Maggie Wiland

  • Maggie Wiland's profile was updated 6 years, 2 months ago

  • Yesterday, a friend of mine on Facebook made this post:

    “And while Candy Crush Saga is pretty much retro gaming at this point, what about Angry Birds? I think that already went through a cycle of cool, unpopular, retro cool and obsolete. What is something when it’s too old to be retro? I predict we’ll see an entire segment about Angry Birds on VH1’s ‘I Love 2010’ pretty soon.”

    It’s a legitimate question I think we should discuss. Especially in an age where gaming, and especially ‘casual’ gaming (apps and whatnot) are so quickly overlapped by newer, more popular games, what DO we call something when it’s too old to be retro? What IS Angry Birds now? I mean, as far back as I can remember, there has always been (and this list won’t be in the right order, but whatever) a ‘in’ game that the masses played:

    Angry Birds
    Plants Vs Zombies
    Flappy Bird
    Candy Crush Saga

    And so on and so forth. I’m certain I’m missing a zillion other games too. See the thing that separates retro gaming on consoles and possibly excludes these more casual games from being considered ‘retro’ at ALL is that consoles have a far longer shelf life. Games on consoles (and some of these more casual games ARE on consoles, which only further muddles the problem) have a period of 10+ years of being playable, and always available to play so long as the console itself works. A game you downloaded, like an app, may only work on your phone AND how many people have the same phone in this day and age for more than 10 years? And what if the game is removed from the app store and you lose it through some weird digital issue? Then it’s just GONE. At least you can still go back to the console stuff. It’s a weird discussion. I think the first thing we need to do is to figure out who qualifies for retro status.

    Obviously it’s stuff we find cool now, that we may or may not have found cool then, but enough time has passed to give it this precious dust of nostalgia.Things like Skeletor (or apparently, as Hot Topic-whom we all know is the LORD OF ALL THAT IS COOL IN MIDDLE SCHOOL-is concerned, anything from the fuckin’ 80s), Nickelodeon shows, and my grandma. Especially my grandma, you guys, she is retro as FUCK. She was dead and I brought her back to life!

    1 I think to be retro, the first rule is what I said above, the second is to be something of which enough time has passed. I don’t think Angry Birds is “retro” yet (and frankly I don’t think any of these things ever WILL be ok, let’s get that straightened out right now), because it just hasn’t bee around LONG enough. It’s in sort of a limbo state. We know about it, we know we had an obsession with it, we know we kinda went overboard stalking and taking pictures of it from in the bushes outside its house, and we’re not really ashamed or happy about our interaction with it, but in the end, it’s too “new” to be “retro”. Retro gaming is also a hard thing to nail down, much like the lid on my grandmas coffin, because what’s retro to someone isn’t retro to everyone. Need it simplified:

    People hate what you like and you hate what people like.

    So what some people consider ‘retro’ in the gaming world is considered fucking garbage by others. Retro is a term used by people who think the games they played as kids were the best games of all time, and they WEREN’T, ok. They weren’t. And I know this because I went back about a year ago and PLAYED those games and HOLY FUCKING SHIT did they suck. But…they sucked for ME. Others may still get enjoyment out of them, and THAT’S what retro is. I think that’s one of the charms about these sorts of games, and games like Minecraft especially, because the aesthetic is something we’re used to from our childhood. They’re drawing back old memories by using old looking graphics and gameplay types that we fondly recall as our favorites, and that’s what drives the force behind these games. That being said, I still wouldn’t consider them retro, and frankly never will. Not necessarily for any other reason than in 10 years I probably won’t care that I played them. Hell, I’m having trouble caring NOW while I’m writing about it.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and barricade my door a bit more. My undead grandma is trying to get in to disembowel and then eat my innards. I’ll catch ya guys later, maybe, if I’m alive.

    Photo 530Maggie Wiland is a 25 y/o transgirl. She wanted to do something productive for a living, but has now been resigned to bitching about video games after realizing she is ultimately talentless in every other aspect of her life. She’s also been said to make a mean casserole. She also writes poetry on tumblr.

