A Thought

Alrik Fassbauer

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When I posted my answer, your rant consisted exactly of the text I quoted. I can't answer to things you haven't written yet.

I know. That's why I answered you. ;)

I often develop my rants further as I write. Often adding even more thoughts.
Lots of editing !

Basically, that's how I write my short stories, too ! ;)



I realized, for example, how much detailed in the so-called "Star Wars" universe the Empire is. It's the bad side.
And how little - in contrast to that - the good side is developed, lore-wise.
Apart from the Jedi, but the Sith always have the better toys. Of course. They have to. Like that "Sith Alchemy". Jedi don't have that.
How much the Empire is developed regarding organizations - be it secret ones or not. Even the old republic doesn't have that. The only rtime the Republic gets developewd is during the Clone Wars, and even there, we learn very little about the organizations there. The Jedi might have some kind of "secret service", but only the Empire's Inquisitors are fully developed.

To me, it's always the same old story : The bad side is always better developed - in every aspect - than the good side. As I tried to point out above.





As a side-note, I realized today what would be my personal "dream game" : Only exploration and story. No fighting. ;)

Of course, that will never be. Too much introvert. No food for extroverts. No-one would want to play that.
How sad.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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I think that I should post my reply rather here :

No one likes EA's joke about singleplayer games, even EA

They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games

I think I see a pattern beneath that saying.

It gooes like this :

"If you're playing only singleplayer games, then you are a introvert person, and that means that you are ... weird.
That means that no-one playes with you, because you don't play multiplayer games, and that probably means that no-one *wants* to play with you in multiplayer games, too."

This also leads - in my opinion - to the train of thought that multiplayer games = games for extrovert people, and being extrovert is, as far as the "Big Five" are usually interpreted, something good. And introversion is something bad.

Wikipedia uses this wording :

extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)

It uses the word "extraversioN", not the word "introversion", which puts the word "extraversion" into bei ng the headline, so that it is something wanted.
Introversion isn't even mentioned there, so it is not wanted / unwanted.

The whole article is worded so that introversion is something ... people would not like.

Extraversion/positive emotionality

This implies that "Introversion/negative emotionability".

Or, in other words, introversion is either socially unwanted, or even considered as an illness, to put it cynically.



I think that this joke is ... so to say ... the iceberg of 10 or even more years of following the vocal multiplayer gamer population.

I repeat myself, I know, but I still do remember it when people suddenly appeared in forums of dedicated singleplayer games - like later Drakensang - and wanted multiplayer games being made out of them.

And when gaming corporations realized that multiplayer = DRM, they followed them. Not the singleplayer games lovers.

This is the first step of badmouthing singleplayer games. "We could have so much *more* fun if we played it all together !"

Like with ... introverts - who play singleplayer games, being weird, and strange, and overall socially ... unwanted. Because they do not want to socialize with others. Like in "We see that they do not want to socialize with others because they do not play multiplayer games."

Modern games are made for extrovert people, I believe, and are being made by extrovert people.

Which is true even for some kinds of single player games.

So, to me, this is kind of an iceberg of a social development within "western" - and especially within american (the U.S. still one of the main developer countries of games) - societies. Especially of developments within gaming societies.

I fear that this all might lead into a "social distinction" of gaming groups in the end.




On another story, I found something which was ... kind of disturbing me a bit.

In a list of game genres, I found ... I think it was 20 genres. Or so. I don't remember the correct number anymore.

These were game genres which I considered to be neutral.

And then I saw it. ""Women oriented games".
I don't remember the exact wording anymore; however, I tried to reconstruct it here as far as I can remember it.

This means 2 things :

1. That there is explicitely the word "women" in that genre name, means that everything else is not explicitely directed at women as a game genre.

Those other genre names were *not* neutral, then.

Out of these let's say it was 20 genre names, 19 were of the one kind - and this single one was "women oriented game".

2. Men do not play "women oriented games".

Men play anything else - but this.

Had the wording been more neutral - but it was not - it would have been different in realization.


I see some kind of "social distinction" there. Gamersgate would be proud of that.

To me, this "social distinction" feels like racism. Or, to be more exact, like misogyny.

This is like what I have often read in PvP sub-forums (in SWTOR, for example) : "Go play Hello Kitty."

Men don't play "women oriented games". They play competitive games. Either PvE or PvP.
Hello Kitty is not competitive, so it is considered "weak".


