Not everyone sees it like that. I don’t see “caring” as feminine labor just because that’s what society has pushed for practically ever. In fact I don’t really see it as any gender. At the same time I’m not interested in being a care provider, because for me that requires an emotional connection. My mother in many ways was similar, and she was a nurse. She was the one you wanted when a patient was coding, great on the technical and quick thinking…not so much on the bed side manner and empathy. I’m not sure I could make the emotional bond with a video game to the point where this would be effective. And not only for the issue of being a more closed off introverted person, but my entire life video games haven’t been much more than a source of endorphins and brain stimulation. Obviously they are trying to push that boundary, and I hope they make traction, but I think it’s going to be a long journey.
Caring isn’t a gender issue unless you are trying to make it one.
As a father I was the children’s primary care giver, as their mother was chronically grabbing extra shifts (a nurse) and otherwise avoiding motherhood.
Making nurture into a video game, whether you sexualize it or not, will always struggle for popularity given the alternative of hyper-stimulating games where you can hunt and kill with impunity.
Now, having said that, I remember attachment children had to tiny little games where you had to raise an infant of one sort or another on a tiny one inch by one inch screen, and if you weren’t careful the infant would die.
Media always plays with one’s emotions, if it didn’t we wouldn’t pay attention.
The games you mentioned reminded me of Dark Room Sex Game by the Copenhagen Game Collective. Though the game was multiplayer, it very clearly required consent and cooperation in order to progress/succeed.
feminine and feminized, are different words with different meanings. I believe you may have misread, misunderstood, and misstated their case just there.
I do not think this piece is. I think a commenter above, for whatever reason, read that into it and i would hate to see the discussion devolve instantaneously. Please everyone read carefully! this is a wicked cool piece.
Consent and negotiation matter.
Stating what this says to you as a fact or otherwise acting on your interpretation of a situation is quite different from asking the author what was intended and what they want to communicate. See what I did there?
Yikes… intimacy or conquest? Can I choose “neither”?
consent and negotiation matter sometimes…in a dispassionate framework.
No? I can ask the author to explain what they intended for their audience to think or feel about something, but that’s more or less irrelevant to the real world. In a way it’s like having to have “art” explained to you so you can appreciate it…where as you might instinctively not like it. That doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the meaning, but it is unlikely to change your opinion on whether you “like” it or not.
Outside of the whole caring is a female thing (or the aspect that is makes one weak or more feminine), I was trying to show an aspect of how having grown up playing video games the concept of being part of a game or caring for the characters is somewhat foreign to me. In the real world my level of desire to care for others is directly related to my level of emotional attachment I have to them. I suspect that makes me somewhat of a cold hearted person, but that is simply how I am. To have a game that no long directly stimulates your mind (like killing a target, racing a car, completing a puzzle) to one that has to build an emotional connection for positive reward is a huge undertaking. I think people who are working on projects like this are at a far edge of what the gaming community is. And not because of content, but more so for the technological challenges of bringing a person into a characters world in a realistic and believable way. As time and technology move forward things like realistic VR or augmented reality will make games like this more successful at having an impact on a large proportion of the gaming community.
Your steamroller like indifferenence to my point, and also to I believe the authors point, aside:
Did something in the piece strike a nerve with you?
Does passion justify anything you do, to me?
If you care, that is the very crux of it.
I disagree with you there, nurturing games are hugely popular. For example, the Catz/Dogz/Babyz franchise is 20 years old and you can still buy the latest PC version of these games even through they’re 12 years old. I don’t even follow the console versions, there’s too many to keep track of. But these are considered “not-a-game” by most gamers. Also, tamagotchi was massive back in the 90s. But again, not-a-game. Ditto with Animal Crossing. Harvest Moon. Hugely popular multi-version and multi-platform not-games.
I think nurturing games aren’t as popular as FPS/platformers/etc because they require a different gameplay mechanic. They often require multiple short gameplay periods rather than hours of extended play, which means they’re less of a past time and more of a hobby. I think nurturing games are just as stimulating as shooters, but the payoff is much more delayed.
The Sims alone has sold about 17 brazillion copies. I’m not sure it’s a nurturing game the way I play it, but it’s definitely supposed to be one.
That’s more of a usury simulator. Screw you, Tom Nook.
Haha, I know. I originally had The Sims in my list of games because it is kinda a nurturing game. But it’s so much else as well.
I disagree with you here. Emotional connection is a huge part of gaming. In recent discussions about sex in Witcher 3 the game developers specifically said they had the game start with the main character having sex with a woman so that when she goes missing the player feels compelled to go look for her.
More recently, Battlefield Hardline developers said they had to remove some NPC chatter because it was too personal and might make the player connect with the NPC goons (and therefore less likely to shoot them).
If games didn’t rely on emotional connection we never would’ve progressed past Pong.
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