26 June 2013

[GayGamer.Net] But WHY Was The E3 Rape Joke Offensive?

Because rape victims say so.

[Trigger warnings for discussion of rape, sexual abuse, and language of sexual violence from here on out].

This was the crux of my recent spat on Twitter (which briefly engulfed our GayGamer.net Twitter news feed – sorry!) regarding the now-infamous “E3 Rape Joke”. Our very own Christian Walters already covered the event in a comprehensive article previously, but we also need to talk about WHY this was a very poor call on Microsoft’s part – which has kind of been encapsulated in the aforementioned Twitter spat. I don’t want to talk about this incident specifically, but how it relates to a much bigger phenomenon.

Y’see, folk are suggesting that the E3 Rape Joke “wasn’t a rape joke” and that people who were offended by it were being “over sensitive”.

I imagine there’s already a sizable contingent of folk already groaning and holding their head in their hands – to them, a massive apology; this issue rears its head often enough outside of the world of gaming that it can be anything ranging from “tedious” to “infuriating”. To the folk not face-palming, an explanation.

(You can read the rest of the feature over at its home on GayGamer.net!)

5 June 2013

[GayGamer] A Silent Hill Queer-y

Pyramid Head & Mannequins

What would a queer Silent Hill look like?

It’s probably a pretty odd question, but it’s one I kept brushing up against while I was brushing up on my Francis Bacon know-how for a previous article on Silent Hill over on GayGamer.Net. Bacon had a massive influence on the artistic direction of Silent Hill, and his work often contained themes of sexuality and/or violence. As a gay man, however, most of the paintings that were explicitly sexual in Bacon’s work were focused on the male form – but as a whole, the Silent Hill series is very much a negative heterosexual male perspective on sexuality (particularly female sexuality).

This may not necessarily be as oppressive as it might sound, given that the narrative of Silent Hill goes to great pains to demonstrate that its protagonists have very problematic, negative ideas about sexuality. In fact, the narrative makes it pretty clear that any representation of human life the player comes up against (from sexuality to family, from guilt to being teased at school) are by definition the protagonist’s own profoundly negative ideas.

That doesn’t change the fact that most of Silent Hill‘s representations of sexuality come from straight male characters and their attitudes to female sexuality, whose perspectives can pretty much be summed up with “women’s bodies are mysterious and foreign and sexy and scary.”

[Trigger warnings for discussion of sexual abuse from here on out, and spoiler warningsfor the main themes of Silent Hill 3, as well as bosses in Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill: Homecoming]. You can read the rest of the article at its original home at GayGamer.net, or by clicking "Read More" below!