Sexualizing the Apocalypse: Representations of Women in Zombie Games
Come the apocalypse, I want a good pair of boots, a comfy pair of cargo pants (not too baggy, not too tight), and something that covers my torso pretty completely (weight dependent on weather conditions). You know, failing full body armor or a suit made from sixteen rolls of duct tape. Long story short? I […]
Power Hour Review: Neverwinter: Shadowmantle
For those of you who love Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll definitely want to check out Neverwinter. Neverwinter is a free MMORPG, with gameplay that is reminiscent of WoW and Diablo 3. It’s a nice mix of classic roleplay with some updated combat and action. They also have something called “The Foundry,” which is available for […]
THIS WEEK AT NOT YOUR MAMA’S GAMER 12/2-12/6
Alex started out the week right by telling us all how to continue to blow our budgets to hell during the holiday season (oh wait, maybe that’s just me) with her Guide to Cyber Monday. Some good tips not only for cyber Monday but for all of the awesome sales that are going to be […]
Santa’s Panopticon: Or; How the Next Gen Ruined Christmas
Bear with me while I try to explain how the XBox One ruined Christmas. Wednesday night I switched things up a little bit in order to make sure that I was prepared to record the podcast on time. I ran Pea’s bath at 5 so that I could make sure that she was free of […]
Win a Copy of Papo and Yo
A new contest at NYMG, comment on any post on the blog between midnight 12/4 and 11:59 pm 12/11 to earn am entry into Minority Games’ puzzler, Papo and Yo.
Come the apocalypse, I want a good pair of boots, a comfy pair of cargo pants (not too baggy, not too tight), and something that covers my torso pretty completely (weight dependent on weather conditions). You know, failing full body armor or a suit made from sixteen rolls of duct tape. Long story short? I would like to not be bitten by zombies, and the last thing I’m going to do is wave my cleavage around in their faces. That’s akin to ringing a dinner bell.
But games set in the zombie apocalypse sometimes do feature women in wildly inappropriate attire, heaving bosoms on full, dramatic display. Lara Croft taught us that it’s totally easy to shoot around wild proportions, and to jump over dangerous obstacles, too, but old-school Lara was never particularly realistic while surviving, and it’s similarly hard to figure out why post-apocalyptic ladies are so interested in showing off the goods. Sure, when society’s gone right out the window but you want to keep up the human race (or at least some camaraderie), you probably want to attract a mate, but let’s face it: when the numbers are down, probably all you have to do to find someone is not be a jerk. Even the worst of us can find a companion in the apocalypse, after all.
My recent forays back into State of Decay, where the women come dressed like fighting machines, led me into following the finefootsteps of NYMGamer writers to perform my own exploration of the representations of women in games — specifically, in (some) zombie games. Read more »
For those of you who love Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll definitely want to check out Neverwinter. Neverwinter is a free MMORPG, with gameplay that is reminiscent of WoW and Diablo 3. It’s a nice mix of classic roleplay with some updated combat and action. They also have something called “The Foundry,” which is available for players to make their own world (yay modding!). I’ve played it for just over an hour, so I can be faithful to my Power Hour review, but honestly I’m going to have a hard time not turning it back on once I post this blog.
When you start the game, you first watch an amazing and beautiful cinematic that introduces you to some of the character archetypes and a bit of what’s happening in the game world. The video below is of the opening cinematic (I included it because there aren’t many videos of it on Youtube). Essentially, you and the other good guys are in a fight against what seems at first to be an army, but it becomes clear later on that this is no regular army. It’s an army of zombies (how are you not hooked already?!). There is a woman you get introduced to at the end that appears to be the one controlling the army who is also one of the undead. And, on a side note, she looks like a total badass.
After the cinematic, you get to the character creation screen, which again is reminiscent of other MMOs. You have several races to choose from: human, drow, dwarf, sun elf, Halfling, half-elf, half-orc, monzoberranzan, renegade, moon elf, tiefling, and wood elf, though some of these are only unlocked when you purchase some content. You also have several classes to choose from: control wizard (how amazing does that sound), devoted cleric, guardian fighter, great weapon fighter, trickster rogue, and hunter ranger. I chose to be a Sun Elf Devoted Cleric, because no matter how hard I try to be something else, I’m a healer at heart.
Alex started out the week right by telling us all how to continue to blow our budgets to hell during the holiday season (oh wait, maybe that’s just me) with her Guide to Cyber Monday. Some good tips not only for cyber Monday but for all of the awesome sales that are going to be taking place well into January.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not you should pick up the new DLC, Breakdown, for State of Decay, Alisha gives you some real insight in the new power hour review of this title. As one of her XBL friends I can tell you that I don’t think that she’s stopped playing this game since it dropped.
In Keep on Keepin’ On, Nicole gives some pretty solid advice about how to find time to actually play video games. We’d love to hear what other people have to say about how they find time to play as well.
Episode 68 of the podcast went like this week and it’s entitled, Giants and Volcanoes. To get the full story about why we called it that you should definitely not miss this episode so go ahead and download it right now! On the podcast we also announced our contest to win a free copy of Minority Media Inc’s Papo and Yo for PC. It’s simple. All you have to do is leave a comment on a blog post before 11:59 p.m. on December 11th and you are entered to win.
And, as always, Sam rounds out the week by looking at surveillance culture, next gen consoles, and creepy as Christmas elves in her post, Santa’s Panopticon. A must read for anyone even considering buying a next gen console or an elf on the shelf…or anyone just looking for a chuckle.
