There was no script for this one, because it was just Fox and I talking, but thumbnail below the fold!Continue Reading →
June has ended, the time of Queer Pride is over, which means we resume our normally regular scheduled broadcast of Queer Wrath. Please do not adjust your set, we will continue to bang on pots and pans (both the metal object, and the people who are into lots of genders). Pride Month is the month where we party, the rest of the year is when we arm ourselves, you see.
But with that in mind, let’s check out a bunch of stuff I wrote and made this month and why you, you, you, might want to go back and read it, and see the cool things you missed!Continue Reading →
I regret to inform you that the yearly article about the wonky handling of Genders in Pokemon has become a trilogy, and it’s all thanks to this thing, Enamorous.Continue Reading →
As a child I did not get much to engage with popular culture of the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t until the late 90s that I was able to watch most mainstream television or listen to music from popular media without treating it like contraband. Things that were current were suspect, things that were my father’s childhood were probably okay, and things that were old, well, they were classic.
I read a lot of old pulp. I read Sherlock Holmes and I read Robert Louis Stevenson and I read Dumas, and one afternoon, visiting my grandma, sitting on her back step, away from the conversations she had with my parents, I read Frankenstein.
I don’t think, at that age, that I read it right.Continue Reading →
This is the anime of a song. It doesn’t follow the plot of the song. It follows the vibe of a song, and that song inspired the manga, and then, the manga got made into an anime and that anime got to have the ending theme be the song that inspired it, and the same band made the opening theme, because they had already, in their music, defined this anime.
And damn if it don’t feel like a hell of a song.Continue Reading →
It took me more than a little time to unpack my resistance to the idea of Pride Month. Enough so that I had to first interrogate my entire relationship to the idea of Pride, and where that came from. A large part of my life, the whole idea of Gay Pride month felt wrong and evil and sinful to me — terminology that wasn’t really popular in my upbringing. I mean, a Pride month is obviously a bad thing, right, because Pride is obviously bad, right?
I think in my case it ties into, of all things, the Care Bear Cousins.Continue Reading →
Hey, Talen, you do a lot with the trans flag in your designs are you trying to say something yes I am trying to say the trans flag is kickass and right now you need every bit of random reasons to make it clear to say, any trans youth around that you’re not a total shithead and if they’re afraid there’s a reason to look around and see people who care about their existence and are less likely to suddenly turn out to be a fascist anyway hey let’s look at this design it’s from Fallout New Vegas.
The design is a bit small and hard to see on a white background so I recommend if you get it you put it on something dark.
Released in 2010, Fallout New Vegas is a classic of the FPS-shooter RPG genre, bringing forward the Fallout 3 engine’s integration of real-time FPS combat with the previous Fallout game’s turn-based mathematical combat, and integrating them into a sort of ‘second parse’ at the let’s politely say rough execution of Fallout 3. In this game, which I have reviewed in the past, literally ten years and a much more closely-hewn Yahtzee Impression ago, you play a character called The Courier starting at the point in their story where a traumatic head injury gives you an opportunity to intervene in the existing story with a potentially all new, all exciting direction.
The story is a sort of noir cowboy steampunk fantasy – there’s the trappings of modern technology and post-apocalyptica, but the world that was and its infrastructure isn’t really important as much as it just sweeps aside a lot of options for progress. Technology is chunky and heavy and there’s a durability to everything, where things break, but they can always be fed more technology to make them un-break. Everything has an independence to it, a scrounging, foraging, make-it-work, it’ll-do-for-now technologism all typified with a gun at your hip and your duster fluttering in the hot wind.
Also, I guess, Content Warning: Drugs and violence, because that’s a thing that happens in the game and kinda comes up in this conversation. A bit. I just want one person at least to be more comfortable reading this, going on.
And it is notorious for being a game beloved by trans women. So much so that it’s a meme unto itself, a joke about being into Fallout New Vegas being a gateway to the experience of being a trans woman. And as an investigator of games, I thought I could, this Pride Month, explain to you, why all trans women love Fallout New Vegas:Continue Reading →
This is an explanatory writeup of one of my Original Characters (OCs). Nothing here is necessarily related to a meaningful fiction you should recognise and is shared because I think my OCs are cool and it’s cool to talk about OCs you make.
