I know that I’m playing into the Kveller site’s hands by including a link in this post, but it would be unfair to Mayim Bialik, star of Blossom and the insanely popular Big Bang Theory (which has humor that somehow fails to click with me), to not let her present herself. Did you read it? Go ahead and do so. I’m not against that site getting hits. There’s good information there, even if you’re not Jewish. I was surprised to find that despite Bialik’s personal stance on vaccinations, there was a piece on the site published this year about a mother’s belief that it’s irresponsible and basically un-Jewish to not get your children vaccination. Anyway, I’ll be waiting.
Upper Deck’s 2012 release of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game was surprising on multiple levels. First, Upper Deck released a complete, non-collectible game. Second, it was really good! While it certainly cribbed on the mechanics of the popular Ascension deck building game (two types of currencies, one to fight for victory points (VPs) and another to spend on cards for your deck), it improved upon them to make a fairly solid and challenging cooperative game. It wasn’t free from criticism, though. In the game, you don’t play as any particular hero. This thematic element is something that drives some to prefer the DC Comics Deck-Building Game, as they take on the particular roles of heroes. The competitive element of the game, in which the true winner is determined by who holds the most VPs, also serves to disconnect players from the experience. We took down the supervillain, but only one of us walks away the hero? “Copetitive” is a word used to describe this, and it doesn’t work.
Well, it doesn’t work for the original Legendary game. Legendary Villains is one of the latest entries in Upper Deck’s growing Legendary family of games. The game’s mechanics are identical to the original game in the series, but the cards and the feel are different. Playing with supervillains (and some non-super villains) means there’s no disconnect in the copetitive gameplay. And, in all honesty, the new cards help players feel like a supervillain. Continue reading
I’ve been having trouble putting into words the amount of disappointment I’ve been feeling for people regarding various incidents about women and the internet over the past couple of weeks. No one’s life should be put on display for all to see just because she made a video game. No one’s life should be threatened just because she made some videos about how women are treated in video games. No one’s private pictures should be circulated because she happens to be a celebrity. It’s disturbing and sickening.
These incidents are happening in 21st century America. It doesn’t make any sense to me that women are still treated this way. They’re only good for sex, and they don’t have much of a say in how their sex and sexuality can and should be used. Pictures go out on the internet without permission, and media portrayals of women are as objects. If women speak out against it, rape and death threats happen. It’s sick.
There shouldn’t be a national conversation about this. The fact that this depravity exists like it does is proof that we’ve long been doing something wrong. It gives a certain level of validity to the claims that media portrayals of women are toxic to the publish conscience, but it also says that there’s something lacking in people’s day-to-day lives. And this isn’t a vocal minority. The voice is too loud and carrying too far at this point.
All I can do at this point is speak out against it. I promise to never be silent about it, since silence is basically agreement these days. But I can’t do it alone. We all have to take part in this to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The first season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead adventure game was full of difficult decisions, but I felt that was mitigated by the fact that, as Lee, the decisions were centered around always protecting Clementine. Not only are players supposed to want to her safe, but to some degree a balance of humanity and survival was mixed in. For my playthrough of the game, this created a forward momentum that made sure that I never looked back. I never doubted my choices. Heck, after getting bitten by a zombie, I had Lee hack off his own arm in hopes that would save him. I did it and didn’t doubt the importance of the decision. It had to give me just a little bit more time to save Clem. After finishing the game, I learned that it wouldn’t have mattered one way or another. Decisions didn’t have as much weight as you might think. I wish I could say the same for the second season. As Clementine, the decisions are a lot more difficult. Somehow a lot more adult.
It goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead. Continue reading
The narrative that Marvel Comics is trying to sell right now is that they are trying to be more inclusive. Sam Wilson, the Falcon, will be replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America. A woman, yet to be revealed, will be replacing Thor Odinson as Thor, God of Thunder. There will be more females featured on the upcoming Avengers roster. The initiative will also see more females headlining their own books. The recently released Spider-Woman comic has caused some issues, however. You can see why shortly. Continue reading
Against expectation for the surreal series, Wilfred somehow managed to stick the landing. Most of the ambiguity of the series fades away as viewers watch the last two episodes. A sense of hopefulness is found in place of the uneasiness. Elijah Wood’s Ryan and Jason Gann’s Wilfred are both in a better place, both separate from each other yet always together. To be frank, it’s amazing that such a vulgar, seemingly pointless series managed such a perfect ending for itself. Even more amazing is how fitting it was for the week that it aired. Continue reading
Update 4/6/2014: Felicia Day has pretty much addressed my concerns now. There’s little else to say. The YouTube Initiative is over and they’re not receiving any additional funding from Google. This is the sort of thing they should have started with, instead of saying they want to do things they wouldn’t be able to do. Transparency is a beautiful thing.
Last year’s TableTop Day was something of a revelation. It felt like a holiday created specifically for tabletop gamers. Not only were we getting mentions in the news, stores were catering to us by slashing prices and providing game space where there usually wouldn’t be any. I remember contacting my local Barnes & Noble store and getting tables reserved for my Meetup group. The store provided signs advertising our presence and even some games for us to demo. It was a great day.
Naturally, the gaming community started looking forward to the next TableTop Day. Continue reading
One could say that the theme of How I Met Your Mother‘s final season was nostalgia. While moving forward with the narrative in a risky manner (22 half hour episodes focusing on the 48 hours before a wedding), the show focused on callback after callback. Loose threads were often tied off while jokes were made as a tip of the hat to the long term viewers. It makes sense, too, since the show’s overall narrative was Ted’s nostalgia for his lost youth. Apparently, it was also nostalgia about his lost love. Continue reading
I backed the Veronica Mars movie project as soon as I heard that it was on Kickstarter. However, this post won’t be about the movie itself. That will come later. This is about the experience I had with the digital download that I “earned” when I backed the film at the $50 level. If you want a short review of the film right now, then I’ll say this: It is a really good filler episode that makes me look forward to seeing what can be done now that we’re past the “Where are they now?” portion.
I’ve never been keen on Ultraviolet or any sort of digital storage locker. Continue reading