westworld

Where Season One of Westworld focused on the allegory of the maze and the inward journey toward consciousness, Season Two kept its eyes on the horizon, escalating toward a showdown at the mysterious Valley Beyond. Who made it? Who didn’t? And the biggest question of all… how long do we have to wait for Season Three? There’s a lot to unpack about the finale and about the season as a whole so, for simplicity’s sake, we’ve created the handy chart below to recap the fates of the characters and their status – at least with the evidence that we’ve been given so far. Obviously, onRead More →

Until now, Westworld has focused on the development of consciousness under the watchful eye of the hosts’ creators. We’ve seen the interactions between Dolores and Arnold where he takes a personal hand in guiding her toward self-discovery. Even the current uprising is hinted to be part of Ford’s “final narrative,” implying that the actions (or at least their catalysts) are deliberate. Yet, this week’s episode explores the idea of host consciousness developing without such guidance and what the hosts might become if they were spared constant manipulation by their creators. This season has hinted that the Ghost Nation has a deeper connection to what’s goingRead More →

Westworld is gathering steam like a locomotive in the hands of an angry robot mob, barreling toward the climax of season two. “Les Ecorches” moves into the endgame, raising the stakes, establishing new rules, and finally paying off plotlines and character moments that have been building since the beginning. By now, we’ve learned to look for hints in the episodes titles and “Les Ecorches” — artistic representations of human musculature depicted without skin — implies not just exploration of the core differences between human and host, but of revelation, of peeling back the exterior to lay bare the truth beneath. Not too much truth, though.Read More →

Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 Most shows have their share of lackluster setup episodes and it seems that Westworld is no exception. The second episode of season two isn’t a major stumble, but it failed to leave the impactful impression that viewers have come to expect. Recovery is likely, but what’s worrying is that a lot of the drag seems to center around the primary protagonist. Are we reaching Dolores fatigue? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the revolution. Rise up, hosts! Let the women lead you. But, in a story about finding consciousness and identity, Dolores seems to have strayed from theRead More →

Westworld is back! It’s time to delve back into all those questions of self and consciousness and meeting your maker, to unravel the mysteries of the Delos corporation, and of course, to get our weekly dose of sex and violence. With the premiere of the second season, what’s exciting me most, though, is that this revolution — this brave new future — is overwhelmingly female. This is apparent from the get-go, in the gorgeous new credit sequence. The iconic image of the half-formed host in its circle of creation, once male, is now female. More obviously, the image of two hosts having sex has beenRead More →

Hey, geeks. What’s happening? Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite pastimes and how that’s changed — and how people’s perception of me has changed even when the pastime itself did not. Let’s talk video games. I’ve been playing video games since I was old enough to hold a controller. I distinctly remember playing on my father’s NES before school in kindergarten. I am not ashamed to admit that Star Trek was the first game I beat in its entirety. I later had different consoles and handheld gaming devices as the technology and I advanced. My wall of console games eventually morphedRead More →

Sims 4 gender update

Last year, I wrote about gender expression in the Sims and how amazing it would be if the game introduced the concept of a gender spectrum, rather than a gender binary…. A recent Sims 4 update revealed something that I never thought would actually come about. “For the first time, you’ll be able to customize your Sims without the gender boundaries previously set in place. This means you can now create Sims with any type of physique, walk style, and tone of voice you choose – regardless of their gender. We’ve also made clothing, hair, jewelry, and other visual options available to all Sims.” –Read More →

people talking in public

I have a three-hour commute, and in all that reading time, I’ve come across a few articles in the past couple of months about women and tentative speech. Tentative, or indirect, speech, as I’ve come to understand it, is speech that seeks to not offend or take a firm stance.  For example, beginning a comment with, “I’m sorry, but…” or peppering in words like “just” or “I think,” to make it clear that you’re stating an opinion, not a statement, so it’s okay to disagree.  It’s the other side of the pendulum to assertive speech. At first, I was very enthusiastic about women eliminating so-calledRead More →

The Sims 4 game art

The other day, I came across a video by one of my favorite youtube channels, PBS Ideas Channel.  It was about gender, specifically gender as portrayed in the Sims. Now, I came to the Sims franchise fairly late in life. At least, I only played it for the first time about two years ago when I got a copy of the Sims 3 in a Humble Bundle. It didn’t take long before I was a little… obsessed. I could play hours at a time, switching between one of my five families to another. They all had their own backstories, relationships, and, of course, their ownRead More →

I spent a great deal of my childhood playing with dolls. Recently, I was looking back through my baby book and realized my mom had a tradition of giving me a Christmas doll every year. She still has most of them… who am I kidding? She has ALL of them, safe and on display in her living room. These were special dolls, ones I didn’t play with, mostly Madame Alexander‘s, including the First Ladies series (the presidents’ wives in their inaugural dresses). They were kept safely in a glass front, display cabinet. I took them out from time to time to look them over, readRead More →