games

Good Idea: Writing for a Website that Caters to Nerd/Geek Culture       Bad Idea: Admitting on that site that you rejected a guy BECAUSE you considered him a Nerd/Geek

You’re a Gamer? Date Over.

This post is strictly my opinion and may not reflect the opinion of everyone at Nerds in Babeland.

Good Idea: Writing for a Website that Caters to Nerd/Geek Culture Bad Idea: Admitting on that site that you rejected a guy BECAUSE you considered him a Nerd/Geek

 

I don’t think I have ever ranted on this site but I am incensed. Judging from the outrage in the nerdverse, I’m not the only one. Recently a “former intern for Gizmodo” posted a scathing article on how she met and briefly dated a former World Champion of Magic: The Gathering.

For those of you that don’t know what Magic: The Gathering is, it is a collectable card game published by Wizards of the Coast. Magic can be played by two or more people each using a deck of cards and each game represents a battle between the players.

The author of the post wrote about how she decided to make an OKCupid account one night that she was intoxicated. Already, the article was off to a fantastic start. To justify her joining the site, she called it an “online dating experiment”. After several weeks of various creepy messages she received a genuinely pleasant message from a “normal” guy (italicized to foreshadow her shocking revelation) and they arranged a date.

They met for a drink and started a genuine conversation. At some point in the date, he revealed that he played Magic: The Gathering and that he was the World Champion. She decided to research him after the date.

On their second date, she brought up the topic and continued to barrage him with questions about it. After she opened up that dialog she then decided that they had nothing to talk about (even though their initial meeting started with “normal” banter). In her article she accused him of lying in his profile.

With the way the internet reacted, I’m obviously not the only person angry about this farce of an article. Yes, everyone has their own versions of deal breakers when it comes to dating. I’m not judging her for thinking that she didn’t have anything in common with him. She doesn’t.

My judgment is reserved for her accusation that he was hiding his World Championship title and therefore lying. With an online profile, you tend to include random pieces about yourself that you think of as your type. It’s not a professional resume. I don’t know who would spend hours crafting an online profile – maybe a drunk girl?

Okay, I am a little irritated about her dogging on his nerd cred. It sets everyone back. It feels like every month or so someone makes a comment about how a hot girl can’t be nerdy. Switching the gender makes this story a bit more interesting to read and a lot more depressing. Whatever it is that you enjoy in a nerdy/dorky/geeky capacity, it isn’t the only part of your personality.

What the author fails to realize is that she was having a great time with this guy and he makes a brief comment about his accomplishment and I’m sure she pictured a big red “rejected” stamp smash into his forehead. But still, she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, dinner in New York is expensive.

Obviously I was livid about this. Typically when I’m upset I enlist the email chain of awesomeness. I sent them the article and some of their replies are included below.

Marissa: In fairness, the one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s life story isn’t necessarily something I’d want sprung on me as first-date fodder either. But I’m not surprised she’s single.

Seth: My issue is with her accusing the guy of lying on his profile. He never lied, unless he said “Hi, my name is Josh and I DEFINITELY DO NOT PLAY MAGIC BECAUSE ONLY LOSERS PLAY MAGIC AND I AM A SOCIALLY SUCCESSFUL HIP URBAN PROFESIONAL.”

Marissa: Unless OKCupid specifically asks you to divulge your nerd/geek tendencies, there’s no lying. The only lying going on is the difference between the person she IMAGINED/WANTED him to be, and the person he actually is. And all the MTG “offensiveness” is bull. Would she expect someone to dump her for wearing an ironic (kind of but not really) New Kids on The Block t-shirt? Who does she think she is, and what does she think she deserves is the question?

Marissa: I just hope that all those guys out there complaining about a girl who judges them, aren’t busy judging another girl by similar standards.

Seth: Clueless hypocrisy is a basic ingredient to online relationships, isn’t it?

Ali: Now you’re just saying smart things to get quoted, aren’t you…

I was originally not going to write anything about this as I loathe to give her anymore publicity, but I found something on twitter that hurt my heart.

