John Barrowman on meeting Benedict Cumberbatch. (x)
He is basically us.
sketched a korra during storm! traditional is more fun than i remembered hah
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.
If u are ever stranded in the woods or the tundra or the ocean or the cold recess of space alone and u need help
just whisper “Bisexuality is the attraction to same and different genders” and a monosexual will descend from the sky out of nowhere screaming “Actually!!!" and waving a flag that says "Bi = 2"
and u can borrow their cell phone while they invalidate ur existence
A colleague of mine was talking to me recently about her misgivings about her capabilities regarding writing Women of Color. She wanted very badly to include several WOC characters in her sci-fantasy series, but she had some concerns about correct portrayal and writing them in a way that wouldn’t instantly piss people off. I told her I would write something about it that might help. So, here we have it: How to write POC without pissing everyone off and doing a horrible job.
In general, it comes down to three things. Research, Persistence and Consideration. Also. for the point of this essay, I am going to use Black women, Native Women and Mixed Race women as they each represent different individual (yet very important) racial struggles that need consideration.
1. Research is by far the most important thing. EVER. For this example, I am going to use black women.
It is important to start by trying your hardest to forget anything you think you know about black women and black female identity. As a white person, anything you would know about them you probably learned from media that is not controlled by or monitored by black women themselves. Meaning that it is likely not a good representation of black women at all. Or maybe you just have a black friend.
Which you should consider in the same way you would a control group for a science experiment.
One or two subjects would not provide conclusive evidence in regards to any hypothesis. Having one or two or even five black friends can’t help you with understanding the complex history of black discourse….
In order to start from scratch, I would first spend some time reading literature written by black women for black women. Learning the way black women have discourse among each other is the first step to understanding their perspective AND emulating their voice. Literature is the genre of media where POC have the most liberty (unlike film) to discuss certain topics or parts of their identity.
Then, I would delve into “complaints”. There are thousands upon thousands of articles where black women complain about their portrayal in media. These complaints are both valid and often eloquently expressed. It is important for you to know, what things black women (WOC) are already so fucking tired of seeing in regards to incorrect or offensive portrayals of themselves. Not only will it help you avoid making the same mistakes as white writers before you (an example of this: Arthur Golden and the hot mess that is Memoirs of a Geisha), But it will also get you upset about certain ways black women (POC women in general) are portrayed, and make you want to write them better. This can improve your writing in that not only will you avoid being offensive, but you now have the chance to be progressive and kick stereotypes out the window!
Finally, I would take some time to follow some tumblr blogs that are run by the group you’re trying to write. This part of the research can really help because you’ll get a first hand, contemporary dialogue about issues within the specific POC community. Which leads me to my second topic…
*upper middle class fucker voice* But you have [one nice thing] so how are you poor
Rich people: “If you’re poor, why aren’t you living in the dirt where you belong?”