The Elevated Gaming Experience: Dystopic and Utopic Worlds

A core piece of what makes video games appealing is their ability to simulate a believable (different than realistic) experience that is somehow elevated from real life. This can be done in a number of ways relying mainly on the framework of either a utopian or dystopian game world. Or more simplistically, worlds where you can get a game over or worlds where you cannot.

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A Salute to the First Queer Character in Fire Emblem

Such a tasteful treatment of these themes seems radical when you first think about it, but in reality, it's not so much. Video games for many years have had characters who are Queer. Some of these characters are offensive and saturated with stereotype but some fly under the radar. For Pride month my intention is to remember some of these characters and honor them.

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A War Between Fans: How the Fire Emblem Community Become so Divisive and Why it's Unproductiveurre

In 1990 Fire Emblem roared onto the gaming scene on the Famicon. From there the series rapidly developed a reputation for its difficulty and layered on top of that, the famous permadeath system. Which, means once any one of your soldiers dies, they're dead forever. The concept of permadeath isn't new to gaming and Fire Emblem didn't introduce it  but the whole concept revolves around making every player choice must be made with thought and care. One wrong step and the solider you've been grooming for half the game dies forever. Fire Emblem also puts effort into developing the character of each playable unit. Each character has their own design, background, motivations and relationships. So where losing a generic thief wouldn't feel that bad, losing the thief who is fighting to protect his childhood best friend, who you've become attached to, sucks. But it creates a memorable level of tension which hardcore fans love.

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Localization Drama

If I had a nickel for every time I've read a comment about an instance of a localization team removing a reference or changing an outfit being referred to as "sanitization" I could retire at the young age of 22. Most recently a member of the localization team for the game, Akiba's Beat, posted a full thread detailing a few of the changes the localization team made during the game's translation from Japanese to English. Then announces he doesn't want to be in the credits citing the "sanitation" that took place as his reason. He also says he's fighting "the good fight" against censorship.

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