August 30, 2014

zwampert:

-inaudible noises-

(via luscuria)

August 30, 2014
supersavajin:

Ooh Sakurai.

supersavajin:

Ooh Sakurai.

(via luscuria)

August 29, 2014

Off to Dragon*con Day 1

August 28, 2014

ninjaruski:

SOMEBODY JUST TOLD ME THAT BOTH KELLY-SUE DECONNICK AND LAURENN MCCUBBIN WILL BE ON A ROUNDTABLE WITH ME AND SEVERAL OTHER ACADEMICS TO DISCUSS RACE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY IN COMICS AND FANDOM.

INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS AND ACADEMICS ENGAGING WITH FANS AND EACH OTHER OVER ISSUES OF RACE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY IN COMICS AND COMICS FANDOM. THIS IS THE HIGH POINT, THE END GOAL OF EVERYONE WHO DOES THIS KIND OF WORK.

TO ACTUALLY BE PART OF A DISCOURSE WITH THE BIG NAMES IN THE INDUSTRY AND THE FANS. I AM LOSING MY ACADEMIC SHIT OVER HERE.

August 28, 2014
The End of Gamers

jnadiger:

dangolding:

The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand. 

First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a harassment campaign that attacked her personal life and friendships. Campaigns of personal harassment aimed at game developers are nothing new. They are dismayingly common among those who happen to be women, or not white straight men, and doubly so if they also happen to make the sort of game that in any way challenge the status quo, even if that challenge is only made through their very existence. The viciousness and ferocity with which this campaign occurred, however, was shocking, and certainly out of the ordinary. This was something more than routine misogyny (and in games, it often is routine, shockingly). It was an ugly spectacle that should haunt and shame those involved for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to note that this hate campaign took the guise of a crusade against ‘corruption’ and ‘bias’ in the games industry, with particular emphasis on the relationships between independent game developers and the press.

These fires, already burning hot, were further fuelled yesterday by the release of the latest installment in Anita Sarkeesian’s ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’ video series. In this particular video, Sarkeesian outlines “largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players.” Today, Sarkeesian has been forced to leave her home due to some serious threats made against her and her family in response to the video. It is terrifying stuff.

Taken in their simplest, most basic form, a videogame is a creative application of computer technology. For a while, perhaps, when such technology was found mostly in masculine cultures, videogames accordingly developed a limited, inwards-looking perception of the world that marked them as different from everyone else. This is the gamer, an identity based on difference and separateness. When playing games was an unusual activity, this identity was constructed in order to define and unite the group (and to help demarcate it as a targetable demographic for business). It became deeply bound up in assumptions and performances of gender and sexuality. To be a gamer was to signal a great many things, not all of which are about the actual playing of videogames. Research like this, by Adrienne Shaw, proves this point clearly.

When, over the last decade, the playing of videogames moved beyond the niche, the gamer identity remained fairly uniformly stagnant and immobile. Gamer identity was simply not fluid enough to apply to a broad spectrum of people. It could not meaningfully contain, for example, Candy Crush players, Proteus players, and Call of Duty players simultaneously. When videogames changed, the gamer identity did not stretch, and so it has been broken.

And lest you think that I’m exaggerating about the irrelevance of the traditionally male dominated gamer identity, recent news confirms this, with adult women outnumbering teenage boys in game-playing demographics in the USA. Similar numbers also often come out of Australian surveys. The predictable ‘what kind of games do they really play, though—are they really gamers?’ response says all you need to know about this ongoing demographic shift. This insinuated criteria for ‘real’ videogames is wholly contingent on identity (i.e. a real gamer shouldn’t play Candy Crush, for instance).

On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity. Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems, such as bias and corruption, which are partly just ways of expressing confusion as to why things the traditional gamer does not understand are successful (that such confusion results in abject heartlessness is an indictment on the character of the male-focussed gamer culture to begin with).

The gamer as an identity feels like it is under assault, and so it should. Though the ‘consumer king’ gamer will continue to be targeted and exploited while their profitability as a demographic outweighs their toxicity, the traditional gamer identity is now culturally irrelevant.

The battles (and I don’t use that word lightly; in some ways perhaps ‘war’ is more appropriate) to make safe spaces for videogame cultures are long and they are resisted tempestuously, but through the pain and suffering of people who have their friendships, their personal lives, and their professions on the line, things continue to improve. The result has been a palpable progressive shift.

This shift is precisely the root of such increasingly violent hostility. The hysterical fits of those inculcated at the heart of gamer culture might on the surface be claimed as crusades for journalistic integrity, or a defense against falsehoods, but—along with a mix of the hatred of women and an expansive bigotry thrown in for good measure—what is actually going on is an attempt to retain hegemony. Make no mistake: this is the exertion of power in the name of (male) gamer orthodoxy—an orthodoxy that has already begun to disappear.

The last few weeks therefore represent the moment that gamers realised their own irrelevance. This is a cold wind that has been a long time coming, and which has framed these increasingly malicious incidents along the way. Videogames have now achieved a purchase on popular culture that is only possible without gamers.

