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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From nostalgia to jiggle physics
This Week in Video Game Criticism: From nostalgia to jiggle physics
August 5, 2013 | By Cameron Kunzelman

August 5, 2013 | By Cameron Kunzelman
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More: Console/PC, Design



This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Cameron Kunzelman on topics including the "death" of Final Fantasy and solving problems the Nintendo way.

FINAL FANTASY IS DEAAAAAD

Last week ended with an interview with Nobuhiro Goto and Motomuru Toriyama, two developers for the upcoming Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII in which they revealed that the main character, Lightning, now has larger breasts that "jiggle." [Note: I think this is awful-CK]

This prompted Chris Kohler to state very plainly that "Final Fantasy Isn't Dying. It's Already Dead."

Todd Harper responds in a fashion that is equally critical of both the original interview and Kohler's article in "You Knew This Was Coming If You Were Paying Any Attention."

Ethan Gach writes that "It's the Nostalgia that's Dying, not Final Fantasy" and argues that this event is yet another in a long string of strange and often sexualized choices in the Final Fantasy franchise that we should have been, and should currently be, aware and critical of.

Absolutely unrelated to any of these previous articles, Dan Crabtree wrote about Hironobu Sakaguchi's mark on the Final Fantasy franchise the culminated in Final Fantasy IX.

INTERVIEW APPRECIATION STATION

Chris Priestman interviewed Molleindustria (aka Paolo Pedercini) for Indiestatik. The entire interview is full of insight, but here's an obligatory pull quote:
Statik: Would you say your games reflect your personal views or are they tailored to act as a commentary for other people to engage with their own views? Perhaps both?

Paolo: Its great to see more and more game makers coming out and saying, This is what I think and feel; this is how I see the world, and I decided to express it in a game form, but Im also interested in works that can contribute to the public debate beyond self-expression. I want to see games and simulations being used to make sense of the world around us; I want to see them next to text or moving images and not in an ancillary role. I want to see more journalism, more philosophy, more history education, more experimental geography, conceived natively for interactive media.

THERE WAS ONLY ONE INTERVIEW, TIME FOR SOME SOCIAL ANALYSIS

Sidney Fussell writes broadly about online sexism, the role of men in communities and development, and how trolling solves approximately nothing in his "The Trouble With We Men."

Sarah Nixon writes about how difficult it is to be a woman voicing dissent in the online gaming community.

Samantha Allen writes the flip side of the previous argument: what are the struggles of the omniscient 18-year-old boy?

Maddy Myers goes all-in on the recent games that have meditated on what it is like to be a dad in "Bad Dads vs. Hyper Mode."

Todd Harper analyzes Persona 4 and how "gay characters" are represented in that game.

Chris Sawula writes about FTL: Faster Than Light and the dark decision processes around space slavery.

Jason Hawreliak writes on what he calls "middle-state publishing" and how it might be the place where the most interesting critical interventions are happening in video games.

ANIMAL CROSSING/EARTHBOUND: I COULD NOT THINK OF A GOOD HEADER

Alex Dale cannot stop playing New Leaf and seems a little distressed about it.

Drew Mackie explains about why he deleted his Animal Crossing save.

Shigesato Itoi, designer of Earthbound, wrote a bit about what it means to him--"it is not dead and it's not even human" ranks up there on the list of poignant things you can say about a game you made.

Simon Parkin wrote a retrospective on Earthbound. Spoiler: is good.

SOME HISTORY. WE ALL LOVE HISTORY. I'M TELLING YOU TO LOVE HISTORY.

Jed Lepinski recounted the creation and legacy of The Oregon Trail.

Angela Cox writes on "The Othering of Time Age of Empires II."

Cornelius Holtorf explains the playful desire of reality-altering efforts of time travel in contemporary culture.

MISC.

Paul Tassi asks "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Nintendo?"

This is a wonderful redesign of the entirety of The Last of Us that asks the question "what if we played as Ellie?"

Mike Rose uses the new SimCity to model yet another instance of horrible traffic.

Jason Johnson connects Shin Megami Tensei 4 to Bolano's The Savage Detectives.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to submit your link recommendations by Twitter or email, and we'll see you soon.


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Comments


Mike Higbee
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I always find it odd when people say they want games to be more realistic, but when you add "jiggle physics" people get offended. In real life body parts jiggle and bounce on people.
As far as changing the character, it's fanservice plain and simple, which isn't too odd for JP titles.

Maria Jayne
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I think most people find jiggle physics rather funny, what some of us are perhaps bothered by, is the fact jiggle physics only ever extend to the female models. Gimmie some man jiggle!

Mike Higbee
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Agreed. I also want beard physics!

John Flush
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I don't think it is a direct response to the physics of the whole thing, but a concern of priorities. Of all the things they could invest development time into they did this? That is why it is "dead".

Jeanne Burch
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*Dryly* Real woman with large breasts (like me) have support bras that pretty much eliminate "jiggle." The idea that Lightning has access to advanced weaponry and armor but can't find an effective sports bra makes it less real life, not more real life.

Katy Smith
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If my boobs ever started jiggling like they do in games when "jiggle physics" are added , I'd go to a doctor...or an exorcist.

Frank Washburn
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You have a female lead who was deliberately written to be strong, capable, and warrior-like.

Then you increase her bust size, and add boob jiggle physics. Yeah, that's doing a lot for our ability to take her character development seriously, and doing the industry/medium a whole lot of good for making games accessible to female players and female devs.

Kyle Redd
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If having female characters dressed in sexy outfits is what causes game franchises to "die," then the future of games is going to be very boring indeed.


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