May 29, 2012

I did a video review on Terraria

Mystic wanted to make sure Terraria was a review done for his Indie Shot series, but initially never got into the game as much as Minecraft.  I love Terraria and was happy to oblige:

May 23, 2012

Coming Back to Terraria

I while ago I got Terraria and took a dive in, and totally got into it for a while.  I amazed Mystical because he couldn't understand how at the time I was definitely not a fan of minecraft but I was totally enamored in Terraria.  Something about the 16-bit adorable world along with the already integrated parts of adventuring was more addictive.

As with many games I haven't played it in a while but then yesterday I went back to it... not realizing that is had been updated to the nines with a new crafting system and other cool stuff.  GAH!  My old world wasn't ready for this.

I started a new world with a new character and was finally able to get a friend to join my game.  And fun times were had!  We built a ton of stuff, fought some zombies, fell to our deaths here and there.  We got some essential building done, and got some of the new crafting tools out of the way (like the saw mill and the loom).  Also, seeing our little sprites with the copper helmets is hilarious.  Have you seen those?  Ridiculous!

I had first played the game by myself, which even on the easy setting is a bit of a struggle.  It's a game with a lot of searching and avoiding baddies early on.  It's kind of nice to have two people looking for iron or to have a friend who'll help slice zombies in half while you catch fallen stars.

I will be doing a guest Indie Shot for Mystic sometime in the next couple of weeks for Terraria.  I still have to delve into the new system a bit more so don't expect this to be what I say in my review, but I'm definitely having a fun time with the new mechanics so far.

Finally, a little off topic, be on the lookout for my first video game gender analysis in the next week!

May 16, 2012

I missed tabletop

In a way, video games are one of the easiest nerdoms to get into, along with TV shows and some books, in the sense that it's something you can easily find and get into.  I think that's part of the reason I devote a lot of time to video games in this blog.  It's something that easiest for me to enjoy after a long day of work.  But I really became a full fledged nerd with tabletop, and now I'm finally getting back to that.

You all got a peak of my character in a friend's Obsidian game Amy Valencia.  I had never really played a truly carefree character before so I decided in this universe I would play one.  She is kind of a ditz following the easiest path of a high power, a high demonic power.  She's not entirely stupid, just entirely honest about her love of drugs, parties and the occasional visit to the masseuse.  It's been very liberating playing her because she is not one to give two shits about most dramatic stuff.  I think the most concerned she got was when a bomb was about to kill her and her group in a tiny office.  Having traditionally played characters that have stressed out very easily, it's great to play one that is not.

I think my experiences with Amy have colored my choices in playing a new character in another game.  I got invited to play in a Apocalypse World game that has been going for some time but had some people playing new characters due to old characters dying off or becoming unplayable.  I came in with Iris, the classiest brainer in the tree town.  Brainers actually can manipulate people with their psychic powers and find out personal things just by touching people.  Usually people go for the mystic in rags look for brainers.  I went a little more fabulous.  She has her kinky hair in an up do and wears a shiny pants suit with a corset.  Still weird, but a bit more approachable.  Like Amy she is a social creature who looks for the fun in life.  Unlike Amy, she strategizes more in the long run.  She's not really book smart but she is definitely world-smart.  If someone has recently become very powerful, you damn well make sure that you are their friend.  Things like that.

On top of those two games I am also running my 3.5 D&D campaign again!  I'm super excited about it.  The last two times I ran the game we had a ton of characters who were honored, privileged and eager to serve a king to the 2nd largest kingdom in the world.  This time I have a lot of hesitant characters who decided to go along merely because is somewhat fulfills their alternative goals, which include siring a messiah and selling potables to whoever will buy them.  The first session happened last week and even though it ran so late I was working on low brain power, we all had fun.  Next session will immediately start with combat!

It's so great to go back to my roots.  I really became a nerd when a friend of mine in high school invited me to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons that her father was running.  I'm not sure how nerdy I really was before then, but after that there was no turning back.  It now feels like I'm really a nerd again, spending a significant amount of time rolling dice and playing make believe with friends.

May 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Mystic!

I would like to wish a happy birthday to Mystic, the boyfriend.  I won't give away his age, that's up to him.

As one of his many presents, I am asking that you help me help him.  Season Two of Super Minecraft Adventure has started, and Mystic and another friend are now suffering through one of the most difficult fan maps on minecraft.

Mystic is doing this for charity.  Laugh at his countless fumbles and acts of nerd awesome, and then donate to Free the Children.  The goal is $5000 to help build a well in a developing nation.  Please donate!

Here is the first episode of Season Two for your viewing pleasure:

May 2, 2012

This is how not to discuss representation of women in RPGs

As a nerd woman I'm used to being in the minority and having to fight a couple of battles here and there about how I'm represented (if at all) in my nerd spheres.  The only nerd circle I knew to not have such a disparity is Anime, but let's not touch the plethora of gender issues in the genre.

So when someone wants to discuss the complicated issue of gender representation in RPG art, there is a lot you can actually say and a lot of opinions you can have.  That's the kind of article I expect to read, an article that expresses a concrete opinion.  Not some drivel that merely states I'll draw it because I'll get paid.

Jon Schindehette's article had an opportunity to truly engage with a point of view with someone who had industry experience.  Instead, we got someone who affirmed that he draws what they're given and asking several times for a reader's opinion without asserting his own.  The reason that this is excruciatingly frustrating is that this totes itself about addressing gender in RPG art and then discusses nothing.  Not the history, not the depictions, not even a personal opinion developed from years of experience drawing for the industry (specifically the most well known series that started the hobby).

If we continue to pretend we're having a discussion, there is no resolution.  We're not even sure what the resolution is because the industry has barely ever talked about the problem.  And yes, it can be a serious problem.  I do know at least with my experience, DnD has tried to be somewhat equal, but at the same time there are plenty of other RPG publishers who have gone out of their way to not be because they "know" that they have to cater to a male audience.

What's my opinion?  I personally don't like that the usual archetype for a chick who kicks ass either has to become male in her mannerisms or becomes the incredible eye candy with a gun.  I'm tired of it.  Not all gunslinging women have their tits out, just like not all gunslinging men eat raw meat and smoke 2 foot long cigars.  I want characters to be complex, no matter what setting I'm in and what gender or color or size or whatever the heck physical aspects they are.  That would show some maturity in the industry.  It's getting there, but we do have a long way to go.

The next time that someone wants to write an article, please, for the love of the written word, actually SAY something.