Sexism the Last Straw for Reality Show Game Developers

- 04-02-14Nerd Culture, Videogames Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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Good idea: Creating a reality show web series about competing teams of video game designers.

Bad idea: Trying to create a false sense of drama by using sexism to pit contestants against each other.

As luck would have it, that wasn’t the only problem with the reality web series GAME_JAM, but it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. But it seems that this project was doomed to failure, from the recruitment, contracting and implementation of the series, the whole thing collapsed before a single episode had finished shooting. Indeed a single day of shooting hadn’t yet been completed when the series was called off and everyone went home, and while it’s partly the fault of Mountain Dew, it’s really the fault of the producers for wanting to skewer the drama with some good old fashioned gender stereotyping. (more…)

Mattel VP Insists There’s Nothing Wrong With Barbie’s Unattainable Physique

- 02-03-14Nerd Culture, WTF? Posted by James Daniels

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Over the fifty-something years since her introduction, Mattel‘s flagship girl’s fashion doll, Barbie, has been the object of as much scorn and controversy as love and devotion. The perennial issue driving the anti-Barbie movement is her wildly unrealistic measurements and bodily proportions. It is believed by many (and apparently backed up by statistics) that Barbie’s impossible curves make her an inappropriate role model for little girls, and are also causing sales of the doll to plummet.

Well, a Mattel executive has decided to step into the arena and defend Barbie’s bod. (more…)

Are Mimi Yoon’s ‘Powerpuff Girls’ Too Sexy? Cartoon Network Bows to Online Controversy

- 01-27-14Comics, TV Posted by James Daniels

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No–that’s not them. Follow me after the jump for the image that had Facebook in a tizzy last week.  (more…)

DragonCon Co-Founder Ed Kramer Takes Plea Bargain–Sentenced to House Arrest

- 12-02-13Comics, Nerd Culture Posted by James Daniels

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The unpleasant story of DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer was one of the first nerd news items I ever covered for this website. All the way back in January I reported on a boycott of the popular convention: Kramer had been accused of multiple counts of child molestation, and yet he reportedly continued to draw an income from them. In July, it was announced that DragonCon had absolutely and irrevocably severed ties with Kramer.

And now, we have received word that Kramer has plead guilty to three of the six counts of molestation against him. He will serve 34 months in house arrest, pay restitution of $100,000 to each of his victims, and spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender–he will be forbidden from having any contact with individuals under 16.  (more…)

Orson Scott Card Won’t See a Penny of ‘Ender’s Game’ Flick Profits

- 11-01-13Film Posted by James Daniels

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More than a few people are planning a boycott of the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card‘s novel Ender’s Game. Card has become infamous over the years for his homophobic beliefs and connections to anti-gay hate groups, and many sci-fi fans do not wish to support the work of an author with such extreme and negative beliefs.

Well, I have good news for such individuals: Card won’t be getting his hands on dollar one of the Ender’s Game film profits. (more…)

Bronies Not Welcome at Fan’s Workplace

- 10-16-13Nerd Culture, WTF? Posted by James Daniels

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An anonymous man in his late thirties known online as “FiredBrony” claims he has been summarily dismissed from his job due to his enthusiasm for the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. (more…)

Orson Scott Card Speaks Out on ‘Ender’s Game’ Flick Boycott

- 07-09-13Film Posted by James Daniels

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The Ender’s Game series has, over the years , become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed franchises in science fiction literature. However, its author’s political views are controversial to say the least.

Orson Scott Card has become almost as famous (or infamous) for his homophobia as he has for his novel writing. He has, in the past, advocated open rebellion and revolution against the federal government should gay marriage be legalized, and he is a board member of the ultra right-wing anti-marriage equality group: the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

Now if Card’s opinions were nothing more than a private matter with no bearing on his public life, then there would be no reason to object, but when an author uses his position, money, and fame to advance what many would call a hateful agenda, it becomes understandable that many in the public might seek to deny him revenue by boycotting his works.

Not long after the cinematic version of Ender’s Game was announced, Geeks OUT!, an organization which speaks for the LGBTF portion of the nerd community, started a boycott website against the film called Skip Ender’s Game.

In response, Card released this statement to Entertainment Weekly:

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot.  The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

Orson Scott Card

Personally, and I do NOT speak for Nerd Bastards here: I wouldn’t give the man a penny – and I’d actually have more respect for him if he’d stuck to his guns come hell or high water, instead of this half-assed attempt to minimize the issue away.

Source: Blastr

Jim Carrey Ass-Kicks ‘Kick-Ass 2′ Over Gun Violence

- 06-24-13Featured, Film Posted by Jason Tabrys

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If you are a fan of either the original Kick-Ass movie or the Kick-Ass comic books from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., then you know that both contain copious amounts of gun violence, much of which is doled out by Hit-Girl, a once child and now teenage assassin.

That violence is shocking, graphic, and according to the cover of issue #2: “Sickening violence: Just the way you like it!”. So, in short, it’s kinda their gimmick and sorta their thing. That’s not to say that the book is dripping in blood and that it contains little to no virtue — that’s not at all the case. But if you are one of those people, the people who have put pop culture in the cross-hairs following the shocking shooting sprees in Aurora, Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, then you’ve surely taken notice of the Kick-Ass comics, the original film, its upcoming sequel, and now, Kick-Ass 2 star Jim Carrey‘s stated objections to the violence in the film.

I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence [...] my apologies to others involve with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.

