Posts Tagged ‘Video games’

What does it mean to be a “girl gamer”?

This isn’t really a question that I ask myself, I don’t really ever even think about that question. Until I see the look on people’s faces when they find out I play games. For me, and I would assume for most of us “girl gamers” we don’t think about it, because this is just the way that we are.
I am female, an adult, and I like, no dare I say, LOVE video games! I am just like the men/boy gamers of the world. So why are we seen so differently? For some reason females in gaming are seen as this elusive species, a legend, an urban myth, a unicorn. So let me let you in on a little secret, we exist! We are out there, you walk by us every day, you talk to us, you interact with us, in some cases we might even be your boss, and just in case you hadn’t noticed there are females in the gaming industry working hard to create these games we have all dedicated countless hours to, and guess what… They are doing it right alongside the men!

So why am I asking this question now?
I don’t think most people realize what women take on when they find themselves drawn to what, from an outsider (and even some insiders) feel is a boys club. Most of the time we are dismissed, and it is automatically assumed that we can’t play or that all we play are Hello Kitty and Disney games (absolutely nothing wrong with that) but there is so much more to us. We don’t all get into gaming because our brothers or boyfriends taught us too. Most of us found ourselves attracted by the amazing worlds that opened up literally at our fingertips, most of us taught ourselves how to play with countless hours of sometimes frustrating gameplay, and for most of us years later, we still love it!
So let me share with you the story of one such “girl gamer”.

I was young and completely unaware of the video game world. I had seen my uncle play with an Atari, but I was never allowed to play, because of course… I was a girl. One day I happened to find myself staring wide eyed at a Sega Genesis, I still remember what it felt like. I was just walking by, minding my own business at the local toy store, and all of the sudden behind this glass cabinet was this amazing shiny black box that literally screamed out my name. It was indescribable, I had to have it! It looked beautiful, and the worlds it promised, I literally stood there enthralled. I pressed my little face up to the glass hoping that somehow magically through osmosis I could just touch it. Fortunately the gods were smiling down on me, and my mom decided I had been a good enough little girl to warrant such a gift. You see I am the oldest of four, the only girl and she was about to have my first of three younger brothers so really, I think she was just trying to butter me up for permanent baby sitter availability.
This one moment is what started it all, from that moment on I was hooked. I spent hours completely immersed in so many games that to this day I still absolutely love, and fortunately some of them have even been remade, Castle of Illusion being one of those games I loved and after having a chance to play it again recently it is still amazing. I have to say my only regret of those early gaming days is never having beat Ecco the Dolphin (those were definitely my first nerd rage moments). As I continued to grow and my desire for games increased I discovered Nintendo, and let’s just say they stole my heart.
Throughout the years there have been so many games that I have enjoyed and I literally own every gaming console and handheld, in some case multiples that have come out since the Genesis (except a Neo Geo Pocket that was stolen and never replaced) but for some reason there is no other that speaks to my heart the way Nintendo does. There is a small exception to that, Gears of War, I don’t know what it is about that series that touched me but I actually cried more than once as I played through the trilogy (I say that because I didn’t play the last one, a slight boycott since Cliff Blezinski had nothing to
do with it).

So many years and so many games but one thing remains the same I am a gamer!
I wait with baited breath for word on the latest releases from my favorite developers. I subscribe to numerous gaming magazines. I follow news online about the goings on of the gaming world. I have even been known to cosplay now and again.
It’s no secret to those that know me that if you just but peaked inside my bag you would surely find my 3DS XL and that my little friend and I have only been parted twice, once for surgery, and once because it was stolen, the latter a very sad experience as not only did I not have my little friend but OH MY GOD, my save data!
It is also no secret that I rather spend quality time at home playing my latest game on a day off than wasting it at the mall or some other place that us girls are supposed to go. I strategically organize my schedule to ensure that I have release day and a couple of days off after launch to make the most of my gaming time (can’t wait for Destiny launch and 3 days off). My most recent acquisition was Diablo iii Ultimate (not enough games like this). I find myself wanting to jump out of my comfort zone and try games that I might not be as great at but am drawn by the world. I will even share another little secret with you… I am a damn good sniper!

So you see,we are not all that different from all the other gamers you know. So I ask you, in the end aren’t we all just gamers that love, hate, and dive in to these vast universe time and time again to experience and enjoy the possibilities at our fingertips?

*This was originally posted on shegotgamedoc.ca so I thought I would make it available on my own blog as well. Click on the link and check out all the great work that Cailleah Scott-Grimes is doing to highlight women in gaming!

