Tag Archives: gaming

Gender Expression and Race in Animal Crossing

9 Jun

animalcrossing1

I’m editing this while anxiously waiting for Animal Crossing: New Leaf to download from the Nintendo eShop. I adore this series. It’s simple and sweet and charming — the perfect relaxation game.

But that doesn’t mean the game is devoid of social justice issues. I’ve noticed two prominent ones while thinking a lot about the overall series during the last few weeks. (I swear this isn’t just an excuse to spend time feeling like I’m actually being productive while obsessing over New Leaf details.)

Personality Types

Now, I’m not going to try to defend the gender dynamics of the game. I think the game’s attitude is well encapsulated in the player’s very first interaction with the game. In fact, it’s the very first time the player gets to make a choice. I’ll take New Leaf as my example, although all of the games follow the same format.

To begin the game, a cat named Rover (oh, how I missed you, friend!) asks for the player’s name. Like the flatterer he is, he then gushes about how “fantastically great” you name is, to which the player can either respond:

“Cool, right?”

“Cute, right?”

“Oops, I misspoke!” (in case the player wishes to change their name for any reason)

Your choice between the first two options decides the gender of your character. “Cool” = male; “cute” = female.

It might seem like a small thing (and in the context of the game, it is small), but it serves as foreshadowing for the way the game handles gender. In general, female characters tend to act, dress, and decorate in a way that’s more cutesy/girly and male characters, while not necessarily fitting into standards of Western/American masculinity, act, dress, and decorate in a more masculine way.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Well, I wasn’t expecting this

30 May

The wonderful ladies over at Geeky ‘n Girly have nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award.

sunshineaward

A big thank you to Britney and Kelly!

Here’s how this all works: 

  • Use the award logo in this post.
  • Link to the person who nominated you.
  • Write ten “pieces of information about myself.”
  • Nominate ten fellow bloggers ‘who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.’
  • Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them about the award.

10 Facts:

1. I’m terrible at coming up with facts about myself.

2. I was an English major in college and had a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. (Gee, I wonder why I wanted to write this blog.)

3. I’m very allergic to both dogs and cats but have two of each. There’s lots of Zyrtec in my life.

4.  The first video game I can remember playing is Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo.

5. The last one was Half-Life 2.

6. I procrastinate before doing trivial things but do important things way ahead of time. In college, I would do all of my reading a week ahead of time but might miss dinner because I was too busy browsing tumblr or finishing just one. more. day. in Harvest Moon. (If you’ve played it, you’ve been there.)

7. I can spin in circles forever and never get dizzy.

8. When I was younger, I read all of the time. Literally all of the time. There are Campbell‘s Chicken with White & Wild Rice stains on my Harry Potter books because I refused to put them down.

9. My least favorite chore is folding laundry.

10. I only eat Cheerios without milk.

Ten Blog nominees!

I’ve been reading a few of these blogs long before I had an account with WordPress. Sadly, that means not all of them may be as active as they once were. But I have found them to be so insightful and helpful in the past, that I’m still going to include them. There are also some newer blogs that I’ve been checking out. Going through and making this list has reminded me how great all of these writers are. You should definitely take the time to check them out.

Bechdel Gamer

Cake and Other Such Delights

Complaining About Things I Like

Game Design Journal 

Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog

Male Feminist Gamer

Resident Anthropologist

Space Crip 

Token Minorities

Trans.Nerd.Feminist.

And don’t forget to check out Geeky ‘ Girly!