Metal Gear Solid 5 Gender Roles

Crump

Metal Gear Solid 5

The portrayal of men in video games are the typical overt masculine character who has unlimited abilities, to thrash, solve puzzles, and the fun part, kill. For the case with women who make up half of the gamer community, are consistently underrepresented and sexually objectified. The portrayal of women in video games often reflects on traditional gender roles, sexual objectification, and negative stereotypes. For example, characters in mainstream games such as Laura Croft and Samus Aran are common examples of sexual objectification in video games. Women being sexually objectified in video games taints the perception that a fully clothed female character is less appealing, which researchers have found that on average, female-led games sell fewer copies than male-led ones and have lower marketing budgets.

In Metal Gear Solid 5, I could not wrap my mind around the idea of what was the purpose for the character “Quiet.” One could obviously see that she is a great asset for getting through tough missions, bosses and very skilled in sniping. The dialogue of the character was little to none and what stands out the most was her perfect yoga body, bouncing breast, and her absurd striptease in the puddle of rain. Furthermore, Kojima leaned on creating Quiet as the sexy character which holds no purpose in the framing of the video game. The game succeeded in exposing the atrocities of adolescents being kidnapped from their families to be later brainwashed and used as kid-soldiers. Also, highlighting the Rhodesian Bush War which Kojima did not classify that the main character “Snake” was in the middle of that war, but one would gain the idea of what was going on at the time setting of the game.  These accomplish ideas that Kojima put together were very appealing for any gamer to enjoy but to objectify a female in the sexual factor diminishes the characters agency and quite frankly its disappointing.

Assassin Creed Odyssey

Bryant Crump

History Playing the Past

Assassin Creed Odyssey

 

Assassin Creed Odyssey recreates ancient Greece and puts the gamer front in center of the Peloponnesian war. Unfortunately, the period Ubisoft is trying to recreate is not entirely faithful to historical sources.  Ubisoft stayed true to the characters, geography, politics, and attire to the period they tended to recreate. In contrast, to the truth is that Ubisoft starts to stretch the narratives for both historical and mythological in the intent to make the game more enjoyable. For example, they recreated Herodotus into a figure who is trying to stop the Peloponnesian war and teaming up with the protagonist (Alexios) to figure out clues through the Oracle. There is no historical information that Herodotus played any part in stopping the war, but Ubisoft may have thought that exposing “The Father of History” to their audience will highlight that Herodotus was pivotal to what history is currently.

In the side quest, Medusa and the Minotaur can be fought to achieve higher awards. Ubisoft steers away from the theological origins of these mythical characters by establishing them as corrupted entities that are left behind by the first civilization. Traditionally, Medusa was described by the Greeks as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. Herodotus mentions that she was created by the Berbers as part of their religion. The traditional narrative of Medusa is known that she was an evil entity in classical Greek depiction, but Ubisoft decided to use her in a different approach. They recreated the mythological monster into a humongous figure that cannot turn you into stone, summon the undead and impair the protagonist vision. In addition, if Ubisoft decided to put the real mythological narrative about Medusa in the game most gamers would be deterred from being repeatedly turning into stone from the great boss. Those little things do matter to a degree, and it can be understandable why Ubisoft did not include that.

Ubisoft stayed true historically with attire, statues, building, and culture. For example, the “Cult of the Kasmos” who were a group that tried to influence the public and government sectors. Also, in the loading screen, they provide little historical information for the gamer such as, “The Drachma currency was used from ancient times all the way through to February 28, 2002.” But, the Drachma was not continually used throughout Greek history but reintroduced to Greece national currency after World War I as an experiment and after ended in the 21st century. Ubisoft purposely put that the Drachma was used continuously throughout their existence which was not true and that is a common dilemma that Ubisoft struggles with. How do they incorporate enough information for the gamer while maintaining not leaving any other information out? Assassin Creed Odyssey is rich in historical detail with little facts about landmarks or characters, or famous faces that the gamer will meet as an assassin (Herodotus). Unfortunately, the game fails in providing accurate historical information. In addition, that is the never ended question in how a game can provide accurate information while allowing players to have fun and appreciate it.

