February 14, 2013

VGH #87: Individual Co-op

VGH #87: Individual Co-op

What makes a good gaming protagonist? We look at some good and bad examples, plus the importance of a character’s backstory and gender. Also: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and yet more Dead Space 3.

Episode Timeline:

0:00 – Intro
2:30 – Viewer Mail
11:40 – Hangover (Dead Space 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)
35:46 – Gaming Protagonists
58:42 – Last Call
1:02:58 – Outro

Listen and Subscribe:
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Connect and Interact:
@vghangover facebook.com/vghangover Google+ youtube.com/vghangover

This Week’s Music:
A Robot Meets the Tree of Life” and “Voltaic Fluctuations” from Chromatic T-Rex, by Ben Prunty.

Among the Sleep trailer
Vector: Android | Facebook
Nancy Pelosi on Video Games and Violence
Perturbator – I Am the Night
chipzel – Fragments

  • panda_sensei

    Listening to your discussion on protagonists reminded me of a story I read recently. You guys probably already know about this, but a dad hacked a Zelda game that he was playing with his daughter by making Link a girl. Story is here: http://kotaku.com/5958918/father-hacks-zelda-for-his-daughter-makes-link-a-girl
    At first I thought it was pretty cool, but after really thinking about it I think a classic like Zelda needs to be left a classic. As much as I’m for more female protagonists, sometimes boys need to be boys. (I’m speaking as a 28-year old female, by the way). I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to be introduced to video games, and when she does I hope there are more out there with a strong female lead. If not, I think it’s ok for her to enjoy games like Zelda and know that she “can be a hero too” if she wants without me having to overtly change the game or tell her that Link is a girl. What do you guys think?
    A note on the show: I try to play as a female when I can. I also tend to make characters look like me.
    On a side note, thanks so much for putting a link up to Stitcher. I can’t wait to catch up on podcasts I have missed due to my phone not wanting to play the shows for me! You’ve given new life to my long commute. As a wife, new mother, and grad student I don’t have nearly as much time for video games as I used to. I greatly enjoy my vicarious video game experience I get from listening to you all!

    • As a father of two daughters, I wholeheartedly agree with you that there need to be more games with strong female leads.

    • It’s admirable that he went to the length he did to tailor the game for his daughter, but I agree—rewriting Link’s character like this is strange. My issue isn’t so much him being female, but that introducing someone to a work in a modified form feels deceptive. I’d suggest the father try introducing his daughter to something with a built-in female protagonist, like Pokemon (although she may be a little young if he has to read dialogue to her).

      Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m glad to hear Stitcher is working for you!

  • Great show guys! Even been distracted by a Protagonist in a game? I found the protagonist in Prototype 2 to be distracting Speaking of games like GTA IV and the Lost Episodes, what did you think of Niko, Luis, or Johnny who was more interesting?

    • I actually liked James Heller, but I interpreted him as being intentionally written to be over the top.

    • randy_wrecked

      I really liked Niko! He’s not the nicest guy in the world but he was complex. I dig that. I had the same impression of James from Red Dead — character who WANT to do well but keep getting roped into their old ways.

  • That Zelda article reminded me… I always make the player name “Court” when I play Zelda, then I pretend that I’m like the boyish side of me when I play, I guess. Does that make sense? So in a lot of games, like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where you can’t pick your gender, I’m “Court.” I’ve been doing it ever since I was a preteen, so it’s sort of grown on me now. It’s usually just for boyish characters though, not grown men. I usually keep the name the same if that’s the case. I guess I can relate more to being a tomboy than a man!? lol. It’s funny I’m just thinking of it this way.

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