The Only Queer In The Galaxy

Sometimes, with the benefit of time and distance and the clarity of deep calm thought, you come to realize that … Seriously, what even were they trying to do with this miserable excuse for same gender romance inclusion???

Or, in other words, forgive the lack of screencaps and head below the cut for my thoughts on writing same-gender romance in gaming after revisiting Star Wars: The Old Republic Rise of the Hutt Cartel.

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When Bad Mechanics Do Good: Lord of the Rings Online, Session Play, and Empathy

So, for once, I do not think I need to reassure you, dear readers, that I don’t really mean that something is 100% very bad no good but rather that, if you understood every word I wrote in the title, I a) am absolutely serious b) definitely do understand the … fraught feelings us LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) players have towards session play quests.

I have kicked the leeches. I have kicked the leechesĀ more than once and am sure I will again. And yet – I do also have a certain fondness for session play and a desire for it to stick around as an occasional mechanic. And I also, as this article will show, think it can be used to really great purpose and effect.

Unsurprisingly, I also like epic battles. Quite a bit. But, that masochism aside (I kid, I kid, but kidding is more fun than serious answers šŸ˜› ), it’s time to head below the “read more” cut for a discussion of consent, choice, Isildur (and his descendants) kind of being a big time jerk, point of view, empathy, and how LOTRO chooses to engage with the Paths of the Dead section of its source material.

There's also a stealthed burglar somewhere in this screencap.

Shrew’s eye view heading north in the Dead Marshes.

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Not That Type of Game: Sexualized Queerness and Neutral Heterosexuality in Games and Gaming Communities

What I’m about to discuss is the type of thing you don a full-body hazmat suit for (I kid, I kid … maybe), and that is far from restricted to games and gaming as an issue. However, it’s such a big topic that I could easily lose the discussion for the sake of the examples, so – on with the show!

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The Ostriches Are Hostile and So Are the Players: Game Mechanics and Player Environments in MMORPGs

Fair warnings for this post:

  • I don’t think any and all behaviour towards other players is acceptable so if you’re the type of person to use care bear to mean something other than this guy and his friends, this post is not for you
Grumpy Bear says it's okay to be down or frustrated sometimes. It's just not okay to be a jerk.

Well, ‘actually’ … consent is an important part of PvP mechanics in MMORPGs and toxic player interactions are not an inherent or necessary part of gaming.

  • I will not actually be naming the game I’m going to talk about (because its community gets virulently angry at anyone talking about problems with the game community and the game mechanics that both allow and encourage toxic behaviour and environments), so any pictures or gifs will be off-topic ones. Probably/possibly Transformers related because that’s what I have on hand. That or Catwoman comic pages from the 1990s.
Granted, there are less knives and more marriage proposals.

I will admit this panel is a good description of what happens in world chat when they realize another player is female though.

Now, head below the cut for my discussion of some previous high and low points of other MMORPGs, player behaviour, and how I honestly did not think I’d have to add checking the PvP set-up of a game onto my list of criteria for finding a game to try.

I imagine Nautica was going for a heavy book learning/book lore angle with her power sets and crafting focuses. Megatron probably went for a heavy healing and crowd-control focus to fit with his attempted reformation.

Megatron thought it would be lackluster storytelling or a lack of replayability or a frustrating push to throw large amounts of money into the game that would lead him to move on. He never thought he wouldn’t even be able to turn in and pick up quests and get his armour repaired because of other players. And Nautica’s character just died trying to walk to the bottom of the hill from town to pick up the next bunch of quests.

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