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Thread: The Last of Us (PS3)

  1. #101
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I know what you're saying Sulphur, but I still think my points are valid. Also, I didn't call TLOU a power fantasy; I compared it to games that are.

    The Ellie / David chapter while good, is overall a small part of the game. Afterwards, it settles back into Joel protecting Ellie. It even removes all agency from Ellie at the end with Joel deciding her fate.
    If they were really looking at breaking new ground in games, they should have swapped the roles of Joel and Tess.

    And while overall the story as it ends isn't about saving the world, it starts out that way.
    Let alone which, because they've aimed at creating a new franchise with this title, both Joel & Ellie are alive at the end. Meaning future titles will probably centre around third parties hearing about the miracle girl who is immune. And once again, it becomes a story about saving the world or saving the girl. TLOU is basically a "Chosen One" story, one of the most common stories in sci-fi and fantasy.
    That it tries to subvert that is admirable, but at the end of the day, Ellie is still miraculously immune. Her only reason to exist in the story is because of that immunity.

    As for the mechanical complaint about areas being locked off behind you, just because other games do it, it doesn't make it right. It comes down to trying to push a narrative forward. It removes a degree of control from the player, and I find it comparable to QTEs in how irritating it can be.

    It's an interesting game, and braver than a lot of stuff out there, but I still think being triple-A held it back, and the story it told was lazier than it could have been.
    Subjectively, I was much more moved by the tale TWD told where you found TLOU more engaging through its delivery. I think we'll have to agree to differ there. Both tell their tales brilliantly and while I've heaped criticism on TLOU here, I must stress that I really greatly enjoyed it. And the story and characters were far superior to those of Bioshock Infinite for me, which is probably a better game to compare TLOU to than TWD.

    It's definitely a must-have for the PS3.

  2. #102
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    @faetal: yup, this is Koki. We should let it go. Let him stew in his own bilious ichor until he eats himself up.

  3. #103
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabucino View Post
    Your opinion of me is relevant to the topic, because reasons.
    Anyone who discusses topics using popular memes should be ignored. Preferably taken out back and shot too.

  4. #104
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2008
    Location: Budapest, Hungary
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    > presumptions make you look stupid
    > I don't have an opinion of you
    faetal pls stop

  5. #105
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'm not sure how your reading comprehension is, but I already said that it was you inane comments I was referring to, not you. I'm now going to do something I've never done on here, which is put you on an ignore list, because unlike Koki, who was occasionally amusing, you are just tedious and not half as clever as you think you are.

    [EDIT] Ahhh, that's better

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2008
    Location: Budapest, Hungary
    But why did that self-centered rant had to preclude this act, dare I ask...?

  7. #107
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    Minor subtle ending spoiler in this paragraph: Sarkeesian's recent "tropes" videos, as mentioned in a previous post of mine, have really coloured my vision regarding videogame stories, and The Last of Us struggles to escape the "Damsel" trope and ultimately fails. What a shame. It's quite a moving example of the Damsel trope, but still that trope, just the same.

    Maybe I'm missing something, having had jack shit interest in this Sarkeesian malarkey, but how does The Last of Us fit the bill for a "damsel in distress" trope? I've always thought of that particular archetype as requiring at least a little bit of sexualisation as a foundation, as in strong male goes out and rescues weak, potentially sexable female, playing on those gender roles. TLOU, on the other hand, builds Joel and Ellie's relationship as a father-daughter one, and I can't picture a great deal of difference in plot development had Ellie and Joel's lost child been boys instead of girls. Ellie's vulnerability in the story stems from her age, not her sex (especially in light of Tess's portrayal), and Joel's role as protector is an extension of his parent role. Is this dynamic all that different from, say, Heavy Rain's Ethan Mars struggling to rescue his son?

  8. #108
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I wonder about the discussion of such tropes even when they are valid. Of course it's worth noting that culture seems to confine women (not exclusively, but largely) to certain stereotypes when telling a story, but should this then mean that those tropes should preclude all uses of these stereotypes in fiction? Or is it just that we need to get them down to a more realistic proportion of portrayed situations?

