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Identity Crisis: A Gamer’s Epic Journey


In the span of 3 days, I have encountered 3 posts on the topic of gamer identity right here in the ocean of information. The first is by a local gaming magazine Playworks, you can read the post “Defining the Gamer“. The next was Kotaku, I’m sure most gamers are familiar with it, similarly, you can view the original post “Is Gamer A Dirty Word” and lastly, a post by Transmythology, you can view the post “Wake Up Geek Culture: Time to Live“.

Each of the posts are tackling the same problem from different angels and approach, one questions the word “Gamer” itself, the other questions the connotation  of said word and lastly a post about fandom and the elitism inherent in it.

Alright, lets tackle this one by one, starting off with Gamer as a term. The thing we must understand, is the fact that  words are social constructs, words by themselves are gibberish, they are without meaning or form. It is the people that give meaning to words. I covered a similar topic in one of my earlier posts “Mind Your Language“.

The fact that words are social constructs being with it, implications, and in the case of gamers, the implications can be rather unpleasant to the uninitiated. Gamers is a term given to people who play alot of video games, I’m gonna recycle a post I put up on Playworks.

Do we truly need ‘Gamer’ as a label? As a title? Games encompass a wide spectrum of medium, board games, miniature games, table-top games, video games even sports.

Chess is a game, but do the people who play chess regularly or even professionally consider themselves a gamer? I highly doubt it. How bout the myriad of people who play Farmville on Facebook? If by strict definition, they can be considered gamers in the strictest sense of the word, but do the people who play those games label themselves as gamers?

A gamer, in a cultural sense, is someone who plays video games very often and keeps in touch with the latest gaming news. Video games are usually the gauge of a person’s gamer-ism but are not necessarily a strict benchmark.

As games and reality continue to converge, we will be forced to reevaluate what game is, and what being a gamer means. “Gamer” should not be a label, title nor a category, it is a concept. A concept is malleable, a category is not, so a gamer is simply a person who enjoys playing games, regards him or herself as a gamer and is proud of gaming as an act itself.

One should just be comfortable with what they are and what they enjoy doing, it doesn’t matter what people call you or what social niche you feel inclined to fill, the simple fact is, just be yourself. Who cares what other people think, haters will always be haters, why waste time on them when you can spend it getting more exp.

Moving on, let’s take a look at the history of video games, because that is after all the most common association of what a gamer does. You may be wondering why I’m looking into the history of video games, simple, it is the source of all the stereotypes. So the first video games came out around 1940s to the 1950s, not to mention the first video games were on an extremely rudimentary computer, a technological wonder of its age. New technology has always been treated with some suspicion and the amount of knowledge required to even make and use such technology can be staggering. This acts as a barrier into video gaming, technological jargon.

Who were the people who made the first video games? Technology experts with their thick glasses and their lab coats, this mental image of what geeks are kinda stuck, especially the glasses. What does this do with the negative association of being a gamer? I’ll get to that in a short while, bear with me.

Let’s move on to another aspect of video gaming, time. Video Games, especially the bigger titles, demand a great amount of time from its players. This leads me to the point of human evolutionary psychology, an animal with a highly evolved brain is still an animal, we are driven by primal needs and the most powerfully of them is the need to procreate. Most human activities either involve survival or socializing. Socializing can be viewed as a way to find potential mates in a deep-seated psychological sense, the fact that we spend so much time on games, reduces the chance of one going out and socializing. Admittedly this is not necessarily true but acts as a good marker for how most people might subconsciously think.

If we just look around, most people who do not play games are more often than not involved in a social activity of some sort.  Analyzing further, we see issues like gender classification as well, which we still see today, women are suppose to like ‘girly’ things and game systems just ain’t girly with its big bulky wired manliness. Women were never expected to get into the nitty gritty insides of a high tech computer, even now, there is still an overwhelming difference in the number of male technical workers to that of females. This of course, is caused mostly by social pressure and the status quo.

So women hardly play video games and gamers do not have time to go out and meet people. I think on some level, everyone can see this, the hard part is to look past this rather shallow but unfortunately true idea and see the people that gamers are, and the thing is, more and more gamers are finding a balance between life and games.

So let us take a look at the elitism that surrounds the gaming community, admittedly, most of the hostility was borne more of a reactionary hostility, I mean if you have people making fun of you and what you do, you will eventually snap and strike back, this makes the gaming community passive aggressive or just outright hostile to the new comers (newbs) of a gaming community, a hostility borne out of suspicion. As we look down the road, this has evolved into a niche, something these outcasts can rally to and take comfort that they are alone, this exclusivity builds upon the very human need to belong and yet be an individual at the same time. We are rare enough to make us exotic, but prevalent enough to find friends.

In a very masochistic way, I think most gamers enjoy this exclusivity. With the advent of facebook games and the whole casual game industry, gamers find their once clear definition challenged, when you are challenged, the most common reaction is to lash out, which brings about the need to redefine what a gamer is. The people advocating this are, not surprisingly, the gamers themselves. I mean even I have lashed out at the in my post “The real fake fans“. Gamers see this as an intrusion into a space they once have a clear definition and a place they belonged.

