Friday, June 28, 2013

Girls play video games?!

I remember my first gameboy that I had inherited from Aunt.
Ah, I loved that old brick and the games I inherited with it (Tetris and Pipedream). I loved it so much, that I nagged my parents to buy me the cutting edge technology that was the game boy printer (which I would primarily use to print off my pokédex with pokémon gold).

On my 9th birthday, I received my coveted gameboy color in lime green. This gameboy color saw me through some great times; it would ensure that I wouldn't have to look out of the car window when brought on road-trips through rural Ireland by my parents, it would give me hours of pleasure when I was hiding in the shed from socializing with kids my own age (true story, and it worked a treat!). I distinctly remember playing Zelda: Link's Awakening for hours upon hours. To this day, I would consider Zelda: Link's Awakening to be one of my favourite games and I still spend ridiculous amounts of times playing it on various ROMs. I skipped the Gameboy advance stage, favouring my beloved Gameboy Color.

 The first console I experienced was the Nintendo 64, which my cousins hooked up to my grandmother's small television which was used to play Mario 64. I also remember visiting my cousin's place and being completely fascinated (if not a bit intimidated) with the playstation 1. In terms of console ownership, the first console I owned came in the form the playstation 2. Although I did slip into a tendency of playing some very casual games on the ps2, (sims 2 anyone?), happiness came in the form of Bully (Canis Canem Edit). Bully was defiantly my favourite ps2 game. For a brief period, I left Sony and returned to Nintendo consoles, this time in the form of a Wii. Although, I had some great fun with games such as Mario Kart, Wii Sport and so forth, it was nothing more then a casual experience.


At present I'm mainly playing my playstation 3. Although I dabble in the world of first person shooters, I'm an RPG girl and I blatantly favour open world games. I am a complete Fallout fangirl, it's my favourite game series of all time.
I have dabbled in PC gaming, but at present I am operating OSX and Linux ubuntu, so I have very limited options.

But why you may ask, am I detailing my 'gaming CV'?
Well as you can see, from a young age, I have been very interested in gaming. I would even consider myself to be a part of the gaming community.

So, when I found a series of walkthroughs, weapon mods and so forth on gaming community websites, forums and youtube.. I was very excited. You can only imagine my disappointment, and my somewhat disheartened dispostion when I saw comments saying

"Girls can't play video games lol"
"girls need to get back to the kitchen and make my sammich"

Thinking this douchebagery was confined to certain sites, I began to play online (Halo 2 on my friend's xbox 360 was the first game where I used a headset and I went online), I was hit with more blatant sexism.
And it's never ceased. Although I am referring to a minority, the mirage of ridiculous comments have continued. Usually a comment about my female bodily parts. Or a gamer who is so curious, he's compelled to ask me "are you a tomboy, fat and ugly or playing to get d*ck".

I am not critizing our entire community. Plenty of male gamers treat their female counterparts with the same respect as they'd treat their male gaming friends. Also, this problem is not simply the fault of small minded individuals, but it is symptomatic of a larger problem within the gaming community.
 There are gamers out there who either nerd cred shame/sexually harass female players and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.
An interesting hypothesis arises for said male gamers who have no problem shaming/harassing a female player and in the same breath asking "WHY are there no girls here?!".

Some food for thought comes from all of this...

1. If you play your games on a casual basis, you are a casual gamer. And hey, own that. I don't understand why people view casual gamers as some sort of outcasts. That said, whether you are 'casual' or not, does not have to do with your gender.
2. Think about what you say, before you say it. If you're not open enough to accept the fact that gaming in not a little boy's club, then you're not open enough to be playing online.
3. And at some point or another, you're gonna have to except that we have evolved into a society in which women are respected and treated as equal, again.. you really shouldn't be playing online.

This was a pretty short post, but it is only the 'jumping off' point for a larger post I am in the process of making in which I discuss the history of women in video games.

Here is one of my favourite youtubers, Albinwonderland, with an excellent video in which she discusses sexism within the realm of geekery.

Anyone experience any such sexism/hassle while playing video games? Leave them in the comments below!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fallout 4: Truth, rumours and trolling.

Oh Fallout. It's my favourite game series of all time, I have been impatiently awaiting the mention of a Fallout 4. It's been too long and thanks to work of the rumour mill and notorious trollers on Reddit, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to decipher between truth and rumour. But stay strong wastelanders! As I intend to demonstrate within this post that there is hope yet.

[INTELLIGENCE 7] So let's see what's actually confirmed and outline what BS has/is floating around the internet, and what we can expect in terms of release dates or future announcements.

As a side note, I would like to point out that the name 'Fallout 4' isn't actually a confirmed working title, but for the purposes of this Fallout series, I'm gonna go ahead and presume that Bethesda will follow the numerical order of Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Fallout 3. I know you're probably shouting "But Ruth, what about Fallout New Vegas!?" at your computer monitor right now, but remember, Fallout New Vegas was a spinoff of the Fallout series, not an actual sequel or a 'follow on'. Fallout 3 is  Bethesda's first of the franchise in a way, where everything changed. 

