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Archive for June, 2003

Games & gender

Category: Uncategorized

It’s been there for some times, but you should still go and read it if you’re even just a little bit interested in videogames (and if you’re not, it’s a good opportunity to see that it’s an arena where intelligent and articulated thinking is possible): this text on the Game Girl Advance website focus on gender in videogames. Here’s a short extract to give you an idea (I’m in the middle of the great Xenogenesis series by Octavia Butler, and, yes, there is a relation). The whole text is there.

“I would like to see more experimentation with genderless or gender-ambivalent characters in this area. In MUDs and MOOs, one can often create a third sex and invent a pronoun and refer to oneself always with that pronoun (and insist others do that same). In these science-fiction and fantasy-themed online worlds, it’s perfectly plausible that ungendered, ambiguously gendered, or bi-gendered races could exist. That would add a new dimension to gender play, one which I’d really like to explore. Some women have said that they feel uncomfortable playing as female in certain virtual worlds – I haven’t personally been insulted or offended as a female avatar, but I have certainly had some unwanted attention directed my way. And yet I feel not quite right playing as a male character, either. A third gender – or a third choice, whether gendered or not – might be an alternative, a way to explore sexual anonymity. I wonder if players would feel too uncomfortable? But the domain of games is unbounded by physical realities, including biology; why not take advantage of this?”


Category: Uncategorized

All this nice digital folk art about SARS is now compiled into an archive.
By the way, i’m still feeling sick (but it’s getting better). I spent the weekend in my bed reading the first two ‘Cheri Bibi’ books by Gaston Leroux (published in 1913). It’s cruel and bloody. And bloody funny too. Leroux has built for his ‘hero’ a fate worse than ‘Oedipus rex’, and very complicated, with changes of identity, doubles, crimes both real and fake, family bloodbaths,…
Cheri-Bibi drawn by Serge (aka Maurice Feaudiere or Feraudiere?) in 1929 (you can find another on this website about the history of the Cayenne prison). If anybody knows where i can find more info about Serge, I’m interested.

Very small robot

Category: Uncategorized

More info there.
It’s not much but that will have to do for today. Nothing interesting to tell : il spend a lot of time coughing and sneezing, with a little bit of fever, trying to read ‘the Golden Age’ by John C. Wright. Each time I try to read more than ten pages, I fall asleep. Seems to be a great book, though.

Unwirer : conclusion

Category: science/fiction

Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross just finished the collaborative online writing of Unwirer (first draft, the dead tree version should be shorter, they say). For some weeks, we could watch it progress on a very simple Movable Type blog (looking exactly like this one), seeing who wrote what, with additional comments from the authors and various readers. Very nice. Go and read it.

Malgré les camions

Category: Uncategorized

Japanese trucks

altered carbon

Category: science/fiction

In Richard Morgan’s new ( and first, by the way ) book ” altered carbon”, people can,….
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Category: science/fiction

Ken Macleod about Matrix

“(…) I thought of something I hadn’t before – the real reason why
in the film the machines use the humans as a power source, as
‘batteries’, something I have long derided. On a literal level it is of
course ridiculous. But symbolically it makes literal sense: we are the
source of their power. Surplus value comes only from living labour, not
from machines.

Look at the title and see whose name is spelled out in it: The MAtRiX.

Comrades, this is no accident! “

Fantagraphics need your help

Category: Uncategorized

Fantagraphics, one of the best comics publishers around is going to disappear if they don’t find 80.000 $. So they want us to buy some books, now, rather than in two months time because it shall be too late. To find something worth buying shouldn’t be too difficult :

” Fantagraphics Books has just celebrated its 27th year publishing many of the finest cartoonists from all over the world as well as our flagship publication, the magazine people love to hate, The Comics Journal. We are proud of our long-term commitment to comics as an art form and our dogged determination to push excellence down everybody’s throats. This is all very well and good but it doesn’t mean much in the face of brute economics — and it’s the wall of brute economics that we’ve just hit, hard.”

Read the rest of their message to comics lovers throughout the world