We all know that gay gamers are awesome, but this one is going above and beyond. Davin Taylor (aka Bohtauri) has undertaken a task that is so massive it's almost mind-boggling: He founded Project 1845 to create a 1:1 scale replica of the entire 18th century of Beijing City in Minecraft! The very idea was so crazy, I had to find out exactly what was going through his head when he decided to do this!
We all know that gay gamers are awesome, and now one of them has an award to prove it! David Nguyen was awarded the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award at the 24th Vancouver Queer Film Festival for his side-scrolling animated short film Insert Credit. A videogame fan from the womb, Nguyen created the film as his grad project at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
"The film is an autobiography told through the style of an old, SNES-era 2D sidescroller," he explains. "It's told through 'levels' of my life, beginning with my childhood, where my dad and I never got along. He never liked that I hated playing/watching sports with him, and that I enjoyed playing Barbies with my female cousins. Granted, I would often play Street Fighter with them..."
GaymerCon: Whether a rainbow-tinted beacon of merriment, or simply a novel idea, it has been making its presence known as of late. As has become increasingly common, the forthcoming convention began on Kickstarter: proposing a GLBT-centric gathering to be held in San Fransisco. The pitch video, hosted by GaymerCon founder Matt Conn, had a sort of charm that those such as myself found - well, rather charming. Having well exceeding its funding goal, said proposal has made its way onto mainstream video game news sites. Stories have been written, praise and criticism heaped, and comments sections have once again proven themselves to be the very bane of civilization.
Yet one's mind ponders the origin of this individual - one of many enigmas inhabiting the digital realm - this "Matt Conn."
Find out more after the jump!
One of the highlights of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's booth at PAX East 2012 was the giant spray-painted school bus which housed the demo units for Suda 51's new opus, Lollipop Chainsaw. In keeping with Goichi Suda's style, the game is an over-the-top extravaganza of zombies, chainsaws, high school students, gore and rainbows. High school cheerleader Juliet must get to the bottom of a zombie outbreak at San Romero High (get it?), and using her trusty chainsaw, face off against a series of zombie rock lords out to destroy her. Music plays a big role in this game, and in addition to some familiar songs, the music for the game is being composed by the very talented Akira Yamaoka, who you might remember from a little series called Silent Hill...
The demo I played had Juliet chatting with the severed head of her boyfriend that she keeps conveniently attached to her belt before chainsawing her way through some school hallways to rescue fellow students from swarms of zombies. Juliet has some light acrobatic attacks that stun the zombies so you can whip out your chainsaw and cut them down to size. It's wonderfully gory, as you might expect, but also kind of adorable. And after rescuing someone, they shower you with coins. Also, at a couple points, I activated a special attack that had Juliet using her boyfriend's head to team up and deal out massive amounts of damage. It culminated in a boss fight against a teacher, but it was kind of easy, so I'm guessing it was just a mini-boss.
Lollipop Chainsaw was quite hilarious, and although at first I thought it seemed a little sexist, having played it, I almost don't even mind anymore. It's just fun. Oh, and after exiting the bus, I had a few minutes to sit down with Goichi Suda himself and ask him a couple questions! Those you'll find after the jump!
Nintendo has yet to fully get their act together when it comes to their online services. Their early attempts at digital download stores, the WiiWare and DSiWare shops, were really hard to navigate and very unintuitive, leaving many quality releases without an audience. With the 3DS eShop, they've made browsing a little more fun and a lot less tedious, and as a result I've found lots of cool, unique, inexpensive games that I would otherwise have never played.
For this edition, check out some games from Gameloft, everybody's favorite mobile developer! Hit the jump for more...
Of the two larger MMOs that have had same-sex news to present of late, I have been rather enamored with what Guild Wars 2 is creating with the sylvari species. From basic design to cultural implications, it's all pretty interesting stuff. However, the gender and sexuality nerd in me was pretty excited when they started discussing their lore and it included mentions that they were pretty neutral in how they viewed both gender and same-sex pairings.
