Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
Gonna post my comment about the WoW Pandas and LGBT chars.
The main audience of WoW are teenagers and college guys. What would happen if an LGBT char is added, specially if it's a dude, is that the college guys (mostly Internet trolls) would corpse-camp that character and post pictures of it everywere, particlulary with names like "xXFaggKillrXx", which would piss off the (small, but existent) LGBT community on WoW, that exists after Blizz backpedaled about banning LGBT guilds. Meanwhile, the soccer moms of said teenagers would go all "this is corrupting our sons" blah blah, which means a lot of news and lawsuits and shit. In other words, what would happen is a huge shitstorm, and I don't think that is something that Blizz wants. Specially because right now they are trying to sell Pandas and the Pokemon cash-shop to people.
TL,DR: Won't happen because people on the Internet are dicks.
About Pandas, I'm warming to them, but this is the laziest expansion so far. Signs of decline there.
Also, something to add. The RealID fiasco proved what the WoW player base can do while agitated. If I were on Blizz HQ, I would be scared shitless of that.
And the whole "Atwood is anti-science!" thing...has she ever criticized scientific method? 'Cause I'm pretty sure Atwood was aiming at the misuse of certain technologies rather than, y'know, science.
A large bloc of SF fans are technophiles who think technology is an end in itself rather than a means to an end, so I think that might be part of it.
Meanwhile: this summary of Batman: Odyssey is incredible. I'd never heard of the thing previously but I kind of want to read it now to see if it's even remotely as crazed as the summary makes it appear to be.
I don't know how I feel about Bioware's superambitious "let's make DA a massive multimedia franchise" bit.
I still can't get over this Dragon Age thing. Especially with something like the Thief series hanging around for so long and thumbing its nose at the bog-standard fantasy setting found in DA. (Where are the Thief tie-in novels, I say?)
I've seen some of those criticisms of Atwood, and while a lot of it does come across as a snobbish defense against percieved carpetbaggery, I think some of it has merit. There is something to the complaint that, when mainstream authors delve into genre to write a near-future satire, they ignore conversation SF continually has over how to imagine contemporary/near future issues, and as a result said authors are praised for "innovations" that are either old hat or simply inaccurate.
Well, true, but you should be blaming the people doing the praising, not the author. It's not Atwood's fault that people completely ignorant of current sf trends hold her up as elevating sf with her "awesome new ideas." The amount of flak Atwood has gotten is kind of staggering, especially with the sf community's "never live it down" attitude towards any percieved genre attack. Yeah, she at one point denied her work was science fiction because science fiction had "spaceships and bug-eyed monsters", but she's since sat down with Ursula K. LeGuin and wrote a book on science fiction and everything, surely that outweighs the one comment? And the whole "Atwood is anti-science!" thing...has she ever criticized scientific method? 'Cause I'm pretty sure Atwood was aiming at the misuse of certain technologies rather than, y'know, science.
(Incidentally, though, and on a much more depressing note, this has actually happened to me IRL. Or on a counselling course, which as usual had a strange and intricately flirtatious relationship to RL. Apparently, I would be a much happier homosexual if I just accepted that people use certain words which I'm only offended by because I choose to be. I would like to say that at that point I morphed into a gay version of Henry Fonda out of 12 Angry Men and called them on their total lack of diversity issues, or at least managed a witty comeback worthy of Sue Sylvester out of Glee. Actually I pretended I had to go to the toilet urgently, then left the building and never went back. Which is how badass I actually am, when not on the internet.)
Was the argument something along the lines of "it's *prejudiced* to treat LGBQT
people the same as straight people JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR SEXUALITY"?
I think they were actually trying to implement a variation on "don't ask, don't tell". A variation that apparently didn't extent to "don't ask, don't tell and don't call people a faggot every time they refuse your peremptory and barely literate group invite, then virtually fart on them".
Would this be the same WoW that banned a guild a couple of years ago for advertising itself as "glbt-friendly", because they oppose harrassment on the grounds of sexual orientation, which is obviously caused by people being, you know, gay?
I hadn't heard about that one. *facepalm*
Was the argument something along the lines of "it's *prejudiced* to treat LGBQT people the same as straight people JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR SEXUALITY"?
Anyway, as far as I'm concerned the number one worst thing about the new expansion controversy is that nobody - NOBODY! - has yet accused them of Panda-ing to national stereotypes. I am genuinely sorry that it was left to me to do it.
