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Reblogged from theoracleturret  6 notes

Archetype V: The Pipsqueak

theoracleturret:

Archetype V: The Pipsqueak

ThePipsqueak

Archetype I: The Perky Refugee
Archetype II: The Jaded Beauty
Archetype III: The Sad Clown
Archetype IV: The Failed Hero
Archetype V: The Pipsqueak
Archetype VI: ???

“Youth is wasted on the young.” Typically, this phrase is meant to express how the physical capabilities and opportunities of youth are squandered, due to the immaturity of one’s early years. The phrase applies well to one of Final Fantasy’s favorite archetypes—the Pipsqueak—but only after a slight reinterpretation. One could say youth is wasted on the kids who fit into this archetype, but not because they are juvenile. Quite the opposite, in fact—they are so  anxious of the present and concerned for the future that they don’t actually act like kids, and can be their party’s number one downer. The purpose of their journey, then, is to learn how to conquer their fears—and to realize that maybe being a kid isn’t so bad. Characters who fit into this archetype include Red XIII (FFVII), Vivi (FFIX), and Hope (FFXIII). Other examples include Gau (FFVI) and, by some degrees, Vaan and Larsa (FFXII).

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Archetype V: The Pipsqueak

Archetype V: The Pipsqueak

ThePipsqueak

Archetype I: The Perky Refugee
Archetype II: The Jaded Beauty
Archetype III: The Sad Clown
Archetype IV: The Failed Hero
Archetype V: The Pipsqueak
Archetype VI: ???

“Youth is wasted on the young.” Typically, this phrase is meant to express how the physical capabilities and opportunities of youth are squandered, due to the immaturity of one’s early years. The phrase applies well to one of Final Fantasy’s favorite archetypes—the Pipsqueak—but only after a slight reinterpretation. One could say youth is wasted on the kids who fit into this archetype, but not because they are juvenile. Quite the opposite, in fact—they are so  anxious of the present and concerned for the future that they don’t actually act like kids, and can be their party’s number one downer. The purpose of their journey, then, is to learn how to conquer their fears—and to realize that maybe being a kid isn’t so bad. Characters who fit into this archetype include Red XIII (FFVII), Vivi (FFIX), and Hope (FFXIII). Other examples include Gau (FFVI) and, by some degrees, Vaan and Larsa (FFXII).

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Reblogged from kaalashnikov  276 notes

Out of the Freezer: How Dishonored Killed the Empress Without Fridging Her

kaalashnikov:

theoracleturret:

image

Empress Jessamine Kaldwin dies ten minutes into Dishonored. It’s not a spoiler or a surprise—her death is stated blatantly in the game’s promotional material, and it is her demise that jettisons main character Corvo into his journey for revenge. One might say her death is the most important thing about her, and that she exists solely to affect the emotions of the hero. Such a state is both unfortunate and so common in pop culture that it has its own name: fridging, wherein a character close to the protagonist is brutally done away in order to propel the hero into action. The trope has come under heavy fire in recent years, as fridged characters (often attractive love interests) are inherently devalued and shown to only be important in terms of how the protagonist reacts to them. The only difference between a fridged characters and a sexy lamp is that a dead human usually prompts greater sympathy from the audience.

By virtue of her demise catalyzing the plot, it has been suggested that the Empress is a textbook case of fridging, and she is ultimately a prop in Corvo’s story. However, there is another argument to be made here: while Jessamine’s death does indisputably get the ball rolling, that’s not where her story ends, and the game knows it. In its handling of Jessamine Kaldwin, Dishonored dodges the fridging trope by giving her power and importance that are widely felt and subsist long after her death.

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I am pretty tired of the ‘oh, Dishonored isn’t ACTUALLY sexist’ articles popping up, because wow. Jessamine’s death is basically the TEXTBOOK example of fridging - she barely gets a few words out and we barely learn anything about her before she dies to drive the entire plot, and Corvo/Daud’s manpain forwards. Just because people talk about her after she’s dead doesn’t mean she isn’t a female character that was fridged??

The entire point of fridging is the usage of a female characters as story props. Jessamine is a plot device. The game did a bad thing. Please just accept it and stop trying to make excuses. I love Dishonored too, it’s such a great game but it did a terrible job representing women and people of colour.

Named female characters in the game are murder targets, housekeepers, or a small child. The only major female character is the small child, who you could very easily argue is used as a pawn or a prop herself. The game features no women with distinct power that don’t require Corvo’s protection or intervention.

The only woman with power is killed within the first 10 minutes.

Thank you for your response. I’m happy to see my posts drive discussion about this game.

I actually addressed the notion of her being solely a prop in the essay itself. Though it’s true we don’t hear much about Jessamine before her death, we get significantly more information about her post-mortem—it’s people talking about her, yes, but also her talking about herself. One of the critical parts of the “fridging” phenomenon is that the character be lost in the process: once their lives are over, they serve no further function. That is not the case with Jessamine, who we actually learn more and more about as the game goes on. If we’re to suggest that fridging is just a character dying and their death affecting those around them, we start to suggest that any and all character death at all is fridging. I find that that actually weakens the point against fridging to regard it this way, and lessens the focus on what is truly insidious about it: (usually female) character erasure.

