Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

My day with an Enderman

Posted by Nikki On August 22, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

MineCraft is my newest video game addiction, but my husband, Mr. Wow Yoda, introduced me to something so scary……the Enderman!

Endermen are skinny, black and creepy characters in Minecraft. They are so spooky and I tried to sit down and interview one, but because Enderman teleport around and never stay in one place for too long I decided to go and spend the day with one instead.

I arrive at the Endworld on a sunny block filled afternoon. The first thing I see from my window are Endermen bouncing from place to place. Immediately upon getting off the plane, I’m greeted by Henry the Enderman; who I cannot look in the eye. I’m taken to a dungeon where skeletons, creepers and every other spooky thing lives. Henry shows me around the place (remember, I am not looking him in the eyes or at least trying to avoid it), and gives me a pixelated block to sleep on through the night. Being human in the Enderworld is not fun so far. I am hoping tomorrow proves me wrong.

The next day consists of teleporting to an area populated by humans. Apparently the first order of business is to go to a local farm and toss sheep around like basketballs. You get three points if you toss a sheep into the lava, wow. Henry informs me that shearing the sheep is also a popular activity because the Endermen like to put the wool on as a beard, pretend to be Santa and scare the children. Next, we head over to some dirt blocks, pick them up from a human’s home and throw them in the water at a fisherman in a boat. Henry informs me that all Endermen like to give wedgies! Henry heads over to a local human, gives him a wedgie and teleports away. It was quite comical watching the human try to pull his underwear out of his backside.

Next stop, destroying someone’s hard work! Henry and I find the most elaborate mine. It’s got all the amenities, plenty of tunnels and a stockpile of TNT! We both grab some TNT, place it on key parts of the mine and boom! With his bottom on fire, the human ran out of that mine and into some nearby water; it was awesome! With all of the events I’ve experienced, I’m really getting into being an Enderman.


Mario Tells All!

Posted by Nikki On July 28, 2013 1 COMMENT

For your reading pleasure, here’s another entry in my series of interviews with famous video game characters. There will be several more coming down the pipeline, so I hope you keep coming back to Nerd Culture Podcast!

For this instalment I have a very candid interview with none other than Mario.

In 1985 Mario hit the Nintendo Entertainment System like a pizza pie in the sky. Super Mario Brothers is one the most recognized video games ever, not to mention one of my all time favourite ones. I was playing this game when I was four years old and still play it today, it’s that awesome!

Me: Thank you for coming to this interview. I look forward to speaking with you about you and your experiences in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Mario: Okie dokie, wahoo!


A Barnacle Tells All

Posted by Nikki On June 29, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Half-Life was introduced to the masses in 1998 and was a game that revolutionized the shoot ’em up genre forever.  Yes, I know that Wolfenstein 3-D was supposed to do that, but sorry folks, Half-Life wins.

The Half-Life series consists of:

  • Half-Life  (1998)
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force  (1999)
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift  (2001)
  • Half-Life 2  (2004)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One  (2006)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two  (2007)

And in all of these, there’s the infamous Barnacle! Before you start running for well lit area, hear me out. I recently sat down with a barnacle, Snacksalot, to get some insight on their reputation and why the eat like they do.

Me: Welcome to the interview. Why were you willing to hang around for this interview?
Snacksalot: To tell the truth! (burps out a human skull)


DDO vs WoW

Posted by Miztres On November 14, 2011 5 COMMENTS

Until David asked me to do a piece on my online gaming experience I had only ever played one RPG MMO, Dungeon and Dragons Online.  So, what to compare it with?  World of Warcraft was suggested, but at the start it sounded like I was comparing a donkey to a thoroughbred.  World of Warcraft has the servers, longevity and popularity that far exceeds any other RPG MMO.  What did pokey DDO have to offer in comparison?  But then I started playing WOW and came to what I thought was a surprising conclusion.

Choice of Systems

First point went to WOW as I could play it on my beloved shiny 21inch iMac.  To play DDO I had purchased a Sony Vaio which in its specs was just the ticket for playing online but in reality continually reminds me why I am a Mac owner.  Dropouts, video card stuffing around, an inability to do screendumps and trips to the computer repair shop that exceed my visits to a Mac store all make me happy to be playing on a iMac.

Free vs Pay

Until very recently DDO was the only one of the two you could play for free (P4F) as opposed to pay to play (P2P) for any great length of time.  There are limitations to the freeness of DDO, a P4F member does not get access to all quests or wildernesses, does not easily gain access to some races and classes and can not advance to the higher levels.  WoW provides a starter pack which allows you access to the first twenty level of the game.  Still, out of the two, DDO has the better co-op and feels like it was important to the developers to have it.


Lament of a Camera Ninja

Posted by Miztres On July 17, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Lament of a Camera Ninja: reflections from Supanova 2011

Supanova, the pop culture convention arrived in Sydney 17-19 June and I was interested in finding out what pop culture conventions are like.  Fortunately, Craig (D&D friend) was happy to share his experiences and provide a little advice to convention noob (that would be me).

Had you been to Supanova before?  Did you have any expectations?

I had been about 3 years ago to Supernova at the same venue and earlier this year I went to Armageddon also at the same venue.  So I did have some expectations, though I have to say they weren’t met but for reason I wouldn’t have expected.

My previous two “Con” experiences I hadn’t attended with anyone Cosplaying [dressing up to look like a character], so that really impacted on my experience for this event. Becoming someone’s Camera Ninja (a term coined to describe friends who photo cosplaying friends) is not a fun way to spend your time.

The other thing that really impacted my expectation was the crowd, it was massive. I mean literally queuing for an hour to get into the venue. I had not expected that.

The biggest difference for me between Armageddon and Supernova was that Armageddon was laid back, relaxed, not overcrowded.  You could chat with people and hear them.  Celebrities could give their time to you because there weren’t thousands of people behind you queuing for the same thing. Supernova was frenetic, overcrowded (think the Easter Show on Good Friday). One queue was a three hour wait to get into another queue to see a celeb.  Crazy!

So the cosplaying mates hindered the experience?  How about other people there? 

Luckily for me I had other friends who weren’t cosplaying so we went off for a couple of hours and managed to see what there was to see.

As for cosplayers, they go there to be seen in their costumes. I’m not sure if its attention craving, pop culture worshipping or mish-mash of both, but they go there to be seen.  I am guessing that for non Photo Ninja’s (and from past experience) the cosplayers are one of the attractions too.  It’s great to see people who like what you like so much that they put effort into representing it amongst their peers. Some of the costumes are fantastic because of the details put into them.

I guess I’m saying Cosplaying is as much an attraction as are the guests, merchandise and booths.

Anything you’d planned to see?

There was stuff to see there aside from the cosplaying ladies??????

Sure, I really wanted to see Amy Acker from the TV shows Angel and Dollhouse. I would have lined up for paid photo with her but the queues were totally ridiculously long and the only thing I would want to queue that long for is my death!  I did get to see her Q&A session though so hearing her speak about her experiences on those shows was great.

I’m always interested in the merchandise.  There was a bunch of stuff I “almost” managed to buy. Collectibles are so expensive!

Aside from that I wanted to hang with my D&D friends.  It’s something we can do together they doesn’t involve D&D but is part of the same world.   It’s also cool to see what’s out there that you can be a part of if you want.  Like the group that makes the working remote control Daleks and K-9’s. They’re just a bunch of blokes who get together once a month and build these awesome ‘droids for fun!