Making an Unofficial Movie Trailer

So I chose to make a movie trailer. Image result for tatiana choices gif

Initially, I thought, “piece of cake,” because of that project before where we had to make a YouTube video from start to finish and deal with copyright claims if they should arise. And then it’s Patchwork Girl. It’s a relatively obscure piece of literature over twenty years old with no linear story, so no beginning, no end… (Plot? We don’t know her.) … and every time you go through the story it’s different.

I thought I had it all figured out… 45 seconds to a minute worth of content set to “Death on Two Legs” by Queen, whatever, boom, boom, boom…a pretty decent trailer. It started off with something insufferable, that Clip from the 1931 Frankenstein “It’s Alive™️” and that floating head from the intro of the Patchwork Girl of Oz movie (truly terrifying). It was set to the crescendo build from an instrumental version of “Death on Two Legs” then  moves to the cinematic elements: “Eastgate Presents…” yada-yada. I had timed the title page to appear right at the downbeat of the piano (very sexy) and the rest of it was just a video clip of someone showing the mechanics of how the software worked to navigate the story. I thought I was Spielberg. I was very proud of myself.

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Anyway, I was wrong.

I showed to my mom, who in so many words, told me she hated it. But really it was that she couldn’t get a good grasp as to what the story was about. And taking a step back…she was right.

So now I’m revamping the whole thing. Like, I’m trimming clips, finding new music, making hyper-specific Google searches and turning up empty-handed, using obscure media, scouring the depths of YouTube for symbolism, and then I’ve finally got it: the original Frankenstein clip, the floating head, a clip from the 2004 movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera, a picture of Mary Shelley, a video of Shelley Jackson, and a montage of clips I spliced and edited together from a two minute trailer of the Mary Shelley movie that came out last year.

The editing process was grueling: the clips I used were, at normal speed, between four and twenty seconds, so I’m having to speed up and slow down certain clips, while avoiding it being too fast or too slow. Then there’s the issue with the text: I had already found pivotal quotes, general enough to make a linear story out of a non-linear one, geez, but the text. I never could really time it right so that the text appeared at a normal speed; I had looked at it enough that I could read a line in less than a second (one of my shortest clips was around 0.7 seconds) but that was one sacrifice I made for the sake of the aesthetic®️.

Then there was the question of the music. 

d3b70b06da1ecfb99525fb90cf0bbe6bbd24f9d7_encoded.gif“Death on Two Legs” was clearly not the right choice for the video, and I’m frantic. I’m on Spotify trying to figure out what music would fit the gravity of the trailer. It’s kind of serious now, and although “Death on Two Legs” is operatic masterpiece, it was just too jarring and didn’t match cinematically with the new clips I’d picked out. My first direction was moving to video game soundtracks, because the intent is to make you focus on the gameplay, and my main choice was Mass Effect 3: I loved the game, loved the soundtrack, what could go wrong? And I was listening and it didn’t fit–I’m at my wit’s end. What music am I going to use for this trailer?

Then I’m thinking, “Okay! Why not use the soundtrack from the Mary Shelley movie?” I’m a genius.Image result for tammie brown i'm acting gif So I listen to every one, and every song sounded like some spectral Celtic woman with red hair sighing woefully in a mist-filled forest (perfect) and they all fit. So I just had to pick one. I believe the song was called “Mary’s Decision” so I put it in iMovie, trimmed the song and added a fade. It’s gorgeous. I’ve done it. Queue video.

After the whole fiasco with the first YouTube video I made receiving a worldwide copyright claim from Viacom within seconds of it being uploaded, I was still worried about copyright claims when I uploaded this one to YouTube (thankfully, I never got a strike/claim, although I think I used copyrighted material)

Then I made the poster. Pretty easy, I had a solid image in my head of what I wanted it to be: a woman with a skull over her face. Color scheme: black, white, and red. Patchwork Poster.jpg

I made some edits in PowerPoint of all places, downloaded some new fonts (for the poster and the video), and I’m satisfied with it. It’s minimalistic but I think pulls the point across nicely.

And I guess as a nice bonus, the people who watched it at the event asked if I considered a career in film editing so…

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–Ishah Blasio

 

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Rated E – Not Quite For Everyone

controllerPractice makes perfect, but do you ever wonder why some people need less practice than others? Have you ever been awful at a video game and figured, “oh well I just need to get used to it” but then you never caught on? If you never have been in this position, you can take it from me. It is very upsetting to try and try and still not be able to pick up simple moves in Super Smash Bros, or most games truthfully. For years, I have made excuses as to why I am no good at video games and now I have finally found a possible scientific reason. My brain structure may be my flaw.

