I’m sorry for neglecting this blog. I’ve been pretty busy lately–the site owner of GameCritics.com (where I’ve written video game reviews for several years) has asked me to blog about gaming and disability. I’ve wanted to do more of this kind of writing, but have been afraid to do much of it because, well, I don’t know anything :). I talked it over with Chi (the owner) and he pointed out that I didn’t have to write anything major: just calling gamers’ attention to intersections of disability and gaming cultures could be good.
So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and I really enjoy the work so far. Unfortunately, a lot of my posts have been the “Hey! Look at this [cool technology/project/study/use for a game system/op-ed by a gamer with a disability]!” variety; they’re not all that revolutionary (:)) just yet. Hopefully the more I learn, the easier it’ll be to write meatier stuff.
There are a couple of things on my “Wish List” to do in the future:
- Do a thorough analysis of 2K Games’s BioShock through a disability studies lens. While it doesn’t mention disability explicitly, the game is about a society where genetic modification is the norm. The society is a dystopia, but there’s a dichotomy between “good” genetic modification (e.g. as a tool for the protagonist to get more power) and “bad” (e.g. the Little Sisters, ambiguously creepy children whom the player can harvest for more power at the urging of characters who say that they used to be little girls, but aren’t now). But I have to finish playing the game first; by the time I do, BioShock 2 will be out.
- Interview Randy “Nom4d” Fitzgerald, a game designer and professional gamer with arthrogryphosis.
- Heck–regularly interview any gamer with any kind of disability at all.
- Look at disabled video game characters, such as Ness from EarthBound who has asthma and Bentley the Turtle from the Sly Cooper series, who uses a wheelchair in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.
I’ll crosspost the GameCritics stuff here, but I also want to write about non-gaming related things. (For one thing, I found Accidents of Nature at the library! Whee! And Shiva’s movie suggestion sounds excellent.) Hopefully I can find a schedule that will let me do everything I want. For now, prepare for a lot of disability-related writing about video games.