Let’s Talk Pokémon!

Pokémon is celebrating its 20th Anniversary!

That fact really puts my age into perspective, but I will say that I’m impressed that Pokémon continues to resonate with kids today. It has been a very successful franchise, and actually holds onto a special place in my heart.

Pokémon wasn’t just a game to me. From the moment that I discovered The Official Pokémon Handbook at my school’s book fair, I couldn’t quench my thirst for it. I was eight years old. I read that book over and over again — memorizing everything that I could about the Pokémon. Back in those days, I could tell you anything you wanted to know about the first 150 Pokémon.

Pokémon did play the biggest factor in my development into a solo gamer. I had always been Player 2 to an older brother that owned all the consoles, but Pokémon changed all that for me. When my parents bought me Pokémon Blue for Christmas it came with my very own Gameboy Color. Thinking back on all of that, it gave me the freedom to finally game on my own!

I have to admit that this anniversary has me feeling very nostalgic. In the spirit of said nostalgia, I’ve decided to challenge anyone who reads this!

The Challenge

Find the BEST picture of your all time favorite Pokémon and post it in the comments below! Have fun walking down memory lane!

I’ll start.

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PC to Console: Pt. 2

It’s been about a month since I purchased my Playstation 4 in order to play a (MMORPG) game that I originally played on the PC. That game is FFXIV: A Realm Reborn.

Long-story-short for those who don’t know: My PC’s graphics card died on me last year, and so I decided to take the other route with gaming.

Let’s forward to the present where I’ve played on the PS4, controller, and FFXIV for a month, and talk about the pros and cons I’ve discovered. These are purely my opinions and are more in relation to FFXIV gameplay than general MMORPG gameplay.

thumbup  Pros   

  • You have the versatility to sit how/where you want. Couch, Bed, Chair? Sure! I personally game at a desk, but I’m almost always leaning back into my comfy computer chair unless I’m typing. This allows me to game for longer periods of time without getting that tell-tale ache in my neck and shoulders that I used to get from playing on my desktop PC. (My boyfriend might argue that this is a con, haha)
  • Great for hand-eye coordinated folks. This is an obvious one. If you are great at console games, you’ll likely prefer to play an MMORPG on a console. Why? You have 16 buttons on a controller and it’s quite easy to memorize where they are and what they do even when considering combinations. Not to mention, these buttons are all within easy reach without moving your hands/fingers into unnatural positions. The average keyboard has 104 keys alone, and for an MMO you tack on an additional 20+ combinations for Ctrl #1-0 and Alt #1-0. You may not use all 104 keys, but it can be cumbersome to press combinations. I always hated the Ctrl #1-0 and Alt #1-0 combination for actions as you often used your left hand to press these but also needed your lefty for character movement (WASD).
  • It hones your ability to prioritize actions and unclutters your screen. On the PS4, you have what’s called “Cross Bars”. You have 8 separate bars that hold 16 actions each, with an optional +16. That’s 128 actions (+16). However, you can’t see these all at once nor would you want to fill all your space. You have to press certain combinations of buttons (I.E.: L1 and Triangle) to access each bar. When you’re in a pinch, you want to be able to quickly access those actions most needed. That’s when you begin customizing your bars so that have to press less combinations (using less bars) to access those actions. Controller usage, in this way, forces you to become a quicker more efficient player. PC users have the option of putting nearly every action on screen, but that can become cluttered and inefficient. If you have to glance over extra icons that you rarely use, it may take longer to locate that one that you do!

thumbdown  Cons

  • You have to purchase and attach a separate USB keyboard to chat. It’s a minor con, but a con nonetheless. It’s an extra purchase first off, and can be an annoyance if you choose to game away from a flat surface. When I gamed at my couch in the living room it was a pain to balance it in my lap and type, and then move it off my lap when I wanted to sink into my couch; rinse and repeat. Some people don’t mind this, but if you ever gamed on a PC (desktop) it will drive you nuts.
  • You can’t see/access every action as easily on screen. On PC, you are able to set up bars to put practically every action on screen easily seen and accessed. Simply drag mouse pointer and click. On PS4, you can’t. This requires a bit of memorization on your part as a gamer to remember where you put that certain ability and what combination of buttons access it. It also requires some time put into customization and prioritizing to be as efficient as you can with the room given to you. You may find that you don’t truly know what needs to be where until you’re smack dab in the middle of a hectic battle and need it ASAP. If you’re a healer (*ahem* me) then that can be particularly problematic.
  • You are limited to voice chat with other PS4 users. MMORPG’s are a great way to socialize with other players, and nothing beats voice chatting away while you run amuck. Unfortunately, I think there are more PC users than PS4 users. That means that most players utilize programs like Ventrillo and TeamSpeak to voice chat and thus leave the PS4 users in silence. This isn’t too big of a deal if you’re near a table or desk as you can set up via a laptop or similar device, but if you’re a couch or bed gamer it can become pretty inconvenient.