Furthermore, the creators of Assassin Creed Odyssey, Marc-Alexis Cote states that “One of the cool things about Assassin’s Creed is that I think our fans love that we can explain history a different way.”[1] This makes sense why the franchise relied on conspiracies and mythological creatures to provide great gameplay. Assassin Creed franchise may have achieved in putting in historical landmarks and characters, but they mainly focused on given the gamer agency which is offered in role-playing games. Also, the franchise took a bold approach in given the player the option to plays as a female instead of being locked in playing as a male. Ubisoft has told their fans that sexism does not exist on their platform. To a degree, most will argue about how women were not knife slinging parkour experts, but the question still stands for men also. Ubisoft may have turned their games into a Disneyland where historical figures that would either help you or become your enemy, but overall Assassin Creed Odyssey gives hope that one day a game can be created that stays on task with historical events, and characters.

 

[1] https://www.oneangrygamer.net/2018/09/ubisoft-admits-to-further-abandoning-historical-relevancy-in-assassins-creed-odyssey/69013/

Oregon TraiL

What is the narrative structure of the game and how is it told? The narrative of the game in Oregon Trail is to entail the dramatic experience of individuals who embarked on an adventure to reside on new territory the American government acquired in the Mexican American War. The game shows how life and death was an everyday worry for these migrants and it could strike at any moment for the potential settler going West. In addition, the creators incorporated many geographical and historical facts providing an edutainment for the gamer. Many emigrants who trekked the long adventure to the west were consumed by the negative narrative that Native Americans were savages and they were more prone to attack potential settlers on their lands.  The natives are portrayed in the video game, to a degree as the agitators instead of a group of people who were defending their land.

This game is tailored for adolescents and the obligation becomes the question of what part of history should be told and left out. History in video games, textbooks and television shows all have the same commonality which is to give a narrative that makes their audiences exposed to a fell “good-history.” For example, the relationship between the Pawnee and Sioux are mentioned as mortal enemies and will kill each other with no hesitation. To a degree, this is true but does the Pawnee tribe warrants to be portrayed as an aggressor with little context to provide why the hostility exists? In some cases, when the gamer decides to choose to talk to the inhabitants in the area, the gamer can have a conversation with the Natives who expresses concern over his land. For example, “The White man first crossed our lands with few wagons…now they crowd the trail…my people talk of moving.” The narrative structure of the game is to make the gamer indulge in completing the Oregon Trail while at the same time find a foe to easily demonized which makes the game playful. Overall, the objective of the game delivers on giving the player to be informed on the real-life experiences these emigrants endured crossing the great plains to the West to reside in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah but fails on exposing different perspectives in a hostile social and racial climate.

What is the primary historical argument for the game? The primary argument for this game is to express the danger, the responsibility and necessities to travel such long distance. Oregon Trail gives the individual the opportunity to experience a fraction of what it took to make such adventure. The process of gather resources such as pounds of food, clothes, extra wheels and when resources have been exhausted the modern individual must take on the role as being a hunter and gather to survive the unforgiving deserted land. The video game does not make the gamer physically endure the process but exposes them to understand how people migrated to the West. How is the West represented? The West was represented as new land that attracted primarily white people to escape the over congested urban areas in the East. Many people had the notion that the weather in the West could cure tuberculosis or bronchitis. Personally, does the game mentions that or not but that was part of the reason for people who traveled to the West. Also, get away from black people. Gamers who play Oregon Trail will have the presumption that people traveled to start a new life and that was the primary goal for the creators crafting their historical argument for the game.

How does the game treat women and people of color? So far playing the game which I did not reach far but as read the content that was provided in the conversation option, people of color were not depicted with common stereotypes such as, lack of articulation or using Ebonics. The women were caretakers and I was their caretaker. My main responsibility is making sure their welfare is accommodated. They do not contribute to the venture at all and I make the decisions whatsoever when the opportunity arises.