The above was tweeted out by Carrey yesterday, causing a stir, some praise, and a deluge of negative press for the star, with one headline calling Carrey’s statements “Career suicide”. Mark Millar also reacted to Carrey’s statements via his Millarworld site, though the modesty averse comic superstar approached the matter with a civil and complementary tone while artfully defending the art-form of fictional violence.

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Here is some of that:

As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I’m baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. A sequel to the picture that gave us HIT-GIRL was always going to have some blood on the floor and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much. My books are very hardcore, but the movies are adapted for a more mainstream audience and if you loved the tone of the first picture you’re going to eat this up with a big, giant spoon. Like Jim, I’m horrified by real-life violence (even though I’m Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn’t a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorcese and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence, whether it’s the ramifications for friends and family or, as we saw in the first movie, Kick-Ass spending six months in hospital after his first street altercation. Ironically, Jim’s character in Kick-Ass 2 is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place.

Ultimately, this is his decision, but I’ve never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life. Our job as storytellers is to entertain and our toolbox can’t be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action-movie. Imagine a John Wayne picture where he wasn’t packing or a Rocky movie where Stallone wasn’t punching someone repeatedly in the face. Our audience is smart enough to know they’re all pretending and we should instead just sit back and enjoy the serotonin release of seeing bad guys meeting bad ends as much as we enjoyed seeing the Death Star exploding.

Now, Millar is right: this is Carrey’s decision, and I’m sure it’s not one that he came to lightly. Putting his advocacy ahead of his career is not likely “suicide”, but it could be detrimental and lasting. Not just because there will be some who disagree with Carrey’s politics, but because some may perceive this as Carrey being either unstable, disloyal, or both while putting his advocacy ahead of his castmates and the studio’s interest as well.

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Speaking of Universal’s interests, I can only imagine how they feel about this mere days after taking a risk and rescuing Carey’s Dumb and Dumber sequel from the burn pile.

As for why Carrey felt the need to be so public and not just have his morality cake while silently abstaining from doing press for the film, well, one assumes that he has an obligation to do press for Kick-Ass 2, and one wonders if the studio will now silently abstain from pushing him to do that, lest they crave the carnage of another derisive statement from the star.

Would he go this far again, though? Frankly, it already feels like a bit of damage has already been done, and we’re talking real damage to Carrey’s career, because he badly needed Kick-Ass 2 to be a smooth success. Unless you count kiddie fare like Horton Hears a Who, Carrey hasn’t had a hit since 2008′s Yes Man and a blockbuster since 2003′s Bruce Almighty, and his last film, Burt Wonderstone, was a certified bomb.

The actor is teetering on the edge of box office irrelevancy, no longer a certified draw and certainly not able to command the same fees that he once was.

I don’t think Kick-Ass 2 would have been a way back to the glory days of Carrey talking out of his asshole for $20 million dollars (though, some would say he’s now doing it for free on twitter… har… har), but it could have stopped the slide and re-introduced Carrey to a younger audience and a slew of different roles. Maybe it still can, but right now, it doesn’t seem like Carrey or Kick-Ass 2 is goona come out of this un-bruised… that is unless Carrey takes this a bit further and puts his money where his mouth is.

All throughout twitter and in articles, people are responding to Carrey with a shrug and something to the effect of: “Well, then donate your salary to the victims”. Carrey actually has a history of impressive charitable acts, so that may yet happen, but embracing that challenge and making a real statement with actions and not mere words… now that would be praise worthy.

Kick-Ass 2 opens up on August 18th, no word on when Jim Carrey’s wallet will do the same and catch up to his mouth.

 

The Hub Introduces Gender-Bending Superhero(ine) ‘She-Zow’

- 05-29-13TV Posted by James Daniels

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First of all, concerned parents can relax.

Despite some knee-jerk alarmist reactions to the concept of a kids’ cartoon about a 12 year old boy who puts on a magic ring, shouts “You Go Girl!” (no, really), and transforms into a female superhero, there’s really nothing all that controversial here.

Kids are pretty savvy in 2013: Even those that don’t understand the concept of transsexuality will just think the idea of a dude turning into a chick to fight crime is funny….and that seems to be all She-Zow is going for here.

This is less a groundbreaking moment for LGBT acceptance, and more a desperate ploy for ratings and publicity for The Hub, which despite a certain amount of popularity thanks largely to My Little Pony: FIM and Transformers, is being crushed by competitors like Nickelodeon and Disney.

As far as warping children’s fragile little minds goes: She-Zow has been airing in Canada for a year, and civilization has yet to collapse there.

I think we’ll be fine.

Oh, here’s the trailer:

Source: BleedingCool

Nerd Bastards WILL Review Ep. 4 of ‘Hannibal’…Regardless of NBC’s Plans

- 04-19-13TV Posted by James Daniels

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Actually, I should amend that: NerdBastards intends to review Episode 4 of Hannibal if it is humanly possible to do so.

I suppose I should start at the beginning, with an article from Variety. The popular trade publication reported that, in recognition of the recent tragedies in both Boston and Newtown, Episode 4 of Hannibal will be pulled. The plot of said episode reportedly involves elements of child murder that the network feels would be in poor taste to air at this time. Instead, next week NBC will be proceeding straight to Episode 5 of the fledgling series.

Now, this is not the forum for me to drone on about my particular feelings regarding this decision (I’m doing plenty of that on Facebook). Instead, I wanted to take the time to assure NB readers that Episode 4 will still be covered. The episode will air according to schedule overseas, and there’s talk on the show’s Facebook Page that it will still be available for online viewing. Therefore, unless there’s absolutely NO reasonable way of getting ahold of the ep, expect a double review of Episodes 4 AND 5 next Friday.

Source: Variety