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Not all video games treat women like objects. This one does it right. Really really right.

Video games catch a lot of grief about portraying women badly. But the independent game "Sword & Sworcery" did it so well that other developers should sit up and take notice.

Not all video games treat women like objects. This one does it right. Really really right.

When a woman is featured in a video game, often she's a sexual object, a mission objective, a sidekick, or background decoration.

"Sword & Sworcery" isn't playing that.

Its protagonist, the Scythian, manages to save her world without triggering a single eyeroll or exasperated "really!?" because the developers know what you and I know: Heroes are heroes regardless of gender.


Like them or not, video games are big money.

That's right, we spent more buying video games than songs!

Video games have become a huge part of the way we tell our stories. But they haven't earned a reputation for telling everyone's stories. That's why "Sword & Sworcery" deserves a big shoutout.

Why is this game so special?

First and foremost, it's a good game as Anita Sarkeesian shows us. The retro 8-bit style is well-executed, the music is complex, the gameplay is slick, the puzzles are engaging and fun. But above all: The story is compelling and well-told.

The developers made a decision to make its hero, the Scythian, a woman. And they intentionally avoided the clichés that normally accompany games with female characters. She's not sexualized. She's not foofy or frilly. She's not a sidekick.


"Thankfully, the game doesn't resort to clear gendered signifiers like a pink outfit or a pretty bow in her hair, nor does it present her gender as some kind of surprise twist like we see in the original Metroid."
— Anita Sarkeesian

Is it important that the Scythian is female?


"When archetypal fantasy heroes in games are overwhelmingly portrayed as men, it reinforces the idea that men's experiences are universal and that women's experiences are gendered, that women should be able to empathize with male characters but that men needn't be able to identify with women's stories."
— Anita Sarkeesian

Because she is a person first. She is a person who decides to go on a quest to save a world she loves. That story is not unique to one gender. Anyone can work to preserve what they love.

"She didn't just exist in relation to another character — she wasn't just somebody's wife or sister or daughter — but rather, she existed as an individual, and as a hero."
— Anita Sarkeesian

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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