Play Report: La Mirada De Gorgona Redux

A Spanish larp group called Producciones Gorgona produced a weekend of games from #Feminism for some of their members.

We pinged the first two parts of their review here. Now the third installment is available, with reviews of 6016 by Elin Nilsen and #Flesh by Frederik Berg, Rebecka Eriksson, and Tobias Wrigstad.

Plus a bonus track written by another participant about So Mom I Made This Sex Tape by Susanne Vejdemo.

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Play Report: La Mirada de Gorgona

A Spanish larp group called Producciones Gorgona produced a weekend of games from #Feminism for some of their members.

The first part of their review is here. The second part of their review is here. We hope the third part will arrive soon!

They played multiple games from the collection, including Elsa Helin’s “My Sister Malala,” Kira Magrann’s “Selfie,” Susanne Vejdemo’s “So Mom I Made This Sex Tape,” Kajsa Greger’s “Mentioning the Unmentionables,” and Kat Jones’s “Glitzy Nails.”

We can’t wait to read more about this community and what they’re up to!

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Susanne Vejdemo on “So Mom I Made This Sex Tape”

Today, #Feminism’s own “So Mom I Made This Sex Tape” designer, Susanne Vejdemo, tells us a little about her vision for the game.

“So Mom I Made This Sex Tape” is about different generations of feminism, and their arguments about sex and porn. It’s framed as an emotional discussion, and the game starts when the Daughter in the family announces that she has made a sex tape, and wants advice from her relatives on whether she should submit it to an amateur porn festival. Her old-school “equal pay is the only real feminism” grandma, her porn negative mum “there can be no consensus in porn,” her porn-positive aunt “good porn is feminist activism!” and her concerned sister “what will happen to your career” have different takes on what she should do.

The ideas for “So Mom…” were born when I worked with the Swedish larp Suffragette!, and delved into the many different factions and waves of the historical feminist movement. Feminists don’t agree with each other on all issues–in fact, sometimes they disagree on nearly everything. There is a tendency for “My Way or the Highway” reasoning in feminism–the idea that my feminism is pure, and anyone who doesn’t agree with me isn’t a feminist.

But different waves of feminism have different insights into the patriarchy, and value different parts of women’s liberation as the most important. I wanted to make a game where players got to step into their grandmothers’, or granddaughters’, shoes, and see if they could–and if they should–bridge one of the most controversial topics in feminism during the 20th century: sex and porn.

Conflicts can be transforming! And if they’re not transforming, as larps they can at least be fun. I hope that players shout a lot during the game, laugh a lot afterwards, and are inspired to think.

Have you played “So Mom I Made This Sex Tape”? Share your experiences in the comments.

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Muriel Algayres on “A Friend in Need”

Today, #Feminism’s own “A Friend in Need” designer, Muriel Algayres, tells us a little about her vision for the game.

Street harassment immediately came to my mind as a subject I wanted to handle for the anthology. In the previous year, it had become very topical in my home country of France, and the angle through which many started to discuss feminist issues. Many brilliant artists had addressed the subject, as my friend Juliette, photographer and activist, had on her Tumblr. Discussions spawned which offered the opportunity for a lot of women to find support and discuss these issues, sometimes for the first time ever.

Victim-blaming also came quickly to mind; I am still shocked by the way society, including victims themselves, sometimes feel they are to blame for the aggression they endured. This frame of mind is extremely pernicious and, I believe, has prevented many survivors from seeking help out of fear or shame.

So at the crossroads of these two preoccupations came “A Friend in Need,” which I wanted to be a very simple, down-to-earth discussion between friends after a street harassment incident, framed in such a way that people might see in it a common situation and recognize themselves, or others, in it. It certainly was a thought-provoking subject for some of the playtesters, so I hope the game will help shed some more light on these issues.

Have you played “A Friend in Need”? Have an street harassment situation you’d like to talk about? Share your experiences in the comments.

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Play Report: PlanBRollespil

Over on the Danish roleplaying blog PlanBRollespil, Troels Ken writes a play report of Ann Kristine Eriksen’s game “Tropes vs. Women,” and the realization it provoked in him.

You can read it in Danish here. Google Translate makes it mostly legible in English, too.

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Review 1: Radio Rôliste

The French podcast Radio Rôliste has reviewed #Feminism (in French).

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Siri Sandquist on “The Grey Zone”

Today, #Feminism’s own “The Grey Zone” designer, Siri Sandquist, tells us a little about her vision for the game.

“The Grey Zone” explores the internalized guilt that many women feel when they are subjected to a kind of sexual assault that balance on the borderline between rape and consensual sex. An important part of the problems in rape culture is that women often feel obligated to have sex with men due to power imbalance, social pressure, or just plain courtesy. While most people agree that rape is bad, the definition of rape is much harder to agree on.

