"Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn't thinking isn't thinking of." -John Flansburgh
I am currently playing: Super Street Fighter IV
League of Legends
The Object Obscura Archive: Shadow hearts: Covenant
No One Can Stop Mr. Domino
The first video game I ever played was Ninja Gaiden. It took me ages to get past that knife throwing motherfucker in the second level.
Here's a list of some of my favorite video games, if you care:
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy X
Beyond Good and Evil
Earthworm Jim 1 and 2, but 2 was better because it's actually possible to beat. Also, Blind Cave Salamander is an awesome stage.
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Donkey Kong Country 2
Dynasty Warriors 4
Guilty Gear Accent Core (That was when they got Slayer just right.)
No One Can Stop Mr. Domino
Bust A Groove
No More Heroes
The Castlevania Series
When I was younger, my older brother and I used to play Mortal Kombat (We had it for the Genesis, which we bought instead of a SNES strictly for the blood code.) and he would always beat me by tripping the shit out of me until I died. Years later I discovered low block. The world has never been the same.
I first heard about Dtoid back in 2005 because I was looking for a game site I could trust. The general attitude Dtoid had, that STFUAJPG attitude was exactly what I was looking for. I read several reviews for games I was interested by one Mr. Jim Sterling and found that we had very similar tastes in games. I came to trust his reviews so much that I began to listen to the podcasts he was featured on. That's when it all clicked.
I was in the United States Navy then. I found Dtoid right before a six month deployment in which I would be stuck on a ship with no access to internet. I had just found this amazing site where I felt I could really belong, and now I had to say goodbye to it for 6 whole months! I stockpiled old episodes of Podtoid, Podcastle, and Retroforce Go! That whole deployment, I listened to the podcasts whenever I could. If I was cleaning (you do a lot of cleaning in the Navy) I'd have one earbud in. If I had a moment alone, I was chuckling or full blown laughing my ass of at the antics of Jim, Anthony, and Samit. I spent long nights on watch, on top of a ship with an M16 on my shoulder and an earbud in my ear, getting my pants charmed off by the likes of Chad, Colette, and Topher. I swore when I got back, I would become a member of that community. I would be a dtoider.
So I did. I came back and started posting on the forums, chatting in IRC, playing in FNF's. Just being a part of the community. I met Johnnyviral, Ryu89, and Tactix and we eventually went on to host a (still running) community podcast called 321GoCast. I attended PAX's and met and fell in love with the amazing people who make up this site. This was home.
And the dtoid community welcomed me with open arms. I was a dtoider... But I was hiding something. Both from myself and the people I loved. See, Analoge used to be this boy. Man. Whatever. He had his charms. He was funny, and spunky, and cynical. But he wasn't a real person, a whole person. He felt hollow and alone, even in the company of friends, but he couldn't figure out what was making him feel that way. So he went to therapy, determined to figure out why he felt so sad when he was so happy.
And one day, I figured it out. One day I walked out of a therapist's office a very confused person who really only knew one thing myself.
All my life, all I've wanted was to be a girl.
That was 2 years ago, and every moment since I've grappled with and grasped with my own hands the gender that I knew I was. There've been truly ugly parts, too: Friends lost, family members disowned. But I did it. I can truly say that when I look in the mirror I see a beautiful woman.
But there's still something wrong. Something so wrong that it's all I can do to not let it consume me. I was born with a body that does not fit me.
I've done everything that I can to right what's wrong with my body, but I have come up against a wall. A wall of about six-thousand dollars. See, that's how much it's going to cost me to get the surgery I need to make me a whole person, and I simply don't have it. I don't have any way to get it. I live paycheck to paycheck just to make rent, eat, and pay for the myriad other expenses that transition comes with, including the cost of hormones and laser hair removal on my face.
Some of you may know me. You may have known me before transition, or you may have known me after. You may know me as a girl who speaks her mind, and I may have said something in the past that upset you. You may have even said something that upset me. I had even left the community in a bit of a huff over some of it. but I want to get past that. Move forward.
Because that's what families do. They put their differences aside and help each other when they need it. Destructoid is a family. It's my family.
So I'm asking you, my family, to help me. I'm crowdfunding my surgery and I would be beyond grateful if you would give as you can. If you cannot donate, but can help in any other way, such as spreading the word on your social network or on the sites you run, I would be forever in your debt.
I've gotta make this happen somehow, and I'm inviting you to be a part of changing a girl's life forever, giving her the body she needs. The body she deserves.
The story, for those of you who haven't heard, can be found here. The word's straight out of Pinsof's mouth can be found here. The tl;dr version is that Allistair Pinsof found it necessary to out a transgender* woman who is closeted everywhere but the internet (a common survival tactic among trans* folk who don't feel safe coming out in their real lives) over his twitter, claiming that he was justified in doing so in the name of journalistic integrity.
