Gears of War
Nothing can really prepare you for the small humiliations and the nagging sense of being an outsider that comes with having dark skin in North America. But I wanted to fit in; how hard could it be? I went about figuring the best way to get ahead in life, while Black. As I began to pay attention to how I was treated in comparison to others, I became mindful of myself, of my actions. It became a social dance. Or more accurately, for a kid who grew up playing Nintendo and never stopped, it became a game. And if you want to win any game, you'd best acquaint yourself with the rules. So I started to keep track of how I was doing.
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The online firestorm known as #GamerGate has made headlines across all forms of media. It has made me embarrassed to call myself a gamer. Just this past week, game developer Brianna Wu and critic Anita Sarkeesian were forced to leave their home and cancel a major university appearance, respectively, because of the avalanche of death threats they received. I'm not too old for cartoons, or gaming. But I'm probably too old for wishing death upon someone because we have different opinions on a video game.
It's hard to find a display of passion and fandom that's more misunderstood (deliberately or unintentionally) than Fan Expo Canada, and that's why I went there on behalf of the Huffington Post Canada. I went ahead and asked some cosplayers about those aspects of their lives myself, amongst other things.
I say this to clarify that I'm not trying to position myself as better than the average gamer. But I am getting older, and for one reason or another, every time a blockbuster game could take a turn for the interesting, it instead settles to what the industry views as the default gameplay experience: telling the story of a white man with a gun.
Someone who speaks out against the idea of an interracial couple on YouTube comments isn't just dabbling in racism; they're not summering in bigotry. That's how they feel, 24/7, and the internet gives them the false sense of power and anonymity that lets them get it out of their system, and then walk around in public knowing damn well they'd never be able to say those things to another human face. This mentality is known as the Online Disinhibition Effect, and it bleeds into our everyday lives with shocking ease.
I love crowdfunding, because it's like watching money have a wrestling match with ideas. It's capitalism in microcosm. It's important to not lose sight of the lesson here: Crowdfunding websites are not responsible for anything that happens once you've contributed. You are leaving your money on the table, walking away, and hoping for the best.
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Outside of the fact that every celebrated psycho-thriller of the past couple of decades had the same plot twist, there's a bigger problem at play here. There are so many ways to describe something you like, and the central plot twist should never be your opening statement. You're trying to express yourself (that's good!), but you're spoiling the hell out of whatever you describe (that's bad).
It's time to talk about Digital Distribution, and how it's made renters of us all. How many of your digital belongings do you actually own? Write out a list of the shows and movies you've watched, the eBooks you've read, the games and apps you've played, and the music you've listened to in the last week. Now count how many of those things you would have full and legal access to without an Internet connection.
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The momentous task of fixing the serious diversity problem in TV has been addressed many times before, and it's not a conversation that will (or should) end any time soon. But there's another side of television that is making bigger, fresher strides towards diversity and a wider amount of stories (and people telling those stories) in general. Those stories just happen to be told through animation.
Gamer. Depending on where you say it, the word can be anything from an honourable title to a cuss word. My grandma spends more time each week playing Words With Friends than I spend using words or having actual friends. Despite that fact, she would never identify herself as a Gamer, and she's far from the only person who feels that way.
The idea of comic book movies as a genre unto themselves, worthy of the attention of adults and children alike, is recent. And that idea has expanded into unprecedented financial and critical success for all comic book movies. But there has been an almost complete inability from the comic book industry to turn eager filmgoers into fresh new comic book fan.