There’s a new Lo-Fi Let’s Play for you from the weekend: I play Critical Mass, a game where I travel the world to try to stop a nuclear meltdown. In practice this involves me kicking Telex machines, drinking soup out of alleyways, and being scarred for life by a plummeting elevator.
I was particularly excited to get to Let’s Play Critical Mass for you — It’s one of the games that has stuck with me forever, and one of the coolest moments in my life writing about games was a couple of years ago, when I got to have a correspondence with the guy who made it (and some of my other well-worn childhood favorites). I wrote an “open letter”, never in the world expecting a reply, but I got one!
Last week, I also joined the nice gentlemen of Shut Up & Sit Down for a session of a pen and paper Star Wars RPG. Playing a Star Wars pen and paper roleplaying game is the kind of thing I don’t really do unless someone dares me, but we had a lot of fun — and we recorded our prologue story session, with voice performances and everything, in case you want to join us.
I also went on NPR’s Morning Edition, along with Aisha Tyler, for a segment about the lack of diversity at E3 and some of the Assassin’s Creed snafu stuff that went on last week. I was really happy with how it came out — in particular, it’s nice to be joined by another outspoken woman in a situation like this. I’m used to feeling alone, fearful of ire, fearful of how “combative” I sound (or will be assumed to sound).
NPR also did a follow up with Aisha, to include more of her views — I don’t necessarily agree with her about Lara Croft as an example of progress for our industry, but I think what she says about including more women on the development side and taking steps to encourage more women toward tech literacy is important.
Related to Lara Croft, I talked about some of the ‘damaged women’ trailers I saw at this year’s E3 to talk about a trend in how we build our women heroes that often bugs me. It often seems that when we want to show how a woman becomes a hero, we have to hurt her first. And when we want to show how a man becomes a hero, we have to hurt… also a woman, first. Odd.
There was some great discussion across social media about my piece last week, and I’m really grateful for that. I also received not even one hateful comment,. The most exciting thing to happen to me during E3 was this evidence that the discourse is evolving.
Also the part where Nintendo’s press conference featured TINY KNIT YOSHIS tucked into the suit lapels of Japanese game directors. TINY KNIT YOSHIS. I hope everyone just does video pressers like this from now on.