The Cerebral Cortex journal posted neurological research that studies the correlation between learning ability and the size of three specific parts of the brain. The researchers took 39 healthy adults aged 18-28 years who has reported playing less than 3 hours of video games a week for the past two years. The research was to be based on their learning ability on a game called Space Fortress, developed at the University of Illinois, over a 20-hour period. These subjects were randomly split into two groups: a fixed priority group and a variable priority group.

Fixed Priority – aim to get the highest score possible

Variable Priority  – series of tasks that forces the player to improve their skills in different areas

Space Fortress
Screenshot of Space fortress from Researchgate.net

Each subject was given an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to determine the size of three specific structures: the dorsal striatum (putamen and caudate nucleus), the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens), and the hippocampus. The size of each structure was recorded in comparison to the total volume of the subjects brain.

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The chart on the right shows that the learning curve is similar between the groups; however, the variable priority group scored 29% higher by the end of the training. This suggests that we learn better when we allow ourselves to focus on one task at a time. So maybe instead of button smashing on Super Smash Bros., I should be trying to focus on learning the moves of a specific character (but where’s the fun in that?).

 

When examining the correlation between brain structure and learning ability, the hippocampus was found to not be predictive of performance of improvement. This puts the focus on the striatum. The volumes of the dorsal striatum has a positive correlation with training induced performance improvements for those in the variable priority group. However, the fixed priority group has no relationship with the volumes of the dorsal striatum.

learning curveIn early training sessions, the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens) was positively correlated with improvements in performance, but the same relationship was not seen in later sessions.

 

The research was concluded by arguing that “preexisting variations in striatal volume can affect the rate of learning in a complex task that involves the coordination and integration of many cognitive, motor, and perceptual parameters and rules, at least when conditions of learning capitalize on flexible learning strategies.”

That was a lot of science, but basically there are two things to get out of this study (for me, the non-scientific non-gamer).

  1. The way you try to learn a game is important
  2. Some of it may be your brain structures fault

While these discoveries may give me comfort, it is obvious that while these effects may slow down the learning process, it is still possible to become skilled at a game with enough effort.

For now though, I’ll just blame my brain structure for getting kicked out of a Rainbow Six Siege round for not being able to kill a single person.

Animation as a Medium

I’ve been a huge fan of anime and animation in general for my whole life so I thought I’d use this space to share a few of my thoughts about a medium that I love.  (By the way, all the clips I added here are pretty short.)

At this point, becoming enchanted by Disney’s animated films as a young child is practically a universal experience and an integral part of growing up.  However, Disney style animation that caters towards kids is not the only kind of animation out there.  Over the last two decades Japanese animation, or anime, has seen a steady rise in popularity here in the west. And in particular, its popularity has exploded over the course of the last six years.  Back in 2012, the anime streaming service Crunchyroll had a mere 100,000 paying subscribers, making it a niche streaming service that catered to a relatively small community of fans.  However, last month the service announced that it had reached the 2 million subscriber threshold, a massive 20-fold increase in 6 years. The service now boasts over 45 million registered users and is one of the 10 largest online video streaming services out there (though it obviously lags behind leaders like Netflix).

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This charts the number of paid subscribers to Crunchyroll from September 2012 to February 2017.

Animation as a medium excels at telling stories that are fantastical in nature.  What really makes it shine is that it immediately creates a level of separation between the fiction on the screen and reality.  The fact that the show is either hand drawn or rendered immediately sets up an expectation that the world inside the story is different from reality, which makes it easier for the audience to suspend their disbelief.  To add to this, the nature of the medium also allows for the seamless integration of magical effects into the fabric of the show. When a live action show wants to add effects, the effect must usually be computer generated and then added in after filming. But, the juxtaposition between a computer rendered effect and a live actors and settings can often feel jarring and take away from the immersion.  And, an effect created at the time of filming using real-world techniques lacks the mysticism and feeling of wonder that is so important in fantasy and fairy tales for the simple reason that it can be explained with real world physics. It is far easier make an effect feel like it belongs to the world of the story in animated shows as the artist simply has to draw them both in the same art style.  Also, if we take a look back to old classics like Cinderella, many of the effects in these films probably would have been impossible to do in live action with the technology of the time. For example, I can’t imagine the fallowing scene where Cinderella’s dress transforms would have been feasible in live action with the technology available in the 1950’s.