Today, videogames are for everyone. I mean this in an almost destructive way. Videogames, to read the other side of the same statement, are not for you. You do not get to own videogames. No one gets to own videogames when they are for everyone. They add up to more than any one group.

On some level, the grim individuals who are self-centred and myopic enough to be upset at the prospect of having their medium taken away from them are absolutely right. They have astutely, and correctly identified what is going on here. Their toys are being taken away, and their treehouses are being boarded up. Videogames now live in the world and there is no going back.

I am convinced that this marks the end. We are finished here. From now on, there are no more gamers—only players.

(#applause)

(via luscuria)

August 28, 2014
"

According to the study, last year saw a significant boom in women over 50—their numbers jumped by a whopping 32 percent between 2012 and 2013. The study also revealed that 59 percent of Americans play games, with gaming consoles present in 51 percent of all U.S. households.

All of that means that stereotypes are breaking fast in the gaming industry, particularly the longheld stereotype of the adult woman as an outlier who sticks to mobile games and “social” games on Facebook while the more hardcore gamer, the “serious” (male) gamer, goes for console games.

Though this stereotype has long persisted, and even been used as a hiring tactic, the new data suggests there’s little if any truth to it—especially not when you consider that the average adult woman has been gaming for 13 years.

Sorry, male gamers of Reddit and 4Chan, but Angry Birds only came out five years ago. Unless you want to try to argue that women have just been playing Bejeweled for the last 13 years, the math just doesn’t add up.

And while the total audience for mobile social games is now bigger than ever, the audience for computer and video games is now an even 50-50 split between male and female genders.

"

— Daily Dot on ESA finally ending the ‘casual excuse’ for the rise of female gamers.

August 27, 2014
2014 COMICS AND POPULAR ARTS ACADEMIC CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

ninjaruski:

wolvensnothere:

wolvensnothere:

wolvensnothere:

FRIDAY

10:00 AM - WELCOME (COMICS)
Description:
Get a sneak peak at this year’s panel lineup, then hear from CPAAC’s keynote speaker kellysue DeConnick!
Location: Hyatt, Hanover F

11:30 AM - GENDER IN SCI-FI FILM (AM SCI-FI MEDIA)
Description:
Scholars Joel Amnot & Johnathan Flowers investigate issues of gender, feminism, and masculine ft masculine ft in sci-fi films like Ender’s Game and Pacific Rim.
Participates:

  • Johnathan Flowers: Mako Mori is (Not) Your Feminist Heroine
  • Joel Amnott: Who is playing Ender’s Game? Whiteness, Masculinity, and Film Adaptation

Moderator: Vickie Willis
Location: Marriott, M301-M302 

11:30 AM - PSYCHOLOGY AND GAMING (TABLETOP GAMING)
Description:
Psychologists Josué Cardona, Woody Harris, & Charles Rohr discuss the use of tabletop games and RPGs in therapy and clinical psychology.
Participants:

  • ·         Josué Cardona & Woody Harris: Gaming Is Good for You: The Positive Effects of Video and Board Gaming
  • ·         Charles Rohr: Roll Knowledge (Psychology): Examining the Role of Tabletop Role Playing Games in Society, Psychology, and Treatment of United States Combat Veterans.

Moderator: Richard Scott Nokes
Location: Hilton, Grand Salon C

2:00PM CPAAC PRESENTER LUNCH

4:00 PM - MYTH IN STARGATE (STARGATE)
Description:
Scholars and fans examine the Stargate franchise as myth-building.
Participants:

  • Richard Scott Nokes

Location: Westin, Chastain HIJ


SATURDAY

10:00AM - LITERARY AND RELIGIOUS THEMES IN COMICS (COMICS)
Description:
Scholars of comics, literature, & religion explore literary and theological themes in DC’s ‘New 52’ and ‘Swamp Thing.’ D. Humphries, N. Sheppard.
Participants:

  • Durf Humphries: Old Testaments and the New 52: Conflicting Religions of DC Comics
  • Natalie Sheppard: Abandon Hope, Y’all Who Enter Here: Swamp Thing and Dante’s Journey Through The Divine Comedy

Moderator: Richard Scott Nokes
Location: Hyatt, Hanover F

2:30PM - SCI FI: GENDER & UTOPIA (SCIFI LITERATURE)
Description:
Jennifer Hudgens discusses race & gender in Heinlein’s work, & Joseph Cadotte & Elizabeth Kidder discuss historical & fictional utopias & dystopias.
Participants:

  • Jennifer Hudgens:  RAH, RAH, Womp: Race and Gender in Heinlein’s Science Fiction
  • Joseph Cadotte & Elizabeth Kidder: The Broken Paradise: the Dystopia Lurking Inside Every Utopia

Moderator: Vickie Willis
Location: Hyatt, Embassy A-B


SUNDAY

10:00 AM - POST-APOCALYPTIC SOCIAL CRITIQUE (APOCALYPSE RISING)
Description:
Critical Social Theorist Clint Jones analyzes the Walking Dead, the Massive, and Snowpiercer to draw conclusions about modern society.
Participants:

