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“Literal Hugboxing” – This #GamerGate Review Thread Of #GDC2015 Is Hilarious And Sad.

8 Mar

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So last weekend, the 2015 Game Designer’s Conference went down, the first noticeably haunted by the spectre of the GamerGate movement. Amongst all the frothing righteous fury over a dumb joke (jeez guys it’s just “satire”), I stumbled across this gem of a thread (that I’m not linking to) in KotakuInAction. It’s by a mysterious “minority in the games industry” that admits to being scared of hindering his career by reporting that he stumbled around the event in a daze like some elderly relic from the 1950s emerging from a fallout shelter into modern times.

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I couldn’t imagine why this dude would have concerns about his career, considering he spends the entire post screeching about how times are leaving him behind and the recognizable names are all “talentless hipsters”. Couldn’t imagine at all. He bemoans that folks in a career path rooted in creativity are expressing themselves creatively. He’s literally Hank Hill, and all these rainbow-haired kids need to get the hell off his well-manicured lawn.

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First of all, I LOVE the idea that people need to “earn” the right to dye their hair. Also, like, I took C++ in college in the 90s: I designed my own 2D side-scrolling platformer engine using fucking WordUp Graphics Toolkit when Seinfeld was still on the air. Who. The. Fuck. Cares.

literalhugbox4I never said anything about being GOOD at coding tho….

He’s a virtuoso metal guitarist frowning at a bunch of kids writing punk rock tracks; and that’s probably giving him too much credit. More likely, he’s a studio musician that spent his whole life crafting other people’s artistic visions and is baffled and embittered that these kids can flesh out entire projects without people like him. A fucking dinosaur; a sad relic with nothing left but bile and existential cries of his own impending obsolescence. But because this is GamerGate we’re talking about, he’s got a whole army of budding neocon Breatbart-reading Reagan Youth to pat him on the back and hearken for the days when professionals wore suits. No, fucking seriously.

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Considering how reactionary conservative these clowns are, you’d think they’d know a thing or two about the history of their little hobby but NOPE.

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Amongst the threads there was easily as much whining about the existence of gender-neutral restrooms as you’d imagine in a forum not unlike Free Republic. Like seriously, these people think it’s a literal conspiracy.

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But I really think the true coup de grace of the whole thing is the OP lamenting seeing “literal hugboxing” amongst indie developers, which really deserves broken down because damn.

First of all, for those that aren’t aware of slang terminology of child-porn sharing neckbeards that get off mocking handicapped children, “hugbox” is a reference to this tool counselors use to calm children that have trouble with social interaction and physical stimulation. It simulates human contact, basically, which apparently is hilarious to these people. So, you know, it’s use is a great calling card to let you know who is an asshole.

Second, keep in mind that hug machine devices *simulate* human affection. This person is so socially alienated from human social convention that he interprets physical affection amongst peers as requiring a layer of artifice. That, even face to face, they are somehow *simulating* care for each other.

You know, fuck the whole fallout shelter analogy, I have to assume the author of that OP must be from some empathy-challenged alien race. Stumbling around, baffled and infuriated by the informal and friendly interactions amongst people that actually give a shit about each other instead of huddling in some hateful internet forum clique seething at them from the outside. Fuck your lawn, grandpa.

LET’S PLAY (And Overthink): Bubblegum Crash For The PC-Engine.

4 Mar

A couple weekends ago I finally beat Bubblegum Crash for the PC Engine, and that was kind of a big deal for a few reasons. The game was part of my massive vintage game collection (that I sold to pay for my move to Portland), and not only had I never beaten it but I never got particularly far on it either. You know, because it’s a “digital comic” text adventure entirely in Japanese.

bubblegumcrash2It was also the only reason I hung onto my “Purple Barney” converter so long

Thankfully, about a year ago a fan-translation ROM of the game surfaced. Playing through the whole thing, the translation is fantastic, with very little ambiguity or awkwardness. Which is good because the game includes plenty of that for itself. The game opens up with mysterious armored battle suits breaking into a bank. You start out playing Nene Romanova, one of the vigilante Knight Sabers, who finds out about the robbery because her day job is boring. It’s worth noting that the entire Bubblegum Crisis franchise does a pretty tenuous sexual politics balancing act between showcasing four relatively self-actualized woman protagonists (a business owner, a rock star, an actress and… a traffic cop) that are kickass robo-suited vigilantes behind the scenes but also making them ditzy, irrational, and surprisingly helpless on occasion.

bubblegumcrash3Then again, for 1980s Japan, this *was* progressive.