@Jonnymagic00: “I know there are a lot of younger guys out there who are thinking, “I can’t let girls know I play magic or they won’t think I’m cool.’”

This was posted by the man who she didn’t mention by name but was easy to find. He doesn’t hide his gaming. It’s surprising that she waited so long to Google him when she encouraged him to Google her. I doubt if she realizes that her lack of interest was evident before he even laid his Magic cards on the table.

Links:

For the original, unedited post

For the US post.

Jon Finkel opened up a Reddit IAMA/Ask me anything page on Tuesday morning on Reddit answering the questions he could about the article.

Ode to Thief

For the entire post (of which this is about 2/3rds) go to bonzuko.com.   ~Prof. Jenn
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I came across the below video in my ‘Net meanderings today–it’s all of the cutscenes from Thief 1, in order. Now obviously one doesn’t get the full story with all its depth and nuances just by viewing the cutscenes–the gameplay has a lot of the characterization, plot twists, etc. But it was really neat to look back on this and read/view it like a story, and also remember how cutscenes were celebrated in this game (OMG! I made it! Now I get a cutscene!) and how lovely the artwork is. It’s not as realistic as most of the modern games I enjoy (Assassin’s Creed is one series that has kind of replaced the unplayable old Thief these days), but it’s the stylized art that makes it that much better than if it were realistic late’90s graphics.

At the moment, I am on a committee that is developing courses for Regis University’s Communications program–courses on Media and Aesthetics. I’ve also been interestedly following the video-games-as-art debate that’s been going off intermittently like firecrackers over the Web. Seeing these cutscenes made me appreciate not only the visual aspects of the art of this game (which is gorgeous), but the literary artistry too. Seeing how the three main “factions” of the fictional city are bit by bit revealed, and the mysterious prior history of the City too, being unfolded in shards, makes me respect the game’s writers all over again.

Oh, and: SPOILER ALERT!

Reality is Broken: How Games Can Shape The Future

How many hours a week do you spend playing games?  Any games. From simple little time-wasters on your mobile phone, to completely engrossing RPGs involving putting together missions and raids with fellow gamers.  What if those hours you spend building and changing virtual worlds could actually be applied to the problems in our every day life? This is the basis for Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken.

As a long-time game developer, McGonigal has had the chance to examine, first hand, how gaming can become a very huge part of a person’s every day life. In Reality is Broken, we explore how this is not only a growing trend, but how it can be a very positive one.  While non-gamers have always been critical of gaming, there are very clear perks to the lessons gaming teaches us.  A particularly interesting fact McGonigal expresses through her research is what she calls ‘the four super powers’ that a person develops through gaming regularly.  These include: urgent optimism, social fabric, blissful productivity, and epic meaning. This pretty much means that by being a regular gamer, a person can be their own highly-motivational pep rally, make connections, build trust, and learn team-building skills by working with other gamers, be legitimately happy about putting forth all of this effort, and feel like they’re making a difference. All of these skills are things you just don’t get in the real world very often these days.  You don’t get to level up by taking the trash out or recycling.  There are no one-up mushrooms for helping old ladies cross the street.  Beating your head on a brick definitely does not produce a ride-able miniature dinosaur.  …..okay, so maybe nothing can be done about that last one.

The issue here is that by keeping all of these great developments restricted to virtual worlds, we’re taking all of this potential out of the real world, and keeping it smothered in lands of orcs and fairies. Meanwhile, we have issues that need to be addressed in reality.  McGonigal’s suggestion to counter this is to create games that address real-world problems and offer legitimate solutions. Through this, we can not only train future generations to look at real solutions critically and creatively, but actually generate those answers quicker and more efficiently.  A few games like this already exist.  Consider Chore Wars, which is apparently a game similar to World of Warcraft, but played in real life, using daily, household chores as missions and achievements.  Additionally, McGonigal, herself, has created three – yes, three! – games in which you address large, real-world problems in a fun, gaming setting.  Games like World Without Oil, Superstruct, and Evoke are highly creative ways to brainstorm realistic solutions. Sort of makes you wonder if Left for Dead was actually a way to generate workable zombie plans, huh? To make this idea work, games would need to evolve in the right direction, and we’d all have to step it up on the amount of hours played.

