It’s good to have your identity shaken up now and then

Remember Rust, the video game that randomly assigned a skin color to players? Some people found that horribly objectionable.

Now the game is provoking people more: it also randomly assigns a sex. As you might guess, once again, some refuse to play.

As a further twist, the player avatars are anatomically correct, and they randomize penis size. This is going to be an interesting experiment in human psychology!


  1. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    I am loving some of misogynist rage in that thread :) ah, sweet bigot tears.

    I was interested in trying Rust before they started pissing all the bigots off. Now I may need to give it a go.

  2. Emily says

    One the one hand, I find this to be an interesting experiment. On the other, I am a transwoman, and have absolutely no desire to play a male character. I’ve had to live as male for way too long, and don’t particularly like being forced to in games.

    Well, since I don’t own the game anyway, I don’t have to worry about that.

  3. says

    That’s really awesome. I hadn’t planned on playing but now I think I may have to give it a try!!!

    I always thought the bit about: “you can be your idealized self” is a set-up for fail.

    In case you haven’t seen it, “Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin?” has a pretty funny short episode about choices in games: Spoiler: not many games in which you can choose to be unconventional looking
    I think Blizzard sort of did some good stuff in World Of Warcraft by making everyone cartoony and you have a wide range of selves you can express, from being a giant cow or bear to a reed-like elf. And you can either be wearing next to nothing, or be a massive pile of armor. Clothes make the avatar, I suppose.

  4. coragyps says

    It randomizes penis size?
    That has a pretty good shot at helping at least half of us males out!!!!!

  5. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Encouragingly, reviews on Steam are overwhelmingly positive, and I see none moaning about the random character assignation.

    Worryingly, every negative review mentions that there are many hackers due to the unfinished nature of the game, thus allowing for unfair gameplay. So maybe I’ll wait a while before getting this.

  6. Saad says

    Emily, #3

    That’s a good point. As an experiment it’s good, but as a game for general consumers, I see the problem.

  7. AlexanderZ says

    It really is an interesting experiment. While many games have gender choices or character customization, as far as I know Rust is the only one to assign these things randomly.
    I certainly hope that someone following these developments closely because the research aspect is invaluable. And because I can’t be assed to play a boring half-baked survival game.

  8. says

    Penis size being a signifier of anything, other than perhaps certain medical conditions, is another one of those ideas we really need to dump.

  9. says

    A white, male commenter there actually said “I’m as feminist as a guy can be, but when I play a role-playing game, I want to really immerse myself and I can’t do it if the character doesn’t look like me!!”

    People like him should put the RPG games away and stick with Grand Theft Auto.

    I play D&D and while I’m a human woman, my character is a freakin’ male Gnome Barbarian, and somehow i immerse myself just fine (I love Tadd — he is obsessed with the D&D version of crossfit).

  10. says

    My LAST D&D character was a huge female half-orc Barbarian (and then she was eaten by a magical purse…still sad about that lol). I actually have a hard time playing very feminine women. It doesn’t come naturally to me at all. But maybe my next character should be a very feminine halfling or something, just to put me outside of my comfort zone.

  11. says

    @Marilove – if you haven’t encountered the “Rat Pack” comics, you may want to take a look at those. There are some delightful plays on the ‘standard’ D&D characters.

    As a long-time role-player (D&Ding since the 70s; my 1st ed. 3 book set is on the shelf next to me…) I don’t get the “kids these days” who are unable to role-play their characters without the visuals. It seems to me like training wheels for the imagination.

    My favorite D&D character was a high-level mage who was accidentally turned into a large fat drooly tabby cat, and decided that wasn’t bad, and remained that way. Our GM retaliated by constantly forcing the cat into stealth exploration missions completely unsuited for the dignity and corpulence of a senior member of The Magistra, even in cat-form. So he’d retaliate by taking naps and self-bathing at length at inappropriate times.

  12. jehk says

    I understand people want to play as a character they can identify with. What bothers me is that so many people can only identify with such a narrow concept.

  13. frog says

    Marcus Ranum @ 14: Did you mean “Rat Queens”?

    Heh, I have three characters running in different campaigns right now: a foul-mouthed, human female barbarian with very poor impulse control; an androgynous elvish monk/rogue who is fantasyland James Bond; and a male half-elf fighter based on Lord Flashheart, complete with (my best fake of) Rik Mayall’s accent.