  • Clint Jones: Post-Apocalyptic Human Society:  An Examination of the End Times in The Walking Dead, The Massive, and Snowpiercer

Moderator: Damien Williams
Location: Westin, Chastain 1-2

2:30 PM - COMICS, SEMIOTICS, REPRESENTATION (COMICS)
Description:
Comics scholars Spencer Chalifour and Jared Hegwood examine symbolic and representational techniques from Superman to Jeff Smith’s RASL.
Participants:

  • Spencer Chalifour: The Very Wheelwork of Nature: The Visual Representation of Alternate Realities in Jeff Smith’s RASL
  • Jared Hegwood: Subject, Signifier, Superman

Moderator: Matthew Brown
Location: Hyatt, Hanover F

4:00PM - CPAAC PRESENTERS MEETUP
Description:
CPAAC Panelists meet and discuss experiences at this years conferences, and any improvements or adjustments to be made for the  following year. (Closed Session)

10:00 PM - DREAM LOGIC AND MURDER WIZARDRY (HORROR)
Description:
A discussion of the narrative effects of psychological concepts and themes from MANHUNTER to NBC’s HANNIBAL
Participants:

  • Damien Patrick Williams
  • Cleolinda Jones

Location: Westin, Peachtree 1-2


MONDAY

10:00 AM - COMICS IN THE COMPOSITION CLASSROOM (COMICS)
Description:
Comics scholar Karl Mohn and comics professional Kelly Sue DeConnick discuss the various ways that educators can use the comic medium to teach students about composition and narrative.
Participants:

  • Karl Mohn: Comics and Multimodal Composition in the First-Year Composition Classroom
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick

Moderator: Vickie Willis
Location: Hyatt, Hanover F

11:30 AM - STARGATE AS MYTH (STARGATE)
Panel Title:
Stargate as Stories, Myths, and Personal Identity
Description: The panel examines the rise of new media, & its effect on how we virtualize & mythologize notions of the self & the Stargate community. R.S. Nokes, D. Williams
Participants:

  • Richard Scott Nokes
  • Damien Williams 

Location: Westin, Chastain HIJ

1:00 PM - COMICS & FEMINISM (COMICS)
Description:
Comics scholars Daniel Amrhein and Kari Storla trace feminist themes from the origins of Wonder Woman to the Tomb Raider reboot comic by Gail Simone.
Participants:

  • Daniel Amrhein: Why Wonder Woman? Tracing the Rise of a Feminist Icon
  • Kari Storla: "She’s just one girl": A post (modern) feminist reading of the Tomb Raider reboot
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick

Moderator: Vickie Willis
Location: Hyatt, Hanover F

—————————————————————————————

For official maps to help you get around the con, be sure to check here: http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=where_to_go_hyatt (Where home is Hyatt Regency Atlanta,
265 Peachtree Street Northeast,
Atlanta, 30303, US )

In case you missed it.

NEWLY ADDED!

SUNDAY 10:00 PM - ROUNDTABLE ON RACE, GENDER, & SEXUALITY IN COMICS & FANDOM
Description: Open forum for discussing issues of race, gender, and sexuality that arise in the comics industry and fandom in general.
Participants:

  • Matthew J. Brown, Kari Storla, Daniel Amrhein, John Flowers, Vickie Willis, & You!

Location: Hyatt, Hanover F

I’m in “Dream Logic And Murder Wizardry” at the same time, but I’ll be through, after, if it’s still going. And I think it will be,

In case you missed it, I’m presenting an expanded version of "Mako Mori is (Not) Your Feminist Heroine" at this year’s CPAC. The presentation will focus on the way in which our notions of “strength” are culturally determined and thus limited in their application to a character like Mako Mori who embodies more Japanese ideals of strength. Further, this version of the presentation will push back against feminist critiques of Mako Mori’s character, which appear to rely upon the above culturally coded notion of strength, and the assumption that a “passive” Asian woman automatically plays into the “china doll” stereotype.

I’m also participating in the Roundtable on Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Comics and Fandom where I, and my co-panelists, will bring our knowledge to bear on issues of representation, access, discrimination, and oppression within comics and the fandoms that they produce. The last time I participated in this roundtable, it ran for almost twice it’s allotted time, and generated some very good conversations.

If you’re going to be at Dragon*Con, and you want to hear me (and other academics) address issues in your media, please show up.

this is my dude right here

August 27, 2014

and then anita sarkeesian gets driven out of her own home

i just can’t with this media anymore. from either sides.

August 27, 2014

ghostanime:

I’m honestly at a loss for words on how to approach the Zoe Quinn stuff.

Just so much going on with that.

That’s just one issue I have to completely walk away from.

and after talking to a co-worker at work abut it for 2 hours

my trust in gaming journalism…. :(

August 27, 2014

all i can say is that i’m scared as fuck of gaming journalism and writing from all angles and sides

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