Tag Archives: video games

Maker Bless Dat Ass: Cullen Stanton Rutherford and the Female Gaze

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Earlier this week I had a girls night with one of my closest, straightest female friends. And like most times she and I are hanging out in a private-ish space stocked with a copious amount of wine, the conversation eventually turned to men—men in general and the ones we call our own in particular—how gorgeous they are, how stunningly, unwittingly sexually attractive men are, just ambling about their day-to-day business without a clue of the things we’re thinking about them.

Women know. All women know, on a very basic level, that other people see us as sex objects. It’s all around us, all the time; it’s embedded, more or less overtly, in nearly every message our society sends us. And that’s the problem there, is that it’s in every message, that it’s expected to be our primary purpose, regardless of whatever else we may be or may be doing. That sucks, and isn’t okay, and is another subject for a whole lot of better writing elsewhere. In an appropriate context, however, it’s pretty great: being willingly, consensually sexually objectified is a helluva lot of fun. And objectifying someone else in service of your own satisfaction? That’s a head trip and a half, and it’s a pleasure that most of us rarely get a chance to enjoy in the media provided for our entertainment. Sitting in my seat at the movies, I’ve gotta get my pants-buzz watching Jason Statham just happen to look the way he looks while he’s pretending to murder nameless bad guys; it’s unlikely that there will be a scene showing him strip down solely for the purpose of titillating people like me. That’s been changing recently, however, and Maker bless BioWare, nobody does a better job of catering to (or trying to cater to, at least) everybody’s desires. Continue reading

Dragon Age Inquisition Is Just Cheese and Skeletons

I went looking around the Internet today to see if anyone else wanted to talk about how in Thedas everyone just walks around on skeletons like it ain’t no thang. I mean, characters have entire conversations in rooms with PILES of corpses in them. Can you not take that conversation next door where there aren’t any dead bodies? There’s a man who literally burned to death RIGHT THERE. His mouth is open. Did you not notice? OK.

It was during this search that I happened upon this important article about cheese and the tragic end of one individual.

Going farther into the wormhole I’ve opened, did you know that if you Google “skeleton Thedas,” you’ll get a bunch of pictures of silent film star Theda Bara and skeletons? You will. I’ll be back tomorrow with more thoughts on Dragon Age Inquisition, which has basically become my life.

theda skeleton

Speaking of…

VivienneDorian

Since today is the day to talk about nakedness and Dragon Age Inquisition on Gamervescent, I am going to perform a noble public service announcement and inform you that:

IF you find Vivienne to be the most fabulous character ever to grace a video game and

IF you find Dorian to be charming and dashing and handsome and totally bone-able to a semi-disturbing level and

IF you enjoy looking at really hot real-life people and

IF you really enjoy looking at really hot real-life people get naked and simulate sex acts in high-quality feature films and

IF you would like to watch the really, r.e.a.l.l.y. hot people who provide the voices for Vivienne and Dorian be hot and naked and simulate hot naked sex in a high-quality feature film,

you should go watch Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, posthaste.

kama sutra

I know, it sounds like a tawdry Skinemax flick, but it is directed by Mira Nair and it is GORGEOUS and it is majorly feminist and it features really, really good-looking people doing sexy things in beautiful locations and then it ends TRAGICALLY and rips your ENTIRE HEART OUT and will make you CRY, so…legit good movie. Unless you don’t don’t want to cry over the pain of the hot people, then turn it off when things start getting (too) depressing.

/end mind-blowing voice acting information public service announcement

The Naked Inquisitor

I am playing Dragon Age Inquisition on the Xbox 360. My first character is an Elf Rogue Archer named Yuna. She was originally named Velyuna, but after remaking her twice due to makeup fuck-ups that bothered me once the game actually began, I decided she was the type of person who would drop the first syllable of her given name and just go by Yuna.

