The Plague of the “Fake” Gamer Girl

This is not going to be a complaint lodged at the mythical phony gamer who happens to be female, no it is the annoyance such Internet memes can bring to the rest of us. I had never really thought it would happen to me, but it did: a guy actually tried to test my gaming “cred”. It went a bit like this:

Is that a Vita?

Yeah. You must have kids who play it or something.

No, I’m actually child-free.

You play games?

Yes.

Are you sure you know what a Vita is? Are you really a gamer?

Yes. I’m a member of Playstation Plus and-

What’s your favorite game on the Vita?

Hotline Miami.

Never heard of it, but you convinced me by knowing what Plus is.

I had always thought that if such a situation occurred I would have some stupid, equally immature comeback, but unfortunately I was at work, not a sleazy bar or convention, so I was caught a bit unawares. I should have said something about the PC Master Race to shut him up, but alas, hindsight.

It’s one of those situations where the more I think of it, the more annoyed I become. I mean, yes I’ve experienced the surprise from male gamers when I mention playing Mass Effect over the weekend or whatever, but it’s usually of the pleasantly surprised reactions not the disbelieving. There has never been any testing of knowledge just a sharing of a pastime with a fellow gamer.

The whole thing reminds me of how if a game has a heavy female audience it is almost always discounted as a “real” game. The Sims? Not a real game. But Hearthstone is, because it’s similar to Magic, another male heavy arena. I’m not one to cry sexism everywhere I look, but I am tired of my private parts determining whether or not I’m a “real” gamer.

Hearthstone, You Are Addicting

Even though I am not the biggest fan of free-to-play, I can acknowledge when it seems to have been done right. And thus far in my playing, Blizzard’s Hearthstone¬†seems to have hit the right balance. A watered down version of Magic: The Gathering it may be, but that actually is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. Hearthstone makes it easy to jump in and learn the ropes fast, and since the game tries to match you to another player of roughly equal skill, there is no fear of being crushed so completely in your beginning matches.

Fun with cards

This game was clearly made with tablets in mind, and the digital realm. It still manages to encompass the feeling of playing a physical collectible card game and a quick look in the store reveals it could very easily cost as much (or more).

I have not progressed terribly far in terms of ranks and the Arena does have a little bit of a paywall: you get in with gold so in theory you don’t have to actually use your own money if you win enough.

If one has access to a PC, Mac, or iPad, and one enjoys playing cards I would suggest giving it a try. That is one of the undeniable perks of free-to-play: no money down!

I Assure You I Am No Game Snob

That title may be a bit of a lie. A very small lie. However, unlike the claims of one Ben Cousins, I do not dislike free-to-play games out of sense of snobbery or fear. Well, I do have a slight fear that the general quality of AAA games will go down as companies attempt to chase ever more dollars by incorporating F2P mechanics into full priced games. Day one DLC is bad enough, but microtransactions and grinding in a $60 game is just plain insulting. FREE Sign

But when it comes to F2P games themselves, in general I have no ill will towards them, but I will always see it as less value than a normal game. I would rather pay $10 to get Bejeweled then play Candy Crush Saga and have to do clock trickery to fool the game into giving me more lives sooner. I don’t like the idea of a game having no stopping point in the amount of money you spend on it. This is also why I hate the move to SaaS, the idea that you can never “own” anything and have to keep paying until you die if you want to use a piece of software. Now I’m off topic.

Anyway, not all mobile games are bad; I had a lot of fun with the original Angry Birds. Facebook games suck because they are on Facebook, but there are plenty of fun browser based titles out there. I’d argue that most gamers are not against F2P for fear of letting those dreaded womenfolk into the action (they save that hatred for Sims¬†player) or any of the other points Cousins makes. It’s more about the constant reaching for the wallet and how said reaching affects game design and makes it all less fun.

I need an assistant

I have been horrible with keeping on track with all my projects. All three of them. First there’s the nano writing thing that hasn’t exactly shot off the pages, finishing up my computer build, and coding. The coding “project” is really two things: CS50x offered by Harvard and Code Academy. The Harvard class has the actual hour long lectures on the web and as educational and even entertaining as they are…lectures tend to make my mind wander. There was one class at uni that I pretty much just slept through all the lectures. I got a B in that class thanks to the power osmosis.

So I think I need to start giving myself a schedule for what to do day to day. Unfortunately that is something I have never been good at doing. Thus the need for someone else to do it for me.