Happy Wednesday, gaming lovelies! We’ve added the Fallout 4 Season Pass to our mix, but thankfully the beautiful New England spring weather calls me away. Who out there is enjoying the new robots? Send me a shout out in the comments. Now on to the news!
From beloved movie cult classic to mobile games, the influence of The Rocky Horror Show isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Back in February, new gaming studio, Rocket Lolly Games, announced they were making The Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me. And now the first peek at game play has emerged! It looks like the game will be a dance-based game but players will use their mobile device touchscreens to perform the moves. As the game progresses, players will be able to unlock new songs, characters, dance moves, stage sets and more. I’m always encouraged when talented fans of a property are put in control of product development, so I’m optimistic.
As a Rocky Horror fan myself, I wanted to dance around myself during the game play clip, so I’m not sure how focused I’ll be swiping my way through the game. I see how the studio is trying to translate the audience participation, but I don’t know if the years and years of shadowplay built up in my psyche are going down without a fight. The game is targeted for release in 2017 with an upcoming Kickstarter.
A Success Story: Overwatch, Strong Female Characters and the dreaded over the shoulder pose
The Overwatch Beta forums were abuzz this week when commenter Fipps called attention to an out-of-character artwork amidst all the strong amazing female heroes in Overwatch and Game Director Jeff Kaplan responded. The character in question is Tracer, a fun, fast female who had the dreaded over the shoulder butt pose in her line up for artwork. Jeff answered with a quick response saying they’d replace the pose, but the internet didn’t stop there.
I’m not sure if you all know, but the game community has a been a little sensitive about depictions of women in games and male rights activists for the past bit. To the point where even sensible discussion can be contaminated and volatile. So Jeff jumped in with post #2 to clarify his position a bit. According to Jeff, the team wasn’t happy with the original pose and already has “an alternate pose that we love and we feel speaks more to the character of Tracer.”
Seriously, freaker outers, let’s take a step back to remember that the Overwatch team has put an incredible amount of thought and energy into these characters. If some piece of artwork doesn’t fit, they are well within in their rights to change and/or remove it. Remember those amazing Cosplay Reference Kits (this is still the coolest idea ever)? And the fact that for such a huge game, key players on the dev team are cruising the beta forums and chiming in. My Product Management hat off to you, Blizzard team.
The upside of this debacle is that we can have nice things and make gaming better for everyone. Even if it’s one forum comment at a time.
The mass media of the West is slowly awakening to the idea that the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world shouldn’t all be categorized in tidy little stereotype. The panel hits on the usual points of why one character can’t, and shouldn’t, represent everyone, but points out some of the stereotypical traps that stories fall into. Like so much other minority representation the theme is more Muslim characters, so we can have more diverse stories. Remember, when you want to write a [fill in the blank] character, write a person.
This should be my last GDC mention for a bit, but come on, we all know GDC is one big shiny present for me, so I make no promises.
Founder Bridget Hughes is creating a welcoming space for women, transgender and non-binary folks to come and play tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. The gaming group is located in New Zealand, but the Facebook group has members from all around the globe. As the organizer of a women’s comics discussion group, I love this idea. Sometimes it can be intimidating even for seasoned players to sit in on a multi-hour gaming session with a mostly male group. Groups like these can help on so many levels. Kudos and good luck!
That’s it for now. Until next week, happy gaming!