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Archive for May, 2012

Article from medieval newspaper “The Squire”

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

We all have things we’d like to change in videogames. It may come as no surprise that one of mine is the portrayal of women in games. Here’s a little thought-journey exploring those feelings if they came from one of the in-game characters themselves. Set in medieval newspaper “The Squire”, with collaboration from @labcoatman and @elroyonline.

Seasoned war hero experiences fashion-induced hysteria

– Hegie Mony tries to decipher what local woman is on about.

Aedairin Dragonsong made a name for herself at the formless age of 13, when she made her debut in battle after a local blacksmith discovered her skill with a blade.

“She could have been a boy!” said Thomerson the Smithy of her prowess. “I was amazed to see her pick the sword up, let alone be able to use it.”

Before puberty hit, she was in numerous battles defending Evenfell against the dark forces from the North. Since then, however, her position in the army has been controversial.

This increase in mammary tissue within the forces has called for a “reboot” to the range of armor to reflect the inclusion of the very first woman to the exclusive ranks of the Knightscross. “We felt the armor for Aedairin didn’t need to be so “butch”, we want her to feel feminine, plus it’s super hot, I don’t know what she has against looking sexy.”

“She walked into the feast, our celebration of a good harvest season, and started taking issue with my new designs,” armorer Anders Dunthorp said. “I could barely make out what she was saying over her pendulous breasts.”

Thomerson the Smithy is particularly proud of the gorgeous personal flourishes he has hand-etched onto the armor, saying “I’m really grateful that the army is so progressive about its inclusion of a woman, it’s really fun to make something pretty for once, it’s something I rarely get to do. Normally it’s all business.”

The new range of women’s armor is loosely based on a pattern Anders found from a local undergarment seamstress, he says, with metal reinforcements to protect a woman’s most vulnerable and valued areas.

We allowed Aedairin to share her views during a fitting.

“I don’t think it’s fair I have to pay full price for my armor when it barely covers my body… I’m getting two kilograms of armor compared to their ten.” she said while Anders Dunthorp delicately measured her inseam. Again.

She scoffed at the suggestion that women soldiers may not be able to carry the weight of the full armor, her porcelain chest heaving invitingly.

“It’s not just a money thing, I’ve fought in this “new range” and honestly it’s only a matter of time before someone strikes my bare midriff and the organs held within.” droned Aedairin as the sunlight caught her long blonde curls that cascaded down to her waist.

“I don’t know what your problem is, it has a breastplate, AND a modesty flap!” Anders said.

“It’s not a breastplate, it’s a boobplate! It has breasts dished out of it. Huge ones!”

Aedairin attempted to clarify that were she to fall, the lucky metal nestled between her norgs would most certainly crack her sexy, sexy sternum.

“When I’m hit while wearing it, it actually GUIDES the blade toward the centre of my chest[sic].” Aedairin jiggled. “It doesn’t make sense.” (We can safely assume she misspoke here, and meant to say cleavage.)

“If anything, she has an advantage over the other soldiers, they have to reach all the way to their boots to access their small dagger, hers is closer at hand in her leather thigh garter. I think she’s making two voluptuous mountains out of a molehill and should just get on with it.” Anders rebuked.

“I can’t fight like this, and I won’t until I’m properly reinforced.” Aedairin threatened, boobily.

The council for the Knightscross declined to be interviewed and have refused comment.

A Shot In The Arm

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

I’ve been watching a lot of Project Runway lately, because I’m totally on the cutting-edge of reality TV, obviously. I watch and I’m transported back to the huge textiles room at my first high school. It smelled of aged georgette and melted wax. Even if no one had used the electric frypans to warm wax for Batik in months, the room still smelled like it. I adored that class. I was always early to it, and only left when kicked out. If there was an opportunity to have my lunch in there and say I needed to borrow an easel or those angled tables to do “sketches” (more like eat my sandwich and drink my prima) I took it instantly. Just being in that room inspired me. I liked being in there. I fed off the surroundings.

My work wasn’t brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved it. I didn’t sketch and work from there, I grabbed materials I thought were cool and worked backwards — much to the despair of my teacher. I’ve always been a bit of a backwards child. So when I saw the clear PVC plastic my eyes lit up. I made this awful long dress out of it, and appliqued purple asterisks all over it. The teacher made me make something else to put under it, because we had to model them and the idea of a 15 year old walking down the runway in a clear plastic dress was obviously something this Anglican all-girl’s school was not willing to partake in. Prudes. I grabbed some magenta satin because it looked pretty and made a long skirt, and a boob tube. It was bloody awful, but I just kept making it. I didn’t hate it, I knew it wasn’t fashion, it definitely wasn’t art. It was just this thing that was kinda ugly and no one would want anything to do with. But I dug it. It was fun to sew, I got good marks for picking a fabric almost impossible to deal with, and it was a learning experience. Plus I had a scar on my finger from when the sewing machine needle broke.

I got to stay in that room for longer than everyone else because it was a more complex design. I got to stay in that space and breathe in all the energy in there. I got to put on the feather boas in the fabrics room when no one was watching and do my Shirley Bassey impression.

