Archive for March 2011
No diary post yesterday coz I wrote the addiction comment instead and was absolutely exhausted after semi-blagging my way into a Michael Jackson: The Experience preview for the PS3 and Kinect versions.
Day 11062 Mood: 9 (Great dance game, especially on the PS3)
Pain: 1 (Seems like excitable partying and dance games are good for my back. It’s medicinal!)
Did very little today. Slept a lot, played some Kirby’s Epic Yarn and then Dragon Age 2. Never thought I’d have to take a break from playing a game because it was too cute but we did that with Kirby today. Disappointed by the entire PC interface for DA2. It’s designed almost entirely for the console, with a few elements nicked from MMOs. Lots of moaning to go in the review. Might even do a separate post dedicated to the interface.
Oh, my bf set up a blog yesterday! He wanted a space to write about non-gaming stuff. Go check out CaptSkyRocket’s Launch Pad.
Saw this in The Guardian:
“I’ve got very strict criteria that I use for video-game addiction: it has to be the most important thing in that person’s life. They have to use it as a way of consistently and reliably shifting their mood.” An addict, he says, is unable to stop playing even when they know they ought to, with knock-on effects on their work and their relationships. “If you’re unemployed with no partner and no kids and from the moment you wake up you play video games, and you play all day, that’s not an addiction. Addiction has nothing to do with the amount of time you spend on something. If an addict is unable to play they’ll get withdrawal symptoms.”
– Mark Griffiths as quoted by Tom Meltzer, I was a games addict, The Guardian
I quit my job to set up a food and nutrition website. Instead, I write about games even though I know the food website would be more profitable. 90% of my socialising in the past month has been with gamers and games journalists. I talk about games on a daily basis through Twitter. When I’m sad, angry or bored, playing games makes me happy. If I don’t play any games for more than a week I get headaches that are cured by playing games. True story; it’s happened twice this year already.
Lucky for me, I’m saved by this line:
“So long as you can stop when you have to for school, work, meals, friends and family, intense game playing is just like any other hobby.”
Even though I’ve successfully redefined work and friends to be centred around gaming, it’s all okay :)
In a few weeks the BBC World Service will be airing a documentary on Internet addiction which should include a component on games. They interviewed couple of my friends and me for the games segment; I didn’t talk very much and don’t know how much of my stuff will make the final cut but we’re expecting it to be a nice, balanced show. It’s called Internet Addiction – Caught in the Web and is scheduled for for 23rd March 2011 at 10:32, 15:32 and 20:32. I’ll post something on the The Average Gamer when it airs.
Lesson learned: Calves’ leather jackets soak up burnt rubber stench like nobody’s business.
Mood: 8 (free vodka + red bull)
Pain: 3 (no seating)
I’ve been thinking about this today because a couple of people in my twitter feed have gotten involved in a campaign against James C. McKinley Jr., a writer from the New York Times, over his reporting of the gang rape of an 11 year old. Criticisms are mostly focused on this paragraph:
Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.
– James C. McKinley Jr., Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town, New York Times
There is now a petition on Change.org calling for a published apology from the New York Times for their victim blaming of the girl. Even though I’ve taken that paragraph above out of context, I’m inclined to agree that its inclusion does imply fault on the part of the 11-year-old girl. Sure, it’s hard to reach your word quota when nobody is willing to go on record and if that’s what the neighbourhood says, some schools of journalism say that that’s what you print. Still, including the paragraph with no balancing commentary does contribute to the myth that girl who dress sexily are “asking for it”.
Given that we’re still seeing the poster pictured above on a regular basis, I lean towards thinking that yes, rape culture does exist. Every time I see that poster I wish I had a label to stick over it saying “Please stop raping women.” It would be about as effective but at least be talking to the right people.
I watched an episode of Coronation Street over the weekend where a man attempted to force himself on a woman and later explained himself with “What was I supposed to think? You came over to my house all dressed up…” This despite her repeatedly saying “No” and eventually having to fight her way out of his ‘embrace’.
Sure, that was fiction but during a later scene when the victim was crying, the woman I was watching with turned to me and said “Don’t know what she’s so upset for. It’s not like anything really happened.” Um… yes it did. Attempted sexual assault is still a Very Bad Thing.
