Saturday, March 8, 2014

On The 25th Anniversary Of 'Geek Love'

'Geek Love' by Katherine Dunn, is one of my favourite novels.  At times, not an easy read, often a darkly funny read, always a very moving and compassionate read.  And this year marks the 25th anniversary of its publication. Over at Wired, Caitlin Roper writes with wit and insight about this very odd book:
Geek Love knocked me out, too. Reading it for the first time at 16, I couldn’t shake it from my brain—I didn’t want to—even as I tore through other novels. It was that glorious age when reading isn’t an escape, it’s your actual life; when everything outside of books becomes suffused with the stories you’re soaking in. I recognized something in Geek Love that I’d always loved in comic books, the idea of a character’s strangeness as the source of her strength. Like the members of the Justice League, or the Fantastic Four, the Fabulon freaks are all misfits, each with a singular skill. As a kid, I wanted to have some special power—invisibility, especially; I wanted to be like everyone else, but also, somehow, secretly special and indomitable. In Dungeon Master, an early role-playing videogame I’d played on the Atari computers in middle school, you began the game by choosing your characters and their special talents. I loved the idea of selecting magical powers, of building a unique persona from a menu of skills and capabilities. The Binewskis, these incredible freaks, and their demented familial struggles helped me feel better about my own family problems, my own powerlessness. The book inverted the cold adolescent truth that what makes you different curses you.
Full Story: HERE


Female Representation In Desktop Dungeons

Some interesting and thoughtful stuff from QCF Design, the makers of Desktop Dungeons:
Quite frankly, we wanted the women in DD’s universe to be adventurers first and runway models second. This adjustment turned out to be startlingly non-trivial – you’d think that a bunch of supposedly conscious, mindful individuals would instantly be able to nail a “good female look” (bonus points for having a woman on our crew, right?), but huge swathes of our artistic language tended to be informed by sexist and one-dimensional portrayals. We regularly surprised ourselves with how much we took for granted.
It's very nice to see game developers engaging with this issue and interrogating their own experience. The whole piece is worth a read, right HERE.