Casey Baker is passionate about all things video game, and has been this way since very young. His earliest memories involve trying to get E.T. out of a hole.
Casey plays nearly all genres of games, excluding most sports games (save Super Dodgeball for the NES), and pretty much any fitness games.
Casey has been partnered with his 'domestic partner' (would be husband if legal) Mike for 7 years, and though his partner doesn't share quite the same passion for games as he does, Mike can kick his ass at Mega Man 2 and Castle Crashers, and loves Journey and Rez.
Casey also plays several online games with his twin brother, and is always happy to find others to play online with.
Today while doing some research for a different game preview, I stumbled across a free flash game called A Closed World that takes on lesbian and gay issues in a way that I've not really seen before.
The game, as an actual "game" is pretty easy, has repetitive dialogue, is a little narrow in focus, and gets a little hokey in times in both voice-narration and music.
The game as an experience, however - is something I strongly appreciate from Gambit Game Lab in Singapore. In the game, you play as a young gay male or lesbian female - although none of that is overt or totally obvious, just something you pick up from dialogue and context clues. Your character ventures into a forest and faces demons, and you do a sort of turn-based battle with said demons until you 'vanquish' them.
The demons, however, are all representative of the people you are closest to. Your weapons for battle include logic, ethics, and passion. To battle your demons, you choose one of these as an appeal of sorts. Your health bar is indicated by your composure, which you lose steadily through the battle and regain by taking a breath every now and then.
You face enemies such as your sibling, your father, and the parents of the person of your affection. Every time you defeat an enemy, you get a cut scene of sorts that hints into the storyline of your character and the interactions he or she has had with family members regarding who you are as a person.
The game is pretty short, I beat it in maybe ten to fifteen minutes - but it left me feeling a definite sense of appreciation for the developers to approach such a topic in a surprisingly mature and emotionally appealing manner.
If I were to change something about this game, it'd be some of the responses my character uses in defense of the attacks from the so-called 'demons' - though I suppose this is more because I'd wish to tailor it more to my own personal experience as they seem incomplete and sometimes a little too weak of a response. I definitely generally agree with the common attitudes shown in the attacks by these 'demons' - whether it's simple bigoted attacks by a sibling or more "ashamed for one's own personal reputation" attacks made by a father or mother.
I don't normally have much interest in LGBT topics in video games and I generally think they're mishandled by backwards stereotypes that just perpetuate this notion that all gay men and lesbian women are a certain way and should be expected to act as such - but this one caught me a bit off-guard and I played it primarily to see just how wrong they'd get it.
I was surprised to find myself accepting that in general, they got it pretty right. I hope this game finds it's way to LGBT youth who are still struggling to figure themselves out.
More information about this project can be found here:
Much like Jim Sterling, I too got the Ocarina of Time 3DS soundtrack in the mail!
I have chronicled my excitement with this image:
However, I don't plan to actually ever open it or listen to it, because it is a COLLECTER'S ITEM AND YOU CANNOT EVER GET YOUR GREASY, SMALL AND WRINKLED HANDS ON IT.
Unfortunately, the nice people who work at my local post office don't know how to treat such priceless artifacts and upon opening I was dismayed to find a small crack in the the cheap plastic of the front of the cd case.
Oh well, someone still buy it off me from Ebay for a bazillion dollars some day.
On that note, if you really want a good remastering of the Ocarina of Time soundtrack (and many other Zelda games), I would highly recommend not bothering with building that time machine to go back to when you could register the game to get the soundtrack by jumping through the dumb online survey hoops that NOA requires of you, but instead just downloading the awesome Zelda Reorchestrated project instead. I have listened to the songs on nearly every album from this project and highly recommend them.
That's all. Have a good day, fellow nerds and psychopaths!
Hi! I'm new here guys! How do I shot web? How babby get formed? I am 12 and what is this?
And a host of other classic internet memes, brought to you by your host, Troy McClure.
Terrible Intros aside, I'm new as an intern editor but I'm certainly no stranger to the Destructoid community.
DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?
Probably not. But if you've been lurking around the comments, chat, and community forums you may have seen my old avatar/username pop up quite often and sometimes quite annoyingly.
Some phrases you may have uttered upon seeing me include (but are not limited to:)
"Oh that guy again, what's his deal?" and "Oh, here comes that a**hole" and even "LOL COCKS!"
So who am I, exactly? Read on and find out!
I. Games I Play
Why have I chosen to write for Destructoid about videogames? This may surprise you. Did you know that 1 in 5 video game bloggers actually play videogames?
I too play videogames! Yes, this may be pretty shocking, I know. I also like writing about them!
The best part? I live in San Francisco! Awesome!
Now I am an expert on video games and all of my opinions are actually fact. YES.