Another benefit of the medium is that it allows for the creators to have a great deal more artistic freedom.  Creators can get away with more exaggerated expressions and actions in animation than they can in live action, again because of the separation from reality. We expect real people to act in a certain way, but the same expectations are far weaker for those that are animated.  What can reasonably feel like a hyped up battle scene in Dragonball Z would probably end up as just a bunch of dudes screaming way too loudly at each other in live action.

This is a clip from an anime called Nichijou that uses extreme and absurd reactions to great comedic effect.  Such a reaction could never even be considered in live action. It’s just not feasible and would make no sense if the show wasn’t animated.

Finally, animation in the west has this stigma as being a children’s medium.  And to be honest, with how successful Disney has become, it makes sense. But animation isn’t a medium that’s made just for kids.  Over the years it has also been used to depict topics far beyond what would be appropriate for children.  I think the best example of this would be the 1988 film Grave of the Fireflies created by Studio Ghibli and director Isao Takahata.  Yes, this is the same studio that brought us wholesome classics such as Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service. But whereas those two are great children’s movies, Grave of the Fireflies is a devastating and heart wrenching drama about the true costs of war.  In this movie, animation transcends the medium and strikes at the heart of what it means to survive as a human.

Grave of the Fireflies is a fantastic film. I definitely recommend watching it, but be warned, it will make you Sad.

Youjia Wang

Edit: I noticed that in a place or two I accidentally forgot a

Self Objectification in Black Box

Image result for black box eganJennifer Egan’s black-box is a short story told in sections comprised of 140 characters or less via Twitter. It is told from a 2nd person point of view with a semi-didactic style. The events take place in an overly patriarchal, suggestibly dystopian society. The society at hand is characterized by an exaggerated version of the self-obsession that exists in the neoliberal individualist world that we live in. Our female protagonist, which I will refer to as Lulu, is a spy that belongs to a government directly opposing the hitherto mentioned individualism. She tells us:

In the new heroism, the goal is to renounce the American fixation with being seen and recognized. In the new heroism, the goal is to dig beneath your shiny persona… The power of individual magnetism is nothing against the power of combined selfless effort. You may accomplish astonishing personal feats, but citizen agents rarely seek individual credit. They liken the need for personal glory to cigarette addiction: a habit that feels life-sustaining even as it kills you. (Black Box, 21)

Nevertheless, Lulu’s organization of ‘citizen agent’ -i.e. spies, differs significantly from a traditional espionage unit in two main ways: a) To share the information she has acquired, she need not be alive. Like the black box of a plane, there exists a technology in her that allows the organization to retract the information from her corpse. b) She not only thinks of herself as a pawn in a larger chess game against image obsessed individualism but tells us the story as if she’s utterly detached from her own identity. She acts as if she has no individual identity, i.e. she is fully depersonalized.Image result for espionage archer lana kane hot

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From an operational standpoint, there seems to be three strategies she actively deploys in relevant situations. She abuses the expectations that come from gender roles to play a non-threatening, attractive and sympathetic woman. She gives the illusion of verisimilitude by executing planned displays of vulnerability and physical affection. Lastly, she uses basic psychology to get the information she needs, e.g. “An angry subject will guard his words less carefully.” (Black Box, 13)

Now that we’ve covered the basics, I want to engage in what I consider to be the central theme of this story: self-objectification.  At the first layer of interpretation, Lulu lives her life in a depersonalized state. Then at section 31 and 32, there takes a place a violent rape scene. Her usual didactic tone starts to become more self-soothing and her instructions aim to make her feel numb as opposed to reach a patriotic objective. For the first time, we truly encounter ‘real’ self in Lulu, and her characteristically sociopathic detachment from her body functions as a defense against trauma.

In psychiatry, depersonalization disorder (DPD) is a syndrome characterized by a recurrent feeling of detachment from one’s self. DPD is usually secondary, arising from interpersonal trauma. (For more check out Simeon’s 2004 paper on depersonalization: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15089102) Now, almost from the get go, we can tell that Lulu comes from a severely troubled background. Thus, it’s more than plausible that Lulu’s transcended point of view is not just style nor an instrumental mechanism for a controlled display of her image, but also a direct result of the nature of her work and horrible events she bears.