  14. Richard Smith says

    Not being much of a survival game player (I’ve yet to even survive the first night of “Don’t Starve,” although, TBH, I’ve only played once or twice so far), I’m not sure I’d be interested in Rust, but I have to confess a curiosity about certain applications of physics.

    For years now, of course, game developers have dedicated much time and effort (some more than others) into what could be called two-body physics (more accurately, two-bodies-attached-to-one-body), although the physics involved don’t always include such principles as gravity or inertia or conservation of energy…

    I can’t help wondering what sort of physics modelling has gone into handling a three-body problem (well, one-body-and-two-loosely-connected-bodies-attached-to-one-body). Presumably some form of ragdoll physics will be involved which, given the occasional glitches it seems prone to, may provide some humorous and/or horrific moments. The only prior example I’ve seen to date is “Mount Your Friends” on the Xbox 360 (“mount” as in human pyramid, in case you were wondering), which could best be described as half a propeller on frictionless bearings… in Speedos.

    Semi-topically, three guesses what I’ll be playing on the PS4 tonight, given my avatar. No way of knowing the gender of your character in that game, or even if they have genders. No way (during gameplay) to even be sure of the gender of any others you encounter.

  15. BeyondUnderstanding says

    I really think it’s an awesome concept. Like a crazy social experiment. However, I can see how some reactions to it could be negative. For one, your random character is not just tied to a game or round of play, but tied directly to your Steam account. So, even if you uninstall/reinstall, your character will always be the same. While I personally think that’s neat, the game’s store page on Steam doesn’t mention this. So, I can see how people may feel like they’re being limited or cheated a bit, all for the sake of the dev’s unique vision. Personally, I feel the ability to create multiple, different characters gives a game replayability/longevity… so this game feels a bit limited in that respect. Still a really cool idea, just wish they were more upfront about it.

  16. says

    Marcus Ranum — I have the first Rat Queens trade paperback, I just haven’t gotten to it yet! Maybe I’ll bring that with me on my 7.5 hour train ride next week. :)

  17. llamaherder says

    I’d sure be disappointed if I logged in for the first time and found out I was a muscular white dude.

  18. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    Penis size being a signifier of anything, other than perhaps certain medical conditions, is another one of those ideas we really need to dump.
    —timgueguen (#10)

    I remember learning in some anthropology class-or-another, that the “manspread” behavior is exhibited by some primates as a way of mate selection. The primate with the most attractive genitalia are selected by the female(s), so as a result, said primates tend to have proportionally-larger scrotums/penises than other, non-manspreading primates.

    Perhaps this is why we Homo tend to put such an emphasis on penis size? The more “manly” men have bulging crotches (see, for example, the Matador)

  19. says

    The only prior example I’ve seen to date is “Mount Your Friends” on the Xbox 360 (“mount” as in human pyramid, in case you were wondering), which could best be described as half a propeller on frictionless bearings… in Speedos.

    Well, that certainly paints a rather…odd…picture in my head.

  20. freemage says

    I’m not a player, but I’ve heard rumors that the random penis size thing has had some interesting fallout–players of well-endowed male characters, during the ‘run around naked’ phase of the game, have reported that their characters are being actively hunted by less well-endowed males.

  21. Richard Smith says

    Well, that certainly paints a rather…odd…picture in my head.

    It’s a pretty odd picture on the screen, too…

  22. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    I remember the last time I was stuck playing as a character that didn’t represent me. Pretty much every game out there. Sounds to me like people are just wanting to draw a hard-line on what a survival game should be and any exclusion of something which they believe benefits them in some way is somehow genre-breaking. It’s all a bit silly, as the best argument I’ve ever seen for this genre-breaking is “it’s stupid.”

  23. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    It’s all a bit silly, as the best argument I’ve ever seen for against this genre-breaking is “it’s stupid.”

  24. Amphiox says

    Many games have a gimic that sets them apart from others in their genre, and this game’s gimic is randomized characters.

    If you are not comfortable with that, there are plenty of other games featuring fully customizable characters you can play instead.

    Complaining about it makes about as much much sense as complaining that the enemies you have to shoot in DOOM are unrealistic demons when the genre convention that was established at the time by Wolfenstein was that the enemies would be Nazis.

  25. Amphiox says

    What “immersion” requires is that you can empathize with the character, imagine yourself in that character’s mind.

    What does it say about someone if they cannot/refuse to empathize with anyone who does not look look me them?

