Link Roundup: September 2019

Announcement: I’m taking a blogging break.  I’m doing a thing for the next two months, and I’ll be around but I don’t know how busy I’ll be.  When I return depends on how busy I am.

Plug: The weird world of asexuality Google Alerts.  It’s just an entertaining list of the weirdest articles I’ve found mentioning asexuality.

Men | ContraPoints (video) – Natalie talks about the need for a men’s movement that is actually good.  TBH I’m not keen on the specific content of the video, but it’s at least a decent conversation starter, and the inspiration for a few recent blog posts.  I also created a “male feminism” category to collect my writings on the subject.

The part I’m not keen on is the large emphasis placed on Natalie’s personal experiences.  Yes it’s good to recognize the special insight that trans people have into comparisons between gendered experiences, but I’ve definitely heard trans experiences which were diametrically opposite to hers.  I also have to say that I have never felt that people were scared of me, and I would absolutely hate it if anyone complimented my appearance on the street.  She’s clearly just sharing her personal experiences, but I feel the narrowness detracts from the video.

Does anyone have the right to sex? – An article discussing the tensions between two feminist ideas: “that no one is obligated to desire anyone else, that no one has a right to be desired, but also that who is desired and who isn’t is a political question, a question usually answered by more general patterns of domination and exclusion.”  The article doesn’t offer any resolutions to the tension, but thinking about it explicitly should help one to avoid some common pitfalls.  (via The Barefoot Bum)

Minecraft, Sandboxes, and Colonialism (video) – The colonialism in sandbox/crafting games definitely recalls the colonialism in board games, but with a few differences.  Colonialist board games are about colonial powers competing to acquire assets that are initially neutral.  Sandbox/crafting games are about exploring a large spaces, and exerting control over those spaces as a sort of power fantasy.  And those are fun mechanics, so it’s kind of hard to get away from the colonialist metaphor.  I feel like there are two routes out of this: come up with different metaphors to justify the same mechanics, or come up with different mechanics.

Towards an Aesthetic of Latin American Videogames – An article/vidoe discussing what it means for a game to be Latin American.  A common tendency is to make a game in an popular genre and insert “local color”, but the article argues that the path forward is to create a totally new aesthetic, and make it Latin American.  Some food for thought about the production of culture in a global economy.


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