aerdran: (Madison)
I'm sure you all want to know this, so I have to brag. Mwa!

This morning, little Madison rolled over from her back to her front! Yes! At a little over two months old, even. She put a lot of effort into it. It's really amazing to watch just how much work is put into that by a baby. And rolling from back to front is supposed to be harder for them because of less developed arm and neck muscles. She hasn't done it the other way. She's backwards. Front to back can come as early as 2 to 3 months while back to front usually is around 5 to 6 months.

Anyway, milestone reached! Yes, I know most of you don't give a rip, but I do and I feel the need to brag. So there.

Oh, as a note, there is now a disclaimer at the bottom of that Pimp: the Backhanding site about how they're not advocating violence against women. It gives a website to go to. That's at least somethimg. People against the game have managed to actually make some progress. This is a good thing.
aerdran: (Default)
Okay. I've never made a secret of how much I love White Wolf and their product line. It is my favourite RPG company, and I've always felt that they handled most things with class and taste, with a few little slips here and there (Read: Gypsies). However, they've pushed something now to a point where I have to question my respect of them.

I read over Mikel's shoulder, as I often do, as he read over his LJ tonight. Some of you have [ profile] bombyamon on your friends lists, and therefore have read about White Wolf's latest step in the game market. This time it's not an RPG, but a CCG. This CCG is called Pimp: the Backhanding. You can find the link to it on [ profile] bombyamom's LJ, so I won't bother going off and getting it. If you read the promo for that game, you get to see references to macking ("a pimp's ability to bring home some pootang") and backhanding ("his ability to beat some ass"). It makes fun of these people by utilizing things such as "ho cards" and generally giving or taking away points for beating up prostitutes. You get to try and collect a harem of "hos" and pretty much see who makes the most money.

Damn, is this offensive, or what? Justin Achille justifies the damn game, and some of their advertising for it states pretty much out and out that you won't like it if you have no sense of humour. Apparently, if this low and offensive attempt and being funny doesn't strike you that way, then you have no goddamn sense of humour. I guess I'm in that category then, because I can find nothing funny about it.

I read the forum about it (yes, it has its very own forum now!), and people go on and on justifying it by stating how the pimps aren't real and that it's just a game and who cares and that whoever gets touchy about the thing just doesn't have any idea what funny is and they're too uptight. They compare it to games about pirates and vikings and ninjas and ask why no one is jumping on those games. You know, my big point is that if those games were making fun of the misery and pain caused by these people, I would be far more indignant about it. This CCG makes fun of the concept of beating up on women and forcing them to make money for you. Yes, folks, this is a really funny concept, don't you agree?

I cringe horribly at this. Damnit, I know so many people who eke out their lives on the street in ways that they wouldn't if they had a choice. These people are victimized by not only pimps and johns, but by society in general. But hey, it's okay to make fun of it because it's just a game? Tell that to the prostitute that's being taken to the hospital because some john beat the shit out of her for fun, or because her pimp decided she hasn't made enough money for him. This happens, damnit! This is not something to be made light of and to laugh at. It's wrong to do that. My God, I care about people in these situations. Justin is all adamant about how a big deal shouldn't be made of it because the pimps aren't real pimps, but pretty much caricatures of the pimps in feather hats and platform shoes. No, the pimps aren't real. No, the prostitutes aren't real. But for God's sake, real prostitutes live on real streets or in real hovels, getting beaten by real people and die real deaths in real hospitals/streets/cars/houses/whatever. Why is this so damn funny?! Why is it okay to poke fun at their situations and make a whole card game out of it? Someone on there said that making light of it will help make it go away. Bullshit. Goddamn bullshit. People have been telling racist jokes forever, making light of that, but does that help the situation? No. It harms it and perpetuates a stereotype and a thought process. This is wrong, just as this damn game is wrong. Hell, when I told John about it, even he used that word to describe it, and he tends to be a little less likely to act that way about these things. But he was a cab driver for years and he had prostitutes as fares and he knows the miserable lives that most of them lead. He was offended, just as I'm offended. It's rare that we see eye to eye on things like this, so mark it down on your calendars.

