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July 19
2013

Taking The Leap: A Conversation With Samantha Leigh Allen

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Samantha Leigh Allen, a third year PhD student in the department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality at Emory University, is a gamer. An academic, Allen has made it a point to explore places where video games and a queer identity collide. Longtime GayGamer readers may remember her piece, ‘A Mile in Her Shoes’ from earlier this year. Her writing on games has been featured everywhere from Kotaku to the Border House, exploring everything from transphobia via Mainichi to intersectionality via Halo. Yes. Teaching intersectionality via Halo. This girl is a force to be reckoned with.

Issues of sexism, transphobia, and homophobia in the gaming world have become quite the hot topics in recent months, the most recent example being the twitter explosion surrounding Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik.  Allen, an outspoken trans gamer, is no stranger to these issues or the conversations surrounding them.

Frustrated by the state of the world of games journalism and online gaming communities Allen published An Open Letter to Games Media on Re/Action, in which she calls on Steve Butts (IGN), Stephen Totilo (Kotaku), Justin Clavert (Gamespot), Chris Grant (Polygon), Dale North (Destructoid), Ludwig Keitzmann (Joystiq), and any other Editors in Chief of gaming sites to do something about the issues that plague our medium. Here is a sample of that piece:

Via Re/Action:

You can no longer treat sexism, racism, classism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia as niche issues. These forms of marginalization have real effects on real people and, as you know all too well from your vantage point, they are painfully exaggerated in gaming spaces. They are problems that permeate every aspect of videogames from their production, to their player base, to the websites that write about them.

The fact that these are all systemic problems in the so-called “real world” is not a valid excuse for condoning bad behavior online.

Just because the whole house is on fire doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to salvage our room.

In her full letter (which can be read by clicking here) she not only calls the industry out, but she provides very clear suggestions of tangible steps that can be taken to help make gaming communities more inclusive. And many of the sites have taken notice, with IGN, Destructoid, and Kotaku all responding directly to Allen’s letter.

I decided to catch up with Ms. Allen and pick her brain on everything from her letter, to recent controversies, to Tomb Raider, and how the gaming world can take the leap towards inclusivity.

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July 19
2013

New Nintendo Direct Will Keep You Homebound With EarthBound

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Nintendo released a brand new Nintendo Direct this morning, although they called it a “mini” it was still nearly a half-hour long. So not really that mini, honestly. The big takeaway from it was that EarthBound has been released on the Wii U Virtual Console today. That’s right, today. Boom. $9.99 gets you the classic game hardcore fanboys have been clamoring for all this time. (It also includes the classic strategy guide, formatted for the GamePad.) I guess I’ll have to pick it up and see what all the fuss is about… but it had better be worth it!

I guess fans of Pikmin would probably also be interested in the news that Nintendo is going to be bringing the Pikmin 3 demo to more than 250 GameStops around the United States and EB Games stores in Canada on July 20 and 21. You can click here to find a full list of participating locations. And after you get a taste of the Wii U game, if you’d like to pre-order a copy of your own, pre-purchasing a digital copy during that weekend promo will let you download the game on August 3 one full day before it officially launches for everyone else. (Canadian readers can click here for the participating EB Games)

Also of interest, Nintendo is trying to help 3DS owners who do not reside in large urban locations (like myself) and don’t often have the chance to StreetPass fellow 3DS users. Now, whenever you visit a Nintendo Zone location, you will automatically StreetPass the last 3DS owner to access that Nintendo Zone location. Automatically. And then the next person to connect after you will StreetPass with you! There are nearly 30,000 Nintendo Zone locations across North America at places like Best Buy, Starbucks, McDonalds, and whatnot. So now you’ll be able to get some extra StreetPasses! (A rather clever solution, I think, for people who live in places where they don’t StreetPass much…)

Of course, they also mentioned some other new games that were inbound to the 3DS and Wii U, and if you’d like to watch the entire Nintendo Direct, you can right here:

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July 19
2013

Wootini’s Weekly Animal Crossing Diary

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Dear Diary,

Once again, it was a very, very busy week in Narnia. Lots to do, lots to see, and new faces abound! I also achieved some major goals, one in particular that was very satisfying… until I found out I didn’t actually get anything from it! Sigh.

Make the jump for the full rundown!

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July 18
2013

GaymerX Teams Up With Logo TV on First Ever LGBT Video Game Convention

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GaymerX, the first ever LGBT video game convention, is fast approaching. The convention, taking place August 3rd-4th in San Francisco, has had more than its fair share of publicity since reaching nearly four times its original Kickstarter goal almost one year ago. Today GaymerX and Logo TV have announced that they are joining forces to bring the little convention that could to an even wider audience.

Via GaymerConnect:

“GaymerConnect today is proud to announce their partnership with Logo TV, producers of the hit television shows “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “1 girl 5 gays”, to bring GaymerX to the mainstream.

