Aside

Long time no see

So in the last few months I have:

This year I would like to:

  • play more
  • read more
  • write more
  • design more

To 2015, I guess.

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Introducing Gaming’s Bechdel Test

Over the course of July, I finally decided to put forth my idea for adapting the Bechdel Test to games. I’ve tossed it around privately for awhile, and I’m hoping community feedback will help shape it into something useful. Now that it’s out in the world, it might be worth talking a little more about it here. First, the videos: one lays out the theory, while the other attempts to apply it to games.

One thing I knew going into this project was that I wanted The Path to pass. It would fail the traditional Bechdel Test based on the lack of dialogue, but if there were ever a game about women’s stories, The Path was it. So the question became how to account for representation in a medium where dialogue isn’t inherent. Likewise, was it necessarily a bad thing when there was only one woman on screen? In the case of something like Metroid, the woman was the only character on screen. It doesn’t make sense to dismiss games based on criteria nonessential to the medium. (more…)

#IAmClementine – Thoughts on Playing and Being a Girl in the Zombie Apocalypse

There’s something about The Walking Dead‘s Clementine that I’ve struggled to articulate. I sputtered around it in our last Water Cooler discussion, and it’s come barreling to the forefront of my thoughts now that TellTale released the first preview of the next episode. It’s hovered around my subconscious for weeks; I even dreamed about it. I don’t actually remember any of the dream, but I woke up feeling distraught and specifically worried about how Clementine was going to get out of the last mess I left her in.  That says a lot about my investment in the character, and it gave reason to tease out just what my relationship with this character is.

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Games of the Year for 2013

It took us awhile to settle on a Game of the Year schedule at Push to Smart. I wanted to crash the gate on New Year’s Eve, Jaylee wanted to wait until January like critics of other mediums (think of all the lists that missed Beyonce, he wisely noted). And so now I can finally present my favorites games of 2013.

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[PHOENIX SCREAMS OFF CAMERA] on Tumblr

About a week ago, I posted a photoset on Tumblr. It consisted of two screenshots from Takashi Miike’s Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney adaptation (actually, just one image repeated) with made-up, mostly accurate captions photoshopped onto them. The set was an effort to recreate one of my favorite gags from the movie (seen here), in which our ace attorney, Phoenix Wright, responds to the judge’s ruling with an anguished scream. The joke initially struck me because it encapsulated the desperate feeling of trying to guess key evidence in the games, and it makes me laugh thinking about it now. Thus, I took approximately ten minutes to edit  my attempt to capture the joke in Photoshop. I then queued it for posting on my Tumblr, where it automatically posted sometime while I was at work. Usually when I post something on Tumblr, it’ll receive a couple notes from my friends, maybe 200 if it’s especially topical. For whatever reason, as I write this, the post has received 14,411 notes. (more…)