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It has been just a day shy of two weeks since the video game world was shown the latest happenings and future releases that we should all be waiting with bated breath for. But are we…

I have been slowly processing all that I saw and heard over the several days of press conferences, demo’s, trailers, and interviews that normally leave me every year literally counting the days until said games will grace store’s shelves but what happened this year?

I have watched many an E3 throughout the years and there have been good and bad times as with all things there are ebbs and flows, but even two weeks later I am still wondering what did I really think of what was shown to us. In some cases leaving people wondering is a good thing but Im not really sure that in this case it is…

For a long time there has been alot of talk about how long the video game industry can sustain its epic growth and amazing ability to generate dollars, but for me its always about whether or not it can sustain its relevance. A lot of people find themselves gaming on other devices that are not dedicated to gaming and although I genuinely believe there should be a place for all gamers I am still of the mind that one can only experience the true heart, ingenuity, and world that video games open up on machines that have been designed from the ground up as just that, a portal to a new world.

This E3 left me wondering though if the companies that hold sway in the industry still have the passion and heart that existed when this industry was still in its infancy. Do they genuinely care about bringing good content and vast universes to their droves of fans or has the powerhouse of the financial dollars begun to tarnish their hearts and all they see is dollar signs…

As I continue to ask myself these questions there are a few things that I have come away with as far as the Big 3 is concerned…

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Overall Sony’s press event was a pretty good showing, awkward moments and all. I enjoyed the fact that they created an App that you could access directly from your console to keep you connected to all their goings on, however the execution could have been better as it would simply launch the browser for you instead of working itself out smoothly through the app. They kept the flashy lights and in your face arm flexing to a minimum which I appreciate as I think sometimes we loose what its really about which is ultimately the worlds that these developers have slaved over to bring to our greedy little eyes. That being said here is what I am most excited about from Sony…

Destiny- Although this is not exclusive to the PS4, I am very excited about the partnership that seems to have been cultivated behind the scenes between Sony and Bungie. They offered an opportunity for players to sign up for the Alpha and as a good little gamer I did and have succeeded in making myself impatiently await the Beta as well. With lots of still unanswered questions about the specifics of the game I have almost convinced myself that I will also be needing the Limited Edition Destiny White PS4 bundle that was announced releasing in September this year. Even though I am disappointed that an actual collector’s edition was not announced.

The Order 1886- This title is an exclusive and looks great. I love the spin on the Arthurian legend (I have a slight obsession and have watched, read, played everything that has to do with it) and I love the gritty, dirty world the game lives in. I am skeptical of a few things but am still looking forward to its release in February 2015.

DW Gundam Reborn and Ebzu also piqued my curiosity and I thoroughly enjoyed Journey and Flower so I am most looking forward to Ebzu! Entwined was a surprise as it reminds me alot of the concept of Journey and Flower so I am looking forward to checking this one out but have not found the time just yet as it was availible immediately after its announcement.

I like the fact that Sony is also looking for ways to expand the worlds created within games to movies and shows so I was excited to hear about The Ratchet and Clank movie as well as the Powers series that was announced especially the fact that PS Plus members will be able to watch the Powers episodes for free. And although Playstation TV was not necessarily a surprise announcement I am looking forward to its release as I feel it will work similarly to an Apple Tv and I feel is a good addition to the household.

Overall maybe not the most epic year for Sony but they do have my interest piqued and will acquire a nice chunk of money from me over the next six months or so. Mainly in my perception they seem to have started to remember what most important to us gamers… Games!

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Some people might call me a fan girl and thats ok but for me the bottom line is that I feel Nintendo speaks to my heart, what I mean is they keep it simple, uncomplicated, and just good fun!
This year their decision to forego the usual big flashy lights press conference to me was a good one.
Their digital event I felt was focused on what is the most important thing and thats games, I felt they also showed that they know there is opportunity and that they are not above poking fun at themselves in the form of the skits they had the peeps from Robot Chicken do for them and they kept it more real than I believe some of the other companies did with they’re talking head performances.
The Nintendo Treehouse was another example of keeping it about the games and I felt gave us a good opportunity to see how hard some of these developers work on their games and the passion that is behind every employee that works with or for The Big N!

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Bill Trinen

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Shigeru Miyamoto

Those are just two of the people that spent time in the Treehouse talking to you about all the upcoming games from Nintendo. There are so many more that were on during the three day event that kept me coming back time and time again!

Nintendo also hosted a Smash Tournanment which although I don’t agree with the guy that won (I think Kirby deserved it more) I truly enjoyed watching and was excited to see two girls make it pretty far through the tournament (I liked the Villager best), and I was most excited to see who stopped by for a few to chat!

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Masahiro Sakurai

If it wasn’t for the Limited Edition Destiny PS4 Bundle Nintendo would have won the “Who will take all my money contest” but here is the list of games that I am impatiently awaiting from Nintendo.

