We’re Halfway Through the Dark.

Season'sGreetings

The girls have been busy with holiday events, but they wanted to stop by and wish everyone a wonderful year’s end.

-GGP

Eve’s Top 10: Ten Goods in 2012

eve_blog_portraitThere were quite a few less than desirable things that happened this year.  Whether it was something that hit close to home or affected your entire country, it’s sometimes tough to see the good things.  My Top 10 today is specifically to remind us that every day there are wonderful things that happen in this world.

1. The World Didn’t End

1

Sorry Mayans!  Guess we’re not going your path quite yet, but you did give us a great excuse to have End of the World parties!

2. The 2012 Summer Olympics

th

No matter what scandals and downfalls get highlighted in the media, the Olympics are one of our world’s greatest traditions.  It brings people from all over the world together to show the heights and trials of human abilities.  And, by the way, WHY did no one tell me there was a trampoline event!?  Trampolines people!

Here’s China’s Dong Dong (you’re allowed ONE girly giggle) at his gold winning trampoline event.

3. Tim Schaffer got on Kickstarter

df

Kickstarter has been around for years, but Tim Schaffer from Double Fine blew open the doors for fan-funded games.  His game brought in over 3 million dollars from eager fans.  (PSYCHONAUTS FOREVER!)  Since then hundreds of games have been funded and given a chance to many smaller developers in a struggling economy.  I really hope these projects turn out some gems.

 

4. New Animal Species Discovered

5

Each year we discover more and more species that we share this earth with.  Some are adorable while others look like face-sucking aliens.  Either way, they’re living their lives just like you and me, and it’s amazing to learn what exists right under our noses…or feet…or skin…

Here are a couple sites featuring a few of the not-so-new species that we just discovered: http://green-buzz.net/science-technology/new-species-discovered-in-year-2012/

This spider is particularly amazing to me: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/12/spider-building-spider/

5. Curiosity Rover Landing

4

While some of us were busy discovering things on this planet, there were others looking towards the stars.  On August 6th, 2012 The Curiosity landed on Mars.  The cute little guy rolled around the Gale Crater getting tons of pictures and samples to study. Next up, teleporting.

6. Gamer Girl Pinups Started

2

GGP happily found a spot on the wide world of tubilicious goodness.  And we’ve been enjoying the ride.

7. Same-sex Marriage

lady

This year in November, Maryland, Main, and Washington went on the list of states that allow same-sex marriage.  That’s nine states that are full-on legal.  We’re getting there America.  *Sniff* It’s like my little country is growing up. *Sniff*

Here are some pictures of couples that got hitched in Washington.  Some brand new and some that have been together over 40 years.  Congratulations to them all.

8. Lucasfilm is Bought by Disney

dis

This one is a little more controversial, but I believe in the light side.  We all know what happened with the last three Star Wars films with Lucas in charge.  And Disney is filled with high-level employees that feel the same.  I trust that they will figure out a way to make the next three go back to what we remember.  But we’ll just have to be patient and see.

9. Windows 8 Release

w8

I know there’s a few of you out there groaning as you read this one.  And there always will be when a new OS comes out.  But there will always be another on the horizon so get used to it.  Windows 8 was released to the public this year with a big learning curve and a hell of a lot of potential.  The way we interact with our computers and well, ALL of our tech, is on the edge of changing, and 8 is going to help push it that way.

10. Smithsonian Recognizes Video Games as Art

smith

About damn time world!  The argument of “are games art?” is very tired.  There are still those out there that simply refuse to see the parallels between making a painting and a digital concept, a sculpture from clay and a zbrush sculpt, or a movie and narrative game.  Maybe this acknowledgement will help open some eyes.

There’s plenty of other good things that happened.  Find what’s good in your life and enjoy the end of this one little year in history.  Maybe with a big piece of pie.  Or a cold beer.  Or one of those big leather chairs with the chilled cup holders that kick all the way back.  You know, whatever floats your wintery season boat.