Over the course of a few years here in Spokane, we had a serial killer running around. He was killing prostitutes by shooting them in the head and putting plastic bags over their heads before dumping them or burying them somewhere. He buried one in his own yard, without his family ever realizing it. He was caught and put to trial and is suspected of doing this in other places as well. I'm sure the people of Spokane and the people who cared about these prostitutes would find a game focusing on beating up people just like their loved ones to be really funny. They'd get a big laugh out of it, I'm sure. But hey, their feelings don't matter, because they'd just be being oversensitive anyway. Damn.

I love my extended family. I love every single one of them with a love that one only has for those they consider family. Because of that, and because of who they are and what they've gone through, maybe some people will consider that I have a right to some righteous indignation about it. Truth is, everyone has that right. I could lose any one of these people that I love at any time due to bad circumstances on the streets. Sure, most of them aren't in danger of being killed by pimps or johns, but it's not too far a stretch to include other street people or gang members into the idea of this "game." They could just as easily make a game making fun these people because of their situations, which many had forced upon them. But hey, it's okay to make fun of them because who are they? No one important, right?

I remember Ethan making comments not all that long ago about how they would never make another book like Gypsies because it singled out a group of people and thrust a stereotype upon them like it was the truth. He admitted that the book was a mistake from the get-go and that the mistake would not be made again. I applaud this idea. However, what makes it okay to do the same to this group of people? It's a culture in and of itself, but I guess the fact that it isn't one based on race makes it all right. I don't know if the game has male prostitutes, as a note. However, that I still find offensive. Men or women, it doesn't matter. I'm pissed either way. Of course, I don't know what most of the developers and writers think about this CCG, just what Justin and Conrad think. I don't know who all is involved and who supports it or hates it. I just know that the company found enough merit in it to sell it. I thought it was a joke when I first saw it, which was bad enough because there was really nothing funny about it, but you can order the damn game. There go those hopes, dashed to the ground.

I don't think that I need to point out that, from a feminist perspective, this game is absolutely horrible. People on the forum pointed out how women they knew laughed about it and found it funny, but so what? Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. For all anyone knows, they laughed because it was expected of them, just like some black people laugh at racist jokes so as not to seem oversensitive. There's nothing to laugh about in either case, really. I know that nobody here finds it at all funny, and well, there are a lot of people here. Hell, I know an entire gang whose goal in part is to deal with people who they see or hear about messing with women. They, especially the leader (male, I might add, just as most of the gang is male), take disrespect toward women very badly, and they show it. Funny, isn't it? A group of what most people see as lowlifes shows more respect for women than a respected gaming company. That's pretty telling right there.

So there's my rant. I may add more later, but right now I think I've said enough. I'm of a serious mind to find the e-mail address of someone in charge there (not Justin, of course. He'd brush off my concerns as if they were of no matter whatsoever) and send a nice long e-mail to this person. They must be made to hear from people who have strong opinions on this. Imagine the image that White Wolf will get after releasing this game. Gaming companies get enough of a bad rap just because of roleplaying games. This isn't going to help their cause at all. I'll have to see about doing that, because I really do feel the need to air my opinion. It's not like I trust the forum to be an adequate place in which to do this as my point could be lost in the mire and confusion that is already reigning there. So I'll see what I can find and do what I can do, not that I expect my opinion to mean much to them. I hope I'm wrong with that, but I don't expect much right now.

Why, oh why, did you have to do this, White Wolf? Sigh.

My turn

Apr. 29th, 2004 09:42 pm
aerdran: (Winged Horse)
Name: Gayle
Years Roleplaying: Waaaay too many to count
Favourite three characters?

