Diversity in Games (and Other Media)

Nothing like a sinus infection & viral bronchitis combo to slow your week, topped off with busting up your phone! At I can say that I am on the mend; as for the phone, that remains to be seen.

Since the Daily Post doesn’t have this week’s photo challenge up yet, here’s a topic that crossed my mind again recently and does on occasion when I’m writing or designing, or just reading about games and media in general: diversity. I’ll be talking mostly about games here, but a lot of this applies to other media like movies, TV, comics, and so forth, so expect some crisscrossing of that line.

It’s no big secret or shock that most game protagonists are the default white male. Most designers are white men, and historically their target demographic has been white males. It still baffles me that some people react some strongly against this “status quo” being changed or challenged, but that’s a different topic altogether. I understand why this is the default–the old adage of “write what you know” is a powerful and natural direction to take when writing. It’s easiest to imagine yourself as the protagonist of a story. If you were to take a look at all my writing and roleplaying characters over the years, you’d find that most of them were female, white, with red or brown hair. This, and likewise the default white casts or male white protagonists of TV shows, movies and games did not stick out to me as odd for a long time.  Read more


My Favorite Season

The Daily Post photo challenge this week is “Fall.” And while I will later be making my usual photo challenge inspired post, Fall is my favorite season, so I want to talk about it.

I’m an Irish lass, and I burn easy, so the hot outdoors of the summer are not so much for me. It’s lovely, of course, and I like a day away at the beach like anyone else, but I’d still be just as comfy in some air conditioning at my computer or relaxing on a porch with a book. Moreso, really.

But then Fall comes in and just….ahhhh. The air smells different. It always does when the seasons change, but fall has a small of the air being a little more chill than not, of warm scents edged with cold–it smells like cider tastes. The tingle of spices, and it’s good warm or cold, and even when it’s cold there’s a warmth in round, crisp flavor of it. That’s the small of Fall–warmth in cold, with a crispness in the air and a hint of spice.

I love the colors of fall. There’s more than one reason I chose the wordpress layout I did–just look at that header image! The oranges, browns, reds, yellows, they stand out against the blue in the sky and the green that still lingers on the ground from the summer. The world is changing, beginning again, Fall is the start of things. That’s likely an impression that lingers from 22 years of school starting in the Fall, but life begins where it ends, and its end begins in the Fall. The last glimpse of things as they were, and the start of things as they will be. It’s when change begins in the world.

And the things you can in Fall are so much fun! Apple-picking, corn mazes, mulled cider! Pumpkin-flavored things! They are my favorite things ever, pumpkin-flavored things. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin beer, pumpkin raviolis, pumpkin donuts (possibly topped only by cider donuts, another flavor of fall), pumpkin soup… Fall is delicious. I’m licking my lips thinking about it all now!

Finally, there is possibly the funnest of holidays: Halloween. I love Halloween. I love costumes and every year I have a Halloween party where costumes are required. I really get into it, figuring out what my costume will be and putting it together. Over the last few years I’ve made costumes and gone as Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck, battle-damaged Clare from Heroes, Codex from The Guild, and Molly Carpenter from the Dresden Files. Not pictured is another of my favorites when my friend Melissa and I went as Harry and Ron (respectively), and our costumes were fantastic! Spot-on Hogwarts students! I love getting to create a costume, and I love seeing what my friends come up with. Everyone can be a goofball on Halloween and they get to have fun doing it. What’s not to love? Plus, candy! (OMG. Candy corns. Yum!)

This got a little silly, but you get the idea–I think Fall is fabulous and it’s my favorite season. I even enjoy going to a BC football or two (my alma mater) and tailgating, getting some delicious food and cheering on the Eagles with friends.

Fall’s just a great time to be alive.