We finally finished painting our Arcantrik Force Generator. This is the model that first made us sit up and notice that miniatures games were a thing, and now it's ready to eff some shit up on the battlefield ... and look pretty on our shelves.
It's supposed to have three doods standing on the base controlling it, but we decided to use them in other projects.
Yes, it is on our blanket. We took it with us when we curled up on our bed with our laptop. We're such a dork.
Author's Note: This is the seventh chapter of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel, Hate Plus. It continues from where the Analogue: A Hate Story adapt left off. It features a female player character, who left the Mugunghwa with *Mute and is currently married to her.
Content Note: Sexism, gendered slurs, and suicidal ideation.
That night, I dreamed about the fight I'd had with *Hyun-ae. Except this time it was *Mute, and she was strangling and yelling at me, and the ship was on fire around us, and I was trying to tell her the mainframe she ran on was about to melt.
Then it turned to slag right in front of me, and for some reason it smelled like ... soup broth and bacon?
I woke up without opening my eyes. I was curled in the fetal position, clinging to plushies and facing away from the cabin ... and sweating a lot. It felt really warm in here. I definitely smelled some kind of soup broth, and heard water boiling and bubbling.
Oh shit I left the rice cooker on-
( Read more... )
This time, to the children of abusive and narcissist moms. Who have to endure a ton of reminders of their pasts today and somehow explain that no, you aren't grateful to her, and you've already sacrificed enough of your life and your future for her.
Relevant link: http://www.issendai.com/psychology/estra
Author's Note: This is the sixth chapter of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel, Hate Plus. It continues from where the Analogue: A Hate Story adapt left off. It features a female player character, who left the Mugunghwa with *Mute and is currently married to her.
Content Note: Sexism, gendered slurs, and suicidal ideation.
All I had done was watch a video recording. But it felt as though I had been there, Mrs. Investigator. And for a moment, I almost forgot that Old *Mute and I were two separate people.
It wasn't anything like the way I'd imagined the coup.
( Read more... )
It just occurred to me how funny the whole premise of bathroom laws is. Lawmakers apparently think that a guy can just walk into the women's room, and they'll be all "What are you doing here D: " and he'll be like "Don't worry, I'm transgender! :D " and proceed to pee standing up.
They think we need LAWS to stop this from happening.
If it were that safe and that easy, I wouldn't have caused nearly as many double-takes in the men's room. ^^;
I didn't write that earlier post from the viewpoint of a trans woman who's scared for her safety, because "bathroom laws" do not target me. They don't target trans people in general, or even trans women in general. The only people they target are those who look or sound stereotypically "between genders," whether or not they pose any danger to anyone.
I've apparently never been one of those people. Just out of sheer luck, I was born with lightly-coloured body hair and "feminine" facial features. So with a bit of invisible makeup and a growing, immature bust, I have never had someone even look at me funny in the women's room.
That didn't keep me from being mortally terrified of the place, though, and waiting until long after I was on hormones to go there. So what did happen was that I caused an awful lot of double-takes in the men's room, both before and during transition. ^^; Especially from elderly men and little kids.
"Who she, daddy? Who she???"
I'd be washing my hands, and people would open the door and just stop, looking at the back of my head and trying to figure out where they were. Sometimes they abruptly backed out, letting the door shut again. Were they making sure this was the right one? Did it seem easier to them to let this obviously-confused woman dry her hands and walk out, than to confront her?
Not that I've never been confronted about it. One time I tried to step into the men's room at a convenience store, and the clerk stopped me and gave me a weird look. (I sheepishly went in the women's room, which had a lock on the door, thank goddess.) Another time I was waiting in line at a bus stop's public restroom, and realized the guy behind me in line was trying to get my attention.
"Hey, you can't go in there! The women's room is that way." He pointed it out for me, helpfully.
"I beg your pardon?" I asked, turning to face him and using my pre-transition voice on purpose.
"Oh, sorry man!"
I avoided that bathroom from then on. >_>;
Remember, it's the law!
If you take these new "bathroom laws" literally, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Making guys trip over themselves, and giving somebody's grandpa a heart attack.
None of the laws' supporters actually want me to do that, though. This is because, like I said, they don't target me. These people don't spare any thoughts when they see me in public, because I don't look like "one of those people." I really don't know how I feel about this! But again, it's not about me, except that my existence helps make it obvious what this is really about:
All they want is to be able to bully people whose looks they don't like.
So, we read an excerpt from the intro to a history book on the First Succession War, which was a mad scramble for land and resources after a political upheaval.
It reminded us of how much we love BattleTech sometimes, and why:
It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when we learned that Amaris had been captured and the [coup] was over. Naïvely, we thought things would get back to how they were before, in our parents’ day. How quickly we were disabused of that notion. The dukes knew things would only get worse and all the patriotic noise Kenyon had made was soon supplanted by something more authoritarian. We were just the wrong age, the perfect age to serve.
