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Friday, 18 April - link

Unplugging Session

Last night Jane and I went out to dinner together and tried to talk about anything besides games. Jane's been reading about 1.5 books per week on the subject, and we've both been writing up a storm of reviews, criticism, interviews, ombudsmanship. It's terrific, exciting to be a team. We've made our hobby, a media we enjoy engaging into a job. "I thought about picking up a game," Jane confessed, "But I didn't know if I could enjoy it!"

It was a sad state, and it took us a while to recalibrate. It was a long process - we asked each other, "What did we used to talk about?" And we touched on history, and media, politics and mutual friends. We retreated to the couch and watched one of Jane's favourite recent films, "Bring It On," a beguiling film about competitive cheerleading. Then we followed that up with a Frontline special on Kim Jung Il and the Nuclear Crisis in North Korea, and finally we curled up real close for a Sundance channel documentary "The Trials of Henry Kissenger." (Thanks to Steve for those last two suggestions).

These were all nice distractions. We enjoy each others company and many of the same media. Today we've found a craft project to work on. Got to balance these things out. Spend time doing other things.

But the intense focus on games is paying off. This week Jane was asked to give a talk at Stanford about gender and video game characters. She wrote up her notes, thanking me for being a transgender gamer, and posted them on Game Girl Advance: Genderplay: Successes and Failures in Character Designs for Videogames. It's a provocative meditation on the use of gender and sexuality to further storylines or involve game players. And it includes much of the footage and findings we've shared in these last few months on the couch and on the computer, in front of televisions and talking online. The piece has had a great response, it was Slashdotted. Now other people thinking about gender and game development are making contact with Jane. All this means we may have to figure out more regular unplugging sessions!

Posted on 18 April 2003 : 10:55 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.