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AUGUST
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Atlanta, GA, August 29 - Sept 1, 2014 DragonCon, Atlanta, GA, August 29 - Sept 1, 2014

PAX Prime, WA
Seattle, WA, August 30 - Sept 2, 2014 PAX Prime, Seattle, WA, August 30 - Sept 2, 2014

SEPTEMBER
Wizard World, TN
Nashville, TN, Sept 26 - 28, 2014 Wizard World, Nashville, TN, Sept 26 - 28, 2014

OCTOBER
GeekGirlCon, WA
Seattle, WA, October 11-12, 2014 GeekGirlCon, Seattle, WA, October 11-12, 2014

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Monday
Jun092014

episode 116: The Headlines Show

This week we chat about the latest news and geeky headlines. We also show and tell our favorite geeky desk decorations. Check out our latest vlog!

Headlines

No Princess in the Castle

How to Get Girls into Coding, New York Times, Nitasha Tiku, 05-31-2014

Code.org

Alien Isolation, IGN plays the demo

Geek & Sundry, "Spooked", Episode 1

"Several Dsigners Refused to Make Melissa McCarthy an Oscar Dress"

Lego Female Scientists Minifigure set

Fight! Art Zine, The Mary Sue

What do the Stars and Original Creator of Doctor Who have to say about a Female Doctor?, The Mary Sue

"Currently, there are no plans for Leia products at Disney Store..."

NOTE: We failed to mention that TIME magazine followed up with Disney and they responded: "'The current assortment of Star Wars products at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come,' Disney spokeswoman Margita Thompson told TIME. 'We’re excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy.'"

Desk Ornaments

Glass mobile, Leah's Glass Creations

Quote

Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

Lambert: You admire it.

Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

Alien, 1979

Until next time, game on! 
Regina & Rhonda  

P.S. Don't forget to enter our Xbox Live Gold giveaway

Episode 116v

Monday
Jun092014

Xbox Live Gold Code Giveaway! 

Hello, Gamers! 

In celebration of the Game On Girl Facebook page reaching 200 likes, we are giving away ONE Xbox Live Gold code. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. (Sorry, Game On Girl contributors, you are not eligible to enter this contest.)

The giveaway begins June 9th at 12 AM PST and ends June 24th at 11:30 PM PST. 

EDIT: Please do not try to falsify entries. All entries will be verified at the end of the giveaway and removed if falsified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Until next time, game on! 
Isabela the Intern  

Sunday
Jun082014

Bionic Commando/Top Secret: Hitler no Fukkatsu (NES/Famicom)

Study 5 – Bionic Commando/Top Secret: Hitler no Fukkatsu (NES/Famicom, Capcom)

Capcom's early NES/Famicom output was primarily releasing straight arcade ports onto the console, often with the aid of the dubious Micronics doing the heavy lifting. After the release of Mega Man, however, Capcom began shifting more of their design teams onto the Famicom, and were more willing to tinker and reinvent their arcade ideas for the system. The greatest example of this remolding is easily 1988's Top Secret: Hitler no Fukkatsu, better known here as Bionic Commando.

Bionic Commando was one of Capcom's arcade action titles that was ultimately undercooked for its initial release. It took the protagonist of their overhead shooter Commando, Super Joe, and outfitted him with a bionic arm to swing across chasms and to grapple high platforms. Joe couldn't actually jump at all, so the arm was vital to make any progress! It's a decent game, but it didn't do a lot with its unique mechanic and premise. The levels were more about piling on the enemies and climbing up long, arduous areas than featuring much actual platforming, making it more of a standard action game without a jump button than something distinct.

When the Famicom port rolled around, Capcom decided to revisit the idea of the bionic arm, but this time reinvented the entire gameplay mechanic. In short, they made the arm a crucial aspect of the level design. A new hero, Radd Spenser, was invented to carry on the Bionic Commando mantle, and Super Joe was regulated to being a P.O.W. Capcom pioneered a new Nazi uprising for its antagonistic force, and Spenser would need to infiltrate their base, rescue Super Joe, and destroy the Albatross Project during his mission.

The word "Nazi" probably raised some eyebrows. The American Bionic Commando lacks any direct mentioning of the regime, and the only allusion made to Nazism is the surprising likeness the main villain Master-D has to Adolf Hitler. The Bionic Commando we received is different from the Japanese original, which was dubbed Top Secret: Hitler no Fukkatsu. The subtitle literally means "Resurrection of Hitler"; it's clear that from the start Capcom's original intentions was shooting down Nazis and defeating the revived Hitler. Nintendo of America's strict censorship policies barred Nazism from being carried over to the NES, and so Capcom stripped out the majority of the game's Nazi references. The Nazis were renamed the BADD's, and Hitler's name was changed to Master-D. However, despite the radical alteration to the game's plot and themes, Capcom left in some shocking moments that are breathtaking in their audacity. Before getting into that, though, let's take a look at the boxes.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun042014

The Need for Queer Narratives: A Response to "Gaming in Color"

When I first heard of the documentary Gaming in Color, I fully intended to watch the documentary and write a review, listing out a bunch of reasons why I think gamers and non-gamers alike should watch it. As I made my way through the film, however, I soon realized that that’s not really what I wanted to write about. That wouldn’t be very truthful to the experience I had while watching it. I wanted to write about my own experiences as a gay gamer and how I felt about a lot of the points brought up in Gaming in Color.