The world is changing, old stereotypes are eroding and labels are becoming less important, people are who they are, it doesn’t matter if you are a music connoisseur, a movie buff, comic book nerd, Otaku or a gamer, in the end, we are all just people who enjoy what we love and that is what matters. It is natural to want to protect the things we are passionate about, but how we feel do not apply to how people perceive it and people need to accept that and just live with it.

So be proud of who you are, no matter what stereotype you fall under.

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DC Universe Online: Collector’s P.O.V


*Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

Direct intervention is necessary…

Take what is useful, destroy the rest

Progress cannot be halted.


Continue…

Embrace perfection.There is no fear

I sense your weakness.

I will show you true power.


This delay is pointless…

Releasing control…

 


Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt


Panty is the Blonde, Stocking is the Goth, Garterbelt is Father Afro and the Ginger with the proton pack is Brief

The first and normal reaction when you see a title like that is “What the fuck?”. At least that was my reaction, this is not an American Saturday morning cartoon if you are wondering. This is actually an Anime if you will believe it and a brilliant and smart one at that. I must admit I have not watched any Anime in a long long time. Use to be quite the fan but things happen. I do still read manga but I guess my taste in Japanese Animation has definitely shifted. But with Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (PSG), I must say it has kinda rekindled my interest in Anime again.

Just watching the first few episodes and I’m already a convert. You are probably wondering what makes this Anime so special other then its obvious borrowing of the American cartoon art. I guess the first thing you should know is I love it when media makes references to other media and is not afraid to go all the way. It engages the audience and expects them to be knowledgeable in pop culture and I thoroughly enjoy spotting the references. So yes, despite PSG being an exclusively Japanese Anime it pays homage to western pop culture. A pop culture I am deeply involved in and that in itself is awesome already.

 

Yeas, obvious homage to Invader Zim. Well to appreciate the full brilliance of PSG one must first be able to take its explicit content. The main theme of the show is about this two sisters who are angels as well. Obviously they are named Panty and Stocking. So the deal is, they having to hunt Ghosts aka monsters of the week to get… COINS. I’m not shitting you, fucking Coins. Hilarious. Of course they have to collect the coins to get back to Heaven as they were kicked out for unsavory behavior. That is to say Panty the older sister is really loose, I mean really really loose.

So you can expect loads of sexual jokes, it is quite explicit in nature which makes it all the more awesome. Some might find it tasteless but the show doesn’t take itself too seriously so you shouldn’t either. in general, the show is extremely clever in its delivery of said sexual jokes. One of my favorites spoiler alert is the reenactment of the D-Day by sperms. Brilliant. The ending of that battle is equally hilarious but I’m not gonna spoil it. But as I said, it makes references to western pop culture in like every episode. Catfight Club, Pulp Addiction, Sex and the Daten City, High School Nudical and many more.Not to mention references to the Watchmen’s Rorschach himself and even go as far as to mention a PKE meter from Ghostbusters if you do not recall.

The art style is definitely refreshing from the usual Anime characters. You get a bastard child of Invader Zim and Powerpuff Girls with the content of South Park in a more explicit and more Japanese manner what is there not to like? Having said that, the artist has not forgotten their roots with scenes showing Panty or Stocking in their full Anime glory.

PSG is definitely in one of the best Animes I have seen in a long time. Hell I would even throw it in with my favorite American cartoon comedies like Family Guy and South Park. Fair warning though, this is not for the faint hearted. Oh and I almost forgot to mention this, they create actual models of their Ghosts and then pack it with explosives and blow it up. Reminds you of the good old Power Rangers and Ultraman doesn’t it.I love this show and I definitely think it is worth checking it out.


Movies of 2011


2011 seems to be a promising year for all ye movie goers. Shit loads of epic movies coming up, and I don’t mean the Epic Movie movie. So let’s have a look-see at what has got me all excited.

First up, who wouldn’t like hot chics, machine guns, katanas, dragons, samurai robots and B-25s. What am I talking about.

BAM! Sucker Punch.

The only way I can describe this movie is Alice in Wonderland meets 300. Incidentally the director of this movie is none other than Zack Zydner, the very dude who made 300 and Watchmen. Since I’m such an awesome person here is the trailer as well. Coming March 2011.

If you wish to find the larger version of the picture above. Click here

Next up we have the much awaited god of storm and thunder himself! THOR!

Thundering to you in April 2011

Another awesome movie to look out for in April 2011 is Your Highness. It is from the producers of Pineapple Express so expect this fantasy parody to be full of political incorrectness. Awesome.

Since we have Marvel Comics here, we must have DC comics as well. That’s right, I’m talking bout Green Lantern. Since I already posted the trailer up, I ain’t gonna really talk about it here. Coming June 2011

Last but not least, Captain America coming August 2011

2011, great year for my kind of entertainment.


Green Lantern Trailer


About god damn time if you ask me. So I spy with my eyes

Abin-Sur

Tomar-Tu

Sinestro

Kilowog


In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night.


No evil shall escape my sight

Let those who worship evil’s might

Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!

Green Lantern is coming to space sector 2814 this coming 2011.

