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Geeky Goodness

There are a lot of things filled with geeky goodness going on right now. Like Adam Savage doing a recreation of the space suit from the Martian. And check out this awesome photo of the crescent moon, Venus and a two tailed comet all in the same shot.

So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite geeky things from this week.

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley lately. It’s a farm sim with a mystery hiding under the layers. While the game has a simple pixel graphic look and feel to it, there are a lot of things to find and places to explore. (But if you play it read this article first. It will save you some headaches.)

And on the subject of games, No Man’s Sky is coming out in June! I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while. It is a (sort of multiplayer) universe simulator. You can fly around in your space ship, or land and discover new planets, and resources. Then you can run like hell from the centennials trying to make sure you don’t destroy planets. I will definitely be getting this game. It is one of the few $60 games I will get.

Then, on a sad note, the final episode of Mythbusters is going up, but they are going out with a bang. Their also sending Buster off with a show stopping bang as well. (I just hope this means the newer seasons will be available on Netflix eventually.)

Deadpool was AWESOME, by the way. I’m also looking forward to Batman vs Superman and Captain America Civil War. But there are A LOT of superhero movies coming out this year. TMNT, Suicide Squad, and a new Independence Day movie… Ya, it’s a good year for movies.

 

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Nerdiest convo at work ever.

A customer came in looking to pack his games and game consoles because he’s flying cross country. I suggested shipping as its safer and you can get insurance. He said it was cheaper to take it with him, but he’s worried about his consoles.

Me: see, that’s why all my games are on Steam. If my PC gets hurt I just re-download it to a new pc.

Him: ya, but I gotta have a controller.

Me: but you can use a controller, and there’s the Steam sales.

Him: ya, that’s the only thing that pisses me off. All the games I pay $60 you all get for 2.

Me, with two thumps up: yep, pc gaming all the way!

Him, laughing and smiling: ah, man, don’t give me any of that pc master race shit.

Truth be told I have a bunch of consoles too, and hundreds of games spread between them. But I love my pc. We had a great, if short, chat and I wished him good luck on getting his games across the country.

Mostly this was the geekyest convo I’ve had outside of a convention. I love games, and I wish I could talk about them all the time.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Commentary

 

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Games, and more games

A while ago Garrett, Scott and I tried doing a gaming video every Saturday. Then life got busy for each of us, some of us more so than others, and that fell apart.

But gaming is still a big part of my life. I love it, and I spend a lot of time doing it. Less so now that I’m writing, and finishing, novels, but definitely still doing it. And I love sharing my experiences with other people who love games too. I shared a little of one of my Minecraft worlds (before the file was corrupted) and also played Gone Home.

But my youtube channel is more personal, I think. I want it to be for vlogs, little funny, or beautiful videos to share with my friends and readers, and things like that. It seemed a little odd to have the gaming stuff there too.

SO! I created a games only channel. I’ve actually had the channel for a little while, but I didn’t post things there before. Now I have a reason to. Lelula Games will be exclusively games, and game con related. I might even do some tutorial type videos, like cos-play since Gregg and I do that sort of thing.

You will also be able to watch me live on Twitch. Come, hang out, tell me how bad I am, or encourage me. Maybe give me some pointers.

Some of you might remember that I had a twitch channel before, bendaini, and I still have it, but I wanted the youtube and twitch channels to match, AND I wanted to use my gamer name. Lelula is easier to remember, and say.

If you’d like to suggest any games to try I’m all ears too. I have a huge list of them to go through.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Personal Notes

 

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Minecraft

I play a lot of minecraft. Too much, maybe. But I think of it as a way to exercise my brain.

Some people call it Legos on the computer, and they aren’t wrong. You do build. It is also resource gathering, time management, and circuit building. Then there are the mods. With miss you can add magic, technology, monsters, animals and more. Sky’s the limit!

Last night I was trying to figure out a tricky problem. I have ars magica and I’m trying to build my magical abilities. Eventually I want to fly. But I didn’t take the easy route like others do and create a fire spell. No, I took the slightly more complicated path and decided to make a leap spell. It has more parts. And it wasn’t easy to find a tutorial about it so I had to figure it out on my own.

