Archive for the 'Games' Category

New site: Heroine Content

I added the feed from Heroine Content to my collection recently. This is from the site’s first post and welcome:

Heroine Content is a feminist and anti-racist blog about women kicking ass. More specifically, we write about women kicking ass in action films, with a side order of television and video game commentary as things catch our eye.

I’m not a frequent watcher of action films or tv (though I do play video games). I’m reading this site in preparation for a new course I’m taking this fall called “Tough Chicks” which is supposed to be about women, media representations, anger, power, etc – but I’m not really sure I have the background for it. I blunder through anything remotely referencing pop culture, haven’t seen much television or many films since the 80s. Generally I gravitate towards books about history – not shows about super heroes or assassins. I think I’m going to be at a supreme disadvantage. Last semester I ended up renting a season’s worth of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so I could participate in the Third Wave Feminisms class discussion about whether or not BVS is a feminist character/show. Many people found it shocking that I had made it this far without ever having seen Buffy or Xena (or anything much since Green Acres– definitely not a feminist show).

I appreciate that Heroine Content’s rating system include a category for pieces that are “setting us back 20 years”. ooooh yeah. I’m going to find this site very very helpful when I’m trying to sort through which (if any) films are worth watching and which ones I can just skip right over. Thank you so very much.

I don’t know if I agree with the quote from Amira Sa’id on today’s entry that the Princess Leia costume from Return of the Jedi could be empowering to women. I did some surfing around looking for more info about the costume and found (but have since lost) a convention that encouraged female attendees to wear the “slave costume” to increase their chances of photo opps. The conference was hoping to snag some photos to put on their website, not likely for a gallery of empowered women – methinks they wanted a flesh gallery of unpaid models. Note that the request wasn’t to wear a “Princess Leia Bikini of Power” – I doubt the person who posted this was thinking there main audience would be a whole lot of empowered female attendees. I think that what they were hoping for was a whole lotta flesh. Something like E3’s booth babes, only the scantilly clad women are paying to be there. How is this empowering????

I don’t know a whole lot about Star Wars but I’m pretty sure that Princess Leia was the main female character and that there weren’t a whole lot of other female characters in the series. It’s not surprising then that Amira Sa’id was thrilled by her! Given the choice of robots, blobs, monsters, and Darth Vader, I’m sure that it was a joy to identify with Leia! That alone doesn’t make her an empowering or empowered female character, but I’m not eager to sit through the hours and hours and hours of Star Wars movies that have been made since 1977 to find out (unless I have to for this course.)
This comment at the end of the Leia post:

the costume designer who created the bikini was a woman!

has me confused. What are they saying? I just keep thinking that women have created and perpetuated all sorts of cruel tortures for each other (genital cutting and foot binding are two examples). Just because the costume was designed by a woman doesn’t change what it is: objectifying. That the designer was a woman seems a betrayal even! This is a slave costume, intended to represent women as submissive and as property. The women dressed in the costume for ‘fun’, with lengths of chain around their neck makes me sad that this is the best we have for role models and female representation in film.
I really hope Heroine Content helps me learn more about action films and television. So far I’m happy just to read the feed.  I have no desire to see any movies yet but my interest is definitely piqued. It’s great to have a feminist reviewer going ahead of me.

Getting Further into WoW

You might be playing too much World of Warcraft when:

you see a listing on the Freecycle website for a green leather bag and you wonder how many slots it has.

WoW – The New Birth Control

Rob acquired a 14-day free trial dvd for World of Warcraft. Since we’re getting hyped up for E3 and our trip to California (next week!) we thought it would be the perfect time to get in the spirit and see what all the WoW hype is about. Four days, 3 characters, and a combined 20 levels later I think I see the addiction taking hold. The first night it took forever to install, lots of upgrades, patches, etc. By the time we got started I was already tired but somehow we got the human male up to level 6. Lots of Kobold Vermin dead. At 2 a.m. when I told Rob I was going to bed he said he’d be right there. Hmmmm. “Right there” was close to an hour later.

The next night was my turn. I created a human female character and we took turns levelling her. More Kobold vermin dead. Then Kobold workers and Rob was killing some warriors when I went to bed.

The game is on Rob’s laptop so he’s been carrying it around with him, playing with friends at lunch, playing at the coffeeshop after work. I really felt like I was starting to lag. So Saturday we worked out a deal – I would cut his grass since he has bad allergies and in exchange he would do some server work for me for some other sites I’m working on. I did the grass cutting during the day but he couldn’t get to the computer until after his daughter was asleep. Bwahahahahahahhaha. While he struggled with Gallery2 I got to create yet another character. A beautiful and talented Druid Night Elf named Daksha. A new race meant a new map, new quests, new spells. It was so much like being pregnant and giving birth. Choosing a name for a character is as challenging as naming a child. Luckily there are plenty of baby name sites. This was when I noticed the brewing addiction. I was probably ready to quit around 2a.m. but kept telling myself, “one more quest, just finish this last one.” After all, can’t leave the guy to suffer without the antidote to his spider bite. That would just be plain cruel. With Rob’s prodding I got her to level 6, found her a new home and put her to bed in the Inn. I hated the spiders – they sneak up behind you and start attacking when you’re not expecting it. I’ve got some better spells now and hope to be able to fight them off more easily the next time I get a chance to play. I’m still in need of the spider egg but the spiders freak me out too much I just can’t bare to go into their cave.

I didn’t get to play any last night since I have to prepare some photos which will be exhibited here at a conference while I’m in California and I’m having a heck of a time getting them done. I wonder what’s going to happen when the 2 weeks expire. I wonder if Rob will subscribe or if he’ll be ready to try something else. I wonder if I’ll get my own install…

Get ready for more of this at E3 2006

mannequin in a t-shirt that says booth babe

Rob‘s been away at GDC this week and he’s been taking pictures of the boothbabes apparently. This photo is from his flickr page. With the fines for objectifying women set for this year I wonder how many boothbabes like this one we’ll be seeing at E3 2006?

This isn’t a gaming blog (or what a waste)

This isn’t wasn’t a gaming blog but I have to state my disappointment with Sony’s latest, just-in-time for xmas release “Kintetic”. I’m not disappointed with the game itself because I haven’t played it yet. I *loved* it at E3 this year, for lots of reasons and spent some time talking with Marc Parry, one of the developers about where I can see the Eyetoy heading. Read all about last summer’s enthusiasm here. I’m anxious to play it – but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I am a very big Eyetoy fan. Antigrav, Play2 and DDR Extreme (1 and 2) all get thumbs up from me for they way they are reshaping gaming (and users).

But the grief: Read more »