  

Just to name a few! I honestly enjoyed gaming on PC as well, and I’m not one to take one side over the other. They both have their good and bad points, of course, and it all boils down to a matter of preference over facts. I’m still withholding my judgement until after I am drowning in end-game content.

When I get to that point, I will post a final decision!

I play as Ceren Alstrahl on the Sargatanas server for anyone that’s interested!

cho-g1

Microsoft to Support “Free” Windows 10 by Charging You for Competitors’ Operating Systems

If you are planning to upgrade to the “free” Windows 10 or own an X-Box with other consoles, please read Level Whimsicality‘s post!

Not all Gamers are Created the Same

We see it all the time. A family with children goes to a public place and the scene is always the same. They walk in, sit down, and almost immediately the parents hand over their smart phones or tablets. Within minutes the kids are engrossed in their favorite games.

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Now I have a lot to say about this type of parenting method, but that’s not what I wanted to discuss. I want to touch on how this may affect the upcoming generation of gamers. Does parents’ habits of handing over their smart phones/tablets shape them into gamers? What sort of gamers are emerging from this?

Let’s start with smart phone/tablet games. They can be as simple as scrabble or as in depth as an RPG, but most kids go for the colorful simplistic games. When it comes to handheld consoles such as the Nintendo DS, PS Vita, ect., there are more complicated games available, but they also remain fairly basic for the sake of kids.

I’ve always said that I would give my children the older consoles to start out. I see so many young kids receiving the latest and greatest for Christmas, and I tend to shake my head at that. I want my children to first game on old school systems at least as far back as N64, if not farther. I want them to experience video games from the beginning, but I also want them learn video games as they evolved like I did.

Retro NES Ad

It actually benefited me to learn video games in that way, and I didn’t realize this until I started playing games with my boyfriend. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that he isn’t much of a gamer. Oh, he’ll definitely pick up a controller to play anything once, but he gravitates toward the old school games that are straightforward. The next generation games, on the other hand, have so much depth they are overwhelming at times. I don’t have the same issue. My skills and understanding of gaming evolved as the games themselves evolved. It’s as if the evolution of gaming guided us gradually into what video games are today, where as his gaming experience has skipped decades of it.

However, now I wonder if I’ve had it all wrong. I want my kids to follow the evolution of gaming so that they wouldn’t be dumped into the depths of next-gen gaming, but what if upcoming generations of gamers are learning this on mobile devices, specifically smart phones/tablets?

I really don’t know why I hadn’t considered this before. My first gaming device was a Gameboy Color. Sure, I used to play on consoles with my brother, but my first true solo play was on the Gameboy. Now look at me! I’ve gamed on console and PC for many years.

We can’t dismiss the popularity or molding skills of handheld consoles, but we as a gaming society are quick to dismiss smart phone/tablet gamers. I think it’s time to acknowledge that they may be a large portion of next generation of gamers!

Renee Giroux-Nix's daughter, Bella, 3, plays games and uses educational apps on her mother's iPhone, in Cedar Park, Texas, Oct. 10, 2010. Just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice, akin to a treasured stuffed animal, for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds, a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists. (Ben Sklar/The New York Times) -- PHOTO MOVED IN ADVANCE AND NOT FOR USE - ONLINE OR IN PRINT - BEFORE OCT. 17, 2010.

There is an epidemic of children constantly playing games on tablets and smartphones when their parents don’t want to deal with them in public places and otherwise. In no way do I agree or wish to promote this! Video gaming is a fun and rewarding pass time that should be done in moderation and with breaks, especially when involving children.

Happy Gaming!

cho-g1

Blogging Old School

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I was blogging old school about video games from a tender young age. Just look at that proof!

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Happy Saturday!
That is all.

Classic Game Fest 2015 – Austin, TX

For those of you who don’t yet know what Classic Game Fest is, it is one of the largest retro gaming conventions in the country!  It’s a 2-day celebration featuring classic video games, retro game tournaments, costume contests, live video game music, and tons of video game/ merchandise vendors.

I’d like to start off by mentioning what happened as my boyfriend and I were walking to the convention hall. On our way to the front doors, we walked past a lot of people who were leaving for the day. One father with his little son was passing us when he stopped and asked if we had preordered our wristbands. We hadn’t, and so he pulled off his wrist band and gave it to us!

Now, these wristbands were only $20 for two days, but it made me super happy nonetheless! That meant we only had to pay for my boyfriend’s wristband and we were in.

Once inside, I had the attention span of a fly. Everywhere you looked there was something to grab your attention. I was pulled this way to look at t-shirts, and that way to look at handmade creations. All of these were video game related, of course! Oh, the money I could’ve spent at this place, haha.

I did purchase a couple of things from vendors inside.

