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12:39 AM on 09.22.2010

30 Minutes Playing.. Fallen Earth

A writer I know made the comment about another writer "he can't do a review, because he can't play any new game for longer than 20 minutes!"

So I decided to try a little challenge- gave myself 30 minutes with a game I'd never played, and did a quickie mini review. So here's Fallen Earth.


And got to plug the source of the inspiration of course..   read

9:58 PM on 08.08.2010

The Guide to Quakecon Fashion

With Quakecon coming up in less than a week, its time for a little fashion inspiration from last year.

(original image at:

The look: Button mail has been a safe and classic choice for convention apparel for years, yet is always being updated with new buttons promoting new products. Its inexpensive, distinctive, and (slightly) protective.

The drawbacks: Some shy away from button mail, feeling its "too youthful". Others feel that button mail's innate decadence reeks of swag greed.

How to rock it: While you can count on many gamer appearing in current button mail, the use of vintage buttons is fresh and chic.

(photo by Drew "Prognar" Campbell Original image at

The look: Its a safe bet that when hundreds of gamers descend upon Dallas, some one is going to use avante gaurde hairstyling to stand out from the crowd. Its also a safe bet that some one or another is going to find their look influenced by attempting to win a contest. This young lady pulls off both.

The drawbacks: Vaseline can be very hard to remove from the skin and hair. This look also loses its relevance if imitated by someone who didn't actually just win hardware by sticking their face in Vaseline.

How to rock it: I'm sorry, but theres no way you, personally, are going to stick your head in Vaseline and wind up doing anything that remotely resembles "rocking it." This look was one of the kind and of the moment- attempts to repeat will fall flat.

(photo by Matt "Dreggory" Bradshaw original image at

The look: Character costumes are another time-honored choice. When the characters are classic, the costumes are classic. While coordinating outfits with friends can sometimes come off as cheesy, it's also kind of a status symbol. Having friends really helps distinguish you from the quintessential nerdy lonely guy in his mom's basement.

The drawbacks: A character costume ensemble is not an endeavor to be embarked upon lightly. A character should be well known, for full recognition effect, but there's always the risk with common characters that some one else will do it better than you. Attention to quality and detail is a must.

How to rock it: If you're thinking of going the character route, you must commit to it. Don't just throw something together. Its generally wise to choose a character with a similar look to your own, although lines of gender can sometimes successfully be blurred.

(photo by Matt "Dreggory" Bradshaw, original image at

The look: A small child, particularly one clad in pink, is the perfect accessory for the hardcore swag seeker. A cuddly child perched on your shoulder is an excellent way to entice those onstage into throwing the loot in your direction, and also helps to extend your t-shirt grabbing range. Don't forget to accessorize your accessories of course- this one pairs blond curly hair and a pink hoodie with a Wolfenstein lanyard.

The drawbacks: Children do require feeding, bathroom breaks, and preferably, bathing. Also, if you do not already have your own, it can be difficult to procure one on short notice.

How to rock it: The child-on-the-shoulder look is perfect for those who actually look like they are capable of caring for a child. The key to pulling this one off is to keep the child looking happy and adorable. A "borrowed" and confused child crying for their mommy does not attract swag, but rather, ass beatings.

(photo by Matt "Dregory" Bradshaw. Original image at

The look: Nothing says dark, edgy, and sexy like ninja style. But the ninja look is also quite versatile. Those with dramatic hair can pull off the bandanna-like face mask, while those who have lackluster hair or wish to not be identified can choose the full hood.

The drawbacks: Ninjas must suffer for their vanity. Its hot, obstructs the vision, and ninjas know not the taste of fresh air.

How to rock it: Almost everyone is better looking as a ninja than not. The key to success here is really covering as much of yourself as possible. If we can't see it, there's no WAY we're going to imagine something as bad as the truth.

(photo by Andrew "Jiggaman" Simons original image at

The look: As many attendees are painfully aware, the ratio of male to female at gaming conventions can sometimes make it difficult to attract the attention of female attendees. But with a Bawls hat, it is equally easy to stay energized AND surround yourself with women.

The drawbacks: Wearing Bawls on your head can be somewhat inconvenient, as Bawls can, in some cases, be quite heavy. Those with Bawls on their heads are also often subject to a plethora of bawls jokes.

How to rock it: Keep your Bawls fully stocked- you can't really have too much Bawls. Also, it is worthy of note Blue Bawls were the preferred variety in a survey of at least four female Quakecon attendees. Bawls jokes can also work in your favor- be sure to practice a few at home that paint you in a favorable light.

(photo by Jim "Codema" Brown)

The look: A wig is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd, as as with small children, pink is the preferred color. Wigs can be a great look for ladies at cons- they allow a polished and distinctive look, with a smile that says "I can stay up later, and get up later, and still have better hair than you!"

The drawbacks: Sadly, this is a look best left to the ladies. The pink wig loses its effect on (most) men.

