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About
My Short Bio: I work for Game Informer Online by day, read comics at night, and parade around in costumes on the weekend. I also love Destructoid.

If you want to learn more about me check out the websites below.

Personal Blog:
http://www.meaganvanburkleo.com

Game Informer Online:
http://http://www.gameinformer.com

Girls Entertainment Network:
http://www.girlsentertainmentnetwork.com

Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/meaganvanb

Model Mayhem:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/virtualgirl

Deviant Art:
http://virtualgirl6654.deviantart.com

Cosplay.com:
http://www.cosplay.com/member/73888/
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See guys! I am trying to stop back in more, even if it is to share some of my stuff from over at GI. I posted this yesterday and thought you guys might be interested. If I am going to get a wide array of comical opinions on the subject matter anywhere, it will be here. If you have a chance to read the interview let me know what you think!



Press Release
PTC Puts Grand Theft Auto IV Retailers on Notice
Retailers Must Keep Adult-Themed Video Game Away from Children

LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2008) – With the next installment of the violently graphic Grand Theft Auto video game set to be released next week, the Parents Television Council™ called for retailers to keep the game away from children.

Grand Theft Auto IV: Liberty City, rated ‘M’ (Mature), is set for release April 29. The Grand Theft Auto games include constant graphic violence and sexual situations. In past versions, players could re-enact having sex with a prostitute, beating her bloody, taking her money and running her over with a car; shooting at police officers; and, by using a code easily accessible on many internet sites, having a realistic sexual encounter on screen -- complete with audio commentary. This modification in the 2005 game was not disclosed to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) when they classified the game M, which carried a suggested age of 17 and up for purchase.

“This brutally violent video game must be kept out of the hands of children, and we are calling on all major retailers to reconsider any decisions to sell this game. Since the first version was released in 1997, the Grand Theft Auto series has lowered the bar for graphic and grotesque video game content,” said PTC President Tim Winter.



While most of us are in a euphoric haze from playing GTA IV, it can be easy to forget that not everyone is excited about the release of Rockstar’s hit. I had a chance to chat with the Parents Television council – the organization responsible for the above press release – and talk about the game, the role of parents in keeping Mature titles out of their kids hands, and the legislative plans of the PTC. If you have some time on your hands, check it out . I will admit the interview is lengthy, but the interview provides insight into a group of activists we don’t always go out of our way to understand. Unlike the above press release, the conversation was calm, collected and lacked the media hype we often see in debates of this nature.

I am very interested in hearing your feedback on the clarified stance of the PTC. Did you find their arguments to be rational and reasonable? Do you still feel that groups like these are speaking on a subject matter they don’t engross themselves enough in to understand?

Share your thoughts!








Hey Guys! I wanted to stop in and say hi again! I plan on doing another quick post with some of my writing updates, and some info about my trip to Midway Gamer’s Day. Work keeps me pretty busy and I am trying to fit more gaming time in than ever to stay updated. This means most of my online profiles are going quiet, so I apologize for not hanging around as much as I would like. For now I realized I never did a blog about my newest cosplay costumes, Mamimi from the anime FLCL and Mario from our Super Mario Sisters spin-off! I remember telling a few of you about the costumes in my last post – and now they are done and all photographed. I am staying busy with costumes though; I am finishing up Zatanna and Elektra for the next two weeks…back to more my style cosplay…lol


Super Mario Sisters:










This costume started out as a way to get one of my friends to try cosplay for Anime Detour 2008. She loves Nintendo, so we figured Mario girls would be a easy first costume for her. Haha…easy…right. At first we were going to hit up some thrift stores and try to find denim overalls, but we fell in love with this quilted fabric at the store. We grabbed some blue for Mario and Luigi, and purple for Wario. Making the overall-skirts took an entire day because the pattern I grabbed was really confusing. It was my first time sewing ever and I had never used a pattern before so we had some trouble. Lots of backtracking and removing stitching needless to say. In the end, I don’t think you can tell how much we struggled with the skirts.

