We know that games make us more confident and resilient in the face of challenges and failure, creating what Jane called “urgent optimism.” They can improve brain functions like spacial navigation, memory recall, strategic planning, and fine motor skills. Other benefits include: making the brain more flexible, slowing the aging process, potentially assisting with dyslexia and stroke recovery, alleviating pain, and, most important to this conversation, alleviating some kinds of depression.
All of this is based on the idea of that urgent optimism—that games always present you a challenge that’s just at the edge of your ability, but never out of your reach. They provide a feeling of success and achievement, which has positive benefits for our brains and behaviors.
I haven’t played Loved—two of my friends (which is admittedly a small sample set) have and told me about it, as well as their experiences playing it, and I did some research. I get that it’s dealing with a darker side of reality and may not even want to achieve any of the above positive outcomes because of that. But we also know that the more time spent playing video games, the more it changes you (as the studies above show). My friends that played Loved talked about how it made them feel depressed, worthless, anxious—which, indeed, seems to be exactly what it’s designed to do. I’m not exactly criticizing the game—it certainly appears to be a powerful tool to get people to understand what it’s like inside abusive relationships (indeed, both of my friends, who have troubled family lives, said it hit a little too close to home), which could potentially allow for more empathy toward those who are living in those situations. Loved just creeps the hell out of me, if I’m honest, and I’m never likely to play it, because I really don’t think that kind of stimulus is healthy for me. It worries me that if people play this game over and over and over, what’s it doing to them, knowing what we do about how games affect the brain? If games like Starcraft and Borderlands and League of Legends create powerful lasting changes through urgent optimism, what is Loved doing with its structure of choreographed abuse?
Like I said, I’m not like, on a witch hunt or saying it should be banned or mad at the creators or anything. These are just the concerns rattling around in my head, and I hope that people playing the game are able to walk away from it without harm.
"I loved you, always.”
going to comment a little on this game: the overseeing voice talks as if it owns you, and defies your free will. if you follow its orders, you are praised, and the worldview becomes sharper and more detailed. if you don’t, you are chastised, and the world becomes more vague and difficult to navigate, but also more colourful and loud. it’s odd, and sort of eerie, but definitely interesting. take it as you will.
This game really unsettles me. It unsttles me that my first choice to obey, and when I played again and disobeyed, I got really emotional really fast. Failure hurt me more the more I disobeyed. It was… interesting to experience.
i’ve always said we are trained to obey more than to think.
holy shit. i reblogged this the first time without playing. then i played in and it is terrifying. i very much like this, but it will give you intense feelings.
What’s the game??
you obey everything the game tells you too, even jumping into barbs and basically killing yourself. if you dont youre chastised and even the scolding is terrifying
So, essentially, it’s a game that illustrates what it’s like to be in an abusive parents or an abusive relationship - and how it affects you emotionally. That is horrific and ingenious - the next time someone negates the affects of emotional abuse, I’ll take them to this game and let them come to their own conclusions.
This game absolutely gets it. The most solid and reliable degradation is a gendered insult. The more you obey and co-operate, the better understanding you seem to have of your word, and things seem easier. But what really gets me is the contradiction. You are not allowed to have the correct answer. Are you a boy or a girl? The answer is no, I will give you the answer. even towards the end, your “praise” is “no, I will give you the answer. You earned this answer, but it is given to you by me.” Disobeying makes the world frightening and confusing and difficult, but beautiful in a world devoid of flavour.
great that it’s made by a fellow australian too
Reblogging this for later.
I get that this game might be attempting to make a point, but I find it horrifying in a way I can’t describe. We know all the good that playing games can do, and this just undermines it, in a way that I know—because of the research done on gaming in general—has lasting impacts. Yikes.
Hello anon! Thanks for being respectful in this question—I really appreciate that.
My dad was a marksman in the Army, so I grew up around guns. When I was 16, I was stalked by a guy who said repeatedly he wanted to rape me. We went to the DA, but at that time Idaho had no stalking laws, so the DA literally said he couldn’t do anything unless the guy beat me or raped me. That was when my dad taught me how to shoot.
It still didn’t prevent me from getting raped.
I was raped by someone else, a person I thought was a friend, with whom I thought I was safe. I was in my own home. This is the experience of approximately 65-85% of women. In that same link, you’ll see that about 40% of assaults take place in the victim’s home.