“Is that her?”
“Yeah, the former sidekick of-“
“You know, don’t call her that.”
“But she was, until the incident,”
“Don’t mention that.”
“Why, what’s the worst that-“
“You know, maybe just stop talking.”
She’s not broken. She’s not wrong. She’s just not like you. Unburning is an angry young woman, in a way that sentence simply could not capture. Some heroes struggle to keep their power under control, and hers is the power of fire that burns as rage – where she becomes more angry, she becomes more powerful… and she recognises that seductive risk.
So, she keeps herself withdrawn. Careful. Quiet.
She knows when she’ll need to be loud.
“Oh, suuuure, it used to be all ‘poison apple’ and ‘cursed to be a frog’ but y’all don’t seem to remember when the time came to solve plagues and poxes, it was the witches that did that, jeeze. No respect.”
Hext. Just Hext. Once, a sidekick, now out on her own, she goes now by just Hext. She’s got that sly, not-quite-impressed college girlboss feel, like she’s free from some form of oversight, except her life and education has featured oh-so-much worse than textbooks. Running around beating up bad guys in her early teens, she’s done with living in a shadow, learned her lessons, and her former mentor… well…
… yeah, none of that, not no more. Bored with that.Continue Reading →
Here’s the banner!Continue Reading →
3rd edition D&D doesn’t do much with queerness. It’s an interesting artifact of the late 90s, early 00s, where the whole edition was something that, to use the parlance of now, would be claimed as ‘woke propaganda’ now, was still something that didn’t feature a queer NPC until a Dragon Magazine published well into the release schedule of 3.5, and when it did, he drew heat that the editorial lineup of that magazine had to fight about it in the letters column of the next issue.
There are other areas that the game can be seen as surfacing queerness, and I’ve talked about one – the way that the D20-SRD component Unearthed Arcana introduces transphobia in the form of gender dysphoria as a byproduct of literal madness. That’s not great. It is, in fact, uh, bad. You can even have a multiple personality disorder identity which has a different gender to you, isn’t that cute?
But uh, okay, so that’s one way that explicitly not-cis-not-heteronormative culture showed up in 3rd edition. Uh… is there anything better? Anything that could be considered, um, nice?Continue Reading →
What if the prettiest girl in your school who nobody knew well was so aloof, so pure, so perfect, not because she was in fact, transcendentally perfect, but because she was an utter gamer gremlin who didn’t care about anything any other student was doing, since they weren’t pulling off sick combos and trash talking noobs in ranked ladder matches? And you could tell because you were an expert in the same kind of games, and now she wanted to fight you? To fight you? To fight you? To stay up late and fight you?
And you were both girls?
That’s the story of Young Ladies Don’t Play Fighting Games, which is a manga series about exactly what I just described. This is a Japanese story about a Japanese sector of life – about the pressures of school and the intensity of hobbies you wind up with if you have to have them in secret. It’s about social pressures on women, it’s about what is or isn’t acceptable for people to do and how an invisible online persona creates a space for people to become what they truly want.
It is also full of some of the sickest reaction panels of a girl power-posing over an opponent who isn’t even in the room I’ve ever seen in manga.Continue Reading →
Boobidy doobidy here’s a bannerContinue Reading →
Everyone in Cobrin’Seil is queer to any extent that word can mean anything in talking about my D&D setting. This is not because when you make a dude in that setting part of the character creation setting is ticking the backstory box that, at some point, he has sucked some dick or whatever, but rather is instead because Cobrin’Seil is a world where heterosexuality as you understand it was never invented.
And boy oh boy that right there opens a door, doesn’t it.Continue Reading →
Script and thumbnail below the fold!Continue Reading →
There is a nonzero chance if you follow me on tumblr, you’ve seen the term ‘Hanamusa’ attached to something I shared. It’s probably also some super cute art of Delia Ketchum and Jessie Teamrocket, and you may wonder what is going on and also, why is there so much good art of this.
