I apologize for the lack of content lately, I’m starting a new quarter and things are kind of crazy. All I got right now is a repost of the most AMAZING VIDEO I’ve seen lately. Via BoingBoing and Sociological Images.
Post title quoted from a youtube comment, holy shit I love youtube.
So employees of Electronic Arts, one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, has made their own “It Gets Better” video. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the project, it’s an online video channel created by gay blogger Dan Savage. Originally it was made to address the issue of queer teenage suicide. Gay and lesbian adults with successful careers were encouraged to make videos with messages to young teens about how it isn’t always going to be like high school. Responses to the project in the progressive blogosphere have been mixed, with many praising the project’s intentions while pointing out many of its flaws.
I for one think it’s great that EA has joined the project, and here’s why. The gaming community (EA most certainly included—more on that in a moment) is really one of the most intolerant geek spaces there are. The article I linked to has some shining examples, taken only from reactions to the news:
“‘This is disgusting, I’m never buying another EA product ever again, [deleted] homosexual agenda. I urge all parents to keep any EA games from their children to prevent them to be AIDS-spreading, Satan-loving scum,’ wrote one viewer.”
(Of course, why MSNBC felt the need to delete the word “fuck” but kept in the rest of the bile—including the word “faggot” in all caps—is pretty much beyond me). There’s also this video, which I can’t even watch the whole way through, that’s just two minutes of edited footage and audio from Halo players reacting to someone with the handle xxxGayboyxxx.
The point is, the scene is severely fucked, and I think it’s great that EA has endorsed this video, made by gay and lesbian employees, to help reach out to gay teens. Especially those who are also into geek culture, who undoubtedly could benefit from this kind of support, no matter how superficial, from people who have succeeded in a geeky career. Kids need to know that not all gamers are homophobic fuckwads, and that there is a place for queer people in the industry. The project still has its problems, which others have articulated much better than I could, but for a community as messed up as gaming I think every little bit helps.
Having said all that, this video does in no way absolve EA from their past shitty behavior. I still remember their charming “Sin to Win” contest at SDCC 2009, in which they encouraged men to sexually harass EA employees, “booth babes,” for fabulous prizes. And it’s not like their games are exactly bastions of progressiveness. While we are patting EA on the back for this show of good will towards queer teens, we should remind ourselves to hold them accountable for their words. In a recent discussion on inclusivegeeks, Livejournal user enteledont puts it much better, and just as swearingly, as I could when they write:
Rather than rounding up all their gays, I’d like to see [EA] tell us how they will MAKE it better, like, say, promising gay/trans main characters who have relationships and stuff, with consultation from actually gay/trans people so it’s not offensive as all fuck, or donating lots and lots of money to projects designed to assist LGBT youth, or anything that would actually put their ass at risk. Most people will forget about this. Making it a constant corporate priority, [on the other hand], would be far more effective and meaningful.
About a month ago, I decided to start watching this British show called Misfits. The premise is perfect for my interests: a bunch of juvenile delinquents get superpowers in a freak storm. And with the first episode I was hooked! I talked it up to my friends, I marathoned the first series, and just generally got excited about the characters.
And now, at the last episode of the second series (barring the Christmas special), I’m throwing my hands up and walking away. Read more…
For further proof that Valve HQ is a magical wonderland, check out the newest addition to the Valve lobby: AN ACTUAL FUCKING SENTRY GUN.
Complete with motion sensors and pew pew noises, this baby will follow your every movement and shoot fake bullets at you until you fake die. All we need now is a photo op with a fake Spy and my nerdgasm will be complete.
The post time-skip chapters continue to impress. This week’s features perverted hospital drama, an example of Usopp’s new attacks, and a sea monster that looks like a giraffe. Because it’s One Piece. Read more…
Taking a break out of my term paper on Sherlock Holmes and Freud to post this epic video of the “Song of Healing” from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I’ve been doing a complete replay of this game the past few weeks so this video could not have come to my attention at a better time! This game is criminally underrated in my opinion. It’s a lot different from Ocarina, but I really appreciate that. They had a formula that worked, but they broke from it to do something original. The game definitely has its flaws, but it’s still a great entry into the Zelda franchise. Anyway, here’s Youtube user Sp0ntanius with his version of one of the better songs in the game, “Song of Healing.”
Dude’s got skills!
This is the introduction to what I hope to be an ongoing series about my adventures in media that is “for girls.” You see, I was always the kind of kid who detested anything feminine. Partly because I have always had a queer gender presentation, and undoubtedly I had also internalized some serious ugliness about what it meant to be a girl. I mean, it was just silly. I refused to watch Romancing the Stone because it had the word “romance” in it. I think I am the only female born since 1980 who has never seen Titanic. We are talking over 9000 level tomboyishness here.
So now, as a semi-adult-thing I am trying to go back and catch up on some good works that I might have missed due to my severe phobia of girlytude. They don’t necessarily have to be produced during the time I was doing my butch development thing, but they do need to be things I would have totally detested as a teenager. I think I have missed out on a lot of potentially empowering and entertaining stories just because I had a panic attack whenever I saw the color pink or the words “for girls” associated with a story (we’ll leave a seriousbusiness discussion of marketing and gender roles for another day, but trust me, I’m aware of how problematic it can be).
But don’t expect me to go full sparkle on my first try. I still have a strong proclivity toward stories based on friendship and sister/brotherhood rather than romance, if only because romances tend to reinforce gross gender stereotypes that make me uncomfortable as a queerbot. And a strong female protagonist is always a must. But I have learned as an adult that a woman can be strong in thousands of different ways, where as before I assumed she just had to be like a man to be strong. She can be conventionally pretty and fall in love and make mistakes and still be a strong, well-developed character. Unfortunately, too often female protagonists have these three characteristics but lack strength, mostly because they are poorly developed. But I keep on consuming media anyway, in my long-ass quest to find myself reflected in others’ creations. Why? Eh, IDK.
Anyway, please stay tuned for the first entry to Adventures in Ladyland, in which I tackle a shoujo manga. Thanks!