-Danielle Sanchez. She's a half-gypsy pirate (see, EEE! Here she is!) who has the worst luck of any character I've ever seen of anyone's. It's sad, really. She's married to a really great guy she met when her world ended up getting connected to Earth through some weird magic portal. She's something like 24 and has umpteen kids, most through adoption. She loves kids a lot, plus she's also very intimidating for someone who's 5'3" tall and who doesn't look all the formidable. She is attitude personified, and can drink anyone under the table as well as outcuss just about anyone. Just don't piss her off. It can be painful.

-Raiena Corin Garandan. One of the daughters of the king of the most powerful country in her part of the world. She's a fighter who wears an artifact ring (as do her parents and each of her many siblings) and with that she can do marvelous things with fire and is immune to fire and heat. She loves fire! And she loves dwarven ale. She married the brother of the king of a neighboring country as a political move to unite the two countries. Her first husband had been killed and she figured she'd never love again, so she might as well do something like that for her country (her father didn't want her to do that, but she did). Surprised her when she fell in love with her husband!

-Ooo. Tough one. Waffle time! And I'm cheating and will put both of the two up that I can't choose between because I'm special that way. So here goes:

Chandal Corin: Grey elf druid of Artemis who is the wife of one of Raiena's brothers. She's very sweet and gentle, but don't piss her off and do anything against nature and the like. She can get dangerous then. She was actually granted special permission by Artemis to marry since Artemis is usually a big stickler on that, what with not liking men and all. But Chandal had suffered greatly for her goddess, so she got special dispensation.

Spark Plug: Bone Gnawer Ragabash who's mute. She loves cars and is very good at working on engines and the like. She can be very no nonsense when she wants to be. She's also in love with another Bone Gnawer named Blades. Things went too far once due to some underhanded machinations by someone and she ended up getting pregnant with Blades' metis child.

Least favourite character? Tina Campbell. I've played her a couple times and I really don't like her at all. She's mostly an NPC and she's a bitch who purposely got a late term abortion just to hurt her boyfriend. So no, I don't like her a bit.

Male or female characters? Overwhelmingly female, though I do branch out a bit. Like now I have a male cleric of Tyche named Va'Lyn in an on again/off again tabletop D&D game. He's cool and I really like him!

Oldest character? You know, I have no idea. I have a lot of old characters and I couldn't begin to guess the oldest.

Most popular character? Dani

Character you've never played but would like to? I can't think of any in particular. If I find a concept I like, I usually create the character. We do have enough games going for that, after all.

Which character of yours would be most likely to...
... Jump off a bridge? Dani
... Get drunk and pass out? I'd say Dani, but she never passes out. So probably Raiena.
... Kill someone in a very unorthodox way? Kerri Moonsilver, probably. And she'd set someone else up for the killing.
... Get married? Gods, I have oodles of these. Some have married, some are going to at some point, I'm sure.
... Be far too hyper for their own good? Rush. She lives her name.
... Rape somebody? Kerri. She's one of the personifications of Lust.
... Be raped? Dani. Been there, done that.
... Get lung cancer? None.
... Star in a horror movie? Gabrielle Darkstalker, maybe. She's a vampire, and that might just appeal to her just for fun and a change of pace.
... Star in a whore movie? Kerri
... Star in a video game? Dani
... Make the world a better place? Chandal
... Have a torrid gay love affair? Eh, none? Although maybe Kerri. Lust doesn't necessarily focus on the opposite sex, after all.

