The reading of Persona 4’s Naoto as a trans man is a bad read that should never have gained as much traction as it has. It fights against the whole arc of her plotline being about not discarding her womanhood to escape the notorious sexism of the Japanese police force. Naoto as a trans woman is an infinitely more interesting reading that isn’t so at odds with the text.
Persona 4 is bad.
I’m one of those wrestling nerds and I haven’t played the 2k games since I think 16.
For me the problem with them is that they act as though wrestling is an actual competitive sport thats completely unscripted (Which for a main stream audience, makes sense) and completely disregards the fact it’s all a work which is arguabley the most interesting part of wrestling.
Im assuming you’ve heard of Fire Pro Wrestling, it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re a wrestling fan.
Games that are hard just to be hard aren’t accessible & therefore they are bad.
The problem with Persona 4 (well one of the problems) is that the behavior of the Shadows is so inconsistent. The shadow is supposed to be the difference between how you see yourself and how you actually are.
So, like, Kanji’s Shadow being super mega gay and his dungeon being a gay bathhouse and his boss form being a giant muscular dude using 2 Mars symbols as weapons, only for him to go “uh actually I’m just scared of being called gay” is some incredible fucking nonsense.
The whole problem with your stance here is that it’s only arguing with what other LGBT+ people read into the text, which feels like a really pointless exercise.
It’s pointless because the entire game is a mountain of cowardly queerbaiting that all amounted to “lol it was just a phase” both in confirmed statements from the developers and various changes to their personalities in later media and remakes.
Why bother arguing with each other when word of god states that we’re all dumb gays who should only be in their stories as a sexual assault punchline. There’s nothing wrong with reading into a text and seeing queer themes, even if the creator didn’t intend for them, but arguing with each other over which queer reading is more valid seems like a waste of energy in this particular case because there’s a very good chance that Team Persona barely sees people like us as actual people.
Because I’ve seen it used to argue that Persona 4 is Good, Actually around lgbt issues, and it would be nice not to see a take that bad again. Because sometimes you can’t help but like a thing, despite its flaws and how its creators feel about you (if I had to discard every game with transphobia in it or expressed by the developers, I’d have nothing left), and in that case I personally prefer twisting what’s there into interesting lgbt reads rather than outright denying the text (in that case, why wouldn’t I just find a different text?).
Because I’d rather have discussions with people who do see me as a person, and ignore the people who hate me as I rub my trans lesbian mitts all over the things they’ve created. And sometimes those discussions will be good-faith arguments about what readings are better-supported and more interesting, because that’s an engaging topic. If I cared what Team Persona thinks about me, I would live a sadder life. So I don’t. What I care about is what other reasonable people think, and a frustrating (to me) number of reasonable people think trans man Naoto is the best reading of the character and disperse that idea among people who haven’t played the game.
I see where you’re coming from. I’m more in the camp of not having the time to want to support the art made by homophobes, even if I do have some attachment for it before I knew about that side of them. Persona 4 was an incredibly influential game for me and even helped me piece together my own bisexuality, but I can’t really engage with it or the media around it anymore in good faith because Team Persona is actively getting worse about their more toxic views.
As a result, I’m more frustrated with the author of the text for many, many reasons (hey let’s write a character who has very serious issues when it comes to objectification and release spinoffs and DLC that puts her in skimpy outfits for male otaku consumption) than I am with the discourse around a game.
Like, I still read Kanji as bisexual myself, even though it’s said otherwise. Other people having a different take on it, like he’s gay and not bi, doesn’t really frustrate me that much because I do get why that happens. A lot of us are just reading parts of ourselves in the text. It’s how we figure stuff out and find some sort of validation of who we are.
But with the indie scene growing and so much more queer stories appearing in those spaces, I just don’t really feel the need to latch onto old media that helped define me if the creators are acting in bad faith. it’s not so much that I care about what they think about me so much as not wanting to support or validate people who see me as lesser.
For the record, I don’t think there’s a best reading (though the worst readings are absolutely the canon ones where everyone is cis het).
And that’s totally valid, too. There’s absolutely things that I have dropped because a creator or major presence in it was gross in a way that I hadn’t previously known or realised. I may never watch Labyrinth again after finding out that Bowie was a paedophile. But I knew Shin Megami Tensei stuff was uncomfortably appropriative of living religions and frustratingly sexist before it became clear quite how homophobic and transphobic the devs are. And those things are stains on a series whose aesthetics and core ideas I like despite myself.
I’m not opposed to discarding things when it becomes clear how bad their creators are, but I’m also not going to force myself to drop a guilty pleasure that does still hold some joy for me. (I would probably not have picked up Persona 5 after the things I’d heard about it if I hadn’t played Persona 3 as a suicidal teen with difficulty socialising. But maybe I would have, because monster-taming and monster-fusion are things I’m extremely keen on.)