This kind of misogyny can often be found. Only 2 or 3 days ago, an apparingly female player wrote to me in a chat : "When men encounter a woman who is stronger than them, they get fear." (Translated by me.)

In several societies, women are controlled and pushed so that they must ot be strong - if they were, they could easily take away the "competition", and competition is - according to a lot of societies - the main way to get a woman. Sometimes even the ONLY way to get a women : To show everyone else how strong and therefore manly a man is.

This leads to bizarre consequences. Like that extreme "cuteification", which I often see in screenshots of games developed in asia. Or events like that father who tried to end the career of his daughter, who was a boxer, by focibly crashing a club against her daughter's knees. I read about that incident many years ago. And both were members of a islamic cultures, in which women are forced to be pretty, not to be strong. A thing which Europe had as well. The "man in the house" was the master, and the woman had to obey, to be pretty, silent, and do nothing but housework.


Meanwhile there appears to be a category of "women oriented games", it is still kind of tragic that a lot of men - Gamersgate would be proud ! - despise games which contain social interaction, for example. Like The SIMs games have a reputation of being "notoriously women oriented games".

I still don't understand why male gamers despise social interaction in games so much, and vastly prefer brutal, grim, ugly-looking competition (like in combat sitiations) over everything else. Hence so few NPC interactions.

Maybe the current "manliness mania" is a backslash regarding the emancipation movement.
Maybe men indeed fear that women "might take over", and take away the - to them - only way to prove themselves : As strong, competitive men.


To quote Haegar The Horrible :

"[For this plunder voyage] I need strong men ! Men who can stand everything ! Men who can go through everything ! I need married men !"
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Everybody is bursting about AI these days.

Why, oh why, do developers not include any AI into games which makes enemies weaker for players who have enormous problems with them - an don't like grinding, either ?

Instead, games like Dark Souls are developed for manly, competivive players who are so indoctrinated that they must be hard against enemies and try it the 1000th time until they "get it done" or otherwise are called "Noobs", or "toads", or "turds" or "go play Hello Kitty instead".

Apparingly, among too many developers it doesn't actually matter whether players stop playing a game altogether because bosses are too hard.

And I'm speaking of games with no several difficulty levels.

Of course, there are women who are very good with bosses as well. I get constantly impressed by them because I do know how weak I am as a rather pure story player.
I want rather interactive stories than a series of fights only weakly connected by a more-than-weak story (or no story at all), because competition (pVE as well) doesn't need any story, seemingly.

So, why has never had the idea to include any AI into a game which is able to adjust the game's difficulty so that non-ggrinders can play it through and still have a challenge for their level of intellectuality ?
 
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Zloth

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Everybody is bursting about AI these days.
Oh, so that's what those things are on my face! I knew my mom was wrong! ;)

So, why has never had the idea to include any AI into a game which is able to adjust the game's difficulty so that non-ggrinders can play it through and still have a challenge for their level of intellectuality ?
At a guess, because it's harder. Or at least harder while still maintaining the illusion that keeps a game going. If the mighty boss you've been hearing about for however long is slowly wandering from cover point to cover point, shooting almost randomly, then what was everyone so scared about?? If you can simply stop and stand there while a boss flails around, hitting nothing, the illusion that you're fighting some nasty menace to society shatters.

Or are you really just asking why all games don't have a "story mode" difficulty?
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Or are you really just asking why all games don't have a "story mode" difficulty?
In part. I do want some kind of challenge - but I'm not comptitive. This simply means that I want a challenge that's not too hard for me - not one that fuels my rather low self-esteem. I want a challenge to generate within me the feeling that I'm actually *capable* of overcoming challenges - and too hard challenges just don't generate this feeling inside of me.

It does, however, do so inside of men (and women) who like it harder, more competitive, be it PvE or PvP.

But to me, it seems as if the level of challenges is rather orietented towards those who like it harder. This is like developing a gamne for a certain kind of players alone.

I never played Gothic 2 because it was made harder and I felt that I would be not good enough, not hard enough, not competitive enough for it.
Those who wanted the game to be harder were - I think - predecessors of the current "masculinity" age. You know, machismo, manliness etc. ...



The other end of this spectrum is with games like ... well, I planned to add here a few musings on Genshin Impact. I don't think it's fitting now since I just didn't want to put this game into the opposite of current "grimdark" games (which imho are part of that "manliness/machismo/masculinity" spectrum).


The only hint I want to give in is that NPCs in Genshin Impact make to me the impression of being more "alive" than in no other game I have played before. And it's not because of fighting. It's because of story. Because of individual NPC stories (not because of the main story).
 
