Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category


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March 18
2014

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, Is “Bromance” Enough?

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In the year 2022, video games will advance to the point that several Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games will vie for players’ attentions. Don’t trust those wily devs, though. They will turn their eye-melting immersive experiences into their own personal Murderworlds to carry out vendettas due to unrequited love–or y’know whatevs.

What a strange era to live in which will even allow your male avatar to hold hands with other male avatars and effect a “manly friendship.” Such are the comments of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment game producer Yosuke Futami. Siliconera reads this as adding a bit of bromance to the story. But is bromance enough?

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March 17
2014

Wootini’s Weekly Video Podcast #146

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Well, now that the Veronica Mars movie is out, I’m done mainlining episodes to cram for it and can get back to some gaming. Unfortunately the game is still Fable III. But I did play a pretty nifty demo on my Vita that may actually inspire a purchase! Make the jump to watch this week’s episode and find out what it is!

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March 14
2014

Wootini’s Weekly Animal Crossing Diary

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Dear Diary,

After all the excitement of last week, this week was supposed to be quiet and relaxing.

And it was, mostly. I got a guilt-trip letter from my mom that read: “Dear sweet Chris, I don’t want to push you to write or anything. But I did find some cool stationery. Wanna be pen pals? – Mom” And she included a set of sparkly paper. But I didn’t write back. Sorry, Mom. Your guilt won’t work on me!

But then at the end of the week, something amazing happened! Read on to find out what!

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March 12
2014

This SingStore Update Might Make You A Shiny Happy Person

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Well, if you’re an R.E.M. fan who plays SingStar, you’re in luck with this week’s new SingStore Update. Unfortunately, if you’re not, then I hope you’re a Corrs fan, because that’s the only other group in this batch of DLC! The Irish folk/pop stars were apparently very popular after a couple of their other songs were included in a recent update, so now you can get “Radio” as well.

And if you’re a fan of the group fronted by queer artist Michael Stipe, there’s an entire song pack that includes “Bad Day,” “Nightswimming,” “Imitation of Life,” “Shiny Happy People” and “Man on the Moon.” And “Orange Crush” is available singly. Not sure why that didn’t rate placement in the song pack, but there you go.

And for those of you like me, better luck next time. Which now seems to be every three weeks instead of every two, which I’m not crazy about. But at least they’re still updating with new content!

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March 11
2014

Super Smash Sisters? Sexism in the Super Smash Bros. Community

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The notion of video games as boy’s club is an old and, unfortunately, resonant one. At last year’s GDC, during the #1ReasontoBe panel, famed developer Brenda Romero said that she dreams of the day she can bring her daughter to to industry events and not be ashamed of the environment. Less than twenty-four hours later she publicly resigned from her position in the IGDA after it co-hosted an industry party that controversially featured exotic dancers as part of the night’s entertainment.

But the issue extends far beyond just questionable taste at parties. There are very real issues of harassment that plague gaming.

Anita Sarkeesian has famously faced very specific death and rape threats, the personal hacking of accounts, the spread of her private information, a game designed to act out violence against her, and ongoing online harassment for her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series.

In the world of competitive fighting games this kind of harassment and boy’s club mentality can prove especially pervasive, with terms like “rape” being a casual part of the vernacular. Stories of sexual harassment at tournaments and online can be found just about anywhere. One gamer, Aris Bakhtanians, notoriously said that sexual harassment and fighting game culture are “one and the same thing.”

What’s a gamer girl to do?

Competitive Super Smash Bros. player Lilo spent the last couple of weeks compiling data and quotes from other female Smash players, in the hopes of conveying the experiences of these women to the greater community. Here’s what she found.

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March 10
2014

Wootini’s Weekly Video Podcast #163

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Unfortunately, aside from the new episode of The Walking Dead, my consoles have been taking a break again this week because I still have one more season of Veronica Mars to cram in before the movie comes out. Most of my gaming has been portable again, with the hyper-addictive puzzles of Professor Layton keeping me busy! Make the jump for this week’s vidcast!

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March 7
2014

“Not My Choice, But Still My Consequence” How Fable Taught One Gaymer to Believe in Himself

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“I knew I was a gamer before I knew I was gay.” writes user Jadis232 of The Dead Hamster forums, a Lionhead Studios community site.

It’s a sentiment that many queer gamers can relate to. For many video games became a safe space in a world where they felt different. Our own Jesse once wrote how the fighting game genre gave him a way to fight back against those who would judge or bully him. Samantha Allen shared with me how character creation systems allowed her the freedom to idealize her gender presentation before she transitioned. The RPG genre in particular has had a profound resonance with the gay gaming community at large.

For Jadis232 it was Fable, Peter Molyneaux’s 2004 Fantasy RPG that famously included same-sex romance and marriage, that taught him how to accept himself as a gay man.

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