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!

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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

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

The Real Unicorns: Gamer Girls w/ Non-Gamer Guys

It’s crazy stupid that guys who play video games still have this misconception that girls who play are rare; that they are “unicorns”. That’s definitely being debunked in this day and age. Gamer girls are here. We’ve always been here, and we’re growing in numbers! <insert maniacal laugh>

Anyway, I’m here to reassign the title of “Unicorns”.  That’s a title that should firmly belong to “gamer girls that date non-gamer guys”.

Let that sink in. That’s right; it happens. I know this because I fall into that category. I am in a relationship with a non-gamer guy. At the beginning of the relationship, our work schedules weren’t in sync and so I had plenty of alone time to game. Now with two new jobs, they do sync up. I’m happy for more time with him, but I am also figuring out that he didn’t really have to deal with the fact that I’m a gamer until now. Now I want to game and he’s there. Now it conflicts with “us” time because we’re always together when we get home from work. This is a dynamic that crops up with any gamer dating a non-gamer, of course, but it’s usually smoothed out much earlier in a relationship.

I’ve tried talking it through with him, but there are just some things that non-gamers don’t understand. I thought we’d arrived at a compromise but when I mentioned that I wanted to game I heard that tell-tale sigh. Desperate for some sort of insight, I do what any geek would do: I hit up the internet.

Anyone else notice how many articles there are on advising gamer guys on how to handle being with a non-gamer girl? It’s damn ridiculous, I tell you! The net is overflowing with them.

  • “How to Survive Dating a Gamer”
  • “10 Things you Should Know About Dating a Gamer”
  • “Scared to Date a Gamer?”
  • “The Perfect Non-Gamer Girl”

You would think that at least a few of these would detail what it would be like for a gamer girl to date a non-gamer guy, right?  — Nope! It feels like every conversation and article written is geared towards gamer guys and their issues or lack of issues with their non-gamer girlfriends.

But what if you’re the unicorn? What if you’re the gamer girl who dates the non-gamer guy? Some people might reply, “Well then you’d just take the advice and flip-flop it!” That makes sense right? I thought so too until I googled it and began reading. I wanted to see how I could apply all this advice to my own relationship.

 *Ahem.

I saw a lot of this: “When my girlfriend does her girly things, I use that as a chance to game.”

Girls do have a lot of time consuming girly hobbies that are mostly solo activities. We do our nails, read books, watch reality t.v., binge on Netflix, do arts and crafts, and the list goes on. A lot of the time these are things that guys aren’t interested in so it works out.

So what happens when the tides are turned? Let’s put this into perspective.

Most gamer girls are a tomboy on some level. We tend to enjoy the same things that guys enjoy and our S/O’s know this. The options for what my non-gamer boyfriend does that’s either a solo activity or something I don’t want to do is depressingly scarce. It’s just not the same!

I’m certain that everything will work itself out. The dynamic of the relationship will have to change now that my gaming actually affects our time together, and I sense that he’s alright with that. However, I just wonder where all the advice is for the unicorns of the geek world.

Non-gamer guys: Do you have a girl that games? How did you adjust?

Gamer girls: Do you date a non-gamer? How does that work?

Gamer guys: Help.

cho-g1

PC to Console: Pt. 1

I mentioned in a previous post that I was sold on buying a Playstation 4.

Here’s that post: Has the Playstation 4 Finally Done it?

Well, I did just that. I purchased a bundled PS4 via QVC.com, believe it or not. I really wanted to get the console as soon as I could without paying the full price. Instead of making my wallet cry, I’ll be making 5 payments of $115.70 for the 5 months. Pretty affordable that way, if you ask me!

It took about a week to get to me, and it was worth the wait to unbox a brand new console.

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I was beyond giddy just to open it! It felt like Christmas to me. After all, It has been about 5 ½ years since I’ve bought a new console. If you’re a gamer, you know how tragic that is! Hence why I was like an overexcited child when opening my new PS4. It was awesome-sauce.

So after 5-6 years of mouse and keyboard gaming, I’m holding a controller again. It’s weird and a little awkward, but so far I love it. I didn’t realize how much I missed the feeling of holding a controller in my hands! I could easily compare this to going from reading a hard copy book to an e-reader. The feel of it just isn’t the same, especially if you started old school.

And can we just take a moment to revel in how much more comfortable the modern day controller is to the original?

  

Ok, let me get something straight. I have played on a PS4 sparingly; courtesy of having an older brother who can keep up with the times. The games we played were mostly multiplayers. We’re talking Mortal Kombat, Little Big Planet, and others that I can’t recall the names of.

I guess if you’ve gamed long enough, you never really lose the ability to pick up a controller and play decently with it. That was the case when I gamed with my brother. The big challenge now is acclimating myself with a console controller with more depth than just the occasional multiplayer game.

This acclimation is occurring now as I begin to play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on the PS4. It’s sort of a sink or swim situation as you really have to utilize every button and combination of buttons on the controller to access everything there is in FFXIV. The idea of using those methods made this PC online gamer pretty nervous.

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My thought: How in world do you access it all via controller?

At first, I was gimped by the controller. I immediately wanted the security blanket that was my mouse and keyboard. I did give in to that a bit. I purchased a USB keyboard in order to chat on the game, but I found myself regularly setting down the controller and opting for the touch pad on the keyboard. Shame, shame, I know!

Everyone kept telling me that I can just hook up a USB mouse and play it like it was PC. But where is the fun in that? Where is the challenge in that? I wanted to give the controller a real chance at winning me over.

