September 29, 2006

Frustrations of a Growing Up Gamer

Filed under:Personal, Videogames, Writing — Lake Desire @ 8:50 am

Last night, a good friends and my little brother came over to play Mario Party 2. My friend wanted to play all week, but I had an excuse every night: I was tired, I had articles to write, I had to get up early for school. We finally played, and I just couldn’t focus. My attention span was too short even for a video game.

I moved a few months ago, and we had no TV until recently. I immediately hooked up my game systems, but haven’t been able to really get into anything but my secret guilty pleasure: Final Fantasy X-2.

Maybe I’m just playing the same old games and need to buy something new. Get a second DDR pad or a new mix: I’ve had the same ones since high school. Pick up a used copy of Fatal Frame 2 so Meghann and I have another scary game to play together. Get some more four-player Nintendo games–Smash or another Mario Party–to play with roommates and friends. Wait for the Wii and Final Fantasy XII so I can be excited about a new console and new Square game like I was as a teenager. (Although I probably will wait a while for the Wii, I’ve never gotten a console right at launch.)

Will buying more games help? I’m afraid to take that risk. As I’m growing up and becoming more economically independent (weaning myself off my parents’ support and onto my minimum wage university jobs) I have a hard time spending money on video games that I need to be putting in my savings account or investing or paying bills with.

And I’m not sure I want to live in the gamer house. I’m lucky: I live in a beautiful old church with two amazing, loving people, and our home is somewhat of an inspiring place for shared meals and political discussions. With better games, I worry that it will devolve nightly into four faces turned to the TV, oblivious to all else as I clean the kitchen and refill the popcorn bowl. I want to protect what I have: I don’t ever want someone to come over to spend time with a machine instead of me. I don’t ever want to hear someone say raped or owned or boned in my home.

This recent disinterest may be part of the reason I haven’t been blogging much lately. Or maybe I’m just busy. It’s my senior year (again!), and I started two real jobs at my university, reporting and teaching. I’m trying to finish my novel and senior project. I’m training at cycling, and trying to get around to studying for the GRE. (Plus, my internet at home comes from a neighbor’s patchy wireless, so when I get online at home it’s usually just for a moment to check my E-mail.)

With all the positive things going on with my life, I’m not sure I need video games anymore. I’ve mostly got my life on track: I’m doing things I love, and I’m happy. Books aren’t really even an escape anymore, I read them to learn but it’s been a while since I’ve read something that was entertaining in that full mind-and-body-immersion sort of way.

I want to keep blogging. If anything, I’ll keep you all posted on my gamer identity crisis. In the mean time, maybe some of the other folks who have volunteered to blog here will pipe up and start posting.


September 19, 2006

Carnival of Feminist SF: Call for Subs

Filed under:News — Lake Desire @ 7:18 pm

The Carnival of Feminst Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans is back from hiatus. 100LittleDolls will be hosting it. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 25, 2006. More details.


September 12, 2006

Creepy Katamari

Filed under:Sexism, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 7:27 pm

I’ve got my ex-gamer roommate hooked on Katamari Damacy. Today, he played a level I’d forgotten about, Virgo, in which you collect little girls.

“Hmmm…It’s lacking a certain something…Is
it Our Royal Present? No, that’s not it. Oh, yes! We get it!
Prettiness! This sky is not pretty at all. It’s rough and
masculine. Possibly sweaty. What We really want is pure,
girlish prettiness. There should be loads of maidens like
that on Earth.” – King of All Cosmos


After three minutes of rolling a pink, heart-covered picking up children and hearing little girls scream, my roommate turned off the level. He said, “On one hand I know it’s just a crazy Japanese game, but it’s still disconcerting.” I agree: there is something unsettling, almonst violent, about collecting screaming, writhing girls and women in a game that is otherwise fun and accessible to nontraditional gamers.


100 Most Influential Women in Gaming

Filed under:Gaming Women, Gender, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 7:02 pm

In anticipation for next week’s Women in Games International, check out Next Generation’s Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women by Fiona Cherbak. My favorite paragraph from the article’s introduction:

A gender-inclusive approach to game design and marketing of games may ensure that most, if not all, considerations to producing games for myriad markets are not overlooked. Games are no longer produced for a niche market of players; they are produced for complex, over-lapping layers of demographically, geographically, socially and culturally-influenced consumer groups. Including skilled women in the game creation dialogue for these markets allows for maximum potential return in game design, production, management, sales and marketing for the growing masses.

Very well put! Gender-inclusive game design benefits everyone.

A decent amont of women of color are included in the list, and the article is even written by a woman (too often men are writing about the elusive female gamers and game designers).

They’re running a follow up article next week, so be sure to E-mail suggestions to of anyone you see missing from the list.

The conference is in Seattle and only 30 dollars for students. I’m half-tempted to go.