This isn't about a possible scam. It isn't about the definition of the word "lifesaving." It's about a Destructoid writer acting in a completely unethical manner. It is never, under any circumstances, okay to out a transgender* person. To do so while that person is recovering in a hospital from a suicide attempt is beyond contemptible.
I am an out trans* woman. I am also a member of the Destructoid community. How Destructoid handles this issue deeply affects me and the large group of transgender* Dtoiders who are not out. People who have come to me to tell me how strong I am, and how much it means to them that I am out and proud and that I speak out on the site for those who can't. I could no longer face those people if I did not speak out now.
What can Destructoid do to fix this problem? It's a question I don't completely have the answer to, but I know it starts with this: I am calling for the termination of Allistair Pinsof as a Destructoid employee. I am also asking for a public apology from Destructoid. Finally I would ask that Destructoid run an article that raises awareness about transgender* issues as they relate to the games industry (yes, I am aware that a community member's article was promoted, that's not what I'm talking about). Think of it as community service.
Destructoid has be a home for me for many years. Some of my best friends I have met on the site, and I would not be living where I am right now were it not for the connections I made through Dtoid. It hurts my heart to have its name attached to such actions, and the sooner it makes amends for this, the sooner I can go back to being a happy member of the community. Until then, I feel like an outcast.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a group of Destructoid community members, new and old, take to each other. I would liken it to some kind of biological fusion, but that seems kind of gross. It takes the span of about two seconds to feel like you've known the group your whole life.
This PAX was a pleasant surprise for me. In fact, up until about a week before the event the thought hadn't even crossed my mind that I might be showing up. Luckily, due to the efforts of JohnnyViral, Necros, UmbrellaExile, and the other great people rooming with us, as well as Bunny for selling me a pass (at a five dollar discount, I might add) I was able to make it to this wonderful event. I honestly didn't care much for the convention itself. It was overcrowded and most of the panels didn't interest me. The show floor was really just a smorgasbord of crap with a few gems snuggled into hard to reach places.
No, I knew from the start this PAX would be all about the community. For those of you playing along at home, we've now reached the name dropping portion of the show.
DanlHaas It was awesome meeting you for the first time, and you've gotta get up in some skypes sometime.
Dyganth Thanks for sharing your room with me and talking about TMBG with me at like 4 in the morning.
Chewie You were my pillar of strength at the most traumatizing visit to a mall food court I've ever experienced.
Nelson ... Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear. Where to begin. Seriously though, you're a true bro. Good luck with your wannabe military career.
Power Glove You had a huge behind-the-scenes hand in making this PAX as awesome as it was. Thanks, man.
ScottyG You're just plain awesome, man. I don't even know where to go from there.
CasualWeaponry Thanks for drinking lots and lots of PBR with us at the risk of great bodily harm.
Tino I fucking love you, man. I'm super glad you made it out to Boston so we could hang out again. I wish you'd came out to karaoke with us, but I unnastand.
Val Get a damn account, bish! For reals though, you're awesome. I've never seen anyone more happy to see me turn up somewhere. Thanks for making me feel like I was cool for a bit. :3
UmbrellaExile You know man, when I first saw you, I couldn't believe my eyes... Welcome to the commurrrnities, yo.
Johnny meeting you was one of the biggest reasons I even came to PAX East. Even though you look nothing like how you sound, it was fucking amazing. See you on the podcast.
Necros Playing Geddan at like 3 in the morning? That's hardcore, yo. Great meeting you, Bob.
Greks I completely spaced on your name like 10 times during the trip. Sorry you couldn't get into karaoke, but thanks for accompanying me on the way there through the relatively seedy looking part of Boston.
Topher I think I might have come off poorly upon first meeting you. It was only because I've been a huge fan of yours since I began at this site. You should see how I reacted when I met Collette, Stella, and Dyson at PAX last year. Suffice it to say there were tears. Either way, I'm glad you were there.
Hamza I assume you haven't washed your cheek since Johnny licked it? Awesome meeting you, as briefly as it was.
Johnathan Holmes We only met briefly as well, but it was great. I love what you do on the site.
Bunny thanks for being awesome. Good luck with stalking Harmonix. :P
Bunny's roommate With your manly crooning and my high pitched warbling we could be a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. I'll have my people call your people. Ciao!
Mark Thanks for being awesomely drunk at karaoke and blowing my mind with some awesome Meatloaf.
Funktastic I hope you enjoyed my rendition of the Wild Arms 3 theme song as much as I will enjoy playing the original Wild Arms. Thanks, bro.
Petiepal I recently watched some video I took from karaoke, and you were the only one who knew to clap during that one part in Shake Senora. With the amount of alcohol we'd imbibed by that point, that is a truly impressive feat. You were awesome, bro!
Zerotolo Thanks for setting up Sunday's lunch thing and just being generally amazing. The next time I'm in town, maybe I'll show up with a guitar case and ask if you know where to score some pot.
