Gears of War
The quotes from Chris Perna, art director of the Gears of War series, that have been floating around today actually say something a little more complicated than can be reasonably slimmed down to a single headline. A slightly longer summary? Perna says some puzzling things about gender presentation in character design, acknowledges that he's proud of the playable female characters of the Gears of War franchise and that he knows that a lot of women fans of the series find those characters to be empowering, and then turns right around and shores up the self-fullfilling prophecy that games with female lead characters don't sell.
I'll admit that if you want to have a pistol you can actually shoot things with, this probably isn't the pistol for you. If you want a pistol that just looks cool on your mantle, or in your gangster Facebook profile picture, this papercraft Gears of War pistol will do you just fine.
Surprisingly enough, functional LEGO guns are totally a thing. This LEGO gun, however, is particularly amazing because it pretty accurately recreates one of the most iconic, menacing guns in gaming today: The Gears of War Lancer. This replica, by PLUM B, is not only life-sized (and presumably to a scale of some sort) but also fires rubberbands and has a chainsaw that can do its chainsaw-y thing. On top of all that, the LEGO Lancer seems like it would be pretty inaccurate at a distance and do minimal damage, so it's almost a perfect recreation of the in-game weapon! Now if someone could just make a LEGO M-92 Mantis my life would be complete.
Germany is up there with Australia when it comes to countries that are hard on violent games. However, both have recently been making strides to become a little more accepting. Apparently starting with the backlog, yesterday Germany re-rated Doom and Doom 2, giving both a 16+ rating where before they had been indexed by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons, which put them in the same restrictive category as pornography.
It turns out that 10 years after something is indexed, an appeal can be entertained and Bethesda, who aquired id back in 2009, figured they might as well try. Well, it worked. It seems that this isn't just a lark either. The third Gears of War title has been granted a rating as well instead of being relegated to the index like the two previous games, and Microsoft is pushing Germany to reconsider the rest of the series. It seems that Germany might finally be lightening up on depictions of gratuitous violence, although when you put it that way, it seems a little bit weird to be celebrating it. Still, the Doom games are the historical foundation of the most popular video game genre today, so regardless of how much gibbing there is, there is certainly something to be appreciated there.