Archive for the ‘Nerdy’ Category

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Soapbox 13: My Experience As A Female Gamer

October 27, 2015

I have heard of many people who decry the unfairness of being a female in gaming. They say that as soon as someone knows you are a female in a game, they will discriminate against you. I wanted to see if this was my own experience.

I have played many games, including but not limited to, League of Legends, Puzzle Pirates, Legend of Zelda series, the Halo series, Bastion, XCom: Enemy Unknown etc. You may have noticed that I have played some Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. These are the games that get the most grief. Because Puzzle Pirates is more focused on female gamers and cooperation, I am going to focus on League of Legends instead for the purpose of this article.

League of Legends is what is known as a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). Other games like this include Smite, Heroes of the Storm (HotS) and Defense of the Ancients (DotA).1 ­When I started playing, I played with my husband and his friends only. They were really nice and did not mind when I completely messed up. Usually, their skill could compensate for my newness and I was able to get better quickly by following their advice and their lead. From here, I was able to play with my husband as a duo2 on a five player team. They treated me with respect and the skill that I showed while also expressing their jealousy that their own spouses/girlfriends did not accept their gaming habits, let alone play with them.

From the beginning, I did not choose my name based on my gender, so no ‘Puffy Princess’, or ‘Pink Pixie’ screen names for me. Even with this, I did not hide my gender either. Many times when getting the option to choose my character (known as a champion) I would say honestly that I wanted to play next to my husband and label him as such. I never once got any negative feedback about this. Not once. Nada. Never. I did have people who would swear in chat, would rage3 in chat and be generally uncooperative, but it was always a result of the game itself, not because I was a girl.

With all of my experiences, I do not claim that women are never demeaned simply because of their gender. It does happen far more often with male-centric games like Call of Duty, but we need to look at what they are doing to the men in those games, too. When the men playing those games get angry with each other, they type nasty things at each other that I refuse to repeat here. When they get angry at a girl, they do the exact same thing, but spin it to reflect the gender they perceive the player is. Regardless of which gender you are, nasty, hateful, spiteful things are said to all people in those games. I believe that we need to differentiate these occurrences to see how prevalent the problem truly is.

All in all, I believe that the thought that video games are for boys is a dying point of view among all gamers, providing a far more welcoming atmosphere for everyone to share the joy of gaming together. I hope that this trend can keep going and that we stop saying that girls do not belong in gaming.

 

References:

  1. League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients have long been argued as the best MOBA among gamers. Here is a video that goes over the two and lets the audience choose their own favorite.
  2. A duo is when two players together are matched with the rest of their team.
  3. Raging: When a player gets extremely angry to the point of clouded judgment. Usually symptoms of this is infighting among a team, leaving the game in the middle of play, feeding the enemy team, refusing to cooperate with anyone else, blaming others for their own losses.
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New Holder Line: Super Hero

August 24, 2015

I wanted to make a holder that spoke to the nerdy side of my interests, so I made this superhero themed holder with a comic book interior. I love the bright colors and the way it nods to the comic book roots to the characters we love.

To see my current stock of crochet hook holders, click here. For my dpn holders, click here.

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Outside

Inside

Inside

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Rolled Up

 

To see my current stock of crochet hook holders, click here. For my dpn holders, click here.

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Soapbox 5: Weighing in on Fox McCloud Taking Over Krystal’s Game

July 7, 2015

Fox McCloud essentially stole what was supposed to be a different fox named Krystal’s game, Dinosaur Planet. A lot of feminists rage about how unfair it was that what was a very strong female character got sidelined and even ‘damseled’ so that a male character could take her place.

I am all for good female characters getting their time in the limelight, but the main reason Krystal was replace was not because she was a girl. The reason she was replaced was because Star Fox was a well-known IP that the company could use to get people interested in the game immediately without doing anything, except simply announcing the title. This is the same thing that companies take advantage of when they make games. Nintendo does this with Dr. Mario, Yoshi’s Island, Captain Toad: Treasure Hunter, and Super Smash Brothers. The most famous example of this is Super Mario Brothers 2. It was a completely different game in Japan, but it was reskinned to be a Mario game.

Basically, the Dinosaur Planet game was the same, but they redid it to use an existing character that people loved. I really can’t blame the company for that. If they don’t sell games, they won’t be able to make more games. If Star Fox had been a girl character to begin with, he probably would have been more of a direct replace rather than damselling her.

