Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Discuss your favourite, or not so favourite, movies, shows and video games with the Media Mavens!
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Pam
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Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Post by Pam » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:04 pm

https://mediamavens.simplecast.fm/79eb3a33

This episode we talk about Feminist Game Studies with guest Samantha Blackmon.

Guest Intro

Today's guest is Samantha Blackmon. She is an associate professor at Purdue University, host of the Not Your Mama's Gamer podcast, co-founder and editor of the site of the same name, and editor in chief of the brand new NYMG Feminist Games Studies Journal.

What we've been up to

(00:05:40) Children of Blood and Bone, Gaming Masculinities (Samantha)
(00:12:59) Far Verona - Stars Without Number TTRPG (Riley)
(00:22:54) Frostpunk, Typoman (Pam)
(00:31:01) Steamworld Dig 2, Defiance 2050, Club Penguin Island (Samantha)
(00:36:05) Lost in Space (Riley)
(00:38:56) The Great British Menu, How to Get Away with Murder (Pam)
(00:43:02) Chopped (Samantha)
(00:47:50) Janelle Monae (Samantha)
(00:49:22) The Strange Case of Starship Iris (Riley/Pam)

Feminist Game Studies

(00:53:39) NYMG Feminist Games Studies Journal and what it's adding to game studies
(00:59:23) NYMG Journal first issue selections
(01:02:13) Future plans for the Journal
(01:05:06) How to incorporate intersectional feminism into the classroom
(01:12:19) Teaching those who have never thought about these things (or are opposed to them)
(01:19:10) Internet comments and people who assume you don't know what you're talking about
(01:26:16) Games that inspire writing and teaching - Mafia 3
(01:29:00) Dadification of games - and where are all the moms?
(01:36:00) How to submit to the NYMG Journal

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alatinolawyer
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Re: Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Post by alatinolawyer » Tue May 01, 2018 7:57 pm

This episode was rad. I loved Samantha's story of the kid who stormed out of her classroom when he learned that a class on feminism in gaming would address Gamergate. I think it's great that Purdue University requires many of its students to take her course.

Your discussion about where are the mamas in games really got me thinking hard. What are some of your favorite games designed by women?

Although she's not a mother, Bayonetta takes on some quasi-motherly attitudes in Bayonetta 2 when she encounters Loki, and their banter is often infused with terms of endearment (little one), mixed with her feelings of obligation to protect Loki, while also feeling burdened - she likes to do things solo.

Samus has some motherly interactions with the Baby Metroid she encounters at the end of Metroid 2/Samus Returns, and in turn, that Metroid saves Samus which unifies the bond. So it's not a true mothering role and even here the strong female protagonist needed to be saved by the "child".

I bet some smaller titles that we don't think of have better depictions of motherhood. One game I can think of is That Dragon, Cancer, which I must warn anyone does not have a happy ending, but it puts you in the role of parents raising a child who has been diagnosed with cancer.

A great episode.

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Re: Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Post by Pam » Wed May 02, 2018 1:50 pm

alatinolawyer wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:57 pm
This episode was rad. I loved Samantha's story of the kid who stormed out of her classroom when he learned that a class on feminism in gaming would address Gamergate. I think it's great that Purdue University requires many of its students to take her course.

Your discussion about where are the mamas in games really got me thinking hard. What are some of your favorite games designed by women?
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Some of my favourite games designed by women are:
- Gabriel Knight series (Jane Jenson)
- Quest for Glory series (Lori Anne Cole and Cori Cole)
- Portal (Kim Swift)
- King's Quest 7 (Lorelei Shannon/Roberta Williams)
- Gravity Ghost (Erin Robinson)
- Wizardry 8 (Brenda Romero)
- Playboy: The Mansion (Brenda Romero - I just read that she designed this game a couple days ago. I had no idea! And I did QA on the expansion for this game)

It's very difficult to to think of games where you actually play as a mother (or mother-figure). I can think of two that are concrete examples of playing a mother character and having motherhood be an integral part of the story. One is Kings Quest 7. And one is Fallout 4 (though if you choose to play as a man then you're a father. There's absolutely no narrative difference). The rest... I kind of have to reach. It's an older sister who plays the mother role to a younger sibling, or something like Bayonetta and Samus as you mentioned. My list of playable fathers in games is currently at 17.

