If you’re of the opinion that [feminist] agenda doesn’t belong in games, then, I don’t know, read Gamespot.
“The idea that someone can be objective when they’re talking about an emotional creative medium is fallacious, and it is a heritage of product culture, where we believe that there’s one right way to see a game, you put a number on it and you buy it, or not. And I just don’t believe in seeing games that way. There are a number of websites that do, though, so if you’re of the opinion that agenda doesn’t belong in games, then, I don’t know, read Gamespot.
…I’m not trying to change what exists. I think commercial gaming culture will always exist, I hope it does always exist and it should always exist for the people who enjoy it. We’re proposing alternatives, we are making games bigger by adding more to it, and inviting more people to it. By making it broader, by making it reach more people.
…I think we can only benefit by making games more interesting, more sophisticated, and more diverse. It’s not about pushing something artificial into a space that doesn’t want it. It’s about enriching every space with a broader variety of perspectives.”
We arrived in the middle of a concert. Gil was asked to speak. As he went to the mic, the tent fell silent. Hundreds were packed into a tiny space. Gil began to describe the work of the Lula government to support free software, and free culture, when a debate broke out. I don’t speak Portuguese, but a Brazilian who spoke English translated for Barlow and me. The kid was arguing with Gil about free radio. Two minutes into the exchange, about 8 masked protesters climbed onto chairs on one side of the tent, and held posters demanding free radio. A huge argument exploded, with the Minister (Gil) engaging many people directly, and others stepping in to add other perspectives. After about 20 minutes, the argument stopped. The band played again, and then Gil was asked to perform. For about another twenty minutes, this most extraordinary performer sang the music he’s been writing since the 1960s, while the whole audience (save Barlow and I) sang along. When the concert was over, Barlow, Gil and I were led out of the tent. It was practically impossible to move, as hundreds begged Gil for autographs, or posed for pictures. At each step, someone had an argument. At each step, Gil stopped to engage. Even after Gil was in the car, some kid rapped on the window, yelling yet another abusive argument. Gil, with the patience of a saint, opened the window, and argued some more.
I remember when I first read this. It still provokes a strong reaction in me as though the story gives me purchase on some height of very human and very humane beauty.
Extrapolation special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, (Anishinaabe), Michael Levy, and John Rieder.In the last decade and a half, a number of scholars have explored the way that SF throughout the last century and a half has borne a close relationship to colonial, and later postcolonial history, discourses, and ideologies. One of the most prominent features of colonial ideology in SF has been the widespread assumption that the future will be determined by the technological and cultural dominance of the West, the “progress” of which often entails the assumption that non-Western cultures will either disappear or assimilate themselves to Western norms. Indigenous Futurism designates a growing movement of writing, both fictional and critical, that envisions the future from the point of view of Indigenous histories, traditions, and knowledges—and in so doing situates the present and the past in ways that challenge (neo/post)colonial ideologies of progress. This special issue of Extrapolation aims to bring together critical and scholarly explorations of and responses to fictional or theoretical and critical work in or on Indigenous SF, where SF is broadly conceived of as including science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, and slipstream.Topics might include but are not limited to:
- fictional and theoretical confrontations of Western science and Indigenous knowledges
- use of Indigenous traditions in fiction or theory to envision a sustainable future
- responses to and evaluation of Indigenously-inflected SF in any medium from any geographic location
- representation and use of Indigenous traditions in classic SF texts
- Indigeneity and SF adventure fiction, Indigeneity and space opera, Indigeneity and the New Weird
- challenges of publishing and distributing Indigenous FuturismWe invite submissions of 5,000-12,000 words to John Rieder (email@example.com) by April 1, 2015. Submissions should conform to the usual requirements of ExtrapolationPlease share widely!.
I am grateful for femfreq’s perseverance. I will continue to attempt to be a better ally.
Ever since I began my Tropes vs Women in Video Games project, two and a half years ago, I’ve been harassed on a daily basis by irate gamers angry at my critiques of sexism in video games. It can sometimes be difficult to effectively communicate just how bad this sustained intimidation campaign really is. So I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a week’s worth of hateful messages sent to me on Twitter. The following tweets were directed at my @femfreq account between 1/20/15 and 1/26/15.
Content warning for misogyny, gendered insults, victim blaming, incitement to suicide, sexual violence, rape and death threats.
Tuesday, January, 20th
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Friday January 23rd, 2015
Saturday, January 24th, 2015
Sunday, January 25th
Monday, January 26th
“Mechanistic muses are expanding their domain to encompass every facet of creative activity.” In this article published in the June 1965 issue of Playboy, Bell Labs engineer, communications satellite pioneer and science fiction writer John R. Pierce introduces the work done in computer music, literature, film, and visual art, and issues an invitation to artists to explore and “school” the computer to yield new paths. Published in Playboy 12(6), 1965, pp 124-5 & 150 & 182 & 184via Forum on the Genealogy of MediaThinking (the website contains many scans of essays on media theory and archaeology)