State of the ‘Corn: “Eat the Press” Edition

16 bit video game screen showing Princess Peach wearing a white dress with red trim jumping between two green pipes against a clear blue sky with a goomba running around on the ground below.

So, I updated the space with a meaty new article a few days ago, but you can still rightly be forgiven for wondering where you're unicornish correspondent has been these many weeks and months. I've been doing a lot of travelling and a fair amount of work of late. I've also been interviewed for a few media outlets about gender in gaming. First is this article in the Wall Street Journal, hitting the streets tomorrow morning: "Fans Take Video Game Damsels Out of Distress and Put Them in Charge." I was very grateful to be interviewed here and pleased to see the Journal covering this important angle of gamer resistance. I should, however, add further commentary lest my lonely remark be misinterpreted or taken out of context. I think that this trend of 'flipping the script' in these games shows that people want to see women protagonists and are willing to both make and support these hacks. It is also worth adding that even as there has been opposition and some vocal nastiness, a lot of … [Read more...]

State of the Corn: Not-Quite-a-Weekend Update

So, a brief sidebar for all my usual readers whom I love and adore; yours truly has participated in Bitch Magazine's blog carnival celebrating all manner of feminist click and anti-click. I wrote an article about the meaning of online gaming to me as a trans woman and as a feminist and posted it on The Border House. You may find it in all its glory here. The essence of the article is that I learned a tremendous deal about what it meant to be a woman in contemporary society- vivifying the second half of Susan Stryker's famous (to me) definition of womanhood: "A woman is one who says she is and then does what woman means." I learned, in ways both empowering and painful, what being a woman meant. What's more, I would come to terms with who I was, and most important of all, roleplaying showed me that there was courage and strength in womanhood. It prepared me for the fight that would explode forth in all its fury when I finally decided to come out. The article was meant to convey some … [Read more...]

The Nuclear Unicorn Solstice-cum-Christmas Special

When I first began blogging many years ago I never dreamed of being able to do what I do today; what began as yet another emo diary on Livejournal has evolved into something beyond my wildest of dreams (which at the time were pretty modest, admittedly, but still!). I made the move to Wordpress to make a fresh start after I had reached a point in my transition where I felt comfortable talking about trans issues and my own experiences in a more public setting, and yet even then I never expected much. My feminist mentor at the time, who encouraged me to blog, told me that she knew my writing in this space would do something positive. She had such starry eyed, high, maternal hopes for me that I felt sad at what I thought the inevitable disappointment would be. Yet here I am, a year and a half later, engaged in the self-absorbed metawank of blogging about blogging and looking back with a smile. I never expected, nor wanted huge numbers of readers. But I also did not expect to have a … [Read more...]

Lest We Forget

There are ample things to be said about such a day as this. For me the Day of Remembrance is about remembering the lives of those we have lost as they would want to be remembered, as the people they truly were, not as the lie that cis media repeats ad nauseam. I have wondered aloud if journalists go to a special school where they learn how best to utterly trash and defame dead trans women. The rather unpleasant spectacle created by the British press- both populist and 'higher class'- surrounding the death of Sonia Burgess is just one all too contemporary example of the kind of slander that becomes so bad many have described it as a second death. Yet deaths like hers are often the ones that get the most attention; as the list on any number of TDOR websites will tell you, those we lose are often from groups less likely to be mentioned in the papers under any circumstances. The unremembered women on the front lines of sex work, impoverished women in Latin America just trying to get by, … [Read more...]

Pledge Drive Without the Tote Bags

I'm sure that many of my readers also read Questioning Transphobia and thus this may well not be news to any of you, but just in case, I felt I ought to boost the signal on something posted there very recently. Ok, so we hate to do this, but it’s necessary.  It’s hard to ask for help, even when you’re desperate. Lisa and I are both struggling to survive.  Both of us are unemployed.  I don’t have money for food this next fortnight–let alone internet or hormone treatments.  Lisa has a staph infection she can’t afford to see a doctor for, and no money for hormones either. We know that so many of you are struggling hard too, especially at the moment.  We don’t do this for money (there is none), but we’d appreciate it so much if those of you who can afford it would think about helping us out. The paypal button to donate is here: I have already donated and am raising awareness amongst my good friends about all of this. If you've a dollar/a pound/a euro to spare, please consider … [Read more...]

State of the ‘Corn, Update!

Brief posts on this site are very much like unicorns. Rare, nigh on mythical beasts whose appearance occasions the weavings of stories to be told to your mates over a few drinks. Anyway, what's this post about? Well as some of you may have noticed my most recent blog posts have been me reposting classwork, albeit with commentary. Fully original articles will be returning soon, however. But the other reason my creative energies have been a wee bit absorbed has been because I've been taken on as a writer at Border House where I've recently published a few things. Their editor liked a piece that originally appeared here (my 'World of Warshaft' one, about Blizzard and their rather flighty relationship with the concept of privacy) and I've been taken on as a staff writer. If you're interested, my two most recent articles can be found here: Ain't I a Gamer?, about the issues surrounding the invisibility of women in gaming spaces and the subconsciously perpetuated ideas that … [Read more...]

State of the ‘Corn, 2010

I present to my loyal readers (all 4 of you) a once in a lifetime rarity on Nuclear Unicorn: A short post! As some of you may have noticed, the theme of the blog has changed considerably to something I feel is cleaner, more readable and more professional. As well as wider. With the monsters I tend to write, the extra width is a huge help. One of the bigger changes recently has been the new and improved About Me page complete with illustrations and the new resting place of the old banner that once graced the top of the front page, for those of you who thought my bad colouring was just the bees knees. The main purpose of the about me page's expansion was to provide an explanation of the tortured logic that led to this blog's name, and to provide a permanent home for the slug family since their appearances are rather rare (drawing pastries with eyestalks on them is hard work, yo.) Pictured above is a scratchy sketch I made of what it is I envision when I think of a nuclear unicorn. … [Read more...]