Friday Fun: Open Thread!

Three Angry Birds cakes, one red, one yellow, and one blue.

It’s Friday!  That means that it’s time for this week’s edition of Friday Fun!  Go ahead and talk amongst yourselves about whatever you’d like – but make sure to adhere to our discussion policy.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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30 Responses to Friday Fun: Open Thread!

  1. Jayle Enn says:

    Yay, Friday! Lessee. I’m looking forward to seeing friends over the weekend, still wrestling with Rift (hearing worried noises about class balance changes only spending a week on test before going live), and struggling to decide on a new video card. But overall, yay Friday!

  2. Lake Desire says:

    Final Fantasy XIV comes back online today at 4 pm, so that’s what I’ll be playing this weekend. I was just learning how to buy and sell items and where to find a party when the game went offline to conserve power in Japan.

  3. Alecto says:

    Who else is also playing Okamiden?!

    My feelings toward it are admittedly still a little ambivalent.

    • gunthera1 says:

      I am playing Okamiden. I wish Chibi Ammy wasn’t a son. But otherwise I love a lot of other things about it.

  4. Kimiko says:

    Can you elaborate, Alecto? I have Okamiden on my wishlist too.

    I’m playing Ys II now. The plot of these two games (Ys I and II) is pretty boring (hero saves the world by rescuing distressed damsel from evil villain), as is the voice- and backgroundless main character. The games are quite short though, and the worlds small, so you get to talk to the same NPCs throughout each story. The music is very good also, so I think I’ll put the bonus CD on my harddisk afterwards. I won’t be buying any later Ys games after this introduction though.

    So, did anyone here rush out to buy a shiny new 3DS today/this weekend? Or are you all holding out for more interesting games too?

    • TheLaquidara says:

      Personally, I’m probably going to wait until late May, when Nintendo opens up the E-Shop and the library of games starts to take better shape. Hopefully catch some better deals as well.

      Honestly, I probably would have dove in head first if it wasn’t for the sloppy DS emulation. My plan was to turn in my DS to cut the price down on the 3DS, but it seems like I’ll be hanging on to mine for a while longer.

      But I am looking forward to see what becomes of the 3DS towards the end of this year, and am certainly interested to see what they have planned for E3 and 2012.

    • Alecto says:

      I was kinda bummed to find out that Chibiterasu is actually male/son of Amaterasu. I don’t know if previous promotional materials have mentioned that, so I may have just not been paying attention.

      I wasn’t expecting that. :\

    • Maverynthia says:

      I’m holding out possible for the 3DS2 that will be around the corner and have the longer battery life, 5 zillion more cameras, some new thing the original didn’t have and a slimmer design, it’s always about the slimmer design! It might even have better DS game support, or drop it entirely :P

    • Can’t buy a 3ds because of region-lock. :( (I’m vehemently opposed to it. Enough so that I will not buy it, will not play it if given one, and will mention it at any opportunity. Sadly Nintendo doesn’t care that I sulk.)

    • Nezumi says:

      Uhm… Ys I and II are originally from 1987 and ’88. Your summary describes at least 50% of RPGs back then. The series has greatly improved in most every regard you complain about since then. Honestly, if you’d like a good look at what the series is like today — and a particularly good game in the series besides — I’d recommend Oath in Felghana.

      • Kimiko says:

        I’ve just checked some videos of Ys: The Oath In Felghana. The gameplay looks fun (reminds me of the Crystal Chronicles games). My main gripe against Ys I and II though is their plots. And in that regard Oath In Felghana is no different at all. Not surprisingly, as it’s a remake of Ys III from 1989.

        • Nezumi says:

          Really? The story has been expanded and deepened quite a bit since the original Ys III. (The gameplay has also changed so it’s not a painfully-level-grinding-focused side scroller) Still might not be up to what you want, though, come to think of it.

