Here are those awesome people I'm thanking this month:
- Cargo, who had nothing to link to, but is a great dude! Thanks, Cargo.
- Daphy Drucilla Delight David! Her Patreon is here and her blog is on the blogroll!
|Photo via Laser Unicorn|
|Photo courtesy of Shuterstock|
"Every woman I know in games right now is really tired. Careful: That is 'every woman I know,' not 'every woman.' You must be very careful. It's the kind of fatigue that isn't so easily explained by our fist-shaking male colleagues who earnestly empathize across their social media platforms with how 'we get harassed a lot'. Some of us get harassed a lot and some of us don't... For the most part, I still have the same job that I have always had (not that I'm not proud of the growth I've had within it over the years). For my friends, the Twine revolutionaries and the vocal Tweeters and the other writers, a great act of deception has occurred: We've been in the New York Times and been invited to conferences and told that we are Important Voices, doing Important Work, we've been on the news at night and in magazines. We are awash in social capital. But none of it translates to real capital."She talks also about her frustration with the impermanent nature of gaming's history, how so little is curated and so much writing about it disappears, and how so many interviews and panels want to focus on the issues she faces as being a Woman In Gaming to the detriment of her work in gaming:
[Another problem is] our ongoing memory crisis -- this field maintains little permanent record of either projects or conversations, reinvents the wheel every five years -- means we are all afraid to stop lest we be swept away and forgotten. If I were ever to stop, then five years from now, someone quite like me will not have known of me. Women, especially marginalized women, who had so much more to lose than I ever had and who risked it all to make their contributions, to do their important work, fear this too, probably far more. So we endure the interviews about The Harassment. But The Harassment is not our biggest problem at all...I have been here long enough to know that this article about Being A Woman will be more widely read than nearly any heartfelt work of pure games criticism I could do. That knowing is a low and constant ache.The entire essay is a bracing and personal read. Please, read the whole thing.
|Photo via yahoo.com|
From the clothing, to the weapons to the names, to the folklore, fantasy is dominated by a fascination with medieval Europe. When I was a kid, I would often place myself into my favorite fantasy realms from literature–the lone PoC, complete with knight’s gear, somehow sucked into a medieval European-based world. As I got older, and a bit more cognizant on the issues, I’d actually root for the swarthy bad guys–because at least the Haradrim and their giant mûmakil came from someplace that veered away from the Eurocentric norm. Yet even then, as I tried to create my own fledgling fantasy tales early on, I found my mind sometimes unable to imagine beyond broadswords, armor, medieval castles, dwarves and lots and lots of SNOW...
...[other writers] have mostly asked if the genre can perhaps spare a glance at the Earth’s other five habitable continents. Just a smidge. Medieval Africa sees the rise and fall of large Western Sudanic Empires like Ghana, Songhai and Mali. There’s the Fatamid Caliphate in the North, not to mention other polities like Kanem-Bornu and the Swahili States, or the Kongo Kingdoms further South and those of Zimbabwe. We have Axum/Abyssinia in the Northeast, along with the Nubian Christian kingdoms. All of these feature “fascinating, dynamic, cataclysmic and downright exciting events” for which any fantasy writer should salivate. Abyssinia even has a castle called Gondar–no kidding! Gondar!
|Photo courtesy of ProfessorOfTruth|
Traditional rulers throughout Africa were not always given the title and responsibilities of rule by birth or by blood. More often than not, the people chose their ruler and if the ruler did not serve and / or represent the people well, the ruler could be removed from his or her throne. It was the people who governed and, to the people, gender was rarely a factor in who they chose to lead them. Among the Yoruba, anyone born under the Odu – the 256 patterns of life / containers of destiny in which all creation exists – Irete Ogbe (aka Irentegbe, or Ategbe) is destined to be an Ǫba, or “king”; gender be damned. The term “queen” is a product of recent history and the English language. In Ancient African, Asian and Pacific cultures, and even some European countries, women rulers were given the title king or its equivalent, such as pharaoh.
|Photo via Guy Himber|
|Photo illustration via autoevelution.com|
That’s the role that the queer villain plays; a threat to the “correct” order, intrinsically maladjusted to the way the world works. It’s a fear that manifests in the real world in dangerous ways. Being gay, bi or trans has too often been presented as a threat; to children, to marriage, to public health, to everything sacred, up to and including God and democracy... Otherness is also one reason why queer kids struggle so much with their identity. Not only does the perception that their existence is a challenge to the status quo make them a target, but being gay, bi or trans often means they feel cut off from the ways of life they’ve been raised to cherish as normal. Works of fiction that draw a parallel between queerness and wickedness can perpetuates that alienation.
The very qualities that can make an LGBT character seem dangerous and transgressive can also make them glamorous and seductive. Yes, queer identities have established cultural value as signifiers of deviancy, but they also have value as signifiers of radical reinvention, of rock and roll. That’s really the same quality through a different lens.Now that that the series has come (and some would say, gone as the lead-in to the new Secret Wars), though, have these worries borne fruit? I caught issue one and two when they first came out and was very impressed.
|US Sonic Adventure cover art courtesy of the Sonic Wiki|
It is immediately apparent, from the first moments of its introduction movie to its title screen logo, what Sonic Adventure is trying to prove. It is a game suffixed with the word “Adventure” because it wants to communicate certain things about itself and its goals. “Adventure” is meant to be expansive...
...It’s a very peculiar failure from the game, to communicate a simple idea about its setting, and a moment that’s emblematic of Sonic Adventure’s existential dilemma. As Sonic Adventure works harder to convince us that it is sprawling and expansive, it becomes increasingly insular and recursive... The first time we hear Sonic speak is the first of Sonic Adventure’s many, many, jarring moments, the points where the thing Sonic Adventure wants to be and what it unavoidably is crash into each other like a beautiful accident.
That a Casino is a place where you do a boring, laborious task of endless accumulation to gain a resource, and that the space is somehow built to coerce you into continuing that task, perhaps against your better judgement. That a Casino is a place you can stay in for a long time, but it isn’t designed to end itself, it cannot accommodate the conception of an end. It is a complex thing that would probably need a special area for people who would need to be taught how it works. And that, maybe, Casinos really are just empty, pointless, lonely places to exist in.