I think I might make a video about this.

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Re: Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Post by alatinolawyer » Thu May 03, 2018 6:10 pm

Pam wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:50 pm
alatinolawyer wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:57 pm
This episode was rad. I loved Samantha's story of the kid who stormed out of her classroom when he learned that a class on feminism in gaming would address Gamergate. I think it's great that Purdue University requires many of its students to take her course.

Your discussion about where are the mamas in games really got me thinking hard. What are some of your favorite games designed by women?
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Some of my favourite games designed by women are:
- Gabriel Knight series (Jane Jenson)
- Quest for Glory series (Lori Anne Cole and Cori Cole)
- Portal (Kim Swift)
- King's Quest 7 (Lorelei Shannon/Roberta Williams)
- Gravity Ghost (Erin Robinson)
- Wizardry 8 (Brenda Romero)
- Playboy: The Mansion (Brenda Romero - I just read that she designed this game a couple days ago. I had no idea! And I did QA on the expansion for this game)

It's very difficult to to think of games where you actually play as a mother (or mother-figure). I can think of two that are concrete examples of playing a mother character and having motherhood be an integral part of the story. One is Kings Quest 7. And one is Fallout 4 (though if you choose to play as a man then you're a father. There's absolutely no narrative difference). The rest... I kind of have to reach. It's an older sister who plays the mother role to a younger sibling, or something like Bayonetta and Samus as you mentioned. My list of playable fathers in games is currently at 17.

I think I might make a video about this.
Speaking of women in gaming, the latest episode of Just a Few More Minutes podcast (one of my faves) contained an interview with developer (and technical animator) Gwen Frey. She's worked on Bioshock Infinite and The Flame in the Flood and she was a pretty phenomenal person to have discussing games, animation, development, and running an indie studio. You may want to give it a listen and who know potentially collaborate with her in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNH2g6kwIas

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Re: Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Post by Kathryn » Mon May 07, 2018 3:18 pm

Great episode! Samantha was such an interesting and entertaining guest. Seriously, though - where are all the moms?!?!?

If I have one complaint about your show, it's that every time I listen, my list of games that I need to buy/play grows exponentially! :P

So, now my list includes Frostpunk, Typoman, Steamworld Dig 2 (I know P1 and Colleen really enjoyed this game, so it's climbing up the list in priority), and Mafia 3 (which I own, but have not played).

I think that I'm more in into sci-fi than I realize, and will likely check out The Strange Case of Starship Iris. I'm glad there aren't too many episodes to catch up on - that is often a deal-breaker for me since I never want to feel like I can't catch up and/or keep up.

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Re: Media Mavens Ep. 55 - Surprise, Feminism!

Post by Pam » Tue May 08, 2018 3:20 pm

Kathryn wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 3:18 pm
Great episode! Samantha was such an interesting and entertaining guest. Seriously, though - where are all the moms?!?!?

If I have one complaint about your show, it's that every time I listen, my list of games that I need to buy/play grows exponentially! :P

So, now my list includes Frostpunk, Typoman, Steamworld Dig 2 (I know P1 and Colleen really enjoyed this game, so it's climbing up the list in priority), and Mafia 3 (which I own, but have not played).

I think that I'm more in into sci-fi than I realize, and will likely check out The Strange Case of Starship Iris. I'm glad there aren't too many episodes to catch up on - that is often a deal-breaker for me since I never want to feel like I can't catch up and/or keep up.
Thanks Kathryn! Samantha's podcast (Not Your Mama's Gamer) is a really good listen too.

Mafia 3 is one of those games that I think I'd like to read about, or listen to people talk about, more than I actually would enjoy playing it. It's a format that' I'm quite sick of, but I find the ideas and some of the content in it really interesting.

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