Mouse Smash

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


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Women in games in the media–it’s still sexist. Ugh.

So, as we all know, Halo 5: Guardians is coming out early next week, and there’s been plenty of press about that. The head of the studio, Bonnie Ross, is a woman. She’s a woman in a very unique position in the game industry–statistically, when women work in games, they’re usually more junior than their male counterparts. And, she’s also Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Studios, so that’s a LOT of high-leveled work going on there.

So when Bloomberg published this piece about Ross, I was super excited to read it. It’s not like you get a lot of news about women in the game industry. All in all, it’s not a bad piece. It talks about the Halo franchise, and about what her job is like. It talks about the scope of her work, when she’s in meetings and playtesting and meeting people at conventions, and how she has turned the studio around to make Halo continue to be a smash hit after so many years. These are massive achievements, and not anything to dismiss lightly. Continue reading

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Some Observations about Comments about Marriage

Okay, to start, I am generally opposed to the institution of marriage. I think it’s archaic and ought to be unnecessary, except to gain a particular legal status that everyone should have the right to anyway. I’m definitely not the type of woman who has been planning her dream wedding since the age of five, and even if I had, I’m pretty sure my dream wedding would involve me riding a dinosaur, so it’s not like that was going to happen. However, there are specific reasons why I need to go through this stupid and outdated process, so here I am.

Anyway, we’ve been engaged for over a year, but it wasn’t until we started planning the actual event that I realized just how obnoxiously gendered the culture and language around weddings was. I already knew about the sexist traditions of a bride having her father literally give her away (although now there are several alternatives), the bride’s parents traditionally being burdened with the costs of the wedding (and even with the “modern” versions making the costs more equitable, they’re still predominantly for the bride’s family to cover), but once I told people that I was getting married, there was a clear shift in what they thought I would be interested in talking about, and many assumptions were made about certain norms I was apparently supposed to adhere to.

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Are you a Feminist? Some notes about Feminism and Equality

Today, as you’ve probably noticed, is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women in a whole realm of different sectors, such as economics, science, literature and so on. It’s a day that the United Nations has adopted as a day to promote equality and recognize what has been done, and what still needs to be done to achieve gender justice. Continue reading


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WTF of the day: Soulcalibur: Lost Swords hires Hentai Artist for Female Character Costumes (NSFW)

By now, it’s not news that the game industry is rife with accusations of sexism, misogyny and objectification of women.

Given the publicity that the industry’s received in the past year about its horrendous sexism problem, it’s baffling that Bandai Namco Games has collaborated with hentai artist Yamatogawa to design new costumes for characters in their free-to-play PS3 game Soulcalibur: Lost Swords.

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