How to rock it: The wig is the female version of the ninja costume- easy, versatile, and great for almost anyone. Its also an act of feminine equality- ladies, you know the guys aren't brushing their hair, why should you have to conform to an unfair standard? Put on a brightly colored wig and wear it with pride, knowing that time not spent on hairstyling can be spent fragging.   read

8:50 PM on 06.02.2010

And when they came for Bayonetta, I ... screw it. I'm speaking up for Bayonetta.

Warning: this blog is rated pg13 on the grounds of containing one f-word spelled out, and an abbreviation for another f-word later.

Last night whilst hanging out on the Internet, I came across a Wordpress blog with an entry I just couldn't help responding to, even though I was Johnny-come-lately to it's comments. It was a rant on the offensiveness of Bayonetta, or perhaps more than that, the offensiveness of being told that Bayonetta is not offensive to women. I wound up writing a small novel in the comment, and when I was done I thought it summed up some opinions I have that get brought to the surface every so often. I decided to tweak it a little to make it a blog not entirely specific to the post it was inspired by, so without further pomp, here is the result, with no pictures, only words. Tons and tons of words.


I just couldn't resist chiming in on this one.. I like Bayonetta. I like the look of her, I like her over the top outfit, I like the over the top-ness of the game. Maybe if I thought the game sucked, I'd judge her more harshly, but as I played the game, even when she dropped cheesy sexy lines, I always felt like it was a little tongue-in-cheek, like she knows all about the wisecracks going to be made about her outfit and she's joking about it too. And she does look pretty busty in some of the promotional art and such, but in game she's kind of a tall thin small boobed woman. Which I must admit, appealed to the part of me that too clearly remembers my B's being constantly compared to my sister's D's in high school. I still think that a sexy female video game character without three miles of cleavage between her flotation devices represents an expanded ideal of beauty in video games.

I think the most offensive thing in female character design is when they are generic love interests or generic eye candy. I don't really have a problem with them being eye candy or love interests as long as they are not generic. Bayonetta is sexy, yeah, she's eye candy. But she's not interchangeable, and she's not a "pleaser" character. After having spent the game with her, my idea of the character was that she chose her look to suit her own personal tastes. Now of course all video game characters are dressed by whole studios full of people, but some female characters really give you the idea that they wore whatever someone told them would make them popular. Bayonetta's look is also not generic- there are several things done with the look that are not staples of the "How to make a Sexy Character" books. Like she's got glasses, but not a librarian look. And her hair is.. I don't even know what that is, but its not typical sex-kitten hair. And her face, in close up cut screens, has a sweet look to it instead of a hard look, which may be a small detail to some people but it struck me every time.

Now, I know that every little point I just made can have an argument made to disprove it, or a point made counter to it that will tell you that my way of seeing it is wrong, and offensive to women, or a dismissal that will tell you that my opinions are void because I am myself making female gamers look worse by holding the opinions I'm voicing. But my main opinion on the matter isn't about having iron clad and statistically provable facts or being able to make everyone agree with me.

I have seen all manner of things get written up in the Internet peanut gallery (or blogoshere, to use a fancy word) as being anti-feminist or a bad representation of women. Everything from video games that feature whole casts of coincidentally small waisted, big boobed women to Fat Princess for featuring a very overweight female. A lot of these write ups are well done. And a lot of them contain points that I agree with. The thing I disagree with is the underlying current that "this thing is a bad representation of women, and therefore reflects badly on all women." Let's break that statement down. "This thing is a bad representation of women"- in a piece based on opinion (and newsflash, EVERYONE'S opinions are skewed by their personal experiences and how they see themselves) this phrase often really translates to "this thing is not how I want to be viewed or represented." Second half of the phrase: "and therefore reflects badly on all women"... Why do we have to take it personally?

I suppose women feel that it reflects badly on them personally because they feel that non-females in the game industry/gaming culture view females within said group as all lumped in together. Do I want people to see me that way? No. I want them to see me as an individual. And I think it's hard to convince others to view members of a group on an individual basis, each by their own merits and faults when the group itself gives the appearance of NOT viewing themselves as individual, without being subject to or held responsible for the actions of all.

As far as the character being designed by a woman, I am not going to say that that certifies that no women will be offended by it. But I don't buy the idea that Bayonetta is an affront to all women. Because I could have designed that character. I've always had some goth leanings, and I've got sketchbooks full of more ridiculous costumes than hers. I understand that a big part of the "fuck you, Bayonetta" point is about the climate overall and that there aren't many examples of diversity in female characters on say, the dressed-like-a-tom-boy or modest and nerdy end of the spectrum. But I think that "liberation" is the presence of choices and options and multiple paths. So we shouldn't lump all sexily dressed characters in together without further consideration. You can't really say "I want liberation and representation without prejudice for this type of woman, but I do not want this other type to exist." Because forbidding representation of one type, even if its a type you despise, is not really what I'm theorizing you want. I think what you want is the representation of the type you identify with. Other people do not necessarily identify with the same type of character you do. Here I am, after all, telling you that I identify with Bayonetta. Now that's a WTF moment, now isn't it?

