GLAAD Awards to Spotlight Video Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

There are many different types of awards when it comes to video games. Recently I heard that another type of award ceremony will include video games as a category.

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Representation is important. It’s a topic that is meaningful to me, which may be evident especially when it comes to gender equality in video games (and other media and mediums, of course) with some of my previous posts. We’ve celebrated games in the past for diversity such as Dream Daddy celebrating same-sex relationships and the Sims 4 taking off the gender restrictions in Create-A-Sim and providing more options regarding sex for players’ sims to celebrate transgender people.

GLAAD is an organization that promotes positive LGBTQ representation in all sorts of media. They’ve been around since 1985, and will be having their 30th annual media awards for outstanding representation, generally in films, television series, magazines, even blogs. This year will be the first year that they add video games as a category.

I think this is fantastic! I remember seeing the trailers for The Last of Us Part 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey during this year’s E3, with both trailers featuring instances of same-sex relationships. I was proud to see that representation, especially when I grew up with many games that — while excellent — showcased a male protagonist rescuing a female character, generally a princess. Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, male lords rescuing female recruits in Fire Emblem games…

The representation is important, and with how big video games are as a medium in today’s day and age, it’s good to see more LGBTQ+ characters being celebrated.

What do you think of GLAAD’s decision to include video games in their awards?

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Don’t Forget

Double Jump Kris MiiI apologize for how late this post has come out. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do originally, perhaps talk about the E3 conference, but something tragic has happened over the weekend and it cannot be forgotten.

This is not my usual sort of post, but this is a cause that is near and dear to me. This is also cross-posted on my personal blog, Kris Poli.

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source: stuck-in-wonderlxnd

I speak a lot regarding the need for diversity in not only video games, but all sorts of media — films, television, books, etc. People come from all sorts of places and are rich in backgrounds, appearances, ethnicities, sexualities, and shouldn’t be erased from media.

That goes for life too.

My heart is broken for the victims that were caught in the horrendous shooting in Orlando Florida’s Pulse club this past Sunday early morning. Sources have cited that the shooter had pledged allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS and was also a known homophobe and racist. This mass shooting has been the worst America has ever seen in its history.

In the wake of this crimes, I please ask you:

  • Don’t forget the names of the victims who were tragically lost, ranging in ages from 49 to only 18 years old.
  • Don’t forget the members of the LBGTQIA+ community who are struggling to remain strong in the aftermath of this horror.
  • Don’t forget the members of the LBGTQIA+ community who do not have a support system to turn to, who are still in the closet and cannot properly express their grief and terror where they are.
  • Don’t forget the amazing people who have gone in droves to donate blood in Orlando and have donated funds for the families of the victims.
  • Don’t forget to stand up for what is right, to call out anyone who may utter hate against anyone else.
  • Don’t forget that everyone — everyone — deserves to live a happy and safe life.

Finally, don’t forget that this country of ours was founded on freedom and equality. We will fight until that becomes a reality.

Pro-Diversity in Sims 4

Double Jump Kris MiiThe Sims franchise has always been a favorite of Rachel’s and mine ever since an old coworker years ago had let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 games and expansion packs to try it out for myself. Since then, we had been hooked.

Now the Sims 4 have been creating more and more customization and expansions, and I believe this latest update is one of my favorites…

Way back in February, Rachel and I did a post detailing our first impressions of the Sims 4 games by Maxis. While Rachel really enjoys the game, I wasn’t as enamored with it as I was with Sims 3 for a variety of reasons. With the new update that was released just a few days ago, my respect for the franchise has grown.

This update unlocks all of the gender restrictions in the Create-A-Sim mode.

That means every female hair style can be placed on male sims, the male voices can be used for a female sim, every type of clothing, walking style, and physique is shared between the two genders. It’s a fantastic step forward in not only customization but also representation. Considering my country at the moment is arguing over who can pee in which restroom, I’m all for it.

If anyone has glanced at my personal blog, usually used for writing and reading, they would know that I’m a fan of We Need Diverse Books, a campaign dedicated to promoting diversity (ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) in books. Considering how influential books are to the masses (seriously, how many movies nowadays had started out as books?), having a wider range of representation of people is needed.

Diversity is needed in other forms of media as well, like movies and video games. People, especially the younger generations of the world, now more than ever are coming out with their gender and sexual identities, and the world needs to hear. Hindering representation and those who identify as anything other than “the norm” is only going to hurt the future.

There is nothing wrong with gender not being as black and white as it was before, and I’m glad that a huge franchise like the Sims can support that.