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This adorable Navi!

Created by: The Gnarly Garden.

Chelsea Powers creates custom sculpture and ceramic art, so go buy something gnarly!

Here are other goodies of hers:

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This original art of Zelda!

Purchased from: Shark Robot.

They have original geek art on t-shirts, posters, bags, ect.

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My convention goodies!

PS: I purchased an 2XL in a woman’s t-shirt and it barely fits. Really, CGF, really?

You can find all sorts of geekery at this convention. Just take a look at these other Vendors!

Vendors weren’t the only great thing about CGF. They had several different Classic Video Games available to play, and they had a few tournaments going on. Super Smash Bro’s, Mortal Kombat, and Killer Instincts were among those tournaments, and they projected these up on the walls for everyone to watch.

Of course, there was a Costume Contest!

What was my favorite thing about CGF? The live Video Game Musicians that played on the stage!

Unfortunately, I only saw two. The first was when we first got there and was Descendents of Eldrick. They played rock versions of different video game songs, and they were awesome. We listened to a few songs at the stage and then jammed out as we walked around checking out all the vendors.

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The second artist was David Erick Ramos, a youtuber who plays ocarinas. We actually hung around and grabbed seats to hear him perform. I’m definitely glad I did! He is very talented, and plays everything from video game music to his own original pieces. It was really mesmerizing to listen to.

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Here is his YouTube channel: David Erick Ramos

I have to give major kudos to my boyfriend who isn’t into video games but went with me anyway. He survived 4 hours in an overcrowded convention where his girlfriend dragged him here and there due to her temporary overexcited ADD. He also didn’t make fun of me as I talked to him about things that sounded like they were in a different language. Gamer lingo, FTW!

Needless to say, Classic Game Fest was a blast! If you have a chance to go, then go. You won’t regret it!

cho-g1

Geek Girl Dress Code?

As Classic Game Fest edges closer, I find myself wondering what I should wear. Most girls do this when an event of any kind comes up to varying degrees. Is it going to be the cute skirt or skinny jeans? Hair up or hair down? It’s pretty common! However, I had an epiphany as I considered what to wear.

As a geek, I am having so much more trouble deciding on what to wear. Why? Because I’m a geek who is a girl. I am weighing the pro’s and con’s of what to wear based on how the outfit will be perceived/received on a geek level higher than whether or not it looks good on me.

Shame on me!

Here are the questions I’ve asked myself and the immediate responses in my head. These are the perfect examples of what the geek society has done to a geek girl’s mind!

Option #1: Should I pick out one of my geeky shirts and wear it with jeans?

“I like this. This would be comfortable, and I can pick out my favorite shirt and wear it so that everyone can see what I’m into.”

I love my geek shirts. I wear them everywhere so it only seems natural that I should do this. However, it feels like I’m trying to find a way to validate myself to other attendee’s, the guys primarily. Will they believe that I like Mario or will they think that I’m trying too hard so it must be a lie? I’m wondering, “How do I prove that I’m a real geek?”

Option #2: Should I go girly and wear something more feminine?

“Hm, I don’t know. I wouldn’t fit in if I did that. I would look displaced or like my boyfriend just dragged me along.”

There is so much wrong with this that I don’t know where to start. I really can’t believe I even had those thoughts, but that’s what this society does to you! You are made to feel like you constantly have to validate yourself. How much knowledge do you have on <this>? How much merchandise do you have of <this>? How long have you been a fan of <this>? You get the gist!

Option #3: Should I cosplay?

“That would be so much fun! Which character should I be? Well, I better find one that isn’t too revealing. – Oh, it looks like a lot of the female characters have revealing outfits. I’m just not comfortable with that.”

I’m not saying that ALL female characters in the geek industry wear revealing outfits, but a lot of them do! Not only that, but most of their body proportions are either itty-bitty tiny or nearly impossible ultra-voluptuous with teeny waists. There are girls that fit one category and others that manage utilize tools available in order to make the other work, but most of us can’t find a happy medium when it comes cosplaying. Even if we did find that happy place, that doesn’t mean that every one of us are comfortable with nearly baring it all!

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This is not to say that I’m not impressed by great cosplay. I’m just not impressed with the options out there for the average female!

I will say that I am incredibly relieved that I caught myself having these thoughts and banished them. I shouldn’t have to validate myself to anyone; not only as a geek but as a geek girl!

If I want to wear a frilly pink lacy dress that doesn’t even remotely look geeky then I’m going to go right ahead! I don’t know of any rule that says a geek girl can’t be girly!

The lovely Albinwonderland is the perfect example of geeky and girly!

Everyone should be able to feel comfortable in their own skin and in their own clothes. I disdain the fact that geek society has either pushed standards onto geek girls or claimed that we don’t exist at all.

We do exist, and I’ll wear whatever the hell I want to Classic Game Fest!

cho-g1