The one thing the game industry really needs to get about women, if they want to successfully market to that market share, is that WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME. We each like things that some other women like and things that some men like and things that some men, and some women do not like. We don't all like the same things. You can't answer the "what do girls want?" question because we don't all want the same thing. But if other people are going to understand that and judge us as individuals and not generic members of a group, we are going to have to show some openness amongst ourselves. I'm not saying everybody's got to like Bayonetta. I'm just saying that we are not going to have freedom to be who we want to be (in game) if we try to crucify indiscriminately all things that are not what we want to be.

This is not a call to desist from bashing Bayonetta. (Okay, so it does hurt my feeling when you do, but that's a personal thing that I probably shouldn't admit too much to.) That's not the point I'm really picking to fight for. This is just a call to think about things from a different angle.

Probably alot of people are going to dislike everything I said, but I feel like I owe it to myself to stand up, and raise my hand and own up to my own opinion. I'm female, and I like Bayonetta. I could sit quietly and say nothing about it, but I would still like Bayonetta. I would still hold that opinion. But opinions don't count for much if you're not willing to be judged for them, so here's my opinion. Judge away.


I am not linking up the blog that this was originally a reply to. There are two reasons for that- One, in adjusting this for my blog I veered away from things said in her blog and towards general rants I have seen on others, in some instances. Two, her blog requires comment moderation, and so far she hasn't approved mine. I don't know that she won't approve it, but I don't know that she will. If her blog is, to her, not a place for debate but a platform for her own opinions to the point that she doesn't want my comment shown on her blog, then I don't feel right linking to her blog to bring her to a debate that she didn't consent to.

I played Bayonetta fairly intently; I did two reviews for it for different venues. If anyone wants to read them as a background to my thoughts on the character, they are here.
(PS one was edited not by me, and not edited in the way that I would've done it, but those are the breaks when you're writing for an entity other than yourself)   read

4:26 PM on 05.29.2010

The Answer is 42. The Question.. has just been discovered.

We've known for awhile that the Ultimate Answer is 42. (If you didn't know this, see me for a required reading list.) Throughout the years there have been many attempts to discover the Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer. But this morning, I believe, the Question jumped up and bit us in the ass.

It turns out, that according to The NPD Group's annual study of gaming habits, the Ultimate Question simply asks what the average age of PC gamers (in the US) is. To phrase that clearly, the study reports that the average age of PC gamers is 42. (I could link you to NPD's website, but the joystiq write up that brought it to my attention is more condensed, interesting, and the thing that got me thinking about it, so here's that... )

If these numbers are accurate, it seems there may be some rethinking in order. Now, I know that all gamers are not 15 year old boys. I've even suspected at times that those we think of as "minorities" in the gaming world are not properly minorities, but rather people who don't get counted by the unscientific census that is the "obvious" visible presence of gaming- obvious demographics targeted by ads, prevalent cliches in movies and media, and the peanut gallery of commentary on the internet. The average age of gamers in general was 32, which was as expected to me. But PC gamers being ten years older than the average other gamer? That was one of those moments that sort of turns your view of the world around a bit.

Alright. So "average" does not mean "most PC gamers are 42. It means that the ages of all the gamers they sampled were added up and divided by the number of gamers sampled. But it still is a fairly significant number- that means that there was a serious horde of PC gamers older than 42. I suppose I've encountered this before. I personally know people who are 42, or around 42, or older than 42 who play. But I also encounter hordes and hordes of PC gamers who are younger than me. I suppose there were alot more players sitting in invisibility mode than I had estimated.

I think there is something about human nature that wants to believe that most of the people who like what we like are like ourselves. We want to think that while kids game, and Old Grandma Hardcore was an awesome blog, that gaming belongs to "our" generation. I am not specifying an age group here, because I think gamers of every age group have that subconscious desire to see themselves as "the demographic" that powers the industry. Turns out, a lot of us are not, as is often pointed out for some of us by ad campaigns that time and again are targeted at specifically NOT "us".

But still.. the idea of 42 being the average age of PC gamers makes me smile a bit. As a 25 year old who just gets more into gaming with age, I can now fancy myself "young for a gamer." And it gives me a little bit of concrete evidence to back up my hope that, contrary to what negative voices may say, I can still keep enjoying this and enjoying this for years to come and I probably will not, in fact, out grow it. The average age of gamers rising could mean that games are developed for a broader spectrum of interests and intellectual capacities, that there is actually a mature pool of players to form communities despite the often encountered tales of kids in MMOs, that gaming will remain relevant for the rest of my life.

Or it could be reflected in.. absolutely nothing. Because they didn't all just start gaming this year, just for this survey. They've been there, with out much notice being taken of them, for... God knows how long.   read

11:16 PM on 05.13.2010

Why I signed a contract agreeing not to be mean on the internet...

No, it isn't the trendy new online version of a chastity pledge.
And I know I promised to write about cock measuring next, but this is what I'm thinking about right now.


