Tag Archives: Across the Divide

[Linkspam] Across the Divide

Hungry for something to read?  Here’s a few articles that are worth your while.

Sexism in Eve: Male Privilege (Haberdashers Run Amok): “Then we wonder why women don’t play EvE.  We assume they don’t want to play it because it’s hard.  That’s not it.  Most women like a challenge.  They don’t want to play with us.  They don’t want to play with sexist assholes.”

A Call to Arms for Decent Men (Jezebel): “This is not about “protecting women.” It’s about cleaning out the sewers that our games have become. This will not be easy and it will not be fun. Standing up to these little jerks will require the same courage from us that women like Anita Sarkeesian have already shown. We will become objects of hatred, ridicule, and contempt. Our manhood will be questioned. But if we remember who we are and stand strong together, we can beat them. In any case we won’t be threatened with sexual violence the way women are. We have it easier than they do.”

Sexism in Video Games Study (PriceCharting.com): “Another polarizing question was “Have you ever obscured or lied about your sex while playing video games to avoid unwanted attention or harassment?” 67.5% of women said that they had obscured their sex. Only 5.8% of men said the same. That means that women are nearly 12 times as likely to feel the need to conceal their sex while playing video games as men are.”

 The Other One (BitCreature): “Some manifestations of casual misogyny are so mundane to me that they just roll down into my personal junk pile of demoralized exasperation. At this rate, I don’t really expect much from most billboards or sitcoms. Despite my incorrigible love for Street Fighter, I know that when I observe a tournament the word “rape” is going to be flowing as freely in the air as beer flows from the taps of my favourite arcade. I know people won’t expect me to know how to play, that I’m just the token girlfriend tagging along. That doesn’t make it acceptable, mind you. But it doesn’t take me by surprise anymore. So I hold my breath.”

Find any awesome articles you think we should link?  Tweet them using the hashtag #TBHlinkspam or email the editors!

[Linkspam] Across the Divide – 3/15/2012

A closeup of some awesome Mass Effect-themed anil art showing the red/white stripe, and the N7 logo.

 

Some interesting reads from around the web:

U R so gay! Homophobia in gaming and why it hurts (Atomic)
“Why is ‘gay!’ the first thing that a lot of people in gaming circles reach for when they need a good name to call someone? It’s simple, really, and it has nothing to do with sticks or kindling; it’s a powerful slur because in the minds of the straight male gamers who coined the term, being gay is just about the worst thing they could think of.”

Mass Effect 3 Won’t Make You Gay (HuffPo)
“If you love games, champion developers like Bioware for filling their games with people we recognize; it’s comforting to see people like me, and not like me, in these worlds. And if you’re a member of the gaming press, use your words to say something meaningful. It’s not always enough to say, “Well, here’s a thing.” You have a voice. It’s time to say, “This isn’t OK.” We’re in a position to take a stand. So take one, already.”

Games of 2011 Analysis — How many even had women in them? (PikiGeek)
“Yeah. That’s all of them. All 19 of them, among the hundreds of games that got released last year, and some of the women aren’t even portrayed in the best light. It was, however, collectively decided that Batman: Arkham City was the best example, as there was an entire scene between Catwoman and Poison Ivy.”

Is pervasive sexism holding the professional fighting game community back? (Ars Technica)
“I think we’ve discovered a few times now that calling out the fighting game community and slapping them on the wrist and saying ‘No, no, no. That’s not right,’ doesn’t work, because the more you do that the harder they fight against that,”

Game Design and Sexism: Player Feedback Mechanics (Gaming as Women)
“However, we are all socialized very strongly to view women in certain ways. We expect women to be responsible, do the boring administrative work, and in general shut down the fun.  We emphatically do not expect women to be silly.  So women are less likely to be silly, and everyone is less likely to notice when they are.”