But these puzzles, piecing things together, reading manuals, and just perservearing even in the middle of daunting tasks, even in a video game, are useful skills.

Maybe people think Minecraft is a waste of time. It’s a game, and I could be writing instead. I tend to think it’s an excuse to use my mind, and stretch the boundaries of my imagination.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Personal Notes

 

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Feminism in Video Games

578253Anyone who knows me knows that I have an addiction. I spend far too much on video games, humble bundles, and steam sales. I play far too many video games when I should be writing. In general… Hi. My name is Crissy, and I’m a game addict.

I own 281 games on Steam. I have a binder FILLED with more games like Baulders Gate, Settlers, and Might and Magic. Games that I love, and sometimes install just for the nostalgia. That isn’t even considering the consoles I own, and all the games for each of them.

I don’t finish a lot of games. Most of the time it’s because the game looses my interest and I go off to the next shiny thing. Sometimes it’s because the game is too difficult for me and I’d rather just watch someone else play it on a let’s play. Sometimes it’s just not my type of game and I never get past the first few levels. But I’ve been playing games since I was a teenager, and own a lot of consoles to prove it, so I’ve also had my share of completions.

Why am I talking about video games? Because this week there has been a HUGE upsurge in interest regarding Anita Sarkeesian and her “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” series. Most of it started because of the controversy around Zoe Quinn and the accusations that her ex boyfriend leveled on her.

Now, let’s reflect for a second that Zoe’s EX BOYFRIEND accused her of things and tons of people just jumped onto it without even considering where the source came from. I don’t presume to know if it happened or not, I honestly don’t care at this point. What I do know is that it is a suspicious situation, and people on both sides of the Quinn debate have been assholes to each other, and especially to Miss Quinn herself.

Then there is Sarkeesian, the controversy surrounding her kickstarter and where the funds went. The rumors about her statements that she didn’t even like video games. Reports that she stole art images and let’s play footage. Then her portrayal of games as “sexist” without even really looking into all the information about the particular game she called sexist. All of that, but she still didn’t deserve the threats and late night calls that she received. So many that she left her home to take refuge elsewhere.

Regardless of what is in video games, neither of these women deserved to be treated like that. No one, man or woman, deserves to be treated like that.

On the video game side: Yes, video games could use a little more dimension in the way they portray women. Yes, video games can sometimes seem sexists to some people. Yes, there is a conversation to be had. But let’s be honest about the portrayal of women in games vs. reality, shall we?  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Commentary

 

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This morning I watched “Teens React to CaptainSparklez“, and I have to admit… I’m aCaptainSparklez fan. He, along with YogsCast, are the reason I bought Minecraft, and why I come back to it more then any game I’ve ever played.

At the end of the video they asked why people might watch CaptainSparklez, and other play throughs on youtube, and most of the teens didn’t know, even those who watched them. But I know why I watch them.

I don’t watch sports, because I have no interest in watching sweaty guys running back and forth on a field/court, playing an intricate game of “keep away”.  I don’t understand all the fine rules of most sports, not because “you’re a girl”, like most people would assume, but because I didn’t grow up with sports in my home. My dad didn’t watch football, and never sat beside me cheering on his favorite team. So it doesn’t bring me any nostalgia, or happiness to watch grown men playing the game I was forced to endure during PE ever school year for three weeks.

I don’t watch much TV anymore. Not because I have some moral issue with TV, but because I remember when TV was good. When every channel made you feel something, either laughter, love, fear, or awe as you watched your favorite actors and comedians in the shows you loved. Or the documentary about going to space. Or the show with an amazing woman fighting dragons, vampires, and/or gods, and showing girls every week that there was more to life then being a house wife.

Now, TV is 80% fake reality TV. Not just fake, but they take the worst elements of our society, and parade them around for everyone to see.