Reality is Broken presents these views in a very thorough and thought-provoking manner. McGonigal offers well-researched scientific fact to back up all of the ideas expressed, and lays out a goal for the future that comes across as realistic and reachable.  While the beginning of Reality is Broken is a little long-winded going over qualifications for making these statements, this does establish a trust between the author and reader. McGonigal offers a radical idea backed up by well-documented facts, and a realistic path to get there.

I would highly recommend taking a look at Jane McGonigal’s bio and qualifications, her speech on this topic presented through , and, of course, the actual book, Reality is Broken, now available on .

What do you guys think? Can games change the world?

Coming December 7th: World of Warcraft – Cataclysm

Blizzard has decimated their landscapes!

In preparation for their latest expansion “Cataclysm”, Blizzard rips Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor asunder. They explain that an “old evil” by the name of Deathwing is rising. Deathwing is a superhuge dragon of dragony proportions.

You can watch the trailer yourself (link at the bottom of this post).

With the Burning Crusade expansion it was the introduction of the Horde race Blood Elf and the Alliance race Draenai. In Wrath of the Lich King, there was the addition of the player class DeathKnight. True to fashion, Blizzard has announced the introduction of two new player races: Goblins and Worgen.

Goblins and Worgen have been in the game for as long as I can remember, but they have never been player characters. Also, they’ve been pretty generic. Goblins have appearance adjustments to choose from and the Worgen have gotten a major overhaul. MAJOR.

In addition to this, the level cap has been increased to 85. Odd, as it typically raises in increments of 10. They’ve explained that off that the new goal is to improve your characters through talents and a path system that will be implemented (I’m assuming it’ll happen in a patch before Cataclysm’s release date).

They have added new high-level zones with Uldum, Grim Batol, and a Sunken City that looks like it would bitchslap Ariel and also boast more raid content than ever before. Great… Thanks Blizzard. I’ll never see my bro again.

They’re also finally taking some of the races class exclusions away. Now you can finally be a gnome priest or blood elf warrior. A tauren paladin! A troll druid (My brother and I have always thought was weird that you couldn’t be one. That’d be perfect.)!!! Squeeeee!

New Secondary Profession: Archaeology! Apparently with the enormous changes in the landscape, you now can unearth valuable artifacts and earn rewards! I can hear the auction house bells chiming!

The flying mount ban in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms has been lifted. I’m guessing that Blizzard can justify that due to the fact that a humongous dragon is going to be flying around getting his burn on in Brill.

Check out the trailer for more details! Let me know how you feel about it! Are you excited? Irritated? Bored?

I haven’t decided if I’m going to start playing again, but the Worgen look pretty fierce so you never know.

Video Game & Movie Releases – November

Sorry for the delay, I suck! Below is a list of upcoming movie and video game release dates to keep your eyes on, and wallets handy for.

Video Game Releases
Nov 2 – MAG: Escalation — PS3
Nov 2 – GoldenEye 007 — Wii, DS
Nov 2 – Hoard — PS3
Nov 2 – Auditorium — PS3, 360
Nov 2 – James Bond 007: Blood Stone — PC, 360, PS3, DS
Nov 2 – Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 — PS3, 360
Nov 2 – God of War: Ghost of Sparda — PSP
Nov 4 – Kinect — 360
Nov 4 – Kinect Sports — 360
Nov 4 – Kinectimals — 360
Nov 4 – Kinect Adventures — 360
Nov 4 – Your Shape: Fitness Evolved — 360
Nov 4 – Dance Central — 360
Nov 9 – Karaoke Revolution Glee — Wii
Nov 9 – John Daly’s ProStroke Golf — 360
Nov 9 – Call of Duty: Black Ops — PC, PS3, 360, Wii, DS
Nov 16 – Dance Dance Revolution — PS3
Nov 16 – NBA Jam — PS3, 360
Nov 16 – EA Sports Active 2.0 — PS3, 360, Wii
Nov 16 – Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Hero Gauntlet — PS3, 360, Wii, DS
Nov 16 – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood — PS3, 360
Nov 16 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — PC, PS3, 360, Wii, DS
Nov 16 – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit — PC, PS3, 360, Wii
Nov 18 – Zumba Fitness — 360, Wii
Nov 23 – Splatterhouse — PS3, 360
Nov 23 – Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom — PS3, 360
Nov 23 – Michael Jackson The Experience — Wii, DS, PSP
Nov 23 – Crazy Taxi — PS3, 360
Nov 27 – Gran Turismo 5 — PS3
Nov 29 – Golden Sun: Dark Dawn — DS
Nov 30 – Epic Mickey — Wii
Nov 30 – Nail’d — PC, PS3, 360