Here are some more FACTS:
My favorite video game ever is Dark Cloud 2. Yeah, I said it. The one with the anime kids and the easy world-building and some fishing and golf minigame sidequests that are for babies and stupid people.
However, I also love Fallout 3! Which may also include babies, though they are probably of the more dead variety.
If I were to list every game that I play obsessively or have ever played obsessively, I'd pretty much just give up actually writing any more of this post.
BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM GUYS, THAT'S THE JOKE!
II. Games as "Art" Debate
This has been a debate that has raged on ever since Custer's Revenge for the Atari 2600 came to the market and consumers were shocked, surprised, and perhaps even a little stimulated at the amazingly true portrayal of the awful hardships that Native American women had to endure by the White man.
Encompassing in scope, lurid in visual design, and impactful in expressing it's strong message to an audience of young and impressionable children, Custer's Revenge paved the way for the newest form of art, VIDEO GAMES!
Soon to follow were other such artful games as Night Trap for the Sega CD, Zelda's Adventure for Phillip's CD-i, and Boong-Ga Boong, seen in Japanese arcades.
These games are the shining beacon on the hill, they are the archetype of artistic video games for all others to follow and look up to. If you're not in agreement, I may argue that you have no taste and should never step foot into a Museum of Modern Art.
However, if you are with me, I would even go further to say that Video Games are to Digital Art just as Jackson Pollock is to Canvas Art and Marcel Duchamp is to Urinal Art!
Truly, many things are considered art.
III. Personal Agendas (lol)
Now, we've come to the most important part of this introductory post. Who the hell am I, seriously?
Well, if you've been keeping score - I used to go by the Destructoid username "Rigby"...
(Long and Awkward Pause)
Oh...oh wait. You mean that gay dude? Who got all bitchy and ranty whenever anyone challenged assumptions about "teh gays lol"
Yeah, yeah. Gay agenda. Degradation of Christianity and Modern Society. Etc, etc etc...
I only post this part because it happens to tangentially relate to who I've lurked as in the Destructoid forums. This way, when the huge scandal erupts about the real 'Casey Baker', it'll pretty much be old news.
Most likely, you don't care and wonder why I bring it up! That's great! Either do I. :)
How does this relate to video games and any discussions I may have about video games?
IT DOESN'T!! :D
The only way it may relate is to Mass Effect 3 or other games that do have a same sex option - that is, if I bother writing an actual article about them and about that option and about how realistically gays are portrayed in context, blah blah blah...
However - do I personally care about whether games should have gay characters as much as straight characters?
Not really! I happen to love Alyx Vance and would have babies with her because she is an awesome video game character, and she also loves me even though I'm a violent deaf mute! <3<3<3
That's the great thing about video games. You can place yourself in the existence of entirely different characters with backgrounds all of their own. Have I characteristically tried to only get the gay option in a video game if I've had the choice? Nope! Usually through the second playthrough I'll try it, though options as a gay character are pretty limited and often pretty absurdly stereotypical.
But the point isn't about sexual orientations of video game characters! It's about the games!
What I will most often write about is this:
Is this game fun, or is it not fun?
So stand confident in the knowledge that as I am writing, this is pretty much ALWAYS generally what is going through my head:
OMG, Should I write about how there aren't enough PONIES in the Elder Scrolls series? I mean seriously, also that costume design of the furrykin or whatever those tigers (rawrr) are called is just ATROCIOUS, EWWW. Can't they just have FABULOUS colors and maybe a rainbow paw badge on their shirts? And let's talk about those muscle-bound Nordic warriors! Rarrr!
...Or you know, probably not.
I just like games. :3
IV. My First Review!
Here is my review of a video game called "Haunting Starring Polterguy" for the Sega Genesis:
Haunting Starring Polterguy is a game for the genesis. It is a game where you play a poltergeist who is called Polterguy. In the game, you are haunting the house of a family called the Sardinis. I think that is a racist reference to Sicilians and I am offended because I get offended pretty easily! Anyhow, the Sardinis are rich and snobby and they suck. So as Polterguy you wander around and make everyday furniture HaUnTeD...OoOoOooo. Also sometimes you make the Sardinis pee their pants and it is funny!
According to The Internet, "The Haunting Starring Polterguy" is made by EA games, who are most notable for also making "One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird." which is a game about basketball.
The goal of the game "The Haunting Starring Polterguy" is to keep scaring the Sardinis away. They are really annoying though because they don't get scared easily when they move to new houses. I got to the third house and then I threw my controller because they were not scared by ANYTHING! My favorite animation happens when you go in the toilet and then a HAND comes out of the toilet, who would have thought that would happen! Ha ha ha ha.
I like this game because you are a zombie ghost and they are cool!
Final Verdict: 9.5/10 Superb: 9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme example of its genre.