This past week was supposed to be all about the post-E3 cool down, the assorted grumblings regarding what was and was not shown, and me, twiddling my thumbs, thinking about the upcoming release of Spec Ops: The Line. Instead, this past week unleashed the anger of the video gaming masses, aimed at one executive producer in particular, whose interview with Kotaku opened up a big old can of worms regarding gender politics, the struggles of female protagonists to merit the same respect as men, and a long-overdue conversation about what is and is not acceptable in character development, regardless of gender, in video games.
What tripped gaming triggers? Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer Ron Rosenberg gave an interview to Kotaku, during which he stated that players will want to 'protect' Lara Croft, and appeared to be suggesting that without a true threat to her physical person, Lara could not become the feisty adventurer whom we've come to know and love over the years. What's his idea of a threat? Attempted rape, and brutal violence that forces her to become 'like a cornered animal'.
In his casual discussion of an event in the upcoming Tomb Raider game, Rosenberg unleashed hell upon his company, in the form of angry gamers, commentators, bloggers, and journalists. Rosenberg might have been trying to sell his product to Kotaku and gamers of the world last week, but it seems like all he really succeeded in doing was wedging his foot deeper into his mouth. Crystal Dynamics reacted to the outcry by trying to backpedal on Rosenberg's statement, and they made the mistake of talking to the very people who had reported the initial interview.
There isn't a shovel big enough for this mess.
At about 5:45 a.m. on the morning of June 4, I was heading down the road with my family en route to the hospital in Lake Havasu, Arizona. My sister-in-law was scheduled for a C-section, and my new nephew, Landyn, was expected to enter the world at around 8 a.m.
The little guy came on schedule, but with a bit of fluid in his lungs. As a result, Landyn had to be put into an oxygen tank for the first day of his life. We weren't able to hold him yet, and that was seriously tearing at the old heartstrings.
I stared through the window as my nephew kicked the air, occasionally popping his eyes open for a quick, blurry peek at the world around him. I made my way into the room my sister-in-law would call home for the next few days as she recovered. Only an hour or so out of surgery, she was still pretty groggy from the morning's ordeal.
Eventually she turned on the television and started flipping through the channels, not looking for anything in particular.
"Wait, go back," I said as a familiar logo featuring a pair of letters flashed across the screen. I had forgotten Spike would be broadcasting E3 content this year and, I'm a little ashamed to admit, my morning was suddenly brightened by the fact that I could jump in on the EA press conference that was about to kick off.
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