Tag Archives: Shit we’re excited for

Video Games, Girls, Video Games, Girls

9 Feb

I don’t think I turned out badly. Sure, I have my passive-aggressive moments, my decreasing tolerance for stupidity, bleached hair and tattoos, but I also do have a full-time job and just recently bought my own car, so, on the base level, I’m a regular 23-year-old American girl.

But unlike the regular 23-year-old American girls that I know, and know of based on stereotypes, I’m not close to my mom at all. We don’t ever have anything to talk about, and every time I come home to help cook dinner (during holidays) she has to complain about something being undercooked or overcooked. Or, she complains that I’m not chopping the onions fast enough. She also never asks me about boyfriends–perhaps she has given up. I might be able to explain why. See below.

My dad, on the other hand, is one of my good friends (we’re not that close either). We watch 3D movies together (Monsters vs. Aliens, Tron:Legacy, Up…), build Gundams together and make costumes together. Yeah, my dad made those wolverine claws out of fiberglass. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed that perhaps he raised me as the SON HE NEVER HAD. THE FAUX-SON. This may be good or bad.

A friend commented, "only a father like yours can produce a daughter like you. šŸ™‚ ". Just say I'm "special", goddamit.

Kotaku recently posted an article encouraging dads to play video games with their daughters–supposedly doing so will improve the relationship between a father and a daughter–although this does not apply to sons since boys usually play video games with their friends.

From Kotaku and the Brigham Young University study:

“When parents play video games with their daughters, they may be sending a myriad of messages. First, parents may show that they are willing to engage in an activity that is important to daughters. Second, playing video games can represent quality time between a daughter and a parent, especially when such play involves conversation between parentā€“child.”

IĀ  have to disagree with this because I’ve never played video games with anyone in my family–nor do I want to. I would spend hours at my friend’s house across the street playing Goldeneye and Super Smash Bros., if I wasn’t sitting in front of the computer playing Virtua Fighter 2 or Tomb Raider. My parents probably saw video games as a way to distract me for a few hours while they tended to their own business, and I knew of no parents in my neighborhood that approved of video gaming–so why would they participate with their children in this activity? I actually distinctly remember being reprimanded for playing too many video games and not “socializing” enough–in my defense, I was at my friend’s house, playing video games with HER brothers and sisters so, technically, I was out mingling with people…

Another excerpt from the article:

“It bears noting that the positive effects on adolescent females were only produced when parents and children were playing age appropriate games. Mario Kart, Mario Brothers, Wii Sports, Rock Band and Guitar Hero were the top games played by girls, none of which are anywhere near as violent as Call of Duty or Halo, two of the boys’ top titles.”

I can see playing Wii Sports with my parents, it’s a great group activity that doesn’t involve a million “are we there yet”s and special gear for an outdoor sport. But I would say that about 80% of the games I play and enjoy playing involve violence, and killing of some kind–usually in the form of zombies or monsters. I truthfully have never even played Cooking Mama because I just have no desire to faux-cook. I don’t see myself playing Left4Dead with my parents. Most of my girlfriends don’t even play video games or are even excited by the idea of it. Also, the games listed above from the study, are games that don’t require an obscene amount of hours to complete–you can stop any time and there isn’t a “goal” to achieve. Parents approve of games like that. My parents shake their heads at all the Zelda games I’ve played, which, when I start playing, usually suck up 6-8 hours of my day after work–and don’t even try to talk to me while I’m questing because nothing else exists around me at that time.

Unfortunately, I feel as though this article from Kotaku simply feeds the stereotype that girls typically don’t play video games (partly true, but last I checked the Guitar Hero record holder was a female…) and should. I don’t think the act of playing games makes them “better” than if they don’t include gaming in their social diet. Compared to the rest of my friends, I have a pretty pathetic relationship with my parents–playing video games WITH them wouldn’t mend the bridge, either. I also wouldn’t be writing this blog all 150 of you (whoever you are, thanks for reading) enjoy perusing. I also wouldn’t have the same group of friends I have today. But going back to the stereotype of girls not playing video games–this could be a marketing issue as you don’t see any girls playing games in the, for example, Call of Duty commercials. Also, feeble attempts by companies to make games FOR girls–fashion games and such. I have seen a few girls (between the ages of 7-10) play on their (pink) DSi’s play these types of games but no females my age.Ā  I work in fashion and I don’t even want to touch those games. I also don’t personally know any girls my age that play these games–MegaWoman would slap me if I even contemplated playing Hannah Montana’s Closet. (pretty sure that game doesn’t even exist but you get what I’m saying)

The one thing I do approve of this Kotaku article is the idea of encouraging gaming. There is a panel tonight at the Peterson Automotive Museum discussing how video games are good for you–first come, first-serve basis starting at 6:30pm. And guess what, the discussion is led by a woman. Although, I do wonder if she talks about playing games with her parents during her youth…

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A Course in Zombiology, For Reals.

