Monthly Archives: January 2015

Magic, The Gathering just got a lot more awesome for me.

I have always been interested in Magic, The Gathering. I even played a little of the video games to  gain some understanding of it. The variety of possible play styles, and the fun ways of making cards interact was more interesting to me than Pokemon or Yu Gi Oh. I actually considered starting a deck, but had no one to really play with. Now however, they have added a card and character to their Mythos that makes me think I shall find people to play with.

Magic card art is very well done.

I love this image, it looks awesome

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. Cool name, but its how she gets the name that is awesome. She is Magic’s first Trans character, born into a clan that favors glory in battle, she had no name until she gained her first kill. Seen as a young boy, she calls herself after her grandmother, and no questions are raised. Here is an excerpt of when she claims herself.

“It had been a day like this, a battle very much like this, when Alesha won the right to name herself. With blood running down her back where the dragon’s claws had raked her flesh, she pulled a spear from a dead man’s back and plunged it into the beast’s mouth, up into its brain. The spear shaft splintered, but the dragon died in an instant. She didn’t remember if she had been afraid as the monstrous head lunged at her.

What she remembered was the panic that came after. Earning her war name had been her only goal. When the fight was over, she stood silently among the other young ones who were boasting of their accomplishments and the bold, grisly names they would choose. Headsmasher. Skullcleaver. Wingbreaker—Gedruk had been among them. Some of them, mostly orcs, boasted of their ancestors’ deeds and spoke of their pride in adopting those ancestors’ names. She had been so different—only sixteen, a boy in everyone’s eyes but her own, about to choose and declare her name before the khan and all the Mardu.

The khan had walked among the warriors, hearing the tales of their glorious deeds. One by one, they declared their new war names, and each time, the khan shouted the names for all to hear. Each time, the horde shouted the name as one, shaking the earth.

Then the khan came to Alesha. She stood before him, snakes coiling in the pit of her stomach, and told how she had slain her first dragon. The khan nodded and asked her name.

“Alesha,” she said, as loudly as she could. Just Alesha, her grandmother’s name.

“Alesha!” the khan shouted, without a moment’s pause.

And the whole gathered horde shouted “Alesha!” in reply. The warriors of the Mardu shouted her name.

In that moment, if anyone had told her that in three years’ time she would be khan, she just might have dared to believe it.”

Notice something? Even though this bit is at a stage where she would have been seen as a young boy, the writer kept the correct pronouns. Its more than can be said of most media, which often ascribe Pre-Transition accomplishments to our dead names (our names given to us that we stop using) and use the wrong pronouns for anything Pre-Transition. The whole thing is very well written, and perfectly places issues with identity into a fantasy setting. Indeed, Alesha deals with one Orc’s own issues with his identity, but in another way. Said Orc originally leers at Alesha for berating him for failing to kill a dragon and not gaining a chance to claim his name and who he is. The Orc tells her “You tell me this? A human boy who thinks he’s a woman?” Its harsh, but the story expertly plays upon it.

Alesha surprises the Orc with her ferocity, smiling as she single handedly takes down a Dragon, allowing her to point out to him she knows who she is.Through out the battle, Alesha watches the Orc and sees while he never went for a killing blow, he saved others and provided openings for them. By the end she calls on the Orc tell his battle story, but he claims to have none, and hence no name to claim. So Alesha asks those around him, who all talk about his bravery in saving them from certain death, or providing openings for a killing blow, whilst never actually killing something himself. She scolds him again for not knowing who he is and reminds him she knows she is no boy. The Orc then comes forward and calls her Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. Read the full thing here.

Its a brilliant story, that helps to show the importance of self determination, and even deals with how societies ideas of what identity is meaningful conflicts some people. Alesha and the Orc are Opposites. Alesha knows who she is and claims regardless of the views of others, the Orc probably knows who he is as well, but is conflicted as it goes against the Clans ideals. He strives not to be the killer, but to aid his friends, meaning by their laws he would never gain glory. Yet he is as glorious as the others. It is a well played story that deals with identity well by actually removing the issues of self determination from the Trans person. Frankly, I think its amazing.

