GoT takes a nuanced approach to legendary samurai

Photo via Sony Playstation

This is a series of feminist gaming reviews of major PS4 story-based games.
Warning: *Minor spoilers ahead*

Swords, haiku, bandits, and folklore are just a few highlights to look forward to in Sucker Punch’s 2020-released Ghost of Tsushima. Set in Feudal Japan, the story follows Jin, a Samurai, one of the few left in his province, in his quest to drive out the Mongols from his homeland.

This game takes a stark look at war and humanity — and even more pressing: How to retain our humanity through war. The game is violent, but it doesn’t revel in it (*ahem*…

Horizon firmly centers feminism as its moral compass

This is a series of feminist gaming reviews of major PS4 story-based games.
Warning: *Spoilers ahead*

Image via Sony

I’ve discussed many of my feelings on Horizon: Zero Dawn in a previous article, but I want to revisit them for the sake of this series. In all transparency, HZD is my favorite video game of the bunch (maybe of all time?), so I may be a tad biased. It’s compulsively playable, the landscapes are breathtaking and a joy to explore, the story took my breath away, and tears were shed.

But when you get down…

Naughty Dog made a controversial splash with the most-anticipated game of 2020

Photo via Naughty Dog

This is a series of feminist gaming reviews of major PS4 story-based games.

This game had me in a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve rewritten this piece at least three times since I first finished playing TLOU2. Naughty Dog was obviously trying to create a fresh, different sort of game with this highly-anticipated sequel, one that shakes up your typical toxic-masculine action narrative.

Because of that, there isn’t just a quick handful of ways TLOU2 has moved toward feminism. Instead, they’re rethinking the way we interact with the characters and games themselves. For me, that is a great start to breaking…

A feminist review of popular PS4 titles

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

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

Photo by Houcine Ncib via Unsplash

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

Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash

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

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

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.


Candice Brusuelas

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

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