things i read #4: play, in one way or another

Sometimes I read something really good online and I just wanna save it somewhere. This is that stuff. Split into categories for easier browsing! (Category names intentionally vague/sometimes inaccurate.)

Video Games

Alice and Kev | The story of being homeless in The Sims 3, Robin Burkinshaw: So this person intentionally created homeless characters in The Sims and then played through the game to see what would happen. It’s like…really touching and uncomfortable almost? If you have a spare half hour, go read through the story.

Coming Out Simulator 2014, Nicky Case: This game has been around for a while but I finally got around to playing it. It’s not anywhere near close to my experience of coming out but I’m very glad it exists. I wish there were more. Like I wish there were a website specifically dedicated to letting people gamify their coming-out stories. I like that games are immersive, I feel like it might be one of the best mediums for communicating what ~being a minority~~ feels like. (Games like Mainichi and Merritt Kopas’s amazing Lim gave me a similar feeling.)

Things Other People Made

Rainbow Ipsum: omg a little website that generates really queer filler text. A+ web content right here, I wish I’d made it myself!

WOCinTech stock photos: Just stock photos of women of color in tech, made possible by WOCinTech Chat and free to use under Creative Commons.

Eye Ring by Jeong Yong: A design for a ring that lets visually impaired people read any text by scanning it and turning it into Braille. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t exist yet, but it’s very cool, check out the pictures.

Good Game Auto Blocker made by Randi Harper: This is a tool that’s supposed to help Twitter users filter out harassment from Gamergate supporters. This is how it works: “Good Game Auto Blocker compares the follower lists for a given set of Twitter accounts. If anyone is found to be following more than one of these accounts, they are added to a list and blocked.” I remember when Caitlyn Jenner came out someone made a Twitter bot that automatically corrected people who misgendered her and this tool seems like it’s in the same vein. Essentially a bot takes over the bulk of the emotional labor of dealing with individual people harassing you. I know there are people out there who would cry “censorship” at this kind of thing (hello, my Facebook friends), but honestly so few anti-harassment tools exist on most online platforms that I’m glad someone is making them. (Especially when harassment directed at specific groups underrepresented in tech just goes completely unnoticed by the people who run online platforms.)

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