Dear PC Gamer:

From your Left 4 Dead review: “…you can’t choose which survivor you play as, so someone will be stuck playing the girl.”

Please explain this joke to me? How does one get “stuck” playing as “the girl”, and why is this a bad thing?

Seriously, I really want to see you explain how this is funny without just coming out and saying girls and women are inferior. Because that is the entire point of the joke… someone gets “stuck” playing as the female character because no one WANTS to play as the female character, because girls suck.

The “joke” makes especially no sense because you go on to say that the characters are entirely cosmetic since they all play exactly the same. So in this case the ONLY reason someone would feel that they were “stuck” playing as Zoey is because they are sexist assholes.

Clearly you didn’t take into account that some of your readers would actually WANT to play as “the girl”. But, you know, keep on keeping that boy’s club sealed up tight.


Dear Developers

(This entry is part of the July Round Table at Man Bytes Blog. Check out the other entries here or via the drop-down menu at the end of this wall o’ text.)

I will probably not make it through your game if I have to play any given boss or section more than three times.

I don’t play games to be frustrated, and in my mind, when I’m playing a game, any frustration that lasts for more than five minutes can’t be “good” or “motivating” frustration. I will never play N+, or a hardcore roguelike. Wanting to break something–most likely the expensive piece of electronics in my hands–is not my idea of a good time. When a review says a game is “punishingly difficult,” I direct my browser elsewhere. When I get frustrated, I take a break from the game–sometimes for good.

There are plenty of games that I claim to enjoy or even love that I have not finished. Odin Sphere, Dragon Quest VIII, Shadow of the Colossus, the original Legend of Zelda, the first two Metroid Prime games, and more all sit stagnant in my collection, and every time I get the urge to play one of them I remember the frustratingly difficult section that made me stop to begin with.

Instead of the challenge, I play games for the experience. The story. To immerse myself in a world crafted by a team of creative and technological minds. I want to discover, to relax, and to have fun. Part of what makes games such an interesting medium is that people get different things out of them, and experience them in different ways. The best part? All these ways are equally valid.

Two games I’m currently playing are Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. I’m not particularly far into either, but even so, I can tell you which game I will get completely through and which one I will not. (Hint: it’s the one with an easy mode!)

So please, include that easy mode. It’s just considerate.

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for links to all entries.