Incidentally, Shimmin and Valse, I have in my modest collection of historical works of comedy ultraviolence a treatise on how to fight with a tresarme, which (it turns out) is basically a dagger with daggers coming out of it. I have no idea why it didn't catch on, apart from the obvious fact that the person who invented it was about 7. It was "overpowered", in the sense that most of the techniques seem to be based on not stabbing yourself in the thumb every time you use it. (Also, I would be totally into being a Grenouille Philosophe. My name would be Jean-Bernard Lepwns. I would pwn toutes les noubs avec ma leet deconstructive textual analysis attack et ma specially specced filterless Gauloise. It would be beaucoup de l'awesomme.)
I spent most of yesterday watching WoW players pat themselves on the back for how right-on they were. The other fantastic one was "I think an Asian setting will be beautiful and wonderful, because I find beauty in Asian culture and society, look how TOTALLY NOT RACIST I am."
If you need homosexuality to be represented in a video game in order to cope or "escape" as you said, you'd probably be better off getting some counseling irl. I don't want straight characters, I don't want gay characters. I just wanna kill boars and pwn noobs.
Voted no. 2-5% of the population doesn't have the right to force their lifestyles into everyone's faces in every single medium.
Urge to punch rising.
The consensus. Obviously it is wrong to be a homophobe therefore sexuality should not matter, therefore there should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES BY ANY REFERENCES TO HOMOSEXUALITY IN WARCRAFT EVER. Because it doesn't matter if you're gay, unless you're gay around me.
Oh, but if you missed Cata you might not know that Soul Shards are gone, meaning you will actually have *bag space*. I PvPed a bit as Afflic and quite liked it, but in terms of actual endgame I've got no real idea. And everything's going to change in MoP anyway).
If it helps, the warlock tier set for Deathwing has TENTACLES COMING OUT OF ITS FACE. That alone could be worth the price of entry.
Glaive-glaive-guisarm-glaives sound overpowered though, incoming nerfbat.
Dan, I'm... somewhat tempted to renew my WoW sub, but I don't know what the state of game's like and what they've done to my class. Know anything about warlocks, by any chance?
In other news, Fantasy Westward Journey is releasing a new expansion for the Western market, set in sunny Ameurope. Consult mystic druids and witches, and sacrifice people in stone circles! Learn new mysterious weapons like the glaive-glaive-guisarme-glaive, zweihänder and shillelagh! Loot exotic gothic cathedrals, topple dolmens and burn breweries! Explore long-lost races and new distinctive classes: Bowler-wearing Bulldogman Businessmen, cigarette-smoking Grenouille Philosophers in their distinctive striped jerseys, or obese, gun-toting Hamburger Zealots! Industry experts express bafflement at the low subscription rate in Western markets.
This isn't terribly interesting in itself, but what I'm amazed at is that a whole lot of people are (with absolute sincerity) complaining that this is an "obvious attempt to appeal to the Chinese market."
Because obviously, what Chinese people *really want* is a cartoonish, stereotypical portrayal of their country, with the words EXOTIC and MYSTERIOUS and MARTIAL ARTS emblazoned across it.
I believe her boobs are romanceable too.
What, individually? What happens if you max out Lefty's loyalty meter but end up making Righty want to leave?
I don't know how I feel about Bioware's superambitious "let's make DA a massive multimedia franchise" bit. The most successful things of that sort I can think of are Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, D&D and Warhams. All of those started out with a very successful core product and only later branched out. (Well, Lucas was famously eying the toy royalties from Star Wars from the get-go, but I imagine if the film flopped he wouldn't exactly have pushed the boat out on getting the toys into the market.) Bioware seem to have planned to have products on multiple different fronts from the get-go, but I never had the impression that the core product (the original game) was successful enough to sustain all the rest.
Apparently there's also a DLC that lets you team up with Felicia's boobs in Dragon Age II as well
I believe her boobs are romanceable too.
I am going to join in Valse on Team DO NOT WAAAAANT.
OH EMM GEE, the Dragon Ago / Felicia Day thing actually came out.. It's AWFUL. Like I wasn't expecting it to be otherwise but I wasn't quite prepared for just how AWFUL it is capable of being. It seems to primarily be about Felicia's Day's boobs, and their quest for freedom against the tyranny of voice over.
Well, I like boobs, how bad can it be?
<...a few minutes later...>
...apparently, it can be pretty damned bad.
On the other hand, I do think it would do the SF critical community a world of good to chill the fuck out once and a while. Too much arguing about srs issues, not enough lizard men, that's what I say.
It's not like traditional fantasy because the Elves are greatly diminished from their former glory, the dragons are dying out, and magic and religion are opposed to each other. Because absolutely *none* of those things are major recurring tropes of the genre.
Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind reading a fantasy novel set in a world where humanity is slowly going extinct and is being quietly displaced from its natural habitat by magical creatures. Sort of like Greybeard, but with dragons.