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Author Archives: KinkedNitemare

Racism in Gaming: Why This Matters

pewdiepie-mental-health_750x400_acf_croppedI have to say I’ve been staring at this article about PewDiePie and his use of the n-word for a few days now, trying to formulate words to express how I feel about the situation.  Then someone in one of the comments sections said something that wasn’t unlike many others, though the lengths at which this person went to not only say it was okay because he apologized – and the apology was enough – but even continued to make him out to be the victim of slander for his previous issues.  Thus, trying to make those truly victimized by the use of this word feel pity for him instead.  

Wait?  What?  Even if we remove Pewds history of behavior from this situation, this one incident speaks loudly to a huge problem in the streaming/gaming industry. With him being one of the biggest faces of that industry, he absolutely should be held accountable.

So, here are my thoughts.  For me, it is not a debate. He absolutely could have apologized better. That better way would have been to not give an excuse as to why that word would be so readily available to his lips. “Other gamers do it” is not an acceptable reason. And I would say that about any streamer.

I talk about this subject very openly when given the chance, but I felt I could not just sit by and say nothing because this should be a dialogue we all are having about how this behavior affects a population of this industry.  I encounter racism in this industry and in regular life through multiple facets.  Streaming has, however, brought forward the most concentrated amount of racism I have ever encountered in my life.  It’s given me a unique glimpse into online harassment and though I knew it was something that I would face, it never makes it normal to just expect it and live with it.

There was no real “interpreting context” with how he said it here. It was quite clear he used the word and he used it to be derogatory.  Whether or not PewDiePie has been targeted before for his intent or misconstrued words in the past, this is not one of those instances. Though he is considered a comedian, it was not even said in a way that could even remotely be considered a joke.  He said it to hurt and that is exactly what that word has been used for for decades.  

Which brings me to another defense from various people on his part.  “Why in 2017 are people getting upset over a word?”  Um, because it is a word that came hand in hand with oppression.  If you are not a POC and continue to question this, that makes you part of the problem.  You do not get to tell a minority group still fighting for equality on so many levels a word does not hold any power.  That is not how it works.  Your view point is moot if you think that because PewDiePie most certainly knew what kind of power that word had when he so easily used it on his stream.  In his apology, he does say he used it because it was “the worst word you can think of” which means he knew the words power and still he found it justifiable “in the heat of the moment” to say.

Uhh no… that is not how that works. And the only way you see that working is if you have the privilege of never being on the receiving end of that action.

We see the trend growing. Powerful people making this kind of behavior OK for the rest. There is a fundamental problem already with these kind of actions towards all minority groups in the streaming and gaming industry and him being one of the biggest faces in it means a chunk of people will not care that he apologized but that he will get away with saying it with little to no recourse and that gives them the feeling of freedom to show their hate.

He is not the only one in the industry who does this, but he has now become one of the biggest faces of the “problem.” PewDiePie’s prior issues with the media and the like have nothing to do with this instance and the impact it does have on streamers who are people of color.  Streamers like me.  

No game play or heated moment makes using racial slurs, sexist terms or a derogatory word ever acceptable and the more people that stand up against this behavior the better.  Though when I see how many are making excuses and defending him, it becomes equally disappointing as it is frustrating. I hope for the sake of so many that it does start to change. Until then, I will speak up every chance I get and so should you.    

So how can you help?  Be an ally!  Make this behavior unacceptable and shameful again.  Speak up in game voice chat, in stream chat.  Never make it seem like it is acceptable by simply being silent. Ban slurs, derogatory terms in your streams and make it a place for all your friends and peers to be comfortable in. It may seem so simple, but the battle is a long fought one and nowhere near won when it comes to those affected by this behavior. Having allies to stand behind us makes us stronger and the community better.  

Review: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Review: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: Aug. 7, 2013
Platform: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android and Windows Phone

Brothers-A-Tale-of-Two-Sons

I may be late to the boat on this, but I finally got on it and I have to say I am glad I didn’t miss it! Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game I’d have never gotten myself. I’m not particularly into just straight up puzzle games and it seemed a bit boring compared to my usual onslaught of FPS and horror games. I have to say that I am delighted to find out how wrong I was.

What’s it about?
Well the gist of this game is the mother of these two brothers has died, leaving them with only their father. The father then gets sick, threatening to leave the two brothers orphaned if they do not find a cure. The boys go out on their own to retrieve a potion that will help save their father’s life and, through that, go on an amazing adventure that takes trust and teamwork for them to survive and accomplish their goals.

What did I think?
From the simple description, you might think it was perhaps easy and pretty boring. Though the game only took me around 5 hours to play, I can say for certain it was neither simple, nor boring. One part that threw me off for a moment was the mechanics. This is a controller based game; one side of the controller controls the big brother, the other baby brother. This, for me, was a unique addition to the game. This controller setup can be a challenge to figure out. Once you get used to it, however, it is a major part of the game and helps you feel connected to the characters.

As I said in the beginning, this was not a game I would have picked for myself. The fact that it is a puzzle game would have put it far down on my list. A friend gifted this game to me and I played it for them. Getting that chance to do so made me mentally invest in one of the most beautifully crafted and emotional games I have ever played. You will feel the feels with this game and once you get to the end it is a satisfying finish.

The puzzles can be a challenge because you not only work one brother but both simultaneously to accomplish a lot of things in this game. Figuring out how they both work together sometimes can be a struggle, but not so much so that it becomes frustrating. This is good since I will give up pretty easily if it gets to be ridiculously hard. Usually, if I can’t shoot it or kill it somehow, it is not worth my time. This game, being out of my comfort zone, did a perfect job at keeping my attention and not making me want to give up.

I am gonna say the replay value is probably moderate. There are challenges you can accomplish which is part of why I am going to be playing it again, but also just for pure enjoyment of playing and exploring the world that I was hesitant to explore the first time around is appealing. The fact that is a short game also makes it very approachable when it comes to replay as well.

One last note, this game is BEAUTIFUL. How the creators tell this story visually, how they do dream sequences and just everything. It is a trippy experience in parts and just an amazingly stunning one everywhere else. You get time to take in the sights at various benches throughout the game and I highly suggest that you do just that!

I could gush over this game for a long time, but really you have to play it to really understand what a little treasure it is.

Do I recommend it?
It is a wholehearted yes from me! Yes, I would recommend it. If you get the chance to buy it, please do and take the 5 short hours to play. You can get it on Steam, Xbox One, and PS4 consoles for around $20. I think it is well worth the price.