How many of your faves can say that they had gay marriage in their franchise since '98?
I have so many opinions about you - and not all of them are totally positive. Hell, some of them are just downright negative. But even I have to admit that you are an iconic franchise. You took the gaming world by storm, introduced the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (strength, perception, endurance, charisma, agility, and luck) system, and provided a much needed escape from the fantastical fantasy worlds of other RPGs of the time (okay, Wasteland did it first). Your characters have always been interesting, your lore has always been a delightful mixture of zany and serious - you're a great franchise.
I've already spoken in length about my experience with Fallout. New Vegas played a very big part in how I feel about queerness in gaming. It shaped a lot of my very staunch opinions about the subject. After all, here was a reasonably large title that included some mostly-decent queer stuff. To this day, I can't find one gay gamer who wasn't pleasantly surprised to the see bespectacled Arcade Gannon was not only gay, but definitely interested. Not to mention every other character.
And it doesn't stop there!
A lot of the major Fallout titles have had some form of queer characters peppered throughout (except for Fallout 3, unless there's someone I missed).
Probably the best example is in Fallout 2, I only just purchased the game in my recent Steam Winter Sale haul - and getting through it has been a challenge. I usually don't enjoy too many isometric games, mostly due to my relative newness with them. But, Patricia Hernandez talks in length about the game's importance to her and her sexual identity. It's beautifully written, and honestly, it's the same thing I felt whenever I played New Vegas.
The newness of the queer option gave me that same sense of rebellion - the only difference being that I had already accepted that I was gay by the time I played New Vegas. My awakening was definitely more of a "I want more characters like this," and less of a "Okay, so this is what sexuality is."
Although, the more I think about it, the more I feel almost cheated out of an experience. In
Fallout 2, you were forced in a marriage, and had to actively work to keep your wife alive. It added a level of stakes to the game, and if you cared to keep your spouse alive, made the game that much harder. Bethesda games are as Hernandez puts it, "by comparison, the modern Fallouts feel absurdly easy, like they start you off as a powerful character and the rest of the game is an adventure in becoming super duper overpowered." Which isn't a lie, if you aren't specifically trying to play the game on maximum difficulty - the games are easy.
In Fallout 3, all companions can die, but they aren't totally important and as far as I know, none of them are queer. In New Vegas, companions can't die, and you even get the option to travel with the queer companions! There is no actual romance, though, so that's also a downside. Fallout 4 is the first Fallout game that allows you to seduce and have an overarching romance with not just one, but every single human companion in the game! That's almost perfect! Your faves could never!
That is a huge deal, and made that awful game worth playing. The developers put care into developing their characters, and gave you actual bonuses when you seduced them. I'll never forget the feeling of accomplishment and joy when I finally managed to become an item with the most beautiful boy in the Wasteland: Preston Garvey (yes, he's annoying, I know, but he's also adorable). I was a man, playing as a male character who was now in a committed relationship with another male character. And I could do this with all of the other main characters too! With no penalty!! I mean, who else gave him your wife's old ring? Was that just me?
Of course, this bothered me a little bit.
I would have loved to have more narrative stakes. I wanted to see more of an incentive to be committed to your partner. Like Dragon Age: Inquisition, once you make the commitment to a character - that's it! They also have characters with specific sexualities and interests. It adds a certain realism to the game that Fallout unfortunately lacks.
Still, despite its problems, Fallout has made leaps and bounds for queer people in their games. I can say negative things about them all I want, but I'd be a fool to try and deny it. It's been changing the game since 1998, and not many other franchises can say that. It's taken some steps forward and a couple of steps back (after all, Fallout 4 never gave me my gay wedding). I have hopes for the next game in the installment, and I hope I'm not disappointed.
Shann Smith is a lover of video games and writer of plays and screenplays, based in NYC. Do you guys have a game that you think is significant to the LGBTQ+ community? Email me, and I'll give it a look!
POP⚡ DUST | Read More VIDEO GAY-MER...
Sometimes you've just got to get yourself that Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread.
I hope Jen from Appleton, Wisconsin is doing well these days.
As for Angela, the star of the best Bath & Body Works rant of all time (and there are surprisingly many on YouTube), I hope she's living a Winter Candy Apple-scented life to the fullest.
In 2012, the aspiring vlogger posted a rant about her dire mission to acquire two coveted candles from Bath & Body Works: Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread. The outstanding 11-minute video recounts her harrowing journey to the store in APPLETON, WISCONSIN (it's very important the store is called out for their heinous treatment of Angela).
After the video was discovered and spread across Tumblr, it was recognized as a cultural masterpiece of our time, a treatise on the frailty of the human condition and our undying perseverance to end our own suffering at any cost.
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It's an unprecedented time for brand deals and nonsensical collaborations
I'm convinced that the Supreme Oreos that terrorized the internet (and which I haven't stopped thinking about since) were the cultural reset.
Released in February 2020, right as everything started to go wrong, these bright red Supreme Oreos were met with equally visceral confusion and anticipation. Despite many on the internet claiming that Supreme and Oreo had gone too far, the 3-pack of Oreos inevitably sold out in minutes online.