In fact, two of the primary sylvari to whom we've been introduced so far are a female same-sex couple, though they're a bit star-cross'd and all that.
I was rather fortunate that I was able to contact ArenaNet, specifically community manager Regina Buenaobra, and request an interview with Ree Soesbee, a writer and lore & continuity designer for the world of Tyria. What follows in this email interview are largely questions regarding the place of the sylvari in their world, and the instances surrounding sexuality, including some insight into how sexuality and gender presentation functions in some of the other species, as well as more exploration of the sylvari themselves.
Ms. Pandora Boxx happened to email me the other day, expressing how she received plenty of positive feedback regarding her interview with us. We do love our fierce and fabulous drag queen gamers.
It just so happens that she is up for an MVP (Most Vivacious Professor) award for this season of Drag U. She has yet to make an appearance (she says to expect her on August 1 & 8), but would ever so much love votes from her fans.
When she brought this up to me, I decided it would only be proper if we asked her some questions to vet her professorial experience.
GayGamer: What are some studying tips you'd give to any aspiring drag queen gamers out there?
Pandora Boxx: Run. Run very fast and very far.
I guess it depends on what you are studying, like if you are studying Drag then you must learn from the queens all around you. Do some research. Plan out your looks. And if you are lip syncing, learn your words! Always remember if you are on stage you are there to entertain! So do it! If it's studying in regards to video games, you just have to keep on dying and try, try again!
GG: My friend Stephanie, after drooling over imagining you in any of those gamer cosplays, wanted to know which female game character you'd like to have the opportunity to help on Drag U.
PB: Oh that poor Birdo in the Super Mario Games needs some help. She does try though with that sad little bow on her head. You know, Tingle from the Zelda games could use some Drag U help too, though I think he might technically be a dude.
GG: Many thanks again, Ms. Boxx!
There you have it. Do you think she has what it takes to get the ultimate T, tenure?
If so, please feel free to vote for the lovely and vivacious Ms. Boxx.
You've heard of Dwarf Fortress, no? It's a life simulation game in the vein of The Sims or the Tycoon series of games, only instead of managing a roller coaster park or a counter-culture polyamorous lesbian family, you take care of a tribe of dwarves in their fortress. And you will lose, but the game's mantra is "Losing is fun!", so it's ok.
The graphics are charmingly archaic, rendered exclusively in extended ASCII. This allows two things to happen. One is that an amazing amount of information can be conveyed in a very small visual space (and ensures even the weakest video card can render the game). This: ♠§dg represents a dog tethered to a tree about to get mauled by a goblin. Learning to read the graphics takes some time, but has a neat "I can see the Matrix!" sort of payoff. The second is that computer processing power is freed up to run the obscenely complex mechanics that operate the guts of the game.
But what about the team behind the game? What mad geniuses spend their time on such a project? Just two brothers: Tarn and Zach Adams. Jonah Weiner of the New York Times got ahold of the brothers and conducted an interview to pick their brains about their methodology, their opinions on Mine Craft, and how on earth Dwarf Fortress, a free-to-play indie project, actually sustains them. Follow the link to give the interview a read. Then, if you think you can handle the insanity, download a copy of the game (there are versions for Windows, OSX and Linux) and give it a run for yourself. Then come back here and share your stories of losing!
via [New York Times]
image via [Three Panel Soul]
Coming just in time for Halloween, Majesco Entertainment's The Hidden is a ghost hunting game with an AR twist. Not unlike Face Raiders, the game uses the real-life environment you're playing in as an in-game level where you use your 3DS to seek out and capture ghosts. I caught up with 1st Playable Productions Producer Elizabeth McLaren to talk about the game.
Hit the break for the full scoop and for some screenshots!
It's okay if you don't remember the first Flipper. The fun little puzzle platformer by indie developer Goodbye Galaxy Games was released last year for DSiWare, a platform many gamers have ignored in the past due to the borderline-unusable DSi Shop. Now that most DSiWare titles are available through the 3DS eShop, though, Flipper should be high on the list of downloadable games to catch up on, because Goodbye Galaxy Games is hard at work on a creative, ambitious sequel. I caught up with creator Hugo Smits to talk about the promising Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish.