Dying Boy Gets His Own Personal Virtual Wonderland Built by a Game Community in Just Four Days (Kotaku)
“Players working around the clock joined and power-leveled a new guild (reaching guild level 70 in, reportedly, approximately 65 hours) in order to have access to goods, housing, and amenities ready for the big day. And when it came, they turned out in force. When they were done, young John had a virtual wonderland to call his own.”

Where Are the Black League of Legends Characters? (Kotaku)
“Out of the 93 characters to choose from (as of March 4th), I counted 39 human-looking characters (more if you have a looser definition of “human”). Out of those 39, I could only find two characters who didn’t look Caucasian or East Asian, based upon their portraits.”

What else have I missed? Leave some links in the comments to share with The Border House community!

[Linkspam] Across the Divide – 2/12/2012

Hope everyone is having a great 2012 so far!  I’ve been trying to stay caught up with the influx of great posts showing up all over the web.  Here are a few to share with you:

A female Skyrim cosplayer from Anime LA, wearing a fur skirt with leather pants underneath, a horned helmet and a shield, and wielding an axe.

 

The Return of the Blogs of the Roundtable (Critical Distance): A blog roundtable has been started (re-started?) that will provide monthly critical thinking themes for anyone interested in games to write about.  Here at The Border House, we’d love to host your submissions!  ”This official re-launch of the Blogs of the Round Table asks you to talk about a game experience that allowed you to experience being other than you are and how that impacted you–for better or for worse. Conversely, discuss why games haven’t provided this experience for you and why.”  If you would like to write about this, feel free to email us your submission at editors@borderhouseblog.com.  Be sure to include a well-captioned image and a short 2-3 sentence bio for your post!  We will do the legwork of contacting Critical Distance for you so that your post will be featured in the monthly roundtable.

Dear Customer Who Stuck Up For His Little Brother (Huffington Post): Thank you to everyone who emailed us this link, which couldn’t be any more relevant for The Border House.  If you don’t have a tissue, grab one.

Designer’s Playbook episode: Gender in Games (YouTube): Dominic W. sent us this link to a video he made in which he talks about gender in video games.

Namco Pulls Offensive Soul Calibur V Poster (Digital Battle): Bet you thought it was this one, didn’t you?  Nope, it was one that featured a closeup of Voldo’s crotch.  That’s right — a gratuitous shot of a woman’s breasts is just fine, but a fully clothed male groin shot is too offensive to keep up on their Facebook page.

Passivity and Women in Games (PopMatters): “The male dominated industry has made some visible efforts to include women in their casts and make them more valuable characters. They’ve just failed spectacularly. Strong, believable, flawed female protagonists are a moving target for developers, even the ones that are certain that they’ve created them. What is most overlooked is competence.”

The Rise, Fall, and Return of Lara Croft (Culture Highs): “This is when it hits me, this is when I realize that Lara Croft is in no way girly, and I begin to quietly idolize.”

Help an Indie Designer Create a Female Character (Reddit): “When I was first asked to work on this game I refused on the basis that it seemed quite sexist, and overly objectified women. However, now I am in a position to change anything and everything, I’m at a loss as how to make it much better within the above constraints.”

So Maybe Including a Shock-Collar-Wearing Female Slave in The Old Republic Wasn’t The Best Idea? (The Mary Sue): “The trouble is that there are very, very few people who can experience a story without bringing in their own personal context. You’d have to either be wildly imaginative or somewhat delusional to ignore your real-world experiences completely.”

Amy Hennig, Creative Director at Naughty Dog (PikiGeek): “One of the goals for Saucy Saturday is to bring these women pioneers to light, to show you that women can be creative, they can handle themselves in the industry, and they can be badass. You probably aren’t aware that some of the most popular games on the market only exist because women helped create them. So today, our honorary Lady Designer of the Month is Amy Hennig: writer and director for some of the most successful Naughty Dog games.”

What other links did we miss?  Drop them in the comments, and as always — feel free to email us any links for inclusion at editors@theborderhouseblog.com.

