Tag Archives: video games

Saying Goodbye to a Fellow Gamer

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Robin Williams and his daughter Zelda. <3

Gaming is often the way that people deal with depression. I know because I’ve done it. Sometimes I’ll realize I’ve done nothing but submerge myself in a video game for an entire day (or several days). I look around and think, “Wow, I haven’t even been in my own life today.” And it’s a good and bad feeling because I feel guilty for the escapism, but happy that it was blocking me from dealing with everything else.

I can’t let today go by without mentioning Robin Williams. He was a gamer, like us. He loved Ocarina of Time and Half-Life 2 and Call of Duty. This morning I realized that he’s never going to know if Half-Life 3 ever happens, and that made me profoundly sad.

Take some time today and read his Reddit AMA here. And this article at Kotaku. And then maybe go play some games for our fallen comrade.

Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, a dark legacy indeed

It started with an Angry Orchard Ale display stand at Sam’s Club, the old tree howled when I walked by, “Se-k t runestones a-d -ri-e Skorne fr-m -is d-sol-te -a-d.” I had no clue most of the words meant, but the sound profile immediately awoke some dim part of my brain.

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It was the voice of the yellow-robed wizard, Sumner of Gauntlet: Legends, and immediately after he spoke the tree made that spiraling sound you hear in the game when you get sucked into or out of a level.

My friend Justin perked up when I told him what happened in the store. “Damn, dude! Really?! I’ve got the Xbox version of Gauntlet at my house somewhere!”

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We found it in a pile of dirty clothes and trash in his laundry room/basement area.

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Too Busy; Didn’t Play: THE BANNER SAGA

Hi! My name is Kevin Copenhaver and one of the few things I love more than video games is key lime pie. (That, however, has nothing to do with this article, I just really love it. ) I also love telling my fiancée how awesome games I played are. I usually do this with crazy-eyed stares and ridiculous run-on sentences. This got me to thinking: shouldn’t EVERYONE be able to experience my love of games the same way she does? Doesn’t each and every man, woman, child, animal, sea monster, dragon, and sting chameleon deserve to have a game summed up for them in one long, run-on sentence that manages to stay below 500 words?  

Say you are at a party and everyone starts talking about a game—that unsettling feeling that sets in when you realize you are the ONLY person who hasn’t played it. You start to sweat as they tell tales of woe and bosses you’ve never even heard of. Your stomach starts to churn; your vision blurs. You cannot even figure out what genre the game is! As you start panting and convulsing on the floor your friends laugh and begin kicking you, gaily chanting, “You’ve never played Vagrant Story, you’ve never played Vagrant Story!” and, “You even game, brah(-sephina)?!” Moments like that ruin lives.  

Sometimes life is unfair and these stupid “responsibilities” get in the way of the important things like gaming, and eating. These recaps will save you from a lifetime of humiliation. You may not have played the game, you may not even understand the finer details, but if you stick it out for 500 words or less, you will at least be able to pretend you know what you are talking about.  

And now, for our first installment…

Too Busy; Didn’t Play: THE BANNER SAGA

The Banner Saga Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Video Game Know-It-Alls

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Before I met my heterosexual life partner, I had one of those 5-day Internet flirtations with some dude on OKCupid. I was still living in that post-BioShock Infinite glow where anybody who wanted to talk about BioShock Infinite could talk to me. So, when he had a come-on like, “Hey, you like BioShock Infinite? I like BioShock Infinite! Let’s text and stuff,” I was like, “YEAH, SEXY GUY. COME TALK TO ME.”

But that flirtation was destined to be short-lived. Why? Because he was a “video game know-it-all.”

