Links For September 26, 2014

The Only One: A Talk With Shonda Rhimes

At the very end, I read her an audience question that said something like, “How do you think your shows have changed the position of African-Americans on television?” After a little pause, she said one of the things she’d learned was that on shows with Only One (only one woman, only one black character, only one Asian person, only one gay character), that’s when the Only One is required to be about nothing except that characteristic. She said her hope was in part that just by having more than Only One on her shows, she gave those characters room to develop and to have other things about them be important. She hopes that — and here’s the rub — by consciously increasing diversity overall she makes the race of each character less limiting, less defining.

Shonda Rhimes, The New York Times And Why We Really Need ‘Black-ish’

But “Black-ish” has to do double duty. Shonda Rhimes cannot simply be a successful creator of television, no different from peers like Hart Hanson, Greg Berlanti or Chuck Lorre; she is continually asked to address issues of race and gender because [she] is one of the few women and African-Americans who is making televisions shows. Similarly, “Black-ish” has to be more than just another pretty good sitcom. As one of the few comedies on a major network with a predominantly African-American cast, it has to navigate the issue of race in America. It can’t just be funny, it has to be astute and adept as well.

A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History

Women, when they emerge as participants in the game industry, are typically figured as outliers, exceptions, or early exemplars of “diversity” in the game industry. Yet the common practice of “adding women on” to game history in a gesture of inclusiveness fails to critically inquire into the ways gender is an infrastructure that profoundly affects who has access to what kinds of historical possibilities at a specific moment in time and space. This contribution aims to shift the relevant question from “Where are women in game history?” to “Why are they there in the way that they are?”

Crashes, Bangs and Quarries: An Interview With The The Radiophonic Workshop

This business about the variety of stuff we were doing shouldn’t be glossed over really, because when you’re trying to encapsulate the department’s output it’s that unexpectedness that people like. You could be enjoying the humour in words and pictures one moment and sound poetry the next - anything’s possible. If you go for the strictly serious stuff, you have to be in the right position and have a double-barrelled name to actually understand it… It’s very divisive.

Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary: Sleep is a standing affront to capitalism

Sleep, indeed, is a standing affront to capitalism. That is the argument of Jonathan Crary’s provocative and fascinating essay, which takes “24/7” as a spectral umbrella term for round-the-clock consumption and production in today’s world. The human power nap is a macho response to what Crary notes is the alarming shrinkage of sleep in modernity.

Artifact Hunt, A Board Game Design Workshop