Category Archives: For Fun & Games

On the joys of being a girl gamer…

Clichés, we all have them and we all want to defy them.
As a girl with a gaming habbit (addiction?), I come across them quite often.

1. Hot gamer chicks.

No, I’m not some skinny, half naked hot chick with an XBox controller between her teeth. I don’t even own an XBox, ffs! So stop your imaginary drooling.

2. No-lifer, screaming at her XBox

I have a life thank you very much. I even have real life friends and a tangible boyfriend. /proud.
Also: I still don’t own an XBox

3. Favouritism / Girls can’t game

Back in my WoW days, I had to fight quite a bit for my raidspot. No, I did not get picked by the officers cause of my boobs. No, I did not bribe anyone with promises of half naked pictures with an XBox controller. I got on the team because I can actually kick your ass! And even though I do enjoy proving you wrong, having to defend myself every week gets a bit boring.

4. Girls don’t exist!

The cliché about girls on the internet: they’re not real.
Let me check here. Boobs, yeah. Lack of penis, yeah. Yep, I’m a girl. And according to Descartes, I’m very real. So get over it!


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Blog fail & finally clean

Apparently… I fail at blogging ^^

As in… forgetting I have one and not posting for -how long?- 1 week!
So WordPress, could you please install a ‘kick-me-in-the-butt-to-get-me-posting-when-I-forget’ function? Or would that be a lame name?

Also: quite proud of myself. And quietly proud too. I always mix up those two when it comes to spelling. Quiet, quite… Damn you, English language! And yet my spelling is still better than in my native one. Hurray! Oh yeah, the being proud part… (I get way too easily distracted lately). I ultimately and finally quit World of Warcraft! I managed to escape the addiction. Whoot whoot!
I was planning on actually returning to Azeroth and had a game card ready. But it basically sat in my backpack’s back pocket for a month. So I decided to give it away. I had no more urges to get back into that game whatsoever. The only reason I’d go back is my guild, but they turned into drama queens and a lot of cool people left. So here’s my goodbye note to them.

Dear guildies,

I’ve spent two years in your company.
Went from a noob hunter to a halfway decent dps and an almost decent healer.
I was there on our server first HC Lich King kill. (Ok ok, as a supporter on vent, but I was there on the other tries! And I almost shit my pants when you guys decided to almost wipe in the last couple of minutes!)
I picked up the pieces when raiders decided to QQ. Somehow I was good at being glue in the group. (Being a girl is awesome btw!)
You guys were my online (though not only, tyvm) friends for a very long time.
Some of you were on my own 10 man raiding team. Sorry for the yelling, but you should stop standing in purple shit on the floor.
Others had no faith in me when I got my full time raiding spot. (Being a girl sucks!) You did let me prove you wrong though.
A few of you were assholes. No other explanation needed.
But most of you were awesome. Amazing people I laughed and gamed with on a daily basis.
Oh and you introduced me to my boyfriend ^^

But times change. And it’s time to move on.
I’ll miss the days of old.


PS: I’m keeping the boyfriend. Been having a blast with him in the past year. Thanks!

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Be still, poor heart…

Coming home for the weekend… I find the hallway completely overrun with old ‘trash’ from the attic. All our old books, toys, lego, … Almost all of it had to go. Thank god my mum gave me the chance to go through it one more time, to see what I want to keep. Of course after telling me with a sad smile I’d ‘deprive’ some child in need of all the great experiences I had years ago. Blackmail I call it! Blackmail!

So, I found tons of things to go nostalgic over. I almost cried with all the memories. But that’s not what I wanted to show you guys. In between all the stuff I’d gladly donate to some less fortunate kid, I found this beauty I’ll never part with:

If you remember Tracy Island… You’re awesome! No offense to the kids younger than me, but they don’t know what they missed. It’s only one of the best children’s show ever. Of course I’m talking about  Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John Tracy. Also known as… *drumroll* The Thunderbirds!

Oh and… Thunderbird 5 was sooooo the best one! Without him, all the others would be lost and informationless. You can’t rescue the world if you don’t have information. Go, John, go!

The great John in the sky

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If you feel like trying an amazing actionRPG, try Bastion by Supergiant Games.

It won several awards this year, and with reason. Multiple reasons actually.

  1. Fabulous artwork.

    Wow, just wow!

  2. Great voice-overs. You don’t hear the Kid talking, but the story teller. He has this voice that melts a women like sugar. Sean Connery style but even better. And don’t forget the sarcasm! If you make a stupid fall off of a ledge, you’ll hear about it. The comments from the storyteller made me smile, giggle, laugh out loud and sometimes they even touched my heart for real.
  3. Game play. Seriously. Try it. The world around you gets made up as you go (you’ll see what I mean) and it’s full of variety. You can customize your favorite weapons and you’ll always have two of them. Special action moves are powerful, but limited in times of use. Same with healing potions: they can be scarce. It’s such an innovating and challenging game.

