Age Appropriate Toys: Abuse, Recovery, and Playing Barbies as a Teen

The Pregnant Belly: A Narrative Prison for Mother and Child

I’ve been pregnant twice. I won’t say I loved being pregnant. There were definitely down sides to the reproductive process, though compared to some my pregnancies were relatively easy. I do not say that to brag. Pregnancy is a frightening thing. A dangerous thing. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 800 women die daily from pregnancy or birth-related issues, the majority in developing countries. Many of these deaths could be prevented if those women had access to the care and technology we do in first world countries. Still, women here can suffer through pregnancy and childbirth in many ways when their bodies betray them due to new or pre-existing conditions. When I say my pregnancies were easy, I say it with the deep understanding of how fortunate I have been, and with the humble acknowledgement of the strength of those women for whom the process is not easy at all. And who, in spite of their difficulties, are willing to do it again.


Age Appropriate Toys: Abuse, Recovery, and Playing Barbies as a Teen

Fifty Shades of Otome: A Mobile Market of Devotion or Defilement?

I can’t recall how I became interested in mobile otome gamesI think it began with a game that was on sale on Steam. It renewed my interest in visual novels in general and eventually led me to the mobile market to further whet my palate. For those not aware, “otome gēmu” (pronounced “OH-TOE-MEH”) means “girl game” and is basically a dating simulation in which you play as a female character romancing various available male (and sometimes female) characters.

With my curiosity peaked, I searched Android’s mobile store to see what the market was like, as I had also seen games such as Burn your fat with me!! before and knew an otome version was in development. Anticipating the selection would be meager, I was shocked at the breadth of the mobile otome market. Many of them featured the same game mechanics, but with a variety of genres, including medieval fantasy, wizards, detective/police, office romances, and feudal Japan. There’s a flavour for everyone. (more…)