Archive for May, 2013

h1

Today I Learned: Feminism

29/05/2013

Today I learned that Feminism is not just seeing women acting like men but its realizing that women are fully individual people.

Before folks say, “Well Duh, Peeta… are you that slow? UNSUBSCRIBE.”  I would like to submit two of the strongest female charters of this generation as examples.

Katniss – A very powerful young lady who wins the first Hunger Games on her own terms (if you are spoiled by this then I don’t know how to help you).  There are parts in future books where she seems little more than a pawn but time and time again she comes back and does things her own way.

Hermione – One of the best written female characters in a long time.  She is very much her own woman who has feeling, goals, and desires.  She can hold her own.  Even if she is somewhat sexualized in Goblet of Fire when Ron suddenly realizes she is a woman the over all development of Hermione is exceptional.

On the surface these two are fantastic however one problem with both of these portrayals is that they are both in a theatre of war and are in a lot of ways being represented in a typically male fashion giving the impression that if a woman want to be strong she needs to bring her “man suit” because its the only way she is going to get noticed.

Women are strong in so many ways you cannot categorize them.  Katniss and Hermione are great examples that still fall short in places.  I am not saying that if you cannot write perfect characters then don’t do it.  On the contrary; the fact that they exist in a sea of so many more poorly written females is encouraging.

Another thing that is troubling is  some  will point to these two characters and use them as examples that we are getting past the “old days” of sexism.  While I think we are making progress we have a long way to go and even those these two are a lesser evil they are still an evil that should not be completely ignored.

What do you think about these two characters?  (also if you like I will post your comment, just let me know by sending an e-mail to dftbanews@gmail.com)

This post was largely inspired by the video below.

Warning the comments in this video are rough

Advertisements
h1

Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine Review

28/05/2013

I looked at it as if it were simple – a top-down sneak fest where I would simply be running from point A to point B. Instead, I got a game that is one part Ocean’s 11, one part Metal Gear Solid, and 100% amazing.

Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine from independent developer Pocketwatch Games is, simply put, one of the finest single player games I’ve ever experienced. Graphically, the game at first glance appears simple – blocky graphics in a top-down view don’t impress on a casual glance. But when you get knee deep, you see insanely detailed textures, beautiful shading, and amazing lighting effects. Characters animate based on their status, bloody footprints are left behind after an injury, and fire flickers from fireplaces in realistic manors that just draw you into the world of Monaco.

For me, a game can be made or broken by the sound, and Monaco is, without question, made. A beautifully composed and performed instrumental soundtrack add so much life to the game it’s easy to sit on the menu or in a safe part of a level to just listen to the sound of a piano. Coupled with the voice acting and foley work, it’s a total package of aesthetics that completely captures the player before you even have to play the game.

But oh…the gameplay. The gameplay!

You begin as one of four classes – the Locksmith, who can pick locks more quickly than the other classes; the Lookout, who moves up and down ladders and stairs more quickly, and can ‘see’ the positioning of the guards with a broader field of vision; the Cleaner, a mute brute with coke-bottle glasses that can subdue enemies by sneaking up behind them; and final the Pickpocket, a Frenchman in an overcoat with a pet monkey named Hector, who can clean out a room of money in no time. Each class has its own unique play style and benefits, and each level is varied enough that any of the classes can be used to overcome them, albeit in uniquely different ways. There are other classes as well, but at the time of this writing, I’ve only spent a small amount of time with the Mole and the Gentleman, and none with the Hacker or the Redhead.

Levels are divided up into multiple stages with unique objectives; though each revolves around ‘cleaning out’ the particular section the player is working in of coins. The player then advances to different levels, complete with different challenges – security cameras, guard dogs, fire, locked doors – it’s all in the way of you completing the great heist. All of it is incredibly satisfying to play, and it would be perfect if that were all it was.

But no. They messed around and gave us one of the most exciting and strategic multiplayer games I’ve ever experienced. Up to four people can enter a level as any combination of the classes to accomplish the specified goal. While you’d think adding more into the mix would make it easier, differing play styles and thought processes can completely derail an otherwise normal, straightforward heist. I’ve only played two player games thus far, but the conversations across the house with my friend while we play about where we should go and what we should do adds to the bedlam of an already tense game.

