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Upcoming Shooter “XCOM” To Feature Gay Character

Upcoming Shooter “XCOM” To Feature Gay Character  (photo)

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For all the billions the medium makes year-on-year, you figure people of all stripes are buying video games. Black, Asian, gay, disabled… the pleasures of video games speaks to all of them. But the games industry does a lousy job when it comes to diversity. Most lead characters are, as I said yesterday, Standard Issue White Guy #38 and their supporting casts generally hew to the same WASPy mold. Where there are characters that come from alternative backgrounds, tokenism usually runs rampant, meaning that you don’t really get good characterization. If you’re lucky, stereotypes are avoided and all you need to do shake your head at missed opportunities.

But, the team at 2K Games that’s making 2012 shooter “XCOM” wants to make the most of an opportunity. According to an interview at Gay Gamer, they’re putting a closeted gay scientist in the FPS/strategy hybrid and he won’t be any kind of mincing sidekick. Narrative director Jordan Thomas tells the site that the character of Dr Weir:

“Weir is an Australian. He’s not a citizen of the States, although he came there to study particle accelerators, and already found himself an outsider on that grounds alone simply because of the paranoia of foreigners that was prevalent in the mid-century.”

“But on top of that, he is also a closeted homosexual. He has both a sexual and a political opposition to the elite of the country, which are still very conservative – very focused on America as the best and the brightest – and he doesn’t fit their paradigm. It is hard for them to acknowledge that one of the best scientists in the world is, in their minds, deviant. So he’s struggled with that for a long time.”

“But all of sudden this alien invasion hits and they need him and they have to put it aside. But then you see those tensions come to bear in the base. There are characters who don’t like working with him. They are people of their time. And so you’ll see different positions represented amongst the core cast. But he is – he is a man with true grit. He’s able to weather it pretty well, and the player kind of gets to decide where they fall on that continuum. You can basically decide how to treat him.”

“XCOM” looks to be falling on the tried-and-true use of science-fiction as social commentary. In the interview, Thomas also alludes to a black agent who fell out of favor with the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO division after refusing to falsify evidence that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communist. Now, neither this black character or Weir are the lead characters in “XCOM.” Nevertheless, the fact that they’re being crafted to shed light on the civil rights struggles and simmering tensions in the supposed golden age of the American century makes me exponentially more interested in XCOM than I already was. And I was super-interested ever since seeing it last year.

Are you excited or worried about how Dr. Weir will be portrayed in “XCOM”? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…