The Escapist - Reliable Source: Mac Vs. PC | Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Hilarious Mac vs. PC article by Marion Cox on Escapist Mag.

I suggested that she go buy a $15 wireless router rather than spending $100 on an expensive Apple gimmick. She told me that collage-boy refused to use anything but Mac products because of Feng Shui, apparently it went better with the cheap Ikea furniture.


She would ask me if $2500 was too much to spend on a computer; I died a little inside when I realized that Apple computer would cost more than my last car.


As my homebuilt PC came down, the Mac snapped; the extremely expensive machine cracked open, guts spilling from its disemboweled chassis. Clearly, PC was the winner in this particular fight. Screw you, Justin Long.

P.S. - I am writing this from a VIA Rail train, with free wifi in every car. Welcome to the future [sic].

On female video game protagonists | Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

"Being a bitch doesn't make you a strong character."

Via the always impeccable Yahtzee on Escapist Magazine:

There are plenty of examples of this kind of bad female characterization. Lara Croft, the classic feminist hate figure, and her murderous kleptomania. Whatshername from Dead Space, yelling at you to fix everything while she sits behind a monitor eating cakes. [...]

Females in this vein don't come across as "independent" or "strong." They act like neurotic feminists who feel that their every action and expression has to illustrate the fact that they're just as capable as the men, and don't like being looked upon amorously (hence why they all dress so conservatively, I suppose). They're as shallow as any traditional kidnapped princess because they only have one character trait, and still define themselves by the men that surround them.

You want to make a strong female character, you do the same thing you do to make a strong anything character. Give them a life, a backstory, hopes, dreams, desires. Give them the capacity to feel the whole gamut of emotions. Yes, let them be tough, but let them laugh, and cry, and find things to enjoy in life. And why not give them a wazza pair of jugs, too. That's always fun.

9 games for non-gamers | Monday, November 24th, 2008

Yesterday, I had the joys of getting one of my non-gamer friends hooked on a game. Getting to watch Mir laugh and stumble through building a lattice to make a bridge for a bunch of wobbly goo balls to cross over was totally worth the teensy $20 I paid for World of Goo.

People who were weaned mostly on games as children, rather than other forms of media - Saturday morning cartoons, sci-fi movies, dungeons and dragons - continue to approach problems from a different perspective as they move into adulthood. For example, we tend to interpret architecture and industrial design different, after subconsciously studying the worlds we previously walked through, built from the imagination of the game creator's mind. There are other nuances within gaming, of course, such as the type of games played (educational, sandbox, interactive storytelling, entertainment, etc), as well as within the different [constantly changing] genres of games - first person, strategic, puzzle, and others.

Whether I'm having a conversation about politics, technology or society with someone, the ideas that get thrown around between people who are (or were at some point) at least moderately invested in gaming tend to take on a distinctly more constructivist approach. This often leads to a more holistic understanding of not only the topic at hand but also the other person's stance on the issue. I take for granted that not everyone I deal with is/was a gamer, and so I often find myself expressing frustration at concepts and context that I assume are common knowledge, when in fact, they aren't. Of course, this reflects more on me being an occasional insensitive douchebag than on them lacking any knowledge. What follows is a list for these people (people who don't play video games, not people who think I'm a douchebag - their list is long enough as it is).

Digital representations of reality | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Find the least contacted community in the most underdeveloped corner of the world, and you will probably find kids with sticks playing with ants (assuming the area isn't dominated by siafu). The insect's charm is understandable. In ants, we find tiny but industrious creatures that work together to build cities and surmount obstacles far too great for the individual. We enjoy observing and meddling with these miniature societies, because in them we see our own.

Obama rents ad space in video games | Thursday, October 16th, 2008

via The Escapist:

The Obama campaign has taken out ads in nine EA games for the Xbox 360 that will feature on virtual billboards and other in-game signage. "It reaches an audience that is typically very hard to reach - young males, roughly 18 to 34," said EA rep Holly Rockwood, who declined to say how much was paid for the advertisements. "That's very appealing to our advertisers."