For these reasons, “The Grey Zone” takes place completely inside a woman’s mind. The complex questions of verbal and physical consent, obligations felt in a relationship, victim blaming and self blaming become easier to express as characters who represent parts of the woman, each with their own version of what truly happened. She expresses emotions raging from desire to fear, and there are no easy answers. I hope the analysis of one’s own feeling in similar situations might be easier to understand when these clear shutters between the mixed emotions have been played out in a game. Grey zone sexual encounters are extremely common and we need to find a vocabulary for these situations, and a way to better understand the emotions they bring up. I hope “The Grey Zone” can help in that work.

Have you played “The Grey Zone”? Share your experiences in the comments.

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Emily Care Boss on “Ma, Can I Help You With That?”

Today, #Feminism’s own “Ma, Can I Help You With That” designer, Emily Care Boss, tells us a little about her vision for the game.

There are so many places to come at writing a short game that focuses on feminist issues, I wasn’t sure where to start. Seeing Evan Torner’s game, “Something to Drink with That, Sir?” brought my game into view: a short, contained scenario, from real life, that would show how our traditional gender roles and the emotional labor that comes along with them, put pressure on individuals.

“Ma, Can I Help You With That?” came out of my own process of aging, and watching friends help and support their parents. So much energy is spent by families, unrecognized and unrewarded. And so many times (though not all) the lion’s share of the care falls to women–even when they are not the blood relative. Relationships become strained when resources are tapped out. The short timeframe of a nano-game gave a clue how to present this. Put the ways that our acculturation sets us all up for overwork and alienation into words. Each player gets scripts that represent how we are commonly trained to interact–men distanced from the emotions of themselves and others, women pushed into caring for others and placing our own needs and wants last. So what if we could tear up those scripts, and replace them? Or experiment with trading the blocking messages we receive with ones that allow for better communication?

Have you played “Ma, Can I Help You With That?” Share your experiences in the comments.

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Jason Morningstar on “Shoutdown to Launch”

Today, #Feminism’s own “Shoutdown to Launch” designer, Jason Morningstar, tells us a little about his vision for the game.

When I sat down to really think about what form a game that addressed some aspect of feminism would take, my first thought was to build a game playable by a big group that offered empathy without being particularly grim. My guess was that the anthology would have plenty of small, very serious games. I wanted my game to be simple and easy to run but address a real issue in an active way. Working in academia, I’m acutely aware of and enormously irritated by gendered interruption, which seems endemic. The fact that I work in a nursing school that flips the traditional gender ratios and power dynamics among faculty put this into sharp relief for me. It seemed like a great topic for me to address since I encounter it frequently and often find myself deliberately countering it in meetings.

So–a big game about gendered interruption. The approach I arrived at was to sort the players into roles with discrete rules for communication that would illustrate the concept through play without being overly didactic. The basic rules sort of wrote themselves. For a theme, I combined my abiding love for the Rocketdyne J-2 engine, for which I happened to have wonderfully cryptic blueprints, with a scenario that conveniently provided built-in time pressure for the game. As a side note, I feel like “Shoutdown to Launch” also quietly honors badass engineers like Katherine Johnson and Galina Balashova who surely endured many, many meetings like the one the game presents.

Have you played “Shoutdown to Launch”? Share your experiences in the comments.

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Sarah Bowman on “Curtain Call”

Today, #Feminism’s own “Curtain Call” designer, Sarah Bowman, tells us a little about her vision for the game.

“Curtain Call” is based on my reflections on the complex and often contradictory relationship between female musicians, their fans, and the gatekeepers who have control over the way they are portrayed and distributed in the media. I have followed the careers of women like Tori Amos, Amanda Palmer, and Lady Gaga, each of whom have dealt with intense scrutiny and discrimination from their labels and fans alike at various times in their lives and are brave enough to speak out about it.

I wanted to create a scenario that explores the way that women in the spotlight have to present themselves at various phases in their lives in order to remain relevant, how dependent they are upon the love of their supporters, and how crushing it can be when their bodies and music are scrutinized publicly.

The scenes are inspired by moments in Tori Amos’ career, but can also represent the ways in which women as a whole feel pressured by society to maintain the beauty ideal and their status as objects of desire. These issues are amplified by the spotlight of celebrity. These women develop a symbiotic relationship with their fans, upon whom they come to depend to help fuel their projects. However, the more an artist evolves, the more fans tend to react negatively, as they become attached to the musician during a particular phase in her life. They often want her to remain static, beautiful, desirable, and young indefinitely. They want her to pour her heart out in the way they prefer, not the way that best resonates with her during that phase. I think many women can relate to these pressures.

Have you played “Curtain Call”? Share your experiences in the comments.

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