  • Maggie Wiland's profile was updated 6 years, 2 months ago

  • So, about a year ago, I bought Jeopardy for my DS.

    I’d seen it available for the Wii and the 360 on the shelf for some time, and thought it’d be a very good, relaxing kind of game. Something mentally stimulating to balance out all that murder stabby stabby kill I play. Not that I don’t like murder stabby stabby kill, but once in a while, a girl needs a change. So I finally broke down and bought the DS version because, frankly, it was 4 dollars as opposed to a 17 dollar console one and I’m a broke ass bitch. It only took me about 15 minutes or so, but I quickly realized why I’d stayed away from games like that and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader for a reason.

    Because I’m not.

    Even on the simplest difficulty, in which questions SHOULD be “What do cats eat?”, I failed. Repeatedly. And then I felt bad about myself. I’m not saying I’m stupid. My IQ is actually fairly high, but here’s the thing; my IQ is fairly high about shit that doesn’t matter. I cultured myself, and I taught myself a bunch of useless factoids and nothing actually informative. The sad thing is, most of the stuff in these games can come from simply having had a high school education. Hell, one only needs you to have a 6th grade education. I graduated high school. I did it. I have the diploma. It’s in a box in my closet with all my other useless papers like my birth certificate and my social security card and my bad sexy fan artwork of two gaming consoles about to get it on which I entitled “Sega Creamcast”.

    PpMocjSI think that’s why I stick to games like murder stabby stabby kill, and it’s highly
    acclaimed sequel, murder stabby stabby kill 2: tokyo underground. Because they don’t make me feel bad about myself. Gaming is supposed to be an escapist sort of activity. Something where you don’t have to think about the skills you lack in life, and while I have to admit I rarely have conversations about the topics used in Jeopardy (I mean, when the hell did I last discuss the large hadron collider with someone? outside of that kindergarten class I mean. he may be a kindergartner but fuckin’ billy is a dick, man) it still makes me feel bad that I don’t know anything about them. At least murder stabby stabby kill and other games like it (such as “shooty shooty rather looty” and my personal favorite “why the hell do all my game titles rhyme?”) only make sure I know how to press buttons to stab people, and even then, real knowledge of stabbing isn’t required.

    I wish they’d told me that before that whole thing with Billy, but ya know, whatever I guess. Shit happens.

    My point is, I don’t play games to feel bad about myself. I now don’t want to play Jeopardy. It sits on my shelf and hasn’t been touched in probably 6 months. I get an urge to play it, I think, “Maybe, maybe THIS TIME I can finally be good at this and I can feel good about myself” but then Alex’s stupid pixaly face comes out and smiles and goes “NU-UH, MADAM”. And what’s worse is I love puzzle solving games! I like stuff like that! That just means ok, I’m just dumb about GENERAL KNOWLEDGE. Great.

    Moral of this post? I don’t even know.

    I hate Jeopardy.

    And I hate myself because Jeopardy makes me feel stupid.

    I’m gonna go back to stabbing digital terrorists now.

    EDIT: You have no idea how hard it was to resist the temptation to change this title to Sega Creamcast. That might be my joke of the month. ….i need friends.

    Photo 530Maggie Wiland is a 25 y/o transgirl. She wanted to do something productive for a living, but has now been resigned to bitching about video games after realizing she is ultimately talentless in every other aspect of her life. She’s also been said to make a mean casserole. She also writes poetry on tumblr.

  • Perhaps in my 25 years of life, I’ve just become jaded.

    And maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that horror doesn’t scare me EVER, or maybe the fact that I only WATCHED the game on youtube as opposed to experiencing it firsthand, but once again the hype built by the internet surrounding a game-and much like Slender, a “SCARY” (in quotes to ensure perspective) game-really let me down. Unlike Slender, which had been run into the ground and sold to Hot Topic in the form of t-shirts by the time it came out (and only ever REALLY utilized well by Marble Hornets, frankly) I will give credit where credit is due. The premise of 5 Nights At Freddy’s is frickin fantastic. There’s no doubt about that. I mean, we all remember those animatronic things from Chuck E. Cheese’s right? THEY ARE TERRIFYING, DUDE. And as much as I WANT to attack the game for not letting you go anywhere else in it except the room you start in, I also think that’s part of what makes it fantastic. While being allowed to free roam would be interesting, the fact that there IS no real safety and you CAN’T go anywhere makes it even creepier.

