Hi everyone. We need to have some words. I love games. I’m not particularly invested in gaming culture except for that part consisting of my friends sitting in my living room, but to some extent it projects an image of what a “typical gamer” is like. That affects me directly, but tangentially. More importantly, it feeds back into the culture at large which determines how games are designed, produced, and marketed.
I haven’t maintained a firm grip on the timeline, but a couple weeks ago this happened. A couple days ago this video was released and subsequently this other awful thing happened. Somewhere in the middle of all that (I think?) the internet quagmire of cockamamie devised some plan by which they would donate some money to a cause that one of the previously mentioned women supposedly sabotaged (although this isn’t actually backed up except by “guy with a blog making stuff up” so far as I can tell) and create a cute character for them.
The end goal there was, near as I can tell, to cast a public relations cloaking spell over themselves to render their blatant wretchedness totally above comment or objection. And somehow it seems to have worked? At least a little.
So I guess some kind of conclusion should go here? But I’m so hopelessly lost in this vast desert devoid of reason that I can’t even. So I just donated $10 to Doctors Without Borders. And now you can’t disagree with me. Because I gave to charity. And now if you criticize or critique me you’re oppressing me and hate justice. At least that’s how I think it works.
You’ve probably heard about the tragedy that happened this past weekend. And you’ve probably heard at least some bites of the conversation surrounding its aftermath. I don’t think I can possibly say anything new. But I have to. I actually need to say something, because this conversation intersects with so many things that are very dear to me. So be it repetition or no, I’m going to get it out.
First, the flagship issue: This. Is. About. Misogyny.
Last Friday I half-jokingly suggested having an outreach event consisting of scientists playing video games on Twitch. I have several reasons why I think this would be potentially valuable. It would humanize scientists. It would remind science-types that they can and probably should have interests outside their science-thing. It might offer opportunities for educational outreach. I’m pretty sure it would be damn funny, too.
Now I kind of want to try it? I’ve asked around for video game suggestions and met with a surprising amount of enthusiasm. So below the fold is basically a massive brain-dump. Continue reading
I think it would be fair to call myself an Internet early adopter. At least of what we might now recognize as The Internet. I was 11 when Netscape Navigator 1.1 was released. I remember using it. I took an after school class on How To Internet. There have been a pretty decent number of cultural panics over what goes on over the net in the years since. Now it’s become so embedded into life in the developed world that the net and the hardware we use to access it have undergone extensive appliance-fication (which is a whole other, kind of paranoid, rant-y post).
That is to say, our computers and smartphones are off-the-shelf commercial products that nearly everyone owns and takes for granted. There’s probably no point in a modern How To Internet after-school class for middle school kids since we’ve spent the past 20 years polishing our interface to the Internet into something that can integrate completely into the lives of nearly everyone who’s grown up around it. Having said that, how are we still having to point out that The Internet is real life.
Let’s get whimsical, shall we?
There’s a lot of lousy crap out there. And a lot of people unfortunately preoccupied with keeping it around instead of jettisoning that ballast and moving on with our lives (here, also kind of here). I’m going to try to put all that aside and luxuriate in reflection on some nice things. Continue reading
This idea formed in my head months ago when the news was full of eulogizing for Nelson Mandela. Many people wished him smooth passage into the afterlife, which is a common sentiment and perfectly reasonable from a “good people get rewarded for being good” perspective. I think the idea is pretty insulting, which probably sounds kind of weird, so let’s talk about that. Continue reading
I live with a cat who does not grasp the nuances of the recent time change. As a result I haven’t been sleeping well and am thus “not really feelin’ it”. There are some timely YouTube videos below the cut. Continue reading