The Hugo Rules for Fanzines need to be adjusted

John Scalzi’s latest blog post got me thinking – and this started off as a comment, but became a little too long for a comment, so I started to take it Tumblr… until it became too long for Tumblr, so I’m taking it here.

One of the support levels of my Patreon gets you a print copy of my fanzine. However, as of this writing I haven’t put out a new issue, because… well… I don’t have any cover art. I have the issue written, with the main article being a big piece breaking down the “Nasu-verse”, but before I put it out – I also wanted to get some cover art that reflected the topic – ideally of Saber, and in particular something that showed her as an active co-protagonist as opposed to cheesecake.

Except the artists I’ve contacted have not responded back, and I can’t blame them – because I can’t pay them. Not because I have no money… but because under the rules of the Hugo Awards, to remain classified as a Fanzine, I can’t pay them. Continue reading “The Hugo Rules for Fanzines need to be adjusted”

Editorial: Thoughts on Trump’s Video Game Violence Conference

Kotaku has reported that the Trump administration held a conference at the White House of industry executives and various “Think of the Children” groups like the US PTA about violence in video games in the wake of the most recent school shooting. Now, for the past 8 or so years, this had been a settled issue, since the Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. EMA ruled that video games were an artistic medium and thus could be art, and in turn the 1st Amendment applied to them. Continue reading “Editorial: Thoughts on Trump’s Video Game Violence Conference”

Film Review: Magnificent Warriors

Magnificent Warriors is another of the early films in Michelle Yeoh’s career – made a little before Royal Warriors. As with Royal Warriors – the film has Michelle Yeoh in the lead, along with another male co-lead in a similar action role, and the third male lead being a comic relief character. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Continue reading “Film Review: Magnificent Warriors”

Editorial: State of the Patreon

Hello everyone, This year was my first year in a while where I had no Patreon backers. The backers who I did have previously decided that their funds were better used elsewhere, and considering world events at the time they dropped out, I couldn’t argue with that. I can’t particularly argue with that anyway – your money is your money. However, going a year with … Continue reading Editorial: State of the Patreon

A bunch of random thoughts related to discussion coming up around the closure of Irrational Games

What bugs me about people who rip into the stories of games which try to tell good, interesting stories but fail (at least in the eyes of the people doing the ripping), like, for example, Bioshock Infinite, is that the language used to mock the games often comes in the form of saying “Games can’t tell good stories, why should you try?” Not that they’re … Continue reading A bunch of random thoughts related to discussion coming up around the closure of Irrational Games

Editorial – Harlan Ellison’s Lawsuit

This week, I’m going a little more topical with my videos and discussing a current event – Harlan Ellison‘s attempt to stop the release of the film In Time. Related articles Sci-Fi Author Harlan Ellison Claims ‘In Time’ is Ripping Him Off, Sues to Stop The Film’s Release (moviefone.com) Film: Newswire: Harlan Ellison suing makers of In Time, as any Harlan Ellison would (avclub.com) Harlan Ellison … Continue reading Editorial – Harlan Ellison’s Lawsuit

My Electronic Gaming Monthly Retrospective

So, for the moment I’ve run out of EGM issues to recap – at least moving towards the present day. There are still some gaps in the backlog that need to be filled, and do intend to fill those once I get the issues. In the meantime though, I’m going to take a moment to look back at the history of EGM, and a look at my recaps. Continue reading “My Electronic Gaming Monthly Retrospective”

Commentary on Frontline: News War

Get Frontline: News War from Amazon.com
Get "Frontline: News War" from Amazon.com

So, I don’t have one of my standard reviews for you this time. I’ve watched another Frontline documentary series, titled “News War” which covers the state of American Journalism… only with the last installment, it kind of changes tack with an episode of Frontline: World which aims to put things in perspective with the state of foreign journalism. This is fine and all, but I wrote a bunch of great stuff in my physical journal while I was watching the first four installments that I don’t want to totally change my tack. Yeah, being flexible is good, but I had some commentary to make, and the discussion of the episode on foreign doesn’t necessarily reflect it. Further, to a certain degree, the episode has been rendered somewhat obsolete based on how citizen journalism in the Middle East (specifically, Iran) changed how the media in general (not just American media) handles the news. So, moving on…

The Premise: The state of American Journalism is in what can lightly be described a crisis. More and more newspapers are laying off reporters, the Bush Administration was manipulating the media like a puppeteer to justify the War in Iraq, and when the media didn’t dance to their tune the Administration retaliated directly, through legal action (or threat of legal action), and through castigation by through right-wing pundits like those on Fox News. This documentary tries to figure out how things got this way, and possibly how to fix things. Continue reading “Commentary on Frontline: News War”

Interview with Ralph Baer at Retromags

Normally, I don’t do much in terms of blog posting on my weekends, instead preferring to take the time to kick back, relax, and get some serious gaming done (as opposed to gaming for work). However, I came across this little update on Retromags.com. It’s an interview with Ralph Baer, who worked on the development of the Magnavox Odyssey and Simon. You can find the … Continue reading Interview with Ralph Baer at Retromags

The Handly Case – This Is How Liberty Dies (or is at least Badly Wounded)

One of the news stories I’ve been following recently is The Handly Case, which is an obcenity case in Iowa – the state which was sufficently progressive enough to legalize gay marrage (an act I support), involving Christopher Handley for posessing recieving child porn – in the form of a Hentai (porn) Manga (or Japanese comic book) containing sex involving people who are underage.

I’m not going to defend Lolicon here. For starters, Lolicon isn’t my thing – and in any case, if the material was prosecuted as being obcene for an entirely different reason (bondage material) that still wasn’t my thing, it’d be hard to defend it – because it’s hard to defend a kink that’s not yours, especially to a someone who doesn’t have that kink (and besides, if they already have that kink, you don’t need to defend it to them). I’m going to refrain at this time from going into my kinks anyway because they’re irrelevant (and if you really care what they are, you can post a comment and ask – this doesn’t mean that I’ll answer, but I’m not getting into them in this blog post).

I’m also not going to get into the free speech reasons why this case is bad, because, frankly, Neil Gaiman did it better than I possibly good. I strongly encourage you to Neil’s post, because it’s excellently well written, and explains why you can’t slack off in the defense of free speech – because unfortunately, if you let icky speech be outright banned in a particular medium (video games, comics, film, etc.) it becomes easier to ban speech you support. This doesn’t mean you can’t marginalize certain types of icky speech (hate speech, NAMBLA), but banning icky speech outright bad (note: I’m not defending actual photographed and filmed child porn as icky speech – a crime must be committed in its creation, thus making it by its nature illegal – though I find the prosecution over sexting absurd, but I’m digressing – just read Gaiman’s essay.) Continue reading “The Handly Case – This Is How Liberty Dies (or is at least Badly Wounded)”