    But the thing is it’s all jumpscares. And while that may work for some people, it’s not “scary” in the real sense. And that’s a problem I have with a lot of games branded under the “horror” genre, and like I said I’m sure half the problem is on me for not being scared by anything considered “horror” but it is also starting to make me wonder about the validity of the genre in gaming itself. Can a game really be scary? I mean SCARY. Like what people consider The Exorcist to be. I’ve played my fair share of horror games, and as ashamed as I am to admit this, I was a kid when I played Resident Evil: Survivor (which is widely considered the worst game in the ‘series’) but it made me have nightmares. Why? CAUSE I WAS LIKE 9. But after I grew up and stopped being a little bitch, I played other horror games:

    Dead Space
    Silent Hill 2
    Silent Hill Homecoming
    Silent Hill The Room
    Resident Evil Zero
    Resident Evil 6
    L4D & Bioshock (if you wanna consider those horror)
    Dead Island (?)
    Walking Dead (?)
    Dead Rising

    scary-vote1_1512644cSome of those are hard to say if they’re REALLY “horror”, but Silent Hill (though The Room is a BRILLIANT concept) and Dead Space are the ones people consider terrifying, and that’s what brings me to this. Dead Space and Silent Hill are VERY comparable in the sense of atmosphere. They definitely utilize it well to build an uneasy feeling, but then all the “terror” moments are, again, jumpscares. Is that the only thing horror gaming can BE? And I’m legitimately asking because I think it IS; I mean gaming is an interactive activity and jumpscares definitely are a way to scare someone deeply focused on the product the way people are while gaming. It makes sense. But it’s not what I’d consider “horror” at all.

    It just makes me wonder if the horror genre in gaming really exists. But horror is an odd genre even outside of gaming, mostly because much like humor, it’s a VERY subjective genre. I mean what some people find funny others find absurd or stupid, and same with horror. While jumpscares don’t make ME feel scared, they certainly scare the living doo doo out of other people. That’s the ONLY reason Paranormal Activity can be considered a success. It HAS to be, because otherwise that means giving the people who made it artistic credit and I’m sorry, I’m just NOT about to do that.

    So, can gaming be scary?

    Or should I just keep reading Pokemon Creepypasta?

    Photo 530Maggie Wiland is a 25 y/o transgirl. She wanted to do something productive for a living, but has now been resigned to bitching about video games after realizing she is ultimately talentless in every other aspect of her life. She’s also been said to make a mean casserole. She also writes poetry on tumblr.



  • Thumbnail

    One of the games that comes with Games With Gold this month on XBL for the 360 is “Gotham City Imposters”, which I’ve been wanting to play for a long time now but could never afford because other things cost […]

  • 220508-mutant_blobs_attack

    This past week, I was able to download “Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!!” or, as it’s also known, “Our title is too fucking long”. I actually was very interested in this game because this sort of thing is right up my alley. Being a girl who grew up playing side scrolling puzzle platformers, I was immediately interested, plus the way it looked was adorable visually, and who doesn’t love mutant blobs from space, am I right? Everyone does! They’re a god damn national treasure if you ask me. I downloaded it (thank you this website for the code!) and loaded it up.