Also, I do agree with your point about the place of women in Dishonored, but I think the game’s more thoughtful about it than you’re suggesting. Becky Chambers wrote a really great essay on this topic for The Mary Sue, and pointed out something very interesting. Typically in fantasy settings where women are regarded as second class citizens, this is used as an excuse to remove them and their stories from the narrative, because, well, that’s just the way things are around here! Though women are certainly oppressed in Dunwall, Dishonored doesn’t remove them wholesale from the story, and actually takes time to look at their oppression as what it really is. It’s true that it would have been nice to see more women with more agency in the game, but I think there’s something to be said for how the game thoughtfully approaches the concept of gendered oppression.

Also, though the main game only has a few women of note to speak of, the DLC are helpful in introducing more. I actually have another essay on female agency and power in the Dunwall underworld, and if you’re interested I hope you’ll give it a read.

A quick update, and 8 tragic video game ghouls

Hi readers,

I hope everyone is doing well, and glad to see you’re still enjoying the blog! Big changes are happening on my end–big, awesome changes–so I had to step away from the blog for a while, but rest assured I will be bad with more content soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this close look at the tragic pasts of 8 video game ghosts: what really made these spooky specters the way they are?

Out of the Freezer: How Dishonored Killed the Empress Without Fridging Her

image

Empress Jessamine Kaldwin dies ten minutes into Dishonored. It’s not a spoiler or a surprise—her death is stated blatantly in the game’s promotional material, and it is her demise that jettisons main character Corvo into his journey for revenge. One might say her death is the most important thing about her, and that she exists solely to affect the emotions of the hero. Such a state is both unfortunate and so common in pop culture that it has its own name: fridging, wherein a character close to the protagonist is brutally done away in order to propel the hero into action. The trope has come under heavy fire in recent years, as fridged characters (often attractive love interests) are inherently devalued and shown to only be important in terms of how the protagonist reacts to them. The only difference between a fridged characters and a sexy lamp is that a dead human usually prompts greater sympathy from the audience.

By virtue of her demise catalyzing the plot, it has been suggested that the Empress is a textbook case of fridging, and she is ultimately a prop in Corvo’s story. However, there is another argument to be made here: while Jessamine’s death does indisputably get the ball rolling, that’s not where her story ends, and the game knows it. In its handling of Jessamine Kaldwin, Dishonored dodges the fridging trope by giving her power and importance that are widely felt and subsist long after her death.

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Reblogged from sodomymcscurvylegs  503 notes

sodomymcscurvylegs:

Something that really struck me about the Burial at Sea episodes were all of these, because, I think it’s a very important message to keep in mind. Rapture is a city that accepts homosexuality, but, overall, is rather nefarious in nearly every other aspect. It’s a city that takes the concept of capitalism and social Darwinism to extreme points, mostly to propose the idea of how these concepts, whether taken to a full extent (capitalism) or even by sheer virtue of existing (social Darwinism) are completely unethical. Rapture is a pretty disgusting place; one that isn’t meant to ever be emulated. It’s a place that is meant to be disliked and to be seen as immoral, because it’s a place where empathy and compassion for the less fortunate are seen as weakness and destructive. 

Yet, within these confines, we find that certain things that are ethical can thrive. Sexuality in Rapture isn’t seen as negative because to the people of Rapture, it’s all about profit margins and production. Basically, nobody in Rapture cares who you sleep with so long as you don’t become a “social parasite.” The reason I find this to be so utterly interesting is because, often, we have a tendency to forgive unethical and harmful behavior as long as it isn’t infringing upon us. This is, literally, how the concept of “privilege” work. Sometimes, we have to understand that simply because somebody - especially anyone in a position of power - supports something ethical (like equality for all sexual orientations), it doesn’t make them ethical overall, nor does it mean they are infallible. 

We forget this often.

Neither Mine Nor Thine: Influence of the Judgment of Solomon On Bioshock Infinite

All right, folks, the tale of Bioshock Infinite is nearing an end—Burial at Sea: Part 2 drops today, likely with a twist to throw us for a loop, and that’ll end this piece of this infinite story. In honor of that I’ve got a Bioshock Infinite essay about the DeWitt-Comstock-Elizabeth conflict, through an analogy that Burial at Sea signed and sealed.
Bioshock Infinite deals with some heavy themes, from racism and child abuse to despotism and fate. Not the least among these ideas is the concept of religion as a force for corruption, but in truth no one religion is really focused on. The game’s Christian themes aren’t themselves a source for critique but a foundation on which Columbia’s cultish religion is based, extracting iconic elements such as baptism and the miracle birth without addressing the scriptures themselves. For the most part this approach is fine—it highlights that the issue with religion isn’t faith itself, but the way in which it can be used as a vehicle for manipulation. This idea is relatively consistent with how religion is addressed in other Bioshock games, and the comparison still gives Infinite room to make a clear point about radicalism. Deeper Christian themes, while sometimes enriching to the game’s world, aren’t essential to what Infinite is trying to say.
However, there is a Biblical story that has noticeable parallels in Infinite, one that enhances the game’s narrative while presenting new and fascinating possibilities for both: the Judgment of Solomon in the Old Testament (Kings 3:16 – 3:28).