Relate each word to a character of yours:
Love: Dani
Hate: Katya. She's the cousin of Dani and her brother Patrick and she hates them with a passion.
Seduction: Kerri, although Gabrielle would say she's far better at it and she's definitely more subtle.
Tragedy: Naida Tario. She's a Brujah who's had a pretty nasty life. When her brother died when she was a kid, her parents basically got overly critical of her. She was always getting in trouble and getting bad grades and the like. They lived in Australia, and then one year decided to go to Disneyland, where her parents dumped her. She was 12 or so, I think. Somewhere in there. She had to get by on her own for awhile then she met Thomas and started seeing him and they had a kid. The kid was still really young when he got pissy one day and threw him against a wall, killing him. Naida left, totally devastated, and ended up finally in New Orleans, where she met her only friend Meloni Quast, a Malkavian. Naida ended up getting embraced by a nasty Brujah white supremacist and she broke off from him. She has a hugely low self-esteem and doesn't find herself at all deserving of anything good. She also has this weakness where she has to say just what she feels when she feels it. She mouths off a lot! ::grins::
Manipulation: Angel. She's the opposite of her name, but can fool just about anyone.
Violence: None really pop into my mind with this word. I have fighter types, but they're not just into violence. Hmm.
Politics: Probably Michaela Calm-in-the-Storm is the closest. High ranking Shadowlord Philodox.
Fire: Raiena, of course.
Ice: No idea.

Would you ever...
... Play a prostitute? I have.
... Play a musician? Yes.
... Play an actor? Yes.
... Play a homosexual? Hmm. Not sure.
... Play a pedophile? Nope.
... Play a politician? Ew.
... Create a character for the sole purpose of smut? How about... no?
aerdran: (Fianna)
Tiiiiirrrrrred. PT sucks, you know? I just thought I'd point that out.

And joy of joys! I sprained my ankle yesterday. Not in a major way, but enough so rotating it at all hurts. At least it's not my bad ankle. Or well, the worst ankle. They're both bad. But it is the one that broke last July in the accident, so fun fun. Walking just gets more and more enjoyable, doesn't it? But someday I will be off the crutches and totally out of the wheelchair and life will be good. Until I sprain or break an ankle again. My ankles truly suck and have all of my life. Oh well, no biggie.

On day three of John being gone, things are peaceful. Peaceful is good. Although I got a message that he called at almost seven this morning when Mikel was online and he said we might see him on CNN, so to watch. ::scratches head:: We don't have cable. I don't see how we could watch it. Some people. But it is all good to me, because I can relax.

We're hopefully going to be playing Evan's D&D game online tonight. At the very least, we'd like to get it started so characters can be introduced and the like. It shall be fun, I'm sure. I get to play Rigel, so I'm happy. It's been awhile since I've been able to do that.

I now have Apocalypse, since the wonderful owner of our gaming shop saved out a copy for us. Again, without us asking, just like with Gehenna. He does rock. I must thank him profusely when I see him next since I'm not the one who picked it up. He is seriously cool. I will definitely be utilizing this book soon.

Well, tis time for me to end this as I need to try and call John again soon, meaning I have to disconnect briefly. Weird thing is, when I disconnect sometimes, it takes forever to actually disconnect. I mean, earlier when I tried calling him, I hit disconnect and I actually had to reset the computer for it to do it. This was after five minutes of waiting. Very weird.

So that's it, at least for now. Thanks to those who responded to Cult, by the way! Everytime you do so, it seems to make him a little more inclined to write more. So you are doing a very good thing and I really appreciate it.
aerdran: (Default)
Laura left not long ago for the hospital, meaning her baby is going to be born at some point tomorrow! That's so cool! I get to be a godmother again! Poor Peter kind of stared blankly and Bree had to help him out to the car. Laura made Mikel carry her and he was nice enough to agree. This time. Isn't he sweet?

Of course, now I have to wait. Grr. These things take too long. Which is probably good to a large extent, but it doesn't make it any easier. It's not like in the sitcoms where you see someone go into labour and then a few minutes later they have the baby. Puhlease. At least I will still be able to sleep tonight with the Vicodin, or I'd likely wear myself out by staying up the entire night.

More good news, too. John never showed up to take me to the SGR meeting that I was supposed to go to (although I don't know why since not much ever happens), so I didn't have to worry about any of that. Found out yesterday that Lidicé is pregnant now, too. Hopefully that'll turn out all right since they haven't got any insurance or anything. Lots of pregnancies going around these days. Which is cool. I like babies. ::grins::

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