What Are You Playing Wednesday

A town in Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn.

A town in Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn.

It is Wednesday question time:

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

This week I mainly played Muramasa Rebirth, Assassin’s Creed Liberation and Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn.  It has been all about getting in gaming time whenever I can fit it into my schedule.

What have you been playing?

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Women Who Stream: Jasmine Hruschak

Recently the game streaming service Twitch was rumored to be in deals with Google for a one billion dollar acquisition. The internet lit up, with responses ranging from outrage that Twitch could sell out and skepticism that a billion wasn’t enough. There is no denying that Twitch has become a giant over a very short period of time. It attracts the fourth highest peak traffic on the internet, after giants Netflix, Google, and Apple, above Hulu, Amazon, and Facebook. With integration into Playstation and Xbox consoles, it’s easier than ever to stream. There is no doubt that Twitch is a major contender, a force to be reckoned with, an entity to be watched – a big, big deal.

There have been articles written about some of Twitch’s top TV personalities, ranging from variety games Twitch host to a father-son duo who streams together. Attention is also focused on top League of Legends and Dota streamers, where a good chunk of Twitch’s viewership comes from. E-sports, with the rise of EVO and LoL and DOTA tournaments across the world have catapulted these streamers into micro celebrities.

Where, though, are the women? There certainly are women, streaming all kinds of games at all hours of the day. I want to read the stories of women streamers, to know why they stream, how they got started, and the technical aspects of streaming too. In addition, women face unique harassment challenges, in forms of threatening emails, hateful words, and toxic chat environments. Women facing harassment in public spaces is sadly not a new phenomenon and I want to know how women deal with this in such a brand new form of media.

I contacted Jasmine Hruschak, 28, known online as irlJasmine. Jasmine was a longtime streamer for Massively.com and now streams weekly on her Twitch channel, mostly MMO’s such as Archeage and Final Fantasy 14. I interviewed Jasmine about both streaming in general and what it’s like to be a woman who streams.

Jasmine's profile image. She has glasses and a pink mohawk.

Jasmine Hurschak

KC: First of all, a little background. How did you get into video games? Do you have a
favorite type or a favorite genre?

JH: When I was a little girl I used to play these Tiger handheld devices themed after Disney movies. I carried them absolutely everywhere, and eventually progressed to a Game Boy, and then finally my very own PlayStation.

Ah, the good old days.

Ah, the good old days.

I always heavily preferred games with social aspects which, back then, meant mostly fighting and racing games. Sometimes friends would come over and we would play through Crash Bandicoot together, trading the controller back and forth when one of us died, but when I was alone I was usually practicing Tekken so I could take on people at the local arcade.

With the advent of online games, and my favorite genre, MMORPGs, I get all of my social gaming desires met without having to leave the house.

Continue reading

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Toadette leading a race in Mario Kart 8

Toadette leading a race in Mario Kart 8

It is late on a Wednesday and time for some questions:

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

I am still in a busy time at work and so all I have played recently was Muramasa Rebirth and Mario Kart 8 with some friends.

What have you been playing?

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DRAGON AGE™: INQUISITION Gameplay Series — E3 Demo & Transcription, Part One

Below is the accompanying transcript for Mike Laidlaw’s commentary.
Ambient dialogue is present, but is not included.

Continue reading

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Polka from Eternal Sonata

Polka from Eternal Sonata.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

My week is basically a redo of last week. I played Muramasa: Rebirth and Eternal Sonata.

What have you been playing?

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Torahime on a spectral horse in Muramasa Rebirth.

Torahime on a spectral horse in Muramasa Rebirth.

Happy mid-week Border House!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

This week I went back to Skylanders SWAP Force and defeated Chaos’ mother so I assume I am near the end stages. I also restarted Eternal Sonata and I adore the visuals in that game! On my Vita, I started Muramasa Rebirth and Doki-Doki Universe since they are the PlayStation Plus games this month.

What have you been playing?

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

The city in Shadowrun Returns.

The city in Shadowrun Returns.

Another week, another What Are You Playing Wednesday!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

This week I started Shadowrun Returns. I am roughly 1 hour into the game, and so far I am enjoying the graphics and battle system.

What have you been playing?


 

I would also like to take this moment to mention that we are always looking for more authors. We run this blog out of a love of video games and a sincere desire to see that medium/entertainment better reflect the diversity found in its players. Let’s talk about the problems we see and the things that excite us. If you would like to write for us, please read the following and contact us! You all help us keep the site vibrant: the commenters, readers, and writers. Thank you.

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Dragon Age Inquisiton – E3 Coverage

Dragon Age Inquisition concept art featuring a broken bridge.

Dragon Age Inquisition concept art featuring a broken bridge.

The following is a write-up on the Twitch & IGN interviews from E3 2014 regarding Dragon Age Inquisition, by guest author Meli Landry. The demo video and interview can be found here and here.

Author bio: Meli Landry is a writer and game enthusiast. She believes that the art of storytelling, regardless of medium, should be all-inclusive. Her work can be found on her website or on Twitter.

