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Pokémon Go

18 Jul

The whole world goes crazy for something almost every year. Things have always been that way for as long as I can even remember. From Teddy Ruxbin to Beanie Babies. Tamagotchi to Furbies. Tickle-me-Elmo. Cabbage Patch Kids. The list of crazes is long and grows constantly. Now with new technology crazes can come on your phone and before you know it everyone you know is becoming a fake celebrity with Kim Kardashian or trying to keep a seemingly drunk bird from crashing into the pipes from Mario Bros.

It’s hard to tell what’s going to be a fad when it comes to casual Smartphone games but Niantic seems to have stumbled into the formula with the release of Pokémon Go, the glitchy app that reignites your 10 year old desire to be a Pokémon Trainer.

On paper the idea seems ridiculous, but the more you think about it the more it makes sense. You play it like you would any other Pokémon game; starting off as a trainer with the desire to catch ‘em all, you get hired by Professor Willow to go out in the world to live your dream of being the very best while gathering scientific information on the Pokémon you catch. Unlike the previous games, instead of laying in your room with your Gameboy dangled precariously over your face, you actually have to go outside to catch these.

(Also unlike the previous games, Professor Willow makes you catch your first Pokémon instead of gifting it to you, which works as a gameplay tutorial but makes Professor Willow seem like kind of a jerk.)

The games Augmented Reality (AR) elements quickly became a meme on the internet with people sharing photos of Pokémon they’ve caught at the grocery store, in actual gyms or even in very creepy abandoned buildings. While those memes are fun, I think I’ve found my joy from the game elsewhere.

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Apparently my love of puns and hip-hop music have caused me to carve my own niche in these games. Aside from the regular game mechanics, I’m having way too much fun naming these little guys.

So if you haven’t already, go out and catch Pokémon and have fun!

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

Erasure: My Feelings on Proving POC Exist

4 Jun

There is a lot going through my head right now. After a fantastic weekend at WisCon 39, I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing regularly and have gathered a surprising amount of ideas over the past few days. However with all of the new ideas that have been floating around in my head there are also new doubts and worries, some of which are minor and some of which are slightly existential.

I think I should back up for a moment and let you know where all this begins. At WisCon I got the opportunity to once again interview Daniel Jose Older about his upcoming novels. During the interview, in a conversation about how realistic his novels were because of the diversity, I’d jokingly asked how he felt knowing that in 1000 years, his novels would be used as the proof that there were People of Color in the year 2015. He expressed not just hope, but certainty that it wouldn’t be the case, and that it seemed as if with campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks, #INeedDiverseGames and many others, media was going towards a more accurate portrayal of race, gender and sexuality in the world.

I agree, but it feels like we have a long way to go, as evident (at least to me) by the fawning over the feminism of Mad Max: Fury Road. It’d been suggested to me by several people that I should watch it, and for a few weeks I felt apprehension about my concerns about not being as excited to see it as others. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic Australia but has no Australian Aboriginal Women in the main cast. To me, it seems empty to say that a movie is Feminist when it ignores and almost erases the stories of the women native to the setting.

If you ever wonder why twitter campaigns calling for diversity in media are important this is why. We shouldn’t have to prove a thousand years from now that we existed. We shouldn’t have to re-discover our histories because they were drowned out by the stories of those with power. The erasure of People of Color, especially Women of Color, being treated as the standard is why things like the K Tempest Challenge, #INeedDiverseGames, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, #DiversifyAgentCarter and so many other hash tags and calls for diversity are important. So going forward, as a Midyear’s Resolution to myself I’ve decided to not be afraid to speak up when I feel trepidation about dishonest representations. So….. wish me luck?

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

Any Customer Can Buy Any of the Merchandise of Any of the Characters They Want, As Long As The Character Is White and Male

26 Apr

When I woke up this morning I immediately got on Twitter to see what I’d missed in my sleep. A bunch of my Midwestern friends are at C2E2 so I’ve been reading all of their Con related tweets to make up for the fact that I can’t be there. While scrolling through my timeline, I saw a few of my friends discussing the Marvel Bobble Heads being sold on the Hot Topic website, specifically this one:They wasted all their brown paint on the box instead of the doll.....

