[This article was originally published on Aikido Journal in September of 2019.]
Christina Kelly is an editor for Aikido Journal and has practiced aikido for about a year, currently holding the rank of fourth kyu. She is a professional writer and editor specializing in video games and esports, and has previously worked in editorial at Blizzard Entertainment and ESPN Esports. Her last editorial on AJ was titled “Why the World Needs Aikido, A Millennial’s Perspective.” This editorial was written for a general audience who may not be familiar with aikido.
I’m a woman who has had a lot of experience in female-dominated activities (certain types of dance), male-dominated activities (video games), and roughly gender-equivalent activities (music) throughout my life. I started learning aikido about a year ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a substantial number of women practicing at my dojo, even if, overall, men were still the majority. As I dove deeper into aikido’s techniques and practices, I realized that it’s a discipline that offers benefits that are very helpful for women and it’s also an art where women have advantageous traits.
In this article, I’d like to lay out these benefits and advantageous traits as I see them, so that women have a better understanding of the way practicing aikido can help them achieve their goals. Nothing in this article is intended to judge women or men as a group – or their activities of choice – as good or bad, worse or better. The idea is to acknowledge and address the challenges women face, the skills or experiences that women value, and the various characteristics that gender brings to the table. Much of the information in this article could also be useful to men and gender nonbinary or gender nonconforming individuals as well. Now then, let’s get started.
Continue reading “Why Aikido is Great for Women”
[I wrote this after attending the tournament The Big House 8 in a response to a writing prompt from my friend asking for 500 words “on the relative peace and serenity that precedes a turbulent maelstrom of activity.”]
When people think about “the calm before the storm” in a traditional sense, it brings to mind hunkering down in a clapboard house with boarded up windows and flashlights and canned food, waiting for the nor’easter or hurricane to wreak havoc on power lines and traffic signs. The storm is an external elemental force, unknowable and unpredictable, an uncaring outburst from the whims of mother nature, which must be handled with caution and stern fortitude on the part of human beings. In esports, there is no external chaos, because the storm comes from within.
Continue reading “The Calm Before the Storm”
Today I was a featured guest on WNPR’s The Colin McEnroe Show out of Connecticut for their esports episode. I talked about the origins of pro esports in South Korea, StarCraft at the Pyeongchang Olympics, diversity and inclusivity in the Super Smash Bros. Melee competitive community, matchfixing in esports, sports investment in the Overwatch League, and more. I spoke alongside T.L. Taylor (MIT & AnyKey) and Michael Brooks (National Association of Collegiate Esports). Check it out!
[Posted here 1/21/16: https://plus.google.com/+ChristinaKelly/posts/5MagZTF5qYF]
TL; DR – This year might be the beginning of the end of StarCraft as a dominant eSports scene, or it could lead to a thousand pylons blooming all over the world as the Korean juggernaut is reined in. Maybe both. It’ll be an exciting year.
Continue reading “StarCraft II eSports Update – Sad Times for Korea?”
[Originally posted on Google+.]
Today I had the pleasure of attending a talk by +Kent Hudson, a game designer at LucasArts, who spoke about design-driven storytelling in games (note: slides can be found at http://www.onethree.org/talks).
My philosophy on storytelling in general is that it is a crucial, hardwired part of the human experience. Human beings have a fundamental need to tell stories, hear stories, and, perhaps most importantly, create stories. The ability to construct a narrative out of the chaos of the world is part of what keeps our enormous, buzzing brains sane and stable, and is also part of what challenges us to keep putting one foot in front of the other and becoming more than we were before.
Continue reading “Storytelling in Games – How to Do It Right”
[Inspired by http://bit.ly/p35h8Y. Originally posted on Google+.]
My alarm clock goes off. Well, it’s not really an alarm clock, because clocks are analog and made of wood and aren’t synched to anything. What wakes me up is something that has a passing visual similarity to an alarm clock, with hands and everything, but it’s a GUI for a program on one of my various devices that checks in with something on the internet that can tell the absolute correct time anywhere with atomic precision, which – let’s face it – is better. Let’s just call it an alarm.
Continue reading “A Day in the Life in Silicon Valley”
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