take heed. I'm going to only say this once.


Its your privilege, it's your right, it's your entitlement.

It's something that shouldn't have to be said, and yet here it's being said. Characters are important, the player and viewer's ability to relate to the character can be important, but you can relate to any character based on having that character go through similar circumstances that the person playing are familiar with.

If someone makes a game about a guy who has a shit job and his significant other is bitching at him about stupid stuff, then he suddenly gets thrusted into an adventure  I know about half a million people who can relate to that.

Contrast that with  a game about how this nigh powerful infallible symbol of perfection gets through a crisis relatively unscathed due to her previously unknown abilities revealed a second ago in a cutscene. Not relatable. And yes that also goes for Bugeyes McDustcloud, as well. 

                                                           above: Move over Ellen Ripley...

Video games can hold political context, this much is true. If you need examples, look no further to the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Solid was practically a love letter to movies like “The Great Escape” with a side order of anti Nuclear proliferation propaganda to boot. The difference between that and the type of stagnant swill that you're pushing, here is that Kojima at least knew how to make the game entertaining and engaging so that when we do get to the aforementioned parts of that game, the player has at least fought through scores of enemies and a few memorable boss fights to where sitting through a preachy cut scene doesn't seem too terrible. Snatcher, give you a full database of information from the history of the last few decades, to the social norms and culture of the current times. That builds on the player's world view and gives them greater context in the story, but it also does something else... It gives the player a means of inserting themselves in the world they're operating in, by understanding it

>from the perspective given from this slide. It seems that you want to take the agency away from the developer to create what they want, and from the player to interact with the game and make their own choices based on information presented. And that's where most of us have problems with what's being said, here. Unlike the popular phrase states, the personal doesn't have to be political. Being obsessed with politics in everything only makes you less capable of actually enjoying things, and quite honestly it makes you annoying as shit to your friends who just want to take a break from your faux outrage and moral grandstanding.

>Seriously? Disregard this entire slide. All it's doing is giving things that have very little to do with gaming a platform into ruining creativity, and propagating bullshit.

You want to teach a class about understanding gaming?

- Have them play a game

- Have them discuss what makes the game great

- Have them discuss what makes the game falter

- Encourage them to take that information into their own projects

- Once they've finished with their game, have ther project in class along with a discussion and critique session about what they did right and what can be improved.

- Possibly discuss different genres of games and express a chance to research the development process of those games for inspiration and greater understanding for future endeavors.

Wow, did I just do your job better than you possibly did?

How 'bout dat 

From the perspective of someone who actually plays, researches, and discusses games perhaps it means that you should do those exact same things that I did to better understand how to make games.

You could also stand to stop attributing claims of racism to your audience whom i'm sure you've never really interacted with other than through 140 characters vague twitter slander .

Newsflash, your game isn't going to challenge any notions of anything if you already alienated your audience before it has the chance to go gold.

That goes double if it's just there to score political or social piety points.

> I find it interesting though that we can't assume people are progressive or that your audience will interpret choices as you do, and yet it's incredibly easy to assume they harbor racist ideas just because. It's eerily similar to the zealotry of the moral panics right down to the assumption of moral corruption.

> Representation is always been something that has been important to people of this ideology. It's so important to put people's skin color, Sex organs, Sexual Orientation, and political stances before the content of their character, because in the end, that's more important than seeing a person as well... a person.

I personally don't function in that way. My humor can be both racial and inappropriate, My friends are my friends regardless of who they are what they are or their political leanings. Just be ready to debate with me on some things if we clash on opinions. That's pretty much all it takes to be considered as a friend to me, and yet because of my skrong strong opinions, personal experiences that conflict with narratives, and gruff, non sugarcoated way of explaining things, If you are one of the people who promote this ideology, you probably wouldn't talk to me longer than a few clashes of opinion. That's just going off of experience, of course.

Know thy enemy and know thyself..

So with all these slides, I'm just curious about the game being presented, So I went to go look up We are Chicago. While the concept seems pretty interesting, the aesthetics are stilted and the game looks like it was developed for PS2. Graphics aren't that important to me, so I could look past that, except for the fact that the dialogue seems incredibly stilted as well. The entire presentation seems as if the fundamental aspects of the game took a back seat to the message that the game is trying to convey, which is of course the one fatal flaw in every one of these types of games. 


Most of the reviews on steam take issue with the game being incredibly short, or not having any replay value what-so-ever. Which is also another common flaw with what I'm starting to call “ ideology based games” ; When you only have one story to tell, trying to get anything else of value out of the experience is like trying to get water from a rock.. The other common statement is that the choices available are being forced, which falls in line with the material being shown in those slides. Choice is the biggest reason why people play games. Gamers want to make the right choices, and sometimes make the wrong ones. That's the reason why the medium is popular. Taking away those choices only makes bland experiences that will always falter no matter how many times you make a game.

To all you inspiring developers and programmers, out there, make the games you want to see, Let the games that inspire you be your guide, and use them as gauges for creating new and interesting experiences, and don't let people who clearly haven't learned anything from their own failures tell you how to conduct business.

The only lessons you're going to learn from them are what not to do to get ahead. 

- I'll see you Next bossfight


  1. @all the slides:

    I have no anus and must shit violently.

    1. These people do it via their mouth or twitter accounts.

  2. What game is the girl punching the guy gif from?

    1. Mass Effect Andromeda, which should actually be on sale at Goodwill, now for the low low price of 12 dollars.