If I could find lgbt, indie games which pushed the same aesthetic and mechanical buttons for me, I’d jump ship in a heartbeat, but monster-raising games are super labour-intensive. Turns out creating art and/or descriptions for a large number of creatures, as well as doing mechanical balance for many combinations of them, is really time-consuming. But even then, Persona 3 and the Devil Survivor games are probably going to be things I come back to, however many caveats I have to put on my enjoyment.
And for the record, I don’t believe I mentioned a best reading, I just mentioned one reading I think is bad and one I think is better and more interesting - and those are exactly the words I meant to choose.
new morning new hot take: most children’s superhero television shows have a better model for engaging scenario design than many video games - the game design lessons god of war or ori and the blind forest could learn from PJ masks or young justice!!! ugh!!!
I don’t know if this is a take, but Horizon Zero Dawn is just okay. I am baffled by how well loved it seems to be! And that’s not because I didn’t like it, but because it was so frictionless and forgettable for me.
YOU KILL AN UNDEAD MOON AND THEN THE DLC SETS UP ALL OF THE MOONS COME TOGETHER AND SET UP A DEAD SPACE 4 THAT IS MONSTER HUNTER BUT WITH MOONS
My problem with Fire Pro is actually playing it. I just don’t find the mechanics very fun. And Fire Pro has the same problem you describe, where you have to fight against the AI and try to win. It’s a great product though and I have over 100 hours of World played on Steam, basically all of which is watching the AI play itself.
I do agree that most wrestling games have the fundamental problem of treating wrestling like a shoot sport, and my dream game would be something with the presentation and systems of 2K19 but where you’re actually working with your opponent to create the best match for the audience to enjoy.
In lieu of that though, 2K19 does a mostly great job of fulfilling my desire for a wrestling game. They’ve really stepped up the animations in this one compared to previous years, where you’ll actually have sequences that look fluid enough to be from an actual match, as opposed to a bunch of robotic animations being jankily strung together.
Yeah with Fire Pro, im in the same boat strangely, I just watch the AI duke it out.
But the game you just described would be my absolute dream, I think if that existed i’d quit wrestling school and just live out that fantasy in the comfort of my living room
So to start I do mean slightly different things by “choice” and “interactivity.” Interactivity more relates to how the game responds and changes with regard to choices (and not just telegraphed choices à la VN-type games, but every split-second decision a player makes in a world), and to the player embodying a role within the game. To use an example there, What Remains of Edith Finch might not have choices, but it sure is interactive, and it asks the player to embody several different roles. Both of those are things (most) other media cannot do, and imo they both have narrative ability.
That’s the gist of my feelings—there’s a lot more personally for me about how that ability allows games to, through repetition, express and represent narratives around trauma in unique and powerful ways. But if I start diving into Freud and death drives here I will probably never stop writing, and I don’t feel like this thread is the place for that.
I remember the ending being a major sticking point for people dunking on Dead Space 3, like it was one of the things that made it bad. And I’m out here like, this fuckin skybox of a giant meat moon surrounding you that you then fucking fight and murder kinda makes the middle-act slog entirely worth it.
My hot take is that DS3 is a more interesting sequel than DS2 is. I can’t pin down why but DS2 just feels like the least interesting (not worst, but least interesting) part of post-DS1 content for me, and i include the movies/novels in that assessment. I don’t include Extraction because Extraction doesn’t exist because why the fuck would Extraction ever exist.
DS1 deserves a full remake with the very particular advances gore-n-goop tech has made the past couple years. Something like RE7/RE2Make fidelity or even Evil Within 2’s goop tech could realize those designs in ways I only dreamed of when DS1 came out.
On a similar note, not sure it’s a hot take, but Evil Within 2 owns a lot. It’s problematic. but not in the ways i was most worried about and i personally can’t help but love it for like, paragraphs of reasons. It befuddles me that there’s not really a staunch cult following around that thing yet.
At first i thought it was mainly “Letitia”, the black character whose character traits are A) is a homeless woman who roots through garbage forever, B) likes booze and will give you info for a specific booze, and C) has dialogue so embarassing i’d actually feel bad trying to transcribe the first words out of her mouth.
Then I replayed it and, while it’s maybe more subtle and less… abrasive than Letitia, there’s a very heavy presence of black gang stereotypes with still-pretty-suss dialogue/voice direction for a bunch of the first act. It really gives off an atmosphere that’s hard to describe, like, i can’t really pin down the French-Canadian of it and it’s probs just bias from hearing the devs talk a bunch (including in the commentary track), but i still feel it, man. I exaggerated saying it’s mostly comprised of that type of racism, but boy is it frontloaded.
Hello. It’s me. The Evil Within 2’s staunch cult following.
Okay yeah I gotcha, there’s definitely some uhhh generic gang type stuff happening especially in Detroit.
Hey, I’ll back you on that. I picked it up over Christmas to scratch my RE2 itch before RE2 actually came out and I was extremely surprised at how good it was.
Baldur’s Gate was the best game Bioware has ever made.