Blindspots or Negligence?: David Cage and Racism in Video Games

The recent accusations against Quantic Dream founder David Cage do not exist in a vacuum, nor without precedent. He wants to be judged by his work, and indeed if one looks critically at his games, a theme emerges. People of color are reduced to caricatures, invoke harmful stereotypes, and should remain at the margins, if ... Read More

10 Tips on How to Include Black People in Media

Diverse representations of black people in media has nothing to do with "political correctness". It has little to do with fairness, either. This is not a zero-sum game by which black gain equals white loss. What it concerns, most significantly, is the acceptance of this proposal that Black Lives Matter. That Black People Matter. Black ... Read More

The Return of Fear Effect and Fears About Its Effect

Fear Effect is coming back. Have you heard? After the heartbreak of Inferno's cancellation, and a 15 year wait with no new game in sight, French indie studio Sushee Games is creating Fear Effect: Sedna. Concerned about representations of Inuit peoples in the game, I decided to contact Sushee Games about how they would handle ... Read More

Sex Criminals and the Comic Subtleties of Anti-Black Racism

Sometimes it's tucked away, hidden just beneath the tongue, or in the sly twist of the mouth… Anti-blackness is so pervasive that I think media creators aren't even aware of how they present it on a regular basis. That's me giving them the benefit of the doubt, in spite of all the evidence that suggests ... Read More

Thomas Jefferson is the Founding Father of White Supremacy

When you hear the name Thomas Jefferson, it is likely followed by "founding father", "hero", "patriot", and other such reverent terms. But he should also be considered one of the Founding Fathers of white supremacy. Nearly every white supremacist idea, claim, or rationale, can be found in Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia…

12 Years A Slave: Black Suffering for White Consumption

What does any black person stand to gain from sitting in a dark movie theater—more than likely surrounded by white people—and being psychologically assaulted for two hours? Will we then turn to those white audience members and discuss how horrible it all was, how many tears they shed, and eventually breathe a collective sigh of ... Read More

Flexuality: Elastic Sexual Norms in the Work of Octavia Butler

An examination of how Butler challenges sexual norms, from the incest taboo in the Patternist series, to interspecies sex in the Lilith’s Brood trilogy, to pedophilia and rape in Fledgling, and arguably all three of these in her short story Bloodchild. These stories show us how norms, particularly sexual ones, are flexible between worlds, cultures, ... Read More

The Failures of the Legend of Korra

Taken as a whole, the first season of The Legend of Korra failed, because of what the creators seemed to be setting in motion – call it a promise of great things to come, even – and how they did not deliver on that promise by the season finale…

Hollow Representation: A Critique of Holly Black’s Tithe

I take issue with the very idea that it need be some sort of marketing or political strategy, some sort of acquiescence to irrational demands that someone represent or treat people of color with sensitivity and respect. Yet in the case of Tithe, I am left wondering if that was not exactly the point.

Who Fears Death and the High Concept of Fate

Who Fears Death, for its fatalistic structure, could have easily fallen into the trap of giving the overall plot precedence over the characters. Yet, on the contrary, the vast majority of the book was spent developing the characters as they traveled – no, were pulled along – towards their fate…