Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is not a post.

I would love to post. I really would. I'd love to tell you all about why I now hate Wizard 101.

But it's finals week. You ain't getting nothing for a while, now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My new distraction from productivity...

...is Wizard 101.

It's quite possibly the cutest game ever that still has enjoyable gameplay. (Except for maybe Fur Fighters on the Dreamcast. That was Halo with fuzzy animals.)

And, like all my favorite games, it's free.

However, the chat system is super annoying. For one thing, many of the players are under 13 and can only use canned chat. Everyone older than that may use general chat, but the filters are severe and edit out anything not recognized by the system's dictionary, including many common emotes and abbreviations.

In some ways, this is a good thing. It eliminates profanity and encourages proper spelling (HOORAY!) in one fell swoop. Since the game promotes itself as family-friendly, the heavy filters and restrictions make perfect sense. And players 18 and up can choose to enable Open Chat, which is strictly monitored but not filtered. However, you can't enable Open Chat unless you pay to subscribe to the game. And damned if I'm going to spend money just to be able to say damn.

You can't really evaluate Wizard 101 on the same terms as Dungeons and Dragons Online, which is always full of lively dispute about stats, rolls, classes and saves. And you can't even compare it to the awkward sexual tension that often characterizes common chat in Perfect World.

Let's just say I don't play Wizard 101 for the scintillating conversation or social interaction. I play it because it's fun, cute, and totally addictive.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I enter the forum fray. Also, I have another assignment.

I feel a little more legit as a gamer now that I've started posting in forums on The Escapist.

The number of replies to my first thread was really exciting! So far it has more than 1600 views and more than 100 replies. (And I promise no more than a dozen or so views were me sitting and hitting refresh every ten seconds.) That's really nothing to write home about, in comparison to some of the other threads, but it's still cool.

What wondrous, insightful topic did I unfurl before the masses? "Who are the strongest and weakest female video game characters of all time?"

By strength, I don't only mean ass-kicking abilities; I also mean depth of character and relevance to the storyline. By weakness, I mean shallowness, passivity, and existing for little more than eye-candy.

I asked for the opinions of fellow gamers because I'm writing a proposal for a book about female video game characters. (As of right now, I'm not going to actually write the book, just the assigned proposal. But I'm having to do so much research I might as well go ahead and write the thing.)

And now, I invite you, dear readers, to answer the same question. Strongest and weakest? Best and worst? Awesomest and most useless?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I felt like an elf today.

Note little gray fluffball Artemis. My animal companion.