Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Play on, playa.

Well I’m back and ready for action.  After what seemed like 2 months straight of guests….no wait.  It actually was two months straight of guests….anyway, what WAS in actuality two months straight of guests has now come to a conclusion!  During that time, I’ve been to Sydney, and the Sunshine Coast, down the great ocean road, and yes, had many more animal pats.  But before I get into all of that….I want to back track a bit.

A LOOOOOOONNNNGGGG time ago, I had the awesome opportunity to meet Bajo and Hex from Good Game and Good Game SP.  For those of you who have not followed my new Aussie TV obsession, these are two shows dedicated to reviewing video games.  A FORMULA THAT COULD TOTALLY WORK IN THE STATES SO I DON’T KNOW WHY IT DOESN’T.  (next project when I come home?  Any takers on that?  I’m ¾ serious about this idea)  Anyway, they were at the Australia Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) for the opening of Game Masters.  An exhibit dedicated to…video games.  Hurray!  I got a little star struck (it happens, I cannot talk to celebrities, no matter how minor or major), and stammered some compliments at them and thanked Hex for being a good role model for girls/women gaming. 

Me and Bajo and Hex!  (we're so chic in our greys and blacks)
 Here’s my life gripe.  When I was a little kid, I liked to play video games. (when I wasn’t drawing maps for my step-father in Zelda: true story, I am awesome at dungeon map drawings). I especially loved RPG’s where I could get lost in an entire new world.  The thing was, I basically didn’t even know one other girl that played video games at that time.  Or at least played them like I played them.  And it made me a little sad because much like seeing a good movie, or reading a great book, I like to TALK about them.  It STILL makes me a little sad that I’m virtually one of the only one of my girl friends that plays with any sort of seriousness.  And by seriousness, I mean 5 out of the 7 days of the week, I’d pretty much like to be playing video games.  So much so that I sort of wonder if having children one day is going to put a damper on my ability to play.  (you can breast feed and game at the same time, right?)  Shawn likes to joke that I’m going to be Clara from The Guild. Although now I’m sort of thinking maybe it’s not a joke, based on my previous statement….

Anyhow.  It would have been great to have a role model like Hex out there who’s not just playing ‘girly’ games.  (okay...I owned that one. BARBIE MERMAID ACTION!) I am lucky in life that I have a wonderful husband who still lets me get lost in my video game world (ugggh persona 3 portable, I cannot put you down!), and even helps me make sure that I don’t miss all the hidden extras.  (even if he tells me who I’m marrying in Harvest Moon, I STILL maintain Luke was the better choice over Gil)

A few months after we met Bajo and Hex, we decided to actually check out Game Masters.

I have one issue about ACMI and that’s the fact that they don’t let you take pictures.  IN A MUSEUM THAT IS BASICALLY DEDICATED TO FILMS.  That seems a bit odd.  Anyway, hats off to the inventor of the camera phone and kudos to my awesome acting ability to pretend I am texting while taking pictures.  SHOOT FROM THE HIP.

Game Masters was really cool.  They had a whole display on old skool game systems and controllers.  Including R.O.B.  Did anyone else have him but me?  I LOVE(D) GYROMITE.  Please feel free to share your R.O.B experiences.  And also if you know what it stands for.  I doooooooo.

Awesome game artwork
Hi R.O.B.

The exhibit also had approximately 1 million playable games.  Some old ones, like Donkey Kong (admittedly, this was my first time playing) and a huge space for dancing it out to Dance Central.  We played some 3D Sonic, original Sims (yeah there was one drowning in the pool, very classic) and a bunch of independent games which thanks to the technology that I sort of despise, are now possible.  So score one for you tablets, I DO like that you are a new platform for people trying to get into game development.  There was this one cute little game with a little fat cute monster that ate bugs.  I could have played that for hours.  (I don’t care that you are glaring at me lady, it’s MY turn.) I think it was downloadable on Xbox, so now I’ve got to add that to the list of things I need when I go home.  Or alternatively if places would JUST STOP REGION LOCKING, I could just get it while I was here.  

Shawn playing Missile Command

I think there’s still such a weird stigma about not just women playing video games, but people who play them in general.  It seems more acceptable to play the sports ones in mainstream society, but admittedly, I don’t think I’m even helping that stigma much by basically pretending that I don’t play them unless I’m directly asked about it.  I will give Shawn some credit on that.  Although there were a variety of reasons I decided to go out with him, one of the biggest initial attractions came from when we first talked and he was like ‘yeah, I like to play Magic on Friday nights.”

Take a minute to analyse that.  He just met a girl.  Who has said NOTHING about liking anything like that. And that’s one of his opening lines. 


I loved it. I admired it.  That, to me, was very brave.  Because, I often have a hard time reconciling that part of my personality with how I’m elsewise perceived by people.  And I always have.  I can say maybe it’s because I only grew up with boys who played video games, or maybe its’ because I never had another girl friend really who played until high school.  But it’s something I really enjoy, and it’s silly to pretend I don’t.   

And before you think, Devon, this really isn’t a post about your experiences in Australia, I will say that one completely freeing thing about being here, is really being able to just be as geeky as I want and how many more geeky experiences I've had here.  So I’ll keep watching my Thursday Night Star Trek: TNG’s, and catching Good Game every Tuesday (when they’re not reviewing ONLY FPS games) and Good Game SP on Saturdays with a fake robot.  And maybe when I come back, I’ll be able to embrace this part of myself fully and without reservations.  And maybe….just maybe, I can go as a Moogle next Halloween. 

Silly how a 5 minute meeting and exhibition made me think a little bit more about myself.

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