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Hey, Black & White, where are the ladies?

2009 April 12
by Melanie

This is a bit late, because the game about which I am blogging temporarily destroyed my computer. Ah, cruel irony.

I’ve never had any kind of gaming console, save a Game Boy Color when I was 11 that belonged to my cousin. I hated it so much I gave it back, so any games I played were always on the computer. I was never really that into it, and would play in short month-long bursts with things like SimFarm or this weird Star Trek game that a friend seemed to think I’d like (not so much), and then forget about it for another 4 months. When I switched to the devil Vista last semester, most of my computer programs wouldn’t work anymore. The exception is Black & White, a game where you are a god and control a creature of your choosing, and said creature acts for you on earth to take over various towns and peoples. The first version was pretty cool, with fun tasks and logic games to play. You could even give your creature a tattoo, which I found hilarious and awesome. The second one, which I have now, isn’t nearly as much fun and focuses much more on warfare and destroying various armies. There are two consciences with you: an evil, rotund devil-looking figure with an American voice who reminds me a bit of Danny DeVito, and a good, sandal-wearing white-bearded English one. And they’re both guys. Your creature is also male; even though it has no discernable gender, it’s always referred to as “he” by the consciences. As you move through the worlds, you can control it with different leashes to alter its personality (in the first version) or its task (in the second one). Different citizens of the land have tasks attached to them which you must complete, and they are hilariously gender stereotyped. Men need to pass their beer from one island to the next, build their ship, or track down their daughter who has potentially wandered off to a man’s house. The women (of which there are few) have either lost their children or are the suspected daughter. Unless you happen across the random female land-dweller, every character is a man, with one exception: the person who gives you your creature for all of 5 minutes at the beginning of the game is a woman. But only in the first version; in the second, her character is eliminated. I got so fed up with this game that I bailed after a little while (hmm, this seems to be a pattern with me).

I wanted to go looking for a game that had a female character, but didn’t want to spend any money in the process or download any funky programs, so I decided to hit up flash games. Then I happened across MissBimbo and my jaw dropped. It would take an entire paper to describe the game in full, but I’ll give you the gist of it. Basically, you start with a base Bimbo, or female character that looks kind of like a paper doll. She has a starting weight of 127 lbs, some money, a hunger and thirst level, and an attitude level. You have to complete certain goals to increase her level, all while keeping her weight around 127 and increasing her attitude. The very first goal is to change her hair from brown to blonde pigtails. Later on, you have to find a boyfriend who gives you money each day, only to have to break up with him a few levels later (this action costs 300 dollars; since when do you have to pay to break up with someone??). Once you break up with him, your weight balloons and you have to lose it all again. Once you get to level 9, the goals become more expensive to complete and include things like face lifts, breast implants, and therapy sessions, as well as becoming a secretary or a hair stylist. You get attitude from various games like “French Kiss” and “Sort out your Bag.” It’s hard to accurately explain it, but I can definitely say I’ve never seen anything like it before…

One Response
  1. Solomon Lutze permalink
    April 13, 2009

    I .< tell me THAT’S not problematic.) I think there are a few needy females for quests in both games, but generally, just not a lot happening there. Sad, really.

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