So anyway you go inside to talk to Leon McNichol and Daley Wong and let’s just stop there for a second because Daley Wong. Seriously, even for anime, having such an unapologetically gay male character in the mid-1980s that wasn’t, like, dying of AIDS or otherwise weighted with hubris was really badass. Even though it doesn’t come up at all in the game, they even made sure that looking at him, you just know.

bubblegumcrash4You’d be sassy too if you had a 10-inch… neck.

Like other digital comic adventures, you have a series of commands you can use on the right side of the screen. One of the things that is endlessly frustrating if you don’t have a walk-through handy is that there are separate commands for “Talk” and “Listen” (bottom left and middle left) and many interactions require you to alternate between them in a non-intuitive (read: seemingly random) manner to keep the conversation going. Anyway, you find yourself investigating the bank and immediately the fourth wall between yourself as player and Nene finds itself broken. After a brief glance in their direction, Nene resolves that the nearby garbage bins aren’t worth searching and are gross anyway. Well, turns out you can *force* her to investigate them anyway. Doing so doesn’t even find anything, except a vague sense of horror at a player/character contract the game allowed you to violate.

bubblegumcrash5The fuck kind of game is this?

 Most of the game involves investigating broken pieces left behind by the unfamiliar robo-armor of the criminals that performed the robbery. This requires going back and forth to various computer vendors, sleazy hackers, and military factory workers for bits of information. Eventually Nene just says “fuck it” and HACKS INTO ONE OF NATO’S DATABASES… WITH A POLICE HQ OFFICE COMPUTER… THAT SHE LOGGED INTO WITH HER POLICE BADGE. You know, as one does.

bubblegumcrash6Sure, ok, fuck it why not.

Shit, why not just tell rando homeless street hackers about your plans, as a police officer, to bypass NATO security? Nah that would be so impossibly reckless oh wait she does that too…

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While Nene is busy breaking international treaties, the bank robbers strike again, acquiring a total of 5 billion yen. Further investigation reveals they are also raiding the safety deposit boxes for the pieces of a top-secret super AI. At this point, Nene finally decides hey maybe this should actually be an actual Knight Sabers game…

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Oh wait nevermind, this just means you hang out in Linna Yamazaki‘s apartment while she takes a shower. At this point of the game, in another strange fourth-wall breaking moment, you can peek in on Linna in the shower if you are persistent enough. Not you as in Nene, you as in the player. The game talks directly to you the whole time.

bubblegumcrash10Yeah, like Gamergate would be concerned about a woman’s privacy.

After some story exposition, you find yourself playing as Linna. During this interlude you head to the stock market to hear buzz about Zone Co, the company that manufactures the stolen Super AI. Then you get sexually harassed in an alley be the same guy that harassed Nene earlier in the game. And then you call Nene. And that’s pretty much it.

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Nene then uses the police computer she already committed international espionage on to stalk and harass an old man into telling her more about the Super AI. Because apparently Internal Affairs isn’t a thing for the AD Police. And then this happens-

bubblegumcrash12Oh, Leon. You suck so hard.

Priss (who suddenly becomes a thing in this game) then pursues the escaping battle armor with her motorcycle, which moves about as smoothly as trying to play shuffleboard with a Christmas ham. I cannot emphasize how awful the controls are or how infuriating this motorcycle stage that just appears out of nowhere is.

bubblegumcrash13At least it looks cool when you die. Which you will. A lot.

Once you manage that (takes surviving through three to seven stretches of road) this ridiculous bullshit happens. It’s a 3/4 view grid board game where you chase the mobile suit and manipulate the board to trap it. Seriously tho, apparently somebody thought this was a good idea, and worth adding/keeping in the game. They took the time to program a top-view movement engine, and created these cartoony RPG sprites in a style that appears nowhere else in the game. For this. I’m half-convinced parts of this game were just bullshit unused shovelware hobby projects they had lying around that they inserted the BGC characters into and shoehorned in. Look at this and try to convince me otherwise.

