Trigger warning: derogatory language and slurs below.
“Fuq u pussi biiitc h lern 2 play”
This is part of the verbatim bullshit I was forced to deal with during a game of League last night. However, it looks like someone heard my prayers, or the prayers of a huge chunk of the gaming community, of cracking down on negative sexist banter on co-op games. We’re not talking just anyone here; we’re talking Kiki Wolfkill and Bonnie Ross kind of people. These women are the Executive Producer of Halo 4 and the head of the Microsoft 343 Industries, in case you were unaware, and their initiative can be summed up in six words: check yourself before we wreck you.
Taken from an article on Jezebel, the two of them have started work on a zero-tolerance policy for the popular Xbox Live service Microsoft provides. Like screaming words like “cunt”, “retard”, or “faggot” over your headset? Well you won’t once you get banned for it! Oh, and this is a lifetime ban too, so don’t think you’ll be getting back on in a week or month.
This initiative is to aid in making female gamers in particular—and perhaps gamers as a whole—feel more comfortable with getting a more expansive gaming experience. Of course, as is the case with filter dodging like above, there will be people that find a way to circumvent these rules, but with any luck it will drastically cut down on the dude-bro mentality in some of the more popular multiplayer games. I can’t say that I have high hopes as of now, but I do have hope that it will work out in the end.
The time has come for me to talk about Dark Souls. It has been on the market for consoles for months, but the PC version only just dropped. Also, it became my new favorite game ever after several hours of play-time back in late April. Dark Souls is an action role-playing game developed by From Software as the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, 2009 Game of the Year. I believe Dark Souls is, more than just another great game, a significant and special game which all gaming fans should appreciate even if they don’t play it. It is aptly described as a massively multiplayer, online, single-player game. It is so challenging that its website is preparetodie.com, yet many fans impose progressively more constricting restrictions on themselves to make it harder. Although its Wikipedia page calls the plot minimalistic, Dark Souls features a highly complex and deeply developed plot which continues to generate spirited discussion. It’s a dark fantasy RPG that often feels like survival horror, yet it’s not trendy (maybe that one won’t make sense to anybody else, but I’m so sick of the topical dark fantasy and crappy survival horror that’s been everywhere recently). Because it is easy to describe it in such contradictory and complicated ways, what may be most surprising about Dark Souls is how simple and approachable it really is.