Archive for March, 2012

All right, in the spirit of getting caught up finally, here, ladies and gentlemen, is your Gamer Lady of March!  Felicia is a fantastic roleplayer, and friend, that I’ve known for a few months now.  I met her on a Neverwinter Nights 2 server awhile back, and have since had great game time, and fun conversations with her.  She’s always amazed me with how much she does in her personal life with school, and still having time to pack in the gaming hours.  An all around, true gamer, having experience on multiple consoles as well as PC games, and a laundry list of game titles under her belt.  Relax guys, she’s taken so don’t flood my email with requests for her number, ain’t gonna happen.  Now, without further ado, here are her thoughts on the world of gaming and being a female in it.  Oh, here and there I will pepper the answers with bracketed explanations of the acronyms.

Q: What’s your gamertag?

Typically the gamer tag I use is drfelly… That’s my gamer tag on xbox, PS3, Neverwinter Nights 2, etc. I also will sometimes use the gamer tag BipolarPrincess.

Q: Gamer guild/clan affiliation?

Hmm, I think the closest to a guild or clan affiliation I guess would be the original Eilistraeens from the DLB [Dalelands Beyond] server on NWN 2 [Neverwinter Nights 2].

Q: Console or PC?

Since my favorite gaming is MMORPGs [Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games], I have to say PC. However, when it comes to single player games I prefer the PS3. I absolutely love the Assassin’s Creed series and Elder Scrolls.

Q: When did you start gaming?

When I was a kid, I grew up with Nintendo. It wasn’t until high school that I tried my first MMORPG. It was called “Nexus the Kingdom of Winds”. I got really into that game and it made me curious to try new MMORPGs. After Nexus I tried Diablo II, once again I found it to be too much fun. Naturally I jumped through many of the major MMORPGs including World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI Online. I jumped through some pretty bad (in my opinion) ones like Runescape, Dungeons and Dragons Online, etc.

Q: What got you started in the world of gaming?

I spent the summer vacation, before my freshmen year of high school, hanging out on my cousin’s dairy farm in upstate New York. She and I are similar in age so we spent most of our time together. She was really into Nexus TK at the time and convinced me to make a “newb”. It wasn’t long before I found myself lost in the wonderful world of make pretend while also being able to socialize with people all over the country and around the world.

Q: Favorite game?

Currently my favorite game is Neverwinter Nights 2 hands down…. If we’re talking MMORPGs. If we just consider RPGs in general I’m going to have to go with Final Fantasy… I love the Final Fantasy series. My favorite is Final Fantasy IV… that one takes me back to my childhood.

Q: Currently Playing?

Let’s break this down by system. On the PC, it’s Neverwinter Nights 2. In my Nintendo DS is currently Plants vs. Zombies. On my PSP is Final Fantasy Tactics. In my PS3 is currently Skyrim (I just beat Assassin’s Creed Revelations and have moved on to Skyrim). In my Xbox 360, that’s Oblivion. As for my Wii, Zelda Skyward Sword.

Q: Most anticipated future release?

Assassin’s Creed 3… I can’t help how much I love the series.

Q: Build your own or off-the-shelf pc?

My current laptop is off the shelf but I grew up with all of my PCs built specially for me by my Uncle.

Q: Favorite game type?

If the rest of the questionnaire hadn’t answered this question already, I’ll tell you again. It’s RPGs by far.

Q: Do you think there are any issues related to being a female gamer, bias, unwanted attention, etc?

Yes and no. I’ve noticed that in some online roleplaying games, guys nearly wet themselves the moment they realize it’s a girl on the other side of the screen. That’s a bit of an exaggeration but it does get a little ridiculous sometimes. You find that characters that might have normally ignored your character ICly [In Characterly {I know, it’s not a word*}] are now giving your character extra attention. It’s not always bad for the female gamers. I know it’s far easier for me to get free stuff from guys in game then it is for one of my male friends to get free stuff. If you’re a girl gamer and you really don’t want a lot of extra attention, my suggestion is to make your username seem very ambiguous about your gender and maybe even consider creating a guy character. Also, if you think you’re being harassed by another player, do not be afraid to let the server admin know what’s up. You don’t have to deal with it.