Image result for dpd syndromeShe had decided or had been convinced that the point of her existence was to gather information for her government, and to perform adequately she had to sacrifice her private self. However, a total sacrifice of the private self is impossible, and she broke from character in face of extreme trauma. Conjoining this interpretation with the patriarchal dystopia at hand, we’re left with the following suggestion from Black Box: Playing into gender roles for the sake of establishing a task can be empowering in a certain context but can never be “truly” self-empowering; because playing into gender roles is by definition a sacrifice of self. But since an utter sacrifice of self is impossible, then an utter evasion from such sexual trauma remains impossible as well.

At 2016, Zara Dinnen has conducted an interview with Jennifer Egan in which she asked the author to elaborate on Lulu’s skepticism about the “veracity of an essential self.” Egan answered:

… a source of poignancy is in that struggle between the private self and mediated self, which in some sense is communal property. With Lulu in “Black Box” her thoughts are not even her own: they are, in some sense, owned by the state, the record of her work for them, and equally valuable whether she is alive or dead. All they need is her body. She is literally a media outlet. (“This is All Artificial” by Zara Dinnen and Jennifer Egan)

At the second layer of interpretation, I want to focus on the self-objectification that exists in our everyday ordinary life. Not only I enjoyed Lulu as a smart and mysterious character, but I felt a sense of familiarity and empathy too. I thought of the social situations in which I had to make decision between acting to be perceived in a certain way/or fit in vs. acting as my authentic self. It seemed that Lulu was hyper-cognizant of these choices except she always chose to act out the former out of patriotic duty.

Now I’m not disputing the role gender plays in the story, but the role of self-obsessed individualism can’t be dismissed either. Egan does not just criticize patriarchy, she criticizes a particular form of it. In the end. I believe that Black Box as a critique of self-objectification in our culture and gender roles is but a vital host to this phenomenon and not the source of it.

Most notable example of self-objectification is social media where a snippet of our thoughts or image that we have recorded is presented for everyone else to see and share or comment or re-appropriate. Personally, I saw the rise of social media while growing up. I was already a teenager when social media became popular, so I never felt as if I’m totally obligated to be a part of the trend -despite the social pressure.Image result for instagram kylie jenner

These days, social media – most relevantly Instagram, is not just a synthetic reality but in many cases the de facto reality with which young people learn to socialize. The old ‘different person online’ worry was that you meet someone online and they are different in real life. Now, I’m afraid of the Instagram profiles of the people I meet and get to know in real life because it might show me how they think they should be under the gaze of the perceived other.  Naturally, I wondered if Egan had similar ideas in mind whilst writing Black Box and was pleasantly surprised. I don’t present this as proof for how Black Box exemplifies my manic worries regarding the role technology plays in self-objectification; but, it’s some good food for thought:

… Instagram could just as well be titled ‘Self objectification’. Obviously when you use social media to display your experience for the benefit of others, you’re pretty close to thinking of yourself in a natural state, in terms of ‘here I am’: as an object to be perceived. The imagined viewer is always there, in other words. That’s pretty horrifying!  (“This is All Artificial” by Zara Dinnen and Jennifer Egan) 

Full interview at: http://post45.research.yale.edu/2016/05/this-is-all-artificial-an-interview-with-jennifer-egan/

And the Kids Keep on Playing – Minecraft and Its Fandom

Throughout my time in high school I worked for Open World Events, an event production company based in Philadelphia. OWE produces massive STEM-inspired events across the country for young students and families. Their largest event, Minefaire, is an Official Minecraft Community event that brings together YouTubers, their fans, and players under one roof. Minefaire has four different shows in massive convention centers across the country this year alone, with three more already planned for 2019. Each show attracts between 10,000-20,000 Minecraft fans over the course of one weekend. As a very casual gamer and a complete stranger to Minecraft, I am continually shocked by the intense fandom that surrounds the game. What seems to me to be a simple game that allows players to use basic creative skills to build worlds with 3D blocks has recently become the second best-selling video game of all time, with nearly 154 million copies sold across all platforms. In an attempt to comprehend this reality that is so distant from my own, I will explore its various components and its place in the gaming community as a whole.

A significant part of the Minefaire experience and the greater Minecraft fandom is rooted in its YouTube presence. Some of the top Minecraft channels, PrestonPlayz, TheAtlanticCraft, Popular MMOs, and Aphmau boast respective subscriber counts of 7.4 million, 4.9 million, 15.5 million, and 4 million. That’s a lot of people.