    My first right off the bat impression-and I feel while it’s not true now was justified then simply by the premise-was, “This is a side scrolling version of The Maw”. In reality, that statement only holds true because, hey, they’re both blobs from space who eat stuff and get bigger. It’s like comparing Gilligans Island to LOST simply because they both happen to be set on a tropical island. I actually couldn’t be further from the truth with that original statement because as it turns out, The Maw was a pretty likable little guy who just happened to be very hungry. This blob is just a dick who wants to overthrow humanity. Granted, humanity may have captured his people and experimented on his race, but come on, let bygones be bygones, right? You don’t see the Indians complaining about anything. On a side note, I’ve hit my ironic quota for the day!

    blobnailThe game plays EXTREMELY well. Which is especially nice given how many things they implement into the gameplay. I mean everything is used, the rt/lt, the rb/lb, and everything else imaginable but it works. It doesn’t feel crowded or like you have too many things to remember. It just makes sense. I will admit at times I get things mixed up (for example, one of the triggers attracts you to metal, the other repels you and even writing this right now I can’t remember which one is which nor can I be bothered to simply look it up online ’cause I’m a rebel, yo) and substitute one for the other but keep in mind, I’m an idiot, so this probably won’t happen to you. Actually my only other problem was the times when you had to fly. Those controls definitely left something to be desired. The visual design is great too, very simple, very cute, very colorful. You definitely feel like you’re playing something that someone artistically spent a lot of time on and not just threw a coat of grey and brown paint all over. It’s got a lot of good humor to it, but the story is…whatever. I mean, it’s hard to put a story in a game like this that’s “engaging” and “character driven” and “buzzwords” so don’t expect it to be on par with anything truly outstanding story wise like Mass Effect or Space Island Unicorn Adventure. That isn’t a game to my knowledge, but I’d play the fuck out of it if it were.

    All in all, it’s totally worth its price tag and the time it takes to complete it, which is the length of a generic arcade puzzle/platformer I feel. It’s a pretty perfect size. That’s what she said. I AM ON FIRE TONIGHT. I definitely recommend it, especially if you liked these kind of games as a kid, or if you just want something that’s different from everything else right now. Something that’s not super in depth and you have to pay close attention to every little detail. Something to just play and relax with.

    And I for one welcome our new mutant space blob overlords, and adhere to their rules. All hail blobs.



    Photo 530Maggie Wiland is a 24 y/o transgirl. She wanted to slay space dragons while riding go karts for a living, but has now been resigned to bitching about video games after realizing she is ultimately talentless in every other aspect of her life. She’s also been said to make a mean casserole. Follow her on twitter and writes poetry on tumblr.

  • WayTooHardBanner

    Ok look, I’ll be the first one to admit that that title is totally immature and suitable comedy only for 12 year olds. That being said, I also woke up yesterday and ate quesadillas while watching Tiny Toons, so it’s not a far leap that I’d make dick jokes considering I’m apparently still a kid. That all aside, I thought it was funny, so screw off. My friend Matt does this thing where he starts a brand new game and immediately puts it on the hardest difficulty there is. In fact, I’m not sure-except for maybe achievement cleanup purposes-that he’s EVER played a game on anything below the hardest difficulty level. He claims it’s because it makes it more fun, and I’ve heard this argument before from others, so it isn’t something that only he does. However, how does it make it more fun? See, to me, if it’s a game I don’t know anything about and I can’t get anywhere because it’s new AND I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT, that’s fucking frustrating!

