Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


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An Interview with Feminist Camp!

Feminist Camp is a weekend camp for college-age students that goes beyond classroom or campus activism for networking and learning more about feminism. While Feminist Camp was originally based in New York, it has since expanded to the Seattle area. I had the opportunity to speak to the campers last November, and also got to interview the camp organizers!

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Seven Indie Games I played in 2016

2016 was a pretty interesting year for games: with the rise of VR and announcements about new generation consoles, there’s a lot more going on for gaming than in previous years. I didn’t get to play everything that I wanted to (of course), and although I played a lot of AAA games as well, I’m trying to spend more time looking at indie offerings. Here (in no particular order) is a quick list of some of the indie games that I played last year and would recommend: Continue reading


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A Season’s End: Looking Forward, Looking Back at 2016

A version of this piece was originally published at GeekGirlCon’s blog. In the time (11 days!) between it was published and now, there have been at least two terror attacks internationally (plus one averted), even more influential figures have passed away, and the Electoral College confirmed Trump as President. There are still four days left in the year, which I’m cautiously optimistic will just pass away quickly and uneventfully.

My original plan for this blog post was to write a review of the events of the past 12 months. But, for a lot of us, 2016 was not the greatest year, for a variety of reasons. A lot of scary political things happened, or are still happening, both at home and abroad. Many figures who were influential when we were growing up passed away. Zika, Brexit, having giraffes added to the endangered species list

It’s no wonder that some people have described this year as a giant dumpster fire. Continue reading


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I’m going to GDC!

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I’m still new to games per se. I’ve grown up as a consumer, a writer, and a critic, but not a creator. This year, I got my first job in the industry, and it’s been a fantastic journey so far.

In games, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is one of the biggest industry events on the game dev calendar. It’s HUGE, with a lot of industry-facing talks, workshops, and networking opportunities. Unlike things like PAX or E3, the focus is on game makers and the industry as a whole, rather than end users. For someone starting out in games, it’s seriously a wonderfully immersive way to get connected, and get a more in-depth idea of what the industry as a whole is like. Continue reading


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Review: I saw Arrival and have some feels about it

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I didn’t read any reviews about Arrival (except this one) before I went to see it at theaters today. So, all I knew about the film was that there were aliens and something about scientists trying to communicate with them (which, if you think about it, they do in almost all films involving aliens).

What I wasn’t expecting, then, were lessons in the construction of language, the importance of clarity and perhaps something about not losing faith entirely in humanity.

Spoilers may follow, so be warned.

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Adventures in QA: Chapter 6: Work-related Microaggressions

So at work I am on a team where we have a lot of disciplines represented. There’s design and art and production and test and whatnot. It’s pretty cool. We are all considered experts in our field and the team works together because everyone brings their mad skillz to the table as it were.

Or so I thought. So, we’ve had a few issues with one of our tools lately and our investigations haven’t brought about any answers. We referred it to an engineer outside our team who gave us an explanation about it. Unfortunately, that explanation was wrong. Continue reading


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Mouse Smash Reviews: Suicide Squad is a Resounding “Meh”

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One of the problems in film, generally, is being able to present a cohesive story with backstory, arcs, character development, conflicts to resolve and loose ends to tie up within a limited window of time. Now, the more characters you have in the story, the less time you can give any one of them, so that their stories get condensed and abridged until they aren’t really robust anymore.

Suicide Squad suffers from this problem in scads. With the DC comic villains each having their own origin stories and arcs from the comics, it’s hard to transpose those into a coherent narrative, and instead the overarching story feels like it’s cobbled together with a handful of random metahumans doing what they’re good at, with the writers being ordered to make a comic book film more like Marvel’s. At least they tried, I guess. Continue reading