musings · Personal

I May Be An Adult But…

…damn if I don’t love sweet little simple kid’s games sometimes.

Not too long ago I invested in a 3DS. I saved up some money and then had to search all over town to get it since everywhere decided to be sold out of it when I wanted it. But eventually I found it, bought a couple of games, and I love it. It’s great for my lunch break when I don’t feel like watching anything or really doing much of anything. It’s also good for when I’m in a waiting room or something.

And even beyond that, some of the games are just great for relaxing at night after work. I’ve just bought Animal Crossing. It’s my first time ever playing the game and it’s just positively delightful. It’s colorful and sweet. There’s not too much to worry about doing, not too much to focus on.

It seems like so many people just like focusing on the challenge of games. If it’s not Dark Souls they don’t give a shit about it. I think there’s something to be said though for fun little games that don’t require much effort but calm you. We spend so much time just going, going, going that it’s nice to kick your feet up and chill.

musings · Personal

Why is Gaming Culture So Toxic?

No seriously.

Why?

This is something I find myself thinking of a lot of the time. I remember when I was a lot young games were just something that you played. A lot of the time with your family. I feel like there wasn’t this concept of a gamer as we now know it. Perhaps it was because we didn’t really have the internet, wireless wasn’t so much a thing so a lot of those games were couch co-op instead of being online. I imagine that has something to do with it. When you’re playing couch co-op chances are you’re with friends (unless you’re playing Mario Kart) so you’re not going to say all these foul things to them. And it’s fun.

Now though the culture has become so toxic and full of itself. It’s intimidating to pick up a multiplayer game as a first timer because you know you’re going to end up surrounded by people who’ve spent so much time getting good at the game. And there’s nothing quite as unpleasant at the screeching of some asshole upset because you’re not as good at them. It’s almost always men (boys, teenagers, adult men) who go up several octaves and then scream about raping people and toss around the word faggot. It’s unpleasant.

Add in being a girl and it’s just on a whole other level.

I don’t think I’ve spoken in a multiplayer game in a long time. I have a headset but I don’t use it. If I’m playing a multiplayer game I tend to keep the volume really low or off entirely because I don’t want to deal with people yelling at me for not being good. I want to have fun. That’s why I game, that’s why you should game. Sure, e-sports are a thing now. But if you were really that good, I would hope you wouldn’t get that worked up about it. You definitely shouldn’t be getting worked up over a girl playing the game with you either.

Gamers want to be accepted. They always rally against the stereotypes of the anti-social gamer, sitting in a dark basement somewhere but then they refuse to accept that maybe that stereotype has some merit. Maybe some people are taking this all too seriously and making everything shit.

Maybe I’d just like to be able to play a game and not have someone saying they’re going to rape me.

But that may be too much to ask.

 

 

musings

Let’s Sexualize Male Video Game Characters!

Since I talked a bit about sexualization of female characters in video games, let’s sexualize male characters in video games for a bit.

There are tons of lists about there and discussion about the sexiest female characters in video games (it’s totally Cassandra from Dragon Age by the way) so I decided to make a post about some of the sexiest male characters in video games. There will be some minor spoilers for the characters and the games listed but nothing that ruins the actual plot of the games.

Jaal Ama Darav (Mass Effect Andromeda)

Jaal2A relatively recent hunk, Jaal from Mass Effect is probably one of the best romances in the game. The Angara are a new species that was introduced in the latest installment of Mass Effect. They’re a species mistrustful of strangers, long at war with the Kett. Jaal is a resistance fighter (along with several of his family members, including his mother) and is assigned to basically keep an eye on you. As you travel with him, you learn that his species is rather open emotionally and he never shies away from that. He’s a strong fighter, he’s funny, and it’s almost impossible to phase him. His banter between your other companions is always spot on. Plus he kind of looks like a dick.

Cullen Rutherford (Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition)

I really had to limit myself when it came to Bioware games because they have so many great and attractive characters of both genders. Cullen made the list because not only is he ruggedly handsome (and he wears that weird little furry thing over his armor which is so glam), he truly grew as a character between all three games. When you first meet him, he’s been abused and mentally tortured by mages. As such he wants you to kill them all without a thought. In the second game he’s started to recover. He takes his duties as a Templar seriously but it’s clear that he wants to help and genuinely does care about keeping people safe. Of course his boss turns out to be batshit. And then in Inquisition you can finally romance him. He’s a capable general and more than willing to lead your troops into battle. He only wants what’s best, even while struggling with a crippling drug addiction. And if you romance him, he starts to open up about his life. He’s a genuinely sweet character and it’s beyond perfect when he gets himself his first dog.

