All posts by Bethany

Refugees Taking Up Too Much Space on the Citadel

If you’re a fan of Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train and Mass Effect 3, you’ll love my new blog idea called “Refugees Taking Up Too Much Space on the Citadel.” I know! Aliens are so rude.

Let’s check out some of the latest culprits, shall we?

Just look at this Batarian. What has four eyes and doesn’t give up seats for pregnant ladies? THIS GUY.

batarian jerk

Total jerk.

And how about these asari? They’re taking up five seats all by themselves! Oh, your home planet is overrun by Reapers? Poor you. Maybe think about somebody besides yourselves next time. Your moms didn’t raise you to force the elderly to stand during their entire visit to the Citadel holding area for refugees.

asari jerks

Shepard gives the side-eye to some jerks.

And this Turian! Are you saving that other seat for someone or can a lady carrying all these shopping bags sit down already?

turian jerk

What’s in those suitcases anyway? All your dead relatives from Palaven?

Late to the Game [Trailer] Once Again…

I pride myself on keeping up with the latest news, being on top of the stories, and showing up where the action is to get the scoop. But sometimes I miss things, like hilarious fake trailers for video game movies. I discovered this one this morning, only a year and several months after it was posted on YouTube. A trailer for a fake Candy Crush movie. It’s too good.

Bonus. After that, I watched this fake trailer for the BioShock movie that never was, and I was surprised by how good it is.

The History of Gamervescent

Chinese Checkers board back, 1935, J.F. Friedel, Syracuse, NY; board + parts box; large wood pieces

We don’t take kindly to foreign checkers ’round these parts.

A lot of people ask us how Gamervescent got started, and as the official Gamervescent historian, it’s my duty to tell you the story. The whole story.

Gamervescent has been around for longer than you think. It was started by Jennifer Culp’s great-great-grandmother Bernice Culp. A game enthusiast from an early age, Bernice started Gamervescent when she wasn’t tending to the family bee hive (the Culps were bee ranchers who dabbled in gaming).

Of course, video games didn’t exist back then, so she wrote about games like backgammon, cribbage, checkers, and competitive marbles. Every week, readers raced to their mailboxes to read up on the latest gaming news. Here’s an example:

Pals, have you seen the latest new thing? It’s called Lincoln Logs, and it’s the cat’s pajamas. 

And then she ran out of room because Bernice wrote kind of big and post cards are little bitty and required room for a stamp and a proper address.

Bernice loved what she did. Once a week, she handed her stack of handwritten post cards to the mailman who carried them off for delivery as near as next door and as far away as the edge of town. Back then , Gamervescent had a healthy readership of 27 people, including the schoolteacher and the town’s mayor. Each fall, Bernice held a “Game Con” at the general store, and the townspeople gathered around the cracker barrel for a few friendly rounds of Cat’s Cradle and tiddlywinks before heading home to supper. Some creative game fans even dabbled in early cosplay, showing up as Henry O. Pinocle and the cop from Stop Thief.


Everything was going great for Bernice.

And then…Eula May moved to town.

Eula May Bryan, Bethany Bryan’s great-great-grandmother, was also a game enthusiast. But rather than sending out postcards to her fans, she wrote long, angry letters to her nephew in Branson about how games could be improved. Some of her suggestions included the loser being electrocuted at the end of a game of checkers and Cat’s Cradle played using live garter snakes as string. Back then, people referred to her type as a “firecracker.” Nowadays, she’d be called “mentally unstable.”

It wasn’t too long after Eula May moved to a house down the block from Bernice before she caught wind of all of the Gamervescent goings on about town. And Eula May wanted in. She was new in town, she was lonesome, and worst of all, letters to her nephew in Branson had begun to be returned to her unopened (because her nephew had been killed in the war back in 1916, and nobody told poor Eula May).

One morning Eula May showed up at Bernice’s door with a freshly baked huckleberry pie. She laid out her intention to help Bernice by submitting her ideas in a weekly column. Bernice, polite as ever, told her thank you but no thank you and sent her on home. But Eula May would not be dissuaded.

From that day onward, every week Bernice would drop her post cards into the hands of the postman. He would head down the block to Eula May’s to pick up her mail. She would invite him in for pie, and when he wasn’t looking, she would take the post cards from the mail bag. Eula May would spend the afternoon adding her own game ideas in the margins. Things like “RUSSIAN ROULETTE MEETS HOPSCOTCH” and “WINNER TAKES CUSTODY OF LOSER’S CHILDREN.” The next morning, she’d hand him the post cards “he’d dropped by accident” with another slice of pie and an innocent smile. The postman would then deliver the cards, none the wiser.

