Sam Kabo Ashwell
24 May 2014 @ 08:40 pm
I do not directly talk about feminism and gender issues all that much, mostly because most of the things I could say fall into one of the following categories:

  • stuff that seems utterly fucking obvious to me, has done since way before adulthood, to the extent where a) I can't overcome a sense of massive redundancy when talking about it and b) it feels as though anyone who doesn't find it obvious is inaccessibly distant - like trying to argue evolution with someone who thinks that empirical evidence is bullshit.

  • stuff where I'm not an expert, and would do better to shut up and listen,

  • stuff that's an attempt to unpack or qualify slogan-level arguments, where 'I would like to understand this in a deeper and more nuanced manner' can very easily come across as 'I am a mansplaining concern-troll.' Basically, to self-reference the argument-taxonomy over here, I gravitate strongly towards exploration, and that's often not appropriate in spaces where the main purpose is reinforcement. And reinforcement is not something that I find easy to do for people who I don't know well.

  • But.

    Nobody owes sex to anybody, ever, either as individuals or as groups. If you are not getting laid, there may be any number of reasons, but 'because women are oppressing you' is not going to be one of them. 'Because you are socially hopeless in some important ways' is a the prime candidate. 'Because you are not as nice a person as you think you are' is also likely. 'Because you have unreasonable expectations' is also one you should think about. 'Because our society has some fucked-up cultural attitudes to sexuality' is almost certainly involved -- but insofar as some of those attitudes are engendered or perpetuated by women, it's primarily in self-defence against the vastly greater cultural, economic and physical power of men. And you have probably encountered some women who are immature, unwise or straight-up assholes, but that's... really kind of normal, in any demographic.

    You may also have observed that there are some pretty awful men who are getting laid a whole lot more than you are. Excellent observation! Note: being a good person is always going to be more difficult than being an awful one. That's Ethics 101. If you aren't cool with that, fine, but you no longer get to use words like 'rights' or 'ought to' or 'nice guy' or 'deserve'. About anything or anyone.

    Yes, being deeply single and not getting laid can be utterly fucking miserable. I sure as fuck know about that: it was a major factor in a years-long, suicidal, major depression that lasted through much of my late teens and early twenties. Yes, I know it is fucking difficult sometimes to not resent women, in general or in particular. Guess what! Everyone you know is fighting a hard battle, and this is one of yours. As hard battles go, it is truly not one of the harder ones, nor is it unwinnable. The prize is that you get to qualify as a minimally decent human being.

    Men who do not feel that the universe owes them a snuggle and a blowjob: as you were.
 
 
Sam Kabo Ashwell
24 March 2014 @ 03:41 pm
I'm running an interactive fiction game jam / minicomp. The idea (more or less) is that everyone throws some songs in a hat, receives a similar number of songs in return, and then picks a song from that list to base a game upon. Signup is open now, and closes on April 9th; coding will last until May 12th.

It's an opportunity to discover new music, have some fun making a short game, and employ a ridiculous pseudonym. There will be voting, sort of, but it's intended to be a lower-pressure event than the IF Comp.

Details on the rules, and how to sign up, can be found here.
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
17 November 2013 @ 03:29 pm
The comp is over, and the results are in. (If you're reading via Planet-IF and missed my reviews, they're all here.) Highlights:

If you want a strongly-written, ambitious story: play Solarium.

If you want something brutal, introspective and poetic: play Their angelical understanding.

If you want to play something where interaction is crucial to the narrative: Play Coloratura. Or play Ollie Ollie Oxen Free in a few months, if it's been properly fixed by then.

If you want a game to play with your kids: play Mrs. Wobbles and the Tangerine House. (But wait until it's done first.)

If you want something straightforwardly fun: play Final Girl if you have a lot of time, or Captain Verdeterre's Plunder if you don't.

If you want to play a Game For Change: Play Impostor Syndrome or Autumn's Daughter.

If you want a shameless puzzlebox and don't give a tinker's toss for the fiction part: play Threediopolis.
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
15 November 2013 @ 05:10 pm
Their angelical understanding, Porpentine, Twine
version 2013-10-06

