All posts by Bethany

How to Get Your Own Sir Pounce-a-Lot in Time for Halloween


Sir Pounce-a-Lot, Ferelden’s king of the cats.

I was 3/4 of the way through Dragon Age: Awakening when I got a frantic text from Jennifer Culp. “GO BACK AND START FROM THE BEGINNING. I DON’T CARE HOW FAR YOU ARE. JUST DO IT.”

I responded with something glib like, “LOL NOPE.” But soon I understood that I’d made a huge mistake. By releasing Anders and denying him entrance to the Grey Wardens, which I didn’t think was a huge deal at the time I did it, I had lost Sir Pounce-a-Lot. Within four hours of realizing this mistake, I decided I did want to start over.

And so back to the beginning I went.

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Party on, Vorcha

I can’t say too much about the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, or I might give important things away to my compadre Jennifer Culp, who hasn’t finished it yet. The DLC is FULL of fun, lighthearted, even sentimental moments (in addition to the action). But I do have to share a gif of one of my favorite things in the history of Mass Effect. I present to you, “Party Vorcha.”

party vorcha

I <3 Oghren


It could be argued that I’m just very partial to dwarves. Gimli is my favorite part of Lord of the Rings, hands down. And don’t even get me talking about The Hobbit or I’ll bore you with all about how Bombur is the best because he has an appreciation of fine cheese.

So, it follows that I love Oghren. He’s disgusting. He drinks too much. He says inappropriate things to the female party members. But when he turned up in Awakening, ready to be a Grey Warden, I squealed audibly. I love that pervert. There is something very reassuring about taking a dwarf warrior with a huge axe into the fray.


The Most Difficult Video Game Mission EVER

alistairI’ve brought down Frank Fontaine and rescued the Little Sisters of Rapture. I’ve killed all the weird bull forms of Ganondorf and kept Hyrule free from tyranny. I destroyed the Reapers and saved SPACE, for fuck’s sake.

But you know what I can’t do?


I can’t get Alistair to go to Pound Town in Dragon Age: Origins.

Oh, he’ll go to Denerim. He’ll go to Orzammar. He’ll even visit the Village of Haven (that shit hole). But you try to get him to go to the Bone Zone, and Alistair is like, “Titter! Why, fair maiden, I do believe you’re flirting with me.”

Why won’t this fictional man sleep with my fictional woman? I’ve given him, like, a million presents and chatted him up and told him how good-looking he is and showed genuine interest in his life as a poor bastard child. But will he do me the honor of joining me in the Boneyard?


You know what would happen if you gave a non-fictional real human man the statue of a demon? He’d say, “That’s pretty cool and stuff, but let’s get BIZAY.” You know why? Because doing it is fun. It’s exercise. It kills the boredom on those cold nights by the campfire after after a day of killing darkspawn.

He wants to wait. TO WAIT! “Until it feels right” apparently. You know what “feels right,” Alistair? DOING THE SEX. I should know. I’ve done it at least five times in my life. And not one of those sex dudes was like, “Maybe talk to me a little bit about Duncan first and give me a shield and I’ll think about it.”

I know…I know. I should respect his wishes. I just wish that his wish was for a good rogering. Or even just a mediocre one. Or making out. Or light fondling. Or heavy fondling. Armor on or off. His choice.

Give it up already, man!

Says Alistair:

Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go take a cold shower.

(Full disclosure: After I wrote this last night, Alistair and the noble human of my own creation totally did it. My boyfriend came home and said, “Well, DID YOU DO IT?” and then I had to make them do it again so he could see that cheesy ass sex cutscene. VICTORY.)

Five out of five Bethanys are in favor of making the blanket monster whenever possible. 

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.