Video games are everywhere nowadays and it seems like every other day there is a major gaming announcement or news story to follow. There is so much being revealed, announced, or released each month that it is difficult for many of us to keep up with it all between various social and professional obligations. To help you keep up with all things gaming, we here at Split Screens are going to compile a list of the biggest news story, announcements, and best articles from around the internet every Monday evening!
This new segment will be known as The Split Screens’ Live Feed and we hope you tune-in every week for your regular dose of gaming goodness. Now here is what you have to catch-up on…
The World Health Organization motions to define “Gaming Disorder”
The World Health Organization is looking to include “gaming disorder” as a defined medical and mental condition in its 11th International Classifications of Diseases. You may have heard us talk a bit about this topic during our recent episode of Podcast in 3rd Person. Opinions from expert psychologists vary on the necessity of this new definition ranging from being in favor of more conversation around the relationship between gaming and the psyche to feeling the new classification is superfluous and based on unreliable information. You can find out more about the new classification for the World Health Organization’s website.
Quantic Dream is No Dreamland
An initial report from Eurogamer has sparked conversation in regards to working conditions at Quantic Dream, the studio behind the upcoming Detroit: Become Human and titles such as Heavy Rain. Reports from various outlets have identified that the Quantic Dream studio is plagued by a pattern of inappropriate behavior, sexist and homophobic jokes, and a toxic work environment. The trouble first came to light when five former employees filed a complaint in spring of 2017 against the company, and another employee, for circulation of degrading photoshopped images depicting various staff members. Other accusations include casual racist and sexist jokes in the work place, sexual harassment at company parties, and overwhelming long work days. Quantic Dreams and creative director, David Cage, have come out and expressed their surprise at this allegations.
No Room for Women in Overwatch League
All the excitement over the recent kickoff of Overwatch League cannot overshadow the controversy lying underneath. For a game with so much diversity among its playable heroes, from androgynous scientists to Spanish hackers, it is surprising that not a single team within the Overwatch League chose to place a female player on their roster. Some fans and competitive Overwatch players were shocked that Korean Zarya-main, Se-yeon, had not been signed to any team despite being one of the top players out there. There is already poor representation for female players across all manner of esports, and it is incredibly unfortunate that Blizzard and the Overwatch League teams did not take the opportunity to forge a new path. Instead, they stuck to tired and worn excuses about “PR stunts” and “patience.”
Nintendo Mini Direct
Nintendo held a mini Direct on January 11th which ushered in a ton of announcements for the Switch such as:
- Ports of Dark Souls, The World Ends With You, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors, Payday 2 and more
- Mario Tennis is making its way to Switch
- Indies such as Fe and Celeste will make their way to Switch
- Donkey Kong will make his debut in Mario + Rabbids
- A new Co-op mode featuring Luigi is available as a free update for Super Mario Odyssey
- Kirby Star Allies will release on March 16, 2018
Check out the Direct for yourself:
Polygon’s Year in Review 2017
For the past week, Polygon has collaborated with game developers and journalists to reflect on gaming in 2017 through a variety of essays and conversations. Articles vary from XCOM‘s Jake Solomon finding inspiration in Mario + Rabbids to Bioshock‘s Ken Levine talking about the success of Breath of the Wild. Each of these pieces presents an opportunity for a developer, writer, or general fan to talk about games in the same way that scholars might talk about film, literature, or theater. These essays are a lovely departure from the usual reviews and announcements that litter popular gaming websites. Take a bit of time to enjoy these musings on the great gaming year that was 2017.
Trans-cending Video Game Characters
Medium writer, Marie Arts, recently posted an excellent article on the need for accurate and stronger representation of trangender and genderqueer characters in video games. The article highlights better ways to include trans characters in game narratives and disputes claims such as trans characters being to obscure to be relatable to the average gamer. Overall, Arts’ article is impeccably written and presents sound evidence as to why the lack of trans and LGBTQA representation continues to be utterly ridiculous.
Remember Me and Language in Video Games
Thomas Clement’s article about the affect of language on gameplay experience was one of the more interesting reads I’ve found regarding gaming. He summarizes his experience playing Remember Me after choosing to change the game’s language from English to French since the game is set in Neo-Paris. Hearing American accents in a city that is suppose to be within a futuristic France felt pretty jarring to Clement. He contemplates why so many games, regardless of setting, default to English as the primary language. The article explores the possibility for dubbed games or even a type of “foreign film” category for gaming, so certain titles can utilize authentic language and accents based on the setting of the game.
And that is it for this week’s Live Feed nerdy people! Come back next week for another update on all things gaming…