I tell you this so you’ll hopefully understand when I say I don’t think banning guns is the answer to violence, and I don’t think arming women is the solution to rape. It’s definitely not the solution to domestic violence; in homes where a gun is present, it triples the risk of death for abused women.
I also think there’s a danger in suggesting that women “just need to be armed.” (Not necessarily saying you’re suggesting that, but I’ve heard it before.) It flirts with victim blaming, because the implicit argument there is it’s still women’s job to avoid getting raped as opposed to it’s men’s job not to rape.
Laci Green posted an excellent video talking about why police ignored the threat posed by Elliot Rodger, even after his family urged them for action. She talks about how this is the result of a society that preaches violent masculinity colliding with entitlement. 99% of rapists are men. 60% are white. In Laci’s video, she says that 70 of the last 71 mass shootings since 1982 were committed by white men, and this is no accident—the same way it’s no accident that the majority of rapists are men. We have a culture problem, not necessarily a gun problem.
I support rational gun control—registration, background checks, and I’d actually like to see mandatory training, because as my dad warned me, never pull out a gun unless you’re willing and capable of using it. You’re right that society won’t change overnight, and the people arguing to ban guns are just as guilty of clinging to a simplified solution to a complex problem as the people wanting to give every woman a weapon. It’s a bigger problem than that, and frankly, I think the gun control debate is a distraction from examining why we are the most violent industrialized nation, why we have higher rape rates by orders of magnitude, why we have more people in prison per capita than any other nation on earth. I don’t think guns are the answer, but I don’t think they’re the sole problem either.
Like I said earlier, it’s not as simple as banning guns. This is a cultural issue. The man this January that sexually harassed me so badly that I had to run for help, and then grabbed me to prevent me from doing so, didn’t have a gun. He had a sense of entitlement to my body. The number—I’m guessing somewhere in the thousands—of catcalls and gropings I’ve endured since age 12 would’ve landed me in jail if I’d shot at them. Again, they weren’t armed with anything except a sense of entitlement to my body. I was 17 when I was raped, legally unable to possess a firearm. Most girls experience sexual assault as young as 14. Arming me doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been told, straight up, women aren’t capable of working in a technical field while I was currently working in a technical field. It doesn’t change the gender stereotypes that hurt both men and women. It doesn’t change a society that views me as property, as an object to be won. It doesn’t change me being blamed for my own victimization.
We have a cultural problem. Banning guns is only a band-aid until we address that.
kshartel replied to your post “I just saw your post from a few days ago, shared by a person I follow. For one, I’m happy to say that I’ve found a new great person to follow here on le Tumblr. Second, thank you for being awesome. When the day comes that my wife and I have a daughter (or daughters), I hope they will grow up to be strong women like you (and my wife, obviously). Sorry this isn’t an actual question, but just wanted to say that.”
Some”one” on the internet loves you? BITCH YOU HAVE YOUR OWN CHEERING SECTION. *hugs*
iT’S JUST MY TAG FOR NICE MESSAGES OKAY DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL KAI-LYN.
-falls all over self-
Oh my gosh, hi! Thank you so much!! (I was so flustered and tired that I forgot to say that the first time, d’oh!) I’m glad you liked my post and my writing! I look back at some of the older stuff here and cringe, lol. But that’s what the process is about, right? Getting better over time and then being deeply embarrassed by things you wrote earlier in life. Like baby pictures, but with words.
ALSO SHAMELESS PLUG I’m working on an anthology right now, so if you like what you saw, watch for the release date! /SHAMELESS SELF-PROMO <3333333333
Wow. Your message was totally not what I expected today, but it was such an incredible surprise.
I’ve gotten a lot of unpublished hate for that post (I’m a big believer in block and report as a response), but I knew I would. I knew the can of worms I was opening and the names I would be called.
What I honestly never expected was the response it’s gotten from other women who echo the sentiment, nor your lovely message. I’m flattered and honored that you’d consider me a role model for your daughters (and hopefully sons!) That post was made from an overabundance of anger that I needed to express; I’m glad it’s doing something positive.