18 Jan

Even though I grew up watching anime and reading manga, you’d be surprised by the amount of Asian kids in my hometown that didn’t really participate in either activity, so I always feel giddy with excitement when someone else knows what I’m rambling about. I guess that’s also one of the reasons this blog was started, to find other people with similar interests and share the geeky love…

Corniness and nostalgia aside, I finally finished watching High School of the Dead 2 weeks ago (yeah, I know, I’m late. My sister finished it the week it came out, shocking…) and the surprising part of that is not so much that I thoroughly enjoyed it, but because I watched it with a bunch of other girlfriends who don’t really watch anime.

High School of the Dead--Because busty schoolgirls and zombies are a winning formula. Image via http://shannaro.files.wordpress.com

Somewhere along episode 6 a few of us started debating how we’d survive a zombie apocalypse–weapons, getaway vehicle, provisions, places. We even named one of our girlfriends’ apartment’s “ZSDF HQ” (Zombie Self-Defense Force) on Foursquare. Call us losers or people with too much time on our hands but we got a little too excited and I ended up making this banner during a lull in my work day. (Yes we actually updated all our Facebook statuses that day as well) You can see that we really put a lot of thought into these weapons–though we probably wouldn’t actually be able to get a hold of an AR-15 with a chainsaw or even a crossbow during the panic…We could, however, legitimately take our girlfriend’s Prius as our default vehicle since we wouldn’t have to worry about refilling up our gas. (Bet you didn’t think of that one, eh?)

Of course we weren’t the only ones to obsess and contemplate the zombie apocalypse. This Thursday, January 20, at Meltdown Comics in LA, Nerds in Babeland will be presenting their first-ever Comic-Book-of-the-Month club, this time centering on the Walking Dead (which I actually just started reading last week). The event startsĀ  at 7PM and all attendees receive an awesome 20% off all your purchases at Meltdown during the event. You can join other fans in discussing the television series, graphic novels or consider whether a shotgun would be more beneficial to your survival during the zombie shitshow or if it would stir up too much noise and would therefore lead to your demise.

And more details from the Nerds in Babeland site:

Jenna Busch (Moviefone Minute, Huffington Post, Cineboobs) will be leading a discussion on the hit AMC program show based on the series, followed by a discussion lead by Stephanie Wooten from Nerds in Babeland on the best-selling comic book series. Ā In between the discussions we will even provide a zombie make-up tutorial by Jackie Bagwell, an owner & organizer of Ashtoberfest (a week-long festival dedicated to all-things zombie).”

A zombie make-up tutorial? If I didn’t already look like one, I’d be there.

And if you can’t attend in person, you can log on to nerdsinbabeland.com/chat at 7PM PST and join in the discussion through your computer screen.

There is an entry fee of $6 but you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a copy of a Walking Dead graphic novel (but more importantly, geek out about zombies in a group setting)

Meltdown Comics is located at 7522 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 90046. Tel: 323-851-7223. But I mean seriously, if you don’t already know where it is, you’ve been deprived.

Ah, You Will Most Definitely Get a Third Date If You Bring Me Here on Date #2 – Part One

14 Jan

Frogger! Image via nineteeneightyeight.com

The last time I attempted to go to Venice for the artwalk, I ended up distracted by the food truck jungle and those Pantone chairs by Seletti propped up in one of the shop windows. Venice is also really out of the way for me, and even though I live in Hollywood, you know it takes 40 minutes to get to the west side.

But a friend tipped me off to this gallery opening (yes, tomorrow! January 15!), and seeing this retro-style poster of my favorite jaywalker, Frogger (which was one of the first games I ever played in my life), I think I WILL drive all the way down Santa Monica Blvd to scope out what could be deemed possibly as “fine geek art”. Because not all of us otaku still have our Haruhi and Belldandy wallscrolls adorning our walls anymore. (If you still do, it’s okay, it would be an ice-breaker for us.)

And here’s just a little excerpt from Thrillist teasing me until I take a trip down Nostalgia Lane:

“…Over 30 artists have contributed prints, with highlights including a “Look Both Ways” propaganda-style poster starring Frogger, a mosaic made up of 8-bit graphics from Zelda, and a Duck Hunt number that looks like a target with a disclaimer that states “under normal circumstances, the duck moves very f****ng fast in bat-s*** crazy patterns” –yeah, well, that’s nothing a little pressing-the-gun-to-the-TV-screen can’t fix….”

