Episode 17 (“You Say Feminist Whore Like It’s a Bad Thing”) of the Not Your Mama’s Gamer podcast is up! We are celebrating with a contest. Win a FREE COPY of Deus Ex: Human Revolution!! Winner will be chosen at random from comments left on our podcast page on iTunes. Download, listen, and comment. Spread the word, the more the merrier. Check out NYMG now!
Things have been pretty crazy here IRL. Months have gone by and there have been various and assorted illnesses brought home from baby school (or just brought on by too much work, too little time), more traveling than I care to think about, good times, bad times, etc. But one of the most active parts of my professional (online) life has been Not Your Mama’s Gamer. Last night we recorded and posted our 6th bi-weekly episode and I have to say that it was one of the best yet. NYMG is time consuming, but I have to say that it is one of biggest joys in my professional life right now. It gives me a chance to talk with folks about the things that I am thinking and writing about in a less stifling and academicky context. That means, of course, that this blog suffers. But there is so much that I need to share here that I can’t bring myself to do away with it completely after 11+ years of blogging.
In terms of an update, I have gotten much better at limiting my WPA duties so that I can get more scholarly stuff done. This is something that I have known for a long time that I was going to have to do…especially if I ever expect to be promoted. I take the WPA hat off ever afternoon and even if I stay in my office I have gotten very good at telling people that “I will work on that tomorrow”, really I have. I mean it. I know most of y’all don’t believe it, but you do have to see it in action…it is a thing of beauty. Of course there are lapses…for instance today is a non-WPA day and I came in “just for a minute” so that I could handle a couple of pressing WPA issues. They were quick (and elevated my blood pressure significantly) but they are done and I have moved on to blogging and printing some stuff for the book chapter that I am writing with one of our graduate students on female gamer podcasters and counterpublics. It is fun and fascinating stuff to say the least! I can’t wait to see how it all works out in the end. There is empirical data and all!!
So now, I am going to print one last article and chill out for a bit before I run away with the circus! L8r!!
Ok, so most of you already know but I’m posting on my own blog just in case. Our new blog and podcast Not Your Mama’s Gamer went live this week. This is a project that I am working on with Alex Layne (PhD student at Purdue) and Sarah White (MFA Purdue and instructor at Purdue- North Central). The podcast grew out of my own desire for a feminist gamers podcast and Alex’s persistence in getting me to agree to it. We then dragged Sarah in because she’s one smart and funny gamer. We have good energy flowing in this group and it seems like it is definitely going to be a labor of love.
So if you haven’t checked it out yet hop on over there take a look around and download the podcast (or stream it live if it so pleases you). Let us know what you think. We are new to this and all feedback is welcome!
I meant to do this a long time ago, but I’ve been super sick. So if you (like me) are finishing up your Christmas shopping at the last minute and have a gamer on your list. Here’s a list of my favorite games!
- Fable 3- Play as a prince or princess who has to dethrone an evil king/brother and save the good people of the kingdom, Open world game with lots of fun quests. Marry, divorce, give birth, adopt…you name it.
- Alan Wake- “Kill” the bad guys with light. You play an writer’s-blocked author who is living in a novel that he has written and doesn’t remember. Oh yeah, all while searching for his kidnapped wife.
- Fallout 3- Post apocalyptic shooter with RPG elements (or the other way around). The predecessor to Fallout: New Vegas, but still equally good and can be gotten for a good price right now.
- Oblivion- Open world RPG. One of the best I have ever played. It’s a couple of years old at this point, but there is lots of DLC to go with it at this point. The next one comes out Thanksgiving 2011.
- CoD MW2/Black Ops-2 solid FPS. I have only played MW2 at this point, but Black Ops looks pretty good too.
- Kirby’s Epic Yarn- A platformer with fibery elements.Unravel stuff and pull yarn to change the playing field.
- Epic Mickey-Cute game. Nods to classic Disney. Platformer. Controls and camera can be a little frustrating.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns- Who doesn’t like Donkey Kong? Play a new one while shaking your Wii-mote like a fool!
- Just Dance- Ok, silly silly fun! Even has “Groove is in your heart!”. There is now JD2 and JD Kids!
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii- Mario with co-op. Be fiendish and kill your partner. New help system will actually walk you through problem levels.
- Super Mario Galaxy 2- Like Super Mario…only galactic!
- Dragon Quest IX- The best RPG on the DS to date! Hundreds of hours of gameplay and you can play with other DSes via the DS connection. Good story. Kid friendly.
- Professor Layton- Any of the 3 are a good bet. Cute little mysteries with great logic puzzles!
- Super Scribblenauts- Like Scribbllenauts only better because it has adjectives. Write things into being (scribbling, get it?) and use them to solve situations or just play with them to see if a Kraaken can beat Godzilla!
- Lego HP 1-4- I love the Lego games, now add Harry Potter and you have the best Lego game so far.
- Heavy Rain- A whole new genre. More interactive drama than not. Ending depends on how many of the beginning characters are alive at the end (and what they do along the way).
- Little Big Planet- build your world and then play it!
- Uncharted 2- Nathan Drake is much like a male Lara Croft. Solid gameplay.
- Folklore- Beautiful adventure game with good soundtrack. Artwork gives it a real artsy feel.
- Modnation Racers- Like customizable Mario Kart.
- Angry Birds- Not for the spatially challenged. Shoot birds at structures to bring them down. Oddly addictive.
- Cut the Rope- Do just that to aim at a little monster!
- Plants Vs. Zombies- Tower defense with a twist. Hilarious zombies and increasingly difficult situations.
- Civilization Revolution- A Civ game that works well on idevices and it’s cheap!
