This blog space for talking about reflections of reality i.e. created media, whether print, digital, dynamic or static. I am Pewter, and I have previously blogged about things such as gender in warcraft, nymwars (way back when Real ID was a ‘thing’) and I have been a guest poster at the Geek Feminism and The Border House blogs. I’m studying Art History, and the purpose of this blog was to encourage a use of those skills in the sort of cultural analysis that really interests me. It’s also a space for me to express random thoughts about politics, gaming, identity, gender, sexuality, geek things and whatever else takes my fancy.
My writing has been described as analytical. I tend to call it ‘stating the bleedin’ obvious’.
I’ve been gaming on a casual basis since I was very young and had an Amstrad shown to me. In 2006 I started playing MMOs. I do not play FPS/platformers as a rule – I’m all about the story, the exploration and the puzzles.
Why Decoding Dragons?
Well, the title is two-fold. Firstly there is a fabulous meme in the WoW-blogosphere started by Anne Stickney of WoW Insider. Internet dragons, and killing them, is something that many MMO bloggers focus on and I suspect I will be no different. I have theorycrafted in the past and I expect I might be drawn into it again. When I look at game mechanics that involves decoding it into a form that I can use, so there goes decoding.
Dragons also symbolise a lot of things in western and eastern society. ‘Slaying the dragon’ is a nice term for defeating an enemy, whether it be personal demons or a long standing monster. A ‘dragon’ is gendered term for an overbearing woman, and is also a racialised trope in popular culture. It works on many levels, plus it alliterates.
How can I contact you?
You can email me at my domain name at the infamous gmail.com. I might put up a contact form at some point. Alternatively you can poke me on twitter at @decodingdragons
Will you link my blog?
If it’s cool and I can find the time to maintain my blogroll since Google killed the handy functionality that allowed me to combine blogroll and reader.
How does this blog work?
decodingdragons.com runs on WordPress, with a modified theme adapted from Dark Autumn. Hosting is provided by Gazimoff of manaobscura.com
About Geek Feminism
I am a Geek Feminist. This blog isn’t about being a girl gamer (and there are plenty of us) but about looking beyond the obvious tropes of individual female empowerment. I also am strongly supportive of intersectional movements, and strive to recognise my own privileges with regards to race, gender, sexuality and disabilities. I believe that the invisibility of marginalised groups in videogames is something that should change, and that videogames are worthy of critique as they are a conduit for perceptions, fantasies and conventions that reflect the world we live in. As much skill and talent goes into any digital medium as into the traditional ‘art’ forms.
I am a big fat, sex positive, feminist, bisexual cisgendered woman, and I strive to own my able-bodied, straight, white, cisgendered privilege. If you have specific questions about my ideologies (which I am still figuring out), please get in contact with me.
I think it is a duty for feminists to learn to check their own privilege when it comes to other marginalised groups, especially those that have even less visibility. It is possible to be an ally without getting things badly wrong. This means that this blog will, from time to time, touch on gaming with disabilities, on fat hate, on matters of gender. I also actively invite guest posters for these topics, because I do not want to make the mistake of speaking for people who are very able to speak for themselves.
I am also attempting to make this blog accessibile for readers with disabilities. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve the accessibility of this blog.
About Mental Health
This is the topic that is most difficult for me to write about, as it is a topic close to me personally and to my family. I want to broach this topic without resorting to the tired tropes of ‘gaming addiction’ and treating gaming as a mental poison, but I also want to work to remove the stigma and ignorance attached to Mental Illness by the gaming community at large.
On being a Frontier Blog
If this was a pure feminist & allied space, I would have a much stricter comment policy and would simply not bother approving comments that fall into the derailing traps that often plague feminist discussions. This is not a feminist 101 blog, but my writing is intended to highlight these topics in a way that is calm and accessible to everyone, and not just couched in feminist rhetoric. That said I highly encourage my readers to check out Derailing for Dummies and the Finally, a Feminist 101 blog to see if their comment falls under the common mistakes that are made. I try not to be snarky, but if you’ve missed every single point made in the blog post, then I may grump at you.