-Eve

Eve’s Top Ten: 10 Ways to be a Better Gamer

1. Be Like State Farm – Being polite in a game is just as important as in real life.  It makes everyone enjoy the experience.  Send gifts to your friends, help out that little rogue that’s being eaten by wolves, give away potions you’ll never use, let that other guy lead the way.  Be a good neighbor and you’ll get back what you give.

2. Speak Up – Don’t be afraid to be the “bad guy” in situations.  If that 12 year old is shouting racial slurs tell him to stuff it.  Sexist remarks and all-around childish behavior is so prevalent in games that staying quiet is just as bad.  Calling them out isn’t being a killjoy, it’s being an adult. I guarantee others will back you up.  Here’s a link to a site that keeps all the messages women get from online players. (Warning: Some of the things they say are pretty atrocious.  http://fatuglyorslutty.com/)

3. Shut Up – Contrariwise, if you’re the asshole doing all the hate-speak, stop it.  There is a HUGE difference between friendly smack talk and being a despicable human-being.  Use the same sportsmanship as if you’re playing face to face.  There may be a lot of tension and hissed words exchanged on professional courts, but you don’t see LeBron tea-bagging Stoudemire after a game.  Just…grow up.

4.  You’re Doing it Wrong! – Please stop trying to help.  Yes, you may have a higher kill-count than your friend, or have logged in more hours, or can solve that puzzle faster, but guess what?  No one cares.  Your friend just wants to sit down and play the game without the constant “Here, let me show you how to do it.”  If they need help, they’ll ask.  The “friendly suggestions” you keep giving them aren’t helpful, they’re annoying.  Stop stressing that the game “isn’t being played right” and just enjoy that you have someone to play with.

5.  Read Game Reviews: Then Ignore Them – Game reviews are a good source of information about a title you’re interested in.  Generally, a review will tell you enough about the game to help you decide whether you want to try it out.  But don’t ever let them decide how you feel about the game.  People may give bad reviews to over-the-top monster movies or terribly dubbed Kung-Fu, but we love them all the same.  So make up your own mind about what you dislike and what you enjoy.

6.  Smell the Digital Roses – Games are pretty!  Developers work hard to make it so.  While we watch a movie our passive minds take in all the beauty the film has to offer, but when playing a game we’re so focused on the gameplay we miss the environment around us.  Take the time to stop and appreciate the visuals, your devs will love you for it.

7.  Try – Today we have all the answers at our fingertips. There are strategy guides and walkthroughs for everything.  The idea of getting “stuck” in a game is no longer an issue.  I believe this is essentially a very good thing….HOWEVER players often simply stop trying.  It’s too easy to dive for the internet the second something gets tough.  Give yourself a good 20 minutes before you look it up, you might even come out on the other side just a teenie higher in the ol’ cognitive function area.

8.  Lose – Along those same lines, go ahead and purposefully lose sometimes. This may be one of the hardest things for gamers to do.  We’ve trained ourselves to win.  We always beat the boss or make that jump or solve the puzzle.  But a key to understanding games is experiencing all the things the game has to offer.  Force yourself to put that little pride-chip aside and walk straight off a cliff once in a while.  Learning about the losing conditions and their affects can make you a better player and teach you about the game.

9.   Go Old School on your Ass – We watch old movies, we read old books, but we rarely play old games.  There are technical barriers such as not owning that old console anymore or our PCs are just TOO good now, but there are ways around these things.  Borrow a game from a friend, find an arcade, or download an emulator.  See what games used to be and how far we’ve come.  It will help you build a greater appreciation of your current games and understand the game industry as a whole.

10.  Play Games! – Obvious right? WRONG!  Being a good gamer is about playing ALL types games.  If you spend every bit of your time in one genre, that’s not really a “gamer.”  Everyone has a favorite type, but being a well-rounded player is important to understand what games are about, ESPECIALLY if you are or want to be in the industry someday.  Try at least one game a month that you never thought you’d give a minute to.  Hate shooters?  Rent Halo 4!  Make fun of social games?  Try out Cityville 2!  Annoyed by sports titles?  Put an hour or two into Madden!  If you just open your mind a little I guarantee you’ll find something out there you’ll like.  Experiencing the variety the industry has to offer is the true difference between being someone that just plays games and being a Gamer.

-Eve