Mention of Fallout 4 began even before the release of Fallout 3, as seen in this Bit Tech interview with Bethesda's Pete Hines,

BT: Fallout 4?
Pete Hines: Please! Y'know we didn't buy this series so that we could make Fallout 3 and put it away and never do it again. [...] Fallout 4 will almost certainly happen - but lets make sure first that Fallout 3 is good first.

So, this paired with the fact that Bethesda acquired the intellectual property rights from Interplay in 2007 for $5.7m leads me to presume that Fallout 4 will be happening.

One of the biggest 'false prophets' so to speak, came from a Reddit user going by the name of 'GNR_informant' in late January 2013. To give this troll some credit, his claims were actually pretty fluid which led to his hoax being so god damn believable. Plenty of popular youtube gaming channels, gaming blogs and the lay Fallout community based their posts and videos (wishlists, expectations and so forth) on the misinformation of GNR_informant.

Here is his original post and his later posted, 'confession':

Screen shot 2013 06 23 at 19 07 27

Screen shot 2013 06 23 at 19 02 57

This troll got far too much attention for the hoax he created. This Reddit post resulted in a lot of disappointed Fallout fans and a big waste of time for community at large. Worst of all, a lot of these ideas that GNR_Informant had concocted in his half-baked hoax, are still floating around the internet under the guise of truth. From what I have read, it seems like the biggest piece of misinformation that has spread like wildfire throughout the Fallout community is the location of the next game, which was said to be Boston in GNR_Informant's hoax. At present, there is not confirmed location for the unannounced game.

Another reason to why GNR_Informant's hoax circulated so fast has a lot to do with timing. Around the same time-frame as GNR_Informant, Erik Todd Dellums (the voice actor of Fallout 3's 'Galaxy News Radio' DJ, Three Dog), tweeted this,

In a twitter conversation with Twitter user, @ToasttheRabbit, Dellums revealed that he was given permission to release such information. In this conversation, the possibility that his voice acting may be used elsewhere was also touched upon, for example in a spin-off movie or a TV show. Bethesda, oddly enough stepped in to do some damage control.. essentially silencing Dellums. Hm. Somewhat odd considering that Bethesda had originally given permission to Dullums to tweet this tease.

Another small pearl of hope can be seen in February 2013, Zenimax (Bethesda's parent company) job posting, seeking programmers to work on "an unannounced game on future consoles". I personally do not think this is Wolfenstein: The New Order as most are speculating, nor do I believe it to be The Evil Within, as both projects are developed by different teams/companies.

Bethesda also added some new Fallout related merchandise to it's store including an animal friend perk t-shirt (it's unavailable at present, I really wanted one!), a tunnel snakes hoodie, a new California republic t-shirt and Vault Boy longboard. Ok, this may seem insignificant however this could possibly suggest that they are attempting to reignite interest in the Fallout series.

The most recent development comes from E3 2013, in which there was a clear lack of Fallout 4 announcements. However, there was a press only conference held by Bethesda behind closed doors. The game being announced within this conference is apparently going to be released for Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4 and PC. It is apparently 55% done and set for release on the 15th of October, 2015. The community is still divided on whether this is in fact an announcement of Fallout 4. Sources such as Bubblelews give good solid information, assuring readers that this is in fact Fallout 4.


Well hot damn, Bethesda have demonstrated mastery over controlling PR leaks and remained oh so vague about any future developments. But don't retreat back to your Vault in sadness just yet! We can still gather these facts:
- From my information on the Fallout series in general, recent developments and what I have written in this post, I am 100% that there will be another Fallout game.
- Going by release date calenders, the Fallout game will most likely be released in 2016, however there is a good possibility of it being released in 2015.
- Bethesda'a roots can be found in PC gaming, so it is almost a given that the next Fallout title will be released on PC and at least one new gen console. I am hoping that these rumours circulating that the new Fallout will NOT be a Microsoft exclusive.

Although this post does not cover any Earth shattering information or developments for the next Fallout game, it is my intention to create a clear post with concrete information and clearing identifying what is in fact rumour. 

This is the first post in a series on the Fallout franchise, so keep an eye on this blog for more Fallout 4 news. Also, follow me on twitter, (@ruth_odonoghue) for more ramblings/updates on Fallout!

Until then, wastelanders!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Snapshot +2


Currently, I am loving the 'Spring Breakers' soundtrack, a mish-mash of hardcore rap fantasy and memorizing, pornographic dubstep. Plenty of college part-ay music featured on this soundtrack too, it's defiently a new favourite.

Also, some random stuff.. Depeche Mode, Glukoza (Vladivostock FM, the epic Eastern European pop station in GTA4 anyone?) and Marina & the Diamonds, of course.


E3 conferences have been pre-occupying my time and I will be writing a full post on the highs and lows of E3. But I have been fantasizing over two new trailers in particular. Foremost, 'Watchdogs' (Ubisoft Montreal: PS4/PS3/X360/PC/WiiU) has an undoubtedly compelling and unique take on a world, where hacking is the driving tool behind storyline. Sure we have seen hacking and using other forms of mobile technology as a tool in other games to progress storyline, e.g. Deus Ex, Enter the Matrix, but Ubisoft have certainly demonstrated that they want to take this to a whole new level.

