Tag video games

5 posts

Adventures in Minimalism

We’re sort of slowly getting ready to move across the country in the spring, and so I’ve been trying to get rid of things – extra clothes, furniture, etc, that I’m not using/don’t need…nothing weird (except for maybe having been planning this move all year). I’ve been thinking about how nice it feels to have less random stuff, and so I may try to experiment with minimalism leading up to, and following The Great Moving Adventure. I did some reading (a few hours last night, nothing extensive by any means) and while everyone I read gave lipservice to minimalism looking differently for everyone, they all seemed to make a point to…..degrade keeping things for entertainment.
KieryGeek aside, this bothers me and isn’t something that would benefit me in my own minimalist excursion (depress, on the other hand…). While I’d like to live with less, and the idea of being minimalist appeals to me in a fight-the-machine-kind-of-way, I’m not going to give up my gaming consoles, my tv, or netflix because some random dudes on the internet say “it’s better” and that tv/gaming/entertainment-that-isn’t-reading-or-music is a waste of time (which, I thoroughly disagree with, for lots of reasons).
So, I’m gonna experiment with something I’m dubbing “keep-only-the-shit-that-you-like-ism!”. Which is still living with less, keeping only the things you need and enjoy, but basically, not eschewing the value of entertainment. I think any time anyone says “Stop gaming, it’s a waste of your time/life” I get angry and triggered. 😛
Anyway, aside from the STFU-gaming-is-good tangent, I think for me it will largely look like pack up whatever I can fit in my minicooper, getting rid of the rest, and hitting ikea for desks and a couch. 😉
As a personal quest, I’m going to only keep like 6 place (for the rare time the two of us have breakfast) settings so I have less dishes to wash on the chance that we get an apartment sans a dishwasher like our current place. I’ll probably do another run-through of my wardrobe, decide how badly I want to keep the ornaments that have pictures of baby kiery (which won’t ever make it on a tree, because no), and figure out how to travel-ize my jewelry collection (probably will throw it all in my makeup box. shhhh).
Anyway, the glorious part of keep-only-the-shit-that-you-like-ism, is that it’s about not having stuff you don’t like, but also not making a huge (anti-entertainment…) religion out of it either.
Okay, maybe those articles triggered me more than I thought they did.


In other news, I’m taking a mental health break. Right now that looks like muting a lot of twitter and playing a lot of minecraft and throwing personal comic schedules and completion to the wind while I try to catch my breath and chill. I feel like my brain needs a hard reset involving not noticing the world is going to shit and falling to pieces every 10 minutes. I may or may not update here with more thoughts or progress on minimalism, or anything deep, or anything at all. I don’t really know. Right now I’m just trying to give myself a break and figure out that I’m okay for existing and my validity isn’t dependent on anything else and it’s okay to not work myself ragged. Taking it one day at a time.
Today, I stayed in bed until I got hungry and needed coffee and then I basically only played minecraft. So, yeah. Don’t talk to me about wasting time on video games. Mental health is important too. 😛

