Mouse Smash

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


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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


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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


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Cassius #3 Kickstarter is now live!

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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


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GeekGirlCon ’15 Panel Recap: The Disability Politics of Daredevil

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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


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Review: Train Conductor World

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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


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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