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Women aren't vending machines: How video games perpetuate the commodity model of sex

Women aren't vending machines: how video games perpetuate the commodity model of sex

Or: Why I am dreading Alpha Protocol.

...some video games allow the player character to have sex with NPCs; even more allow the player to have romantic relationships with NPCs. What the vast majority of these games inevitably do is present relationship mechanics that distill the commodity model down to its essence—you talk to the NPC enough, and give them enough presents, and then they have sex with/marry you. This design approach is extremely simplistic and perpetuates the commodity model of sex—the player wants sex, they go through certain motions, and they are "rewarded" with what they wanted (like a vending machine).

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 19: Bryan Jury of Epicenter Studios

This week, a candid conversation with Bryan Jury of Epicenter Studios, the team behind the new Wii release Real Heroes: Firefighter. How did a tiny development team with an even tinier budget create one of the summer’s most original games? Why was the Wii their platform of choice? And does Bryan REALLY admit the graphics aren’t very good? I told you – he’s VERY candid. Our thanks to Bryan Jury for a fantastic interview. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, and Tim Spaeth.

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GameCritics.com Podcast Bonus Episode: What is the Citizen Kane of Video Games?

While Tim takes some time off to enjoy his new son, we present our very first bonus episode! In these deleted scenes from Episode 14, you'll hear a great segment on how casual games relate to Heather Chaplin’s GDC rant, and then we try to answer that classic gaming question “What is the Citizen Kane of Video Games?” Our answers will shock and amaze you. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, David Stone, and the very sleepy Tim Spaeth.

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Flower Review

The sublime power of Flower

Flower (PS3) Screenshot

HIGH One of the most satisfying and appropriate closing credits in a video game.

LOW Getting stuck for about 20 minutes and having no idea what to do next.

WTF Long credits made me wonder "How many people does it take to make a game this short?"

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 12: Flower, Second Chances and Used Games

Is your mind on your money? Is your money on your mind? As the world teeters on the brink of an economic apocalypse we tackle an even bigger problem--the price of games! Plus, we give some failed franchises a second chance, and the games as art camp gets some new ammunition with the PS3’s Flower. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 11: Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games

Our guest this week is developer Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games. He's the creator of the Xbox Community Game Weapon of Choice, which we covered several episodes ago--and yes, he calls us out on many of our criticisms. He also talks candidly about the freedom and frustration of Community Games development, what inspired Weapon of Choice, and somehow it culminates into a Devil May Cry 3 rant that must not be missed. Our thanks to Nathan for participating! Be sure to visit his website at www.mommysbestgames.com.

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Tales of Vesperia Review

Confessions of an RPG Nerd

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HIGH Finding an RPG hero and villain who aren't exactly like every other RPG hero and villain in video game history.

LOW Non-skippable cut-scenes. Really, should I have to watch five minutes of dialogue again just because I suck and died on a boss?

WTF There is a dog in your party. A dog who fights with a knife and smokes a pipe.

Disabled gamer case study: Why I like the games I like

A lot of games I like are about running around finding things. Although I only know where a few places are in my town and go everywhere else with my mother or a friend, I've remembered the layout of Hyrule in A Link to the Past without having played it for years. While I have a lot of trouble navigating 3-dimensional space that I'm physically in, it's much easier to find my way around a 2D expanse on a screen.

A lot of games I like are about running around finding things. Although I only know where a few places are in my town and go everywhere else with my mother or a friend, I've remembered the layout of Hyrule in A Link to the Past without having played it for years. While I have a lot of trouble navigating 3-dimensional space that I'm physically in, it's much easier to find my way around a 2D expanse on a screen.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 1

Welcome to the premiere episode of the GameCritics.com Podcast!
This week's topics include:

  • Reviews of Saints Row 2 and Art Style: Cubello
  • Why game criticism matters to us
  • Can games make us cry?

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Dynasty Warriors 6 – Review

Read review of Dynasty Warriors 6Even before I played Dynasty Warriors 6, I was dreading having to write this review. For a critic, there's nothing worse than having to review games that we really like (yes, I'm a fan). Contrary to popular belief, critics do try to enjoy ourselves and we don't point out flaws for the sake of being negative.

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