  9. #109
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    The problem is faetal, the vast majority of game stories treat women these ways. It's sex, protection or both. Those stereotypes are fine in moderation, but not when they consist the majority.

    And Ostriig, I don't know if you've played TLOU, but the end sequence is Joel killing scores of soldiers while rescuing an unconscious Ellie from a deadly surgical procedure.
    I think that fits the Damsel trope pretty neatly.

  10. #110
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I get that part. I was wondering what the remedy is and when the "preferred amount" is reached. Also, there needs to be some comment about male stereotypes in games too. The standard, square-jaw alpha dude doesn't do much for the image of how the medium expects men should should look and behave. It's a lesser problem than the former one, since men haven't been dicked over by women in general for all those years, but I'd prefer that over time, we see games giving a more varied portrayal on the sexes (well, people in general actually) overall.

  11. #111
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    I love it. DoTheGeek gets banned, Robert420 starts up the cringe engine. Robert420 leaves in a huff, and Gabucino comes back to shit up threads. The party never stops.

  12. #112
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I think my preferred ending to TLOU would have been almost identical to the current fight at the end, except that Joel gets there and Ellie's awake.
    She then chooses to sacrifice herself in the name of a cure, so Joel's fight would have all been for nothing.


    Ellie retains choice and Joel's selfishness is thrown back in his face.

    But I figure that's too depressing for AAA.

    Of course, I also have problems with scientists deciding that the only way to develop a cure is to kill Ellie. Especially given the short amount of time between her falling unconscious and them deciding that this is the only course of action available. And that's probably more what we should be debating rather than the presence of bad stereotyping of women. I feel it's a cheap shortcut to force an emotional response at the end of an otherwise good story.

  13. #113
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    And Ostriig, I don't know if you've played TLOU, but the end sequence is Joel killing scores of soldiers while rescuing an unconscious Ellie from a deadly surgical procedure.
    I think that fits the Damsel trope pretty neatly.
    How so? I guess what I'm asking is what you consider to be the base minimum for such a trope, is it sufficient that a character of male sex act as protector for a character of female sex, regardless of any other considerations? Going off what faetal's touching on, is not having a male protector for a female the only way of avoiding this trope?

    My argument is that there needs to be a dose of sexual rapport for it to work as a "damsel in distress" trope. The entire "beef" with this trope is that it implicitly places the female character in a subordinate position to the male hero by suggesting that she needs him to take care of her (whereas, obviously he can take care of himself), and the principal reason is her innate weakness as a woman compared to the strength of the man. It doesn't matter whether the two actually end up together, it matters that, theoretically, they could form a couple. This doesn't apply to a filial relationship as is the case with TLOU, the "weakness" and subordinate position of the child when compared to the adult parent are typically a given.

    The context for Joel's actions, including that last segment (especially, in fact), is a parental one and whether the child is a boy or a girl has no bearing on it. Joel and Ellie's relationship is neither sexual nor potentially sexual, so to that effect Ellie could just as easily be a son or his wheelchair-bound grandmother, that part of the trope isn't tripped in any case. Joel is trying to protect his surrogate child, and isn't in the exercise of proving himself to a potential mate. Ellie's vulnerability is ostensibly down to her being a fourteen-year-old, and Tess's character further diminishes the possibility of building a case on the weaker sex, I just don't see a case for that stance.

    P.S. On the ending bit, I went in there fully expecting the plot to go the way you're describing. And I'm glad they didn't, really. I see your point, but I'd have felt that was all this "greater good" stuff popping up again and there's loads of that already, the selfishness felt refreshing.
    Last edited by Ostriig; 9th Sep 2013 at 16:21.

  14. #114
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    The problem is faetal, the vast majority of game stories treat women these ways. It's sex, protection or both. Those stereotypes are fine in moderation, but not when they consist the majority.
    That would certainly be a problem. But is it true? It's easy enough to point at some games and mention that you rescue female characters. But it's just as easy to point at some games - frequently the same ones - and show that you rescue male characters. "Rescuing" happens a lot. It's rather more difficult to point at games in the past decade where the only female characters' only role is being sex objectives.