Within two hours of gameplay, I was intrigued. I was relieved at how easy it can be to access everything once you get the gist of how it’s all done.  It took me about an hour to learn how the Hotbar Sets work and then to set them up. After that, I jumped right in two dungeons to see how everything flowed. It went surprisingly well.

I think that the more time you spend acclimating yourself to the controller’s handling, the more comfortable and better off you’ll be. I’m even tempted to say that it could be quicker than PC, but I’ll hold off on concreting that until I get more game time under my belt.

My Verdict: I’m digging it!

I will continue to play FFXIV: ARR with the controller until I either love it or hate it! We shall see and I will update everyone on the results in a few weeks.

Do any of you play a PC game with a controller? How do you like it?

Has anyone gone from long-time PC to Console or vice versa? How was that?

cho-g1

Random Topic #1: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

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I think the only constant in my desires for a career as a child were animals. I always wanted to do something that was related to animals.

Some of the first careers told to you as a child were:

  • Doctor
  • Teacher
  • Astronaut
  • Pilot
  • Veterinarian
  • Firefighter
  • Police Officer
  • President
  • Soldier
  • Actor/Actress
  • Writer
  • Artist

Of course, I wanted to be a veterinarian! I mean, it is the highest or near the highest paying career you can have that involves animals. I guess they really wanted us to shoot high! Go big or go home, eh?

So for a few years that was my default answer any time an adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a child, that was a common enough question. As an adult that does the asking or hearing others that ask, I wonder if we just do it to hear the cute answers they give us. I don’t think many adults take it seriously. I mean, we just sort of chuckle when they tell us that they want to be an astronaut or doctor, right?

Returning to the original topic, my answer to this question changed a few times. One that I remember particularly was that I wanted to own a pet treat business. I wanted a little shop where I could make homemade pet treats for pet owners! I’m pretty sure that I got this idea from watching something on Animal Planet, haha.

A little while later, I got it in my head that I wanted to be an animal trainer. I wanted to understand animal behavior and work with them in that respect. I’m sure I really had my heart fixed on working with more exotic animals, but I think I would’ve settled for dogs and cats.

I have to admit that I have many interests and passions. Throughout middle school and high school, the answer of what career I wanted changed a few times. They included animal behaviorist, environmentalist, writer, teacher, translator, and historian to name a few.

Because of my indecisiveness, I’m very glad that I decided not to start college right out of high school. That would have ended badly for me and my finances.

As an adult, I can now confidently say that I want to go to school to study English as my major with the hopes of working at a publishing company. I really want to be a driving force in releasing new books into the world. I want to make a difference in helping the book industry survive even as things convert digitally. I believe it is really important for young people to develop a passion for reading if not just an interest.

If not a publishing company for books, then I’ll probably seek out an online magazine or website to write for. I think I’ll be happy as long as I’m contributing in some form or fashion.

Here’s to hoping that works out!

So, as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

 

cho-g1

 

Has the Playstation 4 Finally Done It?

Before I get into what that cryptic title means, let me give everyone a little update.

I have been living Austin now for a month. I’ve landed a great job, found an amazing apartment, and the move will be complete next Friday, June 3rd. I really can’t put into words how excited and grateful I am that everything fell into place the way I wanted. It happened so neatly, in fact, that I worry that karma is going to balance it all out and my arm might just spontaneously fall off. Haha. Let’s hope not!

Next month is the Classic Game Fest here in Austin. I will be attending that, taking lots of pictures, and sharing my experiences there. If you’re unfamiliar with it, click HERE.

So now back to my cryptic title. I might disappoint in that I don’t have any dirt or scoop on Sony or the PS4. In fact, it has more to do with me than the console itself.

A bit of backstory: I haven’t owned a console since the PS2. <Pause for shock.> When it first released, money was my first issue. Consoles are getting hella’ expensive. However, after some time I really didn’t feel a strong desire to buy it.

You may or may not know, but I’m an RPG gal. I love me some RPG’s, and I really didn’t see all that many being released for the PS3 that I was interested in. (Also, X-Box fans.. Shush. I did check there too.) Sure, Final Fantasy made it’s move forward but other than that I didn’t feel the pull to follow. Truly, a very odd thing.

Then the PS4 released and this bugger is even more expensive than the PS3. Seriously, Sony, my wallet is screaming for mercy. I didn’t buy the PS4 either.

So here I am in 2015 PlayStation-less. I really didn’t have any intention of changing my opinion. The past couple of years, I have played PC. Specifically, I played Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

But something both shitty and magical happened recently. My graphics card started to fail, and just as I began considering how much it would cost to replace it, the Final Fantasy VII remake was revealed.

Well there you go, folks. Not only is FFXIV playable on the PS4, but now they are remaking one of my favorite games. SOLD.

I know that this remake might not meet my expectations. It might even be so bad that it’ll make me sick. But that, my dear friends, is how much sway the Final Fantasy series has over me. What can I say? I do love me a good RPG, and despite recent lackluster titles in the series, they’re rarely a bad one.

Anywho, that remake reveal sparked a tiny fire of curiosity in me. I’ve since taken the time to really explore the games released and to-be released for PS4. I’ve even touched into the PS3 realm some, and I was pleasantly surprised that I rediscovered that drive to play the newer games. It’s like I’ve been reborn!

So to answer my question above: Yes. The PS4 has re-sparked my interest in next generation gaming!

cho-g1