Being a Godzilla fan for virtually my entire life has shaped me in a way that I’m only starting to become aware of in recent years. I prefer practical effects over CG. I don’t trust movie and videogame reviews all too much. While a lot of fans—especially in comics—obsess over continuity and timelines, Toho Studios never gave much of a damn about such things for most of the Godzilla movies, so I’ve learned not to care much either. Playing a perfectly designed videogame, reading a perfect comic, listening to a perfect album—all of that is awesome, when everything falls into place and works so well, looks and sounds slick, but…I don’t know. For some reason, that isn’t as appealing to me as something that isn’t quite so perfectly put together. I like seeing when mistakes are made. I like awkward translations, weird cuts, proportions that are somehow off. It feels more human to me. I can relate to it better as an imperfect artist and imperfect person myself. I like it when things get occasionally sloppy. Continue reading Lousy, Shoddy Fun
Is it my birthday? Wait. Yes, it is actually. That’s why it’s extra special that this happened last night.
Megh Wright of Splitsider called it “everyone’s favorite N64 game,” which I think could be argued. But, OH MY GOD, it happened. Maybe for my next birthday, they can get Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean to go head to head on multiplayer. Please?
Hey there, 12-year-old self, it’s been a while! Anyway, I thought I’d let you know that a few things have changed over the last 16 years. You’ll dye your hair a lot of times. You’ll start wearing glasses instead of contacts again, because in the future awesome-looking glasses are available everywhere. Get this: now you can go to a store, in your town, and buy the red eyeshadow you want! Even better, the Internet really took off, and now you can just buy everything you want there, have it delivered to your door, and not even have to leave your house! And you’ll have a lot of friends, a whole crew of delightful weirdos who make you happy every day. So hang in there, kid.
In 2014, through a group of your glitter-obsessed artist buddies, you will meet—for the first time in your life—someone who is just as into Diddy Kong Racing as you are. You won’t have played Diddy Kong Racing for…well, for some time, I’m ashamed to tell you, but when your new DKR aficionado pal invites you to participate in an old-school N64 DKR tournament fueled by trail mix and beer, you are DAMN STRAIGHT GOING TO TAKE HER UP ON THE CHALLENGE, young lady, practice or no damn practice.
I can’t tell you how it turned out, since it’s happening tonight, but I am confident that your countless hours of practice have left me with the muscle memory necessary to dominate all-comers, 12-year-old self. Tonight, we will find out. TONIGHT, our skills will finally be tested. Tonight, 12-year-old Jenn, together, tonight, we will shine.
PIPSY 4 LYFE
My gaming life started when I was 23. I had just moved home to live with my parents again after spending a year of trying and failing to find a job after college. I spent most of my time in my bedroom, listening to old records and crying about the giant dump that fate had taken on my life. It was the most wrist-slitting two years of my life ever, in case you were wondering or maybe collect depressing anecdotes.
We had never been a gaming household. If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, you know that there were two factions of parents during that time: those who were pro-gaming and those who were pro-homework. My parents were pro-homework. My mom swore that we would NEVER, EVER have a Nintendo system in our house no matter how much we cried and begged. Period. Continue reading In Which I Battle Unemployment and Ganondorf
In the first semester of eighth grade, I got sick and stayed home from school for a day when my brother’s best friend had left his copy of Banjo-Kazooie at our house. As an almost-high schooler, almost-teenager, I considered myself far too old and sophisticated for “kiddie” games other than any Mario title, Diddy Kong Racing, and Yoshi’s Story(?!), most likely because I’d already played those. (Zelda titles did not count as “kiddie” material in my young Nintendo-playing brain, apparently.) I disliked Banjo as a character in Diddy Kong Racing, but was intrigued when I saw bro’s bff hopping around as a pumpkin. And then I got sick. Home alone and miserable, I picked up the N64 controller and started to play.
By the time I’d finished the intro level where I annihilated anthropomorphic vegetables and ignored Goggles the Mole’s instructions, I forgot about how terrible I felt. I played for the rest of the day. Continue reading Mumbo Medicine