Mouse Smash

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


Leave a comment

Adventures in QA: Chapter 5: Competitive Pricing, or Lack Thereof

I often get phone calls from recruiters asking me if I want to do contract testing jobs for third-party vendors. I guess I put it out there that I play games and that I have done so for over 30 years, so that stands to reason that I know my way around games and consoles enough to work on them.

Now, I know that I’m very fortunate in my current position. I’ve had internal promotions, and gained experience and opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have had in other contract positions. I’m also now working in a specialized area of testing that pays a little bit more than the average grunt tester wage. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Cassius #3 Kickstarter is now live!

Cassius2

Prima (L) and Junia

Guess who’s back, back again? Some of my favorite queer lady comic characters are back! Tell your friends!

(With apologies to Eminem, but really, tell your friends.)

I’ve written about Cassius and its creative team before, and it has been a long while since Issue 2 was out, so here’s an update: the Kickstarter for Issue 3 was launched last week (very aptly on the Ides of March)! Check it out here! Continue reading


Leave a comment

GeekGirlCon ’15 Panel Recap: The Disability Politics of Daredevil

IMG_2491

With Daredevil returning for season two this week, let’s revisit our GeekGirlCon panel on the show! I attended a panel with Elsa S. Henry, a feminist scholar and disability rights activist. She also happens to be legally blind and, given that Daredevil is a show with a blind protagonist, she had several misconceptions about vision impairment to clear up.

“You can still like Daredevil, but here is a perspective you might not have had before,” Henry explained to a full room at the start of the session. She began by disproving several presumptions about what it was like to be blind. “Not all blind people use braille. So a lot of what you see isn’t accurate towards a blind person’s life,” she said, with reference to Matt Murdock’s constant use of a braille output device. “Most people use text-speak; you can hear it and don’t need to mess around with machines. When I watch the show, it’s very difficult not to notice things that don’t make any sense.” Continue reading


Leave a comment

Review: Train Conductor World

TrainConductor3Banner

Train Conductor World is a new release from Voxel Agents, where the main mechanics involve line drawing to move trains from one track to another.

The premise of the game–set in Europe–is pretty straightforward, where you have to direct trains onto the correct track (based on color), by drawing a track for them. When levels are completed, you can acquire access to other cities, all of which have their own unique features. For example, Bruges has a huge canal down the middle of it, and you have to draw bridges for your trains to go on.Now, the game can get tricky when multiple trains need to cross paths, but of course your job is also to prevent them from colliding. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Adventures in QA: Chapter 4: Funderemployment

It’s been a while since I updated my Adventures in QA series. Like, a year or so. Well, luckily for me I now have plenty of time to do it!

One thing about QA work is that it’s not always constant. Even though technically it’s a full-time gig, it doesn’t mean that the work or hours are full time. There are peaks and troughs with the workflow depending on things like seasons (so it was busier toward the end of the year when the holiday period opened), or things like how many projects there are.

So, we’re in a trough at the moment. For our “full-time” schedule, I have three weeks off. Continue reading


Leave a comment

GeekGirlCon Panel Recap: In Conversation: Anita and Zoe

One of the biggest turnouts at GeekGirlCon ’15 was for a panel that was announced at the last minute. “In Conversation, Anita and Zoe” featured special guests Anita Sarkeesian (creator of Feminist Frequency) and Zoe Quinn (game designer and co-founder of Crash Override Network) as they discussed what it was like to be high-profile women in tech, online harassment, and what action we can all take to prevent online abuse.

Elizabeth Sampat, who moderated the panel, started by posing some questions to Sarkeesian and Quinn. “You are both successful women in the public eye,” she said. “What kinds of things do you have to do or put up with that men in similar positions don’t have to do?”

Quinn answered first: “I’m worried that people will see me in public and I look like crap.” With the amount of focus that goes into evaluating women’s appearances, she voices her concerns about how if she doesn’t look “acceptable,” she will find threads on Reddit the next day criticizing how she looks. “There are all the things that go into appearance. I got into game dev and writing so I didn’t have to see people but now with this public thing I have to use makeup. It’s easier now when I think of it as painting a Warhammer mini.” Continue reading