Hanamusa as a term derives from the Japanese names of the characters – Hanako and Musashi. If you’re into shipping name structures, Hana-Musa implies that Hanako is the seme and Musashi the uke, but I don’t think that holds for all use cases of the type of terminology. It’s a ship. It’s an AU ship, as in an ‘alternate universe’ ship, where the two characters are presented in a context outside of the normal context of the anime presentation of them.Continue Reading →
Do you remember Hannah Gadsby?
They’re an Australian comedian, who made the comedy special Nanette, and its follow-up special Douglas. That’s where I know them from. They’re good specials. I liked them a lot. It takes a lot to get me of all people to tune in to a comedian standing in front of an audience just being funny when there’s no presence of a dinosaur or laser beam to keep me from feeling selfconsciously like I’m being educated about art.Continue Reading →
Ehhh this article is due up in a few days. And I’m behind because the blog went down. And it’s marking season. And it’s Pride month.
Sure, why not.Continue Reading →
Well, I’ve been putting it off enough. I think you’re old enough to know.
There’s this anime called Sword Art Online.Continue Reading →
Boom here’s a banner.Continue Reading →
In How To Be we’re going to look at a variety of characters from Not D&D and conceptualise how you might go about making a version of that character in the form of D&D that matters on this blog, D&D 4th Edition. Our guidelines are as follows:
- This is going to be a brief rundown of ways to make a character that ‘feels’ like the source character
- This isn’t meant to be comprehensive or authoritative but as a creative exercise
- While not every character can work immediately out of the box, the aim is to make sure they have a character ‘feel’ as soon as possible
- The character has to have the ‘feeling’ of the character by at least midway through Heroic
When building characters in 4th Edition it’s worth remembering that there are a lot of different ways to do the same basic thing. This isn’t going to be comprehensive, or even particularly fleshed out, and instead give you some places to start when you want to make something.
Another thing to remember is that 4e characters tend to be more about collected interactions of groups of things – it’s not that you get a build with specific rules about what you have to take, and when, and why, like you’re lockpicking your way through a design in the hopes of getting an overlap eventually. Character building is about packages, not programs, and we’ll talk about some packages and reference them going forwards.
She’s power, she’s grace, she’ll punch you in the face, she’s a queen, she’s a knight, she’s here to have a fight, she’s Amaya from The Dragon Prince!Continue Reading →
There’s a particular type of non-arcade puzzle-solving story game, which these days is often built on tapping into the nostalgia of people who were children in the 90s. These games, which I refer to as ‘narrative adventures,’ tend to draw on a small number of specific genre signifiers. Back in the 90s, the two big common threads between the forms were the ‘Lucasarts’ genre of games, which tended to be designed without failure states, and ‘Quest’ genre of game, which tended to relate to failure more actively.
Basically, the vibe was that you couldn’t die in Lucasarts games, and you couldn’t lose either. Lucasart games were always going to give you room to make progress, so anything that could work was going to work, which meant the game could eventually break down into trying everything on everything else. By comparison, Quest games could kill you to signal ‘hey, don’t do that.’
And the game that set the pace, that started the mechanisms for both of these genres was Kings Quest 1.Continue Reading →
Hey, do you know what I mean by ‘this user can say it?’
I want to say it’s a cohost meme but the idea is that there are some words that get treated as cursed or slurs or dangerous magical words that are reclaimed slurs, in the mouths of people who can reclaim them. Simply put, if I, a bi dude, want to make a joke where I use the word faggot, fuck off telling me I shouldn’t. And this led to the joke that ‘This User Can Say It’ was a flag that signalled that whether or not an individual wanted to out themselves in any specific way, they had the rights to use particular terms.
But I’m not here to talk about slurs I’m here to talk about anime. It should be no surprise to anyone who pays attention to the trends on this blog (so, Tab, gotyaoi, me) that there’s a low key anxiety about doing too much on this blog about too many anime. It wasn’t intentional but I’ve just been watching more this year and that means more of this year has been talking about anime.