My second lust from E3 2013, that I have also been re-watching on the hour, every hour is the big surprise, the hotly anticipated, 'Tom Clancy's The Division' (Ubisoft Massive: PS4/XBOXONE). This game combines two of my favourite game aspects, open-world and the RPG genre. But it's true selling point? This is an open world, RPG massivly multiplayer online game. But enough fangirling from me, I'll just let this trailer do the talking.



A slouchy white tank top, a peak of a vintage victorian-esque lace bra, very worn shorts and my suede black/silver unif hellraisers.


Jacqueline Susann's 'Valley of Dolls', oddly of my all time favourite books.. I can sort of amble within it for days.


- A ps4 with a selection of RPG games and perhaps a release date for Fallout 4.. I'm looking at you Bethesda..
- A vegetarian bento box from Yamamori's, my favourite Japanese restaurant in Dublin.
- To see Emma Watson preform as failing 'socialite' Alexis Neirs in 'The Bling Ring', but alas, it's not out in cinemas in Ireland until the 15th of July.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Xbox1 Vs PS4: The Unanswered Questions

In anticipation of E3, I noticed a lot of bloggers detailing what we already know about the ps4 and the largely anticipated, xbox one. If requested, I will make a comparison post however, I thought it would be interesting to make a post about what we don't know, what Sony and Microsoft haven't told us.

There is one unanswered question in regards to both consoles which is perhaps the most important question to be answered.. the big ol' pink elephant in the room; when will the long awaited Xbox One and and ps4 be released? It's quite possible that both these crucial dates will be released at E3 2013.

Xbox one:

- Possible release date for E3 2013
- Retailer Zavvi - possibly a speculative listing - prices the console at £399, claiming a release date of 31 November, 2013. This includes one controller and the Kinect.



- Again, perhaps a set date will be released at E3 2013.
- An advert that Sony released within Europe hints at a 'holiday' release. The question for us European playstation fans is, will the ps4 be released before Christmas or will we be left crying into our turkey and ham dinners as we watch our American and Japanese counterparts revealing in the new-gen glory of the almighty PS4. Eurogamer notes this disregard toward European gamers and release detes. In an interview with Eurogamer, Shuhei Yoshida (president of Sony Worldwide studios) states "For us, Europe is an enormously important market. That's no question. So I hope European consumers can play PS4 as soon as it's available somewhere, but I'm not making promises."

Ok, so the big question aside.. Now some gen-specific questions

Xbox One:

1. What happens when you go offline?

Ah, always online. Because it was a successful tactic for SimCity(!) Although, Microsoft attempted to clear up any confusion by vaguely stating in their official FAQ, "No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet".. wait, wut? Clarification needed please Microsoft.

2. Questions of privacy (..or lack there of)

The Kinect camera must be connected to the system in order for the console to function, making the kinect a perfect way for Microsoft to quite literally watch you. Oh would you look at the time, it's 1984 already! Ok, maybe that's a bit too paranoid but there are several elements this new-gen console that seem somewhat problematic in regards to maintaining personal privacy. A good example of this can be seen in the patent filed by Microsoft in 2011 (Games Industry International), for gaining 'achievements for watching television shows or adverts. Cool, you say, finally there is some recognition for the average couch potato. However this translates to your Xbox One tracking everything you watch on Television. Creepy.

Other questions Microsoft needs to answer:
- Although at it's launch, the Xbox One was being marketed as the penultimate family entertainment system. Hence, an emphasis on television viewing. However, this was all very American-centric with no mention of how this interface will function for non-yanks. Microsoft, will I be able to watch my local TV Stations on the Xbox One? 


1. The Console's appearance

Yep, it was downright odd that Sony didn't actually show us the console. Of course, who could forget that controller. In to an interview with 4gamer, Hiroshi Kawano stated " "If I'm being honest, I also haven't seen its final design. Even the controller we showed today, I saw the final design around yesterday or so.". Personally, I do not understand why the gaming community are so preoccupied with the aesthetics of the console. Considering the console won't be out for a few months and it doesn't appear that Sony are 100% on what will go into the console, it is understandable why they haven't picked which casing they are going to go for.

2. Is online still free?

Ah, Microsoft and their obnoxious Gold membership fees. This is a favourite argument point from PS3 fans when debating the age old, burning question of 'Which console is better?!'. Microsoft's online fee has caused many a cost-conscious gamer to flock to Sony's PS3. Sony has not made it clear at all here on their pricing/online content... most likely to be unveiled at E3.

Other questions Sony needs to answer.
- No mention has been given to the Playstation Eye being required to play. Sony? Any clarification here?

Still confused? You're probably confused about the Xbox One, because lets be honest, Microsoft have issued too many official yet-oh-so vague comments over the next-gen console. In that case, Kotaku has made a very clear and helpful chart about such matters.

Leave any of the unanswered questions that I forgot in the comments, I love reading them!