    For the complaint to be valid, it should be difficult for me to point to female videogame characters that do things other than sex or otherwise acting as an objective. And it's not. The argument falls apart. Sure, you rescue Ellie, but she is much more than that, as a character. And there are other women in the story, who are also not mere sex objectives.

    I can't track every game made, but I can go through games I've played recently. FTL, no difference between male and female except the sprite. Mark of the Ninja, the female lead is notable for being the one ally you DON'T have to rescue. Minerva, she(?)'s the one giving you orders. BS:I, you rescue her, but she rescues you, too; and she's much more in control of the plot than you are. In DX:HR, when you try to rescue your love interest, she's not interested, because Science.

    ...Is harvesting sunlight from sunflowers a metaphor for sex? If so, Plants vs. Zombies totally qualifies.

  15. #115
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    I know what you're saying Sulphur, but I still think my points are valid. Also, I didn't call TLOU a power fantasy; I compared it to games that are.

    The Ellie / David chapter while good, is overall a small part of the game. Afterwards, it settles back into Joel protecting Ellie. It even removes all agency from Ellie at the end with Joel deciding her fate.
    If they were really looking at breaking new ground in games, they should have swapped the roles of Joel and Tess.

    And while overall the story as it ends isn't about saving the world, it starts out that way.
    Let alone which, because they've aimed at creating a new franchise with this title, both Joel & Ellie are alive at the end. Meaning future titles will probably centre around third parties hearing about the miracle girl who is immune. And once again, it becomes a story about saving the world or saving the girl. TLOU is basically a "Chosen One" story, one of the most common stories in sci-fi and fantasy.
    That it tries to subvert that is admirable, but at the end of the day, Ellie is still miraculously immune. Her only reason to exist in the story is because of that immunity.
    True, it's a clichéd trope, but that doesn't automatically make its characterisation irrelevant, there. The game spends most of its time exploring the space between the two, and for me, the over-arching motive's actually more or less irrelevant when the majority of the game doesn't rub it in your face. Should they have tried to make a story without the tug of a tried-and-tested 'miracle cure' trope? Perhaps. But that they've pulled off this personal story by subverting a popular fiction template speaks to the talent they have on tap.

    As for the mechanical complaint about areas being locked off behind you, just because other games do it, it doesn't make it right. It comes down to trying to push a narrative forward. It removes a degree of control from the player, and I find it comparable to QTEs in how irritating it can be.
    Fair enough, we'll have to agree to disagree here. I don't find it as bad as QTEs, and the game railroads you right through the narrative even where you're supposed to be making a choice (like in the end), but you're not playing you, really, you're playing Joel, so it didn't bother me much.

    It's an interesting game, and braver than a lot of stuff out there, but I still think being triple-A held it back, and the story it told was lazier than it could have been.
    Subjectively, I was much more moved by the tale TWD told where you found TLOU more engaging through its delivery. I think we'll have to agree to differ there. Both tell their tales brilliantly and while I've heaped criticism on TLOU here, I must stress that I really greatly enjoyed it. And the story and characters were far superior to those of Bioshock Infinite for me, which is probably a better game to compare TLOU to than TWD.

    It's definitely a must-have for the PS3.
    Oh, I agree. I don't think it's perfect - and neither is TWD - but I think its key strengths lie in how it trusts in its audience's intelligence to fill in the blanks, and how bravely it works its story and character interaction through implied subtext rather than hammering plot points over your head every step of the way like literally every game ever made. It really did give me that feeling of contentment at the end of having read a great book, or seen a great movie.

    Regarding the damsel in distress thing - I don't really see it that way, and while Ostriig's take goes into what the trope means in deeper detail, I don't think assigning the trope to the situation here works for one very simple reason - Ellie never asked Joel to rescue her. It was her choice to go to the hospital, and you could see the trepidation in her body language that meant she knew she probably wasn't coming back. Joel, being the monumentally selfish person he is, whisked her away against her own wishes. Ellie's not dumb, she woke up in her hospital johnnies and was fed a bunch of horseshit when she asked what happened. This is why the epilogue closes out the way it does in the first place. If it's really the damsel in distress trope, it's another subversion going on here.

