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My Mom Plays Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Features, Games and Gaming

This is Part 3 in an ongoing series about my 53-year-old mother’s attempts to play video games. Part 1 can be found here, and all other entries can be found by clicking the “Your Mom” tag, to the left.

I chose Super Smash Bros Brawl as one of the games for her to play, because we hadn’t done a fighting game yet, and Smash Brothers is pretty straightforward and easy to pick up. I also knew that it would have lots of characters in it that she’d recognize from seeing me play Nintendo as a kid.

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My Mom Plays Final Fantasy X

Features, Games and Gaming

This is part 2 in an ongoing series about my 53-year-old mother’s attempts to play video games. Part 1 can be found here.

After Portal, I decided to have my mom play Final Fantasy X. I chose this particular Final Fantasy game because it is entirely turn-based. Unlike many other games in the series, almost nothing in the game requires a fast reaction time — you have as long as you want to make menu selections. I figured that this would be make the game easier for her to pick up.  Mom was excited about this, because she knew how much I liked the series.  “I’ve never played Final Fantasy! Can you just start in the middle at 10?”

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My Mom Plays Portal

Features, Games and Gaming

My 53-year-old mother was recently in town visiting me, and while she was here, I decided to have her play lots and lots of video games. Even though she’s not really a gamer, she played Pong and Ms. Pac Man from time to time when she was younger, and when I was growing up, she would play the occasional game of Tetris on my NES. Currently, she enjoys playing Peggle, Wii Fit, and Katamari Damacy (or as she calls it: “The rolly-up game,”) but that’s pretty much the extent of her gaming experience. Because I am not above exploiting my own family for entertainment purposes, I decided to take notes while she played and write about the experience.

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Underappreciated LGBT Characters in Gaming

Features, Games and Gaming

Sure, everyone knows about the LGBT characters who get all of the attention, like Tony Prince from The Ballad of Gay Tony, Zevran from Dragon Age, and a large percentage of the female Commanders Shepard from Mass Effect. But what about the lesser known gay characters in gaming?  These characters’ moment in the spotlight is long overdue, and it’s time for them to get a moment of recognition.

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The Importance of LAN Parties

Features, Games and Gaming

LAN parties — those wonderful gatherings where gamers haul their computers to one location, network them together, and play multiplayer games. Pizza, caffeine, and alcohol are often involved as well. Back when broadband Internet connections were less common, and some games didn’t even directly support Internet play, LAN parties were one of the more practical ways to play multiplayer computer games with low lag against your friends. But now, when most people have broadband Internet connections, and every new multiplayer game has Internet connectivity built in, why would anyone want to go to all the trouble of hauling their computer to someone else’s house to play computer games, when they could just as easily play each other online? Are LAN parties no longer relevant? Simply put, playing games in person with your friends is a completely different experience than playing them online. Sure, it may be a little more work to haul your computer to your friend’s house, but it’s worth it in the end.

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What Final Fantasy XIII-2 Can Learn From Its Predecessor

Features, Games and Gaming

Square-Enix recently announced that they were working on a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, titled Final Fantasy XIII-2. As a card-carrying Final Fantasy fanboy, I am already excited about this, based on nothing more than a 2 minute trailer. However, there is still that nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps reminding me about the fact that Final Fantasy XIII was my least favorite game in the series. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it quite a bit, but certain aspects of the game were a bit off-putting, and I hope that Square-Enix takes the time to address these issues in the sequel.
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