“Assassin’s Creed: Unity” and the Search for Our Female Characters

The Daily Geekette

Ubisoft's new Assassin's Creed game features co-op and some sexism on the sideUbisoft’s new Assassin’s Creed game features co-op and some sexism on the side

It’s dawn. A hawk glides past the inspiring edifice of Notre Dame and over restless crowds of revolutionaries. Four figures emerge from the smoke of gunfire. They have three things in common: they’re all Assassins, they’re all fighting on the side of “liberté, égalité, and fraternité”, and they’re all male. In Assassin’s Creed: Unity at least, the ‘brotherhood’ part of the Revolution’s maxim apparently counts more than calls for ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’. The upcoming title in Ubisoft’s ever-popular franchise comes with a new option for four-player co-op, but the four characters are really just one; all consist of variations on the protagonist Arno Dorian.  A common question thus returns to the conversation: when introducing an option for players to customise their protagonist, why was a female not available for that choice?

“It was really a lot of…

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What’s Your Writing Routine?

songoftheseagod

Do you have a routine for writing? A way of doing it which has become habit and which you know will get the best out of you? I was thinking about this having read a recent article on the subject.

Many famous writers seem to have these habits. I think the reason is that, to write a novel you need to get your backside on the chair and your fingers on the keyboard – regularly and for long periods of time, just to get the work done. I know only too well that novels don’t write themselves.

Murakami_Haruki_(2009)Here’s what the brilliant Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami had to say on the subject in an interview:

“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do…

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A Wife’s Letter to Her Childless Husband

bloomingspiders

I lay in bed the other night, hands crossed over my heart and legs pin-straight, and thought of those words:

This is not about me at all, is it? This is all about you.

That’s what you said to me when I told you I wanted to have the procedure done. A procedure that would be risky, as any procedure is, but that might point us to what’s wrong. The answer to why our children are in the clouds and not here with us.

I was angry at you for saying such a cruel thing. So I went to bed in silence and didn’t tell you to sleep with God and dream with me like I always do. I didn’t kiss you or reach for your hand in reconciliation. I simply lay there, emotionally entombed, trying not to breathe too hard or feel too much as I waited for sleep…

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Galloping Across the Steppes

TwilightBeasts

A team of horses (Equus caballus) slowly moving across the European steppes around 30,000 years ago. (Art by Tabitha Paterson) A team of horses (Equus caballus) slowly moving across the European steppes around 30,000 years ago. (Art by Tabitha Paterson)

Around 50 million years ago, long before the Epoch of the Twilight Beasts, a little mammal, Eohippus, scurried about in the forests of North America. This creature, about the size of an average dog, was the ancestor of the magnificent horse we know today. During this Period, called the Eocene, the environment and climate was constantly changing, and little Eohippus responded to adapt. Some species kept the paw like feet and just grew a little larger. Others lost a few toes altogether. Like the plants Eohippus fed from, horse evolution was a bushy tree of different species, some branches giving rise to new species, others evolutionary dead ends.

The horse that we know today, Equus caballus, evolved from the tiny little Eohippus. In…

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A Look at the Very Few Remaining Silent Film Actors

Classic Film Haven

Carla Laemmle has passed away, at the age of 104. Others have written glowingly and wonderfully about the woman and her unique life. Not only was she the niece of Universal Pictures found Carl Laemmle, she most notably appeared in the 1931 Dracula. Her connection to the horror genre through film led to her making a few film appearances in the final decade of her life, after not appearing in a role for around 70 years. There is another notable item about her as well– she was one of the remaining silent movie actors still alive. Her roles weren’t major by any stretch of the imagination (she was uncredited in her first appearance, The Phantom of the Opera), but she was one of the dwindling few left alive who appeared in silent films. Mickey Rooney, another member of that small group, passed away earlier this year as well…

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The Sketchbook Series: Marion Wilcocks

SGFA Journal

Pen and wash figure study 2 Pen and wash figure study 2

« My sketchbooks are filled with diverse drawings, but here I’d like to focus mainly on people observed in passing, as well as subjects in the Life studio, where I use the sketchbook for preliminary studies or rapid poses.

Action pose Action pose



My favourite format is square, with paper robust enough to take a bit of watercolour, and with a stitched binding, so that I can expand across two pages when I want to.


I work fast, and I don’t fiddle with life sketches; they stay the way they arrived on the paper. Sketchbooks are fun to look at because they record immediacy.

Coffee bar Coffee bar

Out and about, I like to draw whenever I can. I explore the way figures form interesting compositions as they recede in perspective, also the extraordinary differences between figure types and shapes.

Travelling by train or bus, I will often draw from…

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