Across the Divide: 6/23/2011

Before I get to the links, I wanted to bring our readers’ attention to a fundraiser for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project that is being organized by TBH author Quinnae. SRLP is “a nonprofit legal aid organization that helps low income trans people of colour and tries to amplify their voices through advocacy work,” Quinnae writes. Please take a look and consider donating to this important project, if you can. And please help spread the word–there are only seven days left for the fundraiser.

On Geekdom and Privilege: Should We Really Feel Pity For The ‘Pretty’? (Racialicious): “Despite that fact, businesses haven’t just been ignoring female consumers, they have been telling their clienteles that “hot girls” can’t be geeky, and telling them that geeky women have to be “hot” for their opinions to matter, or to be taken seriously as characters across the media spectrum. Movies like She’s All That and television shows like The Big Bang Theory depict female geekdom as something that is Not Normal, something they must be “cured of” before they can be accepted into society at large.”

Analysis: The State of Games For Social Good in 2011 (Gamasutra): “Games like this are also useful education tools in the classroom, but in general change games have had to be applied prescriptively to specific audiences. Making them impactful, inviting or accessible to audiences that would not otherwise take an interest in a global issue has been an ongoing challenge for those working in the space.”

Asari: Bluer than your matriarch’s Orion slave girls! (Retconning My Brain): “My point is that even if the asari have only one sex and one gender inside their fictional universe, and even though they say that human gender concepts don’t apply to them, BioWare wants us to think of them as feminine unless they are in masculine roles (the head of a criminal society or a known character’s “father”), and BioWare very clearly makes them appear female.”

The Trap of Representation (Gaming the System): “From my perspective, if we are to adequately describe and transform how race is communicated in videogames, we need to focus our attention on how representation is structured, and the politics of production behind this structure. Without an eye to the underlying causes of inequities in representation, our critiques of stereotype, or calls for multi-racial/ethnic/cultural equity will be severely limited in effect.”

The Gamer’s Gaze, part 1 (Your Critic is in Another Castle): “In gaming, the camera’s gaze and the characters’ get tangled together, because we aren’t just viewers, but players. We take on the role of someone in the story, and the camera serves as our eyes. Male characters tend to be the point-of-view characters, even in a third-person game. We watch what interests them. Miranda’s deliberately putting herself on display for Shepard. This makes the moment of male gaze particularly jump out if you’re playing a female Shepard, as then the on-screen dynamics feel misplaced, rather than feeling like a default.”

Shepard ain’t white: Playing with race and gender in Mass Effect (Two Whole Cakes): “When Brown Lady Shepard is rude, or curt, or dismissive, the reactions she receives from others are not to her gender or her race, but to her words. Why? Because the character was written with the expectation that most people will play it as a white dude, a character for whom reactions based on gender or race are inconceivable. He’s “normal”, y’see. In real life, and in most media representation, we are culturally conditioned to respond differently to a big ol’ white dude with no manners than we do a woman of color doing the exact same thing. The white dude is just a jerk, but there’s often a built-in extra rage factor against the woman of color, for daring to be “uppity”, for failing to know her place. This distinction is often unconscious and unrecognized, but it’s there. In Mass Effect, no matter what my Shepard says or does, not only is the dialogue the same as it would be for the cultural “default”, but the reaction from the other non-player characters is the same.”

Music and sound in Portal 2 (Cruise Elroy): “This piece has what I would call a primitive electronic sound: simple waveforms are spread into octaves-wide arpeggios, with a sparse arrangement and raw timbre. In this way, the music is more effective as sound qua sound than as a composition: its harsh, antiseptic quality reflects Aperture Science’s ethos, and the erratic buzz of the synthesizers evokes the facility’s disrepair after years of neglect. In other words, it leans towards the violet or “encoded” end of the spectrum even though it’s ostensibly musical.”

Report: PopCap buyer is EA (Edge): “TechCrunch broke the news that PopCap was in talks over a $1 billion acquisition last night, and has since been told by two sources that the prospective buyer is Electronic Arts, and that talks are at a late stage. This would be a risky move for EA – the purchase price would be 13 per cent of its $7.49 billion stock market valuation – but not inconceivable given PopCap’s success relative to that of Playfish, which EA acquired in 2009 for $400 million.”