On a side note, for those of you who are not aware. There is actually a self-titled animated film for Green Lantern. It follows the origins of Hal Jordan and his rise to becoming, perhaps the most powerful Green Lantern the Universe has ever seen. This is of course to sate your appetite before the live-action movie starring Ryan Reynold’s as Hal comes to the big screens.

Did I mention that in Green Lantern: First Flight, the voice actress for Boodikka is none other then the super awesome, super amazing and super hot Tricia Helfer! I SO WANT TO MEET HER IN COMIC CON!

Pardon that outburst, I digress. Those of you who follow the Green Lantern comics will realize that the storyline of First Flight is quite different from the one in the comics, personally, I thought that they should have just stuck to the original but that would effectively double the length of the film I guess. Anyway you can also read the interview with Tricia Helfer on First Flight on this link.


Dragon Age Animated Film


Yes, I am not shitting you. BioWare has signed a deal with the FUNimation to do an animated feature film for Dragon Age. I am seriously psyched about this development you can check out the article here. I used to be a pretty hardcore anime fan, toned down since but hell this is exciting news! Gotham Knight, AniMatrix, Halo: Legends they were good shit and I am praying this will be good too.

 

An anime version of a Krogan I spy!

With Mass Effect live-action movie in production and the animated film for Dragon Age coming up, life is good. BioWare, you are a marketing and branding god and I fucking love you guys for the games you make. I am so excited I can hardly keep still! BioWare, I thank you for making this 4 years of gaming so fucking awesome!

Hi, I’m Hawke and this is my favorite Blog in Thedas

 


Video Games get *Porn* Star Power! (NSFW)


In recent months there has been a spate of porn stars popping up all over video game events. Popping, poor choice of words het het het. Yes ignoring that glaringly obvious attempt at sexual innuendos it is a trend I’m starting to see. So yes, in E3 who do we was one of Codemaster’s Dirt 2 Booth Babe? Why it was none other than Bobbi Starr.

Yes. Some of you my viewers with blood most hot might be familiar with her works *ahem*.  But interestingly, she was quite the gamer herself or so she says. She even played WoW back in the old days. You can read more at Kotaku over at this hyperlink.

I’m sure some of you peeps might have heard or even played of Just Dance. Honestly I haven’t, but apparently Sasha Grey has! Yes, I am speaking of none other than the very outspoken and very real Sasha Grey. She recently appeared at the Hollywood launch party for Just Dance 2 and boy does she remind me of Coraline. If I had to say why, it would be most likely due to the slight tilt to the lips and a very similar hair style.

Personally, I really like Sasha Grey‘s works *ahem* and she also seems like a very intelligent and witty young lady. She is extremely outspoken about issues like sex and feminism which is quite refreshing cause it really takes a lot of proverbial balls to do what she does. People are judgmental and self-righteous by nature, that is how we are, and it is really ballsy to just go “I don’t give a fuck” to the whole world and do what you want. She has earned my respect in some sense and gratuitous amounts of fantasizing as well. Het Het Het.

Well since we are on the topic of porno, I’ve recently found several batman porn spoofs and they are surprisingly high in production quality. Here are some links for all ye man with blood most hot.  Batman XXX and Batxxx: The Dark Knight.


Superheroes – all ye olde theme


Brought to you by Nostalgia

Marvel

Spiderman 60’s

Spiderman 90’s

Fantastic Four

X-Men 90’s

X-Men: Evolution

Captain America 60’s

The Incredible Hulk 60’s

Iron Man 60’s

Iron Man 90’s

*****************************************************************************

DC Universe

Superman Animated 1988

Superman the Movie

Superman: The Animated Series 90’s

Wonder Woman

The Flash

Teen Titans

Justice League

Justice League Unlimited

Batman: Live Action 60’s

Batman the Movie 1989

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman Beyond


Chloë Moretz – Emily Strange the Movie??


Who is Chloë Moretz? Well, I pity the fool who ask this question for she is one Kick-Ass kid! I mean literally, she was Hit-Girl in the pseudo superhero movie Kick-Ass. Which was frakking awesome by the way.

Well, the talented Chloë Moretz is now taking on the role of Emily in the self titled movie. The movie itself is still in development and not much has been heard about it yet. For those of you unaware of Emily the Strange, let me give a brief run thorough of the history of Emily.

Created in the early 1990’s, this young lady appeared on Tee-Shirts and stickers toting philosophy and making cultural pot shots during that era.  As her influence grew, so did her story. In 2006, Dark Horse published a multi volume graphic novel, Emily the Strange. Of course more information can be gleaned from the empyrean eddies of the world warp web.

Honestly, I have never bought into this whole Emily Strange cultural phenomena. Well that is probably due to the fact that I am a dude, I mean I’ve seen Emily Strange stuff and to me they are usually just female shirts, bags and stuff. Having only recently discovered the existence of Emily from my monthly foray into the local bookstore I honestly admit I have no idea what Emily is all about. Other then the obvious counterculture she represents. So for the movie, not sure how that will work out, but Chloë Moretz is definitely an actress to look out for. Looking forward to it? Yea, why not.