Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.
What’s In A Name?
Yesterday, Samantha Nelson shared her thoughts on Bravely Default, the latest RPG from Final Fantasy overlords Square Enix. Landstander did not default and bravely asked the question on everyone’s mind: Why does the title have to be so weird? stepped_pyramids courageously reflected on of Square Enix’s track record of strange titles:
This is the company that thought a cool name for the fighting game version of their popular Final Fantasy series was Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring. Years later, they took another shot at it and called it Dissidia Final Fantasy, which at least had the name of the series in it. But the sequel to that game was called Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, because that makes sense. And that one had a spinoff called Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Final Fantasy, apparently.
caspiancomic valiantly added one more absurd title for good measure:
See also: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. You can stare at that title for as long as you like, but you will never, ever naturally deduce that it’s supposed to be pronounced “three five eight days over two.” On top of that, the intended pronunciation makes no more sense than the written title.
And as emisan daringly noted, let’s not forget about Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. And here’s one from me: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Just Be Cool
Ryan Smith brought us a story about a top North American StarCraft 2 player, a Canadian competitor who goes by Scarlett. Scarlett also happens to be a transgender woman, and part of Ryan’s story dealt with the reaction that fact has caused with some members of the games community. Responding to a commenter who was surprised to hear the gaming community, which is largely thought of as a bunch of marginalized people itself, would not be more accepting, Mr. Martini brought up a social science theory about this phenomenon:
Commenter Lemon Of Troy tipped me off to an interesting field of social science called Horizontal Hostility. It examines hostile attitudes between individuals in similarly oppressed minority groups.
Horizontal hostility occurs when one minority group perceives a threat to their identity based on an association with another minority group. Minority group A assumes popular perception will confuse the groups together. In response, minority group A vocally highlights the differences between themselves and minority group B, usually to the detriment of the second group.
It seems like this article is an example of some members of the gaming community buttressing the boundaries of their own identity by lashing out against a gamer whose identity may be perceived to fall outside of those boundaries. This is especially sad because I bet many of those gamers faced similar oppression in regards to their own identity but are too myopic to see the hypocrisy.
Elsewhere, the topic of minding your pronouns came up, and Charlotte Grote told everyone why it is so important:
One of the hardest things to do, as a trans person, is combat the idea that you are not your assigned gender. It is absolutely brutal, especially if you are in the early stages of transition. People will deny you the right to be your real gender at every turn, and will either insist on using your birth name or the wrong pronouns because it’s just “too confusing.” This is a real thing that happens all the time and that is so ingrained in people’s consciousness that they usually don't even question if they are doing something that may be hurting another person.
So no, trans people shouldn't be willing to meet halfway with people on this issue. They should call them out on it, even if they have the best intentions in mind. They should be educating people on who they are, and make themselves be seen as something other than a circus sideshow, or a helpless weirdo that needs saving with the help of good ol' cis people. You can commend somebody for wanting to help you while at the same time pointing out flaws that may have been made.
Derrick Sanskrit brought us a review of the slapstick comedy game Octodad: Dadliest Catch, and in the comments, The_Misanthrope wondered if it was time to give a name to this burgeoning quasi-genre—games like QWOP and Surgeon Simulator, where the fun and comedy comes from contending with strange and unwieldy control schemes. robert jokeseph had the answer, which turns out to be a label that has been in use and slowly picking up steam:
“Fumblecore” is the term I like and use for this genre.
I can’t believe I hadn’t heard that before.
One More Thing
The Gameological Steam group is starting up its 10th Game Revue Discussion and accepting nominations until Monday, February 10th! Why not drop by and make a suggestion, or just see what’s been brought up so far?
That does it! Thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll see you all next week!