My boyfriend, Joe, was one of those called up that autumn, thrown into a boot-camp and then shipped off-world to fill out a line unit. I never saw him again—he died on Anegasaki when the Capellans killed the Fourth Militia. I was luckier I suppose, drafted into the planetary militia, so at least I was near home where it was safe and quiet. At least at first.
Then Kenyon got a mind to take over all the Star League facilities, following up on the rumors that Kerensky had left vast stockpiles on-world. That may have been true, but after four years spent on that wild goose, with little more than field rations, toilet paper, and SLDF recruitment pamphlets to show for it, the FWLM shifted their attention elsewhere. That didn’t save me from a grilling by SAFE—several in fact—because of who Gramps was, and his involvement with the Engineering Sub-Command. He died when I was nine, but even so, SAFE struggled to accept that a pre-teen knew nothing about SLDF activity. Dad got it much worse, and was held at the facility in Freeport for three weeks before they decided that the English teacher from Durandel High wasn’t going to give them much help either.
In those days, the years before the start of the Succession War, I did wonder: if this is how badly we treat our own people, how are things going to go when we start shooting at people we don’t like?
Compare and contrast, with how 40k portrays warfare. And authority, and nationalism. Even if you read 40k as a dystopian satire, where the Imperium is meant to be seen as brutal, you rarely get such a personal look, at the price that ordinary people pay for you to dress up in armour and play as a "hero." To satisfy your vain ambition, for power or wealth or heroics.
40k isn't alone in erasing civilians and glamourizing warfare, of course. Don't get me started on dudebro shooters. >_>; With the extremely subversive exception of Spec Ops: The Line.
For another good take (IMO) on how BattleTech portrays conflict, check out the short story at the start of the Alpha Strike Quick-Start rules (PDF link). A private military contractor called Wolf's Dragoons catches a desperate foe completely off-guard, and an enemy MechWarrior has an obvious mental breakdown, but there's no guarantee that she won't recover once they've gone past. So Natasha just shoots her mech's legs out and moves on. Even though she has TEH RAEG because of something the other side's employer did to Dragoon dependents.
Finally, if you want to support a PC / tabletop game that tells the story of people who live in the ruins that "heroes" and generals fight over, check out This War of Mine:
Armed conflict is a terrific backdrop for drama. But it isn't a playground or theme park, and it shouldn't be treated as one.
But this post on a (relatively) progressive Mormon blog brought back a lot of really bad memories. Of being the outsider, not being invited to anything, not even having the same online games.
My situation with my family of origin cut off a lot of opportunities, but I had forgotten how exclusive and cliquish Mormon kids are. How much I dreaded the things that I could go to. How I prayed to find someone who felt just as bad, so that I could save them.
I've never confronted anyone about that, that I can remember. Not the way I confronted my family of origin. I just forgot, because mental blocks are a defence mechanism. They kept me from seeing a big part of the reason I feel so inferior, though.
(Content note for these links and this essay: Racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, and xenophobia.)
I'd just like to take a moment to remind everyone, including my friends who are also transgender, that if you live in the first world everything that you have and enjoy is made possible through unthinkable violence and slavery. Of humans, to say nothing of nonhuman animals.
It's not a matter of how moral you are, or how much you consciously choose not to inflict violence on others. This is an inherent feature, of a world where some people are valued so much more than others. Because the purpose of inequality, inhospitality, and inhumane treatment is to make people broken and desperate.
The purpose of immigration restrictions, for instance, is to enable human trafficking, which means (among other things) being able to keep people in sheds they pay rent on and beat them if they don't wash your car just right. Meanwhile, the reason that the United States lacks the social safety net that other so-called "liberal democracies" have is because one of its political parties (we all know which one) used its "Southern Strategy," of convincing white voters that welfare payments would go to the wrong kind of people.
You know, the ones who are supposed to avert their eyes when they see you walk by, and who call you "sir" and shine your shoes for you.
Trans World Problems?
No. No, the new laws here in the States, that make it even more dangerous for trans people to use public restrooms, aren't a "First World Problems" thing. A "be grateful that you aren't a literal slave" thing. As though becoming a sex worker with no legal protections weren't something a lot of trans people have to turn to, and as though there are no trans people who are black, immigrant, or enslaved.
What this is, is a reminder that we (as trans people) aren't the first to suffer this indignity, and we won't be the last. Unless we can join our grasping appendages with others who are resisting things like it*, and turn the tables on our capitalist oppressors.
(It's redundant to call them that, but sometimes it just helps to hammer it home.)
* Or even others who are affected by it, despite not being trans. Don't forget; besides barring people who don't pass as cis from using the restroom, North Carolina's HB2 also banned local living wage laws, and made it harder for any worker to bring a discrimination suit against their employer. These aren't unrelated coincidences; these things are all part of systemic inequality and oppression.
And our system has, in fact, been updated! We're now using a refurb of last year's fanless, 12-inch MacBook, and it's the most beautiful thing we have ever owned. Everything works so elegantly and consistently, we've had fewer frustrations than ever, and OS X is amazing -- you can assign new keyboard shortcuts to any item in the menu.
