Tag Archives: video games

Video game seeks to give Pax Arcana heart attack

Father Scott

An impending video game reportedly could have as many as 6,000 zombies shown in one screen. Someone alert the nerds at project126, and ready the zombie shark army while Pax digs out a foxhole. Might this be the world’s first GWOZ training game?



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The zombies would like more sensitivity

Pax Arcana

resident-evil-5-imageThe fifth edition of zombie-killing video game (and Brotherhood of the Flying Shark Vikings training material) Resident Evil comes out on Friday. And because the game takes place in West Africa, and most of the people who live in West Africa are dark-skinned, it’s time to ask the hard, stupid questions about race.

Questions like this one, from the Wall Street Journal:

Is it racist for white people to shoot black zombies?

Man, what a hard, stupid question. I wish there was an academic available for comment that could help me sort out all the hard, stupid thoughts that are swirling through my head.

Mary Flanagan, a professor of digital media at Dartmouth College, argues that the fact that the game’s zombies are of color is a significant detail. “It’s not to say we can’t allow for transgression, but there are so few depictions of Africans in games,” she says. Though she’s only watched videos of the game, Ms. Flanagan says that to deal with violent images, particularly ones that involve people of color, the game should be nuanced and confront issues of race head on.

By confronting issues of race head on, she means “getting a job at the whitest Ivy League school in the whitest state and offering quotes to the Wall Street Journal based on games she hasn’t played.”

Anyway, the article goes on to point out that nearly all characters in the game — good and bad — are black, so it’s not whether people are African that makes them bad in the confines of the game, but whether they’re a member of the shuffling hordes of undead created by a biochemical terrorist strike. So yeah — I can see how people would get confused.

But regardless, those are video games. What about real life? I contacted famous zombie civil rights activist Zombie Al Sharpton to continue the discussion, which I found quite illuminating.

al_sharpton_zombie1Pax Arcana: Thank you for agreeing to discuss the very sensitive issue of race and human-zombie relations. My first question is a simple one: Why should black zombies be treated any differently than white zombies, by which I mean killed with all due speed?

Zombie Al Sharpton: Weeee didddn’t land on plymmmmmouth rrrrroooockkkkk….

PA: Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. But still, zombies are zombies, am I right?

ZAS: Iffffff the ggggllove don’t fiiiiiiitttt, you musssst…

PA: Seriously?

ZAS: Hhhuuuuuman alwayssss killllling usss…. because they scarrrrred we brinnnggg chickens hooooome to rroooooosssst… from the graaaaveyard to the backyard….. frrrooooommmmm the cassskets to the eeeaster baskets…. from six feeeeet unnnnder to the zommmmbie thunnnder….

PA: OK, but why should black zombies be any different from white zombies. They all want the same thing, right?


PA: I thought so.

‘Resident Evil 5’ Reignites Debate About Race in Videogames [WSJ]

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Where Mo Ager and Pavel Podkolzine are unstoppable

Father Scott

I can only think of two things more fun than complaining about sports.

First is complaining about fantasy sports.

Second is complaining about sports video games.

Patrick Hruby did an excellent job of the latter on ESPN, listing 24 random things about sports video games that bug him. He even structured it well in that there is absolutely no order at all; he doesn’t even categorize them by sport. These glitches are just annoying. Here’s a sample of what he wrote after the heading “Superstar Benchwarmers”:

Call it the Matt Bullard effect. A former pine-rider for the Houston Rockets, Bullard averaged 5.3 points per game during a nine-year career while shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc — the latter number making him a minor deity in older versions of NBA Live, where his 3-point shot rating made him good for 30-plus points a contest. “You still find that in games,” admits a basketball game developer. “Two years ago in our game, people would just abuse Jason Kapono. He’s a great shooter, but not that great. We had to go in and change a bunch of things. We added fatigue factors, made it so that he had to spot up, that he couldn’t just dribble up and shoot. As a designer, you have to figure out ways to model players so users can’t take advantage.”

This is something everyone can relate to and we all have our examples (mine: Maurice Ager in NBA 2K8, Trot Nixon in Triple Play Baseball 05, Joe Sakic in NHL Hitz [yes he’s a superstar, but he was a fucking God in that game], Wily Mo Pena and Lew Ford (as a pinch-hitter) in MLB 08: The Show, Adrian Murrell in Madden 2002). The whole article is a fuzzy fury of memories. Enjoy it.

Mo does this like eight times a game even if Marcus Camby is on defense

There are a few things he missed, though, check them out after the jump:

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Wii Fit looks great with anything from Ikea

Pax Arcana

From the makers of the big ass table video comes a sensible look at the Wii Fit goofiness.

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