#JamForLeelah, a Trans-Positive Global Game Jam!

A new month-long trans-positive game jam is currently underway and accepting submissions for games focusing on trans youth issues, in order to spread awareness of the issues faced by transgender people in modern society.

#JamForLeelah was organise…

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Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George to respond to something, note that the limit does not exist, or chastise someone for trying to make something happen that’s not going to happen. This is one of those movies that truly defines a generation.

Today it finally becomes a video game. Cue every gay squee noise I can muster.

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Via So Much Drama Studios:

“If You Have Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Regina George, This Game is For You

Designed as an easily accessible ‘tiara-defense’ game, Mean Girls finds the original Plastics at peace with their world, when a new upstart Plastics clique attempts to take control of North Shore High School by piecing together the broken Spring Fling Tiara. Players can select from eight of their favorite Mean Girls characters—Cady, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian, Aaron, and Kevin, each with their own distinct boost abilities—and all the cliques from the cafeteria, to help defeat opponents and complete each level.”

The mobile “tiara-defense” game is not unlike your standard tower-defender: You place troops, you set up traps, and you keep the oncoming hoards of enemies away from their goal. Only this time around your troops are who you hang out with and the enemies are the opposing cliques.

Comic mean girls

While it may not seem like an obvious genre to slap the Mean Girls name on, it’s actually quite clever. Just as in the original film the cafeteria is a carefully mapped out warzone, with factions ranging from the Varsity jocks to the girls who eat their feelings to the burnouts to the Plastics. And just as Lindsay Lohan’s Katy Herron went to war with Regina George, players will go to war to protect their tiara from those who’d try to snatch it away.

Does this sound like the most fabulous game ever, or does this sound like the most fabulous game ever? Who would come up with such a game? None other than So Much Drama’s Jeff Medor, creator of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis, one of our gayest games of the year two years running. As was the case with Dragopolis, Mr. Meador isn’t trying to make a lazy licensed tie-in game…he wants this to be a product that true fans will enjoy through and through.

Mean Girls is hilarious, brutal, and endlessly quotable; I absolutely loved watching and re-watching the film,” said Jeff Meador, founder and president, So Much Drama. “The game is rich with the quirky humor, over-the-top high school power struggles, and everything from hilarious lines, peppermint foot cream, to, yes, the Burn Book.”

Burn Book mean girls

No matter which clique players belong to, from band geeks and preps to regulation hotties, Mean Girls offers seven different ways to play including gameplay modes such as You Can’t Sit With Us, Social Suicide, She Doesn’t Even Go Here, and The Limit Does Not Exist.”

Mean Girls is slated for release on mobile platforms soon. I bet it will make for a great candy-gram.

And none for Gretchen Weiners. Bye.

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GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

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A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

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The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

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A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

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Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

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A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

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June 18
2014

E3 2014: Shadow of Mordor pits you against an evolving Orc war machine

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is advertising a different kind of memory.

Not to be confused with the 1987 text-based adventure game Shadows of Mordor also set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe, this action-adventure from Monolith Productions isn’t as concerned with processing capabilities as it is remembering your and your enemies actions. The game’s touted Nemesis system pits the Wraith-possessed ranger Talion against many hierarchical orc forces across Mordor. Actions and approaches taken in combating or avoiding these forces will have incremental effects on each relevant orc’s standing in the armies of Lord Sauron. Even your death, if by the hands of an Orc, will promote all those involved to higher positions within their respective ranks.

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Orc names, appearances, specialties, and weaknesses vary with each playthrough. For example, my recent hands-off E3 demo of the game had five Orc war chiefs overseeing a force of a few dozen in the lush land of  Nern. One of them was afraid of the dog-like creatures that patrolled parts of the area, one was extremely amiable and able to draw grunts to his aid, and another had six extremely durable bodyguards. All of those facets were reportedly unique to that specific run-through, and would have different values in other players’ games.

The crowd in my demo wanted the suicide route of hitting the war chief with the six bodyguards head on. The developer behind the controls lasted for a relatively long time, slicing through around half a dozen orc grunts before being taken down. His death granted points to every orc that had been in the battle, and each one had a knowledge of Talion’s moveset that would make them harder to take down if met again. The long-term effects of these increases were not shown in the demo, but were promised to be just as vast and dynamic as the orcs themselves.

Talion got over the whole death thing soon. His revival wasn’t explained in the demo, but the best I could assume is that the Wraith possessing him gives him a sort of leeway with the whole rotting corpse thing. Either that or Video Game “Logic”. Any orcs that killed you will remember the details of your death, making for rather vicious taunts down the line should you meet again.

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Revenge was on the mind of my rather voracious demo crowd, so we found our killer in a duel for dominance with another orc soldier. Rather than wait to take on the victor, Talion leaped into the fray and focused on the target. Between the ranger and the other orc, our killer went down.

Similar to the grunts that helped in our earlier demise, the orc who was dueling our target rose up considerably in his rank. Makes sense, lying about a kill you made sounds like a rather orc thing to do. The developers spoke about the ability to possess or dominate (not in that way) orcs and have them infiltrate Sauron’s ranks as a spy, but the process wasn’t shown this week.

Memory seems like such a simple thing until you see it in action. The ability to track the effects of your actions across obsessively minute details of your enemy’s forces feels like a mechanic that will be widely emulated in the next few years. We didn’t get too much of a feel for a story, which could be cause for concern if the game’s open narrative structure makes for a weak plot progression overall. But in terms of a gameplay hook, Shadow of Mordor’s is sharp and slick with orc blood.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor will launch on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on October 7th.

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About Gavin Greene

(Writer) GavinGreene.exe was installed in December of 1987, and has been gaming ever since his motor skills have allowed. In addition to making them pretty words here, he operates as Production Coordinator at Phoenix Online Studios, and News Editor at Elder Geek. You can follow his inane babbling over on Twitter (@GameDevGav).

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