Across the Divide: 3/7/2011

Brought to you by this adorable video of my 4 month old Boxer harassing our 8 year old Min Pin for a treat:

I play with you (WoW Official Forums): [Trigger Warning for ableism] “I work hard to be the best player I can be, it’s one of the few things I can be good at, even if I’m not good at it every day. I am not alone, I know many others who are crippled, sick, who escape into this game, every one of them I know work hard to play well, but sometimes they don’t, sometimes even the game isn’t a complete escape from the pain and debilitating illnesses we suffer with.” [Cuppycake note: This made me seriously cry.]

Crafting a UI for a Disabled Player (WoW Insider): “Hopefully we as a community can put together our collective knowledge and imagination to help those who can use it. These suggestions are just some of the ways WoW‘s interface, addons, and hardware peripherals can help out a gamer with visual impairments, limited mobility or other disabilities.”

Do you want to be my PlayDate? Undercover at GameCrush (Gaming Angels): “Yeah, they’re advertising as a gamer dating site. Which, if you haven’t caught on by now – GameCrush is not for dating. Yes, we’re called PlayDates, but you shouldn’t be expecting to take us out to dinner any time soon. And yet someone in charge of advertising has chosen to give people false hope. Does this hope actually do anything? It might get a few people to pull out their wallets, sure, but people who are looking for real human interaction aren’t going to settle for pay-for-play.”

Bayonetta and Peach Talk Women in Gaming (Destructoid): “Just like religion, politics, and race, talking about gender can really flip a switch in people. If people get the sense that you are on “the wrong side” of the argument, they will start to see you as “the enemy” and all potential discussion gets thrown out the window, replaced with spiteful intent and hateful name-calling. I’ve seen it happen all too many times before.”

Will Bulletstorm Murder Your Children? No. (Rock Paper Shotgun): “And there they have their story: Bulletstorm, and games like it, cause rape. Now they are “sexual scenes”. The mutation is complete. Based on the game’s featuring the words “topless” and “gangbang”. The quote comes from Carol Lieberman – “psychologist and book author” – whose claim that there’s an increase in rapes in the US is peculiar. While we in no way trivialise the severity of sexual crimes, this is purely about investigating the claims made and the related numbers, and they don’t hold up.”

Do Women Play More Games than Men? (VentureBeat): “More than half of all mobile and mobile social gamers — 53 percent, to be exact — are women, bucking the stereotype that gaming is typically a male-dominated form of entertainment, according to the report. Only 40 percent of “traditional” gamers are women, according to the report.”

Male and Female NPC Armour in Rift (Spinksville): “These characters are both Meridian Centurions guarding the main Defiant city in Rift. So the ranks and roles are equivalent. And yet the guy gets a full set of studded armour and the girl gets a skimpy bikini.”

Are Video Games Turning Liberals into Virtual Conservatives? (Kotaku): “For me this all boils down to one of the core properties of video games that draw so many people to them in the first place: They let you do things you otherwise wouldn’t or couldn’t do. This works on a visceral level – I’d never kill a man, but I’ve killed millions of virtual men – or on a more social or political level. If we allowed our real-world morals and beliefs to guide our video game playing, that would make for some incredibly boring games.”

Have any interesting links that I missed?  Leave them in the comments!

Across the Divide (Linkspam) – 2/11/2011

Expert Blames Sexual Video Games For A Rise In Sexual Violence (Kotaku): “The worst part is apparently the use of sexual innuendo-laced phrases to describe the game’s Skill Shots, creative ways of killing your opponent. Terms like “gang bang,” and “topless” supposedly tie the graphic violence together with this sexual innuendo.”

Visceral Games hears disabled gamer, adding customizable controls to Dead Space 2 (Joystiq): “Garratt is trying to play the horror sequel on PC, partly by pushing a mouse with his chin, and is unhappy that he can’t assign the “walk forward” command to a mouse button. Plenty of games allow for customizable controls, he says, so why can’t Dead Space 2?”