Some time ago I had a conversation in a pub with a man who told me that he believes most men, when it comes to children, would much rather have a boy than a girl. Not because you can’t go out and teach girls to catch a ball (which would lead to a whole different conversation smackdown from me) but because most men don’t want to have to deal with the possibility of their daughters getting raped. I found this deeply unsettling; where are the rapey men supposed to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable? They’re certainly not going to listen to women who tell them so. “No” from a woman doesn’t really mean no, after all.
Please, everyone. Stop blaming women. Start telling men to take responsibility for their attitudes. Here’s a good place to start: Men Can Stop Rape.
Okay, hopefully I’m done blogging about rape culture for good. Don’t have much more to say on the topic.
Not done much else today. Practiced a bit of Motorstorm Apocalypse so that I’m not truly appalling at a promo event tomorrow. Wandered about a supermarket for a bit. Talked to people on Twitter.
Working through how I feel about the guy on Reddit blogging his last 51 hours before exercising his right to die in Oregon. I don’t like looking at it because it feels like the worst kind of morbid rubbernecking.
Reading through the 9000+ entry comments thread, it’s lovely to see the outpouring of warmth from strangers on the internet. It feels a little cheap to me because it’s so easy to drop a little “Oh man, I’m sorry it’s come to this” on an ‘anonymous’ message board and just move on with your life. Then again, all the good luck messages for my interview yesterday really meant a lot to me. I guess not everything online needs to be an heavily planned epic missive to be important.
In other news, played Homefront and Motorstorm today. Had a chat with the “boy I don’t know” that I mentioned yesterday. Turns out I do sort of know him, but not spoken since October. Nice guy. Motorstorm looks fucking amazing on a giant screen; we were at the VUE Xtreme cinema in Westfield. Still not enamoured with 3D though. Looked blurry and choppy to me when we tried it on the TVs.
Confirmed that I am shit at both driving and first-person shooter games. Never mind, eh? Plenty of genres for the rest of us.
Good day today. Got confirmation that I can attend a bunch of games events this week. Found out that a boy I don’t know actually likes what I’m doing on the games blog; he specifically called out that opinion piece on games rape culture. \m/
Packed Nick off to a preview, had an okay job interview (even though I think I kept staring at the interviewer’s chest/sternum piercings) and bought some nice hold-ups. Ooo, and a lovely shade of red lipstick with a gift card from Christmas. I now have 4 shades of red where only I can distinguish the difference. None of them are quite right. I may need to start blending my own.
Got lots of good luck wishes from Twitter on the job interview, even from people who normally just give me (probably jokey) crap. That was nice. I love Twitter for keeping me in touch with these people :)
Pain: 3 (too much window shopping in interview clothes)
Oh, I should probably explain the pain thing. I have a “dehydrated disc” between vertebrae L5/S1. Look up “disc degeneration” if you like. It basically means that two of my vertebrae rub together whenever I’m on my feet. I had an MRI last year, they saw signs of erosion on those bones and everything. Sometimes a nerve gets trapped – those are the days you’ll see me rate it 8 or 9. Once, 6 years ago, I sneezed during a day like that and almost blacked out right there on the DLR. That was a 10.
How did it happen? No idea. The first time I had back pain was in Australia, the day after I’d been on the overnight coach from Brisbane to Sydney. Sat down on a sofa and blam! Stabbing lower back pain for days. No inital trauma that I’m aware of. My body is fun like that.
I’ve been reminded this weekend just how much my tolerance for this country depends on my being warm. Spent the past few days up in York with Nick’s parents. They hate turning the thermostat above 18. My hands and feet are freezing in anything below 24. They’re lovely and as accommodating as people can be but I tend to remain cold. I love my current place; we have proper insulation and non-drafty windows for the first time in… well… forever.
Had a great weekend. Read a great book. May have indirectly killed a friendship by unfollowing someone. Not sure it was the right thing to do. This is unusual for me.
Met a new boy. He makes games and is nice. Also a good enabler when it comes to drinking far too much. Don’t take this the wrong way. Purely platonic.
Bleurgh. Might go for a tactical.
Oh, that book “The Time Traveller’s Wife” seems quite good so far. Sci-fi masquerading as popular fiction.
Pain: 4 (alcohol = win)