For the better part of 2009, I was feeling like maybe I had taken a wrong turn in life. The bar industry (working in it) was at least a bit of distraction from my largely inglorious modeling "career", and the modeling was largely something I had picked up because I'd be damned if I'd come all the way to Texas to work retail for less than Illinois minimum wage, which then proceeded to be a long series of indignities interrupted by the glorious high of wild successes just often enough to keep me coming back for more indignities. I spent a fair amount of time thinking that I'd developed the wrong skills, or pursued the wrong interests or thinking that the next person who told me I was pretty was going to get a kick in the balls and a speech about how useless a thing it was.

I think it was the second day of Quakecon that I decided that I really did want to work in the video games industry. Or in a different industry in a niche area pertaining to video games. The worst part of this revelation was that this wasn't the first time I'd decided what I should do with my life, and it came after graduating with a degree in Fashion Design that failed to produce a job; which happened after first being a journalism major and before that an English major; which happened after suddenly deciding in a moment of adrenaline that I wanted to be a journalistic photographer, which happened after devoting my whole high school career to weaseling out of taking math classes on the premise that I was going to art school anyway. Anyway, I wasn't really in a position to act much on the thought, so I didn't. Much.

I knew I didn't have the technical proficiency to do much of anything in game design, and with the loan still out for my first degree, I wouldn't be going back to school. So I took small actions towards applying the attributes I did have towards things related to gaming. I started writing articles for Charisma +2, and when I decided I wanted to write for Busy Gamer, those articles, and, I suspect, my willingness to exploit my looks convinced them to give me a shot. I also did some gaming related photo shoots. Yeah, I know, you're not impressed, and you think that anybody can act like they're into gaming for a photo shoot, and you probably think I'm making myself into some attention whore stereotype that's bad for all of us.. But part of the reason I like those shots, and am proud of them is that those were my concepts, that I came up with, and put together, and found photographers for who were nerds who thought it was as cool as I did. And having pictures that Busy Gamer could use was advantageous too.

Long story short- I had this idea in the back of my head, that somehow I could take talents that I had, and combine them with the dorky enthusiasm I have for video games and somehow turn that into a job. I didn't know how, or what it would lead to, but I had a vague belief that if I took small steps and tried to get noticed in a good way a little bit at a time, something would happen.

And then, something happened.

I won a contest- seriously, I think the only thing I have ever really won- and the prize was THAT job.

XFX makes graphics cards (both ATI and Nvidia) and other PC components. They're known for catering to gamers, and their double warranty, which means you can upgrade your rig and transfer the warranty along with the card to the next owner. Apparently, at the same time that I was reassessing my life, they were formulating a plan to find "XFX Girl 2.0".

I'm going to stop right there. The easy term for what my XFX job is is spokesmodel, but that's not really entirely correct and gives somewhat of an incorrect idea. Some of the duties include:

- Blogging
- Video blogging, or vlogging, if you will..
- Participating in gaming related websites, commenting on posts, ect.
- Event appearances from time to time
- Managing of social media- the XFX Girl facebook, Twitter, ect.
- And yes, there have been photo shoots.

The concept of XFX Girl is deeper than "let's sell product with sex" as well. Yes, there's meant to be some sexiness, and its meant to appeal to guys, but its also meant to be a positive showcase of a female gamer. During the contest we were encouraged to make lots of videos, and we were encouraged to interact with fans on the Facebook page, and we were encouraged to just present ourselves as who we are and how we'd like to be seen. The way i interpreted the line of thought, and the way I still think when I'm deciding how I'm going to present myself is sort of "This is a female gamer, and that's a pretty cool thing to be." I try not to send the message of "I'm sexy because that's the only way to present myself in the gaming community if I want to be accepted." I try to go more for "I'm a total badass and I do what I want, and that makes me sexy." I'm not saying that anyone perceives it that way. I'm just saying that that's what I'm telling myself when I'm on camera. :)

My sharing of this isn't meant as a shameless plug for XFX (although if that's a consequence of it I've got no problem with that) or as a "look at me, I'm so cool!" bragging opportunity. It's just one of those serendipitous things, where everything comes together for you so well, so unexpectedly. It's probably the most direct effect my gaming has ever had on my life, and I wanted to document that merging of gaming and life.

I think its also explains my current life on the internet. Like the title says, its in my contract that I can't be mean on the internet. Not in those words exactly- I think it actually says I won't make "discriminating, offensive, harmful, abusive, or harassing statements." And the money that I get from the contract essentially guarantees that I have the means and the time to hang around the internet talking and being opinionated about things much more than I would have been able to otherwise. :) Its like they've subsidized me being a dork!

At the moment, I've been taking the opportunity to try to document the different aspects of my life coming together with gaming. And weirdly, I've been doing pretty well in other faucets of my life now too. Its sort of like the whole XFX contest made me come out of the closet as a gamer- now I talk about it freely at my job, I have no problem putting it up on the Facebook whereas earlier I wouldn't have because I was trying to maintain some glamorous model illusion, now the photographers and other models I work with often know I'm a nerd, and I'm pretty sure all the cool kids from high school have heard about it now. And I've developed a nice following of other gamers and nerds at the bar, which has resulted in a few good friendships too, my modeling has taken a 180 all of the sudden and I'm getting gigs and now have people working with me who believe in me, finally! And I've had gaming related job offers/writing offers, ect- not all of which i could accept, but still, its nice when it pours.

