Gaming Questionnaire

Jasyla has been doing a bunch of blogging about non-WoW games lately, and recently posted this questionnaire to get people talking about games.  I’ll take a little break from work and Warlords today to muse on my favorite games and talk about some of my background with them.

When did you start playing video games?
What is the first game you remember playing?

The first game I remember playing is Space Invaders on an old Texas Instruments-made computer.  So that’s technically when I started playing games, but what’s probably more meaningful is the Sega Master System I got soon after, which I started playing regularly.  The first game I played a lot on it was Missile Defense 3-D, a lightgun-based Missile Command remake which was in 3D.  As you probably wouldn’t expect for a console made in 1985, the SMS had a 3D feature that worked rather well (the glasses plugged into the zillionconsole and synchronized with alternating frames on the display).  So that was pretty cool.

Just to throw it out there, the SMS game I got into the most was Zillion, a pretty great 2-D combat/exploration game that was somewhat like Metroid.  I’ve gone back and beaten it later.

PC or Console?
XBox, PlayStation, or Wii?

I’ve always played games on both and don’t have strong feelings; in recent years it’s been mostly PC just because of WoW.  I haven’t bought recent-generation consoles because not I’m sure I’d play them enough, given how I don’t get to play games as much as I’d like.  I also have a strong tendency to play a small number of games a huge amount rather than play a bunch of different games, so consoles feel hard to justify.  This might be a bad decision if it cuts me off from finding console exclusives that would sweep me away.  That said, the games that did so came to PC anyway (XCOM: Enemy UnknownDark Souls).  Dark Souls is a notable example because it was PS3 exclusive, but became so famous that the clamor for a PC release caused a company with no PC experience to just release it anyway.

There’s no general answer to what console I would buy; it’s whatever one had an exclusive that gave me a desire to play which I couldn’t get out of my head.  Nintendo is probably the most likely, since I’ve always loved their games (their first-party ones in particular) and for the most part you can’t play them on PC.  If Zelda ever went back to its roots, there’s probably no way I could resist.

Oh wait, Zelda did go back to its roots with A Link Between Worlds, which was for 3DS, a system I have.  So there you go.

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Bullying is Such a Joke: Problems with the RPG Kickstarter

Last week, a Kickstarter campaign called “9 Year Old Building an RPG to Prove Her Brothers Wrong!” launched, and so far has raised over $20,000 using the marketing strategy that a child’s brothers mocked her plans to go to an RPG-building camp. Therefore, she needs Kickstarter to give her $800 to attend the camp. Rewards for donating $10,000 were added soon after, in which the brothers would apologize for being mean to their sister. No details have been given as to their mean behavior, and it may have been even used as a joke–a joke that was marketed as a serious issue to donors.

The project also liberally throws around STEM as a buzzword and links itself to several legitimate issues: harassment against women, and a drastic imbalance between men and women in technology fields.

Many parts of this Kickstarter were handled badly, but the part that stood out to me the most was the child exploitation angle. While not a violation of the Kickstarter ToS, interpreting the situation any way is problematic.

Before Susan Wilson clarified the intent behind the bullying and gender angles recently, I interpreted the situation in two ways:

  • If the brothers were bullying their younger sister, the result is that the mother chose to commercialize and encourage the strife instead of putting an end to the bullying. Their bullying was left unchecked to fit into a tidy fundraising narrative, with an apology from the brothers only coming as a $10,000 stretch goal reward. An apology isn’t something you deserve if you only raise money. The whole message of this is that the child needs to rely on the goodwill and credit cards of outsiders, hoping she needs to sell her story well enough, to put an end to bullying.
  • If they were having run-of-the-mill sibling rivalry, then the author exaggerated and fabricated events for publicity. This option of faking a situation to pander to a tired tried-and-true narrative is scummy in an equally bad way, that will damage the children when they grow up and realize they were publicly villanized for money. Or, it will encourage lying in the future as a way to make situations more marketable to get ahead in life.

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If you’re reading this, you probably already know me and/or Perculia and were linked here by one of us on Twitter or somesuch. Just wanted to explain what this new site is.

We’ve occasionally collaborated on written content before, for example that long essay on WoW (“Failure…”, see below) which generated a good amount of buzz. At the time we simply posted it on Flavor Text, a WoW blog that Perc maintains with some of her other friends. But as some of you have seen, we recently started a new project relating to Ocarina of Time and that gave the impetus to set up an actual place for us to post things (rather than co-opting a blog for completely unrelated topics for 10+ posts just because one of us happened to have access to it). One of our Twitter friends (@vitaemachina) has recently been offering free blog hosting and setup to anyone he can find, so there was little to no activation energy required for us to get this rolling.

We don’t necessarily have a long-term plan, but the Ocarina project will keep us busy for a good few weeks for now. If Perc continues her newfound exploration of non-MMO gaming, that might provide ongoing material, and I myself always have various thoughts on games I’m playing, and we also have a lot of WoW thoughts from 7 years of playing that we still mean to write down. At any rate, we had at least one blogging idea and needed a place to put it, so here we are. Enjoy!

P.S. Our prior posts have been migrated over here from Flavor Text so you can see them collected in one place.