By the time Bernice realized what was going on, her readership had gone up to 50, and she had readers as far away as the county seat. Eventually, she just gave up and invited Eula May over every week to discuss games and the week’s content. Gamervescent has been going ever since, now run by Jenn and Bethany, having forgotten the “feud that almost was” almost 100 years ago.

Now you know the whole story.

Want to Help Fund This Game By Some Ex-BioShock Developers?

black glove

Does the black glove shoot bees? Maybe?

Some mornings you come to the Internet, and the day feels full of promise. The Buzzfeed is buzzing. The Twitter is twittering. And the first thing you see on Facebook isn’t a friend from high school posting a thing about Jesus. Today is one of those days.

An independent team of some of the developers of BioShock and BioShock Infinite have created Day For Night Games and are seeking funding for their project, The Black Glove, on Kickstarter. See? I told you it was worth coming to the Internet today.

I watched the video, and my thoughts are that it looks TRIPPY AS SHIT. It’s very reminiscent of the creepy vintage BioShock style. There is also mention of a Space Minotaur, which I’m into.

You can make a meager $20 donation and receive a download of the game for PC/Mac/Linux when it’s released. Check out the Kickstarter page here. I have a good feeling they’re going to get funded.

Trying to Be a Dick Is Hard


I vowed to myself on my second playthrough of Mass Effect that I was going to 100 percent be a total dick no matter what. I made a new character and gave her a really intimidating scar and then set off on my merry way to Eden Prime to get the party started.

It didn’t work.

No matter what happened, I couldn’t be a jerk to any of my favorite characters. Not Garrus, not Tali Zorah, not Ashley. Not even Kaidan, who I totally hate, like, a lot. If Mass Effect had given my Shep the option to give Saren a gift basket filled with decorative soaps, I would have taken it.

Conclusion: I’M TOO NICE.

But not anymore. I decided that I needed to get as far away from the Paragon I was as I could. I needed to switch my character to someone completely different. Someone I could never identify with in a million years.

I needed Man Shep.

I’m not gonna be a Mister Nice Commander this time. I’m not gonna be intimidated. I’m gonna to be a TOTAL DICK NO MATTER WHAT.

At least that’s what I said when I created Dick Shepard this morning. He’s a Man Shep with a big dumb face and a big stupid personality. Everybody is going to hate him. Nobody will ever have Renegaded harder than Dick.

Space romance? Not for Dick. He’s gonna knock space boots with every willing party in the galaxy and then walk away like it ain’t no thang.

He’s gonna bark orders and get sassy with his superior officers and ruin lives without a second thought.


I’ll keep you posted on how it goes in my upcoming series, The Adventures of Dick Shepard.

As soon as I finish this, I promise to stop talking about Mass Effect constantly. I do have other hobbies. I swear.

Come and Visit My Other Blog! If You Dare…


Vincent Price, the patron saint of TERROR.

Hey, Gamervescent readers and people who just look at the pictures and then go back to looking at baby animal pictures on Buzzfeed.

October is going to be a very exciting and busy month for me.

First of all, I’m going to New York Comic Con and I’m planning to report back on what I see there. Last year I saw John Barrowman. He was so handsome I almost died. Who knows what I’ll see this year? Probably something even more beautiful, if that exists.

Secondly, and most importantly, October brings with it my absolute favorite time of the year, which is when I celebrate Halloween by posting terrifying tales of terror on my other blog, Welcome to Bethville, every Friday during the month of October (starting tomorrow!) Sometimes there are killer clowns. Sometimes there are ghost pirates. You might even find a murderous monarch if you look hard enough. Give it a read…if you think you can handle the terror. Pee pants achievement UNLOCKED.

Come over and say hi. Or stand just outside and creepily whisper nursery rhymes. I’m easy.

Shepard Standing Too Close to People: A Study

One of the things I enjoy most about video games is making the characters do awkward things and recording it terribly on my camera phone. This is the latest, from Mass Effect 3.

shepard close 1

What are you guys talking about? Anything good?

shepard close 2

Can I have a turn next? Do I get a turn? I’m next.

shepard close 3

What’s going on out there? Some kind of sports competition?

shepard close 4

(whispers) Your butt is hanging out of those pants. Did you know?

shepard close 5

Are you going to be off the phone soon?

shepard close 6

Is that Randy? Tell him I said hi………………………….Did you tell him?