I don't know what next year will hold, and of course there are no guarantees that I can keep up this momentum, but for now, I'm feeling like the world moves for me.. which is to say, pretty good. So here's my latest XFX Girl vlog if anyone's interested- a juxtaposition of being a nail-painting, interested-in-fashion, shopping girl with being such a dork that I don't mind if people think I'm talking to myself about MMOs.

[embed]173658:29845[/embed][b]B   read

4:26 PM on 05.04.2010

The Worst Thing That WoW Ever Taught Me

I remember clearly the last few months of my gaming before I started playing World of Warcraft... In those days, the Playstation 2 was my partner in gaming, and the PC was mostly a place to look up guides and walkthroughs when I got stuck. This phase also coincided with the only time I've lived alone in my entire life, for about six months in a tiny apartment in a bunker-like building where anything that was repaired would be promptly vandalized the next day. I shut out the world and spent my time with SSX Tricky or Chrono Cross. Sometimes I would go to Big Lots and buy huge cheap packages of sour candy and instead of fixing myself dinner, I'd eat Sour Punch until my mouth bled and then fall asleep to the music of Chrono Cross with the sticky controller in my hand and Meeka the dachshund curled up on my belly, no doubt trying to build up the courage to snatch some of the candy. In short, I didn't give a shit.

I didn't give a shit if I was a slob or a loser, or if everyone else in my fashion design classes was out doing something, you know, cool. I didn't give a shit that Chrono Cross was a six year old Playstation 1 game, or about anyone else's thoughts on proper eating. I didn't care what anyone thought of what I did, or if no one even thought about what I did.

WoW came into my life as a sort of a consequence of the return of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry. I no longer lived alone, and all of the sudden had a functional social circle actually living near enough to hang out with. And that social circle became quickly consumed with WoW. My newly returned husband became Oldsalty the warrior, and I became Eveyn the holy pally. Salty's brother and his wife played (she was actually the one who started the craze), as did several other guys from their unit, one of whom became our roommate not long after.

Gaming was no longer the sad and pathetic yet enjoyable equivalent of drinking alone for me. There were always three computers on at our place, with me and Salty yelling things back and forth to G the mage in the next room. The Vent channel would be at least half-full of people we knew IRL. We couldn't go out to dinner with out getting into some big debate about gear or who to bring on the next raid. And before I really realized what was happening, our family guild turned out to be kind of good at BC raiding. (Perhaps military training translates to strong raid leadership?) Now we were conquesting things. It was a point of pride to beat a fight when we didn't have the raid comp for the generally accepted strat. We compared our progress to other tiny guilds like ourselves, and eventually had to start comparing ourselves to guilds a bit bigger than us. We never were top of the game, but we were good underdogs. We compared our DPS and our healing meters, we compared gear amongst ourselves, when bigger guilds tried to get us to merge, we kept coming to the conclusion that they would be gaining more than we would in the equation.

Eventually the heyday of Veritas Aequitas came to an end, as do all things. But not before WoW had taught me an awful lesson- "You're not having fun if no one can see you doing it." When VA fell apart, I joined a "real" raiding guild, because nothing else made sense to do. I couldn't go back to the PS2. It just seemed like a faint memory from the dark ages. Such a primitive concept.. playing a game in your living room without anyone KNOWING about it. What good was it to accomplish anything if your rivals and frenemies couldn't see you walking around with the evidence of it dripping off of you?

Playstation 3 at its advent I had passed over. I kind of wanted it, but tried to imagine myself sitting there playing single player games and I couldn't quite imagine spending hundreds of dollars to do it. (I hadn't quite wrapped my head around the concept of Playstation network yet.) I even worked at a video store where I got free game rentals, and I rarely brought a game home. I once tried to recall whatever it was that I had so loved about Playstation 2, only to find that in the time it had sat unused, the PS2 had gotten rather temperamental. I got bored of trying to get it to load a game, and went to play WoW.

I had, in short, become something very far from the core of who I had always been as a gamer. I had become a cock measurer.

And with that I shall pause my tale for the time being. But I don't want the suspense to cause any stress, which of course contributes to many health problems, so rest assured, I do get over my cock measuring phase and re-discover the innocent enjoyment of games. But how that came to be is a story for the next installment.

One of the many screenshots we even put up on Myspace...   read

9:36 PM on 04.19.2010

The Girlie Revue... it's only softcore news.

The politically correct opinion on females and gaming right now seems to be that it's not a big deal. Everyone now knows that girls who play games exist. "You just got pwned by a girl!" is now passe, and girl gameplay is now so accepted that girls pretend to play games because it makes them sexier.. or so I've been told/accused of.

