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Here is an article that i tought might interest you people on this wiki. It's from the swedish game magasine LEVEL. It's about look 343's look on Cortana and how the author of the article (won't give out the name) think they are hypocrits. The author is male.
And before you start flamming me, i just translated the article and put it up here, my opinion is both for and against.
This article do contain spoilers for Halo 4.
Everything under here is from the article.
The Halo-evolution continues backwards. Worst is it for Cortana.
It's the hypocricy that makes me pisses off. 'As developers we have a personal responsability to reflect over how are games are perceived. With Halo 4 we thought much about who would be women and who would be man, and if the result was recived as stereotypical we stopped and asked ourselfs what we're really are doing and why.' These words belong to Bonnie Ross, studiochief for 343 Industries who took over the Halo-series after Bungie left the franschise. In an interview with Gamasutra did she say that it's time for the game industrie to grow up and take dodgy gender perspectives and sexist stereotyps seriously. If the developers diden't do it, why would the gamers?. Since the interview takes place at the lobby organization Gamasutra, who think that everything that is selling in the game industrie is always best, no hard questions are asked. Afterall, Ross's opinion is true. Many game developers should really see themselfs in the mirror and be ashamed over what they see.
Problem is same goes for Bonnie Ross.
In Halo 4 Cortana discovers, the games female protaganist, that her program is going to self destruct. As an AI she has an limited lifetime that says be for military stragical reasons but actually are completely illogical. She awakens Master Chief from his cryo sleep in the space ship we saw him at the end of Halo 3, and togheter they set off on a odysse' to find Cortana's creator who, maybe, can help her.
Cortana is this time portrayed as a barley of age girl. She is fragile and has depression attacks. Her skin is smooth, lips pout and bog eyes. Her face is filled with typical child proportions that is supposed to give an innocent expression. Physically she is almost naked. Her clothing consist off a few stripes that cover her nipples and nether regions. Her breasts are bigger then ever before. The naked hips sticks out as much as the shoulders. The camera has an tendecy to stay at her buttocks. She is barefot.
This is how an military strategist is portrayed in Halo 4. A hologram with the civilized worlds knowledge stored in it's database. Could you imangine and male analyst portrayed this way?
Worst of all is that 343 Industries sees themselfs as some sort of knight of healthy gender perspectives in the game industry. They promise to ban players who use sexist language in the multiplayer permanently. They talk about thier mature women portraits. They take every moment to shine. At the same time they give us a game with a naked teenage girl on to verge of tears who gets sudden, unprovoked tantums that makes the whole screen shake when her code starts to act up.
If you're going to ban hormone-fueled teenages boys becuse they downgrade women there exsist a point in realising that it's an product of Halo itself. It's exactly this kind of objectifying behavior the encourages. Cortana was never an brilliantly portrayed character, but she has gone thourgh rather radical change thourgh the years. Google Evolution of Cortana and you'll understand. In short it show how the clothes grows smaller and smaller and her phsical attributes gets more exposure and the character itself gets weaker.
Frank O'Connor also works on 343 Indusries. He is one of the game indusries biggest idiots. In an interview with Game Informer in November he talked about The beautiful blue naked lady and how she actually have chosen her apperence herself. 'She is tactically designed to get people out of balance and give her more command then she otherwise would have... i can barley argument her nudity as some sort of feminist ideal, haha... but i felt it gave her an advantage in dialogs and got them (the men) to sway a bit.'
It's the most retarded thing i ever read. No female manager or politicain would think along those lines. That would not give recevie any respect from others, it would be lost forever. O'Connor and 343 Industries obviously know this. And it's just that the makes it so diabolically provoking.
By fronting with female producers and have them talk about the game industries crappy gender perspective in several open hearted interviews.
One should have in mind that Halo 4 in addition isen't a very good game. It continues the game mechanically devulution that started in Halo 2. Every year the controll gets worse, the enemies boring, the story dumbare and the interface gets more and more desingned for online play. The new energy weapons are a complete fiasco, just like the Forerunners that explode in orange clouds of energy when you shoot them. It was the story that was the big towbar this time. The characters would be more human and express more feelings. We would feel something for them.
And on those points Halo 4 succeed on something it takes itself for. Not in the way 343 Industrues have thought, but the game actually make me feel something. The cheap storytellling tricks and intrusive camera angeles have an emotional effect.
They feel me with disgust.