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Is BioShock Feminist? A response in defense of Bridgette Tenenbaum

Is BioShock Feminist? A response in defense of Tenenbaum

So via Critical Distance I found this feminist critique of BioShock, written by Richard Terrell (who, you may have noticed, is a man). But it is really not sitting right with me. His thesis is that BioShock depicts women as weak and men as strong. So I thought the rest of the article would try to show how BioShock upholds patriarchal values.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 20: Xbox Live Summer of Arcade

Sunshine is for losers! We spent our summer vacation indoors, enjoying the offerings of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade. Well…”enjoying” might be too strong a word. We rundown all five games: Splosion Man, Turtles in Time, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Trials HD, and Shadow Complex. Plus, Mike and Tim red ring within 12 hours of each other! Believe it! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

When in doubt, there is always a vent

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

HIGH The Scarecrow encounters.

LOW The omnipresent hint system that can't be turned off.

WTF Poison Ivy over Mr. Freeze? Seriously?

Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Review

It's garbage.

Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Screenshot

HIGH Nothing.

LOW Everything.

WTF Why in the world was this even released?

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Tatooine DLC

Just completed the new Tatooine DLC for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Xbox 360. As my co-podcaster Tim Spaeth so eloquently put it, it's another piece of "stealth DLC" arriving with no forewarning or fanfare, much like Mass Effect's Pinnacle Station. However, unlike Pinnacle Station, this add-on is pretty sweet.

Starting out, the mission assumes that the player became the Emperor's new disciple at the end of The Force Unleashed proper. (This was only one of two possible endings.) Seeing main character Starkiller as a desiccated metallic husk consumed by the dark side was a bit of a shock, but still pretty cool, regardless.

The Xbox 360 Elite is now also $299. Will you be getting one?

Yes.
6% (49 votes)
No.
39% (327 votes)
Maybe.
7% (63 votes)
Already own an Xbox 360.
43% (363 votes)
Just in time. My 360 just red-ringed.
6% (47 votes)
Total votes: 849

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).

Bayonetta includes one-switch mode for disabled gamers

As Gus Mastrapa writes in GameLife, Platinum Games's upcoming brawler Bayonetta will feature a mode which allows gamers to play through the entire game using a single button. The title, which will be released for the XBox 360 and the PS3, is, essentially, a mainstream one-switch game.

Shadow Complex Review

Lots of polish and clever thinking go a long way

Shadow Complex Screenshot

HIGH Highly polished, highly playable.

LOW Never shakes that been-there, done-that feeling.

WTF Missiles open... red doors.

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