jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

In today's stream of Atelier Ayesha Plus, we made it from our tiny cottage in a meadow all the way to the big city, where we hope to find out more about the mysterious flower that blooms where our sister disappeared.

Along the way, we met some ... interesting characters!

Click here if you can't see Wilbell Voll-Ersleid.

At 10 PM Eastern on Sunday we're returning to Fate/EXTELLA, to discuss a previous cutscene before continuing Altera's route. This will contain major spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen the rest of the game, so you may wish to review a Let's Play or the archives before tuning in.

Don't forget to subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications, if you want to hear us narrate these games ^^; Or view today's Atelier stream!

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

So. I watched most of Steven Universe, up to and including the episodes with the Cluster.

Now I want to write a fanfiction crossover. Of Steven Universe ... and Dead Space. And I'm not the first person to see the resemblance, either.

make us whole )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

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.

Click here if you can't see the video.

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:

Click here if you can't see the video.

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.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

There's a MormonAd (basically a pre-internet meme) in one of their church magazines which shows a bug in a bowl of ice cream, and reads "IT'S GREAT EXCEPT FOR THE BAD PARTS."

The ice cream, in this case, is media, and for Mormons the "bad parts" are anything that "drives away the Spirit" ... which means they cause them to feel unacceptable emotions, like cognitive dissonance, sexual arousal, or adult anger and frustration as expressed through profanity. The more hardcore a Mormon is, the more of a learned fear response they have to emotions that normal adults have, which is why more hardcore Mormons used memes like this one: To shame kids for not having that response, and for thinking it was okay to watch R-rated movies and South Park.

You can see why they didn't want Mormon kids watching South Park. Content note: Racism, ablism, and a couple inaccuracies. (1) Click here if you can't see the video.

You see what I did there, with the note just beneath that video? This is how grown-ups handle people's different levels of tolerance for offensive content: By clearly labeling stuff using a shared vocabulary. The point isn't to say "if you like this then you're a racist;" it's to warn actual people of colour (in this case First Nations / Native American people) that "if you watch this then it might ruin your day," and let them make an informed decision.

It's hard to explain or justify doing this to people who've never imagined someone's day actually being ruined by this stuff. Or who chalk it up to "choosing to be offended." Healthy people don't have the kind of PTSD triggers that are caused by discrimination, and the kind of broken people that Mormonism and other abusive societies produce often don't realize they have triggers.

How abuse f**ks kids up, part 22

Claire used to just about go berserk when she saw gratuitous violence against innocents, like in action movies where they dwell on the villains casually killing people. I had no idea that it was because these scenes caused her to feel the anger we were never allowed to have or express, at our father of origin for beating the crap out of us. Because of that, we didn't know how to describe why we felt this way, or how to see the fact that these movies affected us in ways that they didn't affect other people. We thought that either we were broken, or everyone else was.

Don't you just wish, sometimes, that you could make people understand? That you could show those sexist white male jerks on Twitter what it's like to have people make rape jokes around you, or "jokingly" threaten your body with sexual violation?

... yeah, that's what happened to us shortly after we realized that we were transgender.

We got the kind of crash course in feminism that a person gets from presenting as female online, from having our work on GNOME more or less ignored by the male contributors to having irate Final Fantasy XIV players chase us off Tumblr for posting stuff they didn't like. Stuff like screenshots of the kind of blatantly sexist and rape-y stuff that the game is just saturated in, that we put on our sarcastic blog about how "FFXIV Is Totally Not Sexist."

Examples; content note for rape, sexism, and spoilers )

The tl;dr is that it feels like every woman who can be threatened with rape or harassment is, and -- a handful of high-ranking NPCs excepted -- the women in Eorzea all read like they were written by a man who finds sexual harassment funny.

I found the sexism funny, at first. Not because "lolwomen," but because it was so blatant and ridiculous. I started the Tumblr so people could laugh at it. But after a year of being harassed just for pointing it out, and dealing with creepy jerks who were other players in the game, and seeing women get threatened with rape and chased out of their homes just for being women on the Internet, it's not funny to me anymore.

The rape and sexism in FFXIV now feel less like bad jokes, and more like "the bad parts."

It's a great game, except for them. I'm just not sure I can deal with them anymore.




(1) Joseph Smith initially claimed only that he'd been "forgiven of his sins," and only later started saying God told him all religions were wrong. Also, he first tried to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in Canada, instead of founding a religion with it. It wasn't until after Mormonism picked up steam that he started having affairs and soliciting children, at least the ones that we know about.

I don't know what the Quakers have to do with anything, aside from generally being awesome (and living on the Moon).

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Someone posted some valid criticisms of certain points we brought up in our last essay, and we were a bundle of nerves at that point so we just pulled the essay and will address those later on.

Overall, we haven't had much energy this week because of anxiety over things that we've been putting off, like bills and mental health things and being screened for disability. That last one involved a public transit adventure, which included slipping and falling on pavement and walking about 2 km on the side of the highway in the rain. Thanks to Google Maps being inaccurate, we still would have missed our appointment, if some people at a Christian ministry we stumbled across hadn't let us use their phone and then given us a ride down the road to the place we were supposed to be at.

