Nintendo Switch: Let’s Call it A Comeback!

 

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On Thursday, October 20, 2016 Nintendo revealed the highly anticipated Nintendo NX! Nintendo NX officially called “Ninteno Switch” aptly fits with the hardware’s design. The song “Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah) by White Denim was the theme song for this very impressive and you one could say revolutionary design. In the video which you can see here, you can see the first actor use a standard controller to interact with the system. Next, he slides off the right side and left sides of the controller. That’s right, slides off two end pieces, both sides containing a joy stick and “ABXY” button configurations. The end pieces attached to a larger display that was connected to the base of the console (which probably acts as a charging station and output to connect to a monitor or tv). So, now players can have what looked to be a 7 inch display on the go!

Lastly, sharing the gaming the experience with others has always been at the core of Nintendo. The two end pieces can be used as separate controllers to play two player co-op while using the portal screen. The video suggests multiplayer co-op in a scene where some basketball players were going against each other in NBA 2K.

The portal display comes with a headphone jack, but not for sure what else the device contains within the hardware (NFC, Bluetooth, etc.)

Good job Nintendo! I am so happy you and this console! They say “Don’t Call It A Comeback”, but you needed one! Badly! Now, just don’t mess this up with out having some awesome launch titles when the system releases in March 2017. Please don’t mess this up!

 

Mafia 3: Should a Black Character be able to kill members of the KKK?

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This post was inspired after reading this article “Racists Outraged that Mafia III allows Players to Kill Klansmen“. The article discusses the controversy about allowing players to kill members of the notorious hate group, KKK, inside the world of Mafia 3. The article shows several Facebook comments of people expressing their outrage.

Instances when real-world identities and social issues become part of virtual spaces, you will always have conflicting view points on how those identities and issues should be presented. The main arguments I hear range from the gaming industry is becoming too PC (politically correct), what if a white person was to do this to a person of color (assuming the protagonist is a white person), and lastly, reflections and/or adaptations of real world issues have no place in virtual spaces for the idea is to escape from reality.

Killing other groups, especially groups that most people in a society despise, is quite common in more action and/or war based videogames. More specifically, action first and/or third person shooter games are inspired by  real-world battles and tragedies. Those games try to create an atmosphere in which the player feels as if they are actually in war or feel a connected to the action.  The Call of Duty franchise is based around the theme of protecting the United States and/or securing highly valued interests against their foreign invader. Same thing applies to most of the main Battlefield franchise games (Battlefield: Hardline is more of cops vs. robbers) and the Medal of Honor franchise. So, does a videogame cross the line if the player has the ability to kill a historically vial group(s) within the same boundaries where the group and the player originated from? Simply put, is it right for me to kill virtual representations of a hate group even if the existed in reality? Do we as players have a bias towards toward harming other groups of people in virtual spaces if there is no shared identity and/or background?

Some argue that race plays a factor in all of this. The main protagonist, Lincoln Clay, is biracial, but has a dark skin tone. Some suggest that because him being a black man killing members of the Klan is the issue. So, would one feel comfortable if the protagonist was a white, Asian, Hispanic person? Would one have been better if the game allowed players the option to kill members of the Black Panther Party as well?

Think about these questions and brush up on the histories of these groups. The question shouldn’t be is it okay for a black person to kill a white person? We should be asking are we more comfortable killing others who don’t look like us than those who do?

Calling All Black Gamers and Blerds!!

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From the title, you are probably wondering why I am shouting. Specifically, why am I calling for those who identify in someway with the African Diaspora? Well, it is for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is that the state of Black America is still going through a rough time. I, as a 22-year-old black male, have never questioned my safety as a person of color more than in the past four or so years. Yes, unfortunately I am used to the rhetoric that blacks are less than whites, and we have been—and still are—systematically displaced and segregated in the sectors of public health, housing, education, and politics. I grew up hearing that and I never questioned it until I started college. I ask every so often when I leave for school: will I return to my room that night?  I am uncomfortable seeing my people headlining the news almost every month, and knowing for a fact that it is not something positive.

Secondly, blacks are already a marginalized group. But those of us who try our best to enjoy life in a state of chaos end up even more ostracized at times because of our interests. I grew up watching Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, Dragon Ball ZYu Yu HakushoBleach, Naruto, One Piece, and many more anime series that were on Toonami. However, I have noticed over the years that some people are still surprised that black people are into anime and comic books. The majority of people assume that others from different backgrounds may have seen, heard, and watched anime. However, when it comes to black people, the assumption is that it’s only mainstream anime. Now honestly, I watched mainly mainstream anime, but I have several friends who are also nerds of color that talk about anime I have never heard! I have colleagues who read manga everyday that span a variety of different kinds of anime. I personally never heavily watched anime growing up and I still do not, but I am not representative of those who do.

There are bigoted people everywhere, and the gaming community is no different. Online chats are the gateway to disseminating hatred, racial slurs, and overall stupidity. I am pretty confident in saying blacks have been playing videogames as long as any other group of people. Still, online harassment based on someone’s skin color occurs. Here is one of many examples that other black gamers may identify with on some level. Personally, something of this magnitude has never happened to me, but hearing and being called certain racial slurs and micro-aggressions has happened to me through the public chat on Xbox Live.

This is all to say I am very interested to see if the experiences I listed are common among black gamers. Maybe I was just unlucky on having to run into those kinds of experiences. Maybe, the overwhelming population of black gamers and nerds have felt nothing but positivity and comfortability, which is great. I don’t know. I can only speak from my experience.

I would like to write a blog post synthesizing the experiences that are shared with me. This will add to an ongoing conversation about the feelings and attitudes of being a black gamer and/or nerd, and broadly about the feelings and behaviors within a society that deems black people than less than human at times. Some of you may want to privately share your story with me, which is perfectly fine. Follow me on Twitter (@JavonOnThePrgm), and message me saying you read this post so we can DM (please no crazy stuff people. This is for research purposes only). You can also send an email to me as well , javongoard@gmail.com, with this title as the subject line.

Please! This is a conversation that needs to happen and your voice is important. I will do my due diligence to synthesize the experiences shared with me to create a representative article. In the meantime, take time for self-healing. We all need it!