The three of us got our shirts at American Apparel, so they are really comfortable. We decided to do white tights and matching shoes. The shoes we are wearing are the only ones all three of us could agree on, which sucked because we could not find the right sizes. One of us was wearing shoes a size too big and one a size too small. I picked up three pairs of white gloves at Party City, and got the hats at Target. We took the ribbon that was on the hats off, and ended up using fabric markers to color the hats. That took FOREVER, but it was the best way to match our colors perfectly without mixing dye. We ironed on the white circle and little letter and we were done!

Wario had a plushie coin cube at home a well as a Yoshi, so I brought along my Goomba so we would all have something to pose with. We did a photoshoot before we went to the convention, where we had one of our guy friends join us. When he found out we were doing female versions of Mario characters, he decided to go as “Prince Peach.” He made a kilt and carried around a golden golf club. When people realized what he was, it was epic. At the shoot we goofed around a ton and took some silly photos. I am happy with the results!


Mamimi from FLCL:










I usually do comic book or video game related costumes, so I was really excited to step out of my shell and try something different with Mamimi. FLCL was the first anime I ever watched, and my friend really wanted to dress as Haruko so it seemed perfect for me to go as Mamimi.

The costume was supposed to be really easy, but as most of you probably know everything is always more of an endeavor than we first think it would be. I found a blue zip-up right away and modified it by cutting off the hood and adding a collar. Considering I had never sewn before in my life, it was much harder to figure out than I thought it would be. In the end it worked out well enough. The skirt was defiantly the hardest part. I bought a pattern and went at it. Pleats are hard!!! The skirt turned out pretty well in the end. I ordered the wig from eBay and was really happy with it. I love the highlights in it and it is just the right length.

The socks were easy enough to find at a local retail store, where I got the shoes as well. I will be honest, the shoes are ugly as hell but they were the most comfortable things I have ever worn while cosplaying. I painted the red star on to the undershirt, and dyed a white bag blue for her backpack. It is not quite the right color blue, but it was as close as I could get! After sewing on the white stripe I was done with the costume!

I set up a shoot before Anime Detour so we could document our costumes. My friends Haruko costume turned out amazing. Shooting an anime costume was crazy different than shooting a sexpot comic character. Mamimi always acts spacey and wears minimal makeup so I did the same.


I will stop back in soon!








Hey Guys!

It has been a while but I figured I would stop in for an update! Things are going good over at Game Informer, but getting used to working a 9-5 (actually a 10-7) takes some time! I am flying out to San Diego next week for THQ Gamers Day and Vegas a few weeks after that for Midway Gamers Day. I am UBER excited to go to my first official event and am honing my skills in the mean time.

I posted a pretty big feature yesterday and today that some of you might be interested in. I have wanted to write an article about accessible gaming and the changes developers can make to increase the number of people able to game for some time now. At GI I finally got the chance! I worked my butt off for two weeks, doing interviews, researching and gathering assets and just finished the last part today. The post is LONG but I think it is worth it to read. There is virtually a whole demographic of gamers out there that we are failing to include in the development process. Anyway, read it and let me know what you think! I also got to do the artwork for the feature on the main page which is fun…I don’t want my graphic design skills to get rusty!!

Last week I wrote a feature on why we replay games, which was a chance to try out something a bit more relaxed and fun...I had a good time with that one! I also *GASP* wrote an article on cosplay my first week...imagine that! LOL

I also did a few previews in the last few weeks, one for The World Ends With You and another for Mario Kart Wii. Both games were fun! Previews are defiantly a different style of writing for me, but I am enjoying learning how to best go about it. Anyway…

On a personal level, I am going to a fun anime convention next weekend, one day as a female version of Mario and the second day as Mamimi from FLCL with a few friends. I am excited to cosplay because I feel like it has been forever! Another local comic convention is coming up as well and I am finishing my Elektra costume and my Zatanna costume…EXCITED!

I just wanted to stop in and say hi and assure you all that I did not drop off the face of the planet. I am bummed I don’t have as much free time anymore, but I still lurk and know what you guys are up to…LOL

Let me know what you all thought about the Accessibility feature!

Accessibility Part One

Accessibility Part Two

Accessibility Why Do We Replay Games?

Cosplay Feature

The World Ends With You Preview

Mario Kart Wii Preview








I just thought I would share how my first official week in the working world went! Without any hesitation I can say that I love my new job already. This week was amazing. Stupid things like having a desk make me giggle. The first day I showed up to the Game Informer office with a box full of toys and a Superman lunchbox. I felt so cool…LOL.