Gaming in Color is a an hour long documentary about the LGBTQ experience in video games and gaming culture which came out in April 2014. It was funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and features interviews with many prominent gaming industry professionals and queer gamers. A large part of the documentary also focuses on GaymerX, the first ever LGBTQ focused gaming convention, held for the first time last year. (Read more about the documentary and the people behind it on the Gaming in Color website.)

“Gaming provides young gay people who may not be comfortable with themselves an outlet to be themselves that is totally forgiving, totally accepting, and you get to be anyone you want to be.” 

I may not be a prolific gamer by any standards, but one of the few games that allowed me to create a character that felt anything like me was the Sims. I had wanted to play the Sims since I was probably a tiny 11 or 12 year old geekling, looking over my friends shoulders when “we” played it at their house (they played, I watched), wanting so badly to be able to play the game. My best friend at the time thought some of the things she could do in-game were so scandalous. I don’t think I fully understood at the time, but I saw the potential for me to be whoever I wanted in-game. Unlike books or movies or TV shows, where I was forced to live through yet another straight character's experiences, the Sims and games in general allowed me to pretend to be whomever I wanted to be. It didn’t matter that I was a tiny, Latina, immigrant, young girl who was maybe questioning the specifics of her identity.

I could be whomever I wanted to be.

I didn’t have to adhere to the stories that I consumed. I could change them. Fanfiction and fandom were incredibly important to me as a teenager because they provided the space that I needed to explore this giant sandbox of stories and characters the world had laid at my feet and explore my own identity in a way that felt safe and  non-threatening.

“I want someone who represents me on the screen and it’s not really about sexuality as it is about representation.”   

It’s important for young queer people to be able to learn about and experience stories about people who they feel they can relate to. Even though I consider myself fairly well-adjusted and comfortable with who I am now, my heart still gives a painful thump when I see queer people, especially queer women - hell, especially queer women of color - represented, because I know that even though it doesn’t make a life-changing difference for me today, it does for other young queer people who are in the same place in their lives that I was five, ten years ago. The sense of kinship that comes from knowing other people know at least a little bit of what you’re going through, that you’re not as alone as you might feel - that’s huge.  

Constantly having to hide an integral part of your identity, for whatever reason - be it due to cultural pressures, family pressures, to protect your safety, or to protect your livelihood - is extremely difficult. Anything that can lessen the difficulty is welcome, and for a lot of people, games are that outlet. For a lot of people, games could become that outlet, but most would agree that maybe games have to grow up a little first. 

“I think we’re going to see this medium mature, see it diversify, we’re going to see all kinds of people make their own games. I really believe that a lot of the ways that we think about games and the dominant genres of games are going to shift.” 

Does that mean I think every game needs to include an overt queer narrative or queer perspective? No, not exactly. Do games need to expand beyond the typical heteronormative and male narratives that we see again and again and again? Yes, that would be a great change. Does the gaming community as a whole need to move past the myopic idea that playing as anything other than a straight, white man is the only way to play? Yes, absolutely! 

Gaming in Color presents the idea that a queer game narrative can simply be creating a world,  creating characters, or creating a story that more fully represents the diversity of the people who play those games, as well as not railroading players into a fixed gender or sexuality role. Sandbox games that are not story-driven and MMOs that are gamer-driven are great examples of games that allows players to explore the narratives they want to experience. 

The fact that documentaries like Gaming in Color and gaming conventions like GaymerX exist are proof that need for these discussions is out there. 

June is LGBTQ pride month (more commonly known as Gay Pride Month) - if you do nothing else to celebrate, make a point to watch Gaming in Color! The documentary is available for pay what you like (mininum $1, suggested price of $15). If you want to check out even more resources and related articles about LGBTQ issues, the references below are a great place to start.

“Visibility is the way in which an industry says that we know that you exist. When you get acknowledgement that you are the intended audience for something, it makes you feel like you’re a part of it.”


Note: The quotes in this article are from the Gaming in Color documentary. LGBTQIAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and Pansexual) is the expanded form of LGBTQ. I use LGBTQ in this article because it is the form of the acronym I see mostly commonly used. GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities), GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities), and queer are other widely used  “umbrella” terms for those who are not straight or cisgender. Different people use different acronyms for different reasons. I'm by no means an expert on this topic. Homosexual and homosexuality are terms that have fallen out of favor because they are viewed by most LGBTQ people as clinical and old-fashioned (a better explanation can be found in an article linked in the references). 

Monday
Jun022014

Episode 115 - Alison "Mu" Jones

We've got a great show for you this week! Alison "Mu" Jones joins us to discuss art, gaming, and role playing. We discuss Alison's comic about spectrum slide in great detail during the show. Make sure to check it out.

We WRaP about our current geeky passions in what we're Watching, Reading, and Playing. 

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the show! Let us know what you think in the comments!
Until next time, game on!
Regina & Rhonda

Episode 115

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