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Then, after investing so much energy into keeping her motorcycle intact through the chase, Priss just shoves it right up Armor Suit Guy’s ass.

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Then we go back to following Nene around, showing some of the pieces of what was left of the armor suit to various folks until she gets a note from Sylia Stingray, which she immediately misinterprets.

bubblegumcrash16Oh God shut up, Nene.

At this point, finally, after what is likely around two to three hours of gameplay, the four Knight Sabers get together in the same place and this thing turns into something that actually kind of looks like an actual Bubblegum Crisis/Crash game. Sort of.

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The remaining part of the game is in Stephen Lab, and if you die you have to play the whole thing over. The gameplay here is like a standard first-person RPG maze game. It’s a three floor maze where you have to trip three levers to get the main service elevator (which takes you to the final battle) to work. While wandering through the maze you will be attacked by the traditional boomers from the series as well as more men in armored battle suits. With each battle all chars HP starts at full, so you don’t have to worry about that, but other than that the fight themselves is like a bare-bones RPG. You’ll wanna switch out characters to keep them from dying. Also, Nene has a “Scanner” tool that will increase your defense while weakening the enemy’s attack, so you wanna use that each battle. Other than that, all four characters have the ability to use physical combat or shoot, which you will also alternate for effectiveness.

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After sludging through the generic “dungeon” of Stephen Lab you fight the leader of the battle armored criminal gang, and it is actually kind of boring as shit. To be honest, after wanting to beat this game for like 20 years, I feel a bit ripped off by how corny the ending is.

bubblegumcrash19seriously that’s it

Like, I think there were elements here that could have made a much more solid game. Literally everything taken care of in the digital comic scenes could have been accomplished as a standard RPG if they’d just developed that aspect. As they were, the RPG elements did offer a challenge and a change of pace, but one that wears off quickly because the elements were so rudimentary and lead to dreary repetition.

That said, it’s an interesting eclectic conceptual grab bag. The graphics are mostly rendered gorgeously and it stays true to the source material. However, the gameplay is clumsy and non-intuitive. Depending on how much of a fan you are of the source material, the latter may be forgivable to an extent. I just happen to be one of said fans, so your mileage may vary.

Alex Jones Joined #GamerGate, The Pope Thinks Trans Folks = Nukes & The Week Isn’t Over Yet.

20 Feb

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alexjonesgamergate3I like how he differentiates “3rd wave”, as if he has no prob w/the first two

I’m really having trouble deciding which of these revelations is more amazing, really. I mean, Alex Jones is pretty much his own punchline at this point. Looking into it further it looks like Jones also appealed to the hashtag shortly after it began, which is unsurprising because the dude has been riding internet trending topics shamelessly for years. Also apparently the dude that maintains his wiki also maintains Gamergate’s as well and was digging up dirt on Wikipedia editors supportive of Zoe and Anita (sound familiar?). What is it with Wikipedia vandals and Alex Jones, anyway?

So yeah, this current video posted to the tag is by one of PrisonPlanet’s staff, Paul Joseph Watson. Watson is a snarling pasty toad that was apparently cursed by leprechauns to speak only in right-wing buzzwords until he can find true love and become a real boy. He also has just the most punchable face in a crew that seems to take great pleasure in being awful.

alexjonesgamergate1seriously look at this toolbag

He sardonically repeats the words “multiculturalism” and “social engineering” and some gibberish obsesssion he has about feminists ignoring rape by non-white people or something like a terrible party magician trying to hypnotize you. He talks about “joyless” feminists, but the only point in his video where I cracked a smile was when he laughably insisted there was such a thing as “organized misandry”. Also, he manages to invoke Godwin’s Law within ten seconds of his smarmy diatribe which has to be a record or some sort of drinking game.

