Flavor of the Geek Cast: Our Podcast for Geeking Out

Audio/Video

While all of us have full-time jobs and have little time, we still like to get together and geek out over stuff. What better-a-way to do that when you live on opposite sides of the country than to create a podcast! Co-hosts Robyn Miller, Muaz Z., and Ben Janca and industry special guests join me in geeking out over games, media, and literature.

After finishing our first season we went on a brief hiatus and currently just upload when we find the time, but a new season will be starting sometime in 2018.

https://soundcloud.com/flavorofthegeekcast

Advertisements

[PAX East] Hands-on with Pixel Ripped

Games and Media, Journalism

Ana Ribeiro’s Pixel Ripped challenges the layers of virtual reality in gaming.

Disclaimer: The PAX East demo of this title was played with Oculus.

Article published on sidequesting: http://www.sidequesting.com/2018/04/pax-east-hand-on-with-pixel-ripped/

If you grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s, you probably remember hiding your Gameboy from you parents or your teacher. Lying in bed under the covers. Hiding your hands under your desk. Heart stopping as footsteps near your door and you rush to turn down the volume.

STOP: Stack Up’s New Veteran Support Service Can Help Save Lives

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

How non-profits and video games are picking up where government support of veterans falls short: saving lives.

Article published on SideQuesting

According to a press release from last September by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the suicide rate of veterans in the United States is 22% greater than non-veteran citizens. “We know that of the 20 [veteran] suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 are not under VA care,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin in the report. “This is a national public health issue that requires a concerted, national approach.” Even without this data, it’s easy to see that war affects all lives intertwined with its pervasive web. Being deployed overseas is not a nine-to-five job; war doesn’t stop for coffee breaks or lunch dates. And, over the last few years, there is an increasing lack of belief in the support the VA can offer veterans returning home; a question in credibility that stemmed from whistle-blowers who, in 2015, made the claim that hundreds of thousands of veterans have died while on the VA’s waitlist for healthcare.

The Benefits of Fandom: Rise of the Con

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio
Article published: http://www.sidequesting.com/2017/09/the-benefits-of-fandom-rise-of-the-con/

Why events like Dragon Con are holding contemporary geek culture together where E3 falls short, and how that is changing the industry.

It’s around 11 p.m. on a Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia. I am standing in a sea of people, all of whom are staring, in a sort of trance, at a strange amalgamation of pirate and goth singing sea-shantyish songs. Tongue-and-cheek lyrics that border on macabre and irreverence fill our ears, and we rise and fall with the sway of words despite the gruesome undertones—a stark contrast to the last hour, where we listened to the Atlanta Phil Harmonic Orchestra play music from film and television favorites. And the hour before that, when we perused an entire floor of artwork that ranged from Greek and Norse Mythology to dragons, faeries, and cats. Or before that, when we joined 600 other people and listened to the musings of Jim Butcher.

The Rhetoric of Video Games: How Game Design Makes Meaning

Academic, Games and Media, Portfolio

(This article was written as part of my graduate thesis and is part of my on-going research in education, rhetoric, and games.)

A few weeks ago I took part in a panel at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco that explored the relevance of video games—of what scholar James Paul Gee calls a “problem of content,” in which we only value an artifact as educational if it provides tangible content (22). At the conference major developers and game designers gathered together to talk about what the medium of games was to become with the incessant invectives of games being “a waste of time” or “a phase to grow out of.” If that’s all games are, then what’s the point of working in them? As a field, we need to find a way to elucidate these claims. We need to shine light on video games as a medium that has the potential to serve alongside traditional artifacts accepted in an artistic and academic setting, while also realizing that some games are simply meant to be used as entertainment or escapism. Regardless, the level of interactivity games allow have proven to provide profound effects on cognitive enhancement, but we can only use them progressively if they are taken serious both by their audience and their creators.  Ian Bogost argues that games should be discussed alongside “traditional media subjects,” and that “teaching games alongside reading, writing, and debating them as argumentative and expressive practices” can help evolve the way we look at rhetoric in new media (136). Thus the aim of this project, inspired largely by this conversation, is to explore how video games create meaning through their design—ultimately looking at how games apply and use multi-modal rhetorical devices to influence players in a manner that other mediums may not be able to.

Interaction and Autism: How Games Help

Education, Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

Video games, unlike any other medium, offer the opportunity to help socialize children who have Autism.

(Article published on SaveGame.)

As an educator, I have an interest in researching how video games can help us to better understand learning through interaction, play, and experience. Despite their often negative reputation for being a “waste of time,” video games still provide us with a unique medium of entertainment because they require direct interaction from the player. This aspect introduces a new dimension in how forms of entertainment and media affect us, especially in fields like medicine and psychology.

Infamous: First Light in the Right Direction

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

Why the narrative and voices we are exposed to in games matter.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

There was a point in time where I thought I was immune to the gender of a protagonist in a game or movie. The majority of games I played, unless an RPG that allowed you to build a character, presented a male as the quintessential hero. I didn’t mind. I was young and accepted it.

But a spark ignited when I first saw that Samus, from the Metriod series, was a female. Precipitously, this character meant so much more. For the first time, the vulnerabilities I often felt about being a girl were shed. 

2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

Without further ado, here is inaugural episode of Ryan Winslett and I’s new podcast hosted by Cinema Blend…. but it’s WRITTEN. Because why not check to see if people actually read anymore, am I right? This week’s focus is on Destiny:

There’s no denying that Destiny is shaping up to be one of the biggest launches of the year, set to arrive on PlayStation and Xbox home consoles on Sept. 9. The PlayStation beta begins this Thursday, with the Xbox crowd joining in on the fun just one week later. In other words, the whole world is about to find out whether or not the folks at Bungie, developers of the Halo series, are able to deliver on their promise to mix first-

Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS

Games and Media, Thoughts

I’ve finally decided to start blogging baking stuff again, mostly because I love to do it and because my kitchen is much larger than the 10sqft I had in my previous residence. So, without further-ado, I present to you the baking section of Thought Process. These are thoughts that are edible… edible thoughts.