Aug 1




yeah seriously tell us how wizardry’s done in the new world tell me how the wizards from france and spain and britain stamped out the brujos and the medicine men and set up their own schools tell me what the fuck the british raj did to fucking india…

Pākehā wizards definitely contributed to the colonisation of New Zealand, because there’s evidence in Quidditch Through The Ages of Pākehā wizards on the islands and playing it by the 1600s in full view of Māori magic-users.  NZMoM later spent a ton of time/money trying to hide Māori carvings and paintings of the sport.  The collection is shown off in the Wellington offices of the MoM.

Even the name of Aotearoa’s native dragon (the Antipodean Opeleye) is a product of Eurocentrism; antipode meaning “literal opposite” was an early European term for Australia and NZ in reference to it’s geographical position from Britain.  Ever since reading Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, I’ve wanted to know what our own terms for the dragons are…


DAI ”Help me make it to release day” art prompt.
Iron Bull in the rain with a baby animal. Well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.


DAI ”Help me make it to release day” art prompt.

Iron Bull in the rain with a baby animal. Well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.


Mega Torterra!
Torterra is my favorite grass starter and I thought it was a shame that he didn’t get a mega evolution in X and Y.

heh, it looks like Torterra was Roboticized!


Mega Torterra!

Torterra is my favorite grass starter and I thought it was a shame that he didn’t get a mega evolution in X and Y.

heh, it looks like Torterra was Roboticized!


BioWare Teases New IP

You’ve been chosen, but for what? We’ll find out soon as BioWare is teasing their new IP, which looks pretty damn interesting going by the above teaser. Are we getting something supernatural? This could be really fun!


The History of Mana: How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic—Vol. 2, No. 2





On the origin of ‘mana’.

I was on-board with this until I got to the last paragraph:

For Pacific Islanders, the history of mana is important because it is about them: their lives and their heritage. To video game players it is important, and for pretty much the same reasons. Once an import, mana has now become part of our culture. Some might be tempted to read the story of mana as a tale of cultural appropriation in which Westerners ransack the culture of the colonized. They may be right. Missionaries, anthropologists, and historians put mana between the pages of their books and stored it in libraries all over the world. But gamers did something else with it: They cared for it. They made fantasy games and imaginary worlds, and came to love what they had created. They put mana into play, making it part of their lives, dragging it into their histories and self-understandings. They spent hours optimizing their healing spells and living the lives of draenei shamans. Gaming became part of who they were, and mana became part of their heritage. Did they borrow it? Yes. Did they exoticize it? Perhaps. But by playing with it, they honored it. The world is full of stories like the story of mana, stories whose paths across cultures and through time are rarely fully recorded. But these stories matter to us, because their histories are part of our lives. Like mana, they lay in the background until—click—someone shines a light on them and we see the power they truly possess.

After which point my mind completely shut off. No. NO. It’s not as important to gamers as it is to my people and my fellow Polynesians. Mana to gamers is nothing more than an exchangeable resource that could easily just be called “Magic Points” instead of “Mana Points”. I’ve been playing games for over a decade and gamers do not “care” for Mana.

They did not honor anything by playing a game that used the world. They played a game, that’s all they did. Stop drawing analogies to try to justify the cultural appropriation of something hugely significant. The only way I can even play Warcraft is by pretending I’m not using “Mana” every time I cast a spell, and I try not to hear the very word butchered by white mouths.

There is no cross-culture contribution, there is no life extended to the word. It’s a bastardization at best, simplified and gutted of its genuine significance. A goddamn draenei casting healing surge does not matter in the large scheme of the annihilation and cultural erasure of my people.

Mana is still just as important to our people today as it has ever been and it’s time for the term to be retired in the gaming world. It wouldn’t matter whatsoever if people just replaced the world, and you want to claim “perhaps” they exoticized it? Are you for real? Of course they did.

This feeds white saviour notions to a community that can’t even say the word right, yet screams obscenities and slurs in the same breath for failing to kill a boss. The gaming community doesn’t deserve a word as beautiful as Mana.

I can not believe that a professor at UH wrote this. 90% of the article is gold, right on up until this ridiculous white apologist smattering.

Holy crap, important article, good article, talking about something most people don’t know, and yet it still ends up saying something so unfair. 

You can’t honour a cultural concept without, at the very least, knowing where it came from, being aware of its actual meaning, and considering how its appropriation for another cause affects the people whom it belongs to. And most gamers do not meet that basic requirement. Honouring the concept only as part of the appropriation, which in this case is, let’s face it, just a game, does NOT count.

Yes: the word mana is now an important part of gamer culture, of online culture, but let’s not beat about the bush- it happened because it was STOLEN from Polynesian cultures. The definition of ‘stolen’ being ‘taken without permission’. Further: stealing is depriving someone of what belongs to them, and although no one forbids Polynesians to use the word in its rightful meaning, the fact that half the world thinks it’s a video game thing and nothing more significant is tantamount to the word ‘belonging’* to gamers now more than it does to the Polynesians. And that’s theft. And talking about how gamers honour the word and care for it is an attempt to legitimise that theft, make it seem harmless.

(* naturally when I say this I am talking about the practical use of the word, and who is most likely to be considered entitled to using the word, not whom it rightfully belongs to )

mana is a sociospiritual thing which is so complex we’ve had 2 hours lectures and 1 hour workshops literally just on working out a definition for what it is, how the fuck are sweaty nerds in any way ”””’honouring””” our shit when they completely COMPLETELY sever the word from its actual meaning and context?

mana, in a maori context at least bc that’s all i can speak for personally, has v little to do with ””’magic””’ in the sense u people understand it. mana at times is a lot more to do with personal prestige, political influence, adherence to protocol, a lot of stuff. you can’t take that, reduce it to a blue number, and tell me that’s honour. that literally is not. not a single person who’s understood mana will tell you it is.

Reblogging for brilliant commentary by anarchacannibalism

Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA

Georgina Beyer is standing for Te Tai Tonga, the only Māori seat of Te Wai Pounamu (the South Island), this election.  A former Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, she’s back this year as a Mana-Internet candidate.  ”Taking on this role is my way of making amends to Māori for voting for the foreshore and seabed bill which I was forced into and which totally broke me.  I’m very proud to stand with MANA.”

I’m looking forward to seeing her back!


Snazzy Key North Dunedin July 2014


Snazzy Key
North Dunedin
July 2014

Strange Fruit
Billie Holiday

75 years ago, on this date, Billie Holiday recorded a song that Time Magazine would call song of the century: Strange Fruit, a song written about a lynching in the South. 

Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.

This is one of the most haunting songs I’ve ever heard in my life.   

(Source: salsmineo)

(Source: holden421)



Halo: Nightfall images reveal lead character

Microsoft has released the first photos of Spartan Agent Locke, the main character in upcoming live-action Halo series.

View the gallery here.

not even a Halo fan but 100% here for whatever this is

This is awesome.


London Comic Con October 2013

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


We’re adults and we get to decide what that means: The Home Depot Edition


Jurassic World art by Jesus Carballo

I’m so ready