Bear with me while I try to explain how the XBox One ruined Christmas. Wednesday night I switched things up a little bit in order to make sure that I was prepared to record the podcast on time. I ran Pea’s bath at 5 so that I could make sure that she was free of the Rorshach test that she seemed to have painted on her body in art class that day before going to bed. Since I was still making dinner at the same time I pulled out the old baby monitor and put it in the bathroom with her so that I could make sure that she was safe (and not flooding the bathroom) while I finished up dinner. Skip ahead a half hour or so. Once the aforementioned kid was well scrubbed and shampooed I did the usual “paranoid about electric powered things around water” move and unplugged the baby monitor before leaving the bathroom.
After dinner I sent Pea upstairs to the game room for some entertainment time before it was time to go to bed and took to putting away dinner. I saw that the baby monitor receiver was still plugged in and thought that it was odd that it wasn’t making the weird buzzing staticky sound that it usually does when it’s not getting a signal from the monitor itself, but since my hands were full I left it where it was and went back to what I was doing. And then I heard it….Pea’s voice, clear as a bell role playing Pokemon and My Little Pony Superhero scenarios. It was coming through the baby monitor! Now the other end of it 1) should have been unplugged and 2) Was several rooms away through 3 closed doors in the master bathroom. And then I realized that the XBox One was on in the room where Pea was playing! The signal from the friggin’ connect was being picked up by my baby monitor and I could hear everything that she was saying and that meant that anyone else nearby tuned into the same frequency could hear the same thing! So theoretically some over exhausted parent in my sub-division may have been awakened at 3 a.m. on any given day to a stream of profanities about zombies and what I was going to do with a sledge saw. People could hear me! And then it hit me, what if they had a video (baby) monitor? Maybe I hadn’t been overly paranoid when I made the quick naked dash from the shower to the game room to grab my freshly laundered robe from the laundry basket only to get creeped out by the dull glow of the white XBox symbol on my Kinect and the thought that someone somewhere might be watching me. But the most fucked up thing about this situation? I asked for it. I plugged in the Kinect and chose not to mute the mic or cover that all seeing eye that signs me in to the XBox One when I plop down on the couch in the game room. Read more »
The more active I’ve become in both the so-called “social justice” and feminist gaming communities the more I’ve grown to resent being told and seeing others be told to be more “nice” about things. Perhaps even worse than the direct and obviously aggressive responses or hate messages are those littered with statements like the following: “if you said this nicely more people would listen,” “you shouldn’t be so rude/angry,” “you should reword that because you sound like a (insert derogatory word here).” Those statements that are so obviously guilty of tone policing come off even worse to me than the (unfortunately) expected combative and insulting comments for the sheer fact that they invalidate genuine and reasonable feelings of anger and frustration. They’re dismissive of the fact that anger is not only paramount to enacting any hope of change but also a justifiable and earned reaction.
Please ignore the fact that we called this episode 67 in the intro, we were clearly delusional. Episode 68 is the episode where we talk about the history of gender and marketing as it pertains to video games (and all the things) and Alex declares that some research is like “A giant sh*tting in a volcano”.
As many of you know, I have had a hard time balancing my work life with my hobbies/general interest life which puts a strict hold on my video game playing time. I even wrote an article imploring readers to give me suggestions as to how they find time for video games in their busy work lives. While I have been trying a couple of the methods that readers suggested, the easiest way to play more video games is to sit down and just play. So, I have been committing more of my spare time to playing video games and less to other obligations in the “real world.” This mainly included my spending time playing online multiplayer with Call of Duty: Ghosts, as the multiplayer aspect of any COD game is one thing that I miss quite a bit with my lack of playing time. Read more »
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of State of Decay. In fact, the action-apocalypse title from Undead Labs has easily been one of my favorite adventures of the year, but there are only so many times you can trek through Trumball County, hunting the truth about the army and the outbreak, so earlier this year, I moved on to other games while I waited for the promised sandbox DLC, Breakdown, which was finally released November 29… and you’d best believe the first thing we did after returning from holiday travels was log on and snag Breakdown.
State of Decay’s new Breakdown mode is an entirely different gametype that starts players — at first — in the role of a random survivor supported by Lily, the lupus-afflicted radio operator who serves as mission control, in a sense, in the main game. Upon starting Breakdown, players spawn in (I’m guessing, from my three starts), a later-stage base with zombies heading toward them, and Lily reporting that they need to find a new home base as soon as possible. And so it begins. Read more »
[Sam, I know you have no self-control when it comes to buying games. Please, for your own sake, don’t read this article]
If you’re anything like me, you spent many hours shopping last week but made sure not to tell anyone about it, so as to avoid the backlash from folks fighting for the rights of department store employees to spend Thanksgiving with their family. So, wink wink, I totally didn’t go Black Friday shopping…
Since I didn’t get shopping in, Cyber Monday is where I need to snag up my deals on Christmas presents for… other people… yes, yes, other people. So for my blog today I’m going to cover some of the best places to get deals today for the gamer in your life.
First, stop by the Steam Autumn Sale. They have so many games on sale for ridiculously low prices. I have already bought a few for myself this morning (hey, sometimes video games are cheaper than scotch, ok?). The one I’m most excited about is a game called Reus. In this adorable indie game, you play giants who are controlling the world. You can make forests and water, put in minerals, and so on. But, you can’t control mankind, whose desires and vices always put them on the brink of destroying the beautiful planet you made. For $2.50, this game seems like a must-buy.
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