And yet.. my experiences as of late- starting with a blog blaming Busy Gamer for eating disorders, discussions as I made youtube videos, and most recently in the comments on my unceremonious intro to Destructoid- seems to suggest that there is still a bit of fodder left for discussion on girls, games, and everything. It seems that female involvement in gaming has become accepted, but people still have strong opinions on it, and expectations of what it should be.

The anthropological side of me wants to explore the various manifestations of females in gaming and the responses inspired by it. The smart ass side of me wants to be entertained by these things.

So, without further ado, I present- The Girlie Revue: A random recap of the random ways people with boobs interact with gaming and the gaming community.. and everything else related to games and girlie-ness that crosses my path. When I said without further ado, I meant "without further ado except for some disclaimers.." and those disclaimers are: (a) I am not condoning, endorsing, condemning, or encouraging anyone to mimic anything that I put into this blog, unless specifically stated. The fun of it is that I want you to commentate on it. and (b) that said, do not mistake this for unbiased journalism, as I'm just throwing in interesting things that i encounter and so its really only a view of my sphere of influence and not the world. Basically, it's only softcore news.

So, here's the good, the bad, the ugly, and the un-categorizable in the world of girls and games:

We've come a long way, Baby-

While other developers are still stuck trying to prove that games aren't just for boys, Blizzard proves that sparkly ponies aren't just for girls anymore. A small price for never having to spend gold on a mount again, a huge step for gender equality.

Do your part at (Blizzard should really give me something for coming up with a positive spin for this.)

Angels play too!

Gaming Angels does a "Women in Gaming Weekend" interview feature- most recently featuring Megan Sawyer, an environmental artist at Bethsada. Ms. Sawyer can make anything from tires sitting in the dirt to curtains to shrubs, her parents actually encouraged her to go into game art, and she already wins cool points with me for mentioning Space Quest in the interview. Name dropping does work when it comes to Space Quest. Interviewer Yukino also askes her about the process of creating scenery objects, her typical day, and what you can do to move towards a career in environmental art.

The slightly older interview of Marianne Krawcyzk, known for her writing work on God of War, also deserves a mention, mostly because of Ms. Krawcyzk's willingness to give honest and in-depth answers. Since she so kindly allowed me to read about writing the sexy parts of God of War, I shall plug her book.

Interviews here:

A Joystick Tease

Turns out you can't go to Gamecrush and pay-to-play games with girls. I had my eight bucks ready to go.. but when I got to the website, was disappointed to find that due to all the interweb buzz it got, the site was overwhelmed and will be back "soon." Damn it, I so wanted to play games with a girl. Yeah, so maybe you can go out in IRL and befriend a girl and persuade her to play games with you.. but personally, I really like to know straight up whether they're feeling flirty or dirty. That could save me from LOTS of embarrassing misunderstandings!

Maybe this creepy android can play games? Watch the vid here:

Tits or GTFO?

World of Ming's resident girl blogger, Millies, devotes part of her blogspace to an interview with Amelia Talon.. complete with pictures.. complete with barely censored boobs. Commentors debate the merits of everything from her boob size to the level of her toon to the Pokemon toy in the background.

The Notorious Gamettes

Busy Gamer has a new Gamette coming.. her interview/photoshoot page isn't up yet, but it by the time you read this it probably will be. I know it's coming because there's a thumbnail for her on the home page. Her name is Isis, and she has dark hair and red lipstick.

Busy Gamer and the concept of the Gamettes have been criticized before.. but they've also been praised. One thing that the debate doesn't often seem to take into account- the Gamettes are Gamettes because they saw it and wanted to do it and applied. There aren't strict criteria to be met or a highly competitive selection process. And in the photoshoots, the girls represent themselves how ever they wish to. No one is there telling them what to wear (or take off) or who to be, they are in charge of what sort of shoot they do. (I know this because.. I've been featured as a Gamette.) So any criticism of the Gamettes and what they stand for, it could be argued, should be directed at the girls themselves and not the website. Busy Gamer also sets an example of open-mindedness- this Gamette is not your stereotypical choice for a pinup, but out weighs all disadvantages with confidence and the "It" factor:

Put on you nerdiest shirt!

In other news, Olivia Munn pranks an intern at Asylum- he's madly in love with her and excited to interview her, his co-workers ask her to be mean to him. And his co-workers are nice enough to make a video of it.

Watch it:
Also, I think I'm in love with her blog.

And in all seriousness:
AwesomeExMachina just posted a blog telling us about a gamer girl who needs help to get the surgery she needs.
Just thought I'd pass it along. The donation site set up by her mother:

And P.S.- I know that "revue" is different than "review". That's why I picked it.   read

5:24 PM on 04.07.2010

Pictureblog: "Don't Play with my <3" tee shirt

This is how two unrelated interests come together.. I have a habit of making hand-printed t shirts, basically whenever I want a shirt that I haven't seen for sale, I make it. Alot of them are video game/nerd related. This one was originally done because I needed something with a gamer/Valentine's Day theme, so I would say its.. "softcore" gamer nerdy. I just finished making a second version for my friend Fefe. (shh.. don't tell her!) For some reason I never did that much fan art or anything.. my art and my games tend to produce clothing when they get together. It's not quite as dramatic as Mario mushroom pasties, but I can wear it to more occasions. (

As that's already more intro than I wanted to give it, here's the picture..

