April 8th, 2012

Spike

A Princess of FATE

A year or so of craft beer obsession and a couple of disappointing St Patrick's day outings in past years had me unenthused about my usual cross town Irish pub expedition, so Morgan's invitation to play a St Pat's one off for Actual People, Actual Play was an excellent substitute. We had all recently seen John Carter and were in the mood for some planetary romance, so Morgan's brought out his FATE emulation of the genre, Spirit of the Red Planet.

I'd had a great time playing Cyrus Turner, the John Carter guy, when I played this game at Neoncon 2010. This time I played his rival for the heart of the princess, Kalyan Akash, the Martian Sky Pirate.



Episodes of Actual People, Actual Play are recorded immediately after the game finishes; they start with a description of the game and are followed by a discussions of selected topics inspired by or arising from the game. It was a lot of fun to participate, and now you can listen:

Spike

The Hunger Games

This post and the linked articles contain spoilers. Exercise discretion.

I watched The Hunger Games last week and I came out of the film eager to read the books. Today I read a couple of articles discussing the character of Katniss in interesting ways.



The first, Katniss Everdeen, A New Type of Woman Warrior, discussed Katniss as a new type of American hero figure who, rather than being a loner detached from society (as most Western Heroes are), is thoroughly integrated into society.

The second, What's Wrong With The Hunger Games Is What No One Noticed criticises Katniss' lack of agency in the movie. The question of agency is an excellent one to think about when considering this kind of story, but there are a couple of broad problems with the article. 1) The author makes several arguments about intention that imply to me a deeper knowledge of the material than simply the book, however, several commenters in the thread below assume the opposite, that the author was not familiar with the books. That sounds warning bells. 2) I'm not convinced that the story isn't intended to present a certain lack of agency which could be overturned as the trilogy develops. The author argues that the lack of agency is intentional, but as part of an ideological complex denying agency to women in contemporary society.

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So I am more inclined towards the optimistic view of the first article, but I am glad that people are pushing against the movie. While the Hunger Games is a step in the right direction, it's only a first step.* One thing's for sure, this has only made me more interested to read the books!



* I'll also note that the character of Dejah Thoris in John Carter is also pretty good in this regard.

Also, archery, yay! (cf. Hawkeye.)