Dishonored Meta: Corvo Attano Is Not Your Action-Game Protagonist


Or, Who The Hell Is Corvo Attano And Why Can’t I See His Face?

I’ve written a lot about Corvo, both in fic and in meta, but I’ve never fully articulated why I like him or why I write him the way I do. Corvo’s a deeply frustrating character. He’s really hard to get a bead on. He exists in this odd liminal space between a fully blank-slate character like the Dovahkiin and a fleshed-out one like Ezio Auditore or even Commander Shepard. He doesn’t talk, he doesn’t have opinions; he’s passive. We don’t seem to know a lot about him.


The backstory and lore in Dishonored is an iceberg; it’s 90% under the surface, and you have to squint your eyes and use the Heart and dig a while to get to it. We actually know a ton about Corvo. And what we know is incredibly fascinating. I find Corvo so interesting precisely because he goes against all our preconceptions of what the protagonist of an action-heavy first-person videogame is supposed to be. He is kind, devoted, alone, confused, drifting, reticent, obedient, codependent, Type B, and a massive pile of understated pain and fail. His status as an ill-defined pseudo-blank-slate actually makes perfect sense for the story he’s in.

Corvo is an amazing character. He’s just very quiet about it.

Let me explain what we know, and what we can infer. I’m frontloading this essay with a lot of pure, hard evidence. Let’s begin with some broad points, shall we?

(Fair warning: this essay wound up being 4k words long. Grab a comfy chair)

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My city is in chaos.
This is what’s happening to Hong Kong right this minute.



It is difficult for me to put into words, but simply put, University students started a class boycott movement demanding democracy and universal suffrage from the Hong Kong and Chinese Government this week, and the movement has escalated into citizens occupying Government Square and now, a main road leading into Hong Kong’s central hub.

Most protesters are younger generation Hong Kongers, including university students and even secondary school students. The leader of the student movement himself is barely even old enough to drive a car. 
The movement began peacefully with citizens merely sitting quietly and occupying a public space in a silent protest on Friday night. 

Then at 7:00 in the morning the next day, policemen stormed into the public square and began clearing out the area by force, dragging youngsters out violently, injuring many of them. Policemen have also been witnessed to beating youngsters without reason, and using high-concentration, anti-riot pepperspray on civilians who are merely attempting to protect themselves. No civilian put up any sort of fight or attempt at assaulting the police as far as i know,
(Police justified clearing out the area with the reason that protesters are holding illegal meetings in a public space.)

(Protesting civilians who remained on the streets overnight are wearing plastic wraps and raincoats under 30 degree weather in an attempt to protect themselves should the police utilize peppersprays again.)

The movement escalated again tonight when the protesters (now 4 times the size of the student movement the previous week) occupied a main road leading to the central hub of Hong Kong.

The police barricaded the roads and attempted to stop more people from joining the crowd this whole afternoon, but the peaceful crowd remained persistent and would not leave the area even after the police issued verbal warnings. (I emphasize “peaceful”, because protesters continued to be orderly and did not display any forms of aggression. They even cleared out a path for cars to pass the area, something the police didn’t even bother to do.)

At around 6:00, the police began using peppersprays on civilians again, this time high-powered ones that came in tanks instead of in bottles. Our people continued to shield themselves with umbrellas, but the umbrellas were also soon snatched away by the police. Live feed videos have also confirmed that police have been misusing peppersprays by firing them at close proximity, and also not giving any sort of verbal warnings before firing.

Video of a policeman firing at an elderly man at point-blank range:


Yet again, protesters remained, and at 7:00, armed forces were sent into the crowd. They began firing tear gas capsules INTO the crowds and even INTO First-aid stations. The rounds came every few minutes and i counted at least 5 capsules being fired in a 10-minute period according to the live feeds. 


at least 30,000 people continue to stand their ground right this second, more armed policemen are being sent in, and news is that these police are ordered to use guns (loaded with plastic bullets) on civilians if protesters continue to remain. 



I fear for the people because policemen are not what they used to be anymore. These “police” who should be protecting us are now private armies for the government. I am watching my city die. It’s a terrifying feeling. If the police feel they are justified to use force on innocent civilians, tonight could end up in another massacre just like that of the Tian An Men June Fourth Massacre in 1989. 

And at this point I am too emotional to say anything else except that we need your prayers and your support. Please spread this out, people all over the world need to see what is happening right now. 








urbance fan questions being addressed, aka why you should read the kickstarter instead of just relying on tumblr posts

mega important you guys

ok but on their fb they’re liking/commenting on all the “LAWL FUCK SJWS WHO HATE THIS” type of posts and even commented AMEN on a post that said homophobia and transphobia are buzzwords



woah. shit.


the devs are also saying Actually, in the dystopian furture of Urbance, there are no blacks, no whites, no asians or anything defined like that, all character are from mixed origins and that involves a new culture, the Urbance culture that we want to develop in the show…” AKA they are trying to make the show fucking color blind and didn’t directly answer any questions about whether or not POC are working on the team making the show.




i really don’t know why i expected anything good from a show about “banned heterosexual love/sex”

Ummmm. Wow. I’m speechless. I mean is it me or do a lot of their characters look pretty…black? And I kinda thought it was a black-centric kinda thing. About black people.

But there are no black people after all okay gotcha.

(Source: swagonceler)

Thoughts on Emma Watson


Like, good for you for speaking up about feminism and gender roles and sexism. Glad you are using your privilege as a celebrity to discuss these issues (albeit in a pretty basic ass speech).

But all I kept thinking when I saw all these silly articles claiming that Emma Watson gave a “game-changing” speech at the UN is that the only reason she has this opportunity and is receiving all this praise as a pioneering “game changer” is because she is a (wealthy, straight, young, Eurocentrically/stereotypically pretty, able bodied, cis) white woman. And she hasn’t even said anything really revolutionary that other feminists have not said before.

Notice how, unlike Beyonce and Nicki Minaj and other PoC celebs who have claimed and defended their feminist identity, Emma Watson’s feminist self- identification/speech has not been immediately contested or rejected because of her work or profession.

Notice how she spouts ideas about “gender as a spectrum” that queer scholars, activists, and theorists, many of color as well, have been saying for decades.

Notice how she pulls out the trope of rural African girls not receiving an education as a marker of gender progress- as if Africa is a monolith, as if other European and non-European nations don’t also have problems with disparities in women’s education, as if that statement doesn’t revive troubling, racist stereotypes about Black nations.

Notice how she places the impetus on men to spread gender equality- as if masculine identified people have not already been part of feminist movements, as if the only way to make feminism acceptable and effective is to invite men for the sake of their “sisters, daughters, and mothers” and not because people of all genders are human beings who deserve rights/respect, whose freedom is inherently interconnected.

Notice how her discussion of feminism does not include the intersectional weights of racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism.

I appreciated some aspects of the speech- tying up men’s liberation from the limits of gender roles alongside other genders within feminism, for instance. And I understand that she is promoting some kind of UN program for men & gender equality, that perhaps she saw her speech as an introduction to feminism, that she is probably not being intentional in her mistakes.

But I can’t see past the flaws of her words and her undeniable privileges that have made her the spokesperson for feminism in the UN’s eyes, therefore lending her limited vision of feminism more international/mainstream weight. And how the contributions of so many women of color, queer peoples and other marginalized groups who ACTUALLY have shaped and led feminist movements are being erased in one fell swoop by the kind of widespread media attention she is receiving.