Feminism and Women in Games

I am a gamer-girl. I fly under the radar, and I never have Xbox chat open. Honestly, I never interact with random people in game and I completely ignore trade chat. So, I’ve never experienced the bullying and misogyny that many other gamer-girls have.
But I have noticed, the lack of (well written) women characters in games. Sometimes it’s directly sexist, other times it’s just like, the women disappeared except for the occasional bar-maid or rescue quest. Never really main characters unless you *decide* to play as FemShep or FemHawke.
Bioshock Infinite, I felt, was groundbreaking because their female character was remarkably well written, strong, capable, and <spoiler> saves your ass more times than you can count </spoiler>.
A lot of people, when talking about female characters focus on what they look like. Which, I understand, I guess, but I also find it…I don’t know. I feel like if your complaint about female characters is centered around how they look, then you’re putting women into games as sex appeal just as much as the other people (without taking into account whether or not the design fits the entire world/style of the game and isn’t a special thing). Honestly, it’s an animation, I don’t particularly take issue with how things were rendered so long as the design fits the style of the game and story.
What I do wish, is that the writing of Elizabeth and her character-type weren’t groundbreaking. I wish it were standard. I wish women were written better, and even, actually written as characters as opposed to furniture or quest objectives. Maybe eventually we could get to the point of having a female character showcased as the default – but that isn’t going to happen until other things happen first.
As a consumer looking in to the world of games, I think that it’s a little similar to the world of female directors – there are some who work in “the industry”, but not many. Before anything changes I think we need to encourage people to write better characters, better stories, and encourage women to enter the game writing/design/programming world. That’s going to take time – especially, because apparently this is so new to people? It’s maybe not so much that it’s intentionally sexist (although, a lot of people are) but, like the absence of women in games, they just aren’t there (or if they are, they’re somewhere hidden in a male-dominated world, and we need to support them, and/or become involved ourselves).
Women should be in games and in the game creating industry not because they are women (because if we’re starting there, then I think we’ve already “lost”) but because women are people, human (just like men, WHAT?! o.O) and have just as much talent, insight, and story to offer as anyone else does. I think when we stop separating our lives – in and out of game – by gender, we’ll be a lot better off.
But that isn’t going to just happen.
If we want to see this happen, then we need to be writing the stories, making the art, making the games and becoming involved in the process. Gearbox (Borderlands) and Irrational Games (Bioshock Infinite) are two companies that I know of who take care in their story writing, and in their writing/creation of female characters – there are others, but those are just the two that come to mind right now (and then there’s indie games and I could go on – there are options!). Penny-Arcade forums are a great resource for getting started and the best thing to do? just make stuff. make lots of stuff. make the stuff you want to see, make stuff with other people, and put your stuff out there.
So that’s my advice – brought to you by the E3 controversies.

WoW mostly

I’ve been in a gaming mood lately, which is unusual for me. I’ve managed to level 2 times in the last week, which sounds lame but the gap from 85-86 and 86-87 is a hefty one to cross. I’m now only 3 levels away from cap, which is really exciting. I’m very much a mood gamer – restraint isn’t usually an issue for me, as when I generally game it’s only for an hour or two until I get bored. Occasionally I’ll have periods, like this/last week and a few weeks over the summer, where I just feel like playing to my hearts content and find the whole experience enjoyable (if I were to push myself to do that, I’d have an hour of fun, and then just be bored).
I’m finally in Pandaria, which is beautiful. It’s obvious that Blizzard put a lot of effort into it – and it’s better than when I tested it in Beta last spring. I love being somewhat immersed in story lines when I’m on these gaming kicks, and that’s what makes it fun for me.
Anyway, I’ve been gaming extensively for the last week and a half. I forgot where this was going other than to maybe prove and remind myself that I’m allowed to indulge and game all I want when I feel like I want to – it happens so rarely that there’s no need to be judgey about it. Then, when I’m done, I can go back to being a responsible adult.
But for however long this lasts, I’m going to continue to run around, pick flowers, defeat beasts, and fly on kites.
kite flying

Quilting. (or busy kiery is busy)

I’m thinking I’m going to try and do a mystery quilt this fall/winter.
So far, the rest of the year looks like this:
Work
Film for two (going on 3?) web series
Read some fantasy books on my list (or if all else fails, comic books – I did this last year when I was working, before bed, it was great for unwinding and sleeping without the “I’m going to stay up until 3am to finish this!” side effect)
Game night thursdays (and the occasional Warmachine night/tournament) and WoW/random video games with people – I foresee a good bit of halo.
Quilting (or crocheting or whatever)
And general artsyness, including my show on Friday.
Holidays and gingerbread and shopping are in there somewhere too. 🙂
It feels a little crazy, a little overwhelming and I get a little tired and scared at the thought, but mostly I’m really excited because I like this, I like being busy and doing things – I have some of my coming paychecks already spoken for: backing a few indiegogo/kickstarter projects, Mystery Quilt, and Mists of Pandaria and more than likely GW2 and a phone upgrade…and presents, and art supplies, and clothes, and tech. This is what I spend my money on guys – This is also what I do with my life and I love it, I think it’s fun and that’s a good thing.
If posting is scarce until January (you never know with these things), you know why.