Conventions and Interpretive Dance

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I HAVE RETURNED from the realm of Melbourne and promptly spent a week and a half in a home-built infirmary. It was not the return that I had in mind, given that I had such a wonderful time at Oz Comic Con. Rather than give a review of the experience, I just want to give a few brief but well-intentioned points about conventions in general, and how they helped me through Oz Comic Con…

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Keeping My Hands Warm

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I live in Brisbane. Therefore I had little or no comprehension of what “cold weather” really is.

OK – I should probably qualify that statement. I DO know what cold weather is. I’ve been to Canberra in frosts. I have slept under the stars in outback Queensland. I have frolicked in the Minnesota snow, devoid of clothing. But all of those things were part of my misspent youth, and their consequences are conveniently hidden from my memory.

And apparently, I am going to have the two frozen globes of my butt handed to me because Melbourne in July is really cold.

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Vulnerabilities

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There are two reasons that I kept going with Batwoman:

  1. I adored the gothic artwork that Williams the Third threw into our faces and collective psyches.
  2. I was happy that we would finally see a positive portrayal of a lesbian in a mature, considerate relationship.

Unfortunately, as the series has progressed, I have started to hear a small voice of disapproval in my soul. When I picked up Batwoman #9 last week, I promptly threw it at the wall in frustration.

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Womanthology: Heroic Review

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“Wow. That’s amazing.”

It is the disadvantage to having my back turned to the door to my office, but I was thankful that it was only my supervisor, Peta, looking over my shoulder as I opened to the first story of the much-anticipated Womanthology collection. An HR consultant with three young daughters, Peta tells her girls stories about her colleague Sarah, “the lady who has a tattoo and reads comic books”. She tells me that it is a daily ritual when she arrives home from work that her daughters will ask “How is Tattoo Lady today? Did Tattoo Lady save the students again today?” Peta likes to laugh and tell them about her day, but also about how her friend, Sarah the Tattoo Lady, helped students and saved the day.

Everyone, anyone, can be a hero.

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Review: Diablo 3

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When identifying as a lifelong game enthusiast, I believe it is important to acknowledge the foundations that developed our critical appreciation of this entertainment medium. In particular, Diablo allowed me to embrace the nostalgic memories of my teenage years, when I dabbled in the real-time strategy releases of Blizzard’s other major franchise, Warcraft. At the time I remember my longing to learn more about the stories of the night elves, taking the delegated “heroes” and leading them on their own quests through Azeroth. I wanted them to explore the world – make their own adventures, not just wait around for the next peasant to construct a farm for them or for the next knight to fall into line.

Looking back, I have to be kind to that naive, teenage Sarah. I didn’t know any better. I just wanted my games to tell stories that was beyond those 16-bit cartridges and CDs that predefined their environment. It seemed as if games could not move beyond three distinct categories: “run”, “explore”, and “build inordinate amounts of shit and wreck havoc”.

At the time, I did not know much about Diablo, and I think that was my biggest failing. Because, while Diablo 3 is the sequel that has been a decade in the making, it is also the game I wish Blizzard had created when I was a young gamer. It would have been a melding of all of the above categories, in a genre that I could appreciate. It would have rocked my world.

Maybe that is why it rocked my world now.

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