OK, Shovelbuddies, the long-awaited and highly-anticipated Female Gamer Perspective podcast is here! Listen as we talk gaming from tabletop to console to computer to LARP, hear my words begin to slur and giggles get drunker. Drink along at home with the Me and My Shovelcast Drinking Game listed below!
Special thanks go out first and foremost to the participants, who were kind and generous and especially indulgent to their host, who was so nervous before the recording began that I was asked if I needed a paper bag to breathe into for a bit. Seriously. Allie, Lisa, and Lori are amazingly cool human beings who also happen to be really good at gaming – like me except for the whole “amazingly cool” part! – and I really can’t thank them enough. I would happily do another 4 or 5 of these with them.
Also, I want to thank the people who came up with questions to ask. I tried to mention the people who asked by name to give credit where credit is due. In fact, I got so many questions I couldn’t get to all of them in an hour and a half. Yes, it’s over 90 minutes long. I would have gone for 3 hours if I was allowed to. Anyway, thanks to those who submitted questions for my guests. They were much appreciated and meant that I had to do almost no work and could kick back and be lazy, which is all of the win.
Oh, and unbeknownst to me, there were two hidden cameras set up that I didn’t spot. That’s right: the women are smarter.
Click here for the downloadable mp3—> Shovelcast 2 – Ladies Night and listen as you run or ride the bus or your bike or use some other form of hippie transport.
Or you can play it in the browser right here. Up to you.
The Me and My Shovelcast Drinking Game
Take 1 drink when:
- I say something stupid
- I use the word “awesome”
- I use a 25-cent word when a 10-cent word will do
- I giggle mousily
Take 1 shot when:
- We tell Trey to do so
- I slur a word
- Whenever “immersion” is brought up
Good luck and please drink responsibly.
I warned you. And here it is. An hour and thirty-seven minutes of pure nerdery.
It’s the first-ever podcast, excuse me, SHOVELCAST, from Me and My Shovel, so it’s just like the typical post: long, rambling, full of curse words, unedited, and probably awful. I aim to please! Seriously, though, I had a lot of fun doing this interview with one hell of a great dude. We talk about LARPing in general, being nerds, and Realm of LARP stuff for a good long time. Christian was a hell of a good sport, considering that his first post-show interview was with an amateurish half-drunk boob (that’s me) who had no idea what he was doing.
Fun fact: as nerds, we were of course sitting at a gaming table in someone’s basement as we did this. Totally appropriate.
So anyway, if you want to hear Barrington’s side of the story from the infamous Episode 5 Debacle, you’re in luck! If you want to hear my words get a little more slurry as time goes on, now’s your chance! If you think I remember half of what’s on here, you’re out of your mind!
I need to figure out how to make this a drinking game.
So, here is the last bit of ado: thank you to John and Lori for the use of the basement, and to Kyle for the use of the voice recorder. And also thanks to Christian’s wife and mine for letting us get all bromancy for a couple of hours unsupervised.
Here it is. God help us all.
Oh and I should probably add: NSFW (occasional potty mouths, constant levels of man-crushing).
“Nerd Culture” is taking over. Face it, Brosef, with your “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” tank top and oversized shades and flip-flops. The Tyranny of the Bully Era has ended, and popular culture has embraced everything that used to get some poor skinny kid wedgied and stuffed into a locker. Comic books? Only the highest grossing movies at the box office. Computers? Yeah, I think they’ve gone a little mainstream. Video games? You get the point, Mr. Straw Man, so suck it. Even things like tabletop role-playing games are no longer an automatic ticket to Nerd Hell, thanks to offshoots like World of Warcraft making the concept approachable, and having someone like Vin Diesel come out and say they’re cool also helps, because you go ahead and call Vin Diesel lame, then let me know when you finish fishing your forearm out of your own throat.
