Tuesday, June 24, 2014

uh. video games. and a bit of feminism.

today's topic is... video games.

how much do i know about video games?

not that much.

i'm pretty sure that my first video game was my gameboy colour.


my brother got his first. his was the generic purple one. the day after christmas we drove my van (yes. we had it that long ago.) to florida and my brother played it pretty much the straight eighteen hours.

i got one the next christmas. i attempted to play pokemon. i got pretty good at silver version. crystal was by far my favourite because i could be a girl. what a good little feminist i was. every single time i played crystal i was a girl named tracy because what do you know, i had a third grade crush on a guy named trace.

i saw him when i took the ACT my senior year of high school. oh lord. oh lord.

when i was about nine, the hot place to go was mcvans. there was one that we could walk to and aaron would trade in all of his gameboy games for other ones. (the deals were always super shitty.) i got ahold of frogger, which i sucked at, and then i got the best gameboy game ever, kirby tilt n tumble.

the technology was so profound! you tilted the gameboy and kirby moved with it!

it took me a long time and hours of playing, including when i was pooping, but i beat that game. i got all the red stars and went to all the bonus levels.

but i did NOT get all of the hidden blue stars. i tried and tried. the problem with the blue stars was they were only on certain levels and you never knew which level it was.

there was one higher level that had a lot of spikes and i could see the blue star, but i never ever got there. it was so sad.

after we had our gameboys, my parents bought us a used N64.

who actually knows how old it is? we got it used in the '90s. now it's 2014.

the first game we got was super mario 64. i loved that game. the first night that we had that console i played it for hours and hours, jumping in and out of picture frames and avoiding chain chomps.

i played it so much that i had a nightmare about it and woke up and vomited.

not a fun time.

then we got mario kart and super smash brothers. my brother and i played mario kart for hours and that was probably where we learned how to swear to eloquently.

mario kart, especially n64 style, will break friendships.


i got pretty decent at super smash brothers, but i only played as kirby. probably because i was so obsessed with kirby tilt n tumble when i was little. (let's be real, i still think about it. i need some AA batteries, you guys. seriously.) and i learned all of his cheap shot moves and that's how i beat my brother consistently.

put that thing on 200% damage and do a smash? GONE. DEFEATED.

but yeah, i never learned how to play anybody else. i got pretty good at beating the master hand, but i could never land on all of the platforms or break all the targets when i really needed to.

mostly my brother just tried out different characters while i played kirby and we yelled obscenities at each other.

then came james bond.

i don't really remember which james bond game it is, golden eye maybe? i'm not sure.

that's when i learned how to play first person shooter. (lolz. i just asked adam what that was called.)

just like i did with super smash brothers, i played one character and one terrain only. the mountain one with the cabin and the underground system. if you went up the mountain cave you get could a pretty sweet bazooka and aim it long range and blow up anybody that came out of the other side of the course.

most of the time aaron kicked my ass. but i still ran around with guns and shot at stuff that moved. and of course, i was always moneypenny because WHAT UP, YOU CAN BE A GIRL IN JAMES BOND.

apparently you can't be in assassin's creed. i'll get to that later.

my long haired man friend, adam, is a gamer. his brothers are gamers. i'm talking like... six years of logged time on world of warcraft gamer. steam account gamer. jargon and hours spent on the computer playing with people across the world.

playing the board game version of dungeons and dragons at fraternity houses.

adam is a gamer.

adam talks about gaming a lot. most of the time i'm like


he has encouraged me to play video games with him. so far all we've done is get out my n64 and play it in his dorm room at alma. i kicked his ass at mario kart and he kicked my ass at super smash brothers. we didn't get into james bond.

i have yet to play any other games with him.

he likes to play horror games. like killing floor, the resident evil series, outlast, slenderman, home, deadspace one and two, amnesia, penumbra... and stuff.

i'm not a horror person. slenderman sounds bad enough and i guess that's like... tame or something? just people telling me about slenderman freaks me out. like, NOPE. NOPE NOPE.

the other day, adam and i were talking online about dragons. because I LOVE DRAGONS, O SMAUG, CHIEFTEST AND GREATEST OF CALAMITIES.


and adam was just casually like, "you know that skyrim has dragons, right?"

i've spent a lot of time looking at a skyrim poster that adam has in his room. it's a huge map of the skyrim world and it reminds me a lot of lord of the rings.

and it's made me realise that there are really intense games with really intense storylines and whole entire worlds with cultures and stuff.

that's really neat.

but there's also a lot of feminist issues circling around gaming culture, and as a super intense feminist, i can't discount that.

i watch feminist frequency, where a really cool youtuber named anita sarkeesian makes posts about feminist tropes in video games. she speaks at places like vidcon and stuff.

she's really cool.

she also gets death threats a lot from the gaming community.

right now the big thing is the new assassin's creed. i don't know which one it is or what it's called, because to me it's all assassin's creed. i've only seen someone play it once and it was literally this egyptian looking dude climbing a lot of buildings.

that's pretty much all i know about assassin's creed.

but the new story is that the new one doesn't uh... really feature any female characters that you can choose to be.


because it was too hard to design them.

twitter, as it's wont to do, went a little bit nuts.

here are some of the best tweets as compiled by tumblr.

and the kicker

fifty percent of the gaming community is... drum roll please...


from what i've learned from the intense tumblr gaming community and from having a boyfriend that identifies as a gamer... there's really only one criteria for being a gamer.

and that is playing videogames.


whether that's like me, and playing kirby tilt n tumble all day and only knowing one character on super smash brothers, or whether you're like adam's brother who played world of warcraft for longer than the time i was in college, you're a gamer.

but apparently there's a lot of the (male) gaming community that's like LOL GIRLS DON'T PLAY VIDEOGAMES YOU'RE JUST A FAKE GEEK GIRL GO MAKE ME A SANDWICH LOLOLOL

and that makes me really sad because anybody can play videogames and can be a gamer.

this whole post came about because adam is visiting me this week while i have time off of work and he suggested that i blog about video games today. it's something that he's obviously really into and that he wants to share with me. i have a lot to learn, especially gaming jargon.

most of the time i'm like, "wait what does that stand for?!"

i think my first foray into adam's type of gaming is going to be skyrim. i really hope it's not like the time that i played halo for the first time and managed to blow myself up in the first ten seconds while my brother laughed hysterically at me.

no matter what kind of videogames you play, you're a gamer.


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