Anna Sarkeesian's brilliant, crowdfunded Tropes vs Women in Video Games web-series (previously) has a new episode, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 [TW: rape, sexual violence, violence], which expertly dissects the use of violence against women, especially sexual violence as a lazy means of establishing skimpy motivations for player characters to hunt down the baddies.
As Sarkeesian points out, you may get a mission to hunt down a brutal pimp, but you'll never get a mission to get the hooker he's just beaten to a pulp to the hospital, nor do you unlock achievements by visiting her at a shelter or helping her get re-established elsewhere. These women exist solely to be victimized, so that you can murder the bad guys without any scruple.
A warning to those headed for the comments: Sarkeesian is a lightning rod for misogynists and their apologists, and the discussions that follow her mentions tend to be dominated by loud-mouthed pleading to understand that the embedded and violent sexism in games is OK because reasons, mixed with baseless ad hominem slurs against Sarkeesian herself.
You can be a fan of something problematic (cf Lovecraft's racism), because art can be both moving and also contain messages you dislike (see Kessel on Ender's Game, for example), and you don't do yourself, the art, or the world any service by establishing and defending huge zone-of-denial rather than confronting the whole work, warts and all.
Creatures Avoiding Planks is a web toy demonstrating natural selection. Wee blobby creatures wander around avoiding floating planks, which kill on touch. If one lives long enough, it reproduces, passing on slight variations of its own movement behavior to the offspring. The brilliant work of @hardmaru, I can’t watch it anymore because I feel so […]
Crowbcat created a Portal setup that had Chell, the game’s heroine, trapped between two portals that crushed her. The results were an astounding wonderland of psychedelic visuals
See more photos at Wink Fun. It’s exciting to get a new game in its pristine box, wrapped in cellophane, begging to be opened. Inside you find the game board, colorful game pieces, cards, and, of course, instructions. Instructions are the worst part of a new game. Reading and rereading the sheet of rules, digesting […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]