12:06 AM on 03.29.2010

Things I Saw in Video Games That I Think Could Work For Me IRL

As long as I have been consious of the existance of video games, I have been consious of the idea that people "see something in a videogame and try it in real life" or that kids "think they can do X because they did it in a game." Everytime the general public gets consumed in the debate as to whether a certain act of violence can be attributed to what has been glorified in a video game, I am left alone with my own questions- the most dominant one being something to the effect of, "What? You're telling me that of ALL the things to be seen and experienced in-game, THIS is the one thing he decided to try out?"

With that thought in mind, I give you.. just a few of the things I saw in video games that I think could work for me in real life. (in random order)

1. Going through life with a lolipop constantly hanging out of my mouth and using it for emphasis when I talk, a la Bayonetta. It's got all the coolness benefits of smoking, but without all the annoying problems with political correctness.

2. Using warp zones to skip through the parts I don't like. Although most players try to use warp zones to skip forward, i've actually used this technology to revert to an earlier stage that I didn't get to play thoroughly. After spending my college experience as a very serious and square student, I realized I'd missed some of the secrets in that level. So upon graduation, right when I was about to grow up, buy sensible shoes, and be serious, I just hit the warp and went back to play that part of the game with alot of drinking and staying out all night. Bang zoom. Just like Lost Levels, World 3-1.

3. Bringing a light saber to a fist fight like Darth Vader is Soul Calibur... I never understood what Vader was doing in Soul Calibur anyway, but that's probably a different blog.. if I'm missing something obvious, please point it out to me. But anyway, if something really really unfair is going to happen, you always want to come out on the side that it's in favor of. What happens to people who carry knives? They get shot. What happens to people who bring light sabers to knife fights? They face all threats with a casual quote from one of the masters of our times.. "Nothing much happens."

4. Wearing the same outfit ALL THE TIME. When you've found an outfit that really works for you, why give that up just because of the societal pressure to change clothes every day? I don't care if we are going to do the artic level. These panties make my ass look great, and besides, they match my boots.

5. The Space Quest narrator's sarchastic attitude- scratch that- the Space Quest narrator's whole persona. I don't just think this COULD work for me, I believe that it DOES work for me. (And I disregaurd all opinions to the contrary.) Shopping for peanut butter- I say to myself "You take the jar into custody." When my bartender offers me a new shot to try- "MMMM.. Wild berry!" I don't care if it is made with Absolut Boston. (Okay, so I realize that quote is actually Roger Wilco, but the narrator put him up to it.) Other people become frustrated and angry when car batteries die.. I relish the opportunity to turn the key and confidently announce "Nothing much happens."

6. Opening boxes in your friends' houses and taking what you like- and staying friends. Meh, sorry, this doesn't belong here. I can say with certainty that no matter how many times I try this, it just doesn't work IRL. What a buzzkill.


1:58 PM on 03.24.2010

Why I didn't Write an Intro Blog: An Intro Blog

I have never been a fan of intro blogs. Part of the reason for this is that I hate to stumble upon a blog that's intro seems interesting and promises to contain alot of things that I want to read... only to find that the intro is the only thing for me to read. I realize that is easily a temporary condition, but as you may know, my philosophy on eliminating this temporary condition went over like a lead zepplin on Destructoid.

The other faucet of my general resistance to intro blogs is that, being the random vagabond that I am, I can't say that I'm a hundred percent qualified to predict exactly what direction my blog is going to go in. Now I could pick a direction and stick to it, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having my own blog. I stick to themes and parameters in the writing that I do for other entities.

The main purpose of an intro blog on a video game blog site is, in my opinion, to tell the reader straight up what makes your perspective on games and gaming unique. To tell them why, out of all the voices out there, your voice is special. And by disclosing your special point of view, or your special ability to communicate, or your being special just based on the character you play while writing, your potential readers should gain an idea of who you are and if they should read you.

What makes my perspective on gaming unique:

- First off, let me address the elephant: the fact that I model does make my perspective different from that of other people. Not because you should care what I have to say because my public persona is marketed as "hot". But because what I do influences who I am in the same way that any of you with a unique-for-a-video-gamer-blogger profession are influenced by your job.

My life is the way it is because at some point I made the decision to prioritize modeling. Even down to the job I work when not modeling- I probably never would have been working in a bar despite having my degree had I not wanted the flexibility to pursue modeling. I would not get to do the traveling that I do if I weren't modeling. And the odd schedule that I keep because of the bar working and traveling definately affects what games I play and what games I best succeed at.