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Speaking of constantly terrible analogies and Nazi comparisons, Pope Francis apparently thinks us trans folk are as dangerous to life on earth as nuclear weapons and people that advocate gender theory are literally Hitler youth. Yeah, the “cool pope” said that. Good times.

alexjonesgamergate6leaked photo of the transgender agenda

In his recently published report “This Economy Kills”, he talks of how each era has “Herods” that “destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.” To give perspective, Herod was the king that killed all the little boys in his kingdom in an attempt to hunt down and murder baby Jesus. This is the level of discourse he opens up with.

alexjonesgamergate7literally gender theory

He continues:

“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”

“God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth,” Francis says. “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”

That’s like the mother lode of terrible loaded analogies. Basically it’s fancy pope-speak for the whole trans-Frankenstein “meddling with God’s creation/what hath science wrought” boogieman, taken to it’s logical extreme.

He also compares literature that includes gender theory as “akin to Hitler Youth propaganda” and “a form of colonization” which is hilarious. Maybe the leader of the Catholic Church, literally the most prominent force in violent genocidal Western colonization in history, should shut the fuck up about throwing around such accusations until he cleans his own damn house. Go fuck yourself, Popebro.

For what it’s worth tho, as far as shitty scaremongering things to say about us, at least this one is so cartoonish it makes us sound badass. I am become trans, the destroyer of worlds.

COGIATI Is The Worst Classic Text Adventure Game #Retrogaming #90snostalgia

19 Jul

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So I know it’s been ages since I’ve done a video game review on here, despite promising I would be more proactive in that regard. So today’s game is a classic from the mid 1990s.  It appears to be some sort of text adventure created by the same designer that made the classic Apogee game BOPPIN.

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The game is called COGIATI (which is probably one of those nonsense magic words like XYZZY or PLUGH). It promises the acquisition of a “transsexual gender inventory” which honestly doesn’t sound very epic, but I’m not too good to grind for unusual and rare items.

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The game opens up with an admonition to “answer truthfully” to some questions that will follow, which I thought was cool because it reminds me of that fortune teller from the Avatar trilogy of Ultima games.

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It’s kinda dated, but I do get a kick out of the non-traditional methods of character generation. Some of the questions seemed to lead to certain classes, even though they were kinda sexist:

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And others that seemed to be pointing towards special super powers your eventual character may possess-

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The thing is tho, the questions never seem to stop coming. No recognizable character development or progress is shown, and some questions seem irrelevant or morbid-

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So then I finally get to the end of the questions, and instead of presenting a well-rounded character and a world to explore, I was presented with an ending screen:

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What a ripoff, right? I go through all that and I get is a psych recommendation. I mean, it’s better than the endings of River City Ransom or Ultima Exodus on the NES, but still. It’s almost as disappointing than the ending of NARC where it tells you to become a cop-

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So seriously, even if you’re somewhat of a completist when it comes to classic text-adventure games, you may want to pass this one up. There’s no plot to be seen, just endless grilling about your identity forever. Real life provides way more than that to spare.

Seriously, I’m #NotYourRayon, And You Can’t Recast Me As One.

12 Mar

In contrast to the “decievers,” who wield their feminine wiles with success, the “pathetic transsexual” characters aren’t deluding anyone. Despite her masculine mannerisms and five-o-clock shadow, the “pathetic transsexual” will inevitably insist that she is a woman trapped in a man’s body… Unlike “deceivers” whose ability to “pass” is a serious threat to our culture’s ideas about gender and sexuality, “pathetic transsexuals” -who barely resemble women at all- are generally considered harmless. Perhaps for this reason, some of the most endearing portrayals of trans women fall into the “pathetic” category.  – Julia Serano, Whipping Girl

FULL DISCLOSURE: I still haven’t seen Dallas Buyer’s Club, but I do intend to see it. Truth is, I’ll probably even like it. I have a soft spot in my heart for sad sack “pathetic transsexual” stories. Hell, the Christmas after I began transition my dad made a clumsy shitty joke about a certain character from Priscilla Queen Of The Desert f0r obvious reasons in order to make the most hamfisted shitty jab at me or whatever, so like I know certain stereotypes I may never escape so I might as well sit back and enjoy?