Hyrule Warriors – September 26
Fantasy Life – October 24 (This was a surprise for me as I hadnt really heard anything about it before and is the one I am literally jumping up and down for!
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker – Holiday 2014
Bayonetta 2 – Holiday 2014 (I am excited it comes with the original and was honeslty rather indifferent about this title until I watched the Treehouse interview with some of the devs.)
Xenoblade Chronicles X – 2015
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire – November 21
Yoshi’s Whooly World – 2015
SSB 3DS and WiiU – October and November
Zelda U – 2015 (of course this is just obvious!)

As for the third in the Big 3 I have to say I am very disappointed and I know some people might not agree with me but Microsoft did nothing to impress me (except this exclusive title called Ori and The Blind Forest) in fact I was really hoping that I would see something that would convince me to run out and buy an XBOX One and aside from Halo which will inevitably force me to go buy one I got nothing! All I saw was a bunch of talking heads and flashing lights screaming that it was all about the games and players. I saw them awkwardly roll out some of the devs and peeps behind the scenes (which I am glad they finally did) but it didn’t feel genuine, it felt like a sales tactic, a pitch to convince you that they really have had the players in their main thoughts all this time. Which for me it just seems that they have seen their profits impacted so they are gonna tell you what they know you want to hear, like I said alot of people might not agree with me but that was the impression I got, I just hope one day they actually start believing the things they are saying…

Overall I thouroughly enjoyed all the aspects of E3 2014, good and bad.

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Aside from my TV and Consoles, this is what my E3 setup looked like (for some reason my cat loves electronics).
I am sure we all spent E3 differently and we all have equally different opinions on what and who we thought was the best but no matter whose side we have chosen for me what will always be most important is the games and the developers that have worked, sweat, and sometimes bled to bring them to us!

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Earlier today I spent a few hours swimming through the nostalgia of a game I played in my earlier years. Recently PSN gave out a free game called “Castle of Illusion” on PS3 to its Plus Members (if you dont have PS Plus it is a must, the cost is definitely returned in the numerous amazing free games you are given, some AAA titles even!) For those of you that remember this game, it originally came out for the Sega Genesis and was a source of hours upon hours of fun and at times frustration for me (if you have played, you know the level I speak of) and today I found myself smiling and shrieking in the same way I did when I played through the original version. I don’t know if it was the nostalgia of playing a game that brought me a great deal of happiness when I was younger or the fact that it is truly just good and simple fun I don’t know but sometimes I wonder if things aren’t just to overcomplicated when it comes to gaming. Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of a robust story, eye popping graphics and am currently awaiting with baited breath for all things Destiny but sometimes I just want to have fun! I think that is always why I have continuously found myself sticking with Nintendo throughout the years, not that there are not amazing games that have come out for other consoles too (and I own them all, except XBOX One) but there is just something to be said about pure and honest fun that you have from an old game and with the technology now when they remake these great classic games and make them visually look amazing I find myself sitting down as I did today and loosing myself for hours and the whole time with a huge smile on my face!Thanks Sony!

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They gave me the original version too!

Phew… I did it! I actually spent some time on this April Fool’s 2014 catching all 150 Pokemon. Google was kind enough to provide us with a great way to kill time on a day off, now if I could just answer why I spent my day off enjoying an April Fool’s joke I just might be ok!

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So my love affair with the 3DS started just a few months after its initial release about 3 years ago when I purchased the Cosmo Black version of the original 3DS(I know its insane, I actually waited, I must have been delusional, just in time to be in the Ambassador program though) , and then such as things always happen they released a Limited Edition Legend of Zelda version on Black Friday and although my heart skipped a beat I stuck to my original purchase (I know this will sound crazy but Im not a huge fan of gold, no matter how subtle it was on the original 3DS). Then shortly thereafter I learned of the release of the XL version and even though I was ecstatic with this I bided my time and hoped that they would shortly release it in all black. Now for those of you that pay attention there are upwards of over 60 different designs for the 3DS and it took forever for the US to get the all black version but finally it was announced!!!! I was so excited, but I knew I had to make mine special in a simple yet sexy way so after much search I found an amazing store on Etsy that has a variety of great quality vinyl decals called BetterStickers, and let me tell you they are better! I have always customized my machines in some way shape of form so I have tried a variety of decals and so far these are the best! Hope you enjoy the pics…

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Of course a little Navi for good measure!

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After months of having my decals there, I have had no lifting of the sticker (now that’s quality!)

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In case you were wondering, the other two “stars” featured in these pics are my STL Ocarina that I acquired at Megacon 2012, and the Master Sword was a very lucky find in a little shop In Akihabara on my 2013 trip to Tokyo.
Stay tuned for future pics of new and previous acquisitions on “Geeky Goodness”!

