Hello fellas. I am a 24 year old Anthropologist who obviously loves to play video games as well as board games with great regularity. I pray to the great Robot-In-The-Sky for KOTOR 3, feel most at home when attending PAX, and secretly want to travel with The Doctor to far off galaxies. I live in Phoenix with Conrad Zimmerman, my fiance-in-a-box.
Currently I am:
Not playing video games nearly enough.
Working two jobs and cleaning up after the equivalent of two teenage sons.
Not in school anymore!
..Possibly applying for grad school..
and making tons of Munnys and Xbox360 faceplates while hanging out at tomopop.com!
Boy oh boy have I been gone for a long time. Last time I was hanging out 'round these parts I was fresh from a fun time at Pax08 and dreaming about the next one. Well, I am purposefully avoiding the posts about the latest Pax, mostly because I was unfortunately unable to attend this year's festivities. And while I'm happy to not have had a brush with "the swine", I know it would have been a good time nonetheless.
In any case, I've been busy, as my excuse always runs. I've been to Miami to hang out with the crew, and I've also graduated and now practice my Anthropology degree (for now) at Arizona State. I've been slacking in the game department however, and have only finished a few games including Prince of Persia Sands of Time, and Flower (I'm late, I know).
The good news though, is that with the time that I should have been using to bum around here and playing games, I've been using to exercise my creative side with a gaming twist. I am happy to announce that I am painting Xbox360 faceplates as well as gaming-related DIY Munnys. I have been fairly active lately at Tomopop.com and putting the Munnys up there, but I have everything on my Etsy store and thought you all might enjoy these guys:
They're a lot of fun to make, and I really do need help with coming up with more ideas (that means give me some, please!). The possibilities are endless though, so I can keep them coming and do requests if you want.
As for the Munnys, thus far I've done Mario, Donkey Kong, and Walter Kovacs. I've talked about these at Tomopop.com where they're all-about toys, but you guys might enjoy them, too (ta-da).
You can see more pictures at my Etsy store: popartpirate.etsy.com. Thanks, guys, and I should definitely be around more often this time, I swear (pinky promise for real).
It's now a week after PAX08 has closed its hallowed doors, and finally I have some free time to write about it. I know most people have already shared the highlights, some horrifying, some dangerous, but all of them wonderous. Here then, are a few of my own from those glorious and far-too-short days.
First of all, I'd like to share with you a startling revelation. Whilst wandering the floor of the exhibit hall, I stumbled upon a quaint booth full of classic games and tiny charms. I browsed through the stickers and stuffed animals- and then it hit me-a striking similarity. I had discovered the true identity of Wardrox.
Can you tell the difference?
That's right, the adorable Pink Godzilla is none other than our beloved Wardrox. Did you wonder why they were never seen in the same place together? THIS IS WHY.
I also discovered that apparently Conrad Zimmerman, my one, my only, is evidently not as I once thought and has alas found a new soul mate.
That's okay though, because while he was off gallivanting with sneaky robot-heads I was seeking out my own form of comfort. What I found was a man willing to share his love with everyone around him, for the sake of more relaxed drunken environment.
This man owes me a massage, dammit.
The honest truth is meeting you guys was amazing. I've grabbed Necros' crazy-face, nabbed a free beer from Hamza, and talked Sociology with Counting Conflict. I even got a boob-grab from FooLiz.
And to the rest of the exorbitant numbers of the Robot Army out there who I met at Pax, you are fucking incredible. Especially this guy:
Hey look! A picture of me from PAX! See there- I'm behind the couch- it's the back of me...with the Rock Band...anyway...
Howdy robots and robot-esses. I'm continuing a series in steam-punk style of the main people on Destructoid (of course). Here is number 3: Hamza. It's a bit hard to see, but I made the cufflinks shark's teeth in reference of course to the beloved sea creature. Also, the Banhammer has gotten an upgrade to an hourglass as in YOUR TIME IS UP!
Expect moar to come.
If you want it bigger than that, the hi-res one is at the bottom.
Over the years, the opening cutscenes, the final bosses, through it all there has never been one single character that I could personally relate to completely. Sure, I loved various qualities of characters, interactions between them, and the vivid personal battles. And yet, no one individual has struck me as close enough to my fantasy and reality.
That said, there have been several games, more recent ones mostly, that have included the "create-a-character" feature instead of giving you a pre-made mold. Most notably, this affected me the strongest in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I, especially because there was the ability to create a female character blessed with being force adept and more than willing to take battle head on. I was ready. I was there. And the hero was not a street urchin, not a sword-clad boy or a troubled youth with a mysterious past.
The heroine was me.
More than anything I had always wanted to be there, part of the story of some science-fiction or fantasy related epic tale of magic and adventure. Give me mutation in X-Men, witchcraft in Harry Potter, or let me have the ability to discover artifacts and gunfight like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones. In my dreams I was a part of these realms. And then came salvation.
I always yearned for the moment that my days of imagining would be over and I could truly be involved in an interactive gameplay of epic proportions. When KOTOR came out, I played it for hours on end. I created my character- no- myself, who could slay enemies with finesse. And even more than that- I could choose my own paths and tone of voice, degree of lightness or darkness, and even create my own lightsaber (blue, double-sided, ftw). Arin got so far up the Light Side's scale she was glowing. At the end, I felt betrayed, enraged, and I slaughtered hundreds on my path to vengeance.
I had tried MMORPG's to no avail, but there were other games that also featured creatable characters including the recent Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One. I love so many different settings and steampunk is definitely one of them. In this case, it's more of a fun enterprise of casual proportions, and as such I've created two different characters for two playthroughs with two different personallities.
I'm not schizophrenic, I swear.
Games like this make me yearn to play pen-and-paper RPGs again, and in a way satisfy my desire for this interactivity. I'm looking forward to diving further into the realm of the Startling Developments Detective Agency and battling more Lovecraftian awakening gods of yore. If there was an RPG of this, I would play it like I do Arkham Horror (which is A LOT, and not even as much as I'd like).
The first opportunity for this obsession, though, was definitely Pokemon Red. It's true that I was a boy, but I could put that detail aside if it meant that I got to go through the world on my own, creating my team of companions and leveling them to my heart's content. I mastered battles, knew all the tips and cheats without a Gameshark, and filled the Hall of Fame with my victories. Pokemon Crystal therefore blew my mind as the character creation was customizeable with a female character instead. I lived the life of a trainer and loved every minute of it.
In each of these games, the characters became my own, my personallity projected onto moving pixels on the screen before me. More than anything, this brought me the most joy. Other games were incidental compared to the excitement and involvement I felt when playing not as someone else's creation, but my own. Sure Zidane was a cute little monkey and Rikku was a blast. But in the end, nothing comes close.
It may be egotistical, but my favorite character is me.
I have yet another picture. Am I starting to sound like a fangirl yet?
In any case, I wanted to make an anthropological note regarding the site. I think the main reason for me actually joining a site again is due to these very Community Blogs. I have been a member of quite a few forums before this, and then went through a very long period of inactivity on all things online. Disappointed with MySpace and LiveJournal, Facebook, et al, I pretty much gave up.
However, due to a fluke accident of Conrad discovering this here place I have renewed faith in the internets once again. I believe that this Community Blog way of doing things is truly the next step in blogging. I've tried to find similar set ups and as of yet I've been unsucessful. So, Destructoid, until I have more poignant topics to discuss I would like to present my latest creation: Colette and her Clockwork Chocobo.
There's a better version of it linked below as well.