I have emerged from the chaos of barista work, queer relationships, and Hyrule to bring this news section to you our dear reader. Yep, just for you. You smart attractive human being, do something nice for yourself today.
Amazon is adding purchasing options to its popular streaming service, Twitch. You might remember it from Twitch Plays Pokemon or for a lesser reason. The idea as described by Twitch’s vice president of commerce is that players will be able to buy pieces of content, such as a character skins or even entire games after seeing them in use on Twitch. The language is that of ease of acquisition. See something you like and buy it. A one stop shop. This sort of thing always gives me pause. I often find the frequency at which the modern game player, myself included, is able to obtain new games to be stifling. The “ideal” that all a gamer’s needs should be fulfilled with efficiency is destructive. This is of course my anti capitalist side talking.
On the flip side when you stumble upon someone playing a small indie game about body dysphoria and sentient-space-ship-mothers this might just convince you to buy it free from outside third party monetary systems that are not already setup. Perhaps this could even help smaller indie games achieve viability with the free to pay model usually only doable by giants such as Dota 2. I doubt that, but I’m not a market analyst so perhaps this is a rash dismissal. Either way let us gird our loins against the capitalist onslaught. Also against bokoblins.
Epic Games used the recent Game Developers Conference to show off their new tactical role playing game for mobile devices and PC. Battle Breakers seems to be aiming at the always popular, but recently empowered further by MOBAs and Overwatch, trend of making roster based games. Specifically Battle Breakers is attempting what they describe as the Saturday morning 80’s cartoon feel. As an avid fan of the origin He-man and its superior sibling, She-Ra: Princess of Power, this claim is one I cant take lightly. There is a short 20 second trailer on their site as well as promo art for several of its roster. Frankly, it doesn’t feel very 80’s cartoon to me at all but that’s not inherently a problem. Also it might be more of an aesthetic underpinning as opposed to a style guide. A modern take on 80’s pulpy action ideals would be pretty cool honestly.
The game also appears to be quite horny honestly. Every promo pic has at least one woman displaying a heavy amount of cleavage or my favorite, what appears to be a sheer body suit with a tiny flower bra. I bring this point up in the hopes to encourage folks to have a critical discussion with others, or internally, about sexualized women in video games. The questions of objectification versus sexual empowerment are tricky and I will not throw my towel into the ring here but simply paraphrase a tweet quote from the lovely Valerie Halla an exceedingly talented trans cartoonist. “I’m glad we decided its okay for girls to like the big booby dragon maid anime.” This underlines the complicated intersections of queer and feminist interpretations.
Speaking of horny video games, let’s talk about Nintendo. The Switch is coming out. The gaming giant’s newest console sports the ability to switch between a mobile and traditional console mode aided by two smaller controllers, called Joy-cons, that can be attached to the console itself or a grip controller or played independently. 1–2-Switch makes use of these split controller for some 2 player shenanigans. This launch title is a collection of smaller games all making use of certain features of the two Joy-con’s features such as HD Rumble. One game in particular uses the precise rumble capabilities for a cow milking simulator. Milk has you stand in front of each other, eyes locked. No screen involved. Grip the controller, not too tightly, and pull down to tease the virtual dairy out of a cow. Not just a pretty obvious innuendo for a sex act but an innuendo for a rather queer sex act thanks to the cooperative nature.
I have been playing Breath of the Wild and what strikes me about the game is not the inclusion of obvious sexual underpinnings but just how outside of sexual norms they are. Multiple giant women characters and Link wearing quite flattering femme clothes. These things might just be the projections of a queer gaming community determined to create a space for themselves but I think Milk and BoTW are indicative of a Nintendo that has always been kind of queer and horny whose inhibitions are wearing down overtime. It’s okay though, coming out of the closet takes time Nintendo. But when you are ready, I’m here for you. Now sell me that Gerudo outfit.