We want to learn Swift, and AppleScript, and page layout / ePub formatting in Pages and iBooks Author, and you don't actually want to hear about any of this. ^^;
What's more important, at any rate, and had an even huger impact on our life, was being able to spend about two weeks with Alias. We love it so much <3 and we took lots of pictures, although we've only posted most of them in a private Facebook group, composed entirely of Alias' family and their significant others. (We're really camera-shy, and we assume that others are as well.)
We played a lot of minis games, though. ^^; And Final Fantasy XIII. Turns out the reason we haven't done much console gaming lately is because there's been no one to share it with >_>; So now we're starting to experiment with streaming games on Twitch, and considering getting a capture card for our old consoles which don't let us do that natively.
... is that something that anyone here would be interested in watching?
Anyway, we're trying to get back into a regular schedule and form some good habits, which is hard without external reinforcement. >_>; And we keep thinking of how to reformat this blog ... with like, index pages of our stories, essays, and games. And maybe a consistent theme, of self-acceptance and learning how to express yourself. It's what we've needed the most talking-through, and it's what we've been wanting to help people with since our old Become Your Fursona stories.
Which we still have, and are considering formatting some of them for ebook stores. Maybe.
We're also hoping to be able to visit Alias in person up in Canada, towards the end of the year. It's scary talking about building a life and a future together, but it's also exciting to feel like this is a thing that can actually happen.
We got to try out a game of Endless Fantasy Tactics with Alias, a day or two ago. It was pretty fun!
It's basically Final Fantasy Tactics: the minis game. Which means we had to draw an isometric map, and HP/MP counters for everyone. Oh, and it uses stat cards normally, so we printed out lists with our models' stats on them instead.
Technically you don't have to go to these lengths. They sell decks of cards for all of the models and items, plus a beginner set with a reconfigurable 3d board. But we wanted to start with the core rulebook, and we figured it wouldn't take that long to make our own play aids.
Turns out, it did ^^; partly because we had to learn how to do layout in Pages first. And then when we actually started playing, our large-sized models took a hit for each square they stand on, every time Alias' Lunarian bunnies AOE'd.
(The gels all want to be heroes, or something. It's awesome.)
Anyway, we'll probably be playing this more in the future. And here are some more pics of the play aids we created / used, behind the cut:
( Read more... )
Wouldn't that be an interesting weapon in 40k, or another miniatures game? You shoot someone with it (rolling To Hit as needed), and suddenly they can't do anything self-serving. Like fleeing from a hopeless fight, or going to ground in order to keep from being shot at.
There actually is a special rule in Warhammer 40,000 which does that, though. It's called Zealot.
At any rate, Alias has been over here for three days now, and so far we've played three games of 40k. It's rekindled my interest in this game, and reminded me what I love about it.
I keep going out of my way to make sure that Alias is having fun, though, and compulsively asking if it is okay. I'm scared that I'm being a bad hostess, that having it play one of my favourite games with me is selfish, and that I should be letting it dictate everything.
Aside from that, though, it's been really nice having it over. In many ways. ^^;
Okay, so last night we kind of had a meltdown over stuff on Twitter. >_>; We've deleted our account, since it didn't seem to be doing anyone any good.
On the plus side, we lined up all our
Warhammer 40,000 Tau models and took a picture of them. Here it is, in case anyone wanted to see:
( Was it worth it? )
Anyway ... we're looking into broadening our gaming horizons, with more accessible minis games like Endless Fantasy Tactics and Frostgrave. spinecrawlerrush is coming over in just a couple of days (!!!), so hopefully we'll get a chance to try them out.
And cheer up a bit.
Content Note: Graphic violence.
( devour )
TARYN: In reality, I suspect there would be a long line to eat white cispeople from the southern United States. Link. I don't think they would taste very good, either.
Please mourn with their victims, and stop allowing them to hurt others. Here in the States, or internationally like in Uganda.
There's a danger in getting overly concerned with tropes, and the real point is to be free to draw inspiration from where you like while creating something that means something to you.
That's from the Yaruki Zero book, where Ewen talks about anime, but I feel like it addresses a problem we have been having with trying to make the erotic rpg we mentioned awhile back. Or any of our other attempts to make "universal" games, like fursonarpg, and try to create stuff that we don't fully understand the appeal of on the basis that someone will want to play as it.
I think there's something to be said for opening up a game's rules or a setting's canon, to allow for something new to fit in. Sort of like how halfway through the game's run Games Workshop took the unusual step of creating an idealist faction, with clean lines and anime-inspired mecha, in Warhammer 40,000.
But I feel like this stuff is maybe best done gradually, and custom-made on a case-by-case basis. The Cleric and Monk classes in Dungeons and Dragons, for instance, came about because Gary Gygax's friends wanted to play a vampire hunter and a martial artist respectively. Meanwhile, I've been doing an ongoing freeform 40k RP, that started with ideas for my Tau characters and grew to encompass burning_ground's Chaos Daemons and Alias / spinecrawlerrush's Necrons.
Sometimes we think about game design. This is one of those times. >_>b