CONvergence – Gods of Geekdom panel audio

I absolutely enjoyed this panel. It was thorough, informative, and hilarious. We discussed gods and god-concepts in various sci fi and fantasy fandoms, including comic books, novels and even video games.

Panelists were Nick Glover, Ryan Consell, Jason Thibeault and Fionnuala Murphy.

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cvg2013-skepchickcon-godsofgeekdom.mp3

Objectification vs idealization in video games

Escapist’s Jimquisition explains the difference.

I love that he caps it off with an exhortation to thank God for him. If I didn’t like the guy, I’d be tempted to say something like “you’ve just handed us undeniable proof of a lack of gods.”

And don’t forget that any suggestion that we have strong female protagonists in the gaming world will be met with a torrent of entitled bullshit.

Tropes Vs Women in Video Games: Damsel in Distress (part 2)

Anita Sarkeesian’s completely nonexistent series continues with a completely nonexistent part-2 for her completely nonexistent first topic, the Damsel in Distress. In this one, she specifically takes on the trope called Stuffed Into the Fridge. This trope almost always takes the form of a WOMAN stuffed into the fridge. Watch, to find out why.

But that’s not the biggest news about this. Apparently, it went up today, and within the first hour it was up, it was immediately taken down by Youtube because it had been flagged as containing objectionable content.

Think about that for a moment. People are so desperate to attack Sarkeesian and any attempt at injecting feminist commentary into video games, that they’re willing to silence her by marking it as objectionable. Not because the content is incorrect, or because the content is damning of the industry, but because how daaaaaare this mere woman criticize this immature art form that we love so much?

Sigh.

Father hacks Donkey Kong rom so daughter can be Pauline

Remember that Wind Waker hack I told you about recently, where a young girl’s father — who’d been changing Link’s gender on the fly for his daughter while reading it to her — decided to make things simpler for himself by hacking the rom script?

Another father was asked by his daughter if she could play one of her favorite games, the original Donkey Kong, as Pauline instead of Mario. So, he hacked the rom (very probably from the WiiWare version, judging by the 2010 copyright), editing all the frames of animation for both Mario and Pauline to switch their roles.

Doesn’t change the functionality of the game at all, just the aesthetics. In such simple games, only in a society that prescribes strongly-defined gender roles would the default hero be a man and the default “damsel” be a woman. And yet, in an alternate universe where this was released instead of the one with Mario (or Jumpman) as the hero, I wager it would not have sold as well because video games, even back then, were already being pigeonholed as a “guy thing”.

Who knows, though. Maybe, MAYBE, inverting the Damsel In Distress trope, making the girl the one with agency and the guy the one forced to helplessly stand at the top of the building with Donkey Kong, might have been a blow struck for equality and perhaps the video game industry would have turned out much different. Perhaps.

Thanks to the dozen or so folks who kept pointing this out!

Tropes Vs Women In Video Games: Pt. 1: Damsel In Distress

Here’s a 23-minute video, the first in a series, which of course can’t possibly exist because Anita Sarkeesian is a scammer who bilked people of money on Kickstarter then went to the Bahamas.

Dense, information-packed, well-researched, correct in all its particulars, and can’t possibly exist. My search engine hits for “Anita Sarkessian scam” tell me so.

Tropes Vs Women In Video Games – Damsel In Distress to be released this month

Kotaku reports:

Sultan's daughter, Prince Of Persia Classic (2007)

Sultan’s daughter, Prince Of Persia Classic (2007)


Anita Sarkeesian, the controversial feminist critic whose plans to produce a crowdfunded video series about female tropes in video games led to someone creating a video game all about punching her in the face, is almost ready to show her work.

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NRA’s scapegoating tactics: an attempt to clear the deck for THEIR video game?

In a move I can only characterize as rank unvarnished hypocrisy, the National Rifle Association has just released a gun range game where you can shoot at “coffin-shaped” human silhouette targets. The ink isn’t even dry on reporters’ dutiful relaying of the NRA’s last attempt to blame video games for the Sandy Hook shooting, and the game-burning fires are barely quenched, and there they are, releasing a video game of their very own!

NRA Practice Range for iOS screenshot
[Read more...]

North Korean IT venture company makes country’s first (maybe) video game

Lord Setar brought this to my attention: the first IT venture company in North Korea, which brags of having internet connectivity, has built the country’s first video game (unless you count these mobile games published under the Fox Mobile banner… which might not actually count, honestly).

I’ve tried a number of times to play the in-browser Flash game, braving their site’s unfortunate overuse of clipart, but it fails to load repeatedly at the G in “Loading”. So I’ve had to settle for checking this out via Youtube.

This is very self-evidently a propaganda piece, to try to sell North Korea’s tourism market, but I have to give them credit for making a fairly good game for their first outing. Sure, it’s rather dull, with static cars as the only obstacle, and the only goal to pick up petrol drums and collectible placards that both show a landmark and a short piece of text chastizing you for your poor driving skills. And that’s not to mention the female traffic cop who appears on occasion to tell you not to look at her. But all in all, there’s a lot that’s laudable from a startup even where there’s a lot that’s laughable. I hope they learn from this and make another attempt. And I certainly hope it brings a little money into their wealth-starved country — from which most of the injustices of their totalitarian government likely flow.

Their about us page indicates, to me, why said government might have been interested in them. I can guarantee that “secrecy” is not a selling point over here, so much as an unfortunate reality.