Asked by atcdblu
Asked by mrchinchill
I’m looking for really nitty-gritty analysis on games and the game industry. This could mean armchair academic stuff, it could mean field reporting at cons, it could mean detail-by-detail breakdown of a single fanart image, it could mean a short (or long) essay on the history of a certain fandom pairing, etc. Raw data would also be interesting and welcome—if you successfully ran a survey to see how many members of TF2chan identify as “female”, for example.
I can’t pay you (I wish I could), so everything you write will have to be something you enjoy writing, but can also write well and with intelligence and insight. I think I would prefer to read any articles before they went up, but of course sole credit would belong to the author.
Asked by Anonymous
I wonder why this posted without a response.
Trans, genderqueer, and intersexed Pyros are not unusual in fanart and fanfic at all. If you’re asking why your average nerd looks at Pyro in terms of male vs. female, remember that many of them are people who can’t handle having a woman’s voice on their mic chat. Their concepts of gender and sex are incredibly regressive.
I was hoping this was going to be asked! For those not in the know, the SCUM (one M) Manifesto is a famous radical feminist document written by Valerie Solanas. As per my Elaine Marley gif, it opens with a call to arms to women, to bring down the government, the patriarchy, etc. It is may be satire, or even a parody of the far far hyperbolic end of patriarchal culture. A few people believe the Manifesto is intended to be serious, a view which is supported by the fact that Solanas was the person who shot Andy Warhol.
Solanas was a friend of (or at least friendly with) Warhol prior to the shooting, and both artists were strongly obfuscatory in their performances—the why of what they did was usually a mystery and sometimes meaningless, so whether or not the SCUM Manifesto is intended to be taken seriously is up for debate. It may be absolutely sincere, it may be farce, or it may be meant as something in between: a ha-ha-only-serious, tongue-in-cheek, hyperbolic-yet-sincere sort of catharsis.
The other half of the pun is SCUMM, that is, Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, which is a scripting language developed at LucasArts (known at the time as Lucasfilm Games) to ease development of the graphical adventure game Maniac Mansion. It was used for every LucasArts game up until Grim Fandango, when they switched to the GrimE engine. This means the SCUMM engine was the arena for some of the greatest video games of all time (the Secret of Monkey Island, Sam and Max Hit the Road, et al), and was the foundation on which our modern ideas of ‘good games’ were built, and then expanded upon.
The SCUMM games, though primitive by modern standards, showed a unifying aesthetic comprised of all their parts: the music was exquisite, the art was excellent, the moods were meaningful even when the games were goofy. If you played the Secret of Monkey Island near the time that it came out, you likely remember the feeling of subdued excitement during the opening music and eerily beautiful title screen:
That LucasArts was able to wring so much from so little then, is very much like what a few select studios are doing now. They work within the confines of their technology and medium to make things that are greater than the sum of their parts.
So the purpose of this blog is to, as stated in our subtitle, Hold Games to a Higher Standard. It will not be exclusively focused on Valve games, nor will it always be feminist critique, nor will it always be serious. Primarily, this blog will focus on aesthetics, which encompasses everything about the experience of playing a game, and that will involve breaking down, minutely, what went wrong and what went right.
Just to be clear, “Why is this debate still going on? Pyro is voiced by an adult male and his muffled voice is too deep to be a girl’s.” was a quote from a forum poster who believed the sex of the voice actor automatically determined the sex of the character, which is ludicrous on its face, but also indicative of the constricted concepts of “gender” that many gamers have.
Wuollet brings up a very good point about the assumptions made about who a “gamer” is, assumptions that female gamers often have to use as a sort of nerd-shaped ghillie suit in order to avoid detection and harassment. Unless stated (and sometimes, proven) otherwise, everyone online is presupposed white, male, and between the ages of 15 and 25.
Rule 29 of the Internet clearly states “In the internet all girls are men, and all kids are undercover FBI agents”, and this is widely believed not only by denizens of /b/, but most unaffiliated persons, as well. It’s a double-edged stereotype, because while on the surface, it appears to be an anti-man generalization (“Only men are lame enough to spend hours online, wasting their time playing video games and trolling forums”), what it actually is, is a rehash of the position that women have no agency; that they do not enjoy playing games, posting online, etc. unless they’re doing it to impress men or “get attention”. The bald fact of a woman playing a video game online because she enjoys it is literally unbelievable.
On a personal note, I have been looking for a good, realistic voice-changing filter for my mic for a long time.
Asked by serene-shadows
Many thanks, I really appreciate it. I can’t wait to write part three. I’m still looking around for some material I’d like to reference, but I should be publishing another part soon.
As an aside, everyone, if you’re reading these posts and you spot inaccuracies, have questions, or would just like to share your own experiences, ideas, anecdotes, analyses or lore, please send me an Ask. Anon is fine.
Make sure to tell me that you would prefer not to be published, if that is the case.
Asked by baruyon
Yes, absolutely! Your TF2 art is some of the best there is, bar none, and I’ve been wondering where to find more of your stuff (TF2 or no) for a long time.