    I’ve beaten all the L4D campaigns on expert. I’ve gotten through all the Halo campaigns on legendary. I 100% Splosion Man which meant no checkpoints and one hit kills. I am no stranger to higher difficulties. But how did I do these things, and how did I do them relatively easily? Because I gained experience from playing through the game beforehand on a normal difficulty level. There’s no shame attached to it either. Hardcore gamers like to scream out “casual!” and all this nonsense, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with playing a game on the normal difficulty level. THAT’S WHY IT’S FUCKING THERE. If they didn’t want you to play it, it wouldn’t be an option! Now, let’s take into consideration for one moment WHY people would do this. Because ratcheting up the difficulty level means increasing the gametime (harder means longer, hehehe I’m 12) and therefore lengthening to the amount of game you get to enjoy, plus it does tend to make you a better gamer because you’re so focused. I’ll admit, I’m far better now at shooters for having beaten COD4 on Veteran. That sommabitch was HARD. But…it isn’t enjoyable right off the bat to me.
    diff_curve_hard_GamesAnd it’s a personal thing. I get that. Some people like to torture their victims before killing them. I like to eat parts of mine. It varies from person to person. We all have our personal tastes, and I’m not going to deny someone their personal taste or their idea of fun or their right to party. What kind of sick country would this be if we were denied our right to party? A godless one, that’s what. But parties aside, it’s true. While it’s fun for others-like Matt-it just isn’t applicable to how I like to enjoy my games. I want to play through, get to know the game first, ya know? Take the game out to dinner, maybe buy it a drink or two before turning up the difficulty and letting it screw me, and then never call again (LIKE ALWAYS, GREG), but it’s what I like to do. I want to know what and where I’m going before dying a thousand times and not gaining any ground. It’s just what I prefer.
    And some guys get off on being harder now right off the bat. Dark Souls is notorious for that. Flappy Bird is considered hard. It’s also considered fun for some reason, I’ll let you guys figure that one out. So now, not only do we have people who put the games hardest difficulty on right from the get go, but the games are doing it themselves now! It’s a personal preference. It’s just something I’ve noticed and it bothers me because while I won’t directly attack people for it (but I’ll write a strongly worded article on the internet, gosh darnit!), people WILL attack me and call me a pussy for NOT doing it. The gaming community is often bizarre and highly unenjoyable these days. I wish things were easier again.
    I just want to go back to eating ghosts in brightly colored mazes.
    I also still think that title is funny.
    Photo 530Maggie Wiland is a 24 y/o transgirl. She wanted to slay space dragons while riding go karts for a living, but has now been resigned to bitching about video games after realizing she is ultimately talentless in every other aspect of her life. She’s also been said to make a mean casserole. Follow her on twitter and writes poetry on tumblr.

  • princess_peach_thumb_d4d66326-1cea-4b3b-a641-88ceec4f75be_grande_grande_1024x1024_copy

    I have a bone to pick with you, girls who game.

    It seems like you can’t win with the female crowd in the gaming world. You either get shit on for having your female characters being overly sexualized or not engaging enough. There’s no middle ground. Even the new Lara Croft-who was a total independent badass-was given the stink eye because of her redesign. Oh no, god forbid a woman not only be kickass but ALSO ATTRACTIVE. No. One or the other. How DARE you think they can’t be mutually exclusive. And they all say the same things: “These games are made by men”. Well that’s because the male population has a higher interest in video games, and that’s not a sexist statement, that’s just a generic statistic. It’s true. They make these games, so they make the women. Femshep seems to be one of the only accepted ones, for whatever reason. Probably because her character couldn’t be overly sexy cause ya know, they’re in space and you can’t really wear cutoffs and tanktops in space (well you could I guess, you’d just look silly), and they basically made her the female version of Shepard. But isn’t that insulting in and of itself? She’s not even her own character. She’s just the female version of shepard. At least the majority of the female characters in other games have personalities and what have you. She’s literally just shepard with boobs, and yet that’s somehow more acceptable than Lara Croft. Ok. Whatever.

    I saw a friend on facebook post that she read about a feminist talking about how the women in video games are portrayed as weak women, such as Princess Peach, because they have to be rescued. Not only are you comparing a game that doesn’t its characters all that much…well…character, to begin with, but you’re comparing Princess fucking Peach to characters like Lara Croft or…

    Wait a second.

    There ISN’T anyone besides Lara Croft…think about it.

    Cortana-sidekick AND computer
    Gals from L4D-no personalities

    The women you CAN name are all basically unimportant and uninteresting. Along with femshep, they’re essentially silent protagonists put into a game to let you…play as…them. Wait, isn’t that what every game is?

    Master Chief-barely speaks, no face
    L4D guys-no personalities
    THERE ISN’T EVEN A HUMAN MAN IN PORTAL (well, Cave, but he’s dead)

    So now that we’ve shown that male and female protagonists are essentially the same-computer generated characters used to allow the PLAYER to put themselves in their shoes-the argument is pretty fuckin’ ridiculous isn’t it? To say Princess Peach is a great example of sexism in video games is like being one of those people who says Pokemon has some sort of anti religious overtones because oh no, “evolution”. Shit, you think female characters in games aren’t powerful or well represented? The little sisters in Bioshock are more important and powerful than your character will ever be. Even in Infinite, which people again shout that Elizabeth is nothing but a tool to be used, she’s more important. THERE’S LIKE 12 OF HER AT THE END AND THEY MURDER YOU.

