Friday, March 8, 2013

HERadventure: Premiere Day for $100K NEA Grantee

    Earth is the source of a "spreading darkness, mysterious in its origin, ruthless in its destruction." That darkness emanates from "societal issues affecting the women of Earth." So says HERadventure, a "multi-episode, augmented reality computer game" developed with the support of Spelman College in Atlanta and a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant.  I first called attention to HERadventure in January, and now the day has arrived for taxpayers to find out if they got their money's worth.
    Today, International Women’s Day, March 8, was chosen as the launch date for the "transmedia, interactive" story, and Beets Cafe in Austin, Texas is the place.  The listing at Eventbrite.com says that the "event will include a demo and talk back with award-winning and pioneer filmmaker Ayoka Chenzira and Emmy nominated producer, HaJ who will share their unique experiencing behind HERadventure."  As of Thursday evening, 36 tickets remained for the free event.  It is not clear how many tickets were available to begin with or what the seating capacity is at Beets.
    A website for HERadventure is now live, although it is rather sparse.  However, a "press kit" is available on the site with a detailed synopsis of the movie/game. Some excerpts:

A universal truth, across space and time, and to all things: Everything is connected. HERadventure, reveals that incivility anywhere is a threat to civility everywhere; that evil seeded on one planet can feed evil on another. That is where the story begins: on another planet, another world entirely….
Xamtha.  A once-great planet -- a thriving civilization of women leaders and noble warriors -- is slowly being consumed by a spreading darkness, mysterious in its origin, ruthless in its destruction.  The elite warrior corps of Xamtha, the Glovebearers, has been dispatched to combat this dark force, and to protect the very source of Xamthan life -- its Life Energy Force.  Harnessed from the roots of precious trees, the Life Energy Force is all that stands between the Xamthans and utter extinction. And it is slowly being eaten away by the corrosiveness of the encroaching darkness... 
...energy signatures of the dark force indicate that it is originating from another planet: Earth.  Determined to stop the dark force at its source, Zira goes through the portal against Her’s protestations... 
On Earth, Her enlists the assistance of you, the audience-turned-Player, and the adventure becomes an interactive experience in which conflicts through instances of social injustice must be overcome through a series of game-mode challenges.  Her comes upon various scenarios of societal issues affecting the women of Earth -- discrimination, domestic violence, sexual predation among them -- and in finding that the root of these evils is the root all evil, she finds her voice and a great unknown strength.
    There is even a short video clip on the website of Her herself pleading for help.

    HERadventure also has an account on Twitter, as well, and a Facebook page.  Most recently, a promotional trailer was posted on YouTube:

    “We are experimenting with ways to address social issues, personally engage viewers and reach them where they get entertainment / education in the digital age” said Ayoka. “Stories and superheroes developed for the new digital film and gaming formats seldom include women of color. HERadventure will not only address this issue but engage more young women through gaming and illuminate the interconnectivity of us all,” said HaJ.  Today, the world will get to judge for itself how far these two collaborators have come in achieving their goals.  And whether or not it was worth the $100,000.


  1. This game, like so much of feminism, perpetuates the very foundational paradigm of traditionalism (male disposability & female infantalisation) that it claims to oppose.

    Certainly sexual predatory, rape & domestic violence are serious issues, however these are genderless issues. It has long been known that rates of domestic violence by both men & women, & experienced by women are equal (& btw, studies which only ask women about their experiences as victims & only ask men about their experiences as abusers are utterly devoid of credibility when it comes to determining relative rates of domestic violence). Furthermore, emerging research into rape is increasingly finding that men & women rape & are raped at similar rates.

    However the reason we do not recognise this because women have been regarded by chauvinism as weak, pathetic, helpless (to the point of even needing to be protected from themselves) & perpetually innocent & therefore incapable of harming others because of a survivalist desire to arbitrarily protect the uterus. Conversely a penis, especially an erect penis, is regarded as a sign of perpetual sexual dominance & power by society. Under this worldview, male victims & female perpetrators are arbitrarily dismissed.

    The moment a man is abused by a woman, it is the man who is shamed for a failure to "be a real man" on his part by both men & women, rather than the female abuser for failing to respect the dignity & humanity of her victim (funny how women being blamed for being heterosexually raped based on how they dressed is abhorrent but a man being blamed for being raped because he has a penis is completely acceptable).

    This is because men, from the age where they are young boys, are groomed to believe they only have value based on their sexual prowess, their ability to provide & ability to protect - with any need for compassion by them being a failing on their part.

    The most telling example of this is where the family courts come into play where children born out of female-on-male statutory rape are concerned. Child rape victims as young as 12 are forced to pay their paedophiles child support because their being raped turns them into fathers. Ironic that no one bats an eye at this sort of systematic behaviour when we demand that underage girls who experience rape pregnancies, are given the option of abortions.

    Highly telling too is the fact that under "primary aggressor laws", male domestic violence victims are arbitrarily arrested on police call-outs - where they will inevitably be raped & subjected to violence as they are assumed to be "wife beaters". This effectively allows female spousal abusers to use the system as a source of rape & aggravated assault against her victim.

    This is ignoring the fact that female paedophiles in many respects are the last social taboo & that child victims of female paedophiles are almost never believed & almost always excused.

    Yet feminism merely amplifies this with the arbitrary notion of women exclusively being victims & men exclusively being predators. Furthermore this is underpinned by the ludicrous & zeitgeist based notion of patriarchy - which claims, when taken to its conclusions, that the homeless men of England arbitrarily oppress the Queen. Of course the irony that the underlying worldview of this was the direct impetus for the paternalism which trapped women in the kitchen & bedroom & denied them agency for centuries, should not be lost on anyone.

    (continued next post)

  2. (continued from previous post)

    The reality is that this video game, like so many other feminist (chauvinistic) messages, merely perpetuates this utterly depraved double standard, by further entrenching the notion that sexual predatory, rape & domestic violence, are heinous acts which only exist in a dynamic of "female-victim/male-predator". In doing so it further entrenches the notion that men cannot be abused by women - to the point where even instances of female-on-male child abuse are considered an anathema & the victims invariably face disbelief, villainsation & outright ridicule when they do bravely try & speak up.

    As such, regardless of whether it is their intention, projects like this in effect, perpetuate domestic violence, rape & even paedophile apologetics where the victim is male & the abuser is female.

    Is it any wonder that men commit suicide at 3-4 times the rates that women do.

    By all means, issues of domestic & sexual violence must be explored & combated by society. However throwing the plight of half the world's population under a bus to deal with the plight of the other half of the world's population, is nothing but vile hypocrisy.

    It will be interesting to see whether this post is censored as "questionable expression", however I would point out that as a male survivor of rape & domestic violence at the hands of a female abuser, such an action would be a textbook example of chauvinistic victim blaming & victim gagging.

    1. Thank you for that comment. More insightful information than the article.