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Zloth

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In part. I do want some kind of challenge - but I'm not comptitive. This simply means that I want a challenge that's not too hard for me - not one that fuels my rather low self-esteem. I want a challenge to generate within me the feeling that I'm actually *capable* of overcoming challenges - and too hard challenges just don't generate this feeling inside of me.
That's the Holy Grail of gaming! Provide a challenge to you that looks like you probably can't do it - then you do it. This has to be done without making it look like the game is letting you win, though. Come to think of it, it's often the goal in a lot of movies, too.

Those who wanted the game to be harder were - I think - predecessors of the current "masculinity" age. You know, machismo, manliness etc. ...
Pride - yeah. There's some of that, but it isn't the whole story. There's a kind of exercise, too. Depending on the game, you'll need to flex your problem solving, quick thinking, spatial awareness, patience, and who knows what else to get through on hard mode. Doing that can boost confidence, but it does it by actually making you better.
 
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Arkadia7

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I think you're overthinking some of this stuff, Alrik. For example, not too long ago, gamers used to be considered uncool and nerdy, and glasses wearing computer geeks -- far from manly or the typical Alpha Male. So it is kind of amusing to see you complain that many games these days seem to be catering to a macho manly type male gamer, when not many actually are around, or, I should say, they are in the distinct minority.

Remember, the cool manly guys would be playing sports like Football and having better things to do than play a video game. Ok, so I will grant that this feeling and cultural thing has changed very recently, and now you can see a macho type male gamer who becomes popular as youtube game streamers sometimes, and now the cool people are allowed to say they like to play video games.

But even so, there is still some lasting feeling that gaming is not cool and that is still around at the fringes today, because it was so strong before in the society. And I think you are also wrong about the men/women subject and gaming. Sorry, but I do think that some games are more naturally attractive to women, and other game genres are more attractive to male gamers.

If you took a Call of Duty, I think the stats I saw a long time ago were like 95% male gamers as the hardcore players, for example. And I'm sure there is some female heavy and centric phone games or video games out there that has the same stats, but just reversed. Of course, there are always exceptions to the norm, but they prove the general rule.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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If you took a Call of Duty, I think the stats I saw a long time ago were like 95% male gamers as the hardcore players, for example. And I'm sure there is some female heavy and centric phone games or video games out there that has the same stats, but just reversed. Of course, there are always exceptions to the norm, but they prove the general rule.
Statistics already say that, as far as I know.



When playing my current favourite game, Genshin Impact, I realized something.

Some enemies act with an enormous brutality as their moves. And even that is an understatement.
I have far more than just hard time to withstand the brutality of these particular enemies - and these are nort even bosses. Only extraordinarily strong regular enemies. Some of the even act together in groups.

I have caught myself thinking .:"Why can't my own character be THAT overwhelmingly brutal as to give others a hard time ??" And then i realized that brutality is something desireable - for people who seek power and migt. The more brutal, the more you are recognized by others, especially by those who seek power and might as well. Humanity might despise you, but within this closed circle of extraordinarily strongmen, you are most welcome. As an equal among equals.


This might be - I fear - very well something games teach to young people : That brutality is - in lack of a better word - good. (Quote reworked grom a certain character from a well-known banking movie.)

Especially young people - and among them maybe especially more those who feel themselves to be weak - might think that brutality - overwheling brutality - something to look for. Or maybe, even to adapt the moves of brutal figures. Like those from games, for example.

I fear that brutality might be something that is carried from games into the Real World. Or at least that mindset.

Regardless, the overwhelming brutality of these figures I'm put to fight against within a game makes me indeed feel kind of jealous : That figure simply wins by sheer brutal power. Why do my tiny party members have around in the fields to evade and avoid all those bangs from that figure ? And why could my own party members not just stand erect in the field, dealing out so many damage that all enemies feel tiny instead ?

Of cours, it's a video game. And video games are - as everything that is programmed - only as good as the programmer is.

But, meanwhile in music - which is also some kind of programming - albeit the programming of instruments through written musical notes - there is some acceptance and knowledge over the fact that everything programmed can evoke feelings - at least, as long as it has at least some part of art in it - programmers of video games just don't seem to be aware of the feelings and emotions they provoke inside their players - apart from exploiting emotions/feelings in things like "fun pain" (by Zynga, later bought by EA, resulting in in-game mictrotransactions).