Those are just three reasons, but I bet you can come up with even more. Go look at the website or buy it on steam (really, it’s not expensive!) and try it! I promise, you won’t regret it.

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Why do you game?

I get that question on almost a daily basis… Ranging from out of friendly curiosity to complete hostility.

I’m a 23 year old girl in higher education that likes to go out to party and enjoys cooking for her friends. I guess I’m too far away from the cliche. People don’t see me as a gamer or a geek and are sometimes ‘shocked’ to find out I was addicted to World of Warcraft for two years. I just managed somehow to combine it with my normal life. How the hell did I do that anyway? Six raids a week, all preparations for that, two of them I was raidleading myself and I still found time for my friends and parties. No wonder my results in school dropped a bit.

Back to the point. I game cause it’s my passion. Just like I love books and movies, but then again: I love games even more than those stories. I love what James Paul Gee calls ’embodied experience’. When I’m gaming, I’m not reading or watching a story. I’m in the story. I’m playing the story. I’m co-creating the story. You could even go as far as saying that I’m living it, especially in a massive multiplayer world. No other medium has been able to give me that experience. Not even real life. I can’t shoot a bow straight for real, not even if my survival depended on it. I can’t do magics and I can’t ‘respawn’ when I die. Gaming gives me endless possibilities to do the things I dream of and even the things I didn’t know I was dreaming of. I can be a rogue, a hunter, a magician or even a strong, sturdy melee fighter in a fantasy world. I can be a technological girl-wonder in the future. I can be anything that the real world won’t allow cause of well… reality. Damn you, gravity!

Don’t get me wrong, I value real life still over gaming. I think that’s the borderline of things going ‘wrong’. That’s when gamers can become addicts, when they start valuing the game over their real life. There’s nothing wrong with escaping every once in a while. Life isn’t always peachy. But you still have to want to live it. Cause when the game becomes more important than the real thing, what’s the point?

Another thing I love about games, that makes me drool with passion, is how a good game is designed. My education made me think more about my own gaming experiences and the learning in it. It’s fascinating how many actually good learning experiences can be built into a game. And most of the time we don’t even notice that we’re learning! That’s completely different from yawning in a schoolbench for a day and trying to cram in the facts at night. Every game has rules, you have to learn those. Not by reading the booklet. But by playing. Tutorials that gradually build you to higher skills. New ways of problem solving that get introduced. The space to be creative with your character and it’s problems. Even completely new ways of thinking and looking at the (virtual) world. You learn to play the game by playing it, there is no other way. Your own experience will lead you to new discoveries. Some people don’t see the value in this for education. Because ‘you only learn the game and nothing useful’. But look at serious games, those have ‘useful’ learning built into them. And since when are skills like problem solving, tactical insight, learning to work together or even becoming a successful leader not useful anymore?

We don’t live in a modern society anymore. We live in a postmodern learning society, where knowledge is more than remembering facts from school. Why wouldn’t gaming fit into that?

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Baby steps

When I was about 5 or 6, me and my big bro took our first steps into the gaming world. Our aunt got us a GameBoy(against my parents will, of course) with these 3 games:

My first games <3

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you we were psyched… Our own gameboy, with Tetris AND Wario? Woooooow! But… what’s that? The Legend of Zelda? Never heard of it.  Who’s Zelda anyway?
That would soon change though. It wouldn’t be long before my brother was crying cause I accidentally deleted his saved game. Two years later, we finally finished it. Two kids, 8 and 10, that never got taught English, except by the TV and Magic the Gathering, and yet we did it. I remember it now as a big feat of strength. Working together on solutions for big problems. Figuring out what weapon was needed where. Me being scared from the Link-eating-flowers near the third (?) dungeon. Going to my aunt every weekend so she could help us think of new solutions and strategies Stalking the toy store whenever we got stuck. Fighting the final boss fight over and over and over, till we finally killed the ****.

Those were the days. Determination. Learning the rules of the game. Not knowing what the story was about (some guy woke up and there was a castle… and a lot of monsters!) till we discovered the internet 7  years later. Coöperating with my brother and my aunt, to accumulate our knowledge and strategies. We even picked up quite a few words of English: feather, sword, shield, bracelet, …

Good times! And then people dare say gaming is a waste of time? I think not!

Funny fact: We’re 15 years later and I started 4 or 5 other Zelda games after that. Yet I never managed to finish one again.

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