Category: Serious

Games of Our Childhoods

The Autumn colors outside have had me feeling somewhat nostalgic lately and I wanted to expand a little on my older piece about how video games influenced the different phases of my life. It is less common than you’d expect for a non-sport hobby to stay with a child into their later adult life. What is it about video games that allow them to stick with us on such a deep, sentimental level for so many years?

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Bystander’s Guide – Combating Harassment in Online Multiplayer Games

I used to play a lot of competitive Overwatch. Like, a lot. I’ve lost track amount of times I’ve been harassed in a game of Overwatch while the other four people on my team quietly listen to someone say absolutely vile things to me completely unprovoked. It feels awful that bystanders often don’t seem to bat an eye as they observe what is essentially verbal assault. It always makes me wonder, How can they listen to this and say nothing?

Cleaning up the toxicity in competitive gaming communities will be an ongoing, group effort. This guide will teach you how and why you can and should help when you encounter harassment in one of your games.

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The Silent Death of the Video Gamer Stereotype

Two years ago I ran into an old high school acquaintance while I was out for lunch. Over our meal he complimented my hoodie featuring a logo from one of my favorite video games. I was surprised and delighted to hear that he was a gamer because I remembered he had been a sports jock (speaking of stereotypes) when I knew him in our teenage years. I asked him about it and he told me he had hidden his interest from friends and acquaintances to maintain his friendships and to avoid judgement.

What makes it socially acceptable for a person to carry their love of football out of high school and keep it throughout their adult life, but feel the need to hide their love of video games?

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Video Game Culture – Crash Course!

Get ready for some culture studies and anthropology jargon with this one. I’ve tried to soften it up, but a lot of support for this piece came from my past academic writing, so please bear with me!

The identity of video game culture is shifting thanks to a relatively recent, positive change in mainstream perspectives about the value of the gaming as a pastime, profession, and about video gamer stereotypes. As a gamer you’re immersed in the culture, you’re used to it, but have you ever taken a step back and and looked at the big picture? What exactly is video game culture these days and how is it changing? Here’s your crash course!

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Community Collab: 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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Why do female gamers tend to play support characters?


Over a year ago I wrote a post about female support players on the Overwatch subreddit that hit the front page and generated a lot of buzz in the community at the time. It earned 9 Reddit Gold awards and over 14,000 up-votes, with nearly 4,000 comments. I was even reached out to by the head of player behavior at Blizzard whom had read it.

At the risk of sounding like a humble-bragger, I was absolutely blown away by the response to what started as a rambling rant to another post about Mercy players. I’ve revisited the original content and cleaned it up for posterity.

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