So like in the whole aftermath of Leto winning an Oscar from this whole mess been seeing two common responses that I feel the need to jump in on, and how they curiously intersect in my own experience. The first is the WHARBLGARBL WELL MAYBE RAYON WAS JUST A GAY MALE CROSSDRESSER TRANSVESTITE AND NOT TRANS AT ALL DID YOU THINK OF THAT GOSH THE TRANS UMBRELLA DIDN’T EXIST BACK THEN (The following are assorted responses to Parker Marie Malloy’s recent Advocate articles on the subject)

dallas2Except in the real world:
Heterosexual trans women are heavily impacted by AIDS, frequently due to lack of healthcare and/or discrimination/stigma by healthcare professionals regarding testing and treatment.

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Except in the real world:
1) Christine Jourgenson, one of the most well known trans women of the past 50 years, frequently referred to herself as “transgender” since the late 1970s.
2) The movie takes place in 1985, the same year Richard Ulster founded the first Transgender Literature Archive at Ulster University. Also at least a year after this 1984 article by sexologist Roger E Peo.
3)Virginia (Charles) Prince didn’t invent the word, but she did help popularize it. The word appears in the psychology reference manual “Sexual Hygiene and Pathology” a full five years before the first issue of Prince’s magazine “Transvestia”.

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^the above was screencapped from the excellent Trans Hollywood blog, which has been swarmed by persistent assclowns of every flavor over their stance on this issue.

And, like fucking seriously y’all? Gay men don’t get sexual reassignment surgery. That’s like the shittiest laziest most homophobic stereotype out there, and it’s suddenly a better alternative than just saying the character is a sad inaccurate stereotype of a trans woman? The difference between gay men and trans women was already a well-known enough phenomenon in the real world half a decade before this movie takes place that, when the late-70s/early-80s tv show Soap suggested that the gay character would desire a sex change it faced protests from both gay and trans activists for trying to conflate the two. How easy motherfuckers forget history.

I mean, this isn’t 1975, and this isn’t Dog Day Afternoon, even though the scriptwriters (and anti-trans bloggers/commenters) apparently can’t tell the difference.

And it’s like, Rayon was a 100% fictional character unbound by any sort of narrative convention; why exactly does the character seem more and more like one that wouldn’t even fly in the 1990s?

In any case, it’s a game of semantics to pretend that people aren’t going to associate this character with the lived experience of trans women. It straight up says multiple times in the movie (as well as the book) Silence Of The Lambs that Buffalo Bill doesn’t exhibit any of the traits of trans identity, yet he’s a consistent go-to trope, a cognitive bias horror reflection of the insistence that the lived experience of trans women are a figurative/symbolic theft of women’s flesh somehow. Body autonomy? What the fuck is that? And it’s just one of dozens of similar movies pushing the same image.

leatherfaceindragOh hey look, another movie with a timely, sensitive transfeminine portrayal starring Matthew McConaughey

Anyway, enough of that.

The other point being made I take contention with (perhaps even more so) is this assertion Calpernia Adams makes in her recent Advocate piece regarding the controversy.

But I have known people like Rayon. She is not a made-up grab bag of random hateful attributes. She’s a portrayal of an uncomfortable segment of the trans experience that a few TLGB folks would rather be erased rather than discussed. I think many of the haters hate Rayon because she isn’t beautiful, she isn’t passable, she isn’t gender-binary, she isn’t 2014-political. And when I see that elitist hypocrisy, I’m inclined to push back.

It’s hard being trans, even more so in the era and circumstances of Dallas Buyers Club. I’ve known plenty of trans sex workers, self-medicators, wise teachers, hilarious weirdos, and people taken before their time due to violence and lack of health care. I’ve known trans people very much like Rayon, and maybe if some people got up from their remote activism -devices (computer screens and smartphones) and left their ivory towers and privilege bubbles, they’d meet a few people like Rayon face-to-face too.

Excuse the fuck out of me? Where in the actual fuck do you get the gall to recast all concerns about this character into some tired gross archaic “transsexual vs transgender” elitism?

I’m *from* Texas. I’ve self-medicated. I’ve done drugs. Like, a *lot* of drugs. I haven’t done sex work, but I can’t say I haven’t considered it. I’m not HIV+, but I’ve dated people who were. I spent the latter part of the 1990s getting sneered at by older transsexuals in “support” groups during a time when I was young and lost and really could have used some guidance. I frequented gay bars, and often slept with gay men (slept with an awful lot of straight guys too, for the record).

krossover1Me, literally standing in the doorway of the infamous, frequently cop-raided, Harker Heights,Tx gay/drag bar Krossover, in 1999(?).

