Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My First Flash Game - "My Dinner With Jonathan"

Part of the game design course I'm enrolled on is learning how to make games using Flash, so earlier this month, I made a short game to practice coding (basic stuff like changing frames and triggering animations). As I mentioned in my last blog post, over the past couple of months, Jonathan McIntosh -- producer of the Feminist Frequency Tropes vs Women in Video Games series -- has been getting a lot more attention on Twitter for his often bizarre statements. That led to the "#FullMcIntosh" hashtag being used to describe some of his most ridiculous tweets. He's gradually stopped being a behind-the-scenes figure and has become more prominent, to the point of appearing in a Feminist Frequency video himself.

So naturally, I decided that my game should parody Jonathan McIntosh.

I explain a lot about the reasons behind the game on the "About" screen but basically, my criticism of the Tropes vs Women series has been ignored. Everyone's criticism of the TvsW series has been ignored, unless it's very easy to dismiss (as was the case with Doug Walker in August 2013). Yet the views of McIntosh and Sarkeesian, as flawed, unproven and blatantly untrue as they are, still receive recognition in game journalism circles. With that in mind, I've joined everyone else who's said "screw it" and decided that parody is a far better way of raising an objection than scrutinising every line of a Tropes vs Woman video.

I actually put more of an effort into it than you might think; I trawled McIntosh's timeline and the #FullMcIntosh hashtag for some of the most ridiculous things he's written and many of them were so ludicrous that I could put them into the game unaltered. Others were exaggerated slightly and a few were entirely fabricated (which meant I had to think like McIntosh. It was arduous). I made a list of actual Jonathan McIntosh statements and highlighted the ones that ended up in the game in some form or another:

Left-click for larger view.
Bear in mind that this is my first Flash game ever, so I'm pretty happy with how it turned out overall. As you can probably tell, I'm not much of an artist but coding-wise, I learned plenty from it.

However, if you want a far more fun parody, about a week after I posted my game on Twitter, someone posted a link to a game called "Vivtest - Xmas Edition". If you're familiar with #GamerGate, it features a lot of references to figures who are, apparently, opposed to more ethical behaviour from game journalists. And yes, Jonathan McIntosh makes an appearance as well.

Happy New Year!