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Twisted Pixel « Nitpixels

Posts Tagged Twisted Pixel

From the Mailbag: Satire and sexism in video games

This letter was submitted via our mailbag@nitpixels.com email address, to be read on the podcast. We may still do that, but I wanted to get my full thoughts on the subject written out.

Last October, Twisted Pixel released Comic Jumper on Xbox Live Arcade. A lot of people said it was sexist and racist. Twisted Pixel replied that it was actually parodying all the themes people were calling it out for. They pointed out that all of the sexist characters, including the player’s character, were horribly inept and that the moral was that all those themes are bad. Twisted Pixel’s next game, Ms. ‘Splosion Man seems to be taking on those same tones.

My question to you is: Do you think video games can accurately portray subtlety, satire and parody? Do you think slapstick Xbox Live Arcade games are a reasonable platform for this? Or did most gamers think Andrew Ryan created Big Daddies just because he was evil?


I’m actually very glad you asked this question! It’s a topic I’ve been thinking about quite a bit since Twisted Pixel started to release information and gameplay footage of Ms. ‘Splosion Man.

I absolutely believe that video games, like any other creative medium, are a valid outlet for satire and parody. “Video game” is about as descriptive as the word “book.” Saying that you are reading a book says nothing about its contents, except that it is probably full of words. Is it fiction? Non-fiction? Historical? Is it for children or is it for adults? Is it a religious text? Political commentary? Social commentary? Book describes the object you are holding but it says absolutely nothing of its contents.

Video games are a diverse outlet and they will only grow to be moreso as time continues to pass. There are straightforward platformers that hold no illusion of being anything but a good time, like the Super Mario series. The FPS scene has an entire range of titles, from realistic war stories to shoot-em-ups. There are RPGs that take place in any setting imaginable across an entire spread of genres — comedy, drama, science fiction, history, fantasy, it’s all there. Video games can be an outlet for satire and parody just as well as any book or movie.

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