What the hell is this?

As you can tell (more from the box than the actual doll) the character is supposed to be Heimdall. Not the Norse God version, not the comic book version, but the Marvel Movie verse version who’s played by Idris Elba in both of the Thor films. So why is the doll white when the character, actor AND EVEN THE PICTURE OF THE DOLL ON THE BOX is Black?

It seems like a big  (read: racist) mistake, but one of the many that Marvel is making when it comes to their merchandising. Recently the Internet has pointed out that out of all of the six main characters in The Avengers, Black Widow is the one with the least merchandise out. If you go to the Target website alone you’ll see that while Hawkeye doesn’t have any merchandise out for just himself, he’s still featured on more items featuring the Avengers as a group than Black Widow, who is totally excluded from most of it. Black Widow also only has 5 items available, as opposed to the 111 for Captain America, 70 for Iron Man, 66 for The Hulk and 25 for Thor.

But it seems that Marvel isn’t the only company who thinks only White Male toys sell. Funko — the company that makes the bleached out Heimdall above – seem to have played around with color changes with Characters of Color before. For the Assassin’s Creed video game character Connor, Funko decided to ditch the darker tone of the character in the game in favor of one much like Heimdall.

 

Bleaching out the Men of Color in merchandise and limiting merchandise for women isn’t where this stops either. When it comes to Women of Color, it seems that some companies think the best course of action for their merchandising is to exclude them entirely. McDonald’s Happy Meal toy for the the movie Home feature only one of the two main characters, Oh. The other main character, a black Trinidadian girl named Tip, was only featured on the box of the Happy Meal.

My money is green like everyone else’s, but it seems as if most companies don’t think this. While I’m more than willing to spend my money on toys, posters and just about anything of my favorite characters from my favorite shows, it bothers me that my money seems to only go towards things that don’t represent me. People of Color, especially Women of Color are growing a voice in Pop and Nerd culture, and we have money to spend too. Representation is important, so maybe companies should start to recognize that and give Fans of Color the merch that they want.

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

Video Game Diary: Titanfall #1: War Games and My Will To Live

12 Jul

So I got Titanfall a few months ago, and have been having fun playing no matter how bad I might actually be at it. While playing with friends on the War Games map I managed to get myself in the same sticky situation twice and survive it. So… yay for me!

The Dude somehow forgot about that pit in the middle and fell in (he made it out too though), and my loyal Titan stayed by the edge to wait for me as another Titan was attacking it. I don’t know why I thought getting in was a good idea.

Me and Technology

26 Apr

I know I haven’t been here in awhile, and y’all can yell at me about that later, but right now, I’m having some serious technology issues lately, and it’s all related to Windows 8.

So a month ago, I got a new computer for REALLY cheap. I’m my father’s daughter, so when  friend told me about slightly older laptops (about a year old to be exact) going on sale at his work for about $100, I knew I had to pick one up. My old laptop has been on it’s last legs for awhile, seeing that the left click button on the mouse pad doesn’t work, and nobody else but me can even use the thing because all the letters are all worn off. I thought the new (yet old) laptop was going to be a blessing, and for the past month it has been. Until today.

On the opposite end of my cheapness, a week and a half ago I finally had enough money saved up that I could go out and buy myself an Xbox One. After going back and forth about it for a long time (and even writing a post about how I would probably get a used Xbox 360 or a Wii U first) I decided to just pull the trigger on it. I did this partially because I wanted to treat myself and finally buy a console within the first year of it coming out instead of about 2 years later, but also because Titanfall came out, and I was EXTREMELY jealous of all the fun my Xbox One owning friends were having while I was delegated to just watch them stream on twitch.tv.

What do these two things have in common, you ask? Well, you see I got it in my craw that I wanted to post videos of me playing Titanfall on this blog here, and on YouTube. It’s supposed to be a fairly easy process now, considering that Xbox One has a feature where you can record clips of gameplay and upload them (albeit in a roundabout sort of way) to your Microsoft One Drive. This means that recording clips on the Xbox and editing them on my laptop should be a breeze, except…..