Most popular video game centric YouTube channels focus on first-person shooter video games where the YouTuber attempts to kill as many other players in the most entertaining, unique way possible. Minecraft, however, is a sandbox video game in which the player is freed from the traditional video game structure and chooses what, when, and how they want to approach the game’s content. As such, Minecraft videos on YouTube are often creative, light-hearted, comedic videos that offer unique, entertaining expositions of the game. Some titles of recent popular videos include: “I WAS CRUSHED IN MINECRAFT,” “I ONLY HAVE 10 SECONDS TO MAKE IT TO THE END,” “WHAT’S BEHIND THIS DOOR IN MINECRAFT,” “TRY NOT TO LAUGH OR GRIN MINECRAFT CHALLENGE.” Here is one of these videos from UnspeakableGaming:

As Minecraft lacks a single defined objective, YouTube videos offer alternative ways for players to experience the game. They offer challenges, new skills, and entertaining commentary to viewers. In doing so, Minecraft YouTubers fully enhance players’ experiences with the game. Many YouTubers build on this experience with their own merchandise, online forums, and other social media accounts; each channel possesses its own community and fandom of sorts. The nature of Minecraft as a sandbox game makes it such that there are infinite forms their content may take. In this sense, channels are infinitely entertaining; they never get old.

At Minefaire events, many of these “famous” YouTubers are flown in from around the world to speak at the show. Their prominence is a very unique sort of celebrity; I find it difficult to fathom how hundreds of individuals would be willing to wait hours in line for a picture with someone whose face they don’t even see on YouTube.

Here are some pictures that demonstrate the scale of this event:

While it is difficult to see in these pictures, most of the event attendees are elementary school-aged children. This ties into Minecraft’s kid-friendly nature. Players don’t kill other players, but rather flex their creative muscles to find an experience in the game that appeals to them. It is all fairly wholesome; players build worlds, interact with other players, and exercise skills directly related to STEM fields. Microsoft even has a version of the game, Minecraft: Education Edition, that is designed specifically for classroom use.

The entire premise of Minefaire itself is to highlight these educational benefits of the game. Through workshops, educational speakers, YouTuber Q&A’s, and more, young students learn how their experience with the game applies to the real world.

This passage from an article about Minefaire’s show in Philadelphia last week highlights this:

“…father Chris Gordon was his two young daughters’ escort to an alternative digital universe of biomes, precious ores, the Creeper, and other creatures well-known to youngsters around the globe as Minecraft.

‘I love it — just to see the creativity. This one’s 2 years old,’ Gordon said, nodding to daughter Charlotte, ‘and she can build her own world.’

‘I like that you can do creative stuff,’ agreed sister Elizabeth, 9.”

Source: http://www2.philly.com/philly/news/minecraft-minefaire-jack-beck-oaks-expo-20181013.html]

Minecraft is a refreshing departure from other popular video games and their fan bases. It offers an educational, family-friendly, fun alternative to gaming. Unlike the League of Legends World Championship and the intense fandom that envelops the world of Esports, Minecraft and its community events have yet to be overrun by large corporations and overwhelming, world-class production. Minefaire is truly a community event, and this reflects the grounded nature of the game and of the social aspect of the larger community. Minecraft fans commit to the game for the sake of the game itself.

And the kids keep on playing. 

Podcasting — The Future of News Media

With the increasingly shortening attention span of the average person, the printed newspaper has become the least popular medium for news. News is now transmitted through a variety of different formats — such as television, internet, and video — and you would be hard pressed to find anyone that still reads the morning paper. Hell, I cannot even remember a single time I have read a newspaper throughout the 19 years of my life. The limitations of the printed medium just can’t compare with the affordances of new visual and auditory media. As a result, news media outlets are adapting to the current social climate.

News media outlets such as Vox Media and Vice News have taken advantage of the growing popularity of YouTube by creating informative, infographic videos that incorporate animations, video clips, and graphics with the spoken word to capture the audience’s attention. On the other hand, broadcast companies such as Fox, NBC, and CNN have taken advantage of television broadcasting to disseminate the news and reach broader audiences. These visual mediums have infinitely more potential to capture one’s attention than the small black and white words that fill newspapers.

Just take a look at the video and newspaper below. Which one would you be more likely to read or watch?

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The video, right? I agree. There is simply no comparison between the two mediums. With print newspaper, there is just not enough stimuli to compete with these other forms of news. Just like the common idiom states, a picture is worth a thousand words, and there is no way in hell I am going to read a thousand words; so, just show me the picture.