Whew, I guess I can finally tack on something worthy above the little collection of figurines in my bedroom.

Clearly, I have not put any effort into decorating my apartment.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my adventure to Gallery 1988.

2011: A Year of Geek Movies

8 Jan

There are a ridiculous amount of geeky movies coming out this year.

With superheroes, fairy tales, robots, gods, aliens, vampires, gnomes, zombies, genetically engineered apes, smurfs, pirates, spies, witches, wizards, pandas…the movie selection this year is a smƶrgĆ„sbord of geek topics.

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Season of the Witch: Jan 7th

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The Green Hornet: Jan 14th

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Gnomeo and Juliet: Feb 11

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I am Number Four: Feb 18th

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All Star Superman: Feb 22nd

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The Adjustment Bureau: March 4th

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Mars Needs Moms: March 11th

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Battle: Los Angeles: March 11th

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Beastly: March 18th

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Paul: March 18th

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Dylan Dog: Dead of Night: March (tentatively)

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Sucker Punch: March 25

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Super: April 1st

Starring Rainn Wilson as The Crimson Bolt, a powerless superhero who wields a wrench, it looks like it’s going to beĀ Kick Ass level of good.

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Source Code: April 1st

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Your Highness: April 8th

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Thor: May 6th

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Priest: May 13th

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: May 20th

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Kung Fu Panda 2: May 27th

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X-Men First Class: June 3rd

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Green Lantern: Emerald Knights: June 7th

Straight to DVD animated movie about Kyle Rayner and a time-travelling Hal Jordan as they team up with the JLA and Green Arrow to fight Sinestro and Parallax.

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Super 8: June 10th

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Rise of the Apes: June 24th

Planet of the Apes prequel which shows how the apes came to rule to world, starring James Franco.

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Green Lantern: June 17th

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Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon: July 1st

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: July 15th

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Captain America: The First Avenger: July 22nd

If you don’t know what this is going to be about, shame on you.

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Cowboys and Aliens: July 29th

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The Smurfs: August 3rd

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Conan the Barbarian: August 19th

Conan”s adventures on his quest to avenge the death of his father and the slaughter of his village.

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Fright Night: August 19th

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Johnny English Reborn: September 16th

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) tries to stop a band of assassins from killing the Chinese Premier

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Now: September 30th

A society where aging stops at 25 and the rich are immortal while the rest struggle to survive. Starring Justin Timberlake, who’s falsely accused of murder, on the run with his hostage Amanda Seyfried.

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Real Steel: October 7th

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The Thing: October 14th

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Puss in Boots: November 4th

Origins of the swashbuckling cat from the Shrek movies.

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Immortals: November 11th

3D movie where Theseus (Henry Cavill) must fight to save his people and the Greek gods from the mad King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke).

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Arthur Christmas: November 23rd

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Sherlock Holmes 2: December 16th

After how awesome the first one was, we all knew the sequel was inevitable.

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The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn: December 28th

3D motion-capture film based on the comics: Tintin’s first encounter with Captain Haddock and their adventures trying to find his ancestor’s hidden treasure.

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Tekken: Sometime in 2011

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These are trailers for the ones I’m actually likely to go see. For even more, seeĀ this io9 post.

Quarter of Silence… Golden, Golden Silence

28 Dec

Every time I visit my parents’ home, my sister is either doing one of three things: showering, sleeping or watching a Detective Conan movie. Not to say she is unproductive, but that’s just how my timing seems to work when I visit during the holidays. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not very close with my sister even though we’re only three years apart. In an effort to “bond”, she usually asks me, “Have you seen the latest Detective Conan movie?” to which I usually don’t know how to respond because I actually only watched up to the 12th movie, and Detective Conan movies aren’t at the forefront of my brain. Needless to say, I do enjoy the movies very much and “Captured In Her Eyes” is one of the best movies I have seen in the history of my life.

I was actually in Japan this year during the release of the 14th Detective Conan movie (one is released every year) and was tempted to watch it while in Tokyo. Had to remind myself I was not in Japan to watch movies, though. Apparently my sister watched it and gave away a little spoiler, a spoiler juicy enough for me to encourage me to start following the storyline again.

