June is crazy busy for us, with weekends filled with social obligations and the weekdays filled with day jobs. Naps are something I miss dearly from my childhood days, haha! We’ve been doing our best to squeeze in some E3 time this week amid all of the ruckus.
So. It’s E3 week. How’s everyone been doing keeping up with it?
Honestly, with how busy Rachel and I have been this month, E3 was a bit of an afterthought. Granted, we were able to catch up with what has gone on over the weekend, finding some of the news to be pretty good and a few of the presentations to be awesome (Keanu Reeves and Ikumi Nakamura, anyone?). One of the better parts of being behind on the live coverage is that we can fast forward to the parts that we actually care about, haha!
Case in point was during EA’s conference. While the glimpses of the other games looked wonderful, Rachel and I were really only interested in the Sims 4 news. The trailer for Island Living looked like tons of fun and we’re looking forward to getting it and exploring all that it has to offer for the sims. It makes me wonder if Rachel, on her solo Twitch streams, will move her little family for her 100 Baby Challenge to the islands?
I was also personally interested in and pleased at the idea of the partnership the sims franchise has with It Gets Better, a nonprofit organization that has a mission to empower and lift LGBTQ+ around the world. Being inclusive of all sexualities was always something I appreciated about the sims franchise — even before I discovered my own asexuality — and hearing that they are continuing to further their involvement for Pride Month makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
We’re looking forward to catching up with the rest of the shows and conferences, particularly Nintendo’s direct. We’re on the hunt for more unique games rather than the similar games filled with guns that we’ve seen lately.
Have you been enjoying E3 2019 so far? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Technically, this memory is only about three years old. This post is a bit more personal and it took me a little too long to write and decide to share it. However, I believe it’s an important topic and it is certainly something that has shaped who I am today.
I am passionate about representation in media, obviously including video games. Gender, race, and especially sexuality need to be represented so they are normalized as much in media as they are in the real world.
The success of movies like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel testify to the need of representation. The same goes for the later Pokemon and Harvest Moon games that allow female and darker skinned avatars. One of Stardew Valley’s biggest selling points was that your avatar could marry any love interest despite their gender.
It was due to a video game that I realized my sexuality.
Three years ago, a visual novel dating sim featuring the popular YouTubers from the groups Normal Boots and Hidden Block was released. Considering that the two groups were some of our favorite content creators — and the ones who inspired us to talk and share more of our love of gaming — we were excited about the game, and really enjoyed its the writing, art, and music.
One of the characters in the game is gay. He states it after the female avatar asks him to go to a festival with her. Literally, he says, “You do know that I’m gay, right?” complete with the music cutting out with a record scratch sound effect. The character is a fan favorite and was prominent in the fandom through art and stories.
It was through this fandom that I found out about asexuality, the absence of feeling sexual attraction.
I was in my mid-twenties and had never heard of this sexuality. Throughout high school, I’ve had friends and acquaintances who had come out as lesbian or bisexual, and we were always supportive of each other. I had believed I was completely straight, but as I got older, I realized I wasn’t looking at men the same way my friends were. They had… interesting stories from their college campuses about being with another and I couldn’t for the life of me see what the appeal was. I had fallen for a couple of men throughout my lifetime, ones that were easy on the eyes and made me laugh, but I had no interest in any more physical acts.
Then Asagao Academy came out, I met some fellow fans online, specifically Tumblr, and the representation of a positive LGBT+ character helped so many teenagers and young adults, people who had grown up without seeing much of anything other than the “default” straight way to be. Including me.
One day, someone I followed mentioned that she believed she was asexual. I was surprised at how relieved I was from the epiphany I had that the word asexuality fit me. It was closure that I never knew I needed.
I am a heteromantic asexual.
Asexuality is still a fairly new concept — rather, new in the sense that it is being talked more about — but it has gained rapid support within the past couple of decades. Despite this, asexuals still get flak both from the LGBT+ community — for wishing to be “special” or, especially in a heteromantic ace’s case, “basically straight” — and straights who are not allies. We’re only about one percent of the population, and it wasn’t until 2013 that asexuality was excluded as a mental illness in the DSM.
I spend my time advocating for representation in media and by being available and open to those who may need the support of a friend. I’ve connected with a handful of others online, ones who have reached out because they took a chance from seeing my LBGT+ positivity posts. I’ve spoken to fellow aces, transgender people trying to figure themselves out, and those who merely needed a stranger to listen as they navigated through their own labels. Most, if not all, of them are teens, and I hope that I can help just a little.
Because, while my memories of going through puberty consist of feeling like I was missing a puzzle piece, we should be moving forward with representation. There is no default hero, and all media — video games included — should showcase that. Strides are being taken, but it will still be a while before we’re all on equal footing. No one should have to grow up without being represented as the hero.
(Besides, think of all the years I spent unable to make asexual puns. All of those times I could have told people that I have an ace up my sleeve… because it’s me. I am the ace.)
Are there any video games that caused you have a revelation about yourself? Anything in particular that you would like to collect? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.