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November 18, 2007

Thank you, Jane, I thought it was just me ...

I've been a Guitar Hero fan since I got it for my better half. I didn't think I could play it, being that I'm incompetent at most things that require more finesse than button mashing, but I have actually been able to enjoy myself. My secret ... don't push myself to the point of frustration, which means I'll 5 star all the songs on Medium, thank you, and be happy with that. Plus, it's a great family game that allows me to share some great songs with my kids.

We've played through GH, GHII and GH Encore: Rock the 80's and, though 80's was light on content, we have enjoyed them all. We have eagerly awaited GHIII and,since T was in town on release day, we stood in line at midnight to get his reserved copy for the 360. At the time, I didn't have the 360 and I was relegated to playing backup which, by the way, was fine for me. I like playing bass to his lead. Now, I knew that since Neversoft was involved there would be changes but I didn't know, really, what to expect.

What I saw disappointed and angered me. Not only do we have the addition of useless, clumsily animated 'Bow-chika-bow-wow girls' on stage gyrating out of time (it's RATM, for God's sake, ladies, at least pick the pace up!), but the female characters are not the strong rocker chicks that I used to be able to back.

Judy Nails, a former punk tomboy, is all about showing off the bouncy boob physics engine that is so popular nowadays. Casey Lynch, who T used to like to call Heroine Chic, is also glammed up, with straightened blond hair and sporting a girlie bustier ... what the ... didn't she used to be hardcore?  Also, can I just say ... Midori? I'm all about some diversity (thank you for bringing Xavier back) but ... MIDORI?? *sigh* 

What ever happened to the easy going non-sexism that launched the franchise into the stratosphere? Wasn't it perfect them Harmonix was focusing on the music and not just targeting 18-30 year old males but engaging a broader spectrum of audience? I thought Neversoft did a decent job with the Tony Hawk franchise but they seem to forget that there are girls, women, moms, grandmas out there that like to rock (and skateboard, for that matter).

I know, I know ... quit'cher bitchin' and just choose a different character. I do. I usually play as Xavier because he is the essence of cool for me. But what about my 14 year old daughter, who likes to play as a girl? Gone is her favorite punk, Judy Nails. She's stuck with Midori's puffs and backpack or Casey's new sell-out, sexier look. 

I've pretty much kept my mouth shut about this because every time I mention it, I get challenged and I begin to feel as though I'm being close-minded and maybe just a little old-fashioned. For the record, I know I'm not, but I hear so many excuses for and hardly any voices against that I start to think that it's just me. I feel better now, though. Jane over at Game Girl Advance has spoken out on 1UP Yours and written "My Guitar Heroes - and Heroines" and, while I don't agree with all of her guitar heroes, it's nice to see that I'm not totally alone in thinking this game has gone in the wrong direction when it comes to sexism in gaming.

Rock Band ... save us ... remind us that it's really all about the music.

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This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on November 18, 2007 8:45 PM.

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