Link Roundup: April 2018

I have a lot of links this month, so I tried to organized them into themes.

Sexual violence & #MeToo

#MeToo is not all there is, and here’s why I’m not sharing my story – When activists like me criticize #MeToo, we’re not just hipsters trying to say, “we were fighting sexual violence before it was cool”.  We’re trying to say that #MeToo was a step forward in terms of reaching a greater number of people, but in some ways a step back in the level of discourse.  This is absolutely to be expected; whenever an important message reaches a new audience, it takes a step back to help people to catch up.  In the public conversation, people keep on asking if #MeToo has gone too far, and my answer is that it hasn’t gone nearly far enough.  This article talks about some things that #MeToo is missing.

Keep Your Acephobia Out of #MeToo, Jaclyn Friedman – Jaclyn Friedman, coauthor of Yes Means Yes, wrote an article about something she felt has been missing from #MeToo: a discussion of survivor’s sex lives, and how sex can be used to heal trauma.  It’s true, this has been missing from the #MeToo conversation, but that doesn’t mean it’s missing everywhere.  For some survivors, the narrative about sexual healing is so dominant as to be oppressive, especially for survivors who are ace.  The sexual healing narrative must be paired with alternative narratives, where survivors do not have sex, and are not dehumanized for it.

When Boys Are Victims of Sexual Assault – This article has several first-person accounts of sexual assault from boys and young men.  It seems that the experience interacts with masculinity in strange ways for many of them.

Video games

What makes a good puzzle? (video) – Mark Brown has a pretty good take on good puzzle design in video games. But Mark overstates the importance of the “revelation” in a puzzle. Saying that the “aha!” moment is the goal of puzzle design is akin to saying that “fun” is the goal of game design. Yes, it is a fine goal that many puzzles strive for, but it is not the only possible goal. Programming puzzles (exemplified by Zachtronics games), deduction puzzles (exemplified by Nikoli), and even jigsaw puzzles are not really about revelatory moments, and that’s okay.  I also wish he would spend some time contrasting with bad puzzle design, like the ones in point-n’-click adventures, but nope, Mark likes those.  *sigh*

If you’re interested in principles of puzzle design, I also recommend this article.

Dark Souls – This article links to all the various things that games critics have said about Dark Souls.  Some readers hereabouts may particularly appreciate “Sex is like Dark Souls“, which is written from an ace perspective.


Destabilizing the Genetics of g – g is the supposed “general intelligence” factor that IQ intends to measure.  Crip Dyke explains some of the issues with using IQ to measure genetic differences in g–and they’re really the same issues that pop up when you try to measure genetic differences in anything.  Genes are not necessarily straightforward things like, “increment person’s height by 1 inch”, they can be conditional, something like “increment person’s height by an inch only if they are malnourished”.  I’m oversimplifying, so go read the article.  Crip Dyke also has a couple other articles about g.

Things relevant to my identity

Interacting with gay coming out stories as an ace – I wrote this.  It’s about how I’ve seen a lot of coming out stories, but there are some aspects I don’t relate to.  The commenters talk about other aspects that they don’t relate to.

STEM is losing male LGBQ undergrads – Apparently, the retention rates of male LGBQ students in STEM is lower than their male heterosexual counterparts, but the retention of female LGBQ students is higher than their female heterosexual counterparts.  The article suggests this could be due to the devaluation of femininity in STEM, but I’m not so sure–queer men and queer women have such a different set of expectations and stereotypes, there are so many things it could be.

I stayed in STEM throughout undergrad, so I’m not an example of this trend.  But I didn’t even know I was queer until my last year.  And when I started hanging out with other queer students there was a noticeable lack of STEM majors.

Playing an Asian American as a Westernized Asian in All Our Asias All Our Asias is a short walking simulator about an Asian American and his quest to understand his background.  I played it and you can also play it, for free.  This article is written by someone who lives in Singapore, and it’s just a simple compare and contrast of the experiences of Asian Americans vs Westernized Asians.

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