Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Tale of Two Trailers

Watch the trailers above. Both of them generated a lot of talk when they were made available. Both of them generated some controversy, but only one of them deserved it. One is an awful made trailer who can make people not wanting to buy the game in question, while the other is very well made and show what the game is about. Let's start with the Hitman: Absolution trailer.

People got angry with it by all wrong reasons in my opinion. Many complained about 47, the protagonist, brutally killing women. We have brutally killing everything in games for years. Nobody complained that much with God of War and his brutal kills (including women) as they complained against this one. It is moot because 47 is attacked first, so don't matter the gender of his attackers, he killed them to defend himself.

'Oh, I cannot kill them! They are girls and nuns!' - nobody.
If it was him attacking a 'real' church and killing 'real' nuns, I would see the point. Those women 47 kills are assassins trying to get him. So, all the point about the absurd of a man killing women are moot. It is just white knights trying to appear politically correct here. Gamers have being punching women since when? At least since Street Fighter 2. And now it become a problem? This is hypocrisy at least.

Another complaint, this one a bit more solid, is how those assassin nuns are clad in arousing clothes. Yes, it is clear that the guys who made this trailer just decided to play with the old stereotype that gamers are 14 year old teens who never touch real girls. The problem is that this nuns are so unbelievable and comical that any sex appeal it could have got lost in how ridiculous they are.

And that is my main and only concern with this damn trailer. It is ridiculous. it makes nothing to me about selling the game, it don't show what Hitman: Absolution is supposed to be and don't get any positive thing to say about the game. It was clear made to get gamers talking, but it back fired because most gamers got turned off by this ridiculous trailer. Old fans got angry, possible new fans got burned by this.

Hitman: Absolution is a bad trailer because it highlighted the game only in bad ways. It don't show a game I would want to play, just a game who seems to base himself in polemic, which is very bad.

The Tomb Raider reboot new trailer got also some comments, but mostly positive. But some people again showed concern for it, and again some of the same themes that have being sparking polemic in games recently showed up. It seems that nowadays you can't have any game involving women without several voices claiming that the game have, in a way or another, a sexist tone.

Most people complained that the trailer is just a show for sadists, as it shows a young Lara Croft suffering a lot. She got burned, trapped in a bear trap, perforated with what looks like a piece of bone and almost shot and raped. All while she is very vocal on how painful those things are. And if you liked the trailer, you are obviously a sadistic. Except you aren't.

There is nothing sexual in this trailer, it is all about her suffering. Even the few seconds were a man menace to sexually abuse Lara is not made to sexually arouse the player. It is all very painful to watch and to make you feel sorry for Lara's situation. If you felt aroused by seeing this, you probably need some psychological help (I have nothing against people who are in S&M, because this usually involves two consensual partners, which is not the case in the trailer). Nothing in the trailer is made to show Lara as a sexy lady. She is just a young girl in a desperate situation trying to survive. And this the trailer got very right.

Others complained about how the trailer show a weak and whiny Lara Croft. they forgot that she is not the hardened adventurer of previous games, but just a girl who found herself in a terrible situation. If they just showed her as badass women who don't feel pain, all the point of the game would be lost.

This trailer shows what the game is about. About surviving, about being in a desperate situation you never expected to be in. It shows gameplay and what to expect from the game. it is a perfect game trailer for me.

Hitman: Absolution shows everything your trailer should not be about. It is not about gameplay, setting and what to expect. it is just there to make you talk about the game. Tomb Raider shows everything a game trailer should be about. Gameplay, setting, what to expect.

And both trailers showed up that gamers can focus in what is not important, and also that they can see things where there is nothing to see in order to fulfill their agendas. In order to fit an image of grown up, intellectual and enlightened individuals who are pro-women they start getting any possibility to show how they hate 'sexism', even in places were they aren't present. Or completely ignoring way worse problems in order to be seem as 'better' than others.

Hitman: Absolution is awful as a game trailer, not just because of killer nuns. Tomb Raider is a great trailer, where any sexism is in the heads of the people claiming it to be. At least, that is how I see it.

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