Samit A pleasure, as always. This year, the same as last year, you were the most approachable, down to Earth, and just generally fun to talk to of all the editors. Thanks for that.
Adam I regret that I did not witness the spectacle of you throwing down on those chicken wings. I'm sure I would have swooned, though. Great to meet you.
Wexx It was great to finally meet you. If only I'd known you were so damn close the WHOLE FUCKING TIME I was in the navy... Oh well.
Cataract LONG LIVE THE GUIDO KING!
WalkYourPath Another of the big selling points for my trip was to meet you again. Your wit rivals my own, but my unflappable cheeriness gives me a distinct edge. I can't say enough nice things about you, Seanathon, so I'll just stop. Good luck in all your endeavors, Dtoid and otherwise.
Kauza You, my good sir are living the dream. One day, I hope to write for video games (that phrase carries just as much stigma for me now as it did for you) and it's people like you who fuel my aspiration. I'm getting slightly emotional now, possibly due to recounting all the people who made this event so wonderful, and I thought I had more nice things to say about you, but I'm sure you get the gist. Someday down the line I hope to meet up with you at one of these events and we can just laugh about the times that we weren't hotshot game JOURNALISTS.
I am now emotionally exhausted from writing this giant lovefest of a cblog, but suffice it to say that the tons of people I forgot to mention were just as awesome. I'll see you all around the site. Oh, and just to get it out of the way before I get a thousand of them in the comments: OOOHH NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Awesome count: 10 Amazing count: 3 PAX East 2010 review score: 4.0 out of 10
Sex is everywhere. You can't be exposed to television, movies, music, advertising, water cooler conversation, or just walk down the street without being bombarded by sex. Sex is in video games as well. Why? Is it because it's part of the human experience and therefore deserves a place in a culture-affecting medium or is it because sex sells? Playboy editor Scott Alexander said, "If there is a new technology, we will try to fuck it". I don't think we should fuck this one.
A lot of the pro-sex static comes from the "games are art" crowd. If games are art, do they need sex? Let's look at some actual art.
This is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. It's a painting of (you guessed it) the birth of the Roman goddess Venus, a deity who aroused humans to physical love. It's art.
This is from Googling the word "sex". With the exception of my masterful editing, this is not art.
Here's the difference. Sex is cheap. Sexuality is art. As an artistic medium it's not right to force sexuality out of video games for the sake of morality or an obscenely flawed ratings system. By the same token, it's not right to force sex into games when it doesn't belong there. I'm not talking about the more tasteful stuff right now. I'm talking about sex in games for either the shock value and profit (BMX XXX) or for raunchy humor (Hot Coffee or the Saint's Row 2 Prostitution game). Granted these examples aren't exactly looking for kudos from the "games are art" community (they call them beard strokes), but it still hurts the medium as a whole. If you're into looking at drawings and numbers get it on more power to you, but it has no place in a mainstream retail title. I'm not in favor of censorship, but there's a reason why hentai games are a sub-genre of video games.
But enough about the obvious bad apples in the bunch, let's talk about the group that seems to be doing their very best to add some legitimacy to the sexual content in their games, Bioware (What, you thought you'd make it through this thing without them being mentioned?). Bioware is the vanguard of video game relationship simulation right now (See what I did there?). Their latest attempt at "sex scenes" are done well. It's all about subtlety; A furtive look, a little tasteful skin. Unfortunately the lead up to the actual scene is too sudden and forced. There's no "are they, aren't they" drama. You know as soon as you recruit a character whether or not you'll get to bone them. If they'd just hang up this idea that every choice in the game has to be made by the player they'd be able to give you a decent love interest instead of shoehorning them in then killing them off later.
As well done as they are, it seems like the sex scenes are just a check in a box for Bioware, and with their success I can see more like it on the horizon. I'm not saying that sex flat out doesn't beling in games (though I doubt I personally would be interested in a game heavily driven by sex), but I do think that, like any serious topic, it needs to be eased into video games in small, tasteful bites. I don't play video games to get off, and anyone who does is playing for the wrong reason. If games are ever to become a form of entertainment respected on the same level as some of the more established ones, we need to go in head first, not dick first.
"It's like I've eaten spam a few times from a few popular brands and in a few serving suggestions, and found I'm not really keen on spam, 'cos it's salty and slimy and looks like something you might find in the alien queen's litter box. But I've found myself in a world that's completely obsessed with spam. People spend their entire lives in pursuit of spam. Every single advert on TV sells their product by placing it alongside spam. Movies have to work in at least one spam scene to reach the broadest audience. People break up and get divorced because they don't exchange enough spam. Soldiers are given time out to go have some spam. Low-risk prisoners are given spam visiting rights. People die for spam. Entire economies have been based around spam. Selling spam is the world's oldest profession. The lack of spam has been linked to mental disorders. The only thing getting teenagers through difficult puberty is the thought of one day getting to have spam of their very own." —Yahtzee