  5. franzferdinand2 says:

    I saw this today: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/3/23/

    I gotta say, PA’s stock with me has been deflating rapidly, and this doesn’t help.

    The obvious problem is that most gamers will never actually murder someone or have the chance to murder someone. Sexually assaulting women, though? Yeah, that actually happens a lot.

    • Eep, they clearly have learned nothing.

      Not that I am surprised AT ALL.

    • Rakaziel says:

      PA: Intentionally missing the point in 2011, too.

    • Blue and Orange Morality says:

      Before anybody gets angry, I think that Penny Arcade is very dismissive of the concerns we have about gender, sexuality and power in games. That needs to be expressed first so that I don’t get people getting angry without reading the entire post.

      On the other hand, they are pointing out something that a lot of people miss. We are okay with murder, the intentional taking of another person’s life, in videogames, but we object strongly to sexual sexual assault. What does this mean for us? The argument, “it’s okay because I’m not actually killing people” kinda doesn’t fly because Duke Nukem isn’t sexually assaulting/harassing real women either. These are all virtual representations of people.

      And to your second point, most of us have a chance to murder someone every day. If we walk behind someone on the stairs, walk beside someone on the sidewalk next to a busy street, drive a car on a regular basis, we have had a chance to murder someone. I would actually argue that the average gamer has more chances to kill someone than they do to sexually assault someone. You may not see those as opportunities to kill someone, as most people won’t, but that does not change the fact that most people have a huge number of chances to end another person’s life and they choose not to do so.

      Again, I don’t think Penny Arcade is right, but they are raising a valid point that people are objecting to the sexual assault of virtual characters but not the murder of virtual characters. That’s a point that is worth making and something we, as a community, need to talk about. Why do we say it’s okay to kill in a game but not okay to rape? I’m not advocating for either, but I think it’s a discussion that needs to happen.

      • Lake Desire says:

        I appreciate that you’re bringing up the contradiction between criticizing sexual assault in games while not criticizing murder in games. I haven’t fully reconciled how I’ll play a game where I can shoot people when I’m actively antiwar, antipolice brutality, etc. IRL. I’ll do direct action against war or have a showdown in the street with cops at a protest, but I love how empowered I feel inhabiting my female Commander Shepard when I play ME. Games are produced in a culture that both tolerates and encourages violence against women and certain forms of murder (those enacted by the state, such as war and police killings), and games reflect and perpetuate the culture that produces them. I’m curious why we socially minded gamers are more critical of sexism in games than other forms of violence. My current hypothesis is that if we were to extend our criticism to other values that games promote (militarization, war, using violence to solve conflicts etc.) we may have to demand an end to such content in games, as we demand an end to sexism in games. And I’m not sure I’m ready to play videogames that aren’t violent!

        This is just something I’ve been thinking about and want to write on, but haven’t thought it out all the way yet. I’m not looking for a heated debate right now since these are just initial thoughts, but I’d love to hear what others think.

        • UbiquitousGrue says:

          Everyone’s got different limits. Personally I don’t like games that have settings based in contemporary conflicts. I need a layer of removal – both in terms of setting and the theatrical nature of the deaths themselves. War games are the perfect example of what Francois Truffaut said about war films – and, in my opinion, the gameplay goals built into their very design often precludes their being worthy of the same consideration.
          I also think these games do affect dialogue concerning violence in general, just as 24 skewed a lot of people’s perspectives on torture. (sad but true).

          That said, my issue with sexual violence in games as opposed to general violence is specifically that it’s pretty much always gendered violence, just like its real-world equivalent. (Whereas in my mind, I feel death in general is more egalitarian) I understand that plenty of folks want no violence at all in games, but that’s not the point I’m at just yet.
          Anyway, I haven’t really sorted this out myself, so I’ll quit rambling.