It was here I started to become aware of a personality trait of mine. I’m incredibly needy when it comes to inspiration. Insanely so. If I don’t feel inspired, I throw in the towel. I am completely intolerant to not being inspired. It’s why I was a difficult student (especially when maths and sciences were concerned), and why I can be difficult even as an adult when forced to do something I don’t really want to. I need inspiration to keep going. More than a pin-board full of inspirational quotes or a stuffed toy on my work desk that makes me smile. I need the constant inspiration provided only by surrounding yourself with amazing people who are passionate about what they do, and I’m okay with that.

I’ve been to a few panels at the Emerging Writer’s Festival this year and it was amazing to see people walking away with huge grins on their faces, tweeting amazing light-bulb moments, and being energized to go and make stuff. I even overheard a woman after the last panel I went to say “It’s just common sense a lot of what they’re saying, but just hearing it from such amazing creators is inspiring, it means I know what they know”. To some extent she’s right. Hearing something you know is good advice, that you probably have heard before, but having it framed by someone you admire and look up to, is like dipping it in gold. If you’re wandering off the path it grabs you by both shoulders and convinces you that you were on the right track to begin with, dumdum.

I walked away ecstatic. I tweeted “I loved seeing people inspired and excited at #EWF12 and thinking to myself “They’re feeling what I feel at Freeplay” <3”. Freeplay to me is the big textiles room of my adulthood. Except it doesn’t just let me make a shitty dress. It beckons me to do better, to keep trying, and to absolutely nail it. Emerging Writers was the same. Just DO it, but do it well. Do it gracefully. Do it right. Be more excellent to each other.

For me, the most important thing I can do to continue to be a creator (and avoid plastic and magenta dresses) is to surround myself with people who give a damn. The support network I surround myself with, the festivals I go to, the community I immerse myself in, they’re the doctor I need to go see when my creative side is queasy.

I’ll never get tired of gathering together in person with large groups of like-minded people, all passionate about their field. There’s an electric energy that takes hold and makes you want to start verbing all over the place, but it’s coupled with this warm, loving, bosomy embrace that says “I’ll be here if anything bad happens, but I’ll try my hardest to make sure that it doesn’t”.

We all have those moments where we’re in need of that booby-hug, and there’s nothing wrong with being okay with that. You don’t create in a vacuum, so don’t feel like you have to go though all this on your own. Festivals and gatherings and events are ways to go get your booster shots. How’s your immunity going? Take this referral and go see Dr. E. W. Festival. Stat.

Amy #3

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

At 8:30am on Tuesday, Amy woke and made her bed. She took herself off to the toilet (ya hear that, Ted?) and started wondering about the day ahead when the toilet wouldn’t flush properly. It was clogged. She screamed and cursed the skies. Not the greatest start to the day.

Ignoring the toilet, she calms down with some toast and jam in her jim jams. While Amy’s noshing away on her breakfast that frankly makes me hungry, I take a moment to have a look at the HUD. Her current promise is “Make friends with someone”, for +450 happiness points. I also noticed something that took me by surprise, she has a want that I can choose to promise to her, a want for a job in Law Enforcement. +400 happiness points. But that’s not writing? Is she getting desperate? She seems to want to settle for a job other than her life’s calling. I don’t know whether to let her or not. I’ll give it another day to think about it. She looks at the bin and points at it in an accusatory manner, telling it off. Crazy bins.

At 10:30 she took herself off to the shower (TED, SERIOUSLY) and I had a look at one of the icons in the HUD, it was this yellow cute little emoticon face, and it was for “Fascinated”. “Some Sims take joy in the things ordinary Sims might otherwise overlook” +10 to mood for the next 2 hours. I wonder what particular character trait of Amy’s is responsible for this. Was it a creative decision to make Genius’s do this? Are they saying smart people stop to smell the roses? Perhaps it’s because she’s a Hopeless Romantic. Or a Taurus. Either way, she’s been labelled extraordinary already.

My attention is quickly grabbed by a decrease in her mood and a speedy exit from the shower. The water’s gone cold. Apparently a cheap shower is to blame and an upgrade would assist the situation. Something tells me bathroom renovations aren’t really in the budget right now.

As Amy leaves the shower and gets dressed, she glances over to the toilet. Bummed as if reminded by the bung loo, she sighs. She better do something about that soon. Should call a repairman. §50 she could do with keeping. She slouches and is visibly bleak before suddenly declared to be “having a blast” when she remembered she had a TV. Amy watched from 11:30am to 2pm, then turned the tele off, looked around, and turned it back on again until 4pm. A notification pops up to say there’s a Chess Tournament happening in town. Yeah but this cooking show is pretty rad.

Her social bar is low. -15 to mood. She’s lonely. She turns off the tele at 4:30 and while she doesn’t seem to have plans I suggest she try and unclog the toilet. It bums her out but it has to be done. Bums. Toilet. Oy vey.

She even begins to get Logic skill points out of it. Amy is super proud of herself for a moment as she wipes her brow. She just saved §50 by not having to call a repairman! But her celebration is soon interrupted by a frantic panic where she imagines a world without TV! Terrifying stuff.

But then looking down at her bathroom rug makes her happy.

An emotional god-damn roller-coaster at Amy’s today.

She looks out the window as someone walks past. It’s dusk. I almost expect her to press her hand against the glass. Amy’s pretty lonely.

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