And being concerned about passability? Christ. I’m the tallest, gangliest, most shittily-tattooed, donkey-faced thing out there. And apparently I dress like a Hot Topic threw up. So lets just say it isn’t high on my concerns.

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So like, when Leto talks about “the Rayons of the world” or whatever, he’s talking about people like me. Except fuck you no he isn’t.

And it’s like, maybe I don’t really want to be spoken for in this gross pandering “No Homo” way and romanticized as some sort of “impossible creature” and yet again have my narrative, a path and experience I’ve fought for and struggled with for a lifetime, repackaged in a cynical fashion by people with no understanding of it.

Not sure what I really expected from a movie that repackages it’s protagonist as a uber-heterosexual and homophobic (yay bisexual erasure) in order to learn some sort of hamfisted lesson, tho.

That said, I still intend to check the movie out. No homo.

#retrogaming Famicom Camera Is Pretty Dope.

3 Mar

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Been playing around with 8-bit camera apps lately, and my favorite free one so far is Famicom Camera. It’s pretty straightforward, with only options to change between 27 and 64 colors (most of the pics on here were taken with lower color rate), some retro borders, and the thickness of scanlines.

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I’ve had a chance to play with it with multiple subjects, and it works great for creating dramatic chiaroscuro but loses a *lot* of detail, even for 8-bit art. Still, it lends a very distinct look to photos, resembling more the graphics of, say, a PC-99 graphic adventure game. Really cool stuff.

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Flappy Bird Versus E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Which Is Worse?

5 Feb

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On Superbowl Sunday, I was at a chili cookoff at a sports bar, because why the fuck not. Thing is tho, I… can’t even try to get into the sports. Not even a gender thing (maybe) it just never did anything for me. So despite stuffing my face with near-limitless delicious spicy free food and understanding the team I was supposed to be rooting for was *annihilating* their opponent, my attention span was drifting. So, like the glutton for punishment I am, I decided to take on this game that goddamn near everyone is wailing about.

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This unholy affront to God and nature is Flappy Bird, a game that’s exploded into popularity so fast even the developer is baffled and terrified by it’s success. It’s an excruciatingly repetitive afterthought of a game where you have to give a bug-eyed bird constant screen-tapping reassurance or it falls into lethal despair.

ETflap3Um, bro, you seem to have forgotten how to bird.

Combine that with the actual worst collision detection I’ve seen since Master Chu And The Drunkard Hu, and you get the picture. It combines all the fun of Balloon Fight with… oh wait, Balloon Fight sucked and was the opposite of fun. Twenty years ago, a game like this would have been stuffed on a cartridge with at least 40 other abortions and had a cheetah on the cover. In this first post-Luigi year, a game like this is considered an effective standalone. How times have changed.

ETflap4Come the fuck on. Are these pipes solid or not?

I’m pretty sure high scores on this game could be used as a measurement for masochism on a fetish dating site.

“Oh, does this riding crop scare you? But you reported a high score of 150 on Flappy Bird, so you obviously enjoy pain more than you’re willing to admit. Bend over.”

Aaaaaanyway…

It makes me think of the downright elusive fickleness of what counts as a “good”, or at least successful, game. Speaking of poor collision detection, repetition, and brutal, unforgiving gameplay, I found myself rethinking the Atari 2600 game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, widely regarded as the worst game ever made. Like, millions of copies buried in a New Mexico landfill-level awful. It’s a reputation that’s never sat well with me because I always loved it since I was little. It was one of the first “quest” style cartridge games, and one of a handful of Atari games one could actually “beat”. Remember, this game was created by the badass that designed Yar’s Revenge, for fucks sake.

ETflap5It was basically Zelda 4 years before the first Legend Of Zelda.

It had it’s flaws (some of which people more devoted to it than I have worked on fixing), but it really wasn’t all that confusing, especially once you’re familiar with Legend Of Zelda type games. Pre-Zelda, I was addicted to the Apple ][ version of Rogue, which is pretty much the same thing.

