I don't play many video or computer games (unlike, say, the amazingly knowledgeable Ouyang Dan) but I was recently thrilled when Swag Bucks, a search engine with which users earn free items, introduced their panel of games. Get store credit and entertain myself? Yes, please!
Sadly, the gift cards take some time to earn, while two of the new games' fat-shaming is immediate. Most of the simple, PopCap-esque staples one might expect are there, though nothing similar to my favorite game, Feeding Frenzy... and the programs that do involve eating kill my gaming appetite.
Now that I have showered some well-deserved praise on BioWare for Dragon Age II, and also engaged in the almost 60 hours that it took me to get to the bitter and mind-wrenchingly disturbing end, I have a few thoughts. For all of my waxing poetic about how fabulously progressive BioWare has been with their slick political messages and wiggling new ideas into the way we consume and play video games, there was this thing tugging at me as I took my Hawke faffing about Kirkwall.
Please take note Gentle Readers: This post contains some fairly significant end-game plot spoilers for Dragon Age II. If you do not want to have this roller coaster ride ruined for you, please consider moving on. You have been warned.
Happiness is fluid, of course, but I've never been willing to bet two decades or more on the idea that maybe, eventually, an experience will be "good" for me. I'm not afraid of missing out on something by not having children. If anything, I'm afraid of the flip side, of having so many things to do in life that I'd never be able to balance it all. I feel lucky to live in a time and place, supported by a like-minded partner, when making that decision is possible. I wish that freedom for everyone, the freedom to make choices about not just what might be good for each of us, good for society, or good for the planet, but choices based on what we truly believe will bring us long-term happiness.
Perhaps inspired by her recent divorce from Sum 41's Deryck Whibley, "What the Hell" describes kissing various people and blowing off societal expectations. Now, the song's not without its problems. There's the "crazy" issue, and the lyrics are addressed to an unhappy main squeeze, which begs the question of how consensual their non-monogamy really is. Still, as with the Lou Christie classic "Lightnin' Strikes," I hear it as an exploration of dating around rather than a glorification of infidelity. "What the Hell" gave me the same flutter as Cher's 1998 smash "Believe," which burst onto the radio between songs about miserable devotion with the revelation "Maybe I'm too good for you." Yes, Avril's latest got my stamp of approval.
But then I saw the video.
Official music video and commentary after the jump!
In so many questions submitted to Ask a Fat Girl, I was asked how to start loving your body. I gave many suggestions, but I want to touch on something that I think is integral to truly loving your fat body—taking responsibility for it. What I mean by taking responsibility is not denying culpability in your fatness to ward off judgment. You can't love your body and at the same time view it as being outside your control. I recognize that a main party line of many in the fat acceptance movement is often that fatness is not a choice. And I also recognize that when you're oppressed, it's easier to take the path of least resistance, which in this case would be the denial of culpability. To enjoy sex you must LIVE in your body, and living in your body means accepting the state it is in and the choices you make that affect it.
The Dragon Age games are some of my favorites, and while they are not without flaw, I have played my money's worth of them for sure. Part of what has endeared them to me is the progressive feel of the character interaction and the way that they smartly raise political issues within story lines. Attentiveness to QUILTBAG issues is, in my mind, a welcome and refreshing thing to see and hear from the industry.
We've invited bloggers from all corners of the web to contribute to the Feminist Portrait Project's "click" moment blog-a-thon all week. Taking part on your own site? Leave a comment with the URL and link back to our blog carnival page here. More from organizer Lena Chen after the jump!