If I had to file any complaints, it would be that matchmaking in an online private multiplayer game is a chore, at best. It’s not readily apparent to the user exactly how to invite someone to a private session – the only reason I was able to come up with how to do so was to dive deep into menus. However, this is a minor gripe, and I can truly say the only real way to improve it would be to invite someone via the main Steam interface in the chat window. Otherwise, this game is near perfection.

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is brilliance in video game form, and I almost feel bad that I was only charged $15 for such a piece of art. I cannot recommend this game more highly, and feel privileged to have been able to play such a fantastic title.

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is available on PC via Steam.

h1

Sad

28/05/2013

Picture Source

Text added by Peeta

h1

Sunday Thoughts

26/05/2013

Pictures by: Mostesekrit

h1

Commitment

20/05/2013

Commitment really is a commitment.

I have been running DFTBAN now for over a year.  In that time we have seen a lot of ups and downs.  We have had load of people come and go and it has been an amazing ride. Past columns have been fun, education, somewhat controversial, reviews, and sometimes filler.

Recently I have not been posting as much as I should have and it bothers me.  And the reason it bothers me is because there is no excuse.  I could blame it on being busier at school, or summer, or the color of my sofa if I wanted; but all of those are just excuses.   I made a commitment to run DFTBAN and publish regularly and I have not been doing that.

The problem?  I cannot make a resolution that things are going to be better from here on out because life happens.  What I can promise is that I am not abandoning the project and I plan to run it for many years to come.  I can also promise that it has been weighing on my mind and I want to do better.

So this is an apology without excuse.  Sorry I have not been posting as much as I could and I am going to try and do better (:

~Peeta

h1

The Orange Orange PSA

15/05/2013

Gender is like orange.

Just because something is orange does not make it an Orange.

This is the same thing because.

Just because somebody is female does not make them a Woman and just because somebody is male does not make them a Man.  Lastly, just because something is male or female doesn’t make them anything or it could make them everything.

I truly hope this helps some folks even though I know its going to confuse others.

~Peeta

#peopleareawesomebecausetheyarepeople #youdontneedanotherreason

h1

Books, Books, Books.

06/05/2013

Somebody asked me today why I read so much (I read ~65 books per year).  This was a simple two part answer to me. 1) Because all good authors read and 2) books are important.

Then that same person asked me the age old question… Why?  Why are books important?  Aren’t they just stories?

This is the “condensed” version of a ~90 min conversation.

Certain books are like monuments; because they are giant monolithic representations of something specific in a generation but are also timeless. As you can imagine this is a difficult feat to achieve.

  • A book like To Kill A Mockingbird is raw and gritty and serves as a poignant reminder of the past while also serving as a reminder that for all the progress we have made, we have a long way to go.
  • Books in the Harry Potter series tells the timeless hero tale while highlighting that even with all the technology magic in the world family is still very important.
  • A book like The Fault in our Stars reminds us that there are good things that can happen even under bad circumstances and also highlights the fact that cancer is one of the biggest blights of our current generation.
  • A book like The Great Gatsby serves as a reminder that even people who seem to have it all deal with silly petty things that can drag them down while highlighting the opulence of the rich during that era.

Even books of the day that won’t stand the test of time serve as a sort of organic snap shot that waxes and wanes with different popular trends like Vampires or Space Travel dominating for a time.  While deeper down everything written serves as a tapestry that started with cave drawings and basic colours and has, over time, evolved into this sometimes messy and sometimes elegant picture with millions of colours.  And now with e-publishing where just about anybody with desire, a computer, and an internet connection can publish its only going to get more vibrant.

The short version is that books (the written word) is one of, if not the, most significant parts of culture because it allows us to keep our history.  Be that in an actual history book or a work of fiction they all blend together to create something amazing and without equal.

~Peeta

PS. These are my opinions.  Feel free to agree or disagree (:

Title Credit to @elizziebooks