Genji Shimada (Overwatch)

Genji 2

Genji had a tough life. Once a young and carefree playboy, he was nearly killed by his older brother. Barely alive, Overwatch made him an offer. They’d rebuild his body if he would join them and help out. And so came to be the cyborg we know and love. He worked to destroy his family’s empire even while filled with self-loathing for the machine he had become. Eventually he found peace with the help of a robotic monk. I hate playing him in the game, he’s ridiculously hard for me to get a hang on. But I love his backstory and his design. He’s sleek and sexy. Still very much a man. And of course, dat robot ass.

Genji

Johnny Gat (Saints Row series) 

Okay. So he might be a psychopath who loves chaos and destruction. But he’s a sweet, loyal psychopath who loves chaos and destruction. It’s not good being on his bad side, after all he’s one of the most dangerous men in the galaxy. But when you’re on his good side, he’s fantastic. He’s loyal to a fault and willing to do whatever he wants to for his friends. Not to mention he was a romantic when it came to his relationship with Aisha and even years after her death, he’s still suffering from the guilt of it.

Ignis Scientia (Final Fantasy XV)

FINAL FANTASY XV

Sure, he’s not the most buff of your companions and he wears a shirt. But to be perfectly honest, Iggy is clearly the best of the boy band from this game. He has gravity defying hair, cute glasses, and sexy driving gloves. Plus he loves to cook and the meals he makes look positively delicious. There’s banter when you’re traveling where he notices that Noctis has a button coming loose on his clothing and he advises that he’s going to fix it for him. Who wouldn’t want a man who can cook and sew and loves driving you places?

Honorable Mention:

Erron Black (Mortal Kombat X)

Mortal Kombat X.png

Shirtless sweaty cowboy. ‘Nuff said.

musings · Personal

G-Strings and Video Games

Sexualization of females characters in video games is a…sensitive subject to say the least. On one extreme side there’s a bunch of shrieking man children who complain that the wicked feminist are trying to ruin games for them. On the extreme side there are the people who are completely against any sort of sexualization when it comes to female characters in video games.

And they’re both wrong.

The people in the middle may have feelings that lead towards one of the extremes but in general, the middle ground is right in this case. There’s absolutely no reason it should be something so controversial. Changes need to be made but not extreme changes. And the changes wouldn’t effect the games in anyway.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a sexy female character. There’s nothing inherently wrong with skimpy costumes. The problem overwhelming is that most of the time it tends to apply to female characters. It’s so rare to have a male character who gets put up as a sex symbol the same way as female characters do.

Imagine a game like Bayonetta (a rather popular title) and then replace the title character with a man who wears his hair and seductively sucks on lollipops. I’d play the hell out of it! New favorite game. 10/10. Four stars! But it’s unlikely to happen. And that’s where the problem comes in. Bayonetta is a great character, even though she just oozes sex. And the big reason is that it all ties into her character perfectly. She is a sexual being; she likes sex. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But then you get to games that have badass sniper women wearing the skimpiest outfits with the lamest excuses. It doesn’t fit into the character but if anyone tries to suggest that, they throw a huge fit. I see it again and again and again. Games where female characters automatically get skimpy armor, battle bikinis and g-strings, while men are in full armor. And it’s bullshit. But you know what would not make it bullshit? Letting me put my damn male knight in a g-string. Cause why not? It’s just a game, it shouldn’t matter. Maybe it fits into the character I’m playing. You don’t know my life. You don’t know my kinks!

It just seems like there’s such a simple compromise for this argument. Dragon Age: Inquistion did very well without having to put the female characters in g-string armor. There was plenty of eye candy. Sexy men and sexy women. Sexy giant grey monsters with horns and one-eye. Something for everybody. But the idea of making games in that same manner seems to upset people so much.

It just doesn’t make any sense.

 

musings · Personal

The Addicting Mystery of Overwatch

Why is Overwatch so addicting?

On a personal level, I hate first person shooter games. More importantly, I really dislike multiplayer games in general. There’s always some squeaky voiced teenage boy throwing a tantrum because the team is losing and screaming for healing because he keeps charging ahead of the rest of the team. That asshole is always the one that doesn’t play the objectives and leaves the one healer in the team trying to stick around and actually accomplish the main goal of the game. …not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

But seriously, my experience with most multiplayer games has been people yelling and shrieking like they were being murdered because something happened that they didn’t like. It happened in GTA: Online, in the mutli-player version of Assassin’s Creed, and in pretty much every other game I’ve tried to play with other people online.

It pretty much turned me off of playing multiplayer games for the longest time.

And then Overwatch came out and I avoided it like the plague. Another FPS game that would be full of screaming children tossing around slurs like they’re soooo edgy. I did a good job of avoiding it. In fact, I avoided it for almost a year. My friends were really into it, people I watched on youtube would talk about and play it constantly, and I just couldn’t stop hearing about it.