    I remember playing and enjoying the old Wing Commander (pre live action video) games. I never recalled anyone complaining that the blue hair broke immersion.

  26. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    From their blog:

    To clear up some confusion, when we it does go live you won’t get a choice of whether you’re female or male. We’re not “taking the choice away” from you. You never had a choice. A man’s voice coming out of a woman’s body is no more weird than an 8 year-old boy’s voice coming out of a man’s body.

    Dead on; hear, hear!

    Also, shut up and take my money!

  27. says

    Slightly related, but there is an article* over at Arstechnica about how online players react to male/female voices during game play (or at the end). Not surprisingly, a pre-recorded female voice (saying something like “good game”) elicits much more negative feedback than a males.

    *I haven’t read the source material, so I can’t speak to the study’s legitimacy.

  28. says

    Almost every time I’ve done an RPG, I play a character as opposite from me as possible. In EverCrack, I played a female halfling druid with a personality based on Rose Nyland from the Golden Girls. In City of Heroes, I played a RC priest who could heal, fling dark magic, and fly. In World of Warcraft, my two mains are an anti-social female Dwarf hunter with a penchant for spiders and dinosaurs, and a female Pandaren monk who infatuated with Tauren men (ok, she’s not completely unlike me.) In any case, playing a character that’s not like me means I have to work at it, which is usually a lot more fun than just being my boring self.

    And if nothing else, folks can take the advice of a cis straight male gamer friend of mine, who always plays female avatars. He says, “If I’m going to spend hours looking at someone’s ass, it’s going to be one that want to look at.”

  29. duncanbooth says

    Anyone else remember playing Nethack? That’s a game where you can choose your sex but it pays to be female: in case you end up polymorphed into a dragon, or a cockatrice or various other interesting monsters, only the female characters can lay eggs that will hatch out tame and follow you around.

  30. serena says

    Wow, a conversation about video games that includes a mention of Flashheart and Rik Mayall, I’m in heaven!
    As I mentioned in the previous thread regarding Rust (full disclosure: I am a casual Rust player who is a white cis woman IRL – and a massive Rik fan!), my only major concern with having naked female avatars (especially in a game with voice chat) is that the rape jokes and “we gotta repopulate the earth” crap will really really ramp-up. As an actual woman, I get that shit enough in games (most especially in survival themed games); the dudebros will now have an -actual- virtual object to treat like a fucktoy except an actual real person like myself will be on the receiving end of it.
    If they really really wanted to piss off the dudebros, they should make female avatars have some kind of actual ability advantage, perhaps double health or running speed. It wouldn’t reduce the potential for sexual abuse but boy would it be funny to watch them waffle between wanting to be a woman and hating them for it. Of course I’m just fantasizing, heh.

  31. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    as a neophyte gamer of Baldur’s Gate, I picked a female character, cuz, being a male myself, I preferred looking at the female character on screen, rather than those boring “warrior” dudes. Player stats effectiveness was unaffected by gender choice.
    I rationalized it as a form of benign voyeurism, rather then getting all identity garbled.

    Been a while since I played that game. I’m pretty sure I’ve matured out of such childishness, but who knows?
    Disappointing to see many getting insulted by the graphic representation of the imaginary character they are controlling in the game.
    “Come on people”, (I want to shout) “it’s a character in a game. It’s not a libelous biography of you. It’s only a game. Play it.”

  32. zenlike says

    Wow frog, al your characters seem interesting. I wouldn’t know which one to pick if I would be forced to play one. (Yeah I would, Flashheart always beats out the competition ;) )

    Personally, I mix my characters in RPG’s. Sometimes as close to (an idealized version of) myself as possible, sometimes the polar opposite, most of the time a hybrid (myself with a couple of important threats changed). Isn’t that the actual fun of role playing games? That you can play as someone else than yourself for once?

  33. Fair Witness says

    I think every child, especially white males, should be required to play a game like this at some point in grade school as a class exercise. And maybe have one day where they have to walk around school with a picture of their avatar pinned to their shirt. If their parents complain, the school can send them a one-line note saying “It’s only a game”.

  34. frog says

    serena@34: Have you seen the Fifty Shades of Flashheart tumblr? It’s hilarious.

    zenlike@36: It really came about because I sucked at min/maxing. I used to try to work with whatever the dice gave me and sort of randomly decide what class I would play and see what happened. I would end up trying to be jack-of-all-trades which is fine at low levels, but doesn’t hold up in higher levels (unless you’re playing a character that gets tons of skill points, like a rogue or bard).