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2008
    Location: Budapest, Hungary
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    d Gabucino comes back to shit up threads
    Raising a technical issue (no collision detection in pathfinder routine for non-aggressive NPC sidekicks) = "you look stupid", "shitting up threads", etc.

    Thanks for reminding me what a non-circlejerky place this is :-} Looks like FIDOnet-aged players are unwelcome among kiddies here.

    I'm fascinated by seeing how much this interactive movie gets fapped on by certain elements, all issues aside, because "omigosh, (spoon-fed) morals". |-]
    Last edited by Gabucino; 10th Sep 2013 at 02:00.

  17. #117
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    Wow. This might be the 3rd best post of the year.

  18. #118
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Man, Koki had some real observations to speak to once in a while. This thing, not so much.

  19. #119
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2008
    Location: Budapest, Hungary
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    Wow. This might be the 3rd best post of the year.
    That's hardly an achivement. Even an empty comment is better than
    OH ELLIE OH JOEL
    OH ELLIE OH JOEL
    OH ELLIE OH JOEL
    OH ELLIE OH JOEL
    OH ELLIE OH JOEL

  20. #120
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Christ, did you learn English from 2chan?

  21. #121
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2008
    Location: Budapest, Hungary
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    Christ, did you learn English from 2chan?
    Allah, no.

  22. #122
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    You're so delightfully retarded I think I'm a fan. Keep up the good work, Captain Cretin.

  23. #123
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'm also regretting hiding Gabucino's posts - are they worth a read? Personally, I found the glib, infantile "stop pls" etc.. meme talk too offputting to extract the entertainment value. Koki was regularly worth a read because he was entertaining and variable. Gabucino is like someone wrote a computer program that basically does 2 things: 1) assume superiority, 2) talk like 4chan.

    Regarding the tropes thing, I often wonder about one other thing too, probably specifically because I work in science: how much of the trope is examined in isolation? If you look at e.g. 20 different games which use the trope, then it probably looks like a horrific state of affairs, but if you choose a criterion, along the lines of "anything where person A has to save person B due to person B not having the ability themselves" and then looked at every instance of that in games, then THAT would be a better way to define the trope. Otherwise, it's just like confirmation bias to show that game designers hate women or whatever. I'm not saying the latter isn't true, just wondering about how best to examine if it is and if so, to what extent. Otherwise, as Ostriig says - you highlight the problem in a vacuum, the only resolution would be to exclude that scenario entirely to eliminate it.

  24. #124
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Of course, no one's done a careful run-down of games that use the 'rescue X person' trope and categorised them on a gender-wise basis. That'd call for too much work outside a serious study.

    The reason why Sarkeesian et al. are doing what they are is because it's a common theme in gaming (well, fiction in general) to portray women as abstracted/objectified goals, be they a potential romancing situation or a 'she's mine and she was stolen' damsel/distress type deal. It's convenient, lazy shorthand to provide a protagonist something to go after, and the prevailing reason why this happens is because people (guys like us, ostensibly) can 'relate' to it, which tends to work on a basic, primal level; even if that is one of the most superficial of levels, the fact is, it still works, at least until we stop and think a little about it, or reach a saturation point with the trope. You've got tons of RPGs, platformers (Mario, the original Prince of Persia), FPSes, 3PSes, etc. that do this to justify the game's quests/journeys/what have you, so it tends to stand out even if the majority of games employ sufficiently different themes to hook a player.

    I doubt there's a confirmation bias, even if people have the tendency to believe it's true just 'cuz, since we've already seen it so often in various mediums. It's usually a hallmark of lazy storytelling, which is where Malf's coming from, and I agree with that in spirit, if not in this particular instance.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 10th Sep 2013 at 18:24.

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Of course, no one's done a careful run-down of games that use the 'rescue X person' trope and categorised them on a gender-wise basis. That'd call for too much work outside a serious study.
    Maybe throw a kickstarter to raise the funds and hire EEDAR for the data.

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