Eventually my curiosity was piqued but I prefer playing first person games on my Xbox and I didn’t particularly want to pay all that money for it (especially since it was so much cheaper to just get the basic version of it for PC). I didn’t know if I was going to like it and after my experience with games like TF2 and Destiny, I wasn’t going to risk my money. So I kept putting it off and off. But I kept finding myself getting more and more interested as more and more people talked about it.

Then Microsoft decided to do a free-play weekend. I downloaded it (which took forever thanks to shitty internet) and eventually gave it a try.

Oh god. I was hooked from the first ten minutes.

I went through the tutorial and I played the test matches against the AI, did the training with the robots to try out characters. I was so nervous about playing with actual people it took me over an hour before I gave it a try and stopped dicking around with the rest of the stuff. My first choice for a character was Mercy. I like healers, I like support classes. People tend to not like playing them but a good healer can change the outcome of a game, even if they rarely get recognition for it.

My first actual quick match against real live people went well. My team won and I feel like I contributed well. Several hours went by and I kept playing and playing. I eventually had to turn off the volume because there was still the problem of screaming teenage boys and there are few things that make my fists pucker up as much as that high, whiny octave they yell in. But with mute on, it wasn’t a problem. People generally worked together really well and I didn’t feel like I was doing too terrible. At least until I tried playing Hanzo or Genji.

I got hooked and I got hooked fast. I played the game constantly over the free weekend and eventually had to give in and purchase the game.

And now I can’t stop playing it. I still love my Mercy but I’ve expanded my the characters I play a lot too. I can do well with Zenyatta and D.Va is my go to. My most favorite thing to do however is go into the game mode where you get assigned random characters after each death. I’ll go whole games getting only characters I never play and though I’m not that great at them, I have a hell of a time playing.

At this point I’ve put way too many hours into it, more than I’ve ever put into any other FPS or any other multiplayer game. It’s still baffling to me how the devs managed to make such a perfect game to appeal to someone who hates everything their game stands for.

By god though, it is a great game.

Introduction · Personal

Gabbing Gamer Girl Beginnings

I have always loved video games.

I remember being a very young child and somehow my family got their hands on a Sega Genesis. It was the first time I’d ever seen a game system (the Sega had only been out for a few years at that point) and I absolutely adored it. For hours I would sit there in front of the big, bulky black TV we had, staring at the screen and losing terribly at all the games we had (Disney games were hardcore).

There was something so addictive about it. Growing up, I had always been a bit awkward around people and more than a bit obnoxious. I never had very many friends so most of my free time was spent reading and, once we got it, playing on the Sega. I loved it. I never finished a single game on there that wasn’t based on a game show, but I still absolutely loved every frustrating minute with that system. We’d play together as a family, me and mother, my mother cursing as I beat her at Family Feud and Jeopardy and then goading me as she kicked my butt at Wheel of Fortune.

As I got older the Sega was soon regulated only to trips and grandmother’s house where she didn’t have cable. Instead we got a shiny, new N64. It was beautiful to my young eyes. I still remember the very 90’s purple controller and how awkward it was to hold (it was made for people with chest-arms). My mother had recently gotten married so the three of us would spend family time playing games together. Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, and Smash Brothers.  We’d play together and we’d watch each other play single-player games.

Ocarina of Time is the first game I ever remember beating all by myself; I spent so much time playing it and I was so proud of myself for finishing it without any help. My best friend at the time had her own N64 and when I spent the night at her house, we’d stay up super late playing Goldeneye and weird Japanese games that we didn’t really understand.

Anytime I think of the system, I remember it with fondness. But those memories are no doubt tainted by nostalgia. Compared to the games out today, the ones on the N64 are clunky and simply. But there’s beauty in the ugly simplicity of the graphics and controls, even today. Those low resolution polygons are pretty much childhood for me.

***

That system was sold near the beginning of middle school for extra needed cash. From then on we didn’t really have video games in the house, there were more important things despite my occasional whining. Sometimes we’d buy older games for our old desktop computer. I played a ton of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and some game about an unlucky knight who was trying to do…something or other. I never actually got past the part in the knight game where I was supposed to get a pitchfork from the branches of a tree while on a Ferris Wheel.

Time passed and I started college. My love of gaming was rekindled by Steam. I didn’t have a desktop computer but I did have a laptop that did well enough with most games. I played Skyrim for the first time and from there on I was hooked. Saints Row 3 was next, shortly followed by Saints Row 4. From there on in I knew I wanted to get another console. I know that gaming is supposed to be better on a p.c. but once I saved up some money I bought the Xbox One and I adored it. My main reason for picking it was due to the vast and ever growing collection of older games (I needed to catch up after all).

***

That leads up to today and this blog!

I still love games and sometimes I even love the community and this blog is just my way to connect with that. It’ll be musing and thoughts about recent games I’ve played, about the gaming community in general, about being a girl who likes games.