The office is amazing and the guys there are uber nice. I am the only girl on the floor so I have the bathroom to myself. There is a giant life-sized statue of Kain and Lynch trying to kill each other in the lobby that scares me whenever I leave at night. The halls are covered with giant posters of past Game Informer issues and I find myself wandering around to admire them.

On Monday I did all the standard stuff I needed to do in order to make myself an employee. I filled out paperwork, set up my email and my voicemail. On Tuesday I posted my first two news updates. One was about the new Wii channel available in Japan and the other was about the Undertow expansion pack being released for XBL. I started Wednesday the same way buy posting an update about the problems with the 360 port of Bully. In the middle of the day Wednesday the fun really began. Mid-day a Nintendo rep walked in and hand delivered a playable build of Mario Kart Wii for us to preview. The guys let me work on it and I spent the rest of the day playing and taking notes (you feel bad for me right?) Thursday and Friday were spent working on the preview, which officially went up today! You have to check it out!

I am really excited because I get to go to my first development house next month. I am going down to Vegas for Midway’s Gamer Day ON MY OWN…which is kinda cool! One of the other cool things from this week was getting my “yellow photo” taken for the website. Whenever I used to read Game Informer I would look at the editors yellow headshots and wish I was one of them. Once again, when I am really happy I look like a goof-ball in my photos…so I look like a dork in it. You can check out my profile here…and make sure to look at my list of favorite websites!

Anyway, this is a rambling piece of poo post because I am REALLY tired right now. I just wanted to share with all of you! Let me know what you think of my Mario Kart preview post!







Virtualgirl
6:47 PM on 02.27.2008

I know I have not been around a ton lately due to the launch of GEN, but I the NARParty reminded me how much I love and miss the insanity that is Destructoid. It was awesome to see everyone and I am going to try my best to keep active on the site again! Until then, I have some fantastic news that I wanted to share with you all

As some of you may know, I just graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Graphic Design and a minor in journalism and mass communications. Over the last few years I realized that my passion for video games would not be satisfied if I did not work in the industry in one way or another. After graduating, I started the job hunt in Minnesota. Being that there are only two gaming related companies in Minnesota, my options were limited. However, I lucked out because my favorite video game magazine in the world (and one I have been reading for over 6 years) is based out of Minneapolis. Working for Game Informer has always been a dream of mine…and guess what…I START WORKING FOR GAME INFORMER ON MONDAY!

I went to the Game Career Center at GDC last week and had a few fantastic interviews for people looking for graphic and UI designers, but in the back of my head I wanted nothing more than to work for GI. I got a call today and I start on Monday. At the moment it looks like I will get to use both my major and minor by working for Game Informer Online out of the Minneapolis office! I will be doing some writing, a little bit of designing and other stuff as it comes up. I could not be more excited!

One uber nerdy thing is that I am stoked to have a desk. My brother got me a WTF? Coffee mug, Ninja Keyboard Dust Spray (complete with dust slaying nano-shurikens of doom) and a titanium spork as a graduation gift. I am excited to put them to use.

So yeah! That is what I am up to and I just wanted to share the great news with all of you! I can’t wait to work with the amazing guys over at GI and show them what I got! Also, since I now officially have the job, I want to share some of the design work I did for GI as part of the application process. I was asked to redesign both an opinion piece and the Half-Life 2 spread that they originally ran in the magazine! Let me know what you think!

Opinion Design

Half Life Spread 1

Half Life Spread 2








HEHEHEHEHEHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Sorry, I am annoyingly giddy right now. I did a Catwoman shoot this weekend and just got the final image back! I LOVE artwork by Adam Hughes, and wanted to recreate the awesome cover he did of Catwoman getting her mugshot taken. I recreated the sign for the picture, and the photographer made the background. We even moved it so that I would be the EXACT height she is in the cover! The makeup artist did an awesome job, she used fake tears that made my face itch but look awesome on film. We even added the signature AH! but switched it out for the photographers initials! I know this is a random post, but I had to share with you guys!!!!

We also took a ton of other photos, but I dont have them back yet...Hope you like!


Random Fact: Did you know the numbers on the sign are the same numbers from the TV show Lost?