Here then is a list of anime that won’t show up in the Story Pile, but absolutely Can Say It.Continue Reading →
Hey, did you already listen to the Wreck It Ralph episode of The Disney Animated Canonball, a podcast where I, Talen Lee (he him) and not-appearing-in-this-post Fox Lee (she her), watched all of the Disney Animated Canon movies? If no, then keep going and you should maybe check it out later because it was a big project, watching and podcasting about 54 movies, of which upwards of five were movies I think are any good, and that there, that’s Disney magic, baybee, but if you have then this is going to sound like a rerun.
In case you don’t remember, Wreck It Ralph is an awful film.Continue Reading →
Harrow The Ninth is the second book in the four-and-a-half-book-so-far Locked Tomb trilogy by Tamsyn Muir, a New Zealand author, and to get the box blurb copy out of the way early, it’s as intricate as wristbones, multi-layered, wrought out of several kinds of deliberate excellence and also extremely bloody funny. It commands its venaculars and surgical terminology alongside one another to construct a narrative puzzlebox of regrets and rage and guilt and violence and queer shit and I loved it.
There are these healing moments of emotionally satisfying contact between people who you can maybe let your guard down and like because they don’t have to suck just because this situation sucks and maybe that’s the important thing, maybe it’s the friends we made along the way. Or maybe it’s really, really not. You’d have to get to the end of the book to start to find out what you think. I know what I think.
Now, it is a slight problem that Harrow The Ninth is a book that builds directly on the previous book, which is a book with a very distinct conclusion that leaves you wondering ‘okay, now how does this proceed,’ and Harrow The Ninth doesn’t actually give you easy answers. As a matter of simple necessity, then, and in order to discuss ideas in this book and why I love it, I am going to talk – even a bit obliquely – about the stuff in the book. Therefore, if you’re the kind of person who wants them, I put here, a SPOILER WARNING.
And you may think ‘oh come on, it’s a book with a twist, you can talk about stuff around that,’ and like kinda no not really, it’s way more complex than that, and even just telling you that is enough to make the wrong kind of mind leap at shadows thinking every single thing you deal with in the book is The Twist. Good news, though, because in this situation, oh natively paranoid, must-not-be-surprised, solve-it-first readers, you’re right!
Everything in this book is The Twist.Continue Reading →
Blah blah blah here’s the banner!Continue Reading →
Where life and death no longer hold permanent sway, the question that follows is what matters what you do with your days? The Vampires believe this is why they’re justified to commit genocides; with their overall lifespans so long, any threat to their existence represents a more catastrophic loss of life compared to other cultures. For everyone else, that’s a load of bollocks. Whether cries for revolution, selfish demands for destruction, or a bellow fit to demand the rise of the dead, it ultimately comes down to what you choose to do with the time you have presented in front of you.
Warning: Wizards employees, this post contains unsolicited designs of custom magic cards.Continue Reading →
Script and Thumbnail below the fold!Continue Reading →
In the major English-speaking parts of the worlds I’m familiar with (which weirdly, is not Nigeria, despite it having four times as many English speakers as my home country and Canada combined), June is Pride Month. This is because a number of inter-linked corporate interests have been able to maximise sharing economic value by treating England, Australia, Canada and America as if we all operate on roughly comparable time scales and interests. For this reason, June is the month where America celebrates Pride, in the ways America does, and the rest of us are already buying your t-shirts, so your rainbows show up on all our soda cans anyway. Happy Pride! Buy something.
The obligatory response is of course, ‘well, why?’ and not just why do we do Pride in June, but rather, why do we need Pride at all? After all, isn’t homophobia solved and fixed and now we’re just kind of tidying up around the edges? Of course not, and if you’re reading this you know that’s not true, because I am not some general access explainer, I’m the blog of a weirdo who likes board games and anime and has somehow captured an audience just barely larger than a really suspect church congregation. But why not talk about it anyway, in the specific vein of Hey I’ve been thinking about this a lot.Continue Reading →