FREQ #4: Lindy West – Interview with a Loud Woman

June 2, 2016

Each month, FREQ will bring you the latest news and updates from Feminist Frequency, as well as interviews with some of the most inspiring women in media. Our latest issue features an interview with Lindy West: a writer, editor, fat acceptance activist, and now, the author of a hilarious and incisive new memoir called Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman.

Make sure you don’t miss out on future issues. Subscribe now to get FREQ delivered directly to your inbox every month!

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Adventure Bros: Nathan Drake and the Awkward Adolescence of the Action Adventure Genre

May 16, 2016

By Carolyn Petit

NOTE: This post contains major spoilers for Uncharted 4.

“Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they’ll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way.”

That’s Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy XV, discussing why that game’s core party is made up entirely of men. I thought of Tabata’s words when I was playing Uncharted 4, much of which is a globe-hopping adventure featuring the trio of Nathan Drake, Nate’s brother Sam and his old pal Sully. Nate has lied to his wife, excluding her from the group without even giving her a chance to decide whether she might want to participate. So she must finally force her way in, but when she does, she brings with her all sorts of gendered complications, representing things Nathan has to face but doesn’t really want to, and that, as players, we aren’t inclined to want him to, either. Her presence, as Tabata suggests, does indeed “change” Nate’s “behaviour.” It’s all so much simpler when you’re just adventuring with your bros, amirite?

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FREQ #3: The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany

May 6, 2016

Each month, FREQ will bring you the latest news and updates from Feminist Frequency, as well as interviews with some of the most inspiring women in media. Our third issue features an interview with Tatiana Maslany, the star of the critically-acclaimed sci-fi television drama Orphan Black.

Make sure you don’t miss out on future issues. Subscribe now to get FREQ delivered directly to your inbox every month!

FREQ #3 - Tatiana Maslany

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review

May 5, 2016

By Carolyn Petit

Uncharted 4 opens with the quote “I am a man of fortune and I must seek my fortune.” In the three prior Uncharted games, protagonist Nathan Drake has certainly filled the role of the typical man of fortune, someone with adventure in his blood, for whom the pursuit of gold and glory is the only way of life he understands. The latest and, ostensibly, the last Uncharted game is very much yet another globe-hopping adventure full of climbing things and killing people, but while it fulfills the requirements of the action adventure genre and sometimes feels frustratingly trapped by them, there are also some exciting moments when you feel the game pushing up against the restrictions and expectations of the genre, and when it at least tries to make Drake himself and us as players question whether being a man of fortune is really all it’s cracked up to be. (more…)

Shaking Up Shakespeare’s Balance of Power in the Upcoming Game Elsinore

April 11, 2016

By Carolyn Petit

In Hamlet, almost everybody dies. Even those who aren’t too familiar with Shakespeare’s tragedy know this much. It may as well be set in stone; Hamlet, Ophelia, Gertrude, Claudius, Polonius, Laertes and others will meet the same fate in every production of Hamlet you ever see, the characters powerless to change the course of events that result in their demise yet again.

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FREQ #2: Interview with Sydney Padua

April 5, 2016

Each month, FREQ will bring you the latest news and updates from Feminist Frequency, as well as interviews with some of the most inspiring women in media. Our second issue features an interview with Sydney Padua, the creator of the webcomic The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

Make sure you don’t miss out on future issues. Subscribe now to get FREQ delivered directly to your inbox every month!

Freq #2: Sydney

Quantum Break Review

April 5, 2016

Reviewed by Carolyn Petit

Quantum Break is the latest third-person shooter from Remedy, the same studio that brought us Max Payne way back in 2001, and boy, does that lineage show. Like that game, this one revolves around a flashy gimmick that serves to differentiate its gameplay a bit from that of other, more straightforward third-person shooters. And like Max Payne, as well as Remedy’s 2010 game Alan Wake, it stars a dude who cannot stop narrating his story for us.

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Body Language & The Male Gaze

March 31, 2016

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This episode examines the ways in which character animation, which can be a wonderful tool for all sorts of creative expression, is often used in limiting and stereotypical ways to sexualize female characters. We then illustrate that this is just one of many ways that games are predominantly designed around the male gaze, and discuss why male characters who may be depicted wearing little clothing are not objectified in the way that female characters are.

LINKS & RESOURCES

This is the first episode in season two of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. For more on the format changes accompanying season two, please see our announcement here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/1469466

Press Image for Media Use: https://www.flickr.com/photos/femfreq/26155562055

ABOUT THE SERIES
The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects. This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on Kickstarter.com

GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Bayonetta 2 (2014)
Bullet Witch (2007)
Destiny (2014)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
Mass Effect 2 (2010)
Metal Gear Solid V (2015)
Ninja Gaiden II (2008)
Remember Me (2013)
Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
Saints Row: The Third (2011)
Street Fighter V (2016)
The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014)
Tomb Raider (2013)
Uncharted 2 (2009)

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Ordinary Women’s Ida B. Wells Episode Sponsored!

March 28, 2016

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We are proud to announce that the Ida B. Wells episode of our upcoming animated series, Ordinary Women, is being sponsored by the Harnisch Foundation, an organization whose mission is to create a more fair and equitable world by investing in gender and racial diversity.

The Harnisch Foundation recognizes that storytelling is one of the most powerful vehicles for social change, which is why it’s such a natural fit for them to sponsor our episode about Ida B. Wells. Among other things, Wells was an investigative journalist whose work shone a spotlight on issues of racial injustice. The stories she told in the media brought attention to the ways in which economic discrimination and racial discrimination were often inextricably linked, and helped motivate people to take a stand against the monstrous practice of lynching.

The founder and president of the Harnisch Foundation, Ruth Ann Harnisch, knows firsthand the impact of media representation, having been a journalist who shattered glass ceilings in broadcast news in Nashville. Like her, we believe that telling the stories of amazing women such as Ida B. Wells can contribute to a more equitable world in which girls and women have the wherewithal to pursue their full potential in journalism or any field. (Currently, American newsrooms are predominantly male and overwhelmingly white.) We are very pleased to partner with the Harnisch Foundation to bring you the story of Ida B. Wells, who proved that the stories we tell can help change the world.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring an episode of Ordinary Women, we would love to talk to you!

Learn more about Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History and help us tell these important stories by donating to our crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark and by sharing this post.

Ordinary Women’s Ada Lovelace Episode Sponsored!

March 24, 2016

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We are thrilled to announce that the Ada Lovelace episode of our upcoming animated series, Ordinary Women, is being sponsored by the Science Ambassador Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, engineering, or math.

Jenn Bane, community director of the Science Ambassador Scholarship, said,

“We’re so proud to support this incredible episode of Ordinary Women, a project that shines a spotlight on women who have been unfairly overlooked throughout history. We created The Science Ambassador Scholarship for the same reason–to raise visibility of women working in science, and give women the platform they deserve in male-dominated fields. I’m thrilled to sponsor an episode about Ada Lovelace. My hope is this episode will help dismantle the belief that women are merely secondary characters in history, and encourage more women to pursue their passions in STEM.”

​In telling the stories of amazing women like Ada Lovelace—writer of the first computer program—we hope to shatter the limiting stereotypes that are still so prevalent today about women in science and technology. (Only 16% of prime-time TV characters with STEM careers are female.) Women have always been inventors and innovators, and we are proud to have the support of an organization that is working today to help women achieve their full potential in STEM fields.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring an episode of Ordinary Women, we would love to talk to you!

Learn more about Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History and help us tell these important stories by donating to our crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark and sharing this post.

 

 

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