Tag Archives: Mass Effect

What Is, What Should Be: An Open Letter to David Gaider

Dear Mr. Gaider, The following is a response to your blogpost regarding Trans* characters in the Dragon Age games. Let me begin by stating my position. I am, by all accounts, an unabashed BioWare fangirl and have been since the … Continue reading

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Opening the Door: Exploring “The Closet” in Games

The first queer character I remember encountering in a videogame was Baron in the 1998 N64 platformer Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon. Baron wore blue lipstick and eye-shadow, a single bright red earring and had an asymmetrical hairdo that falls in … Continue reading

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Dismantling The Default: Homophobia, Feminity, Misogyny and The Default in The Gaming “Community””

For a community of outcasts screaming for mainstream legitimacy, the gaming world is remarkably exclusionary: especially towards women and queer gamers. From the aggressively inarticulate teenagers on headsets to the famously putrid comment sections across the gaming blogosphere, homophobia runs … Continue reading

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On Avatars: Creating An Other Self

I’m a sucker for customizable avatars. If any game has even a halfway decent character creation system or any significant way to alter the protagonist’s appearance then it’s probably going to end up in my collection sooner or later. I … Continue reading

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Xbox Live DRM Does Not Understand the Modern Family

I’ve got two TVs in our living room. This isn’t for ramshackle picture in picture–I don’t even have cable–it’s because I am part of a modern family. My partner and I both play video games. We also like to play … Continue reading

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Mechanics and Mystery in The Last Express: Or, A Love Letter to the Manuals I Never Read

I remember a glorious day in the formative years of my gaming life: my Dad called me over to the computer, and he laid out Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail on the desk. He said, “Son, I know you … Continue reading

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Self-Determination Theory, part 2: Competence and Relatedness

by Joe Hilgard Don’t miss Part One of this article! Competence I also feel like most big-budget single-player games are not very good about providing opportunities for the player to exercise competence. When gameplay mechanics are simple, or challenges too … Continue reading

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Girls, Games, and the Products They Create

Let me throw a couple of unsurprising claims at you.

1. Many girls play video games.

2. Many girls are geeks.

Neither of these are news to you, I would imagine, because for one thing, you’re reading something written by a girl who meets both those claims. For another, it’s just common sense. That said, a smaller percentage of all girls play video games or have geeky interests than is the case with boys. This might depend on your definition of “geeky interests” (or even “video games”), but basically, more dudes appear to be into it.

Indeed, of the entire “hardcore”/”real” video gaming or geeky interest population, the vast majority are boys. Again, no surprises. So, really, we shouldn’t be surprised that attractive gaming girls or geeky girls are extremely marketable. What does surprise me, however, is how people tend to cash in on it. Continue reading

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Gender Swaps: More Than Fanart?

by Cameron Walker Alpha Protocol is sort of an underappreciated game. I mean, the gamey part, where you run around and shoot things, isn’t particularly good. I played on easy with the “stand in a room and just pour bullets … Continue reading

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Postcards from PAX East

I spent the day at PAX East yesterday, with a badge around my neck that says, ‘MEDIA.’

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Not go to PAX, necessarily, but attend some kind of big gaming convention, especially as a member of the press. I couldn’t tell when my games journalism aspirations blossomed, not exactly, but in third grade, I used to wait with a fearsome anxiety for the month’s GamePro to come. I have eerily clear memories of articles I read about games, back then. The Final Fantasy 7 preview feature in the Official Playstation Magazine is forever seared into my head. Continue reading

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