*In Characterly or ICly refers to state in which stuff happens in RPGs, when players act as their characters.  In this case DrFelly is referring to a phenomenon we all notice when players realize a female is behind the character.  Where it would normally be IC for a character to ignore one of hers, that character suddenly finds a reason to interact with her own once the player finds out DrFelly is a lady.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, my good friend, and great gamer DrFelly.  If anyone would like to nominate a gamer chick they know for future columns, please email me at magus_taliesin@hotmail.com, drop me a pic if they want one posted, and a brief write-up on why you think they should be Frags and Beer’s gamer lady of the month.  Don’t be shy, eventually I’m going to run out of the ones I know, though for now I would like to showcase the ladies that I game with so hey, for a little while it’s no big deal.  Until next time, have fun.

UPDATE:  Felicia has started a blog and I have to say it’s great.  Wonderful prose, powerful story, and hopefully will help others and her.  Please check it out and give her your support.  Check out The Rollercoaster!

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I’ve known Cindy for quite a few years now, and that is why she was one of my first choices for gamer chick of  the month.  She’s a member of the FPS gaming clan that I joined some years ago, and has been a great teammate to shoot at and get shot from.  She’s a great sport, doesn’t get offended at all the ‘guy’ jokes that get thrown around on vent, and can talk smack with the best of us.  So without further ado, I present to you the thoughts of February’s gamer lady of the month (I know it’s late, but oh well.)

Q: What’s your gamertag?

A: BabyG

Q: Gamer guild/clan affiliation?

A: 5307th Rangers

Q: Console or PC?

A: PC

Q: When did you start gaming?

A: Back in 2002

Q: What got you started in the world of gaming?

A: My husband (boyfriend at the time) used to play ghost recon. That was my first game.

Q: Favorite game?

A: COD: World at War Zombies

Q: Currently Playing?

A: COD: World at War Zombies

Q: Most anticipated future release?

A: None at the moment.

Q: Build your own or off-the-shelf pc?

A: Got it built

Q: Favorite game type?

A: FPS

Q: Do you think there are any issues related to being a female gamer, bias, unwanted attention, etc?

A: Not enough female characters in games, is one thing that always annoyed me. Another thing I have noticed is that some guys do not like getting killed by a girl/woman. Bruises the ego for some reason. We get killed plenty by guys, don’t see us whining about it..lol I’ve played with the same gamming clan for over 6 years and aside from the odd guy now and them, don’t think none of them ever had a problem with me being part of the gang. I got plenty of attention for sure, but to me it was all in good fun. They’ve become like a 2nd family to me.

So there you have it folks, your gamer lady for February.  She’s a spitfire, fun to game with, a blast to joke with, and a good friend to have around.  If you know a lady gamer that would like to be featured at Frags and Beer, just email me at magus_taliesin@hotmail.com.  Shoot me a pic (if they want) but more importantly a brief writeup as to why they should be featured.  Let’s show the gaming community that there are far more great gamer chicks out there than people believe.

A friend of mine clued me into this upcoming project, calling it, “What we were all hoping BF3 would be.”  I have to admit, as much as I love Battlefield 3, this game looks like exactly what we hoped BF3 would be.  Huge maps, matches that could last days, hundreds of people in the same match, and on and on.  Oh and did I mention, free to play!

Looking at the site, and the videos available I am impressed so far.  The graphics aren’t quite as good as BF3, but that’s understandable.  It would require some fairly beefy PCs and servers to handle such a huge game with graphics as advanced as newer games.  They are good though, think more like an advanced Team Fortress 2 or Brink.  Colorful, smooth, but not ultra realistic.

The basic concept of the game is three empires, fighting for territory and resources over expansive maps.  Many tools, weapons, and vehicles are available if you own the resources to get them.  For example, if your team doesn’t occupy a tank factory, you don’t get tanks.  Holding points, resources, and territory is the way to win a match, but with so many people you might log into a match in progress, and have to log out before it’s over.  You might come back the next day to help your team win that same match.