Programmers seem to be blind towards the fact that their figures can evoke emotions in fighting games. They only know - are allow themselves to know - that for cutscenes. Fighting, however, apparingly is seen as something completely rational and emotionless - I'm talking realtime fights, not turn-based or RTWP.

I really don't know how they know and/or handle the feeling of frustration. Perhaps they explicitely use it to build it with with far more brutal enemies than the casual gamer can handle. Maybe they wan5t to bind players long to the game with this kind of emotions - frustration - or, maybe they want to filter the casual players from the hardcore players ("Souls-like").

Regardless, it is always astonishing to me, how even difficulty modes for casual gamers are often much harder than any casual gamer would ever want. I've seen that in several games, and truist me : I AM a casual gamer ! (For me, story is everything. Fighting and combat or merely a "lesser evil" to get through.)
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Yesterday evening / night, it once again struck me : How much different Genshin Impact is in terms of telling tales.

There was a certain quest, related to a story event, and that quest was ... different to what I'd expect from a "western" RPG.

Whereas "western" RPGs are more about competition - PvE or PvP - this game clearly isn't.

It is not only telling stories, it is telling stories that go into the heart. I really do not want to spoil anything, but I was much surprised as of how they managed to get me feel that much moved !

I don't know this from typical "western" RPGs in which combat and battle - "it's them or me/us !" stands in the spotlight. "Western" RPGs are always about battling a fow.

Genshin Impact isn't. There are in fact quests one wouldn't expect. For example a very *long* quest series which consists of nothing but assembling the right funeral materials - not only incense, but much more !

No "ewstern" RPG wold do that. "Modern" "western" RPGs are mainly about loot - thanks to Blizzard - where the death of an eneny is something very much wanted, forced, and pushed forward - partly because of the greedy reason of getting new loot.

In Genshin Impact, you *need* loot. You need it for levelling up. Not for making stronger - that comes automatically with the levelling (of : character, weapon, artifact). You don't battle foes because they are just enemies, but rather, because you *need* their loot. "Needing" something is different from being "greedy".
The fact that weapons and artifacts level up as well, makes that only more apparent, imho.

But back to the quests . I like that this game tries to actually tell a story. In which battling monsters and bosses is only a wall one has to climb in order to see what's the story going on on the other side of it.

There is no war.
This is important as well, considering how many war-driven games there are produced in the recent times.

But these NPC stories ... I've never seen or played a game which made me actually *feel* ...
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Oh, The Irony !

One of the many things that constantly manage to baffle me is, how Genshin Impact reimagines or reinterpretes certain fantasy clichés.

Like Zombies, for example.

There is a certain zombie within the game.
But, this one is different from all you ever knew about Zombies.

- The person is female
- She is a little girl
- She is a healer
- She is a figher, too.
- She is quite strong, if fully levelled.

Most ironic is, imho, that a Zombie is a Healer. I haven't heard of THAT combination before.

Even far more irony is, that when she heals (through a special talent), she says :

"Rise !"

Which normally is said, when a Necromancer says when summoning an undead minion !

So, now, the roles are reversed !

The ... undead minion raises her master ?
Or ... is it rather like this : The undead master rises her ... living minions ?

Well, she is a party member, not a master. But, I've had a few fights in which she was the only one surviving ... Simply because she can heal and fight at the same times, and that includes her self, too. (The healing, that is.)

Now, there - apparingly - was someone who took that Zombie cliché and turned it to 180 degrees around.

I like that. :D
 
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Zloth

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That reminds me of Babette in Skyrim a little.

Healing spells sound very dangerous for a zombie!
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Well, at this point I just don't know much about her.

Her brain suffers from some kind of alzheimer's ... she just can't remember anything. which is why she always carries a note book with her, to remind herself of things ... But sometimes she forgets to look into it ...

In this game, you learn more about characters with a rising level of Friendship.

In my current level, it is only hinted at that her constant forgetting might actually be some kind of blessing for her because of her troubled past ...

She also does gymnastic workouts on a daily routine in order to not become stiff and slow moving as zombies would normally be.

Since there is no concept like "negative energies" like in Dungeons & Dragons, she isn't affected by healing. Actually, she can heal herself this way, too.
As a fighter, she is not a top fighter, but what makes - imho - her so strong, is that she can actually heal herself during fighting, since all heals I have learned to know so far seem to work like DOTs ("damage over time", only, that in this case, heals are not "damages", but the opposite).
 
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