Look, I don’t have a surface tablet. All of my tablet and smartphone experience is rooted in Android, so when I bought this Windows 8 laptop I was so enamored with the touch screen and all of the new things going on with it, I didn’t realize that it was going to be a nightmare today. There are queues that I’m used to with Android and that I’m sort of ok with on Apple that just don’t exist on Windows. I thought my experience with my Zune would help me navigate this confusing UI but it barely scratched the surface. After successfully uploading videos to my One Drive account and locating them on my computer, it occurred to me that I didn’t have Window Movie Maker on here, so I set out to download what I thought was WMM from the Windows website, but was instead a whole pack of Windows “apps” instead. The apps included Windows Live Writer (which you can credit for this post), Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Messenger which is somehow already connected to my Facebook account.

I was confused and someone devastated at the fact that now I have WLM on my computer. I don’t even use WLM and it somehow connected to an account that I also don’t even use for sending messages, and even more redundant is that Windows 8 already had a messenger installed that also connected to Facebook Messenger which I still don’t use. It was a mess, a mess that led me to another page on the Windows 8 start screen that shows me all of the apps that are already installed on my computer THAT I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT! Apparently if you swipe your screen up, it shows all the apps on your laptop, but there’s nothing on the Start screen to indicate that (actually yes there is, if you swipe all the way to the right there’s a down arrow at the bottom to indicate, but that whole right side of my start screen is full of apps I’ll never use). So I went on a hunt on the internet today to find Windows Movie Maker, and it was already on my computer. All of that work, all of that searching, and all of that head scratching and none of it was needed, but hey! at least now I can do my Titanfall videos! So some good came of it. I will say though, that when I decide to pull the trigger on building my very first computer, I’m definitely putting Windows 7 on it.

New Consoles and No Games

30 Nov

So the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles are out and I have neither. Not just because of lack of funds (I have bills to pay you guys), but also because I’m not exactly sure which one I want first. Earlier this year, I was talking all sorts of shit about getting a PlayStation and just keeping my super old Xbox 360, but now I’m plotting.

I may buy one of the later generation 360 consoles. Now that everyone is scrambling for the new consoles, I think I’ll be able to pick up one of the fancier 360s for pretty cheap, that way I can still play all my old 360 games. As much as some folks like trading in their older stuff towards new consoles and game, I like to hold on to mine. I still have my old Nintendo and Sega Genesis consoles hanging out in my room for when I get the urge to play Mario Bros or Road Rash, so a 360 that I can horde for playing RE 5 and 6 (stop judging me!) As well as Mirror’s Edge, the Portal games, BioShock and the other time consuming games I love.

As much as I like having the new hot console, I think waiting until the price comes down a bit and all the little kinks are fixed is a good idea. We’ll see what I end up doing with my tax return in the upcoming year…

Super Mario Opera

24 Dec

 

WHY HASN’T ANYONE SHOWED ME THIS BEFORE?!

So apparently some genius over on youtube by the name of legolambs made this awesome opera song and video about Super Mario Bros. Just so you know, this is what happiness feels like!

(via The Nerdist)

Left 4 Dead Fan Vid: What The Hell Just Happened?

24 Dec

(Found via i09)

 

What the hell just happened?

One thing I love about the internet is that there is an infinite amount of content. Because of things like youtube, and because thanks to technology almost anyone with an idea and a computer can make a decent 6 minute movie, you don’t have to wait for television or film to come out with something you’d want to see, all you have to do is find it yourself. Which means things like Fan Vids like this pop up.

I like Left 4 Dead as a video game, so the beginning of this video drew me in, however right about the time the Gears make their cameo appearance (wait no, Scorpion is kinda weird too) I go from being intrigued by the interesting mashup to overstimulated by characters from games I play that shouldn’t know one another. It didn’t tell me it was going to be Valve vs Capcom vs Bungie, so when that happened it pulled the rug right out from under me.

However disorientation aside, it was a good Fan Vid. And the way the guy with the shotgun handled his weapon made him my favorite character in the whole thing.