    By coming up with a fun character concept first, I can aim my min/maxing in a direction, which somehow makes it easier for me. My Flashheart character is my first in 5e. I got very lucky on his stat dice rolls, so I was able to build him as a high-CHA fighter. And then I decided to continue the “lucky” theme, forgoing stat boosts for the Lucky feat, and tracking down a (wishless) Luckblade. And of course it’s tons of fun to make obnoxious statements and shout “WOOF!” a lot. ;)

  35. says

    @Myself #31
    That’s what I get for reading posts in reverse chronological order. Looks like PZ has an entire post on the study I was referring to.

  36. AlexanderZ says

    slithey tove #35
    I’ve played MMORPGs where at least 80% of the players played as female characters because they preferred the girl-in-fancy robes look to the standard meat-head-in-a-tin-can that the male counterparts had.

    BTW, if you liked the old version of BG you should try the new and enhanced editions of BG I and BG II. They’ve added new romances (including same-sex) and some other fine touches.

  37. serena says

    @frog: yes I have and I can’t explain why I’m not terribly amused by it. I think I don’t like the idea of “making” Flashheart say things that were never written for the part, but I get the jokes I think. I may be a bit of a purist (and a hypocrite at that, as I have totally written dirty Bottom fanfiction) and I understand that there were only so many lines written/uttered by that character, but it feels… forced (no pun intended).

  38. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    If they really really wanted to piss off the dudebros, they should make female male avatars have some kind of actual ability advantage, perhaps double health or running speed die early of heart disease, testicular cancer or stress. It wouldn’t reduce the potential for sexual abuse but boy would it be funny to watch them waffle between wanting to be a woman and hating them for it.
    — serena (#34)

    FTFY :)

    I enjoy playing Fallout as an anything-but-me character, which is kind of silly, because except for gender (there are a few gender-only perks), the only time skin tone/hair color/hair style/eye color/etc matters is when one puts the game in third-person mode, which sucks for combat.

    The rest of the time, it is meaningless, which is fine, too ;)

  39. 'smee says

    Apologies for crudity… but

    I would win in any scenario: I love boobies and would love to have some of my very own, and any size of penis would likely be an improvement!

  40. zenlike says

    marilove @37: yes, I understand. Maybe I was going a bit too much in the off-topic territory by responding to my fellow RPGers.

    To be more on-topic: indeed, Rust ‘forces’ you into a randomized character, but as a fan of playing different types of characters this seems like a very interesting turn; even when you are playing different character types as I am, you have the tendency to always end up in certain archetypes. By being forced to play a character you would normally not choose for yourself, this could mean a totally different playing experience as usual. Maybe I should check this gaeme out, even though I’m not really a big fan of the particular genre.

  41. echidna says

    Anyone else remember playing Nethack?

    Oh yes. I still play it. Nethack was the first game where I actually got to play a female character.

  42. says

    I’m one of those people who always plays the same character. In WoW, I was an evil undead male warlock. Just like in real life.

    A game that forced me to change my perspective would probably be a good thing. Challenging, even.

  43. latsot says

    This is the best Fuck You I’ve seen for a long time. Oh, you didn’t like that thing we did with the old skin colour, eh?

    Well, here you fucking go.

    Keep doing that.

  44. says

    The thing I don’t get about this is that there are plenty of other games. And while this seems like an interesting game, and even a good game, it doesn’t necessarily seem like a *great* game. But, there are lots of games I am not particularly interested in, for whatever reason. i don’t get angry about it, though… I just play something else.

    It’s just such an entitled way to view video games (and other media) — the expectation that everything will cater to the world of the white cis dude. Sigh.

  45. says

    They’ve been very wary of adding female models to Rust, because in a game which starts with you naked and empty handed (and actually makes it quite hard to aquire any clothes at all) the potential for abuse is deeply worrying.

    Now they’ve gone ahead and taken this step it will be very interesting to see how the game’s population responds. The response to the randomised skin tones was educational, and surprisingly egalitarian. I can only hope the addition of a second gender will have similar results.

  46. says

    I get a kick out of the angry “I’m mad at the developer because if I buy this game then I won’t be able to…” comments.

    Yeah, well, if I buy a Pepsi it won’t taste like bacon… who do I yell at?