We are currently scraped up a bit and sore all over, but bandaged and mostly okay.

Read more... )

As an aside, Dreamwidth email posting does not seem to be working for us right now, which is making it hard to attach a picture to the other post that we wanted to write.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

tl;dr The overheat mechanic from the BattleTech / MechWarrior games is a really good metaphor for being triggered when you have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Detailed explanation

BattleTech is a board game played with miniatures which represent BattleMechs, which are basically big walking tanks. It has a whole slew of spinoff games and novels, including the MechWarrior PC and console games, which most people are probably more likely to have heard of.

Most of the games let you customize your mech. The big limiting factor, though, that keeps you from slapping on as many weapons as you want and mashing the fire button, is the fact that firing weapons heats up your mech and can cause it to shut down.

Click here if you can't see the video.

Someone I knew once put twelve fire-linked extended-range large lasers on a single mech chassis, just to see what would happen. As he put it, the "fire" button doubled as the ejection seat switch.

It's an easy mechanic to get the hang of, because it's ludicrously detailed but all the details make intuitive sense. Using energy weapons overheats you faster than using projectile weapons. Operating a mech on a desert planet generates more heat than driving it through the tundra. Standing hip-deep in water while firing weapons helps cool your mech down. And if you want, when building your mech you can skimp on armour plating or advanced electronics and put in a bunch of heat sinks, which work exactly like you'd expect.

How this relates to PTSD

Having your PTSD triggered is not the same as "choosing to be offended," or throwing a fit because you aren't getting your way. (In my experience, the people most likely to accuse others of doing that are narcissists, who all seem to think it's a legit debate tactic or parenting method when it's them doing it.)

PTSD triggers are called triggers because they're reflexive responses, like the ones most people have upon seeing a jump scare or being tapped on the knee with a hammer. They can immediately put someone into "fight or flight" mode. But when you've been socialized not to do either (like in my case), or you "heat up" too much or too rapidly, they can make you just freeze up instead.

Just last night, someone said something that created a huge spike of "heat" during an FFXIV raid, when I already wasn't doing too well, and I shut down just like a BattleMech that overheated. I was watching the fight going on around me, and I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I could barely even think. I felt like a deer in their headlights.

I'm having trouble even writing this, because I remember how I felt and I freeze up again.

What you can do

It's not hard to explain how to deal with someone who has PTSD. There are really common triggers to avoid, like rape jokes and anything sexist / cissexist / homophobic. There are signs to look out for, like that deer-in-the-headlights look and someone freezing up and being unable to talk, or suddenly becoming really defensive. And there are things you can do, like say "I'm sorry if that was a trigger" and "it's okay if you need to take a break."

You don't have to understand how it feels to be triggered if you can just think of a mech shutting down, and let the person cool off and get back to "all systems nominal."

Click here if you can't see the video.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Content note: Spoilers for the Ender's Game film, and a certain PC strategy game.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

5 minutes later ...

Cut for Homeworld spoilers. )

And now for our thoughts about how the story itself should have gone, inspired by Will Wildman's spectacular Ender's Game deconstruction.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

That's the headline for a story published by Reuters. It is very straightforward.

This is how Mozilla exec Darren Herman put it, in an official blog post explaining the move: Publisher Transformation with Users at the Center.

Here are some of his greatest hits from that post, by which I mean the most egregious offences against Mozilla's fans and the English language:

Cut for slight rantiness. )

This is Mozilla's City Creek Center moment. It's a sign of how little they truly care; for the web, for their volunteers, and for their fans.

So, has anyone seen this video of Internet Explorer-Tan doing a magical girl transformation and fighting robots?

Click here if you cannot see the video.

I am imagining that those kittybots are EVIL FOXES now.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

We love first-person games like Metroid Prime, but aren't particularly excited about shooting up other players. Maybe that's why we loved playing Sanctum 2 with [personal profile] aliaspseudonym. It's an awesome sci-fi first-person tower defence game with multiple playable female characters, one completely androgynous robot, a comic book storyline, gorgeous graphics, and a sense of humour.

Here's a gameplay trailer:

Click here if you cannot see the video.

And here's the ridicularious nineties-tastic trailer for their first expansion!

Click here if you cannot see the video.

Let us know if any of you get it while it's on sale and want to try playing it online. We might be up for it, although we tend to have really bad lag. >_>;

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

First off, unless you are triggered by romance or 16-bit pixel art you need to stop what you're doing, and buy the current Humble Bundle for $1. Just so you can play To The Moon.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

It's extremely touching, and the best portrayal of autistic people in any media I've ever seen. Just be sure to bring lots of tissues for when you play it.

Secondly, the dood what does the Errant Signal videos is now asking for donations via Patreon. He writes some extremely insightful (and amusing) video game critique, and excels at explaining both a) why a particular game caught on with so many people and b) what's problematic about it and video game culture as a whole.

Here's an example of his work:

Click here if you cannot see the video.

And here's where he asks for supporters:

Click here if you cannot see the video.

He's pretty awesome, IMO. >_>

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

Subscribe

RSS Atom

Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 06:17 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios