Tor bravely fights wrongthink

Scifi writer Jon Del Arroz left a comment pushing back on one of Tor’s latest pieces, in which women writers are once again incorrectly portrayed as victims of the dreaded Patriarchy.

Hat tip to Jeffro for this one.

In case you’d like to read the article, here’s an archived link. I hope you’re in the mood for a good lamentation that every hero in scifi has a penis. Except when the lead is a woman, like in Rogue One. But even then, there are far too many dongs surrounding our strong womyn!

Also, what happened to great women writers like Leigh Brackett, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, etc? Younger readers today have no idea who they are. The Patriarchy strikes again!

Stricken down in her prime by the Dick Lords.

Except for the fact that this isn’t a gender-specific problem. Many of us in the Pulp Revolution crowd / Appendix N cult have been pointing and shouting about this generation gap for some time now. What happened to Jack Vance? Do young readers today know who Poul Anderson is? Or Lord Dunsany or William Morris? Or Clark Ashton Smith? How about A. Merritt or E.E. “Doc” Smith or Gordon Dickson?


It’s not that women are oppressed and have been memory-holed. It’s that many of the old greats have been forgotten and buried in a mudslide of new crap. I tried to point this out at Tor, but my comment doesn’t seem to have made it past the moderator. Can’t have people challenging your narrative, eh?






Tracer Pose Update

The Ralph Retort sees it as Blizzard trolling SJWs. I don’t know that it goes that far, but this was a smart response on the game developer’s part.

Forbes reports:

“The pose is no longer the “hot secret agent” pose that’s been plastered across a hundred movie posters and comic book covers over the years, and was deemed too generically sexy for Tracer’s quirky persona. But nor does it purposefully hide her rear-end either; it just shifts the pose so it more closely aligns with her character. And actually, it still is a little bit sexualized, as it’s directly inspired byan old school pin-up pose, the kind that used to be painted on the sides of warplanes. And, since Tracer was a pilot, that makes sense in that context, I suppose.”


I think the whole “quirky, spunky” personality thing is a little overblown, but what do I know? I haven’t even really followed Overwatch’s development (damn you for always passing over me with your alpha keys, Blizzard). As Forbes points out, there’s a good chance that this will satisfy both sides. The babies get their “quirk” and we still get a bit of cheek. Blizzard is one of the less inept game companies out there, so competently implementing an acceptable compromise would be no surprise. Still, never underestimate the left. We’ll see if this will satisfy the SJWs or not.



Republicans buy video games, too

In case you don’t watch the Sports Balls, Villanova won an amazing NCAA final last night at the buzzer.

I’m not always proud of my alma mater. In many ways it’s become one of those small “c” Catholic schools that has chosen more often to go with the tide of secular, public opinion rather than follow its Catholic mission. I do, however, still find enjoyment in watching Villanova basketball. Since I went to school there, it’s always had a spirited team and one of the classiest managers in college basketball.

Funnily enough, I started on this post yesterday, before the Villanova win prompted a mini-explosion of sad Jordan heads. Legend has it that the NBA superstar once declined to endorse the Democrat in a hot election, commenting that “Republicans buy sneakers, too.” Canonical or not, he’s been both praised and criticized for having said it.

Really both sides have merit, here.

If you strongly believe in something or someone, standing up and speaking out may be the right thing to do. Historically, just look at the American Civil Rights movement in the U.S. There were plenty of people (including Catholic priests) who joined their voices to the calls for desegregation and equality.

On the other hand, if you hitch yourself to any particular wagon, you should be ready to face the consequences, be they just or unjust. If you’re a business, these consequences may very well be financial, and this should come as no surprise.

The simple fact is, gamers come from all stripes of life. There are liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists, and guys who live in their moms’ basements. Atheists play games, Christians play games, and Buddhists play games. Like the general population, I’d venture to say that a large percentage of gamers are not overly political. And many of us are not interested in Social Justice.

Now yes, I’m sure there are bisexuals and pansexuals and transspecies, and polyamorists and wiccans who play games. And so if the Social Justice Warriors decide to include polygamist lesbian catfolk witches in their games, in the name of tolerance and so that more people can feel “comfortable” with games, they can have at that. I’m sure they’ll probably sell a few copies to such people, and a few others might buy such a title out of sheer curiosity. But many of us are not interested in political and cultural agendas in our entertainment, and one reason we play games is to escape such bullshit.

The SJW push on the gaming industry isn’t a super-recent occurrence, and it’s been one of the impeti behind Gamer Gate, the tragically misrepresented coalition of anti-PC gamers (who interestingly tend to bend more towards libertarian and liberal than conservative) that’s been inaccurately and repeatedly slandered as anti-woman.

Blizzard recently became entangled in such controversy when they decided to cater to the wishes of one Overwatch player who complained that a character’s victory pose was too sexualized.


A game about shooting the enemy team to death, and the guy is worried about his daughter seeing a character’s tight pants-clad butt. Ok.

Most recently, a new Baldur’s Gate expansion has come under fire. I don’t think many of us knew this series was still alive and kicking, but if the reception of Siege of Dragonspear is any indication, it may not be for much longer. It’s a shame, because I really enjoyed the first two entries in the series. But the developers now in charge of the property seem more concerned with righting previous wrongs (the first two games apparently advanced negative stereotypes of women, such as wives being naggy — those bastards!) and advancing their social causes than actually producing quality content.

The game is said to be riddled with bugs, for one. Second, we’re now seeing developers continue down the path that Dragon Age: Inquisition paved, with a random, vocal transsexual character. By all accounts this character was most inartfully implemeneted. Apparently he/she is a vendor who randomly and unabashedly tells you about his/her/xis gender life story.

Reminds me of vegans.



I’d venture to say that there are still more gamers out there who don’t give a crap about sexualized characters or clumsily-injected social agendas. People will buy your game if it’s fun and well-made, but censorship and political messages will turn some customers off enough to avoid your product. If you’re ok with that, fine. But you’d better not release a bug-addled mess and then blame the bigots who won’t buy your shit.



A boost for Protein World

In case you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid the latest outrage from the same folk who have brought us terms like “body shaming” and “trigger warnings,” I must inform you of this most recent episode.

A British supplements company called Protein World recently invested in a London subway ad campaign features billboards of a toned model, along with the question “Are you beach body ready?”

The offending ad.
The offending ad.

Horror of horrors, I know. The howlers quickly descended to protest this indignity. Models do not belong in such ads, because they make the rest of us feel bad. How dare Protein World suggest that only hot bodies are beach bodies! Freedom of expression be damned – this is some emotionally damaging stuff!

A petition to remove the offending ads was started (and has apparently succeeded – big surprise the local government caved), and protests have been scheduled. Good, good – marching all day is an effective way to burn some calories..

Now, do I think this is an admirable ad? No. It’s not really clever or creative in any way. Seems like a reasonable banner for a protein company, though. Use our stuff and look like this, right?

In a pleasantly surprising show of intestinal fortitude, Protein World has not recanted. They have been fighting back against the protesters; calling those who vandalize their ads “terrorists.” That may be a little extreme, but it’s nice to see a company with some rocks stand up to the crybabies. It probably doesn’t hurt their resolve that the barrage of media attention has boosted their sales increase by over a million dollars over the course of a few days.

The lesson I see in this is that if companies stand up to the pressure SJWs bring to bear, they will often come out on top. In many cases the other side will make up for any lost sales, and for companies like Protein World, the complainers probably weren’t their target market anyway.