Avatar Reality Releases Blue Mars iOS App (Blue Mars Blog): “This first version of the application allows users to view and rate avatars and fashions from Blue Mars, which populates the results on the “Top-Rated”. They can also use the “Recents” option to track avatar updates and see the latest fashions.” (Author Note: A Hot or Not for avatars?)

The blog names I’d rather see go away (The Pink Pigtail Inn): “It’s about time that we stop presenting ourselves as “girls” and start looking at ourselves as “gamers”. No matter how good the intentions are, I think the “girl that games” blog names make more harm than they help to make female gamers into fully accepted members of the community.”

Skirts? Where This Game Is Going, It Doesn’t Need Skirts (Kotaku): “Thanks to a bug, the newest Dream Club, Dream Club Zero, goes further and simply does away with the skirts altogether. Bar girls dance on stage in their drawers, without those pesky skirts to get in the way. Remember, this is a bug and not a game feature (apparently!), but with this much on display, is it really worth players getting their underwear in a bind over?”

Girls Who Play Video Games With Mom and Dad Are Better Behaved, Study Shows (Bloomberg): “Coyne’s study involved 287 families with children from ages 11 to 16 years old, who were interviewed in their homes and completed questionnaires about the children’s behavior. Girls were more likely to play collaborative games like Rock Band, where players work together, Coyne said.”

So You’ve Made A Rape Joke: A Guide to Responding to Feminist Criticism (tacky_tramp, LJ): “Another important thing to keep in mind is that many scholars are interested in rape. They are troubled and confused by rape’s frequency, and wonder how to reduce the number of rapes that happen. A great deal of excellent research and theory exists on this subject. You don’t have to be an expert, but it helps to have a basic grounding in the subject before talking about rape.”

Gendered Battle Gear (Sociological Images): A comic about gearing up male vs. female heroes in games.

Watch this Shower Scene, and Someone Else Might Find Out (Kotaku): “The Tokyo-based game is using the game’s data logs and Square Enix Members connectivity to track how many times players have viewed the shower scene. According to an official release from Square Enix, it’s been viewed over 80,000 times.”

Representation is not enough: Coming out of the gaming closet (Bitmob): “I would answer the rhetorical question I posed earlier by saying that game designers can do much more than simply visually represent gay and lesbian characters in their games. By using “procedural rhetoric”, by building these identities into their game mechanics, game designers can make being gay an integral part of playing their game.”

Across the Divide – 1/27/2011

Forza 3 logo

2010 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year (AbleGamers): “Forza 3 gives disabled gamers the tools to tailor the game to their particular disability but does so in a way that if you don’t need the accessibility you might never know it’s there.”

MLB 11 includes one-button ‘Association for Disabled Virtual Athletes’ mode (Joystiq): “In the “Association for Disabled Virtual Athletes” mode, AI handles the fielding, and players only have to press one button in order to swing the bat or pitch, allowing gamers who might not be able to throw a baseball to wield a baseball-style Dual Shock with ease.”

DoD gives PTSD help ‘second life’ in virtual reality (U.S. Army): “The Department of Defense launched a computer-based virtual world last week where Soldiers can anonymously learn about the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and where to get help…..Inside the computer-based program, servicemembers can create an avatar, a cartoon-version of themselves, to navigate through realistic scenarios in Second Life, a virtual-reality video game.”

Video games may not boost teenage obesity after all (NewScientist): “The team found that while video games were used more than the internet and cellphones, none of these activities predicted a child’s weight or BMI.”

A Teenager Tackles Respect For Girl Gamers (Kotaku): “Jessica’s piece, part of a Radio Rookies program at NPR member station WNYC in New York, covers some of the common problems the increasingly large percentage of female gamers face as they delve into the ‘men’s club’ of online gaming and suffer through games featuring over-sexualized female characters.”