- Peggle-Addictive puzzle game. Clear the board with pinball like physics.
- Words with Friends- Like Scrabble with chat.
- Starcraft 2- Sequel to the hottest RTS game EVER!!
- WoW- MMORPG Fantasy based online RPG with over 12 million subscribers!
- Torchlight- Indie RPG that is great fun and even runs on netbooks!
This is not really a post, but I am trying to update a couple of times a week. So…I did a wordle. The odd thing is that This wordle has helped me to see how boring my blog actually looks when it is reduced to keywords Maybe I need to kick it up a notch. We shall see. Click the image to see it full sized.
© 2009 Jonathan Feinberg
I wish I could even begin to describe how busy I’ve been lately. There has been madness galore…and lots of Peanut to make it all worth it in the end. I have (too) many active scholarly projects all going at the same time and no time to get them done!
When the semester started I promised myself that I would work in the office until noon and then leave to go and work on my own writing…yeah right. It’s December and I think I have yet to do that. I find myself dealing with the madness of WPA-land until I leave to pick Pea up from baby school every day at 4:00-ish (usually closer to 4:30). My one saving grace has been that for the last month KL and I have been meeting from 10-3 on Fridays to just sit together and write. Since she usually gets there at 8:00 I could squeeze in another hour or two if I could just get my butt into gear (ok, actually Pea’s butt) in the mornings. I am promising myself all over again that next semester I will find time to work on my own writing every afternoon and not just one measly day a week!
Now to spend a little time working on a proposal before heading off to bed. And I promise that I won’t spend that time playing Fable III or Torchlight (which is $5 on Steam this weekend) which is my new obsession!
I am not dead yet, I promise As we are exiting the busy part of fall semester (job search time for our graduate students) I am finally finding time to write something other than letters of recommendation and that includes finally coming back to the blog. I love the blog…I am often unfaithful with Facebook or Twitter, but I keep coming back to the blog. It doesn’t suck my in like Facebook and give me videos on demand, chat, and Flash based build your own farm/restaurant/zoo/fill-in-the-blank games, but it is comforting like homemade mac n’ cheese or wool handknits. I am all in favor of the creature comforts and after 10+ years of blogging it has become one of those creature comforts.
That being said I can tell you about something I’ve been playing….Red Dead Redemption. I was good, I was patient, I was frugal…I didn’t buy this game at launch like I wanted to. I put it in my game rental queue and hoped for the best. I didn’t even rush out and buy it when the kids in my virtual worlds seminar were raving about it. I resisted. And then, it came. I sent back Super Mario Wii and RDR came. I stayed up past my bedtime after everyone was asleep and I popped it in. I resisted the urge to splurge and buy the zombie DLC and just played original. Let me just say that while I was disturbed by the opening cinematic I powered on…the look on John Marston’s face at least let me know that I wasn’t the only one disgusted by the Kill the Indian, Save the Man religious rhetoric.
I found the game mechanics interesting. It was very GTA-esque. For the same reasons that I suck at driving cars in GTA I suck at riding a horse and driving a stage coach in RDR. But you know what? That’s okay, I accepted it a long time ago. There were subsequent problematic moments in the game, but the moment that made me stop playing all together came about an hour or so in when I was walking around town picking up missions. Now understand there is a lot of talking in this game…too much talking at times. There are inane conversations going on all around you all of the time…even when you are riding on horseback and there is nothing that you can do except listen. And (ever the good student) I always feel the need to pay attention lest I miss something important. But I digress. So as I am walking through town listening to the ambient noise I hear “*smack, smack, scream* Shut up b*tch before I cut you a new hole” Ok, you got my attention. I run around like a made woman (or man since I can only play John Marston) until I see a man raping/stabbing/otherwise violating a woman in the street. He runs off before I gather my senses and make it there. His business is done and lying in the street is a dead, bloodied prostitute. I guess she didn’t shut up quickly enough. I am nauseated. I shut the whole console off and went to bed.
When I went back to class on Monday I had to ask folks about the prostitute. Now I know that this was another GTA-like game and that there would be lots of violence and profanity so I was prepared for what I thought was coming. But clearly I wasn’t. While I have to admit that I have enjoyed my share of beating up and robbing prostitutes in GTA, but this was different. There was a kind of violence that was in your face and misogynistic. This we worse than the GTA hookers. What was even more surprising was that I was the only in class (of those who had played the game) who was as pissed off and sickened as I was. Then I began to question if I have actually reached the point when I am too old to play games?? Are the younger folks who have grown up in the age of GTA, in some cases these games have been around for literally half of their lives and in all cases for the entirety of their adult lives. I don’t have any answers for this. I’m not even at a place that I can theorize about this yet, but I can vent about it, right? Oh well, for now the game is still sitting on top of my console waiting for me to just give up and send it back since I really can’t bring myself to play it again. Luckily I did play through enough of the game to make it useful for my book project.
So the participants are taking donations and we are plotting food, drink, and comfort for the 24 hour period. I have also set up a Ustream page so that we can live stream the event and folks can make sure that we are keeping it real. The closer it get the more excited and frightened I become! 20 years ago I could have done this easy peasy. Now I can only think about what staying up for 24 hours straight is going to do to my body and the fact that I have to stay away from my daughter for 24 hours.
My beautiful Princess Peanut was born with a duplicate thumb on her right hand. When she was 8 months old she had it removed at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indy. The good Dr. Havlik did her surgery and she still sees him regularly to have her progress evaluated. We have received good care from some of the nicest folks at Riley and I can only imagine how much more comforting that would be if Pea’s condition had been life threatening.
This year I am happy to be able to participate in the Extra Life Charity Marathon to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and Riley.You can find my Extra Life Donation page HERE.