In a few days, Fort McMoney will finally emerge after more than two years of gestation. The experience is going to plunge you into the heart of the black gold rush and let you explore the city, interact with its residents, and address questions to oil industry bosses and environmental activists. The Fort McMoney experience will be a kind of web-era platform for direct democracy. The winner, if there is one, will be the battle of ideas.
Do you have a child between the ages of seven and "I-stopped-counting-after-the-third"? Did you also make the huge mistake of giving them access to electricity? Do they shout random terms like "Butter!" and "Creeper Lava Diamond Pig"? If you answered "yes," to any of these questions then it is likely you know my pain: Minecraft Mania.
There are so many reasons a literary community remains silent when faced with the unpleasant business of sexism or misogyny: many writers fear the repercussions of speaking out because many of the people who get away with both blatant and subtle forms of hate are also in positions of relative power in the literary community.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 10 years or so, video games have become BIG business around the world. Consider this. Call Of Duty MW3, last year's best selling game, earned $3 billion dollars in sales in it's first week. Three Billion, and in seven days no less. The biggest movie of the year (The Avengers, fyi) took almost a month to collect that amount, and at cheaper prices then $59.99 for a new game.
Last week, the Canadian Film Centre's CFC Media Lab launched a fantastic new program called ideaBOOST, designed to assist artists and companies exploring the frontier in digital entertainment. IdeaBOOST brings industry into the equation, and I think that's what makes it such an impressive concept. Here are several that sounded particularly exciting.
Just when I think I've come to place of being comfortable in the video game industry, something happens that has made me question what I'm doing here. I'm talking about the harassment and hatred directed at feminist media critic and gamer Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian is experiencing a hostility that many women in the games industry have experienced to varying degrees for many years. And it's ugly.