Yuna has medium brown hair, lovely green face tattoos, perfectly shaped ears and a retroussé nose and Alix Wilton Regan’s voice. She is earnest but often sarcastic and, much like her creator, has a weakness for handsome human men. Yuna is really good at shooting things with a bow and arrow. And Yuna hates wearing clothes.Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 2.33.30 PM

Continue reading

Perfect Organism

by Brett Marcus Cook

I can only play Alien: Isolation for an hour or two at a time, once every couple of days usually. And when I do play it, I have a hard time sleeping at night. It isn’t necessarily because of how scary and stressful the game can get, although that is part of it given that I now jolt at every little sound I hear. It’s just that, once I’ve played it a little bit, I spend the rest of the day being unable to think about anything else. Not even Taylor Swift’s brilliant new music video can stop it. It may be a bit of a problem.

For one thing, it’s impossible for me to predict what’s going to happen in this game. First, there are the other people stranded on the Sevastopol with you. Some of them will shoot you on sight without a moment’s notice. Others will yell at you to back off and, if you listen and do so, will leave you alone after that. I hid under an operating table as a man whose partners I’d witnessed the Alien murder came into the room, gun drawn, shouting “I know you’re in here, I just want to talk!” I had no idea if he really wanted to talk or if he was going to kill me for letting his friends die. I didn’t have much time to think about it either, as a big problem with shouting is that you give away your position to the Alien, and, well, the Alien is obsessed with killing. Continue reading

The World I Dream For

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Hello, friends. I write you with a heavy heart. I know you are tired of reading about this subject, but it needs to be repeated until it is actually heard. There is a world I want to be a part of and that place is one where I am accepted because of me and not judged because of my gender. Bear with me please. I am one of those women who was afraid for a while to call herself a feminist based on the stigma that is (unjustly) associated with it. I tried out other terms such as “humanist.” Until I realized that wasn’t helping anything I was appeasing people and hiding behind a name out of an irrational fear that that tricky “FEM” would cause such unbearable trouble. One day I woke up and was like “FUCK IT.” It was like a weight was lifted. Until I was approached and asked if I was a lesbian or if I hated men. Of course not. When  I dislike people it is not based on gender, skin color, sexuality, or religion. Most of the time it’s because that person is an asshole. I know you are wondering why is she rambling about this. Well, due to the fact I was born with a vagina, I have encountered some disturbing things when it comes to my hobbies. Particularly in the gaming world.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean based on my own personal experiences:

  1. More times than I can count, when I have told people of my passion towards gaming, the responses have been off-putting.  “Is this because you are trying to find a new way to get closer to men?” “ What games do you EVEN play?! Farmville? Candy Crush?” “OOOOOhhhh that makes sense. RPGs are for girls” “So was your favorite Final Fantasy the one with all the girls? You know where they had multiple costumes?” This is only a fragment of what was thought to be appropriate to say to my face. Never have I thought to ask someone “Oh, because you have a penis that means you are really into racing games, sports, or cars? Right? Because those are your only interests?”

  2. Online I have joined discussions on games in public forums and been dismissed because of being born a woman. I have had people send me personal messages finding it appropriate to degrade or sexually harass me. Luckily, I haven’t been violently threatened (as many women have) with rape or physical harm. My opinions have been dismissed with “What do you know? You’re a girl!”

  3. I avoid cosplay because I have a fear that if I dressed as some of my favorite characters people would take that as an invitation to cat call or, WORSE, touch me. Only because I dared to show my cleavage, legs, or stomach. Let me be clear IT IS NEVER OKAY TO TOUCH ANYONE OF ANY GENDER BASED ON HOW THEY ARE DRESSED. I have a male friend who was harassed based on a how he chose to cosplay. No deserves to be groped because you have the hots for the character they are portraying. Nor is it okay to slut shame anyone because they altered the costume to what made them feel was more to their taste. It isn’t Slutty Whatever, it is a personal twist on a favorite character.

I could continue on for pages… but no one needs that either. So what I yearn for more playable heroines. How is this harmful? Women gamers take up 48%  of our culture that’s a lot of ladies “pretending to attract men.” Shouldn’t we be heard? Why is it so easy to dismiss us?

I’ve also been so lucky. I have friends who support my hobbies never judging me based on how I look. I have a father who never held me back because of being a daughter. I have a partner who encourages me to be myself. I am truly blessed in this aspect. As well thank every one of them for seeing me as a human. I love you.  Is it so much to wish and hope for a world full of more men like them? I don’t think so.