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March 11
2014

Super Smash Sisters? Sexism in the Super Smash Bros. Community

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The notion of video games as boy’s club is an old and, unfortunately, resonant one. At last year’s GDC, during the #1ReasontoBe panel, famed developer Brenda Romero said that she dreams of the day she can bring her daughter to to industry events and not be ashamed of the environment. Less than twenty-four hours later she publicly resigned from her position in the IGDA after it co-hosted an industry party that controversially featured exotic dancers as part of the night’s entertainment.

But the issue extends far beyond just questionable taste at parties. There are very real issues of harassment that plague gaming.

Anita Sarkeesian has famously faced very specific death and rape threats, the personal hacking of accounts, the spread of her private information, a game designed to act out violence against her, and ongoing online harassment for her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series.

In the world of competitive fighting games this kind of harassment and boy’s club mentality can prove especially pervasive, with terms like “rape” being a casual part of the vernacular. Stories of sexual harassment at tournaments and online can be found just about anywhere. One gamer, Aris Bakhtanians, notoriously said that sexual harassment and fighting game culture are “one and the same thing.”

What’s a gamer girl to do?

Competitive Super Smash Bros. player Lilo spent the last couple of weeks compiling data and quotes from other female Smash players, in the hopes of conveying the experiences of these women to the greater community. Here’s what she found.

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March 10
2014

Introducing: Super Gaymer Drag Kart!!! (The Preview Episode)

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In honor of the return of RuPaul’s Drag Race for its sixth installment, some of video game’s finer and more enthusiastic specimens have gathered to act out their own nerdy version of the reality show contest. Imagine your favorite computer emulator fabulously bedecked in sequins with eager video game ambassadors looking to play along and that’s basically the bizarre nonsense that Super Gaymer Drag Kart aims to provide.

Each week at GayGamer, I’ll be recapping the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race through a quirky video-game-centric guise. The digital contestants that ultimately prevail will be determined by the actual episodes themselves. Nothing is certain. And may the best set of polygons…WIN!

Without further delay…let’s bring out the girls.

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March 10
2014

Wootini’s Weekly Video Podcast #163

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Unfortunately, aside from the new episode of The Walking Dead, my consoles have been taking a break again this week because I still have one more season of Veronica Mars to cram in before the movie comes out. Most of my gaming has been portable again, with the hyper-addictive puzzles of Professor Layton keeping me busy! Make the jump for this week’s vidcast!

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March 7
2014

“Not My Choice, But Still My Consequence” How Fable Taught One Gaymer to Believe in Himself

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“I knew I was a gamer before I knew I was gay.” writes user Jadis232 of The Dead Hamster forums, a Lionhead Studios community site.

It’s a sentiment that many queer gamers can relate to. For many video games became a safe space in a world where they felt different. Our own Jesse once wrote how the fighting game genre gave him a way to fight back against those who would judge or bully him. Samantha Allen shared with me how character creation systems allowed her the freedom to idealize her gender presentation before she transitioned. The RPG genre in particular has had a profound resonance with the gay gaming community at large.

For Jadis232 it was Fable, Peter Molyneaux’s 2004 Fantasy RPG that famously included same-sex romance and marriage, that taught him how to accept himself as a gay man.

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March 7
2014

Wootini’s Weekly Animal Crossing Diary

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Dear Diary,

Settle in, because this is going to be a long one! in addition to the regular nonsense, I took a visit to a foreign country (sort of!) and we had a big event this week: The super gay Festivale! We’ve got a lot to cover, so read on and enjoy the madness!

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March 6
2014

Applause for Pokemon in this Lady Gaga vs. Pokemon Mash-up

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In case you hadn’t heard, the original Pokemon tv series has finally made its way to Netflix. Now you can relive the classic adventures of Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu…back when Pikachu was a ketchup-loving ball of sass, Ash couldn’t catch a Pokemon to save his life, and Misty was still sans bike. Each week they wandered the Kanto region, blissfully unaware that their journey would never end. Ash would never catch ‘em all as the catchy theme song puts forth. Rather he would continue walking around the world for the better part of two decades.

The ever-wandering hero could use a show of support, couldn’t he? Perhaps even a little…..Applause? I’m sorry.

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March 6
2014

Gender and Sex fluidity: Digital Extreme’s Warframe’s unintentional queer commentary

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Digital Extreme’s MMO third person shooter Warframe has been in open beta for several years and has garnered a large fan base since then. As an avid player  myself, I’ve begun to look deeper into the lore and basic premise of the game, beyond the action-packed sci-fi space ninja fighting that Digital Extremes uses to advertise the it. I have not been alone in this respect, and the game’s forums house players tired of its open beta stage and looking deeper into a variety of aspects of the game- one of those aspects being gender.

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