 

The Demo

  • Qunari FemQuiz in action!
  • Condensed version of what is playing in the booth at E3.
  • Set in the Hinderlands.
  • Totally badass.

Dragons

  • We’ve been promised LOTS of dragons, which is very appropriate. Personally, I always thought it was odd that Dragon Age only featured a few.
  • Will be reactive to the game environment, as opposed to remaining static. If you’re attacking a dragon on one side and someone is on the other side doing damage, it will acknowledge what’s going on and respond accordingly.
  • Actions will reflect damage taken, so if a leg is wounded, the dragon will be limping. If tail is cut off (or whatever, I’m thinking big here), it will then be a mad dragon who stomps around sans tail.
  • Will certainly kick your butt whenever it can. Because dragons are awesome, you see.
  • Not confirmed if Journey’s “Separate Ways” will start blasting every time a high dragon comes your way. It should, though.

The Inquisitor

  • Seen as a “Joan of Arc” figure, a real inspiration for others. (Concerning, since being Joan of Arc didn’t end well for her.)
  • Goal is to not only build up armies and lead the Inquisition, but to inspire courage and confidence in all.
  • The Inquisition’s reputation pretty much rests on your shoulders.
  • Specifically mentioned that the Inquisitor is special in that (s)he is the only person who has the ability to close the fade rifts. (The video is worth viewing if for nothing more than to see the fade hand in action.)

Environment

  • Demons are pouring out of fade rifts, “which represents a fundamental disability in the world.”
  • “Bigger than all of DAO in terms of square footage.”
  • The “massive [amount] of space is the big difference.”
  • Will be able to travel throughout not only Orlais, but Ferelden.
  • Areas of Ferelden that we’ve been to before, such as Redcliffe, have been completely rebuilt for the Frostbite engine. So fresh, so seriously clean.
  • The world, as well as the bad guys within it, changes based on where you’re at in the game. For example, if you’re currently battling mages, you can expect mages to be fighting you despite where you are. If it’s Red Templars, you could expect them to pop up in those same places.

Combat

  • Not only will your bad guys apparently seek you out wherever you are, but they won’t necessarily change in strength to match your level. It sounds like it’ll be similar to games like World of Warcraft in that respect. If you’re in a field of level 1 bunnies, they’ll still be level 1 bunnies at the end of the game. And you’re a bastard if you’re still killing them.
  • Battles will be smoother, faster, and more responsive.
  • “No ten minute casting times” was a specific guarantee.  There was a passing mention that spells might have limits of how many times you can use them, though.
  • Can switch characters as needed and easier than before.
  • Zoom in and out of combat as needed — which, by the way, looked so smooth in the demo.
  • The focus ability was specifically mentioned. Teamwork & group combat becomes more tactical and allows for strategic wounding of your foe, such as focusing on the legs of the dragon to disable it. You could always focus on a specific enemy, but the ability to focus on a certain part of said foe is completely new.

Mounts

  • Not much was said specifically about mounts, but Qunari FemQuiz is riding a massive horse. Was that a Clydesdale?
  • Confirmed that we will be able to “collect a whole selection of mounts and choose as you wish.” Personally, I just want a unicorn. Just one, guys. Come on.

And last, but certainly not least:

  • DHMG IS NO LONGER. That is, unless you’d like to follow us in calling him “Dorian, Handsome Moustache Guy.” You’re so welcome.
  • Dorian was officially called as such and Mike clarified that he is “from the Tevinter Imperium… Member of the Magisterium.” According to Mike, Dorian has joined the Inquisition to change his ways. D’aww. We can go ahead and assume that he’s a companion, since we got to see him in action and know that he was part of an ending scene involving Leliana, FemQuiz, and the Iron Bull. Is he a love interest? Dunno, but with a moustache and voice like that, he better be.

Dragon Age Inquisition is the property of BioWare & EA, not I. Information contained in this write-up was gathered from the IGN/E3 Interview on 06/10/14.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post was originally seen on Meli’s website.

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Rock Pikmin. They look like black stones.

Rock Pikmin. They look like black stones.

It is mid-week already!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

The only game I played this week is Pikmin 3. It is just a delight to play. The graphics are wonderful and the game play itself is always enjoyable.

What have you been playing?

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E3 news coverage

The E3 logo.

The E3 logo.

E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) has been going on full swing this week. With it have come a few interesting news stories.

The makers of Assassin’s Creed Unity announced that they will not include playable female characters in the upcoming game. Again, female characters are painted as an afterthought by developers. It is just too much work, they claim. The Mary Sue has a great article about this topic.

In an opinion piece over at Polygon, Danielle Riendeau comments on the both the violence of the game videos highlighted at E3 and the lack of diversity of on-stage presenters. The article was fueled by a tweet from developer Rami Ismail stating that “PlayStation continues the ‘more severed heads’ than female speakers trend. #E3″

Have you seen any other interesting articles about E3? Please, share them.

Has any news from this year’s expo struck you?

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