In any case, to be a bit more forgiving to Flappy Bird than the Action 52 comparison, it definitely resembles titles from the Atari 2600 in terms of gameplay/difficulty/replay value. I stuck with it long enough to get a personal high score I can live with, and have already deleted it. I guess my masochism has limits.

ETflap6Oh my fuck I hate this game so much. Bye.

 

Board Games, MRAs, David Icke and the Transluminati.

26 Jan

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So in just a moment we will be discussing one of my favorite internet forum threads ever, but first lets talk about a terrible board game. Let’s take a moment to watch the corniest white people in the world play and pretend to enjoy it:

Basically, the whole point of Scruples is to out your friends as the morally-inferior weaselly dirtbags they are. You have cards with moral dilemmas and a card with a yes, no, or maybe response. You pick the friend that is most likely to give the reply on your card. So… which one of your friends is most likely to pick up a lost wallet and not try to find the owner? Which one takes the money from the Nielson people without filling out the survey?

How much fun does that sound? None?

So it turns out that the creator of said game, Henry Makow, is a hardcore homophobic, anti-Semitic men’s rights activist conspiracy theorist, and boy is he way out there.  The logic of his now defunct “Save The Males” MRA site goes something like this:  1) Gay men have sex with each other because they hate women 2) Feminists hate men and want to destroy them all 3) Since both hate heterosexuality (naturally), they’ve joined forces to create porn to poison the spirits of manly men. And you can bet your sweet bippie that he has some rambling jackass opinion on where trans women use the restroom.

transluminati2That fedora is permanently attached to his head.

Of course this all makes sense because the Illuminati.

Which brings us to this amazing 380 post thread from the David Icke forums on Freemasonry’s Hidden Transgender Agenda. Only four posts in folks are claiming the Illuminati’s ultimate goal is “ to confuse humanity and subject them to a transgender master race” which frankly would be AWESOME (sorry cis folks).

Further highlights:

The bombing of Hiroshima was part of the Trans-Gay Agenda because Enola is Alone spelled backwards and the names of the bombs imply a pregnant man.

A reminder to myself to struggle through this dreadfully boring video to see if there’s anything that would make cool samples:

Trans women are a part of a Jewish Conspiracy to make cishet white dudes confused and feel guilty.

Obligatory Holocaust Denier post because this is the David Icke forums.

I AM THE TRUEST TRANS THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.

The truth behind Barack Obama’s birth certificate is that he was born a woman.

So like, I’m a transsexual/transgender whatever and I find this whole speech laughable. Fuck your right-wing HBS BS.

Seriously, trans separatists are just so fucking awful.

…they want you to mate with negroes and produce hybrid slaves for the Jews

The Illuminati are known masters of forum thread-jacking.

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Apart from false-flag 9-11, nothing better demonstrates society Illuminati subversion than their attempt to make us behave like homosexuals.”

SASS

Biochemically engineered gay and trans folks to dilute real men for the Androgeny Agenda.

Okay this person GETS IT.

Obligatory post of someone doing a Google Image Search for “Gay Pride” to make some stupid point (surprised it took this long to show up).

SASS

The “gay voice” is created from too much TV and microchips.

Gay jeans and CIA planted counterfeit lesbians.

“Conspiracy nuts” is a slur.

A symbolic deconstruction of the Michael Jackson album Dangerous for some reason.

SASS

And then, sadly, the thread drifts off and ends.

 

8-Bit App Review: 8-Bit Command Window

25 Jan

So one of the (many) things I wanted to start getting into on this blog was writing reviews of 8-bit retro-themed phone apps, so here we go on that. For our first shot at this, I wanna chat up the 8-Bit Command Window, a handy-ish $1.26 app I’ve been using on my phone for about a month now. It’s a set of menus that interacts with your other apps and is designed to resemble the command screen for the NES RPG series Dragon Warrior. It’s actually a package of several different size widgets (I’m currently using 2 of the 7 total).