While these mediums do a great job of capturing your attention, they require your complete and undivided attention. People are busy. Most work 9 to 5 jobs, more people than ever commute to work, and a lot don’t have the time nor the energy to engage in these news mediums. So, how can the news be translated in another way to adapt to our busy lifestyles?

Podcasting has emerged as a new, great alternative for consuming the news. It allows for the average person to keep up to date with the news, while performing their routine day-to-day tasks. Depending on the type of job you have, you could be listening to podcasts the entire workday. News media outlets need to take advantage of this emerging medium. With podcasting, news media outlets have the opportunity to be in the ears of the masses for large portions of the day.

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Newspaper The New York Times has taken advantage of this opportunity with its podcast The Daily. They take the most significant current news stories and thoroughly examine them in a condensed 20-40 minutes. This audio format affords them a lot more freedom than print newspapers. For the Blasey-Kavanaugh hearing, they took actual recordings from the hearing, brought in guest speakers who have personal connections with Kavanaugh, and commented on specific key incidents that occurred during the hearing. There is a lot more nuance that can be conveyed in this format.

By listening to the actual hearing itself, a lot more is conveyed than words on a page. You can hear the intonations of their voice and emotions in their speech, and you can form your own opinions based off them. It makes it much more difficult to take out of context, and it holds a much more significant impact when you actually hear the words coming from their source. Podcasting also gives the audience a much more human take on the news. Hearing the reporter’s analysis through his or her voice helps the audience identify the difference between analytical opinions and objective facts.

With that said, podcasting offers an exciting, new alternative to traditional forms of newscasting, yet few news broadcasting companies have begun to utilize it. Podcasting is slowly growing in popularity, while these other forms are quickly declining. These companies need to advance into the future and pick up this growing medium. It is only a matter of time before podcasting becomes a significant component of news media.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-33yyz-4bc4d9f

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/n7abi-4b59fac-dir?from=share&skin=1&share=1&fonts=Helvetica&download=0&vjs=1&skin=1

*Sorry, I know it’s annoying to click a link, but WordPress is being a butthole and I have been trying to fix it for hours.

Ethan Nguyen

The Rise of the Female Gamer

Historically, games have been designed with males in mind. When game developers are creating a new game, they are focused on pleasing the male consumer because males have been the greater part of the gaming population. However, according to Entertainment Software Association, since 2006, the share of female gamers has risen from 38% to 45%. Now with almost half of the population of gamers being female and the female gamer continuing to rise, the context of the gaming tale is changing.

The old gaming culture is very male-centered. Male characters were often the only option of player. When a female character was featured, she was often over sexualized or acted as the damsel in distress. A common focus of games is a male character journeying and defeating foes to save the woman and be rewarded with her undying love.

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Source: https://www.deviantart.com/nintega-dario/art/Mario-Carrying-Peach-698670534

Sporting games based of professional sports, such as NHL, 2k, and FIFA, are available for male teams only.Unknown-4.jpeg

Other wildly popular games consist of men killing each other over and over and over again. Call of Duty, a game ranked in the top 10 games of all time on almost every source, is a first person shooter game that originally takes place in World War II (however, spin off games take place in other settings of warfare). This male dominated video game features only male characters, despite the fact that according to a survey done by Steam, 48% of women play Call of Duty.

Don’t get me wrong, many girls do play and enjoy these games, however they follow a very male centered narrative that has recently seen a shift due to the rise of the female gamer. The time for males to be the sole owners of the label “gamer” is ending. Game developers have realized that almost half of their consumers are female and are adapting accordingly to satisfy their customers.

Character choices have started to include both men and women. From being able to compete as Princess Peach in Mario games to Mrs. Pacman, women are now represented in the action.  In 2017, Sledgehammer Games released Call of Duty WWII, which added female soldiers. This not only appeals to the women gaming audience, it is also historically accurate. According to History.com, more than 350,000 women joined the military during the second World War.

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Additionally, a new game called Iconoclasts is one of the best selling games of 2018. The main character, Robin, a female, must defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and venture past obstacles in order to escape the authoritarian group “One Concern” that has just overthrown the government. Games that have female lead characters are popular among the female and male gaming communities.

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Due to the rise of the female gamer, the narrative of gaming has seen a shift to a more female inclusive environment. This feminist wave that society is currently undergoing, sometimes referred to as Third Wave Feminism, has caused for a demand for female diversity in gaming. Females are now more comfortable picking up a controller and playing a game knowing that they can be represented by another female and the ladies who have been long time gamers can feel included in the world of games.

Cassidy Tynan