Also, the modeling has also quite fortunately and serendipitously aligned with my gaming. Because I happen to be a pretty experienced model who understands professionalism in modeling and also an enthusiastic gamer, I have been booked for a string of gaming related modeling related gigs and had the opportuntiy to work with Yvonna of Charisma Plus 2.. which I can't really do justice to here, and should do an entire blog devoted to her and her vision later. Because of these bookings and my work ethic at them, I have had the opportuntiy to meet and become friends with many gaming industry people who I otherwise would not have met. They in turn have influenced my views and what I've been exposed to. All of this culminated in me getting the XFX Girl gig, which should be a blog in itself, but in short, XFX is a graphics card (and other PC components) company, and my job, while the word spokesmodel is used, is really not simply to lend sexiness to some pictures. It is, among other things, to, yes, lend my sexy, but also to bring attention to both XFX and be an example of a real and unique female gamer by participating in tech discussions, blogging, doing video blogs, comentating on new products and games, ect. The concept goes much deeper than that, but why it affects my gaming perspective is that I will have access to things that I otherwise might not, and events that I otherwise wouldn't be able to attend.

* Functional example of how modeling affects my potential game blogging: I may someday choose to tell the story of being in the gorgeous Virgin Islands on a gig the week of a game release I'd long awaited and feeling desperately jealous of all my friends who I knew were at midnight releases picking up thier copies.

- My sense of humor and tone of writing make my writing unique. But I realize that the quickest way to totally anihilate your sense of humor is to say that you have a sense of humor, so I didn't want to come out and say that. Sarchasim is default to me, both in writing and IRL. I think things are funny for one of two reasons- either because they are really true, or because they are really not true. And they get funnier when I know which reason they are funny because of, but not everyone in the room can figure out which it is.

* Functional example of my theory of funniness: My toon vigorously and shamelessly flirts with the toon of my friend (in jest) as we wait for a raid to begin. His toon rejects her, implying that he is gay. The rest of our raid laughs and throws in thier little comments- many of them thinking it is funny because they know I'm not really interested in him, and they're sure he's not really gay. But its extra funny to me because I know he is gay IRL.

- My love of combining gaming with other things I'm interested in makes my vision different. I like combining things that I'm interested in that other people don't neccesarily think are a good combination. For example, I'm interested in fashion, art, music, and gaming, and I love to combine these things and let the combinations of them be apparent in my life. This could manifest itself in an obsession with the theme from Legend of Dragoon, or in my hobby of making clothing with subtle video game motifs. (My degree is in Fashion Design)

- I don't think that just being a girl is enough to make me a unique voice among gamer bloggers. But I have been particularly interested in female game bloggers for a long time, and so far I haven't found one that has quite my view of sex, girliness, and gaming. I am niether the attention whoring girl who uses gaming as first and foremost a convenient medium to flaunt her sexiness nor am I the totally concientious and often scholarly feminist. I suppose I have stereotypical aspects of both. I'm all about the idea that a woman's ideas and opinions should be judged the same way a man's should be judged- on thier individual merit. Yet, I do love sexiness. Not because I need to throw myself at men to feel significant (I niether do that, nor need to do that) but just because, in the way of the femme fatale stereotype, it just seems to be part of the underlying current of who I am to embrace sex appeal. IRL, I gravitate towards clothing with a fashion sensibility but an edge of sexiness, and I've been getting cast almost exclusively in vamp roles (which I love) since I was 13. In gaming, I hate the use of a female character strictly as a two dimensional, disposable love interest, but I do love Bayonetta's outfit, and it's spontaneous dissappearance during certain moves actually makes sense to me.

- And I'm 25, I've been married since before I was old enough to legally drink, and perhaps someday I'll explore my experiences with gaming and relationships and being young and married without giving up the stuff we enjoy doing and the games we want to play.

In short, (if I really can use the phrase "in short" with a straight face after the copious amount of typing I just did) I did not put all this into an intro blog in the first place because I did not initially want to be judged negatively on the very things that have the power to make my writing worthwhile. And in a sense, I was correct to fear this, because as soon as I made a noob mis-step, many people were quick to try to rip apart everything I had revealed in my about me.

I didn't reveal what I did because I wanted to impress upon you how "great" I am for those things, but because the instructions on the "About Me" box told me to honestly and legitimately tell you about who I am. I cannot entirely hide things that I am or do for fear of being judged, because that would not be honest, and also, a voice without context or background loses it's value. But I had hoped that these things could simply sit alongside my writing, to be noticed upon reading the blogs if the reader felt inclined to, and to be revealed in greater detail piece by piece through out the writing. (My shoe size I threw in for love of randomness, and to be prepard for the remote possibility that anyone ever wants to buy me some boots.)

I do understand now, in a sense, why multiple posts at once are frowned upon. But I hope that at least some of you can appreciate that I was not trying to hog space or attention, but my true intent was to give you a more detailed and multi-dimensional view of myself and my writing straight away, so that I could present myself honestly without the seemingness of trying to attract attention to the wrong things. As it happened, that was not how it was percieved, but it's not the first time I've been wrong about what the best way to do something was, and it's not going to be the end of my world.   read

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