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LONG BLOG

Shmups: Gaming's Equal-Opportunity Employer

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In the end, the concrete factors behind the relative prevalence of females in the shmups of old versus the prevalent shooting games of the present are likely to remain largely a mystery – of course, one doesn’t need a documented reason for their existence to be glad to have them around, just as they are. While my deepest id’s inner chauvinist pig (all guys have one, even if they won’t admit it) scoffs at the notion, I have to say that all the chest-thumping among certain self-important gamers about how “manly” this game or that one is has long worn out its welcome – this unfortunately underscores the fact that shooters, like most types of video games, haven’t always treated the female demographic with the respect it deserves. The genre’s long history undeniably holds out hope for the future, however – even with things as they are now, I’m willing to bet that if gender equality ever does become a true-blue reality for gamers, the humble shmup will be the one leading the way once more: if some of the more recently-popular “shooter” factions decide to follow in its footsteps, so much the better. To Elsa and any other somewhat frustrated girl gamers out there, while I must apologize for this article’s lack of concrete “answers” to what ails you, hopefully it’s a little bit of reassurance that even this ancient genre, at its best, has been a driving force in advancing the cause of women onscreen. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but there is encouragement to be found in gaming’s past as well as its future.

To the fictional females of yore, meanwhile, who have helped to make this hallowed, historically-rich corner of gaming what it is, I hope to be seeing you again, someday soon.

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Allow me to offer one last word of thanks to my compadres at the shmups.com forum, who helped make this article as wide-ranging as it is. Always glad to know that you folks have my back!
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About BulletMagnetone of us since 9:04 PM on 10.04.2008

Thanks kindly for paying my blog a visit.

I'm currently looking for paid writing gigs, so if you might want anything written shoot me a message (craighats at hotmail dot com).

In case the contents of this blog don't make it obvious enough, I have something of an affinity for slightly "offbeat" titles, so if there's something out there that few others cover, there's a fair chance I'm at least somewhat up on it.

If there's any sort of (reasonable) inquiry you'd like me to address, please don't hesitate to be in touch.

Below are a handful of recaps and other links (oldest listed first by section), in case you're interested - asterisks mark promoted articles.

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'Magnet School

Introduction

Curriculum: Puzzle Games

Course 1: Ochige 101
Course 2: Tossology
Course 3: Ochige 201
Course 4: Phys. Ed
Course 5: Ochige 301 (Adv.)
Course 6: Free Elective
Course 7: Ochige 401 (Hon.)
Course 8: Extra Credit
Graduation Speech

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Reviews/Impressions/Rants/etc.

King of Fighters: Orochi Saga
Ar Tonelico II - Part 1 and Part 2
Prinny and Street Fighter IV
King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match
Nintendo DS
*King of Fighters XII
How-To: Atelier Annie
How-To: Mushihime-sama Futari

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The Forgotten Essentials

Part 1: RPGs
Part 2: Shmups
Part 3: Fighters
Part 4: Puzzlers

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The Obscurer Tribune

EXTRA! EXTRA!

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Monthly Musings/Writers Wanted

The Fear: The End
*A Time to Destroy: I Cast Thee Out
*Expanded Universes: Triple Triad X
*Those About to Die: Nocturne's Demons
*Untapped Potential: The Second Dimension
*I Suck at Games: and I'm Here to Help
*The Forgotten: Real Life
*Love/Hate: The Weirdo, The Wall, and The Beast
*The Future: A Refreshing Cup of Hemlock
*More Than Just Noise: Digital Cheese LIVE
East vs. West: Where The Old Gods Dwell
Resolutions: Fresh Flowers
Collaboration: IF Only...
Violence: The Gatekeepers

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Assorted Ramblings

Why Am I Here? (intro)
Non-Portable Portable Gaming
Hating the Unhateable
*Soul Bubbles, Mickey Mouse, Journey of the Self
Dreamcast: The Other Shmup Machine
One-Year Anniversary Reflections
Shmups: Gaming's EOE

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Non-DT Writing

Racketboy

Saturn Shooter Rundown
PS1 Shooter Rundown
PS2 Shooter Rundown
Shmups 101
Shmups That Defined the Genre
"Hidden Gem" Shmups

HG101

Deathsmiles
Espgaluda
Shadow Hearts

Misc.

Unofficial Shmup Glossary (shmups.com, WIP)
My Backloggery (Warning: Inherent Shamefulness May Be Too Intense for Some Readers)