  47. prae says

    Meh, I wouldn’t play a game like that either. I think the whole point of games is that you can choose stuff that you usually can’t in real life, and yeah, I’m also one of those guys who prefer to play female characters, I don’t want to get stuck with some random dude. I’m a random dude IRL, that has to be enough.

    Also, why is there even a “penis size”?

  48. says

    Perhaps this is why we Homo tend to put such an emphasis on penis size? The more “manly” men have bulging crotches (see, for example, the Matador)

    – Usernames! #22

    I do by no means have any expertise in the subject yet, but I am pretty sure the current emphasis on large penises is heavily influenced by culture. From what I know, at least the culture of ancient Athens, and possibly other Hellenic city states and the Roman culture considered small penises to be ideal. Which is not to say that there is not a correlation between other primates and humans doing the weird spread thing, but it seems very influenced by cultural norms and ideals as well.

    As for Rust: I like the idea and the effect it has on people who never really had to experience not being able to play their own ideal gender/skin/etc. before, but I will give it a pass as well. As a trans woman, I have enough of not being able to be myself in meatspace and even in many games to want to play a game that will probably just replicate that experience (strictly speaking of gender here).

  49. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ pare #52

    I’m one of those people for whom being able to design my character is a big attraction. I love being able to play around and get them looking exactly as I want.

    I tend to go for non-human characters (for example, in Skyrim, I have an Orc and a Khajiit), but now I think about it, I always pick male. That probably says something about me.

    But having never really played a true survival game, I’m interested in trying Rust. As mentioned upthread, I will wait until they fix their apparently massive problem with hackers first (there’s some loophole that allows sufficiently savvy people, of whom I am not one, to no-clip really easily, thus allowing them to steal al of your hard-earned shit while you’re off line regardless of what defences you build).

  50. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says


    Sorry for misspelling your ‘nym.

  51. prae says

    @Thumper 54: Hm, if I play non-humans like Khajiit or Argonians (Orcs are still rather human to me), I usually pick male as well. But for human(like) races, it’s usually female. It seems to me that I slightly dislike male faces for some reason. I don’t like to look in the mirror either…

  52. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    I understand having favourite types of characters, prefering to play certain traits, etc, but i completely fail to understand the people who say they can’t relate unless the character “looks just like them” (it never fucking does). It’s not just the complete lack of imagination, it’s also that whatever this game assigns you, it’s still a representation of your own species, how much more fucking reletable do you need things to be?
    “i would’ve liked the game, but my character had blonde hair instead of a light shade of brown, like me, so i found it totally unreletable”.

  53. anteprepro says

    The scariest part is that these people cannot imagine themselves in the character of a black man, or a woman of any race, but apparently can imagine themselves as a yellow pie chart eating dots, a speedy blue hedgehog, a gorilla wearing a tie trying to save bananas from a crocodile king, a faceless cybernetic super soldier fighting aliens, a variety of ninjas that can tear out each other spines with their bear hands, an Italian plumber that collects stars and gets bigger when he eats mushrooms, an elf boy with a fairy and a convoluted reincarnation timeline, a foul-mouthed squirrel, a disembodied hand that uses a slingshot to fire birds, various characters with physics-defying hair with swords that are stronger than guns, a super rich master martial artist in a bat costume, and a hyperviolent Spartan warrior/demigod who kills most of the Greek pantheon. All more relatable than someone of a different race, sex, gender, etc. That is a rather telling illustration of the psychology and capacity of empathy for this set of gamer.

  54. frog says

    rietpluim@59: Because the whiny little manboys hadn’t yet figured out that they can get a lot of attention if they go full antisocial?

    Also, they got to check out Lara’s butt, which, while squarish, was still a major step up in video game rendering in its time. Cheesecake is relative.

  55. frog says

    I really don’t understand this “I must play characters who look/act like me” business. What part of “role playing” do these guys not comprehend?

    I am not a great actor, but in video games and RPGs (and writing fiction), I turn into Lawrence fucking Olivier. That’s the point. That’s the fun of it. I can be myself all day long. I don’t need a game for that.

  56. Saad says

    rietpluim, #59

    Why was nobody complaining about Lara Croft?

    They’ll complain if the developer makes her appearance deviate from the popular culture expectation of how female protagonists should look. Until then “hot womenz omg”.

  57. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    “hot womenz omg”

    In a nutshell. If Croft had been unattractive, they’d have complained like hell.

