Gendered Careers: Where are the women in pro Esports?

There has been a notable lack of a female presence at the professional level of video game competition since the dawn of esports as a profitable industry. Despite well researched demographics indicating that around 10% of players are female in most leading esports titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive and nearly 30% of esports viewership is female, less than 1% of professional players in these games are women (Yee, 2017).

Where is this gender disparity coming from and what is preventing women from successfully breaking into the esports scene as professional gamers?

Continue reading “Gendered Careers: Where are the women in pro Esports?”

Community Collab Challenge: Video Game Literary Classics 101

The Prompt
Students all over the world have to read certain classic literature in school such as: Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, Homer’s Odyssey, etc. With that in mind…

Imagine it’s 2050 and you’re helping design a course for high school students called Video Game Literary Classics. You have been asked to suggest a culturally significant video game (or several) for students to academically analyze and discuss, as they would with classic literature. Which video game title(s) would you choose for literary study and why?

Continue reading “Community Collab Challenge: Video Game Literary Classics 101”

Tales from Retail: Black Friday Edition

Black Friday
The day all retail workers fear. The day the crazies come out. The day you work until you can’t stand and then work some more. One year I was on the long graveyard shift for Black Friday. I came in at 4AM and worked until 2PM. At 5AM, one of our point-of-sale computers freezes for no discernible reason. Aww jeez. We have a line out the door and around the corner, and the store is packed and sweltering. We really can’t afford to be down a register. No me gusta, amigos. Suddenly, another computer freezes. FULL RED ALERT!

Continue reading “Tales from Retail: Black Friday Edition”

Cosmic Star Heroine Review; a modern, 16-bit, scifi JRPG delight

Cosmic Star Heroine offers a wealth of content considering its base cost. This scifi romp is a skillfully crafted, complete package of JRPG-style goodness that remains faithful to its 16-bit roots, and it has a great sense of humor to boot! With the polish of Octopath Traveler and gameplay similar to that of Chrono Trigger, if you liked either of those titles and you love scifi, then Cosmic Star Heroine is a game you will doubtless want to add to your collection.

Continue reading “Cosmic Star Heroine Review; a modern, 16-bit, scifi JRPG delight”

How Video Games Influenced My Life and My Writing

I have a long, involved history with video games. My childhood best friend and I bonded over Pokémon while others took to playing ball or drawing with chalk during recess. The first video game I ever owned was Pokémon Yellow. For the past twenty years I have been absolutely immersed in the world of video games, from the moment I got a Gameboy Color for Christmas when I was ten, to this past year when I finally caved and bought a Nintendo Switch.

Continue reading “How Video Games Influenced My Life and My Writing”

Star Trek Adventures with my Grandmother

I grew up watching Star Trek with my grandmother. Everyone called Grandma “Sugar” because she was so sweet toward everyone in her life. I used to spend entire weekends marathoning Star Trek episodes with her when I would visit while growing up. She passed away eight years ago on Mother’s day weekend, and I miss her.

Voyager was our favorite, but we watched them all! My cousin had gradually gifted her all the series on DVD in prior years, which was a delight. I would curl up behind the crook of her knees on the couch as a child while we watched.

Continue reading “Star Trek Adventures with my Grandmother”

Video Games, Cleavage, and You: Player Agency in Character Customization

Recently I was asked what my opinion was on large bust size of female video game characters and I thought that would be a great topic for a longer post. The short answer is: The size of a female character’s bust surprisingly does not matter. What does matter is whether that particular physical trait is forced on the player and if or how a character’s attire and animations (chest thrust, “come hither” expression, etc.) highlight it. Some gamers love to play seductive characters, while others prefer reserved or practical looks. Both are fine! The key factor is player agency.

Continue reading “Video Games, Cleavage, and You: Player Agency in Character Customization”