June 17, 2008

Living my childhood dream

Filed under:Dungeons and Dragons — Lake Desire @ 8:17 pm

I’m finally living my childhood dream of playing Dungeons and Dragons. I’m playing with some folks in my English department and my friend Abby (the retro review writer for Cerise). We’re a big group, eight total, and half of us are ladies. We just made characters tonight. All of the numbers are kind of confusing, but the world-building and races and roles each class has in the party is pretty familiar from playing RPG videogames.

I’m a middle-aged dwarf named Olshar, which means fat moon. She has a beard and is politically radical with a martyr complex. I’m a paladin since I like tanking in MMORPGs.

I’ll post more updates with how my first D&D campaign goes! If I like it well enough, I’d eventually like to DM for an all ladies group.


June 7, 2008

Plans for New Game Plus

Filed under:Personal — Lake Desire @ 3:25 pm

My blogging hiatus does not mean I’m going to give up blogging! On the contrary, I am finally getting the internet at home this September, so I ought to have more time online to post. I’m planning on opening my topic of discussion in New Game Plus to include more on my life than gaming and tangental geeky stuff. I intend to blog more on activism, radical politics, and academia. And of course, write about being a nerd with game and film and nerd culture criticism. I plan on figuring out how to put a new layout on my blog, too.


May 9, 2008

Literacy: Another Privilege to Access Games

Filed under:Education, Gamer Culture, Privilege — Lake Desire @ 10:58 am

Games are for kids, right? That’s a popular perception, or one gamers like myself seem to have about how nongamers see games.

But I’ve been playing Pokémon and Twilight Princess with my friend’s six year old son, and I find it amazing how much supposed “kids” games or kid friendly games rely on intensive reading skills. And Pokémon is a game I don’t find especially intellectually challenging, yet there is still a huge barrier dependent on reading to not only to intake the story but even navigate playing.

I appreciate games that are smart and well written and challenging. I don’t mind reading in my games. But I do want to note the high level of literacy necessary to comprehend and play games limits accessibility, even in supposed kids games. And kids aren’t the only folks around who aren’t great readers, especially with classism and racism in the U$ educational system that particularly unprepares poor folks and people of color to have the same reading skills as middle class white folks bred for college.


April 30, 2008

A little update: I’m hooked in Puzzle Quest

Filed under:Gender, Nintendo DS Lite, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 8:43 am

Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been pretty busy with grad school and cycling. But I’m still gaming! I’ve finally gotten on the Puzzle Quest bandwagon. Wow, there’s a lot of mindless hours! I don’t even read the story because I’m so anxious to get to my next puzzle battle. The game doesn’t really question the classist feudalism in the fantasy genre, and everyone who is human I’ve met so far is white. But if I’m just looking through a gender lens, I’ve got a lot to be happy about. I play a lady, serve a queen, save a girl from being forced into a political marriage, and frequently quest for a lady dwarf with a beard!


March 9, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Filed under:Videogames, Wii — Lake Desire @ 9:52 am

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is out today. I’m actually planning on buying it new, which I haven’t done with a game since Pokemon Pearl. (That I can think of!) I’ll let you all know how I like it. I’m pretty pumped about all the controller options–looks like another way that Nintendo is making its games more accessible. Over all, I haven’t heard much about brawl, but I’m sure I’ll have something to say about Zero Suit Samus.

I really liked playing Mewtwo on the last Smash Bros. game. There’s something really macho about being a telepathic, god-like Pocket Monster. But I never really had the chance to get good because I used to play in the dorms with some guys who were so hardcore they always p0wned me in five seconds (although a few did try to occasionally teach me how to get better). Plus they’d say, “You just got raped up the ass.” Wow, I’ve changed a lot in the last four or five years! Nowadays, any Smashing that goes on under my watch will be smashing with love.


February 7, 2008

Princess Issue of Cerise

Filed under:Cerise, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 12:30 pm

February’s issue of Cerise is up, and it’s on princesses.


January 23, 2008

Texts that Mimic Videogames

Filed under:Personal, Videogames, Writing — Lake Desire @ 10:39 am

Hey all. I want to pick your brains.

I’m taking a class on intermedia theory, and I’m deciding what to write my final paper on. I’d like to focus on remediation, the theory that new media mimics old form (like ebooks mimicking the printed page). I’m curious if there are any texts out there that mimic videogames. I was thinking about writing about how one could play the novel House of Leaves, and then bring in the DS game Hotel Dusk to discuss a game mimicking the presentation of a book (holding the DS sideways) and genre conventions of a mystery novel. (I haven’t played Hotel Dusk, but it would give me an excuse to check out a new game.)

My question for you all: any other texts (books, movies, games, otherwise) I should check out for my project? PC games are harder for me to play since I’m a Mac user, but I have access to pretty much any DS game, and am willing to rent or buy Wii and PS2 games.


January 20, 2008

Musings on Pirating Games

Filed under:Personal, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 1:48 pm

I pirate games. I’m a bit afraid to openly admit it on the internet because I don’t know if saying so incriminates myself in some way, and I’m not sure if I’ll be reprimanded by my readers. I wanted to open discussion and see how my fellow radical gamers feel about pirating. I don’t want to hurt my friends who work in the game industry, but I’m a cheap-ass, capitalism-loathing student and when I can remove myself from supporting multinational corporations. I’m also privileged and know it’s unlikely I’ll ever be punished for software piracy.

Where are you all at with pirating? What’s an anti-capitalist gamer to do?


December 27, 2007


Filed under:Videogames — Lake Desire @ 2:56 pm

I like videogame music. Big surprise, huh? I hear enough of it when I play games, so when I’m walking around with my headphones on or burning a nerdy dance mix, I go for fan remixes of the songs from my favorite games.

I always assume that every gamer knows about videogame remixes, but come to think of it, more gamer friends than not have never heard of OverClocked ReMix when I tell them my favorite genre of music.

No surprise, most of the remixers I know of are guys, but there are women out there remixing game soundtracks. My absolute favorite remixer is a pianist named BogusRed. Check out her mp3s. Like most remixes, they’re free. My personal favorite is “Beyond Midgar.”


December 25, 2007

I am Happy

Filed under:Personal, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 11:20 pm

I got Metroid Prime 3 for Christmas. I haven’t really played much of the old Metroid games, but I figure it’s about time I get into the series because folks I trust rave about it. And I admit I’m intrigued by Samus and want to join the conversation on her gender with a little bit more authority. I left my Wii in Bellingham (I’m at my parents house, visiting), but I’ll post my thoughts once I have a chance.

Christmas was fun. I was showered in all the material goods I could ever want! I saw I am Legend with my parents and brother, and go figure, I wrote a blog post about it like I always do when I step out into pop culture.