Hit the break for the full interview!
This winter I found myself with time on my hands, and a blog I frequently read happened to make weekly mention of RuPaul's Drag Race. While I had heard of it while living in Chicago, and saw advertisements to view it in bars, I was usually too much of a busybody to sit down and watch. So, sitting down, I was rather amused by what I saw.
Therefore, following Ms. Pandora Boxx on Twitter (and a few of my other favorite queens), one weekend I happened to notice she was making reference to mowing down zombies in Dead Rising 2. Huh, thought I. I do not recall having recently interviewed a drag performer, so figured I would send an email out into lonely space.
Much as she was on RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 2, Pandora is an absolute delight. Effusive and bubbly in a manner that made it easy to remember why she won Ms. Congeniality that particular season.
Therefore, without further ado, the interview!
Yesterday I wrote about XCOM's gameplay, but that wasn't the only thing that intrigued me about the 60's alien invasion game. During the game's E3 demonstration Jordan Thomas, XCOM's narrative director and the creative director of BioShock 2, made reference to a character "discriminated for his sexuality," and my ears perked up like corgi that just heard someone say "bacon."
One of the most often repeated, if utterly foolhardy, arguments against gay characters in games is that their sexuality is never a relevant detail to the plot. So I was more than a little curious and delighted to hear a developer put such a strong emphasis on a character's homosexuality in the game's second public showing. Thankfully, Thomas was gracious enough to sit and chat with me about the character of Dr. Weir, and how social commentary is a natural partner for the videogame medium.
"Weir is an Australian," Thomas began. "He's not a citizen of the States, although he came there to study particle accelerators, and already found himself an outsider on that grounds alone simply because of the paranoia of foreigners that was prevalent in the mid-century."
"But on top of that, he is also a closeted homosexual. He has both a sexual and a political opposition to the elite of the country, which are still very conservative - very focused on America as the best and the brightest - and he doesn't fit their paradigm. It is hard for them to acknowledge that one of the best scientists in the world is, in their minds, deviant. So he's struggled with that for a long time."
"But all of sudden this alien invasion hits and they need him and they have to put it aside. But then you see those tensions come to bear in the base. There are characters who don't like working with him. They are people of their time. And so you'll see different positions represented amongst the core cast. But he is - he is a man with true grit. He's able to weather it pretty well, and the player kind of gets to decide where they fall on that continuum. You can basically decide how to treat him."
Of course, homosexuality wasn't the only civil rights movement making headway in the 60's, and XCOM will explore other socio-cultural tensions of the time.
"As a narrative guy, it's the reason I'm excited to work on the game. The setting was chosen very specifically because I feel that the socio-cultural tension was about to come to a head. It was an old America and a new America kind of locked in a mortal combat, and it was very interesting for me to start exploring what was going on at the time."
"Agent Barns, for example, the African American guy who runs the agent operation and recruits for you, he was working COINTELPRO in the FBI - and that was a bureau program to run surveillance on the American people, not known by anybody - and Dr. Martin Luther King was his assignment. He was supposed to infiltrate that movement and discredit King by finding evidence that he was Red. He didn't find anything, and he was asked to fabricate it. He refused, and was almost going to be kicked out by J. Edgar Hoover and his cronies, but at that time the alien invasion happens and XCOM snaps him up."
I commented that it sounded like XCOM was really more of a 60's period piece that happened to use aliens as a catalyst to bring out the social climate.
"As a narrative guy, absolutely. To both mutate and express the inner conflicts of the period."
After the complex portrayal of BioShock 2's brute splicer, I am eager to see if Thomas and the team at 2K Marin can have lightning strike twice with a depiction of homosexuality that may hit closer to home for many gamers. But if they can pull it off with even half of the enthusiasm and passion Thomas had while describing it to me, then XCOM could be one of the most earnest examples of a gay character in a game yet.
And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!
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