A feminist review of popular PS4 titles

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This is the first article in a series of feminist gaming reviews of major PS4 story-based games.

Games are one of my favorite artistic mediums. You get to experience a world outside your own, to move, make decisions, fight for your ‘life’, and make new friends. And yet, I hesitate to call myself a gamer girl. There’s a lot of baggage with that term, and the social expectation of gaming to be a defining feature of that girl’s life. Unlike a gamer boy, who is just called, well, a ‘gamer’.

So I decided to tackle this sticky issue with some…


TW: Talk of TWs

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As someone who is a mental health advocate, I was pleased when I first learned about trigger warnings. These small asides appear in videos, articles, social media posts, and more. Basically, it warns media consumers that the content they’re about to consume contains traumatizing topics. For example, someone who carries the trauma of sexual assault might want to avoid a film that portrays rape. Stumbling upon it might bring about a panic attack, PTSD, and other traumatic symptoms.

Everything is political

Recently, a friend posted a meme that said this: Your triggers are your responsibility. …


Your life experience can’t teach you everything

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Dear Mom,

We talk all the time. Maybe a little too much, because our conversations have gone off the rails recently and into darker territory. In one of our recent arguments, I mentioned that my master’s degree is in communication. Finding the meaning in rhetoric and knowing when a source is credible…that’s what I’m good at. It informs my argument when I talk about media and communication. That should count for something.

And then you told me that education doesn’t mean anything.

I was dumbstruck when you said this. You, the one who encouraged me to go to school and…


Especially in these weird times

A while back I wrote a piece on the Bad Side of Social Media, and I promised myself I would write the other side of the story one of these days. After all, technology, social media, online connections…it’s not all bad.

Now, more than ever, we’re relying on social media to connect with our friends and family.

As much of a nuisance as social can be — and a mood-killer if you run across too many news updates — social can provide very real, beneficial connections. Here are the upsides to social media.

Effortless social interaction

I hate getting on the phone and…


Loving Paris made it even better

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The title had caught my eye for some time. The Paris Wife. I love Paris and reading about the roaring 20s that was such a hotbed for art. Visiting Paris four years ago, I didn’t expect to be swept up by artistic inspiration. Neither did I expect to be inspired by a story of Hemingway’s wife during his fledgling years as a creative writer.

I’ll get my initial impression out of the way: Our protagonist, Hadley, is an insightful and supportive narrator who has built her life around Ernest and devoted herself to helping him achieve his goals. It is…


I would like to say coffee doesn’t affect my anxiety, but I don’t know

I’m 24, sitting in a doctor’s office. I came because my anxiety medication just isn’t doing enough anymore. I want more control over my life, I think. Find me a way to feel in control.

“How long have you been on your medication?” my doctor asks.

“Eight years.”

“And do you think it helps?”

“I know it helps,” I say. “I’m just feeling more anxious in my life than I used to.”

The doctor asks about caffeine consumption. I tell her I drink two to three cups of coffee a day.

She sits back in her chair like her work…


Feel-good news is the white way of avoiding the conversation

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Stories have been going around, on Facebook and beyond, of police doing the ‘right’ thing.

In Flint, Michigan, that was the police force marching with protestors. In Austin, Texas, police marched and linked arms with protesters. In Houston, that was the police chief decrying police violence. In Florida, it was police kneeling in solidarity with protesters.

I’ve seen a lot of these stories shared with a caption like, “Look at the good things people aren’t sharing.” It makes us feel good to see some semblance of reconciliation. Look at what we can accomplish if we put aside our differences.

These…


How to be supportive even when you can’t relate

It’s Mental Health Month and, as an individual with a mental illness, and spouse of someone with a mental illness, I know the value of awareness.

You probably already know that the people around you can have a profound effect on your wellbeing. Many of us have a support system, or even just one friend, who has helped us express our feelings and make sense of our own head.

But there are also many detrimental people who, even when they have good intentions, make us feel worse.

This is a problem because mental illness is already heavily stigmatized, and sufferers…


Let’s gamify the green movement

You’re sitting on the couch watching TV when your phone dings. It’s a notification from the latest social app. Your friend just bought responsibly-sourced clothing. *Ding!* Your aunt is stepping up her recycling game. *Ding!* Your teacher from the fourth grade just organized a river clean-up.

On MySpace we found friends who liked the same music, and were further influenced to find new bands and share our favorites. And on Facebook we’ve created a space to bridge the gap between generations, culture, distance, and it has ultimately led to a fast-track of social change.

Peer pressure has a lot of…


I wish I could say I had it all together. I struggle to do the things I want to do, struggle to take care of myself, struggle to go out and interact with people, struggle to feed myself properly…then there’s Ava.

Ava Mittens, my rescue cat (and muse), is extremely supportive. She’ll lay next to me on the couch while I do some writing, or if I’m taking a nap. I’ve been watching her behavior more than ever, because, really, she’s my closest companion while my husband is off working long hours.

If cats take anything seriously, it’s themselves. Cats…

Candice Brusuelas

Feminism and culture, self-love, health/fitness, professional thought machine

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