So thank you! Your message—and dude, don’t apologize for it not being a question—means more than I can say. It’s a reminder that it’s not all hostility out there. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and keep on bein’ awesome yourself! :)
Trigger warnings: NSFW language, rape, violence, angry feminism
Perhaps somewhat uncharacteristically, I’ve been rather quiet in the discussion of the Isla Vista massacre. I’ve posted a few links on my Facebook and Twitter, but I just haven’t had the emotional energy to respond to people derailing the conversation with “not all men” tactics. The whole thing followed on the heels of having a disagreement with a friend about the term “mansplaining”—she found it combative and inflammatory and asked me not to use it. The two incidences have been linked in my head and replaying themselves over and over the whole weekend, and I’ve come to a conclusion.
Yes, I am angry, and no, I will not hide it to make you feel better.
Image by Eden Timm
My anger comes from thirty years of being taught that I don’t matter. My anger comes from some guy shouting “nice ass” at me when I was twelve years old. My anger comes from such cultural brainwashing that even at eight years old, I blamed myself for my own abuse. My anger comes from being blamed for my rape. My anger comes from the fact that every. single. time. I try to talk about these issues, about the fear women face, it gets derailed by men trying to explain it away, or excuse it by saying men fear things too. My anger comes from that in the face of ample evidence of Elliot Rodger’s MRA leanings, I was expected to do the work of proving it for a man who simply couldn’t believe that misogyny could possibly be to blame. My anger comes from the people calling Rodgers a hero and a martyr. My anger comes from men putting their own butthurt feelings over the fact that seven women were murdered because a dude felt entitled to their bodies.
My anger comes from you.
I honestly do not give one single fuck if you find my tone to be combative. I have no fucks to give if you don’t like the terms I use. You do not get to tell me how to handle my own oppression.
I don’t care if it makes you feel attacked. Welcome to every single day in my life—attacked by a system that pushes girls away from scientific fields, by a system that encourages victim blaming, by a system that tells me I am not capable of making decisions for my own body, by a system where a judge tells a woman she must forgive her husband for raping her.
I don’t care if you think this isn’t “open and meaningful” discussion.
I don’t care if you are uncomfortable.
I don’t care if you call me a feminazi, a bitch, a cunt.
I don’t care because you don’t get to dictate the terms of this conversation. I’m fucking sick of bending over backwards to be “nice” and diplomatic—because that’s how society expects me, as a woman, to behave—when discussing issues that are literally life and death for women. I’m sick of having to censor myself because your precious little feelings might get hurt. I’m sick of having to cater to your needs when we’re discussing my life.
Does my anger offend you? Try this: take two minutes and look inside yourself to figure out why. Is it because you don’t fully understand the situation but think you do? Is it because you’re guilty of committing the acts I’m railing against? Is it simply because you can’t step outside yourself for even the space of a Facebook conversation to consider someone else’s experiences above your own?
It’s not my job to be nice to you. It’s not my job to make you feel comfortable discussing violence that you’ll never experience. It’s not my job to soothe you when calling out misogyny. It’s not my job to respond like a meek, docile thing when you patronize me and try to turn a conversation that’s about violence against women into one about the poor menfolk—who control all the institutions of power, who set the laws, who perpetuate the same system I talked about earlier.
I’m not fucking stupid. I know men suffer from rape, domestic violence, abuse, unfair parenting rights. But instead of pointing out the goddamned obvious, consider for one moment that those crimes are also the result of misogyny. Nelson Mandela said, “The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.” That’s exactly what’s happening here—misogyny hurts everyone.
So instead of being offended by my anger, instead of jumping into a NOT ALL MEN defensive posture, instead of berating me to be “nice” and “constructive”, think about why I’m angry. Listen to what I, and other women, experience every day of our lives. Read the #YesAllWomen tag. Put away your knee-jerk reactions and actually hear what life is like for 52% of this country. Understand when I say I don’t care about your comfort, it’s because we live in a society where my greatest crime against you is making you feel icky by a blog post, and your greatest crime against me is murder.
This is a rage-filled post and I’m well aware of that, but I’m not sorry for it. Looking around at our society, anger is the most appropriate response I can imagine. So yes, I’m angry. The question is—why aren’t you?
Google, Linux and open office for me. (I might be based because I work at Google though…)
Open Office isn’t bad, but its spreadsheets are nowhere near as powerful as Excel. Hence why I went through that giant cluster to get Office—if there was an alternative that did what I needed, I’d be all over it. (This is also the reason I don’t use the iWork suite from Apple, it’s just not as good.)
