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The first Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is out

7 Mar

After causing a firestorm for ignoring raging gamers to do such horrible things as speak at a TED conference, Anita Sarkeesian’s long awaited series that investigates how women are treated by the video game industry has begun. I think everyone is looking forward to the very predictable reactions from men’s right activists, who are now finding new and exciting ways to completely ignore what Sarkeesian has to say while completely ignoring the fraud committed by a similar project launched in response to her blatant misandry.

Let’s get started:

Update: No surprise, the dude army on reddit is talking about what it looks like rather than the content. Sound familiar?

Humble Bundle V

8 Jun

There is just under 6 days left to get in on the Humble Indie Bundle V. For the uninitiated, the initiative is a pay-what-you-can was to help indie game developers and charity. You can download four indie games for as little as a penny (but seriously, who would?) and if you pay more than the average you receive four MORE game that have been previously featured.

Now, I’m not a gamer usually. I like independent efforts, and I like charity so I was intrigued by this initiative. I’d seen a couple of the previous bundles make the rounds on Reddit, but hadn’t looked closely. This time I did, and I liked what I saw.

The idea is that by removing the barriers to ownership more people will get involved in indie gaming and sheer volume will drive a good return. At the same time, they kick money toward charity and the organization who puts the whole thing together. They even let you choose, to the penny, how much goes to the developers, to charity, and to Humble Bundle.

So, last night I made an above average purchase made my first official foray into independent gaming. As I get a chance to try out these eight intriguing titles, I’ll report back here! Any other gaymers getting this round of bundled games?

In ‘The Real World’ Bromos Have a Cheat Code

16 May

Yesterday, Whatever published an interesting post framing the real world as a video game, and the difficulty setting as the minority status you are born. In an effort to help straight folks understand “privilege” without using the word, the author declared the easiest difficulty setting in the game as being “Straight White Male.”

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.

From a bromo perspective, this analogy holds water. While our status as a sexual and/or gender minority sometimes impacts our lives (usually when we come up against laws) being a bromo has its advantages. While we might not play on the lowest difficulty setting: a lot of us have the cheat code.

We don’t play the game as “Straight Male” – but we can if we want to. When entering dungeons, facing off with bosses, or just grinding to gain experience points, if the going gets tough we can hit pause, enter STRAIGHTGUY, and unlock the special abilities of that class of character. All abilities immediately gain +1. Right on!

Bro

10+ in Awesomeness

But of course, this trick isn’t perfect. When the code is engaged it slowly decreases your stats like Stamina and Health. Stress levels increase as you see your status levels drop, and you rush to make it through the quest. When you finally make it through and back to home base, your levels will return to nearly pre-code levels. Not much of a sacrifice, but it still takes its toll.

The post delivers another relevant kick of reality:

In The Real World, you don’t unlock any rewards or receive any benefit for playing on higher difficulty settings. The game is just harder, and potentially a lot less fun. And you say, okay, but what if I want to replay the game later on a higher difficulty setting, just to see what it’s like? Well, here’s the other thing about The Real World: You only get to play it once.

So, if you play with the cheat code on all of the time, you waste your chance at living an honest life. Safer? Easier? Probably. But surely we can use our special ability to reprogram the game for other people. Even without the cheat code many of the players will find us more relatable: so lets use that instead. By all means plug in the code if you’re in danger, but the rest of the time we have an opportunity.

Homophobia -1 to every non-playable character you encounter that reconsiders their view of what it means to be gay. Misogyny -1 when you call out your buddies for using derogatory language. Bigotry -1 when you stand up for our femmebros and tell people there is nothing wrong with being flamboyant. Transphobia -1 when your treat trans bros like bros, bro.

Our default setting may lead through a couple of difficult levels, but more importantly we can change the very fabric of the game. Get out there and play on, bromos.

dys4ia: Experience a Trans Journey in 8-bits

13 Mar

Sometimes it is hard to understand just what some people have to go through, which is why it is great when someone take the time to make their experience accessible. That is precisely what dys4ia does for the male-to-female transition journey.

dys4ia

As a game it isn’t very exciting, but the point is to share experience. You complete some monotonous and slightly frustrating little challenges related to the author’s journey from male to female. It’s quick, and definitely recommended to anyone. The more you know, right?

Toronto Comicon is here!

10 Mar

Get ready to geek out gaybros, Comicon is this weekend. This good looking fella is my #1 to see. Check out http://www.comicontoronto.com/guests/ to see the line up.

Details of the Mass Effect Gay Sex Scene

5 Mar

Today’s Penny Arcade wonders if maybe Mass Effect should have given us a bit more detail in the now infamous gay sex scene. Continue reading