Today’s guest column comes via LGG&F reader Brielle Pritchard. Brielle spends her days putting her English degree to use by crafting stories and comics with characters of color in main roles.
As someone who has dealt with her fair share of MMORPGs and games with player created avatars, I’ve noticed a huge lack of real representation in the choices of avatars. You want to create an online version of yourself? Okay. Pick either a girl or boy base, make your skin one of the 5-8 shades available, pick one of the various hairstyles to choose from (unless you have natural hair then your options are even more limited). But do you want wings, horns, plushies? Go for it! Have tons of them! But what about the people who want an avatar exactly like them, along with the fancy stuff? Pumpkin Online may just be the MMORPG that they—and the rest of the world!—have been waiting for.
Ever since Saika’s post on fairies, I’ve been thinking about one of my most favorite mythological creatures: the tanuki. While the two are really only related in terms of having a non-human morality and magical powers, the resurgence of fairies in popular media through mediums like the Tinkerbell movies from Disney and various young adult novels makes me wonder if tanuki could hold the same sort of interest in the Western market. Not that I’m wishing for authors to appropriate a wider range of cultures, but at some point we’re going to reach an over-saturation of vampire and angel stories—authors are going to start getting creative, and I’d like to be prepared for the possible future. Continue reading →
For anyone who doesn’t watch The 100, the CW made great strides toward representation when it revealed that its leading character is bisexual. Initially, Clarke came across as the generic cishet white girl we now commonly follow in dystopian societies, and I got on The 100’s case about that a while back. I have never been happier to be wrong. The 100 started off rather campy, but it has really grown into its potential, and it is most certainly one of the better shows on TV right now. The reveal of Clarke’s bisexuality and Lexa’s queerness only added more layers to two already well developed characters—but the writers are also taking another step to show why their sexualities should matter to us.
Ah, Greek mythology, how I love you. Greek mythology has always been incredibly captivating to me, probably because the gods act so human. They have their strengths and flaws, they squabble among themselves, they fight for power, and they can even be tricked or deceived. It’s incredibly interesting. However, I can’t stand the watered down version of the Greek gods that we get in our pop culture. My biggest issues are with how our pop culture portrays Zeus and Hera. While the other gods may also occasionally be portrayed poorly, I feel like the portrayal of these two ends up being the most problematic.
Representation matters, and everyone wants to be a hero. Unfortunately, what we LGBTQ+ folks get more often are queer villains, queer-coded villains, or anti-heroes. At least, they’re the most famous ones: pretty much every Disney villain ever, Loki, Constantine. The predominance of these types of characters and the lack of LGBTQ+ “good guy” superheroes creates the image of queerness as being tied to wickedness, threat to society, and general “otherness”. This influences both the way the general society sees LGBTQ+ people and how LGBTQ+ folks see ourselves, especially young people struggling with their identities. It creates a certain narrative for us, implying that we can only fit a certain type of mold and that it always sets us apart and makes us a threat. And that sucks.
I love a rugged jerk with a heart of gold as much as anyone, but Constantine’s morals and ethics leave something to be desired.
However, I’m not saying all queer characters need to be “good guys”. It’s just that a balance is needed to avoid forcing the idea that queer equals bad. Therefore it’s important to have more LGBTQ+ heroes and “good guys” who are people others follow and look up to (I’m not saying bisexual Steve Rogers, but I’m totally thinking bisexual Steve Rogers). We need to see that we can be great heroes and that we can have all kinds of different stories be about us.
With February ending, Black History Month is alsocoming to an end. But March brings us Women’s History Month! Like a broken record, I’ll say, representation matters. (The changing of these months, though, should remind us to keep intersectionality in mind as well.) This repeated mantra may feel a bit stale without a solution to the question: how can we get better representation in our games and media? One answer would be to diversify the creative forces. Today, I want to talk about some of the efforts to improve this deficiency.
Arrow’s treatment of Sara’s death has been one of my bigger criticisms for the show this season. I didn’t like the ableist way Laurel handled it by refusing to tell Quentin—though that’s at least changed these past few episodes—but the bigger issue that a lot of people have pointed out is that Sara was an established bisexual character. She was complex and intriguing, and good bisexual representation is really hard to come by in our media.
Her lover, Nyssa al Ghul, swears revenge on Sara’s killer. Unfortunately for Nyssa, Oliver Queen decides to take the blame for what happened. To Deliver Grief is a oneshot that takes place after Oliver’s duel with Ra’s. Nyssa, knowing Felicity’s feelings for Oliver, and feeling a bit of kinship with her because of both their losses, decides to go back to Starling City to tell Felicity the truth about what happened to Oliver.