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
05 November 2013 @ 06:47 pm
Impostor Syndrome, Georgiana Bourbonnais, Twine
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
23 October 2013 @ 11:32 am
Dad vs. Unicorn, PaperBlurt, Twine
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
21 October 2013 @ 05:40 pm
Who Among Us, Tia Orisney, Twine
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
The House at the End of Rosewood Street, Michael Thomét, Glulx
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
18 October 2013 @ 01:13 pm
Robin & Orchid, Ryan Veeder & Emily Boegheim, Glulx
version 2013-10-06
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
18 October 2013 @ 10:11 am
Further, Will Hines, Z-code
version 2013-10-06
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
17 October 2013 @ 03:35 pm
100,000 years, Pierre Chevalier, Twine
accessed 10/17/2013
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
17 October 2013 @ 02:03 pm
Moquette, Alex Warren, Quest
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
16 October 2013 @ 03:31 pm
The Cardew House, Andrew Brown, Glulx
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
16 October 2013 @ 09:13 am
Saving John, Josephine Tsay, Twine
accessed 12/10/2013
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
15 October 2013 @ 12:53 pm
Coloratura, Lynnea Glasser, Glulx
version 2013-10-06
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
15 October 2013 @ 10:10 am
Threediopolis, Andrew Schultz, Z-code
version 2013/10/10
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
14 October 2013 @ 05:41 pm
Trapped In Time, Simon Christiansen, static text
version 2013-10-06
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
14 October 2013 @ 04:02 pm
Sam and Leo Go to the Bodega, Richard Goodness, Twine
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
12 October 2013 @ 03:39 pm
The Wizard's Apprentice, Alex Freeman, TADS
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
Mrs. Wobbles and the Tangerine House, Mark Marino et al., Undum
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
11 October 2013 @ 12:21 pm
Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, Carolyn VanEseltine,
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
11 October 2013 @ 11:00 am
Machine of Death, Hulk Handsome, Twine
accessed 07/10/2013
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
10 October 2013 @ 10:30 am
Bell Park, Youth Detective, Brendan Patrick Hennessy, Twine
accessed 09/10/2013
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
09 October 2013 @ 04:14 pm
Solarium, Alan DeNiro, Twine
accessed 07/10/2013
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
09 October 2013 @ 12:21 pm
Vulse, Rob Parker, Twine
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
08 October 2013 @ 09:14 am
Mazredugin, Jim Q. Pfygx-Vobk, Glulx
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
07 October 2013 @ 01:07 am
Autumn's Daughter, Ali Sajid Imami & Shumaila Hashmi, Undum
Release 1.1, October 4, 2013

This is a game about involuntary arranged marriage; potentially triggery for all the reasons you'd expect.
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
06 October 2013 @ 04:49 pm
Our Boys in Uniform, Megan Stevens, Twine
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
05 October 2013 @ 06:43 pm
9Lives, Bill Balistreri, Hal Hinderliter, Sean Klabough, Luke Michalski and Morgan Sokol, Z_code
version 2013-09-29

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
05 October 2013 @ 09:27 am
The Paper Bag Princess, Adri, Z-code
version 2013-09-29

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
04 October 2013 @ 05:38 pm
A Wind Blown from Paradise, N.C. Hunter Hayden
version 2013-09-29

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
03 October 2013 @ 10:30 am
Final Girl, Hanon Ondricek, StoryNexus
accessed 02/10/2013
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
02 October 2013 @ 11:49 am
Reels, Tyler Zahnke, web
version 2013-09-29

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
01 October 2013 @ 02:44 pm
Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life, Truthcraze, Glulx
version 2013-09-29

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
01 October 2013 @ 11:58 am
Captain Verdeterre's Plunder, Ryan Veeder, Glulx
version 2013-09-29

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
01 October 2013 @ 09:27 am
Dream Pieces, Iam Curio, Quest
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
01 October 2013 @ 08:21 am
The Annual IF Competition season is here again, and per my usual habits, I'm going to be reviewing entries. So, without further ado:

The Challenge, ViRALiTY, web
version 2013-09-29
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
29 April 2013 @ 08:31 am
A small Spring Thing this year. There was one game that I liked fairly well, and two that I didn't like enough to finish.

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Sam Kabo Ashwell
15 April 2013 @ 06:54 am
The nomination round of the XYZZY Awards is complete, and here are the finalists:

Best Game: Andromeda Apocalypse, Bee, Counterfeit Monkey, howling dogs
Best Writing: Bee, Dinner Bell, Eurydice, howling dogs
Best Story: Changes, Eurydice, First Draft of the Revolution, howling dogs
Best Setting: Changes, Counterfeit Monkey, howling dogs, Zero Summer
Best Puzzles: Bigger Than You Think, Counterfeit Monkey, Dinner Bell, Endless, Nameless, In a Manor of Speaking, Shuffling Around
Best NPCs: Andromeda Dreaming, Guilded Youth, The Statue Got Me High
Best Individual Puzzle: the hold-all in A Killer Headache, making a taco in Shuffling Around, surviving the fall in Bigger Than You Think
Best Individual NPC: Kadro in Andromeda Dreaming, New Rat City in rat chaos, W.D. in Speculative Fiction
Best Individual PC: Alexandra in Counterfeit Monkey, Hector in Sunday Afternoon, Olivia in Olivia's Orphanorium
Best Implementation: Andromeda Apocalypse, Counterfeit Monkey, Speculative Fiction, Sunday Afternoon
Best Use of Innovation: Counterfeit Monkey, First Draft of the Revolution, Guilded Youth, howling dogs
Best Technological Development: Playfic, Quest web editor, StoryNexus, Vorple for Inform 7
Best Supplemental Materials: The covers for Cover Stories, CYPHER website and materials, feelies for Muggle Studies, cover art for all Andromeda games

Congratulations to everybody who's earned a nomination!

Once again, campaigning for votes is strongly discouraged, and you may not vote for your own work.
 
 
Sam Kabo Ashwell
28 March 2013 @ 09:50 am
Somewhat belatedly, voting is open for the first round of the 2012 XYZZY Awards, celebrating the best in the year's interactive fiction.
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
30 October 2012 @ 12:16 pm
I am done with comp game judging, distressingly far ahead of schedule. Here's my summary of the comp games, with links to reviews (and a totally superfluous comp-themed playlist.)
 
 
 
Sam Kabo Ashwell
24 October 2012 @ 05:29 pm
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
21 October 2012 @ 08:55 pm
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
15 October 2012 @ 08:18 pm
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Sam Kabo Ashwell
15 October 2012 @ 09:50 am
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