Movie Releases
Nov 5 – Megamind
Nov 5 – For Colored Girls
Nov 5 – Due Date
Nov 10 – Morning Glory
Nov 12 – Skyline
Nov 12 – Unstoppable
Nov 12 – Cool It
Nov 12 – Helena from the Wedding
Nov 12 – Tiny Furniture
Nov 19 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Nov 19 – Heartless
Nov 19 – Me Too
Nov 19 – Nothing Personal
Nov 19 – Queen of the Lot
Nov 19 – The Next Three Days
Nov 19 – White Material
Nov 24 – Burlesque
Nov 24 – Faster
Nov 24 – Kawasaki’s Rose
Nov 24 – Love and other Drugs
Nov 24 – Tangled

TronEvolution

TRON: Evolution Voice Actors Announced

In preparation for the new TRON: Legacy movie coming in December, Disney Interactive Studios will be releasing a third-person video game named TRON: Evolution. The game, which combines elements of RPG and racing to allow for both single and multi-player options, will bridge the storyline between the original movie and the new one.

Heading the voice cast for Evolution will be original TRON actor Bruce Boxleitner along with television star Olivia Wilde (House). Joining them will be a number of familiar names from our television screens. Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) will voice Gibson, John Glover (Smallville) voices Abraxas, Nolan North (Port Charles/General Hospital) will voice Behemoth/Sentries/Blaze, and Terrence A. Carson (Living Single) voices Calchas. You can see a small video of the voice cast here. This will be the second voice acting role for Ackles, who garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews for his role of Red Hood/Jason Todd in the recent Batman release Under the Red Hood.

Are you excited for the new TRON movie? Will you be heading out to your nearest gaming store to pick up TRON: Evolution? I know I’m looking forward to hearing more from my favorite voice actors and am very interested to see how Ackles’ second venture out goes.

Photo Credit: Disney Interactive Studios

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Reminder-GeekGirlCon Silent Auction

Don’t forget to support these gals! This week they’re auctioning off a “Video Game Voters Network” (size lg) tee and sealed copy of Aion The Assault on Balaurea. Game includes original Aion and The Assault on Balaurea and one month of game play!

Bids start at $15. Email bids to sponsor@geekgirl.com by 5pm tomorrow. Their facebook page has more details.

The group’s description in their own words:

Let’s face it, the male to female ratio at cons for panels is slightly off. Not necessarily on purpose…but it is. However, female fandom has shown that it is coming into it’s own as evidence of the San Diego Comic Con’s recent ‘Geek Girls Exist’ panel which had to turn people away at an already overpacked room. When you have fans fighting to get in to listen to women talk about their careers & fandom of the female realm, AND being up against the ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’ panel…there’s something to be said about that.

Not to mention the party, ‘GeekGirls & Friends TweetUp’, that had to turn people away after 200 guests packed Jolt N Joes in the San Diego Gaslamp district. We have Kristin, Jill & Andrea, 3 gals part of www.geekgirlsnetwork.com to thank for such an awesome gathering!

