Last week I had the pleasure to attend an excellent exhibition at the Victoria&Albert museum: Disobedient Objects, examining the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. Political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design.
It was in this exhibition where I found the Cheap Art Manifesto:
It was issued by the Bread and Puppet Theater “in direct response to the business of art and its growing appropriation by the corporate sector.” Although it was written by a puppeteers company, it can be applied to any form of art. Molleindustria was mentioned in this exhibition so videogames can definitely be developed following this manifesto.
Gamergate was the controversy of the year, showing the worst face of game fans when, claiming to protect the “gamer identity”, they decided to start threatening women involved in our industry. However, I believe the result of the controversy has been positive for games because it was the start for a wider debate, including the recognition of this media as an art form. It was also an opportunity for people not into gaming to become aware that there are many different types of games out there and many women are playing them.
Annita Sarkesian, one of the harassed women during the controversy, explains in the following funny video how “women are perceived as threathening because they are asking for games to be more inclusive” and “Gamergate is challenging the status quo of games as male dominated space”.
Comedy Central was able to present the debate in a more relaxed way than it was ocurring on the social media. It was also very nice to be able to watch in mainstream media people talking about different games.
Apologies for posting in Spanish language but I have recently had a discussion about videogames and ethics with a friend of my grandfather, 70 years old, and I thought it could be an interesting read for some people. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to translate it to English.
El mes pasado estuve charlando por e-mail con un amigo de mi abuelo, Catedrático de Psicología Evolutiva, sobre videojuegos, ética y educación. Él quería conocer las opiniones de alguien que trabajara en la industria, y resultó ser un ejercicio de reflexión muy interesante para mí. He pensado en compartirlo, creo que puede servir como introducción para gente que nunca haya profundizado en este mundo.
Fort McMoney is half a documentary, half a videogame about life in Fort McMurray (Canada), a city developing the world’s largest oil sands reserves. The game will introduce you to different characters in order to show different points of view of the oil industry: from the town leaders, happy with all the capital is generating, to homeless people, dissapointed with a system which is simply not working for them.
I read for the first time about “Ultimate Gay Fighter” at this excellent article in Motherboard. What the developer calls “the first gay video game ever” is basically a Mortal Kombat rip-off featuring too stereotypical gay characters who have generated very bad criticism from the LGBT community as well as their opposing side.
Cart Life is described by his author as a retail simulator, but it is much more than that. It is essentially a life simulator of three different playable characters, all of them street vendors. But this is not The Sims, life for some of modern cities inhabitants can be very complicated, can be all about survival.
Anita Sarkeesian is a media critic and the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Last year she began a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new series about a trope widely used in videogames: the Damsel in Distress.
I have recently found this great article by Robert Yang. Surely you have seen posts before describing the evolution of the FPS genre from the times of Myst and Doom to the recent Minecraft, but in this presentation the point view is different. It is the perspective of one of the groups that have brought more innovation to this industry, but are forgotten most of the times: the mod community.
We wrote about this game a few months ago. After that, Littleloud developed an iPad version of the game, but you won’t be able to find it in the AppStore anymore. Apple stated it was uncomfortable to sell a game based on the theme of running a sweatshop.