Sony's PGW17 Conference thoughts


#1

Bear with me here because this may have some poorly written lines, but looking back at Sony’s conference after the backlash on TLOU2 and Detroit’s trailers, the rest of the presentation had several trailers with F bombs being thrown and made me wonder if it was a calculated move to generate media or simply a sloppy job at evaluating the content while the event was being put togheter.

That said, I actually hope both Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream do not tone down or censor their work, violence and shock are expected elements of horror, and storytellers shouldn’t shy away from intense emotional and difficult subjects (even if Cage isn’t exactly the best at it but that’s for a different discussion), my point is using these scenes of abuse and brutality as promotional tactics to sell games is of poor taste, if the gaming audience is perceived by the mainstream as a bunch of mysoginistic, angry and vulgar people this conference definitely helped to reinforce these stereotypes. I expect better from Sony next time because I don’t want to be associated with that.

edit: Were you uncomfortable with the conference in general?


#2

Spelunky 2 was all I heard.

Ah man, there it is again.

Spelunky 2 y’all!


#3

Not everything was darkness for sure. I loved Guacamelee and Sucker Punch’s new game.

I’ve just read Jim Ryan’s comments on The Telegraph, looks like some mainstream press is interested in the controversy, all according to keikakku :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

I think packaging domestic violence in a slick trailer, used in the same presentation as slick trailers for racing games or dumb shooters was incredibly tone deaf. The game can use whatever themes it wants but this was a marketing presentation, not an artistic performance and the way it was used just felt wrong to me. This was the same conference that had the line “it’s the best time to be a gamer!”.

The Last of Us trailer was a step further. The audience is shown this clip of people getting beaten up in an horrific way without any warning and a logo at the end where the audience cheers. Again, multi-million dollar company using extreme violence to get cheers and sell a product.

They used domestic violence with the same tact they would show some game feature like Driveatars or something. “You could’ve chosen differently”. Just, no tact at all.

When asked about Jim Ryan went with the “these are games for adults” like anyone is questioning that. It’s not about the game itself but it’s use in a press conference and as a way to sell your console and products. And how it all is shown and positioned. Being adult should include knowing when and when not to show something.

There have been ton of gross responses to criticism of this trailers to which shows the mature level of the audience. Danika’s twitter replies were something depressing to read. All because she criticised a marketing material for a million dollar company.

Everything surrounding this is just sad.


#5

Exactly, a simple warning prior the conference that it would have foul language and graphic displays of violence might not have changed my opinion but would have lessened the bad impression the whole thing left on me as well.


#6

Overall I don’t think the conference was actually that bad. I don’t think that it was that great either though, and the hyped up “We’re annoucning 11 games” did not help at all. Most of the games that were announced seemed to be more VR experiences, of which I have no interest especially from the PSVR.

Spleunky 2 and Guacamelee 2 are obviously the standouts. Who doesn’t want more Spleunky?

Shadow of the Colossus remastered looked gorgeous, but we already knew about it.

Hong Kong Massacre was arguably tone-deaf but still could be an interesting indie title that follows in Hotline MIami’s footsteps.

The Concrete Garden looks like it might be interesting but I fear it will become stale halfway through the game.

And then you have the repeated fetishistic need to show brutal violence against women in order to market your game. Sony definitely has not listened to any actual complaints with their terrible “these games are for adults” defense. I don’t think many people are complaining about just violence in video games because there’s been so many comparisons to The Last of Us 1 which was a very violent game. The issue surrounds the fact that the violence is always out-of-context and directed towards a woman.

I think the best example for this trend is Tomb Raider 2013, where one of the selling points seemed to be the torture-porn aspect of getting Lara killed in horrific ways. There was also sexual violence shown in the trailer because of course, and it just felt awful. The game itself? Great. The marketing for the game? Misogynistic and terrible.

And what makes it all even worse is every other damn website just keeps bandying on about how we’re actually angry about just violence in games and shouldn’t we be happy that there was women in the trailer at all? It really gets my goat. Also would it have been so difficult to mention that their trailers are going to show graphic depictions of domestic abuse? Just a quick, “Hey these next two trailers are pretty graphic so if you’re squeamish or uncomfortable, feel free to turn it off”.

Although I do hope that Detroit tones it down. I don’t trust David Cage in the slightest to handle anything, especially not something as volatile as domestic abuse or child abuse.The Last of Us 2 will probably work better when we know these characters, although I do think the hammering of someone’s arm is a little over-the-top.


#7

Ironically, the footage they showed of the new God of War wasn’t exploitative or gratuitous in a series famous for having graphic content.


#8

Ghost of Tsushima was the highlight for me. I have no idea what it’s about or how it plays but if it lets me ride around picturesque feudal Japanese landscapes with nice armor on it might be worth a buy already. Give me Total War: Shogun where I get to play as one of those poor guys on the ground fighting off 300 enemy troops with a spear.


#9

from the brief talk with developers after the conference, my take is that the game will be something like Assassin’s Creed/Tenchu, some of the visuals gave me a Genji vibe as well, I loved that game on PS2 but never tryed the PS3 version after the lukewarn reviews.