It seems Oreo have not learned their lesson. Just announced: their collaboration with Lady Gaga
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Life is short, go for a bold eye like Jules.
From Rue's grungy over-sized aesthetic to Jules' femme futuristic looks, there are plenty of outfits shown throughout the series to inspire you to reinvent your whole wardrobe. Not to mention the makeup looks, which are so unique and striking as to have inspired hundreds of Halloween costumes last year. But why reserve a neon eye shadow or sequin eyelid look for Halloween when you can channel your inner Maddie or Jules all year long?
Euphoria Season 2 may be a few months away, but HBO is releasing two special episodes much sooner. The first of these specials, "Trouble Don't Last Always," focuses on Rue (played by Zendaya) and just dropped on HBO Max. To celebrate, we've listed some of the most essential cosmetic products to help you make your Euphoria-inspired makeup dreams come true—no drugs required.
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Here's what to stream this weekend.
If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust's weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.
Jordana, Something to Say to You<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:2A6VsLoEwhNrIX1PnxSNoL" id="43d23" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c0e2765824817964f2530f04b869de70" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Inspired by 2000s indie rock as much as current rap heroes like Lil Uzi Vert, Jordana Nye's second full-length album, <em>Something to Say to You,</em> is a chameleonic collection of lo-fi bedroom pop. After her early SoundCloud releases caught the ears of New York indie label Grand Jury, Jordana's sound has leveled up — wavering between layered electronica and acoustic ballads — without ever losing her homespun charm.</p>
Dogleg / Worst Party Ever, Go EP<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vbWVkaWEucmJsLm1zL2ltYWdlP3U9JTJGaW1hZ2UlMkZhYjY3NzA2YzAwMDBiZWJiMjVhYjkzNTkxNDJkYWViM2IzMzEyZDY5JmhvPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGaS5zY2RuLmNvJnM9MzQ4Jmg9NTQ5MWIwMzBiZjA5ODIwMjlhOGExMjc4OGY2ZDdkN2JmMzRiMjFiOGE5Njk1MTZkYzczN2FlZTgzOTdmYjFjNiZzaXplPTk4MHgmYz0xNjQxNTAwMjA2IiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjI2NjkyMn0.bm0HvEP0OlqD3CA4ZqtRJWHYLPhNQb8X6X9Lzt6zIKM/img.jpg" id="3c88f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b9aae84184b12a4b2de84b15b1052ff0" />Dogleg x Worst Party Ever - "GO"
Winston C.W., Good Guess<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:76e0yvuj6mQqf9A4l2MxR1" id="32d8f" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="21bd6eeae038c3dd0c92abde74a04988" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Winston Cook-Wilson is a songwriter, music journalist, and frontman of the Brooklyn rock band Office Culture. On his latest release under the moniker Winston C.W., <em>Good Guess, </em>Cook-Wilson takes a quieter approach, with his jazzy piano and vocals backed by upright bassist Carmen Rothwell and guitarist Ryan Beckley. At once intimate and spacious, <em>Good Guess </em>acts as Cook-Wilson's reflection on a period of personal turmoil last year in a fitting soundtrack to healing.</p>
Drakeo the Ruler, We Know the Truth<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:3JHBh2GhfyEDtV9n2sSy77" id="fd6b0" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c28db37b4280421677b5cec637ac060" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>In November, when most of America was awaiting the results of the 2020 presidential election, Darrell Caldwell—the Los Angeles-based rapper known as Drakeo the Ruler — was <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/12/01/940814717/drakeo-the-ruler-less-than-a-month-out-of-prison-releases-we-know-the-truth" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">released from prison</a> following years of institutional corruption at the hands of Los Angeles' District Attorney, Jackie Lacey.</p><p>Less than a month later, Drakeo has released his latest full-length project, <em>We Know the Truth, </em>a collection of gritty West Coast hip-hop that feels like a culmination of the rapper's emotions while behind bars. He wrote all the lyrics while in prison.</p>
Joan of Arc, Tim Melina Theo Bobby<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:741roIjrflAKmW4Cxe1U3K" id="310d5" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="915b9785440a12cb635fe3eb4c3acd29" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Joan of Arc were one of the most polarizing bands to emerge from <a href="https://www.popdust.com/essential-emo-albums-2645236632.html?share_id=5564901" target="_self">emo's second wave</a> around the turn of the century. Formed by frontman Tim Kinsella after the dissolution of his short-lived yet highly influential band Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc offered a more experimental interpretation of the genre. </p> <p>Kinsella's knack for challenging expectations is still prevalent today on the band's final album, <em>Tim Melina Theo Bobby. </em>Idiosyncratic, evocative, and sprawling, the record helps memorialize the legacy of a band whose impact was often overlooked in its heyday.</p>
Boba's back and our heroes lose. Season 2 just went full Empire Strikes Back.
With only two more episodes left in the season, The Mandalorian kick-started the final narrative arc with an explosive new entry.
The Mandalorian "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" premiered Friday, December 4th on Disney+. We're going to breakdown and explain all the major moments in this episode as well as its implications for the future of Season 2 and the series as a whole. It's all spoilers from this point forward. Do yourself a favor, watch Season 2, Episode 6, and come back!
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