Monday, February 28, 2011

Busy Critic

Housekeeping info:

1.) Your Critic and her spouse, as many gamers do, have acquired a cat.  He is, naturally, the best cat in the whole wide world; doubly so as he is named Guybrush.

 Guybrush Ulysses Threepwood Cox, Mighty Pirate Cat.

2.) The PAX East 2011 schedule is out and ready.  I've been putting together my schedule, and if all goes well (i.e. if the lines aren't too long), I'll be at the following (as well as probably some others):
  • Friday, 10:30: Jane McGonigal Keynote
  • Friday, 3:30: What The Heck Is A Community Manager?
  • Friday, 6:30: Game Design is Mind Control
  • Saturday, 3:00: Females on Female Characters
  • Saturday, 6:30: The "Other" Us: If We're All Gamers, Does Our Gender Matter?
  • Sunday, 10:00: Girls' Meetup
  • Sunday, 12:00: One of Us
I was pleased to find that in fact there is not a panel on gender issues in gaming; there are three!  As this is Your Critic's beat, I am most pleased and hope to come home with interesting insights.  Also with the live-blogging, and you can follow my Twitter feed.  Which, I am forced to admit, may be more along the lines of "I am by the Nintendo booth where are the rest of you?" than anything entertaining.

3.) Our year-long "Beyond the Girl Gamer" series is starting this week.  In that vein, there is a new site out there which has gotten a lot of attention in the last two days: The Mary Sue.  I'm not sure how I feel about it really, and I suppose it's too early for judgement.  I do think their "why this, why now" statement has a few ideas worth hearing, though:
We know the point at which you would be satisfied is to just be able to geek out with all geeks, of any gender, without feeling like your femininity is front and center for scrutiny.  To not feel like you have to work harder than guys to prove that you’re genuinely into geek culture. We want simple things, like to be able to visit a comic book store without feeling out of place.  To be able to buy a video game without getting the sense that the cashier thinks we’re buying it for someone else.
But mainly we just want to be able to pursue our hobbies with the other people who share them.  We want to play with the boys.
So there are two reasons why there should be more out there devoted specifically to the female geek.
Because even if we want to play with the boys, there is a value to having our own space.
 So there's that.  We'll see.  They seem to have good intentions at least.

4.) We haven't had an Open Thread in a while.  The last one was fun.  So: get to it, if you like!

P.S. The meditation on genre and adventure games is still coming.  It's long, convoluted, and problematic, and Your Critic has been required to do actual paid work at her day job lately.  When it's not 2100 words of ugly, it's coming here.


  1. Sara L R has an old cat and a new computer. She's taking the long way but we'll make a gamer of her yet.

  2. currently working my way through: assassin's creed brotherhood, dragon age origins/awakening, amnesia the dark descent, the witcher

    currently spending most of my time on: fight night champion, fifa 11, warcraft.

    eagerly awaiting: portal 2, the old republic, dragon age 2, the witcher 2

  3. The Witcher is slowwwwwly downloading from Steam on my PC right now; it was on sale for a huge discount a few weeks back so I grabbed it. Husband just grabbed AC: Brotherhood for the PS3 so I think as soon as he finishes Dragon Age it's up in our household.

    I've been playing the New Vegas DLC, because I'm me. I'm hoping there will be a Portal 2 demo station at PAX East; there is a big Valve booth on the map so it's possible.

  4. Our cat, as of last night, has discovered that he can sit ON the computer.

    My case has a top fan. I'm going to need a new can of compressed air very soon.

  5. Tell me how Witcher is; I bought it at the same sale but haven't had time to play.

  6. i'm most of the way through it. it's... good. well, in some respects, it's good, but in others it's merely pedestrian. i think the writing, dialogue, and story are mediocre, but the world of the game is pretty engaging. that is, a gothic fantasy that has some really neat elements to it.

    i think the gameplay also gets a lot of rave reviews, particularly the combat system, and i have to say while i wasn't impressed at first, it's grown on me a lot. the more abilities you get, the more enemies that attack you, the more fun it becomes to switch back and forth between styles while casting spells and trying to stay alive.

  7. Steam has had Witcher 2 on special (10% off) for $44.99 for what seems like months now. I'm beginning to doubt the integrity of their special label.

  8. Well, 10% off is still less than full price...

    But it was under $20 when I bought it. Probably $14.99; I don't think I'd pay more than that for a game I wasn't sure about.

  9. But I don't think it was ever $49.99, or if so it was for only a moment compared to the weeks it's been 10% off. Ergo my suspicion that it's a $44.99 game with a fake markdown to keep it on the specials list.