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Most of it is pretty customizable, with some limitations put in place that are theme related (four-letter names like in the original Dragon Warrior being one of them).

phonerpg (4)

Functionally, it’s pretty straight-forward. “Talk” pulls up the phone, “Party” pulls up your contacts, “Status” shows battery charge, used/remaining memory and OS version, “Take” is your camera, and of course “Tweet”-

phonerpg2

The rest of the functions require “equipping” or “learning” your other apps like weapons or spells.

phonerpg (3) phonerpg (1) phonerpg (2)

It’s pretty fun, and if you’re bored to death with your phone’s normal OS it makes a clever shell, though I couldn’t imagine using it all the time. Definitely worth the buck and a quarter to pick it up.

No Homo: On Jared Leto And Destroying A Beautiful Creature.

16 Jan

A lesson I’m learning over and over in life is that pretty boys can’t be trusted. They’ll break your heart as soon as they open their big stupid mouths.

So remember that part in Fight Club where Edward Norton sees Brad Pitt and Jared Leto embrace tenderly and gives them both this look of utter jealousy and betrayal? Remember how the scene immediately shifts to Norton cheap-shotting Leto and pounding him into hamburger meat and later admitting to Pitt that he did so simply because he was beautiful? Remember how technically (spoiler) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person?

Have you ever *really* thought about that scene? No homo.

nohomo1In case you forgot this part, I’m totally not joking here.

Anyway…

I haven’t seen Dallas Buyer’s Club, but I intend to. I have a soft spot in my heart for what Julia Serano would call “sad trans” movies. So let’s get that out of the way.

And I’m not gonna get into the “should cis actors play trans women” argument in this article because that conversation has been done to death. Smarter people than I have tackled the subject better than I ever will. I am, however, eternally frustrated by how said actors spend their interviews screwing up and misrepresenting our lives even as they try to broadcast us into mainstream visibility out of the supposed goodness of their cis ally hearts. I mused about this frustration on my Facebook page while on the train a couple days ago:

nohomo2

This post inspired my friend Diana Tourjee to do an expanded write-up for Original Plumbing magazine on the subject. She says it with far more nuance than I am willing to.

Cause really, it’s not even the terrible sexualized jokes which are honestly more boring and sadly predictable than offensive. What gets under my skin is Leto not only rhetorically separating himself from the character of Rayon, but also divorcing this character he brought to life from having any sypmathetic reality or social consequence. Referring to her as a “creature” and an “impossible person” at a time when the lives and experiences of actual trans  women are still considered up for debate, for instance.

I think we really get to the root of the problem, however, by noting how neither him or costar McConaughey mention AIDS once regarding their roles in a movie whose entire plot focuses on the AIDS crisis.

See, male privilege is a funny thing, and a lot more nuanced than people allow by simply equating penises with institutional social power. I swear, to hear some people talk you’d think you could post a dick pic on your resume or whatever. So much of it is conditional and hinged on gearing not only your presentation but your narrative towards patriarchal heteronormativity. And it’s not only among cishet dudebros like Leto and McConaughey. See also: LGBT assimilation movements, “straight acting” gay people (whatever the fuck those are), and femmephobia.

Considering how even certain feminists present the idea of masculine presentation as a social default and femininity as this socially constructed demeaning performance, it’s amazing how society treats masculinity as this fragile, breakable thing. Seriously, how many times are people gonna spout that tired idea that allowing boys to enjoy feminine things will “ruin” them with no irony? Yet the idea persists. Think back again to that scene in Fight Club, that paean to toxic masculinity, where the only time a man can tell another man (or really anyone) that they are beautiful is after they’ve destroyed them. Remember that whole story was written by a hypermasculine heavily-closeted gym bunny that frequently looked like he could grace the cover of a 50s gay muscle magazine before he finally got over it and was ok with being out.

nohomo3Totally wasn’t joking about that either.

Tell me again how masculinity isn’t performative.

So really,  it’s transparently obvious why a guylinered prissy metrosexual like Jared Leto would be so prone to blatant overcompensation after playing one of us Super Saiyan transfairy gaymosexuals on the big screen. He’s trying to bounce back, prove he wasn’t ruined by the experience. While Dustin Hoffman could realize women were people, realizing trans women are people is apparently way too much to ask for Leto.

I get it.

So why don’t you just shut the fuck up pretty boy and just admit you’re using us for Oscar bait. No homo.

I’ll go on living my beautiful impossible life and making better music then you ever will. *hair flip*