Gevlon looks at female bosses in WoW, and Keeva responds: “Mobs are often male by default, unless they have glaringly obvious physical qualities, or are named or announced as female. Basically, to be a male in this game, you just have to exist, and you’ll probably be classed as a “he”, even if you’re a glob of ooze with an impossible-to-pronounce name full of vowels, and no voice or lore to shed any light on the issue. On the other hand, to be recognised as female, you have to be labelled – either with a title, or with curves, or with a feminine voice.”

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Game+Girl=Advance): “Unless some other attractive-but-dim-witted photographer also happened to encounter the fellow on the same night and somehow left Madison’s fingerprints all over the crime scene, because it wasn’t meMy Madison left before it got crazy. Basically the game ignored my actions and forced Madison to go through with something I thought she should never have done. So, I guess player actions matter as little as Madison’s motives.”

Now that’s what I’m talking about: the women of Cataclysm (Alliance edition) (Grimmtooth): “We also were annoyed that women were typically portrayed as victims at worse, or at best, peripheral to the manly men that apparently rule the roost (I won’t judge). It’s telling that most powerful women in the game thus far were either villains, or emotional land mines waiting to explode.”

Feeding Trolls or Feminism and Threats (Squidy Girl): “I would never advocate that people do things that make them feel unsafe. But I would like to say: it’s okay to stand up for yourself and it’s okay to tell the bullies to fuck off. Especially if you can do it with grace and style.”

Why We Need More Women Developers (Elder Game): “Piling up enough lived experience from women gamers is especially important if you want to tap into the woman gamer market because gamer culture sits in a matrix of subtle sexism that can – and does – tend to alienate women. (Yes, even women gamers.)”

Which Console Is Best For First-Person Shooting Racists? (Kotaku): “In order to determine which video game console you should play, you must ask yourself a few questions. Are you a gamer? Do you prefer first-person shooters? Racist or non-racist?”

Across the Divide – 1/12/2011

It’s time again for another round of linkspam.  Happy Wednesday!

Therazane from World of Warcraft. An earth elemental with a large belly, voluptuous breasts, and a big toothy grin.

Therazane and the Other Strong Women of Deepholm (Orcish Army Knife): “Therazane is a great example of Blizzard proving they can break their decidedly-sexist previous habits and introduce strong, independent female characters. The other Deepholm women were all great, and were just as impressive and confident in their respective quests, but Therazane really takes the cake.”

Jared Loughner’s Scary Online Postings Discuss Rape, Rejection (Jezebel): “Tucson shooter Jared Loughner’s postings on online gaming forums reveal a disappointment with life that turned violent and misogynist.”

Gay Characters: The Longest Journey (GayGamer.net): “It seems to illustrate how strongly Funcom wanted to have this particular couple in the game, and treated it with care, avoiding capitalizing on the ‘lesbian fantasy’ most straight males are assumed to have, and giving them actual sexual autonomy.”

Women in Games Scholarship (Vancouver Film School): “Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, is pleased to present the third annual Women in Games Scholarship – the first scholarship of its kind in the world – to encourage greater opportunities for women pursuing a career in game design.”

Fat Character in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (men_in_full, LJ): “AC2 impressed me with its incidental crowd character designs, which included both men and women of varying sizes, including fat people (and some pretty attractive fat men.) Laura, who’s played ACB all the way through, tells me that there’s even more diversity among the men in that game.”

An Interview with Bad Fish: On Women and Marketing in the Game Industry (GamerGrrlz.net): “The women who are game makers in the industry as it stands are there because they are movers and shakers and probably care little of what others think. It comes with the territory of being in a male dominated industry. You’re not there “because of”, you’re there “despite that”. If we reject the association of video games with masculinity, it will work in everyone’s favor.”

Bringing a Bikini to a Sword Fight (IGN): “Women in games are usually treated as little more than eye-candy, and frequently, developers will give you a “sassy” female sidekick so annoying that, when given the option, you’d rather shoot her and fail the mission than spend another minute with her whining and yelling for you to save her.”

