Mouse Smash

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


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#WeWantWidow! Do you?

blue-bw-coverOver the weekend in downtown Seattle, you may have seen cosplayers dressed as Black Widow by the International Fountain, or you might have noticed your social media feeds were flooded with pictures of Black Widow. You might have seen that the hashtag #WeWantWidow was trending.

That’s because there was a multi-city flash mob to generate buzz and awareness of the lack of Black Widow on Avengers merchandising, as well as to show support for Black Widow to star in her own movie. Starting in Sydney, Australia at 12:00 pm local time, the “Widow Wave” spread across to Canada and the United States. In cities from Tampa to Ottawa, and from New York City to San Diego, hundreds of cosplayers dressed as Black Widow descended on the streets, while even more online supporters showed their support by changing their profile images to ones of Black Widow, and reposting images or tweeting using the hashtag #WeWantWidow.

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“Why don’t the characters in my apps look like me?” An interview with Maddie Messer

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Maddie Messer is not your ordinary 12-year-old girl. In March this year, she published an op-ed in the Washington Post after she noticed a disparity between male and female characters in endless runner games on her iPhone.

Although Maddie says that she loves these games, she discovered that there were oftentimes male characters, but not female ones. Or, where there were female characters, they had to be unlocked, while the default character was male. This was problematic. However, there are few statistics about the representation of gender in this genre, so, she set out to prove it. Continue reading


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Celebrating Asian-Pacific Heritage

apam_header_0Did you know that “ketchup” is a Chinese word? Or that the first female gunnery officer in the navy was a Korean-American in 1946? Or that the current Chief Justice of California is a Filipino-American woman? Or that a Chinese-American biologist co-invented the oral contraceptive pill and pioneered in-vitro fertilization?

Asian-Pacific Americans have long since been a part (albeit understated) of the American landscape, and May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. It’s a time to commemorate the contributions that they have made, and to celebrate the ongoing relationship and cultural diversity that Asian-Pacific Americans provide to American society and culture.

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Mako Mori, Empowerment, and the Search for Representation

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There’s not much I could love more in an action movie than giant robots and giant alien monsters, but in 2013 Pacific Rim brought me giant robotsfighting giant alien monsters. In a futuristic world, an underwater portal allows monsters known as Kaijus to rise from the sea and destroy coastal cities, so, naturally, humans operate giant robots called Jaegers to fight them. The film tells the tale of an international team of Jaeger pilots ending the conflict.

But that’s not all. Pacific Rim brought me Mako Mori. She’s one of my favorite female characters ever, not just because she’s a dynamic woman of color, but because she represents the possibility that there could be such characters in Hollywood. In this post, I’ll discuss how she’s unique as a character, and why her presence is important for film.

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Goat Simulator Comes Crashing Onto Xbox This April

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One of last year’s most absurd and popular PC releases was Goat Simulator, a game where, unsurpsingly, you play as a goat and wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans with your jumping and headbutting skills. Points are awarded for how creative players can be in their destruction.

If you missed the original release, or you’re not a PC gamer, don’t despair. Double Eleven announced last week that they were pairing with the game’s original developers, Coffee Stain Studios, to bring the goatiness to Xbox One and Xbox 360 in April this year. Continue reading


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Adventures in QA: Chapter 3: A bug’s life

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been doing this QA gig and it’s not as terrible as I thought it would be. Okay, the work is still quite grunty and below what I was previously making, but it does have its moments where it’s okay.

The main thing we’re supposed to do is log bugs. When I first applied and got asked on the interview questionnaire to define what a bug was, I think I actually wrote something technical about how something does not operate to specifications or something, but to be honest it’s more like “any kind of weird shit that randomly pops up” since literally it could be anything that’s not working properly. Continue reading