Watching channels like CaptainSparklez, YogsCast, or NorthernLion give me a real look at someone. I get to watch them actually react, jump, cheer, or laugh because of something in the game I want to play.

Watching Let’s Plays is just another form of voyeurism, but it’s on my terms. It’s far more realistic. The people are people I like, and would often love to be friends with if I met them IRL.

Now, I do think Pewdiepie is half show, and half reality. I think he, like me, gets easily scared and is just more willing then I am to confront that fear. (No, I am not installing Amnesia on my PC again, F*CK THAT!) But he does ham it up for the audience. And yet he is the most subscribed channel on youtube. Because he’s an all around interesting guy.

If TV execs would stop working so hard to make reality tv interesting, and just let it be itself, or put interesting shows with good story, drama and feeling back on… we’d probably watch a little more. Especially if you stopped trying to force us to pay $70 a month to subsidize sports channels.

People love good stories! They flock to the theater to watch epic, 3 hour long narratives. They buy books in hordes, listen to tons of audio books, and still they clamor for more.

But they also crave honesty. Something, or someone they can relate to, admire, be inspired by, or just teach them more about how the world works.

It saddens me that almost all of the great science and education shows have been replaced by crap. That science fiction, one of the most inspiring genres ever, has practically disappeared.

But I still have youtube.

 

 

PS! Thank you to Simon who helped me save the post I had accidentally deleted. You are AWESOME!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Commentary

 

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Sex and Video Games

body_sm_ratios1On Reddit today, there was a game designer asking if his female character was sexy, but not so sexy that it was conforming to the usual female game design stereotype….  So it got me thinking.

“Sexy” is subjective. What you find sexy I might not find sexy. And what is sexy by one regions definitions will not be the same in another.

For instance, this character has the mandatory large breasts, hour glass figure, and swaying hips that western society deems “sexy”. If you go to Japan, or Brazil it won’t be the same standard. They don’t have the same stereotypical “sexy” idea of women that we do in the west.

Now, is it still perpetuating the stereotype of video games? I don’t think so, because she isn’t half naked and her figure actually has a natural curvy form, while still being close to realistic, though not quiet.

Now.. as a woman I find the whole discussion to be trivial in general. “You’re painting women as sex objects” … No, they are painting them as caricatures of the “sexy woman”. That is to say, grossly out of proportion, gravity defying, and completely unrealistic. Some of them ape superhero proportions, but many of them don’t even bother with that. If that is a man’s idea of an ideal woman then he is in for a sad awakening when he goes looking for a real one.

Advertising has done far more to paint woman as sex objects than video games ever have, and yet fem-libers will shout far louder about a woman in impractical armor in a video game then they will about the anorexic looking fashion models, and half naked women in commercials and magazines with photoshopped bodies.

A character in a video game ISN’T REAL! It isn’t even close. It doesn’t paint an idealistic picture of a woman, it paints a fake, unattainable in any circumstances woman. What’s more, it doesn’t just do this for the women, it does this for the men as well.

Women who get all irritated about video game avatars are clearly not versed in gaming and comic book culture, nor do they know anything about the historical trend of art. Both men and women were painted, drawn, sculpted, and shown in the idealized versions of the time and place they originated, and/or caricatures of those ideals. It only sometimes has something to do with sex, other times it’s just something “pretty” to look at, or commentating on society as a whole.

And if they are versed in art history, then why the hell are they so argumentative about the whole thing? Why aren’t they using it as discussion instead of just saying “DON’T DO THAT!”

Superheros are a mans power fantasy? So because I’m female I’m not allowed to have the same fantasy? I want to fantasize that I’m the sexy muscular woman with all the power under my sword, able to slice through dragons, orcs and trolls with one swing of my sword. That’s my power fantasy!

Just because you are offended at something THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT WRONG! Stop fucking up life for the rest of us just because you got your panties in a twist. Let me have my fantasy for one fricking minute, and just enjoy being beautiful, strong, and capable, even though I’m not in real life.

And really, isn’t that what a video game is all about in the first place?

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Commentary

 

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