The best part was that the population of that panel & party was not necessarily all women! Guys appreciate what we gals do as well! We are into week 2 since idea conception and we’re constantly asked, “Can guys help too?” Of course you can! We are not trying to single you out of the equation of female fandom.

We know you love your girlfriends, wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, meemaws and/or friends who’ve taken their fandom to an all time high. Know that we haven’t forgotten about you guys! We are planning on having a GeekGirl Appreciation Stage as well!

But this con is for the ladies! What do you love? It’s not necessarily all froofy froo froo…it’s also badass, kickin butt stuff. Gaming. Movies. GeekMusic. Costuming. Comic Books. SciFi. Science. History. Technology. And maybe just a little bit of Roller Derby?

Why haven’t we had a GeekGirlCon yet? The idea of being a nerdy girl who’s interested in the same things as guys, isn’t a new concept…it just isn’t as widely celebrated. But that will all change with this event. Stay tuned. We’ll have some pretty exciting things coming your way.

Follow them on Twitter @GeekGirlCon for the latest up to date info!

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Fallout New Vegas, The Adventure Begins

Fallout New Vegas Review Part I

Starting up New Vegas felt a little bit like coming home. I had the lights off, the TV turned up, and nothing to distract me from the mayhem that was sure to ensue. I sat patiently through the opening narration squeeing quietly when I heard that iconic phrase, “War. War never changes.” As a late comer to video games(I didn’t start playing them seriously until I discovered Oblivion in early 2008), I have never played the original Fallout games so I may not have quite the appreciation as some of the more serious fans, but I love it nonetheless.

When Fallout 3 came out, my husband and I were over-the-road truckers and at the time we were staying in Indiana for a few days. So we found a local Game Stop doing a midnight release and waited in the freezing cold to get this game that Mr. Doc had talked about for months before hand. At the time I was still leery of video games, and I didn’t understand what all the hype was about. I understand it now. The feeling I got when I started the game for the first time was something close to euphoria.

The beginning of the game was very reminiscent of Fallout 3. You chose the basics for your character, such as name, gender, and appearance. You then use a machine that looks like an old fashioned “Test Your Strength” game to assign point values to your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills. Finally Doc Mitchell gives you a series of Rorschach tests to determine your tag skills, which you can tweak to your liking. The result of the Rorschach tests also determines the parting gift you receive from the good Doctor.

I was given a Laser Pistol(one of my favorite weapons in Fallout 3)some ammo for said pistol, a Vault suit, and some stimpaks. Plus I raided his house, because it’s not stealing.

After leaving his house I explored the town of Goodsprings for a bit. Met up with Sunny Smiles(what a name)and received a Varmint Rifle. She “showed me how to shoot” and then took me Gecko hunting. The giant Geckoes made me laugh. The way they run is hysterical. We shot the Geckoes that were patrolling the wells for Goodsprings. I did a few more quests in Goodsprings before heading to Primm, looking for the men that shot me and left me for dead.

This concludes Part I of my review look for more in the near future.

NYCC – Day 3 in Photos

Day 3 for me was mostly wandering the center and checking out the cool costumes people were wearing. I did go to one panel though, for AMC’s “The Walking Dead”.

Autograph Alley. This was the line to get James Marsters’ autograph.

Dungeons & Dragons. There were several campaigns being played throughout the weekend, plus a few tables dedicated to teaching beginners the basics of the game.

Team Rocket

The X-Men. Nice Gambit.

Tomb Raider

Phoenix was what first caught my attention here, but I liked all of their costumes.

Batman & Robin. I thought it was cute that the kid was Batman, even though Robin was the kid in the comics.

Walking Dead panel

First we got some background information from the producer, director, and writer.

Then the cast joined us for insight on their characters.

Nike and the Wii

Just a quick post to add to my Wii extravaganza from earlier..
So, Nike commissioned something called the Nike 78 project, letting 78 artists take their shoes to innovate and completely change their shoe.. the article is here… and right below is the video to show how it works.. ENJOY!!!
Jess Del Pino
(the nerdy 1/2 of Hooked On Veg..
come on a veg-tastic voyage with us!!)
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