What will be the death of this industry that I have come to love throughout the years? The thing that gives me solace after a crappy day or what I look forward to doing on my days off, the thing that for so many of us allows us to do things that might never have been possible in the “real world”. Why would something that brings joy to so many of us out there ever be threatened, why would it ever be systematically dismantled?
I’ll tell you why…
Humans, humans can really suck!
What is the first thing that is talked about when thinking about a new concept for a game?
The story, the characters, the world, the amazing new advancements in development that could be achieved through the making of the game? Nope. Its money, how much profit can we make?
Don’t get me wrong money is needed, needed to be sustainable, needed to pay the great talent that is required to create the fantastic worlds I so enjoy. But does it really have to be the most important? Does it really have to cripple amazing ideas that would have made alot of money if they hadn’t been sidelined by greed?
Ask any gamer, what do you want from the games you play? I promise they will all say I want a good game!
You are probably wondering, whoa were is this all coming from?
Recently I read an article in a video game magazine that talked about the sad story about how a once powerful gaming company slowly and tragically died and the whole time I am reading this story I am literally screaming inside. What idiots! How could you let people that have no business running these companies literally run them into the ground? Last I knew for anyone else in the business you actually have to have experience that is relevant to what in the hell you are creating. You had to have intimate knowledge of all the facets of what makes your company continue to make money. The teams working the code have to have an intimate knowledge of how to code, the animators have to understand how textures and lighting will affect surroundings, the artists have to actually be artists and know how to draw an awe-inspiring character from their imagination, the game testers have to know how to play the game. So why is it ok that the heads of these companies, these CEO’s and presidents don’t know a damn thing about what is paying for, what is most assuredly a ridiculous salary that they do not deserve? Reading some numbers that a statistical analyst provided you with and deciding to create deadlines that are ridiculous to meet and therefore have to nerf what would have otherwise been a quite profitable game to then turnout a mediocre game is not going to inspire the masses.
If the first thought was to create a game that will inspire the masses, that will be the talk of the next E3, that will push the envelope of the current gen systems, then maybe we wouldn’t have so many crappy titles launch that don’t meet those aforementioned analysts targets. Last time I checked pizza and video games are different, sports equipment and video games are different, so why are theses the people that are making the decisions about video games?
Profits need to be made, the talent needs to be paid, money is required to make more games. These are all true, but what if we actually had people leading these companies with more of a vested interest than just money? What if these CEO’s and Presidents actually played video games, what if they had stayed up until 3am trying to beat the last boss of a game that was reaching the end of its development, what if they had felt tears sting there eyes when they witnessed one of the main characters having to shoot his wife, what if after a crappy meeting they unwound playing a quick round of a fighting game? I’ll tell you what would happen, the industry that we all love so much would be strong, sustainable, profitable, and looking forward to another 20 years.
And that my friends is a world I would love to live in!

This Friday, the 22nd of November has been a long awaited day for alot of gamers out there! Could this day lead to the end result of the next-gen console wars, could the next installment in the Mario franchise help sell more WiiU’s, is the next Zelda gonna be just as good as the original…
Theses are all questions that I am sure are plaguing many minds as we enter the almost 24 hrs to go mark. I for one have already dived head first as last Friday I enjoyed tremendously walking out of my game store of choice just a few minutes after midnight with my glorious new PS4 in hand, I decided that this time around they were the one that I would support in this latest edition of console wars. My house has always been a multi console friendly home not really giving anyone any extra love than what was deserved (except Nintendo, they don’t count, they will have my love until my fingers are no longer able to grasp a controller!). But this time I have said no, no to the crappy marketing schemes, no to the massive drone-tastic consumerism, and no to a company that is paying its interns to try and sabotage the competition because they are afraid there product might not be as good. I don’t want my machine to be an all in wonder box, I don’t want it to be focused on social networking and I definitely don’t want it to be more concerned with TV than my TV is, what I want is a solid GAMING console! One that I can sit back and enjoy for hours until the little pinky on my left hand goes numb (that actually happens sometimes), if it can do all the extra stuff like stream Netflix and Hulu thats awesome too but its main function, the whole reason I pre-ordered and waited patiently in line at midnight was to play video games. Sometimes I wonder if in the zeal to stay relevant and keep up with the competition some of these companies have forgotten that one simple fact, from someone that owns a tablet too that is not where I want to spend hours gaming.
So for me, this Friday I will not be skipping to my car with an XBOXone in hand, I’ve already decided who won for me, but I tell you one thing… I will definitely be skipping to my car with the latest entry into the amazing world that is The Legend of Zelda! May the best machine win!