Here I Sit, Contemplating Buying a Wii U

so sad

Forever alone.

I bought my Wii in 2009. Since then, it has been a loyal companion. It didn’t get all butt hurt when I bought an Xbox 360 three years later and slowly began to ignore it. It doesn’t mind that I really only use it now for the Wii Fit or the rare Skyward Sword revisit.

Now, I’m considering buying a Wii U and phasing it out altogether because Hyrule Warriors has arrived, and despite its medium shitty reviews, I REALLY WANT TO PLAY IT. There can be only one, Wii, and unfortunately, it is you who will have to go.  (Just to a box, probably in storage, but it sounds more dramatic to make it sound like I’m sending it out on an ice floe, never to return.)

But it is a bit hard to let go.

Video games hold memories for many people. My Wii holds the memory of the first time I decided “FUCK THIS SHIT. I WANT TO PLAY GAMES.”

This is where the scene dissolves into a heartwarming montage from my memories, so brace yourselves.

At the end of 2009, I decided to buy a Wii because I was still dealing with the emotional fallout of a total jerkwad dumping me. He was the kind of jerkwad who tells you that he likes you and goes out on several fun dates with you and then MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARS. But it wasn’t the kind of disappearance you get over after a few weeks and move on. No. This jerkwad reappeared a few weeks later to apologize and insist that he really did like me but just needed time to adjust to the idea of someone new. He did this magic act several times. When he did reappear, every time the disappearance was my fault. I’d pushed him too hard, and he got scared. One time he broke up with me and then invited me to meet his parents the same day. In that order.  I was completely befuddled.

Finally, after about six months of this, I was trying to get up the nerve to tell him to shove his hot and cold act right up his ass when, out of the blue, he broke up with me and insisted he was serious this time. I was more angry at the fact that I didn’t get to be the one to break up with him. I had it all planned out in my head and was probably planning to quote Love, Actually or something.

Months passed. “Friends” who were “breakup experts” kept telling me that I was due to get over it any time and just needed to “move on.” (I’m dead serious about all those quotation marks.) But I couldn’t let it go. I was mad. I was hurt. I was disappointed. I wanted to chop something repeatedly with a big sword.

So, I decided to buy a Wii. It was the first time I spent actual money on a gaming console and didn’t just inherit it or buy a used one from Ebay. I marched right into a Best Buy after work one day and picked up all the accoutrement and carried it on the subway and then the half-mile walk home. It was raining. I didn’t care. I had my Wii.

I plugged it in as soon as I got home. Boxes and other assorted packing material were strewn all over my living room. At some point many hours later, I was playing Super Mario Galaxy and realized I had forgotten to eat dinner. It seemed I had finally found the cure for my inner turmoil.

Now that I’m mostly well adjusted and in a much happier relationship, it will be interesting to look back on my Wii U memories five or ten years from now when they come out with the next gen console and I insist on buying it. Will it be called the Wii U2? Or perhaps the Wiiii? I guess we’ll see when that time comes.

Sad Shepard, Utterly Rejected, Continues Mission

shep sad

Shepard’s moment of contemplation early in Mass Effect 3, after being totally and utterly rejected by everyone in Mass Effect 2.

Did you know that you can be completely and utterly romantically rejected by every available crew member on the Normandy? You can.

Early in my latest playthrough of Mass Effect 2, my Shepard set out to have a fling with Jacob. He was like, “Nah, I don’t want to. I think we should keep things professional.” Shepard was a little sad because she loves the corny things Jacob says while throwing his biotic powers during a battle. She was dejected but decided to move on.

She went to talk to Garrus Vakarian, who briefly entertained her flirting before basically shutting it down 100 percent. Every time she went to talk to him after that, he said, “I’m busy. Can you come back later?”

It doesn’t matter that she just unlocked the “No One Left Behind” achievement, which means that she got every crew member through the suicide mission alive. It doesn’t matter that she gained 100 percent loyalty across the board with her teammates. It doesn’t matter that she frequently stops by to “talk about you” with the members of her crew. It doesn’t matter that she is the badass commander of the SSV Normandy. (Not an easy task, friends.)

Grace Shepard is forever alone.