Tokenism: Why “Almost” Isn’t Enough Part 1 (Ars Marginal): “White authors, I’m not grateful that you deigned to include people who look remotely like me only to treat them like shit and kill them off. I don’t have to take it and like it. In fact, you’re being racist assholes and you will not get brownie points except from neo-conservatives and other bigots.”

What did I miss?  Leave links in the comments.  Feel free to send me links anytime as well!

Across the Divide – 1/6/2011

A closeup screen capture of a newspaper clipping with the headline "Claims allege Nintendo is hiring too few blacks".

Here are some links for your Thursday evening reading enjoyment. (well, not exactly enjoyment given the subject matter of the posts.  Thanks Ben for pointing that out…)

Looking Back: When Nintendo Was Accused of Discrimination (Joystiq): “On January 4, 1991 — twenty years ago today — Nintendo of America responded to ongoing racism accusations and protests by adopting its first affirmative action policy. The policy, according to the group leading the protests, was inadequate, leading to even harsher criticism in the future.”

It’s Not Easy Being Deaf in World of Warcraft (Kotaku): “Earlier this year World of Warcraft player Unwelcome suffered an accident that permanently robbed him of his hearing. Feeling alienated and shunned by his real life friends, he returned to World of Warcraft for some online alienation and shunning.”

S&M Toy Removed from Popular RPG (Kotaku): “This is a “wooden horse”, used for torture in Japan during the 15th century’s Warring States Period. These days it’s used in S&M play. But it apparently won’t be torturing the ladies of popular Japanese role-playing game Disgaea 4.”

The PSP For Girls (Kotaku): “Due out in Japan in February, the bundle includes a “Blossom Pink” PSP-3000, headphones, a fluffy pouch and pink screen cleaner.”

ECA Institute launches a Gamers for Health program: “Exercising using video games can be used for physical therapy and team building, as well as fitness. Gamers for health is an important component in getting Americans more healthy, and more active by the way of video games. National studies have shown that 97% of children play video games daily and the average age of gamers is 34 years old.”

Leave your links in the comments!

Across the Divide – 12/29/2010

Here are the latest interesting links from the web, pruned for your reading enjoyment.

Diversity is Not the Problem, YOU ARE!! (Ars Marginal) – “When cis straight white fans demand certain storylines or better characters or what have you, they’re lauded and praised as being outspoken, passionate and devoted fans. Yet when LGBTQs and fans of color simply ask for better representation (or any representation for that matter) and to have our stories explored, suddenly we’re being entitled, uppity, unreasonable, too sensitive.”

Peach and Zelda Are Just “8-Bit Hoes” in New Music Video (VGChartz) – “While it’s very wrong to call a real woman a “ho,” there’s no reason it can’t be funny in a geeky context when referring to fictional video game characters, right?  Digital sexism isn’t real sexism!  I guess.” (Editor’s Note: Actually, yes it is.)

Project LovePlus On 3DS Has A “Boyfriend Lock” (Siliconera) – “The Nintendo 3DS has a camera. Two of them, in fact. One on the inner face and one facing outward. Project LovePlus for Nintendo 3DS uses the inner-facing camera to recognize your face and make sure your virtual girlfriend stays loyal to you.”

Resetting Accessibility in Games (Gamasutra) – “Most of us take these everyday technologies for granted as advances meant for the general public, but they’re sterling examples of the phenomena that when we improve circumstances for the disabled, everyone benefits.”

Dragon Age 2 Updates & Same-Sex Romances (GayGamer.net) – “Advocating that nobody should be able to have content you don’t intend to personally use is largely pointless– outside of a vague notion that such efforts should go towards other things, instead. Personally, it’s not a lot of effort to include them. The resources we can devote to a minority of players isn’t great, but I imagine to those players it’s quite worth it… and I would hope that some folks could be sensitive enough to be happy for those players, at the very least out of the selfish notion that they may one day end up in the minority of some content issue and receive the same consideration if nothing else.”

Please leave any links we’ve missed in the comments!