Overall if this game lives up to the videos and descriptions on the site I can see myself getting lost in this one for quite some time.  I will be signing up for the beta and hopefully give you guys a preview, if that’s allowed.  Get more info at their site.

Planetside 2 Official game site

First off, sorry for being gone so long, it’s been a rough month here at Frags and Beer.  Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you all, and there’s been plenty of beer drinking and nub fraggin going on here.  This time around, since this blog is about whatever I am interested in, I want to give you all a heads up about a great book I just read.  It’s not brand new, I think it released last year, but I just saw it, something caught my eye and I bought it.  Little disclaimer…I bought the book on my own.  This is not a paid or asked for endorsement.  No one at the publishing company, nor the author, has asked me to do this.  I just loved this book so wanted to spread the word.

Across the Universe is a young adult science fiction novel, that has a thriller element to the story, and a deep and interesting mystery…oh and some romance.  Thankfully it’s not written like a lot of young adult books, it’s not hard sci-fi, too scary a thriller, too confusing a mystery, or too sappy of a romance.  I was impressed with how the author incorporated so many genre elements into the story, kept it interesting, and didn’t make it seem like a forced mash of so many genres.  It is honestly one of the most unique, and interesting books I’ve read in awhile.  I would recommend this book for just about anyone that likes to read.  Even if you aren’t into sci-fi, or any of those other genres, I think you will still like this book.

The basic gist of the story is this.  In the future Earth has gone to crap, and a lot of people have decided that leaving for another planet some 300 years away is the best course.  Backed by a big company, who sees potential profit in sending colonists to this planet, they build a ship, get some volunteers, and get going.  The book opens with the scene of a family being frozen for the trip.  This is where the book impressed me first.  Here Beth is giving us a very sci-fi element, and she goes even further to explain in detail how it’s done.  She presents the entire process, how the people feel about it, what it’s like to watch a family member ‘die’ basically, as their bodies are frozen solid for reanimation centuries away.  She didn’t fall into the trap of many sci-fi writers, and the reason I don’t read hard sci-fi.  Beth stays away from the huge, made-up words, the lengthy explanations of how the made-up technology works, and she made sure to keep to the human element of the process.  We can actually relate to the characters, and what they are feeling, instead of getting a lecture on the tech.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand.  On the ship are also people whose sole purpose is to run and maintain the ship, water, and food supply.  These people are to live, work, breed, and die on the ship as successive generations learn their tasks to keep things going so the ‘frozens’ as they are called in the book can do their job when they get to the new planet.  The people on the ship, the ones that are awake form their own society, which has its own problems that slowly unfold as the book goes on.  We are quickly introduced to the mystery element, and while I had it figured out before the end, it took longer for me than it usually does.  You can ask my wife, I usually figure out ‘who did it’ way too early in most movies and books, and that’s something I’ve gotten used to so I am pleasantly surprised when I come across a book or movie that keeps me guessing for awhile.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say that the tag line, “What does it take to survive aboard a spaceship fueled by lies?”, is pretty apt.  It explores a lot of themes we are dealing with today, and you will be hard pressed not to relate the society of the ship to our own in many ways.  Parents be warned, while it is a young adult book, there are some harsh scenes in the book.  There are no graphic depictions of sex or anything, but Beth does dance at the line of what some would consider almost too much.  To me that is not a bad thing, but I encourage parents to read this book before letting their children read it…get that, let them read it just read it first.  They might have questions, some of the themes in the book might be a little troubling, and as parents we should be there to talk about those things.  I do not think the book crosses the line and it deals with real, and troubling issues without talking down to the audience, which is great.

All in all, fantastic book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one, A Million Suns.  This book was Beth’s first, and as an aspiring writer myself, I am impressed.  I’ve read books by seasoned authors that weren’t nearly as good.  Buy this book, read this book, and tell everyone you know how good it was, cause if you read it you will agree.  If you don’t…well then you are just wrong 😉

Now, off to work.  I have more articles planned, going to catch up on our Gamer Chick segment with a belated February entry soon, and a March one shortly after, as well as my thoughts on an upcoming game that I’m pretty excited for.  See you all soon.