The 14th movie, if you’ve been following along as my sister has been, was titled “The Lost Ship in the Sky” and reunited Conan with our favorite “villain” Kaitou Kid. The 15th movie, “Quarter of Silence”, celebrates the 15th anniversary of the series (wow… I am old…), and will be in theatres (in Japan) on April 16, 2011. Enjoy the trailer below:

As much as I love the Detective Conan series, I just don’t understand how time functions in Conan world. Do they solve mysteries everyday? Once a week? I mean.. if it’s been 15 years, shouldn’t Conan grow up to be Shinichi already and get back with Ran already? I wouldn’t mind a happy ending, that’s all I’m saying.

Diaries of a Tron:Legacy Fanatic

20 Dec

Dear Diary,

I have a feeling my friends are all tired of me dominating their Facebook feeds with back-to-back posts about Tron:Legacy… as if the billboards and commercials weren’t enough already. So I’m going to fangirl in private. I watched the movie in IMAX-3D right after my flight from China, jaw-dropped the entire time. I stepped outside the movie theatre onto the grid of the Real World, imperfect in the way the Grid was “perfect”. I’m glad I got a taste of the Grid when I visited Disneyland weeks before, for the elecTRONica street club/party (read my post about it here). The Daft Punk cameo nearly caused me to wet my pants. Is my life that unexciting that I have to find solace in a fictional, glow-in-the-dark world? Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces, and we are notorious for living in our imaginations 70% of the time. Or maybe I’m just bored of my environment, despite the fact I was traversing in Asia the last week (wait.. that’s another attribute of Pisces… right?)

I went to see the movie again the next day at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood–a dazzling laser show preceded the viewing.

Tron:Legacy laser show at the El Capitan Theatre.

A replica of the shiva device transporting you into the Grid (at the El Capitan)

I must say I enjoyed the movie more the second time… and who am I kidding, I have to see it again with my dad, for whom I just bought a Tron Light Cycle toy for (I got the Kevin Flynn one). The more I look at that toy the more I realize I should have bought one for myself… I mean, it LIGHTS UP!!!!!! Damn it’s cool.

!!!!! Now I really want one for myself!!!!

While at the Disney store next to the El Capitan, I also picked up the hard copy of the Tron soundtrack. I must point out 2 extremely cool things about this item:

1. The CD resembles an identity disc–it’s completely black on both sides, the top side printed with circles of turquoise.
2. The CD insert explains how the soundtrack was created, starting with Daft Punk meeting with director Joseph Kosinski at 101 Cafe in Hollywood, WHICH IS LITERALLY DOWN THE STREET FROM WHERE I LIVE! HOLY CRAP!!!!

Tron:Legacy soundtrack CD

Reverse side of Tron:Legacy soundtrack CD

After viewing the movie for the 2nd time, listening to the soundtrack on repeat, and cozying up in bed with my Tron:Legacy artbook, I started sketching the details for my Quorra costume (next year’s Comic-Con), trolling the web for screencaps and promotional images. I guess it’s no wonder my friends all associate me=Tron. Sigh.

And while scouring the internet for images, I stumbled upon this poster of BRILLIANCE!! I need more music posters to adorn my room, anyway. AND IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! Unfortunately it was only sold with the pre-order of the soundtrack. But you know what that means! Time to eBay.

Tron:Legacy Daft Punk limited edition poster. Image via highsnobiety.com

Well, that’s enough Tron talk for now. Better get back to work and contemplate things happening in real time, like Christmas and potlucks.

Sincerely,
The Menace

P.S. Cool elevator unit in my Guangzhou hotel. Portal into the Grid?

Why do I feel like I'm the only one who is giddy over these things šŸ˜¦

The Ho Ho Ho Job

12 Dec

And, yes, I’m sure Leverage is more than aware of the multiple connotations of that title.

You might be wondering how a show about con-men is geeky, and if so, I say to you “Shame on you, good sir or madam, for con-men are geeky in the same way that spies are geeky: they are so cool that we geeks idolise them and therefore they are of geeky interest.”
Plus, so many of our favourite geeky shows have a con-man character or main characters who exhibit con-man like techniques in order to attain some of their coolness. I direct you to Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who as one of my sexiest examples.

Besides, this show includes Hardison (aka one of the best portrayals of geeks on TV) and therefore also includes random side jokes about things like WoW and ComicCon are scattered through every episode.

If you don’t already watch the good-natured fun of Leverage (think of it as the Ocean’s Eleven series or The Italian Job with a barely a Doctor Who level of ‘taking itself seriously’) you really should.

Start this evening, with the Christmas themed Season 3 post-hiatus premiere on TNT at 9:00/8:00 central.

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