Archive for the ‘News’ Category


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April 23
2014

Dragon Age Goes Gender-Neutral!

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Dragon Age Inquisition Gender Neutral Cover Art
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Sometimes it’s the little things.

The Dragon Age series has always stood out for its “all’s fair in love and war” handling of in-game romances. It’s also infamous for featuring rendered sex scenes, gay and straight, that are seriously awkward to behold. Like its sister series Mass Effect there’s typically a less-than-subtle suggestion that, despite the freedom to build any character you want, creating a male hero is the right way to go. At least that’s how it was in the past. Developer BioWare has just released some official box art to challenge that perception.

Dragon Age: Inquisition, the latest entry in the series due out this fall, features a figure on its cover that could be any gender. The best part — the character’s gender is totally irrelevant!

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April 14
2014

GaymerX2 to be the Queer Gaming Con’s Last

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GaymerX made history when it became the first ever queer-centric video game convention of its kind. The con’s founder Matt Conn made headline after headline as he spearheaded an endeavor to bring his dream to life: a safe space where queer and allied geeks could gather together to play the games that they love. GamerX famously made four times its Kickstarter goal in 2012 before welcoming thousands of gay geeks from all over to the halls of San Francisco’s Hotel Kabuki last August.

GaymerX2 or GX2, will take place this upcoming July in San Francisco’s Intercontinental Hotel, a significant upgrade in size. It is expected to be even crazier than last year’s event, and will see special guests like WWE’s Darren Young alongside BioWare’s David Gaider, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, indie game writer/developer Mattie Brice, and many more.

It will also be the con’s last…for now.

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2014

PAX East Party Beat: Made in MA

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PAX East is a magical time in Boston. Spring melts the snowy Winter drifts. Evergreen joggers put away their lycra leggings and run with flushed faces along the Charles River. Cuddly bearded gamer bears don snug hoodies and awaken from a hibernation of playing all the Holiday season releases. It’s this time when gaming enthusiasts, students and industry professionals descend upon the still chilly New England. For the fifth year, they convene in a kickoff party at the Microsoft NERD (New England Research and Development) Center tucked away beside MIT, and they celebrate games and initiatives that are all “Made in MA.”

Two floors of the office building are dedicated to the event. The eleventh floor features an Xbox One with Kinect playing Just Dance 2014. GSN Games reps gleefully entertain us with their moves and skills. Looking beyond the refreshments of cupcakes and nachos slathered with queso fondue, a huge banner is posted behind a table is NDA’s. A special Microsoft intern project is on display, but you have to sign several agreements to be nice and not tell a soul. No fun! Boston, however, has a bustling indie scene with several small devs and startups. These are the true stars of the evening.

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April 9
2014

Shake Your Bon Bon To This SingStore Update!

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Well, Singstar is calling this the “April SingStore Update,” which leads me to believe that they have officially made the switch from fortnightly updates to monthly ones. Oh well, as long as they keep coming, it’s hard to complain too much. And this update is actually pretty good (with one major caveat I’ll get to later):

“Pure Shores” by All Saints
“Cruel Summer’ by Bananarama
“Picking Up The Pieces” by Paloma Faith
“Shake Your Bon Bon” by Ricky Martin
“You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes
“Wild Thing” by The Troggs
“Hook Me Up” by The Veronicas

Now, The Veronicas are awesome, but I’ve already got that song in Lips. Same with “You Keep Me Hanging On.” “Pure Shores” is good, but nothing I want to sing, but I may eventually cave and pick up “Wild Thing” just for the ridiculous fun of it. However, I am all over Bananarama, but God help me if I’m tempted to download “Shake Your Bon Bon!” The out and proud Ricky Martin is super hot, but that song is almost too cheesy  — even for me!

The caveat is that the European update contains two songs from Dire Straits — “Sultans Of Swing” and “Money For Nothing” — that for licensing reasons aren’t available in the US. Hopefully they’re not lying when they say they’re working on it and hope to include them in a future update, because that would be sweet!

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April 8
2014

Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct Makes a Splash

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Today Nintendo aired a special Smash Bros.-centric Nintendo Direct. Developer Masahiro Sakurai mostly went over new modes and mechanics for the Wii U and 3DS fighting game, but also teased some release windows (yes, plural) and even unveiled a brand new character.

You can watch the entire segment above, and read on for a full recap!

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April 3
2014

Sparkle Like The Princess You Are In Disney Magical World

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As an invitee to Nintendo’s early review program for Disney Magical World, I’ve been spending plenty of time with the upcoming 3DS game. I’m working on a full review to post in time for its April 11 release, but I wanted to alert you to the fact that this game often described as “Animal Crossing meets Disney” is actually a little more gay-friendly than AC!

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March 24
2014

Pro-Tip: Progressive Advocacy in the Games Industry is DIY

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You read about something. You get mad about it. Then, you are doused with a heavy cold shower of, “why complain now? We’ve been doing this shit for years!”

Turn now to the blog of Melissa Bennett, M.Div. In a recent entry, she posts her correspondence with Gary Lin, CEO of glispa GmbH. Mr. Lin’s company is a “performance marketing platform” with clients such as: Nexon Europe, InnoGames, Kongregate, Gaijin Entertainment, Hasbro, Wargaming.net, Konami, Warner Home Video, Toys R Us, Kabam, DeNA, Sega, Riot Games, and more. The issue at first glance is a culturally insensitive display at GDC, which leads to a deeper discussion of appropriation throughout the culture of glispa itself.

Bennett identifies deeply with the diverse range of Native American cultures her family represents. So, a fire to write is rekindled in her when she spots a Facebook post from her friend, Elizabeth LaPensée. LaPensée is an industry professional whose “work addresses Indigenous determination in video games, animation, and web comics.” In the Facebook post, we see a picture of the glispa booth at GDC with a tipi. In front are two attractive women striking a pose in traditional Halloween buckskin attire. They’re all smiles, and why shouldn’t they be? The multicultural team of glispa represents 33 different countries and 23 different languages. Despite the fact that none of the corporate offices listed on the company’s website are actually in the United States, you’re welcome to call, email or send a “smoke signal” their way.

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