I’ve been talking a lot in my life about my new boss, and it seems, on a certain level, odd. There’s this element of bragging that I’m uncomfortable with - to so overtly toot my own horn - but on the other hand, I am proud of my work, and thrilled that someone is recognizing it.
I’ve spent the last three years never being complimented for my work, being treated like an assistant, and being blamed for things that weren’t my fault. To switch from that to being told I’m “awesome” and (to my co-worker) that I’m “brilliant” — I almost don’t even know how to process it.
That I have trouble processing it makes me sad. It makes me sad that I spent so long not standing up for myself, accepting a low-caliber view of myself, and thinking that I wasn’t worth compliments / a promotion / a raise.
I guess I’ve been under a proverbial rock for so long that this change is like— I feel — in the words of Anne Lamott — that I am a lizard baking in the sun of her words, that I am a flower turning towards the sun.
I’m sure there will be things on which we disagree. But in the meantime, I’m still beaming from what is such a simple compliment, and for that I’m pretty grateful.
…Knight and Damsel, which I describe as a “competitive two-player feminist puzzle platformer.”
As there’s been a bit of interest in the game since Vic shared some of his work online (including coverage from, of all places, Kotaku) I thought I should share some screenshots of the game being played and describe it (roughly.)
So! Knight and Damsel’s inspiration actually comes from a few places, but one worth mentioning is Feminist Frequency’s first Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video, Damsel in Distress. I’m not particularly interested in this context of debating the quality/value of the series, but one thing that struck me was an aside that in your average video game, if a princess is captured, she waits passively to be rescued. Yet for heroes, being captured is just another challenge to be faced (and heroes getting captured happens all the time. It’s basically all James Bond does.)
Hence the set-up: in Knight and Damsel, one player takes the role of the Knight, questing to save the Damsel, and one player takes the role of the Damsel, who can quite happily save herself.
The twist is: what is a knight without a damsel to save? To avoid losing face, the Knight must do what he can to stop the Damsel rescuing herself, something she isn’t too happy about. So we worked up some video game magic that allows the Knight and Damsel to affect each other’s screens by throwing the blocks, axes and bombs that litter the level onto the other’s screen, allowing them to hurt or trap their opponent, while, at the same time, doing their best to navigate further into the level before their opponent.
Both the Knight and Damsel are inevitably heading towards each other, however, and at this stage of the game it becomes a tense, shared-screen face-off, with the Knight attempting to grab the dodging Damsel before she can run back to town. Once the Damsel either rescues herself or is “rescued” scores are totted up based on who managed to get further (plus some bonuses) and either the Knight is praised by the unsuspecting townsfolk for his heroism, or the Damsel gains new respect for proving she didn’t need to be rescued at all.
GROSS GROSS GROSS. A game where the damsel doesn’t want to be rescued, but BY GOD YOU’RE STILL GOING TO TRY.
Why we need more women in game studios #22955757993. The gall to say that it’s subverting a trope. I cannot.
I saw 12 Years A Slave this weekend. Aside from crying uncontrollably for about 80% of the film—not an exaggeration: please take a box of tissue to the theater if you see it—I was struck by many things the film did in its portrayal of the institution of slavery and the people that upheld it. For starters, I think a spectacularly effective job was done in imparting the terrifying helplessness and profound unfairness of the system: long moments of silence juxtaposed with instances of extreme violence emphasized the normalcy of brutality; the environment that black children were raised in and alongside, an environment in which their parents and elders were subject to torture, degradation, and murder.
This entire article though. Like, yes. Needs to be said. Yes. Wow.