    What’s even more fucked up, is this.

    I guarantee that if the women who are for feminism and making these claims-the ones who go on righteous rants stating that EVERY woman is important and equal-read this article and knew I was trans wouldn’t agree with me because I’m not cis. So much for your belief in the idea that every woman is equal, eh? Somehow my opinion is invalid.

    I’ve had a rough couple of days guys, cut me some slack ok?

    Maggie Wiland is a 24 y/o transgirl. She wanted to slay space dragons while riding go karts for a living, but has now been resigned to bitching about video games after realizing she is ultimately talentless in every other aspect of her life. She’s also been said to make a mean casserole.

  • magikarp
    When I was like, 16 or something, a friend bought WoW for me with a 3 month subscription so we could play together. I never paid again after that 3rd month. Having played Warcraft 2 as a little girl with my step brother, I just didn’t really enjoy WoW, and much like how I felt about paying Microsoft to use a service I already pay for-Netflix-(which thank god that’s ending now), I don’t like to pay to use things I own. I already, well, SOMEONE paid for the game. I don’t want to have to pay to USE the game too. I understand they need the money to run their servers, but it’s just how I feel.
    And the same goes for any MMO. Not only am I just not the right audience for it (which is odd, I already sit at home in front of my computer 80 thousand hours a day anyway, I may as well be playing a game on it too right? You’d think we’d make natural allies!) but I just don’t LIKE any of them. Star Wars is whatever game wise, WoW is nothing compared to old Warcraft and so on and so on. However, my friend Matt and I have discussed at length, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here once or twice in older articles, about how great it’d be in Nintendo made a Pokemon MMO. Granted, Pokemon is already sort of an RPG/MMO hybrid weird thing but just a straight up MMO with no ending, and endless battles and friends to travel with? God. Awesome. It totally lends itself to the MMO realm. We also discussed Fallout, that’d be cool, but not a lot of games lend themselves to the MMO format as Pokemon seems to. There’s even already been fan attempts, you can Google it, but I’m talkin’ somethin’ Nintendo licensed here. Somethin’ official.
    1379992459590At this point in the franchise, they certainly have enough locations and pokemon to fill an entire world. THAT’S no problem. It’d be built on a grander scale, which would be cool too. I know why it won’t happen though. It’s totally because Pokemon as a franchise is what moves Gameboys/DS’s. Hands down. That’s it. Even more things like Zelda, I think. I bought my DS because I wanted to play the new Pokemon. I want a 3DS for (among other games too actually this time) the new Pokemon. It works. But it works for Nintendo. I don’t ever feel this way for another franchise or game. I usually don’t care what platform something is on, and even if I really want to play a game but don’t own the console, I’m not about to drop 400 dollars in order to play a 60 dollar retail game especially when the game might not even be that great! That’s lunacy. It’s ludicrous. It’s another word that begins with ‘t’ and means ‘crazy’. But compare the price points of a full on console to that of a DS Lite, especially when I bought one way back in 2010. Ya know, I can spend 100-130 dollars, or maybe upwards of 250 (Idk what 3DS’s cost, so fuck me right). But 400-500 dollars for a console for one game? No. Never gonna happen. I can weather the 100-250 market. Anything beyond that for a singular title is laughable.
    It’s why The Beatles didn’t have their entire discography up on iTunes until years after anyone gave a shit.
    Yeah, back in 2004 or whatever, iTunes WANTED to put The Beatles library on iTunes, but they weren’t havin’ it (or Michael Jackson wasn’t or Cthulhu or whoever the fuck owns the rights to their music) simply because they were still selling SO. MANY. CD’S. After it tail ended, they finally went digital. Makes sense. Squeeze as much money out of one medium as you can. So maybe if the day ever comes when Nintendo sees profits dip on the Pokemon franchise as a whole, they may rethink pushing it to a broader, wider gaming platform like an MMO. But Pokemon would ONLY work as an MMO also. You couldn’t have a Pokemon shooter. Could you imagine? Magikarp Effect. Gyarados of War. Call of Dewgong. I’m a funny bitch.
    I also TOTALLY wanna play Magikarp Effect. Just be the exact same game as Mass Effect but reskin Shepards head with a Magikarp on the body and he just makes Magikarp sounds. God DAMMIT that’d be funny. Someone make a mod of that NOW, pleaaaaase. Appease me. I don’t have friends or a life, this is all I have guys.
    Anyway, maybe one day my dream will come true, and a PokeMMO will come to fruition.
    And maybe one day women will like me.
    I don’t expect either to happen, but a gal can dream.
    Like my work? Check out more at!
    PS: On a whim, I googled “pokemon mass effect” and was given this.