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Reading EGM

Game designer and cat-loving wizard Cameron Kunzelman has read over a decade’s worth of back issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly and compiled a selection of advertisements, reviews, letters to the editor, and so forth at Reading EGM. It’s alternately bizarre, hilarious, and heartbreaking to peruse the collection of games writing articles and artifacts; the roots of today’s oft-toxic “gamer culture” are readily apparent throughout. Some personal favorites:

YOU CAN BE THE VELOCIRAPTOR

Top Ten Coolest Video Game Heroes Continue reading

A “The Last of Us” Review I Meant to Write Months Ago and Now Can’t Remember the Details For

The Last of Us

Several months ago I  had the opportunity to play through The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic game developed by Naughty Dog. If you haven’t played this game, you really should and soon. Why? I can’t remember because I played it months ago and forgot to tell you about it then, but trust me when I say it’s worth your time.

OH MY GOD! At the beginning of the game, something HUGE happens. If memory serves, it’s terrifying, and you spend a lot of time biting your nails and screaming in terror as you try to navigate through some stuff that has totally slipped my mind. Was it a car crash? Were some guys chasing me? I CAN’T REMEMBER. But it’s possible that both those things happened, and you would be a total idiot to not play that game and re-live the experience that I can no longer remember.

I recollect that I spent a lot of time in hiding, scrounging for ammo and tools to help me along my path to wherever I was going. I seem to remember shooting guys and throwing bombs and running away and running away some more. But it’s possible that all these months later, I’m mixing The Last of Us up with another game, and it was really one of those puzzle games where you swap candies until you can’t anymore and then pay your phone 99 cents for more turns.

Now, maybe at some point the Joker showed up as well, but I can’t verify that at this time, as I’m also trying to write a review of Arkham Asylum.

In short, if you like running away from clicking zombies, throwing bombs, shooting stuff, voice actresses that aren’t Ellen Page, brooding main characters who make questionable moral decisions, a pretty engrossing storyline that I can no longer remember, and possibly the Joker, The Last of Us is for you.

 

Bethany Bryan writes funny things at Welcome to Bethville! and xoJane.

Halo 4: Tutorial Time

Previously, Joe Culp‘s Game Tours: Halo 4, Part 1 & Part 2

Starting off:

Environmental concept art is a type of developmental painting used in video game production as a way for painters to visualize the ideas of the creative team. If it weren’t for these great painters in the industry, then there would be no unified vision to lead the increasingly complex demands of modern level design. The production team would be doomed, dead in the water; their game would start looking cheesy and ill-designed. This would be all right if we were still in the 90s, or if a “generic fantasy anime” look was the goal, but we are dealing with 2013 AAA gaming! By now concept artists of all stripe have found an important and greatly romanticized role in the video game industry.

So, at the end of my last “game tour” of Halo 4 I said that I would take what I learned about the level design and reverse engineer some mock concept art out of it. What an absurd idea, concept art fan art! Really I just wanted to paint a laser floor.

Here is what I came up with (click for embiggening):

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Sexism in Video Games at ETSUcon

"Video games are only for very cool boys," he said before being beaten to death. –Cameron Kunzelman

“Video games are only for very cool boys,” he said before being beaten to death.
–Cameron Kunzelman

The Sexism in Gaming panel did, as predicted, kick major ass! Panelist Samantha Allen wrote a brief post about it for The Border House (which I will lazily link to here, since she said everything I want to say about it and said it well), and you can listen to an audio recording of the entire discussion on YouTube (embedded below). There’s no video, but if you picture Samantha being graceful and composed, Kat as Lara Croft, Cameron looking like a bearded silent film villain, and me making a lot of extravagant hand gestures, it’ll be just like being present for the session. Go give it a listen!

Sexism in Video Games Panel

Hi there, beautiful people! If you will be in or around northeast Tennessee tomorrow, you should come see me, Kat, Samantha Allen, and Cameron Kunzelman tackle a bunch of questions about sexism in video games and gaming culture for East Tennessee State University’s first anime/comic convention. It’s going to kick a lot of ass! Check out the event’s FB page for more details.

Got a question(s) for the panel? Shoot it to etsusivgpanel@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to answer within the time limit.

Look forward to seeing you there! And BONUS, for all those who can’t come due to geographical inconvenience: look forward to a massive post (or two, or three) on Gamervescent in the coming weeks to discuss some of the material in further detail.

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