So I bought a new computer Saturday—I’m totally in the cult of Apple, so it was a MacBook Pro. I transferred all my data from my other laptop, and bing-bang-boom, new laptop away!
Except that Office won’t work.
Turns out, my individual license is only for one computer, period. I did a bit of Googling, trying to find out just what I needed to do to get my license transferred from the old laptop to the new one. Not even uninstalling it worked. When it comes to Microsoft licenses and computers, they are like geese—they mate for life.
Which is, of course, the reason that Microsoft is attempting to go to a SAAS (software-as-a-service) model. $99 a year to license a product that you already own! Golly jee whiz, what a deal!
So, whatever, I decide to buy a new license. First I couldn’t sign into my Microsoft.com account (I’ll admit that this might’ve been user error, as I so rarely sign in there it’s possible I forgot my password.) Get that sorted, add the stand-alone Office to my cart—because, see, if I’m gonna buy a SAAS, I actually want SERVICE with that software—and try to check out.
It wants to charge my credit card that expired two years ago.
Now, mind you, I have my new credit card on file. But the cart won’t let me choose the new card. It wants the default card.
So I go to the Payment options screen, where both cards are listed. However, there’s no place to delete the old card or switch the default.
Enter Live Chat support session #1.
I tell the guy my problem, and he tells me I need to go to the Payment screen to delete the old card. I tell him I’m there, and there’s no option to do that, to which he says:
"Oh, no, you have to go to commerce.microsoft.com and manage your payment methods there. It’s a separate website."
Which, of course, is not linked to from anywhere on the Microsoft store website. Because reasons.
I ask him to wait to make sure that this works, and he agrees—and then the chat automatically closes on me after 90 seconds. I know it’s 90 seconds because it’s time-stamped. Let me tell you that I type approximately 90 words per minute and not even I could respond fast enough to keep this goddamn thing open.
But he was right—I logged into the commerce site, found my payment methods, and deleted the old card. Head back over to the store, where I had to log in again—because single-sign-on isn’t a thing in the 1995 universe that Microsoft is living in—and refreshed the page. WHOO HOO NEW CARD IS ACTIVE. Fantastic. I hit the checkout button.
Page reloads again to my cart.
Hmm. This is not going as I planned.
I try the checkout button again. Once more, the spinner shows up, says “processing,” and reloads the page. To my cart. Without completing my purchase. Because apparently Microsoft wants you to put things in your cart, just not actually own them.
Now the Office 365 SAAS makes more sense.
Live Chat session #2 begins.
I explain what’s happening, and this is the verbatim conversation between the support tech and myself:
Kristian: at 11:48:33May I have the email used for purchase please?
You: at 11:49:53[entered email address]Kristian: at 11:50:23Just a moment while I look into that for you.Kristian: at 11:51:07Ok, the order did not process and you were not charged. Please close all windows, clear all cookies and cache, then re-try your purchase with a new Explorer browser and in private browsing! (Crtl+Shift+p= Private browsing). The browser saves cookies form previous purchase attempts and prevents the order form processing.
Kristian: at 11:53:14We have not heard from you for some time. If you do not respond in one minute the chat will close automatically. Do you still wish to continue chatting?(Note the frigging time stamp—I was typing as he sent this.)You: at 11:53:26Alright. Please pass on to your supervisor that this is extremely poor user experience—I have been trying to purchase a license for the last 30 minutes and encountering a myriad of obstacles. Your service has been fine, but this is ridiculous that a company of Microsoft’s magnitude makes it so difficult to purchase something.Kristian: at 11:54:07I understand! Im very sorry to hear that. Did you get a specific error code or message during any of your attempts?You: at 11:54:12No. It’s been everything from the system not allowing me to use the correct credit card, to having to go to a separate site—which is not linked in any way from the regular Microsoft site—to change my billing information, to now thisKristian: at 11:54:45Ok, Are you using Explorer?You: at 11:54:59No, I’m sorry, but with the security issues i refuse to use Explorer.You: at 11:55:27And that is beside the point—I work in technology, and a company of your size should be able to develop what is a simple e-commerce experience for all major browsers.
Kristian: at 11:56:03Yes, I agree. We have a team working on the site as we speak! :)
JFC, Microsoft. And you wonder why you’re losing market share.