  6. Maverynthia says:

    I really wish I could actually play Angry Birds. I had it working on my phone for a bit with a work around, and with the new update it stopped working completely :P

  7. I’m playing Ghost Trick on the DS right now. REALLY enjoying it so far. The mechanics are cool as hell, the plot is engaging, and I’m really getting attached to the amnesiac dead hero and kinda hoping he doesn’t find out he was a scumbag in life.

    There was an odd little twist that I kinda liked with one of the female side characters. We’re introduced to this over-the-top, ludicrous woman who’s having a huge fight with her husband that caused her to leave him. I guess I sort of assumed that the fight was over the top and ludicrous too. But then the reason behind the fight is revealed, and it turns out she had a REALLY EXCELLENT REASON for ditching him, that she has every right to be furious, and that it was a mature and intensely principled thing to do. And just, well. F*** yeah, lady. You go.

    Also, Missile rocks.

    • Doug S. says:

      Finished it yet? I want to talk about it, but I don’t want to spoil anything; I’ll just say that I really liked the way it has of subverting expectations – it keeps setting things up so that you think it’s going in a certain direction, then it turns out that the reality is something completely different. Oh, and if you think Missile rocks now, just wait till you see what happens at the end… ;)

  8. Nezumi says:

    I’m planing Okamiden at the moment. Planning to play Dragon Age: Origins so I can start on 2, but I haven’t been able to get in to it.

    Also discovered I have 7 Big Fish game credits I didn’t know about, and figuring out what to spend them on. Probably games from the Dinertown series… but not sure which ones, or whether to get them on Mac (where most of my casual games are), or PC. (which I’ve been using a lot more lately)

  9. Alex says:

    I finished DA2 the other day. And now I’m going back to Origins to get more characters to import to DA2. I just love it so much. So basically I am playing Dragon Age for the rest of my life.

  10. Nezumi says:

    I’ve also been interested in RPGs. Been trying to resist buying PDFs of Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies, Dead Inside, and/or Zorcerer of Zo. Already got Adventures in Oz recently… looks good from my skimming, but I’m trying to hold off an in-depth reading until I reread the book series.

    • Nezumi says:

      Oh! Also recently pre-ordered Nobilis 3e, and picked up Spirit of the Century — it was available at a discount, and I’ve had Spirit of the Season sitting around unusable for about a year.

  11. boxfish says:

    don’t know if this has been mentioned here, haven’t seen it but is quite interesting: http://www.nomorelost.org/2011/03/25/straight-male-gamer-told-to-get-over-it-by-bioware/

  12. TheLaquidara says:

    Well, I found some stuff that I don’t use/play anymore and decided to trade it in for a 3DS. I’m a sucker, I know. Just bought Super Street Fight with it; I’ve been wanting to get into fighting games again.

    The 3D is done quite well, however, it is a bit understated at times. No problems with getting/keeping a good angle. No eye problems, either.

    The greatest thing about the system is the audio… I’m sure that sounds weird, but the DS had so many fantastic rhythm based games, but they always seemed held back by the DS’s less-than-stellar audio. I’d say that the 3DS’s audio is on par with my PSP 3000. Oh, and yes, the volume is slightly low, but not annoyingly so. Super Street Fighter sounds pretty darn good.

    By the way, The Border House 3DS friend codes post? :) It may be a bit early, but I’d love to see one. Mine’s 4639-8960-9239.

  13. Nezumi says:

    … I have to admit, I’m confused about how anyone who actually played the God of War series to any degree could consider Kratos some sort of epitome of masculinity who men should strive to be like. Yes, he is an awesome warrior with supernatural powers and immense strength and all that. He’s also unambiguously portrayed as a petty, hateful monster whose life is ultimately empty and meaningless.

    Similarly, those who idolize the Imperium of Man confuse me. Did they actually read anything about it, or did they just hear a description of “Giant space marines that kill everything” and decided that sounded awesome, never mind that it’s a deeply dysfunctional hyper-repressive theofascist state in which independent thought is considered sinful?

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