GaymerX, the first ever gaming convention focused on LGBT gaming culture, has been a huge media hit since its inception through Kickstarter last year and teaming up with the largest LGBT cable television network now provides a national platform to get the word out that there is a new home for queer geeks.

“As much as personal experiences can help drive change and awareness, media’s recent portrayals of queer geeks and ‘gaymers’ has driven awareness to equality and anti-bullying within the gaming community to an all time high” quotes Director of Business Development and cofounder, Kayce Brown “We are so happy to work with the reach of Logo TV and their media platforms to help inform and make positive change. We look forward to building a long lasting relationship between their network and GaymerConnect.”

Logo TV will be on site throughout the run of GaymerX participating as partner and media host, including a VIP party featuring ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ alum Pandora Boxx, Gaymer Cosplay Contest and interviews with LGBT and gaming celebrities. The coverage will span the multitude of Logo’s strong platforms, so make sure you bring out your cosplay A-game!

I think that having an organization as powerful as Logo TV back our convention on our very first year shows the world what we already knew: That queer geeks are a huge market that deserve first rate content.” quoted Matt Conn, Founder of GaymerConnect.

If you haven’t already registered GaymerX has extended its sales until July 26th, so head on over to GaymerConnect.com to get your badges! Readers of GayGamer.net can use the easy to remember code ‘gaygamer’ for an additional discount.

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July 18
2013

Will Nintendo Fill The 3DS With Seaman?

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Over the years, you learn to take Internet rumors with a grain of salt, and with Internet rumors about videogames, you take them with an entire pound of salt! But I read something today that I’m simply going to believe to be true because it would be the most awesomest thing ever.

Siliconera has reported that Nintendo recently registered for a couple of trademarks that could mean the revival of Seaman! You remember Seaman, right? That absolutely crazy sim game where you grew a fish with a human face in a tank inside your TV via your SEGA Dreamcast? And it came with a microphone that you plugged into the controller so you could have bizarre conversations with the surly creature? Yeah, that one!

Nintendo apparently registered “Mysterious Pet: Legend of the Fish With A Human Face” and “Mysterious Partner: Legend of the Fish With A Human Face” in Japan. And I personally can’t think of any other game series that starred fishes with human faces. Can you? (Actually, if you can, please don’t tell me, because I truly want to believe this is the return of Seaman.)

Putting Seaman on either the 3DS or the Wii U would make sense because of the built in microphones on both systems. Personally, I’d prefer it on the 3DS because then I could carry it around with me. I was obsessed with Seaman on my Dreamcast. I mean, seriously obsessed. Like, borderline Animal Crossing obsessed. I had my husband (boyfriend at the time) actually feed and talk to him while I was away for fear he might die! So obviously bringing Seaman back to life would make my year, and I’m really hoping that this is one Internet rumor that turns out to be 100% true!

Caution! Trademarks Hint At Possible Seaman Revival Care Of Nintendo [Siliconera]

 

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July 18
2013

Video: Dual Teasers Of Dual Destinies

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Capcom’s got a couple new videos for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies. One is a trailer (found above) that shows off a new prosecuter, Simon Blackquill, as well as Apollo Justice being adorable. It also shows that even though the graphics have switched from sprites to polygons to take advantage of the 3D on the Nintendo 3DS, the animation remains just as fluid as ever and filled with just as much character as the previous games in the series. And of course, the trailer makes very little sense, as is common for the games!

The other video, found below, shows off some of the crime scene investigation gameplay that you’ll find as Apollo and Athena Cykes check out the scene of a brutal murder. Being able to rotate the camera around and find hidden clues is awesome, but I did notice at one point that there was a little sparkle animation to indicate where one was hidden. That takes some of the fun out of it…

Still, Dual Destinies is looking like a worthy entry in the Phoenix Wright series, and appears to be making the jump into 3D in style. Now if only we could figure out why this version is rated M for mature instead of T for teen… Maybe 3D blood more graphic than 2D? But I’m really hoping it’s a salacious scene between Phoenix and Gumshoe! Please?

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July 17
2013

Final Fantasy VII Marathon for The Trevor Project

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8 Red Coins began earlier this year when two gamers decided to make a difference in the world via video game marathons. After a successful 24 hour completion of Super Mario 64, the pair is back this August and will be taking on another gaming classic: Final Fantasy VII. What’s more, they’ll be playing the influential JRPG to raise money for The Trevor Project, supporting LGBTQ youth.

Via the official 8 Red Coins blog:

“For our next marathon, we’re taking on one of the most iconic games of all time, Final Fantasy VII, and we’re doing it to benefit The Trevor Project! The Trevor Project, for those who don’t know, provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention to LGBTQ youth. We’re very excited to be playing such a beloved game for such a wonderful and important charity.”