Friday, May 11, 2018

Fanvid Friday: The Greatest Teacher, Failure Is

Last year, I shared a bit about the history of fan videos and the culture and people who make them. Today I want to share an amazing fan video from Heroes Fan Productions titled "The Greatest Teacher Failure Is" that focuses on the legacies of both Yoda and Luke Skywalker. It's a great display of masterful editing and music choice that examines the ways that Luke Skywalker and Yoda both attempted to shape new Jedi for the Jedi Order and how they both failed, and what to learn from it. It's by turns bittersweet, reflective, and uplifiting.

You can watch it here:

A tip of the keyboard to user motherboxing for cluing me in to this video's existence.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Latest Steven Universe Episode Changes EVERYTHING

The most recent episode of the Carton Network series Steven Universe, entitled "A Pale Rose" dropped a stunning revelation that affects the entire series' backstory as well as existing relationships in the show.

I'm going to review the reveal, some of the hints that I think were dropped along the way, and what it means about the show's characters AND characterization.

Discussion in this post from here on out will be a gigantic spoiler, so I've put the rest of the post behind a "read more" link. Click below to read the rest of the post.

May '18 Thanks & How You Can Help The Code, Get Free Stuff!

Here's this month's Patron Thank Yous:
  • Cargo, who had nothing to link to, but is a great dude! Thanks, Cargo. 
  • Daphny Drucilla Delight David! Their Patreon is here
  • Fluffy! Check out their stuff at
  • Gabriel Gentile, on twitter at GabrielCGentile
This month's free Patron-exclusive download will be up next week.

What's The Patreon Stuff About, Anyhow?

The Code is helped by the patrons I just thanked. In addition to geek ephemera and the esoterically nerdy, I use this blog to focus on marginalized voices and perspectives, advocate for inclusiveness in media fandoms and sub-cultures, signal boost diverse creators and share stuff that can be food for thought.

I also create experimental electronic music and art prints & apparel under the name lowercase t, and perform improvisational readings with the Overly Dramatic Readers.

I also help people! Some of the ways I do that:
  • I co-host several charity fundraisers with The Munchausen Society every year
  • Advocate for strong anti-harassment policies and safe spaces at conventions
  • Organize public relations, media outreach, recorded an audio book & designed the website for a disabled dad's panel on disability for Bronycon; it was so successful he was invited back 2 more times!
  • And More!
I want to keep doing this work, and working with & helping people and also be compensated for my time and effort. My ultimate dream is to be able to offer a bi-monthly podcast along with a blog updated every day of the week. I know times are rough for a lot of people, so I've set this campaign to charge monthly-- no matter what, you'll only be charged the amount you chose to pledge once every month. 

I have rewards for every single support level I offer, too! Check it out:

$1 a month:

You'll get: 

  • My thanks & gratitude
  • Your name listed in a special "Thank You" post on The Code every month
  • Access to Patron-only posts and updates
  • One free Patron only exclusive download each month

$3 a month

You'll get:

  • Your name listed in a special Thank You post on The Code
  • Access to Patron-only updates
  • Free Patron only exclusive download every month
  • Monthly link/plug to whatever you want-- your website, a project, your YouTube channel-- you name it!

$5 a month

You'll get:

  • All rewards for previous tiers (named in the monthly thank you post, Patron-only update access, free monthly Patron only download, free plug on The Code)
  • free music download of a track of your choice from lowercase t every month!
  • Special Tiny Treasures envelope hand crafted & hand picked just for you, sealed with a wax seal and mailed directly to you!

$10 a month

You'll get:

  • All rewards for previous tiers, including the Tiny Treasures 
  • A special Mystery Surprise Care Package made just for you mailed to you EVERY MONTH. It'll be a CARE package stuffed to the brim with fun stuff like novelties, toys, magazines, surprises and a hand-made doodle from me.

$20 a month

You'll get:

  • All previous tier rewards (including the Monthly Mystery Surprise Package)
  • Every month you can request a post on The Code on a topic of your choosing or get a free music track made just for you based on a title you make up!
Click here to find out how you can become a Patron for as little as a dollar a month-- that's 3 cents a day.

If you don't want a monthly commitment but would still like to help out, you can send any amount you choose one time only by going through PayPal here, and you don't even need a paypal account.

Not a fan of PayPal? You can buy me a coffee via Ko-Fi!

NEW Reward Announcement: Tiny Treasures

I offer people who subscribe to my Patreon various rewards: shout-outs, link-backs, free downloads, and even large surprise packages. Today, I'm happy to announce a new reward perk: Tiny Treasures!

I take hand-crafted tiny envelopes, like these:

Description: A small brown envelope with a black &
white drawing of a fox in the lower right hand corner. A
single quarter is displayed at the bottom corner for size
comparison. The envelope is approximately 3 quarters
high and 3 quarters wide.

... fill them with cards and stickers like these:

Description: An assortment of stickers scattered
across a table and atop a tiny treasures envelope.
... and individually seal each envelope with a wax stamp seal.

I love sending surprises in the mail, I love cute tiny things, I love hand-picking and hand-crafting stuff. So if you like getting tiny treasure surprises in the mail, and want to help support The Code, the Tiny Treasures perk is available to anyone who becomes a patron at the $5/level or above!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Mass' Effect: Why Are Fat People Vilified In Video Games?

Description: Screenshot from Silent Hill 2. A fat, white man
with blond hair wearing a backwards baseball cap & striped shirt
points a finger towards the camera, with the subtitle "You've been
laughin' at me all along, haven't you?" displayed at the bottom.
As a fat guy, I've gotten a lot of strangers commenting on my right to exist in public space over the years (and I have it easier than a fat woman or person of color). The way fat people are pilloried as character in the virtual space of video games is pretty gross, too. Producer and essayist Anshuman Iddamsetty looks at the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry that is video gaming contributes to this in "How Video Games Demonize Fat People" for The Outline. Idamsetty's essay goes into a deep dive in speaking with professors, motion-capture actors, game players, game developers and others connected to the industry to take a long look at both the root causes and the effects, intended or otherwise, of demonizing fat bodies.

Here's an excerpt:
if the fear of alienating a player is so great that lazy tropes are somehow safer, this alone doesn’t account for their frequency — if a fat body appears at all.
Sunset Overdrive was released in 2014 by Insomniac Games. Part zombie shooter, part Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, the Xbox One exclusive boasted a robust customization system that let you be whatever you wanted — except fat. “We wanted to put our time into wild outfits instead of technology to bloat up people or bloat them down,” Sunset Overdrive director Drew Murray told Kotaku. (“Bloat” — what a word to describe my body. )
Later in the piece, a shape emerges. “You have so much other complexity in all the things you can wear, the hair, the animations,” said Insomniac CEO Ted Price. “We had to pick our battles, and that was kind of where we chose to draw the line.”
The essay is a bracing but necessary look at not just the history of video games as technical development, but also as popular entertainment, and how certain story telling and design decisions in video games as a medium seem baked into the process from the beginning. Please, give the whole essay a read.

I'm also interested in hearing from other gamers-- have any of these examples ever made you feel a certain way? Do you have any to add yourself? Sound off in the comments.

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