  • -video-game-addiction-tied-to-depression-anxiety-1351274879-8306

    I have severe clinical depression.

    In a life where I’m essentially unemployed beyond these little writing gigs, have no other applicable job skills, nobody who loves me enough to be in a relationship with me and no interest really in fixing anything (on top of being transgender), I’ve got a myriad of health-both physical and mental-that drag me down on a day to day basis. Severe clinical depression, severe social anxiety (I sometimes don’t leave my apartment for 4 days at a time), no self esteem, no motivation and a dozen other things. Why am I telling you this? Why am I running down the gamut of problems with you, a person I’ve never and probably never will meet? Why am I going into such excruciatingly deep detail about my health on what is a gaming site? Because it makes you understand me more. It makes you comprehend my point of this article, which is hobbies.

    Gaming is a hobby. However, hobbies are hobbies not because we simply enjoy doing them but because they sometimes serve a greater purpose. When I was a kid, I wrote because my life in grade school and middle school was atrocious. No friends, constantly harassed, kicking the back of my seat on the bus every day. I hated myself. I did horrible and got shit grades, and the only reason I today own a high school diploma is because I promised my grandfather I would and because continuation schools have low expectations of students it seems. Pretty easy to get the diploma. I simply had to show up. But beyond all this, writing was a hobby and yet it allowed me to express my emotions to the point where they weren’t simply bottled up inside of me. Livejournal and Blogger gave way to readers, people who could understand and relate, and give me feedback, let me know I wasn’t alone. A connection was formed between reader and writer that made the hobby of writing more than a simple enjoyable hobby. Made it a lifeline, because it kept me going.

    Gaming is one of those things. In a world (I literally heard that trailer guy in my head when I wrote that) where I have no control over anything, I can hop into a game and have complete control over everything. Customization and modification leads to control. I like Mass Effect because I can be the kind of strong woman I always wanted. I like The Sims because I have the kind of home life I never had. I love Fallout because…well, guns and giant scorpions, really, but whatever. But in these small contained universes there is order, and balance and control. The things I lack in my own life I can gain a sense of in the world of gaming. Pokemon lets you fulfill a journey, making you feel important and critical to the world around you. Bioshock makes you feel chosen, as if everything that’s happening is a direct cause of your existence and Fallout is…well guns and giant scorpions, again, but fuck it. Gaming is an escape for sure, something to do when I want to not be bored, but now it’s more than that. When my friend Matts father died, he did the same thing. He dove into gaming and has never come out, because it’s a coping mechanism. It’s not necessarily that that’s healthy, but it has helped him, and he is a functioning human being (moreso than my sorry ass, that’s for damn sure), and it’s what I do now. What I once enjoyed as a mere quiet hobby as a child I now need as an adult to keep me going absolutely out of my mind.

    Entertainment can do so much more than any therapist sometimes.

    Gaming allows me control. It sometimes even forces me to believe I can take more control of my own life and so little by little I do. I have applied to go back to college this summer for a film/journalism degree. It’s forced me to take back some of my life, using the fake belief in the game to put to use in my real life, by thinking, “If I can do this in this game, why can’t I be this in control in real life?”