The real problem is that many of the original characters that we have grown to love were originally designed a very long time ago to be male and therefore they move into sequels as such. We cannot do anything about that now as gender swapping existing characters is just confusing and disorienting. All we can do is make new characters that are strong and may eventually become as loved as the male protagonists of the existing franchises. I believe that time will even out the gender ratio of main characters, so we as a community don’t have to be in a panic about making it even immediately. Perhaps we can even try celebrating the great male protagonists of today rather than wishing they were girls.

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Soapbox 1: How to fix the Zelda Too-many-rupees Problem

May 12, 2015

I rarely run out of items in a Zelda game, ever. I also get about ½ way or ¾ of the way through the game and run out of things to spend my money on. These are problems. We need more money sinks and we need a limit on our item space. To solve both of these, I propose two simple solutions: more item upgrades, and more quests that require rupees.

 Upgrades:

When you first get an item, you usually get about 10 -20 space for those items and then in every room you need that item, it is in barrels and crates around the room anyway, so why do you even need to carry any on you?

With my solution, make the user only be able to hold 5 to start out with. This will make the user feel like they have to save as many as possible, but it will also make it feel great when the user gets upgrades.

The first upgrade should be relatively inexpensive to buy or earn, but it should only give them 5 more item space. Each upgrade should be harder to get and more expensive. This allows users who want a 60 item space need to earn 5 upgrades that drain the money from their wallets. This only really matters if you stop putting huge amounts of items in the dungeons everywhere. You have to limit the items to be just a few in a barrel, so that there is a consequence if they don’t use their items wisely. In skyward sword, I never equipped the upgrades because they took up pouch space and they didn’t matter because the items were everywhere anyway. Bomb bags? Nope, there are bomb flowers anywhere you need bombs, so why should you need more than the basic bag? At least make us pay rupees for bombs, game!

Another upgrade system that may work a little better than my proposed one is to start with a quantity of 5, and increment it up to 30. Then have a ‘double your capacity’ upgrade that is absurdly expensive. (Perhaps a full wallet of the fully upgraded kind?)

 

Quests:

A few of the Twilight Princess quests required you to pay into a ‘fund’ to get the Castle Town shop open, giving you access to a cheap and easy way to refill your items before going into the Cave of Ordeals. (What, you used it at other times?) However, I still kept running out of things to spend my rupees on, especially when I did the bug side quest. It would have been nice to have a few more ‘fund’ side quests, like:

1) Upgrading Telma’s Bar: giving you access to potion or some other substance there, or even a shortcut,

2) Upgrading Agatha’s room to a bug paradise/castle: giving you access to an even larger wallet (no wallet is large enough, lol), alternatively, it could give you a glimpse of the ‘bug ball’ that she keeps talking about,

3) Repairing broken fences/bulidings in Kakariko village or that village you start from: This could give you access to a sparkly chu that the mayor has, so that you can easily refill that jar of chu jelly after you use it.

 

These would give you easy access to things that you would want by emptying your wallet while not overloading the game.

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Gift: Nerdy Crochet Hook Holder

March 24, 2015

I have started a new section of my business to help get it off of the ground. Creating patterns is not super profitable, so I needed something else to do between my day job and my patterns. I showed my work to my best friend and she requested one as her birthday gift. I allowed her to choose among the fabrics that I currently had and this is the result, a crochet hook holder that looks elegant on the outside, but when you unroll it, it reveals the nerdiness of the owner.

She loved it and I added a superhero line in in the holder section of my shop because of it.

Megan's Hook Holder Both Sides Rolled Up

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Gift: Bulbasaur Amigurumi

March 10, 2015

My husband’s favorite Pokemon is Bulbasaur. I was always a Squirtle/Charmander girl myself, so together we make the full set. He had been begging me to make one over and over and finally I found a pattern that was good. He loves sneaking up on me with it and announcing proudly, “Bulba!” I turn to see him pretending like the ‘saur is doing things and sometimes, he even kisses me with it. Both of them are adorable and I wouldn’t trade either, not even for a mega-volution.

I used Sharpie fabric markers to color the eyes and found that you should color the sides of the felt and not just the top or you will get a weird white edge instead of a clean black edge.

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The pattern I used was aphid777’s on Deviantart.com. The pattern is available for free.

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Zelda Hylian Crest Cake

September 24, 2014

I went to a birthday party and got a request. The Hylian crest. I was unsure if I could do it well,but a few batches of fondant later and it was done.  It turned out great and the birthday boy was happy.

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