  58. John Horstman says

    I just started playing Rust at the urging of two temporarily-unemployed friends who have been devoting an absurd amount of time to it. The harvesting/building/crafting mechanics remind me of Skyrim a whole lot, while the aesthetic is very Fallout 3 (or Mad Max if you prefer). The social aspect has skewed heavily toward sociopathic self-interest and/or intense tribalism in the two servers I’ve played, and it’s surprisingly difficult to get people to understand that in a sandbox world like Rust “that’s just how the game works” is utter bullshit, becasue the game is whatever you make of it. Raiding other people’s houses has emerged as a normative behavior, but it didn’t have to do so and only did because the demographic to which the game is likely to appeal skews heavily toward the empathy-deficient and tribalist (and steeped in a culture that reinforces those attitudes). Personally, I only counter-raid to help people recover things that were stolen from them. There are enough people who attack others without provocation (or decorate their houses with swastikas or throw demographic-based slurs around: I have no qualms about ruining the day of sexists, homophobes, racists, etc.) that I can play only defensively or as a literal social justice warrior and still get to experience the combat side of the game.

    For anyone considering buying, you should be aware it’s still in Alpha development, is buggy as hell (especially the netcode – so much rubber-banding while running around), and runs pretty poorly (for comparison, with lower-quality models and textures than Skyrim and fewer active models on screen at once, I get frame rates that are about 1/4th what I get in Skyrim, low-mid 30s versus 130-144). It has been perfectly playable for me, but don’t expect a polished experience.

  59. rietpluim says

    @frog @Saad @Thumper – Yeah, it must be their wet dream to control a good looking woman. Too bad they can’t make her undress and masturbate.

  60. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ John Horstman

    Back when I was in secondary school me and my friends spent a lot of time playing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. We used to deliberately target players who used racial slurs in the chat and make it our business to kill their avatar as much as possible. It was a lot of fun, especially since I often played as a sniper :)

  61. Saad says

    rietpluim, #65

    In games that have a large modding community, you’ll find stuff pretty close to that. Skyrim for example has tons of naked/almost naked female characters that gamers have made. Never mind that it’s utterly unrealistic and breaks any sense of immersion in a large open world game like that for a woman facing the harsh cold elements and swords and arrows and dragons and shit dressed like that. These same gamers would whine about games being unbelievable (or not internally consistent) in any other way though.

  62. Lesbian Catnip says

    To reuse a similar comment I made on Indelible Stamp:

    Straight white cis male gamers don’t want to be randomly assigned a minority?


  63. Richard Smith says

    Regarding the complaints of being unable to play a character who doesn’t look like the player, I have to wonder if such a player spends all their non-game time around mirrors, or obsessively staring at their arms/hands, as that’s pretty much the only time they’ll actually be seeing themselves as they’re doing things. (Okay, things like carpentry, really slow typing, and surgery but, apart from games like Surgeon Simulator, there aren’t a lot of titles in that sort of genre.)

    If the game is a(n) FPS, sure, whatever skin is visible might be a different colour than that of the player but, if all they’re looking at is their on-screen hand on the weapon, they’re not likely to do very well in the game (which, I guess, is exactly what they’d argue, but as the game’s problem, not theirs).

    If it’s a third-person game, unless the player is an expert at astral projection, shouldn’t they be experiencing all sorts of disorientation as they try to move themselves, on-screen, whilst simultaneously hovering slightly above and behind (granted, a bad game camera system can disorient just about anybody)?

    And in either case, I’m fairly sure most gamers can walk, jog, and run, at least occasionally. How distracting must it be for such able-bodied players to make their on-screen avatar “walk” by pushing a joystick, instead? Steel Battalion-style foot controls should be the norm!

    With all this sensory warping in gaming, I’m honestly(!) amazed that there isn’t at least some small number of gamers out there who have had their view of reality totally messed up by games…

    (This comment may contain traces of hyperbole and/or sarcasm.)

  64. says

    Yeah, it must be their wet dream to control a good looking woman. Too bad they can’t make her undress and masturbate.

    …while reaming of the day when the game systems provide the full simulated sensory experience of such actions.

    Which brings us to the question: can an orgasm be transmitted through an Ethernet cable? Or would a USB cable be better?

  65. rietpluim says

    I used to play Tomb Raider, and some FPS’s as well, but I never identified with the protagonist. Duke Nukem was just too stereotypical to take seriously which made the obvious sexism a lot easier to handle. But I haven’t played for a while and lost contact with developments. Fortunately, I might add. Those Skyrim mods give me the creeps.