A game has been chosen!

That’s right! After a little while of waiting, I have decided upon what game I plan to make from my previous blog post.

And the winner is: Sea of Monsters!

With an amazing 100% of the votes (with a total of 2) this one hands down in the poll. Ok, so I didn’t get as much feedback as I expected, but the fact is I liked this idea, and have some grounding to base it off of. A friend of mine has done research into Classical cultures views of Trans People, so has a lot of knowledge and references I can pull on. Some things will need to b drummed up though, like a fully fledged story, and a new name (Curse you Percy Jackson!), but it all shows promise.

Unfortunately I will be moving out soon, so I may be away for a while, but when I return hopefully I will have a grounding to base a game from.

See you all soon!

So many games, what one do I make?

So time for my small community to give something back to me. “But what?” you ask all horrified and scared. Just your souls that’s all… insert evil laugh here. Ok, you probably guessed from the posts title, but I need help selecting the Trans Inclusive game to build. There is no point in me building one no one wants, so getting an idea of what people like would be good. So I am going to outline a bunch of concepts, and see if I can set up a poll for people to give feedback on what they would like to see. Bear in mind these are all concepts, and some don’t even have real names. Got a better idea? Fire it into the comments, I won’t be offended and if everyone likes it and I go and make it, I’ll even give you credit!

1: The Trans Horror Game

Simply look over some of my posts and you get the jist of this. A game looking at issues plaguing Trans Folk today in a horror context. Designed for anyone to play and meant in a more serious manner as a form of understanding, it would be fun to challenge myself to build a game in a genre I can’t play. Honestly I can’t play horrors, I get too scarred. Anyway some issues I understand is the potential triggering of the game for Trans People as it could dig up some harsh memories.

2: Sea of Monsters

I fell in love with the navel side of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, and would love to see more stuff in a similar style.So that’s where this game comes in. As the Trans captain aboard a ship, you raid ships and fight monsters in a world themed around the ancient Mediterranean with groups based on Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.The game itself doesn’t use Trans issues as a theme, merely designed to show people we aren’t things to be gawked at by placing us in a anti-hero role working to save the world from monsters. So while the character is Trans, it is not an issue for anyone in the game world, partially why the setting is ancient because that was a time of greater tolerance for Trans People.

3: Finding Me

A more serious game which explores the journey of a Trans Person through coming out and Transition, but unlike every other story focuses on some one young, a teen most likely. Through out the game the players would perform actions that we all go through, buying clothes, seeing doctors, and coming out, and some which the player can decide how to proceed, such as HRT and Surgeries. The games end would be to build the players confidence bar to the max, done through various actions like seeing doctors and making decisions about the Transition they were undertaken. It would also involve turn based Conversation “Battles” where the player had to keep their self esteem up while being talked to by curious children, concerned family or even random passers by, almost like a Pokemon game. Selecting correct responses would be key to such battles, and as confidence increased, more difficult conversations could be had.

4: Of People and Demons

hat title needs work. Anyway this is an old concept that has evolved a bit over the years. A young Trans Girl, probably 18, makes a deal with the King of Demons to be herself in exchange for a soul. The Demon King agrees and she is turned into a girl, but her sisters soul is taken, not hers. This leads her on a journey to track down the Demon King and rescue her sister. Over the course of the game the Trans girl becomes more confident and by the end is able to return to her old self to undergo a real world Transition than a magical one. Really this game is all about overcoming adversity and gaining confidence with a Trans spin on things.

5: Spaced Out

Dreamed of a silly space adventure romp in which you woke up 500 years in the future due to a failed colony mission? If so this is the game for you! A really zany space game where the player wakes up from cryogenic freezing on a sub light ship only to find humanity has advance to Faster Than Light in the time you took to travel between stars, so your mission was pointless. I planed to let people play who they want but incorporate some of the ideas Mitch discusses here to allow people to play Trans characters. Again no Trans themes beyond “Look, we can be heroes in games too!”

So there you go, just five really quick ideas, I’ll set up a poll so you can give your thoughts, or just leave a comment with you own. Peace out!