do you think it'd be better if alot of games had character creation? That way we can make them look however we want, or does that help with diverse characters?
I think character creation has been a decent stopgap; a somewhat-effective pressure release valve. It’s let people who are unrepresented get some small semblance of representation, and it’s let those of us who want diversity have something different to look at. But the truth is it’s not really diversity and it’s not really representation. And it’s certainly not a long-term solution.
You see, because while we shouldn’t discount the power of seeing a black woman save the galaxy in Knights of the Old Republic, real representation requires actual characters who are diverse, not blank cyphers you can put different skins on. Because KOTOR wasn’t really about a black woman saving the galaxy; it was about a generic, featureless Jedi saving the galaxy, and I happened to put the skin of a black woman on mine. What we need are actually diverse stories. I want games that actually explore real women, real people of color, real LGBTQ folks - not just generic heroes whose parts you can switch out like a Mr. Potato Head.
And don’t forget that authored, developer-created characters still exist, and they are almost always still white men. That’s an important point. Character creation is nice, but it’s difficult to argue that it’s “good enough” for diverse characters when white guys get all the “official” characters with full backstories and the game actually centered around them. To use a weird analogy, it’s like chairs. White guys get these beautiful, sturdy, professionally crafted chairs that perfectly fit their house, delivered right to their door. But those of us who want diversity have to make our own chairs. And we do the best we can, with the limited knowledge and sub-standard materials we’re given. And at the end of the day, you can sit in both, but there’s no way you can say the cheap, ugly, rickety self-made ones are the same or as good as the professionally-made ones.
Character creation has been a nice way for us to squint and pretend we have diversity during gaming’s era of bigotry and homogeneity. But I think the solution is not to expand character creation, but rather to finally pull ourselves out of that era and into one where everyone’s stories and experiences are respected.
This is a great response to those who use blank-slate characters as examples of how there’s diversity in games. While these games give us a small degree of self-determined representation (although I’d argue that this is merely an illusion of diversity, since it’s entirely self-chosen and therefore not presented to the entire consumer base), NPCs are just as important for us to examine as the protagonist!
I’m not pooh-poohing the idea of fully user-determined characters, my favourite games use this system, I’m just agreeing with discovergames that they can’t be used as an example of diversity in video games because there’s no guarantee this representation will actually manifest itself in the content.
adventure time literally explaining colonialism in 30 seconds
We’re adults and we get to decide what that means: The Home Depot Edition
DIY Halloween Apothecary Jars’ Tutorial from Magia Mia. Turn plastic vitamin bottles into creepy apothecary jars using a glue gun and chalkboard paint.
Unfortunately, not paying attention to race and gender does not make gender-race inequalities go away, precisely because these inequalities are institutionalized and not just ideas in people’s heads.
- Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Chapter 1: The Social Construction and Institutionalization of Gender and Race in Revisioning Gender (via lilinsoul)
There's a really awful Australian tv show coming out soon called Jonah From Tonga where a 30 year old white guy uses brownface to act as a stereotypical Tongan teenager. It'd be great if you could help get your followers to complain/raise awareness of how awful this is
I looked hard because I knew there had to be a petition to stop this show, and I found one!
Spread this around to stop minstrel shows!!!!
i bet that cat doesn’t even game, it’s just doing it for attention.
Fake gamer cats, ugh
My new bookmark is badass
Every time a cat cleans itself it is worshiping the Dark Lord