    We often times view movies and video games and tv as nothing more then mere hobbies or entertainment, something to amuse us after work or during the day if unemployed but they can be more. They can help us. Video games may or may not be art-that debate is still stupidly going and I don’t care about it one way or the other-but what they ARE is useful, in many more ways than one. Hand eye coordination has been linked to being improved thanks to video games, so why not self esteem? Why not my situation? Who’s to say I’m not being helped?

    Gaming gives me control, and gives me the belief that I can be in control in life too.

    That’s a hell of a lot more than any school ever gave me.

    Photo 460

  • oregon-trail-dysentery_5

    This will be a new feature for me where I make up games that should exist.

    In my last article I mentioned a made up game entitled “Oregon Bloodtrail”.

    I’ve noticed I’ve done this a number of times in my articles-made up games that sound awesome-but this one really is cool. Every other company on planet earth has already bought into the zombie craze, and with The Walking Dead sadly dominating the airwaves with it’s braindead viewers tuning in in droves, the zombie craze ain’t goin’ away anytime soon. I mean, what zombie titles do we have on the market? Just off the top of my head;

    Lollipop Chainsaw
    Left 4 Dead 1 & 2
    Dead Rising 1/2/3
    Dead Island & Riptide
    COD: Zombies
    The Walking Dead (which was better than every season)
    Every Resident Evil Ever
    Day Z Mod
    Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
    Dead Space 1/2/3
    The Last Of Us

    Even Minecraft has zombies in it, ok? The amount is overwhelming, and this doesn’t even cover half the Wikipedia page I lifted this from. So, instant success if you put zombies in. No question. AND…you pander to the nostalgia crowd with the 8 bit graphics AND zombies? You got a smash hit home run on your hands, bro. There could even be two versions, the 8 bit throwback or the 3D one that came out in the late 90s. I personally think the 3D one would lend itself better to this game. So let’s break down this game shall we?

    oregon-trail-game-4_thumbOregon Bloodtrail would follow essentially the same premise of Oregon Trail, except you’re leaving Oregon because of the virus outbreak and you’re attempting to relocate your family somewhere else. Much like Oregon Trail, you can pick your class of Banker or whatever you want. The hunting in this would be just like that, but it’s you protecting your family at night from oncoming zombie hordes while they sleep safely. Your family members CAN get bitten, turned, or die of other disease, and your food/water can be infected as well, so the zombies are not the only obstacle you will need to overcome.

    You will also need to trade with other people in towns, which is tricky as they’re extremely distrustful and maybe you will have to accomplish a sidequest before you can actually gain their trust. Plus some times may be entirely abandoned and death traps, forcing you to fight your way out for survival. This is all just nothing more than a rough outline, ya feel me? Now there obviously can’t be an enormous emotional storyline tied to this as it’s FUCKIN’ OREGON TRAIL and there’s nothing emotional about Oregon, trust me, I lived there for almost a year. But it could be a great little Steam gem maybe, what with the uptick in independent developers on the rise these days, and rightfully so.

    Maybe you could even have customization of your wagon and weapons, just small stuff, to make you a little tougher and more well prepared. Besides let’s compare this to the original Oregon Trail. Your accomplishment in this at least is surviving a zombie apocalypse and making it somewhere safe, which is something to celebrate I suppose. Better than the accomplishment in the original. Is that the lamest award for beating a game EVER?

    “Congratulations, you’re in OREGON.”

    You know, I have severe clinical depression. There’s a lot (most) of days where I don’t get out of bed and I cry the majority of the time. Then I remember that I get paid to make up shit like this, and it makes my life a LITTLE bit better.

    EDIT: Ok so I’m stupid and don’t know how to use Google, and thus upon looking for photos for this article, I came across this. Son of a fuckin’ bitch. Normally this would negate my entire article, and I’d just not publish this but fuck, you guys, I need groceries.

    Like my stuff? Check out more at!

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    I reached for it, flipped through, admired the artwork and ultimately-mainly because it […]

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