September 2012

25
Sep
2012

Questioning "A Closed World"

Posted by Cha

Late last year, A Closed World attracted attention for its queer themes. It was a summer project by a group from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, so all credit to them for creating something polished and interesting enough to talk about. Unfortunately, it's not quite what it says on the tin and it's difficult not to be disappointed about it.

Initially, the description simply claimed to include "LGBTQ-friendly content", but they presumably got sick of people pointing out that the binary gender selection isn't exactly T-friendly, because now it just claims it "deals with queer issues". Queer issues… like suicide rates, unequal marriage rights, or discrimination in general? Apparently not.

04
Sep
2012

Pulling the Wings off Fairies

Posted by Cha

This post is part of Critical Distance's Blogs of the Round Table on the topic of "New Horizons".

In the pencil-and-paper roleplaying game Changeling the fae are threatened by the concept of banality. The real world is full of dull rationality which threatens the existence of these fantastical creatures formed from dreams. I imagine delicate fairy wings crumbling at the first sight of a Starbucks. Reality is infected, and fae must act carefully to survive in the mortal world.

I find this premise difficult to accept. People aren't some kind of imagination black hole, sucking in anything wondrous and spitting out spreadsheets. Real people are diverse and never stop surprising me. Rationality isn't really a human trait. We try hard for it sometimes, sure, but we're terrible at it. But imagination? Creativity? Call me an idealist, but I'm convinced those exist wherever people are found.