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Neither Mine Nor Thine: Influence of the Judgment of Solomon On Bioshock Infinite

All right, folks, the tale of Bioshock Infinite is nearing an end—Burial at Sea: Part 2 drops today, likely with a twist to throw us for a loop, and that’ll end this piece of this infinite story. In honor of that I’ve got a Bioshock Infinite essay about the DeWitt-Comstock-Elizabeth conflict, through an analogy that Burial at Sea signed and sealed.

Bioshock Infinite deals with some heavy themes, from racism and child abuse to despotism and fate. Not the least among these ideas is the concept of religion as a force for corruption, but in truth no one religion is really focused on. The game’s Christian themes aren’t themselves a source for critique but a foundation on which Columbia’s cultish religion is based, extracting iconic elements such as baptism and the miracle birth without addressing the scriptures themselves. For the most part this approach is fine—it highlights that the issue with religion isn’t faith itself, but the way in which it can be used as a vehicle for manipulation. This idea is relatively consistent with how religion is addressed in other Bioshock games, and the comparison still gives Infinite room to make a clear point about radicalism. Deeper Christian themes, while sometimes enriching to the game’s world, aren’t essential to what Infinite is trying to say.

However, there is a Biblical story that has noticeable parallels in Infinite, one that enhances the game’s narrative while presenting new and fascinating possibilities for both: the Judgment of Solomon in the Old Testament (Kings 3:16 – 3:28).

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Begosh and Begorrah! 6 Irish influences in gaming that you probably missed

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It’s Saint Patrick’s Day (for another hour or so, at least), and I hope everyone’s had their fill of shamrocks, pots of gold, excessive boozing and iffy Irish stereotypes by now. This time of year we usually look to gaming’s most prominent Gaelic protagonists—the McRearysColin Moriarty and Irish from Red Dead Redemption haven’t gotten much attention since last year—to help ring in the drinking, but what about lesser known Irish inspirations? The sort that sneak into your favorite games where you might have missed them entirely? Well, I’ve got a frothing glass of them for you right here: 6 cool things from Irish history, folklore, music and programming that have slipped into and enriched our favorite games. Sit down, have a listen–the Leprechauns won’t leave you behind.

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Ugly Bear and Feathered Freak: Gender Equity in Banjo-Kazooie

Due to admittedly justified console favoritism on the part of Naughty Dog, I have yet to play The Last of Us—a state of affairs I lament, give its stellar reception. I get most of my information about the game from a close friend, who has told me “Winter” is her favorite section because she gets to play as Ellie. I understand that feeling, since I just about backflipped off my couch when I learned Elizabeth was going to be the player character in Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2.

What these two games have in common, among other things, is the prevalence of a male and female duo as main protagonists. Playing as such dual-gender pairs where both characters contribute to the success of the mission—either by player controlling both characters, or playing one while the other acts as a critical AI partner—is a dynamic that’s has been picking up steam in western gaming; examples as early as Ice Climber have led to more complex and intricate relationships in Enslaved: Odyssey to the WestHalf-Life 2, Halo and the aforementioned Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite. While criticisms have been leveled at some of these depictions—some claiming, for instance, that Elizabeth is little more than a vending machine and Ellie is “weaker” than Joel—they are nonetheless an interesting evolution in western gaming, and a positive step in regard to gender equity.

However, in examining this dynamic, attention must be paid to one particular game that often isn’t included in discussions of gender in gaming—a game that utilized a dual-gender pair so equitably and so seamlessly that it rarely draws attention for the effort, because it seems so effortless. Naturally, I am talking about Banjo-Kazooie. Of course.

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12 games that make you feel horribly guilty (for doing exactly what they tell you to do)

Guilt in games is an interesting phenomenon, prompting the player to feel personally responsible for acts that are executed on the digital plane within specific limitations. While one could argue the player bears some responsibility for actions taken when they are given a choice–such as with Bioshock‘s Little Sisters, or the Call of Duty No Russian mission–what about scripted actions that the player must complete for the game to advance? We still feel guilty, interestingly enough, as shown in this article on 12 games that make you feel horribly guilty (for doing exactly what they tell you to do). A study in psychology, this one.

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12 games that make you feel horribly guilty (for doing exactly what they tell you to do)

Guilt in games is an interesting phenomenon, prompting the player to feel personally responsible for acts that are executed on the digital plane within specific limitations. While one could argue the player bears some responsibility for actions taken when they are given a choice–such as with Bioshock‘s Little Sisters, or the Call of Duty No Russian mission–what about scripted actions that the player must complete for the game to advance? We still feel guilty, interestingly enough, as shown in this article on 12 games that make you feel horribly guilty (for doing exactly what they tell you to do). A study in psychology, this one.

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