Bulletstorm: The Ultimate Sexism Game
You know I have to admit that in recent weeks I’ve gone off the walls in my various dissertations regarding the hot topic, no pun intended, of sexism in the gaming medium and industry as a whole, whether it was my opinion column entitled Reverse Sexism in which I laid it all out for everyone to see that I’m in no position to judge yet even I could see that people were having unnecessary hissy-fits over a certain nun-filled Hitman: Absolution trailer, or my follow-up exclusive (also of the opinionated sort) in which I questioned why everyone tripped so many different kinds of balls, again no pun intended, over said trailer but not that many did so over Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics’ comments regarding their portrayal of the new Lara Croft as a weak and vulnerable women.
Yes, that entire paragraph was one sentence.
Following on from those mini-theses, the most obvious next step for me was to address last year’s most masculine game, or rather the most testosterone-filled, nauseatingly macho game that could possibly have existed in the year 2011. At least, if your version of masculine and macho has boobs. Confused? Stay with me and I’ll explain.
Now there were a lot of contenders for this throne last year. We had such greats as Isaac Clark’s Dead Space 2 which showed us that no female is to ever be trusted, lest they haunt your nightmares; Marcus Fenix’s Gears of War 3 which had even the newly introduced female characters looking bulkier than your average male civilian; and finally, Shadows of the Damned, in which Garcia Fucking Hotspur ventured into the depths of the underworld to save his ‘damsel in distress’ girlfriend, with all the innuendo and penis puns you can think of.
But no. Those were all just pretenders. No, not the Foo Fighters song. Wannabes. Aspirants.
Pretenders to Bullestorm’s throne.
Indeed, the one game that dared to call you “dicktits” ruled supreme as the greatest showing of sexism in 2011. If only it were that simple…
The term “allegory” is used to describe a form of extended metaphor in which the contents of a narrative are equated to meanings outside of that narrative. Essentially, they are stories that tell two tales. Bulletstorm is one such allegory.
Let’s look at masculinity as we know it in today’s world: it basically describes a male who is strong, fearless and typically a pillar of support for anyone around him. If you are a masculine male, you have a ripped body, probably smoke a lot and nobody dares to order you around. Considering that the term “pussy” is used to describe a wimpy male who is timid, afraid, emotional and often emasculated as a result, we have something of an allegory on our hands.
Bulletstorm tells the tale of one Greyson Hunt, a space pirate slash mercenary who crash-lands on a dystopian planet, a paradise fallen, after his hubris costs him his ship and crew. Early on in the story he meets a character known as Trishka Novak who spends most of the game fending off Greyson’s sexual advances. Now, there’s been plenty of debate regarding her portrayal in the game and I’m here to settle all of this sexist talk once and for all.
Greyson Hunt spends the story dwelling on the mistakes he made in the past, he is shown as afraid to face the truth of his actions and mourns the loss of his squad as a result of his mistakes. He swears revenge on those who betrayed him but eventually ends up showing some real emotion (he was one hobbit away from tears) at the sight of his disfigured best friend, later on in the story. Greyson Hunt is in fact, a pussy.
Now Trishka on the other hand, doesn’t take anyone’s shit and will feed you her fists if not a clip of hot lead if you even dare to stand in her way. She always takes the lead regardless of what she is told and probably smokes a lot in her spare time. Trishka Novak is the embodiment of masculinity… in a manner of speaking.
If the telling feature of masculinity is testosterone, and the telling feature of anything but masculinity, oestrogen, then I have to say that Greyson Hunt is drowning in oestrogen while Trishka Novak is up to her tits in testosterone. I’m sorry, was that sexist of me to word it like that? Fuck it.
Bulletstorm in its entirety attempts to be butch, like all Epic Games franchises do. It throws you swear-words you never thought existed, comes up with the most badass ways to kill enemies and has skillshots that are pure innuendo gold. All while a heavily rock influenced soundtrack blares on in the background. Every character in the game seems jacked up on ten different kinds of testosterone, and nobody seems to really give a shit about anyone’s feelings. Except for Greyson of course. The game is the stuff of dreams… if you’re a teenage boy who has just flopped over and fallen asleep after a rigorous fap session.
However in actuality, the game is a parody of masculinity, an allegory of sexism and in all, the greatest portrayal of just how fucking badass women in gaming can be. And if you don’t see the tongue-in-cheek nature of this little piece of satire, then you can eat a dick, cuntface (but seriously, Trishka’s awesome).