Now, not everything that geek culture embraces is mainstream yet. Cosplay? Slowly but surely getting more accepted, thanks to the exploding popularity of Comic-Con and the other hugantic cons (that’s “conventions” for those unfamiliar with the term) out there. Anime fanatics? Well, some things still deserves wedgies. (I kid, I kid. However, Dragonball Z and a lot of popular anime is some of the worst dreck I’ve ever seen in my life. Yes, Princess Mononoke and Akira and Ghost in the Shell are incredibly beautiful and moving pieces of art, but most of the big-eyed panty-flashing’ tentacle-rapin’ underage-girls-who-are-”eighteen” kung-fu superpowerfulragefestin’ anime shit is purely awful in every way. But that’s neither here nor there.) There’s another geek staple that still isn’t embraced, and it’s near and dear to my heart, as I’ve said before.
OK. When it came to the Mass Effect 3 ending, I’d said my piece (spoiled and non-spoiled) and counted to three. I was good, I was finished, I was content. Then I had a brief conversation with a friend yesterday. He’d never played any of the Mass Effect games and wanted some questions answered, so he could put the frothing waves of rage into context. I answered them from my perspective. Then he said something about a theory that was the hot thing on the Intarwebs, something I’d paid zero attention to, a little thing called the Indoctrination Theory. I decided to check into this theory. What I read changed everything.
Essentially, my friend took a stick and jammed it into the anthill of my brain and stirred it all up. The rat bastard.
Oh, and if I haven’t been entirely clear, there are spoilers below the “Read the rest of this entry”. SPOILERS. Spoilers. (spoilers)
I’m going to go ahead and talk about the ending of Mass Effect 3 and their curious decision to have Chewbacca appear at the very end of the game and lead everyone in the Macarena while the blue elephant plays his round piano. Yes, I know that didn’t happen, but I didn’t want the preview thing to show any actual spoilers to ruin someone else’s experience. I will wait until after the jump, which is right here.
Now that I’m sitting down to type this, I’ve realized that I have no idea who this review would be for. If you played Mass Effects 1 and 2 and loved them, then you don’t need my encouragement. If you played them and hated them, it doesn’t matter what I have to say, because (mild spoiler) Mass Effect 3 is a lot like the first two. And if you have never played Mass Effect at all, then I wouldn’t recommend starting with ME3. Buy the first one and play it. If you liked it, play the second. If you liked that, buy this one. But maybe you’ve played the first 2, liked them, and didn’t know if this one would be any good. Maybe you’re scared. Understandable. I was apprehensive in the extreme. Already this year I’d played a game I was really looking forward to, only to find cruel, bitter disappointment. Maybe it would happen again.
Well, after 30 or so hours of multiplayer, then playing from 6pm to 3 am Tuesday, then 10 am to 2 am on Wednesday, then 11 am to 10 pm Thursday, I can give you my opinion of the game. It’s only one guy’s opinion. Maybe you will disagree. But here is my eleven-word review:
HOLY FUCK THIS IS THE GREATEST GAME I HAVE EVER PLAYED.
I really wanted to love Skyrim, the latest in the Elder Scrolls series. From the moment I started hearing about it on X-Play, The Most Watched Video Game On Television (as well as The Only Video Game Show on Television), I wanted to own it, snuggle up with, make it my own. I’d played plenty of Morrowind and Oblivion, although I never even came close to finishing the main storyline in either. But a lot has changed for me in gaming since Oblivion came out, not least of which the fact that I’ve stopped playing PC games over the last couple of years and have almost exclusively gone to the XBox 360. I did worry a bit about the transition, especially since the default character models in Oblivion were such total and complete ass that it made a gorgeous video game into a trip to Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. The advantage of the PC version was that you could download mods that changed the way characters looked. On the XBox, there is no chance for that. I wasn’t going to let it stop me.
The closer to release it came, the more I heard about its epic awesomeness. I didn’t get it at release, since I was trying (and failing) to finish a novel in November, plus I have editing to do on The Storm of Northreach and was afraid of a timesink. It seemed like every fantasy fan I knew was playing it. I heard about it on Facebook. My friends talked about it. My expectations and hopes were raised to a level that it would’ve been nearly impossible to meet them. My awesomely wonderful wife bought me a copy a couple of weeks ago, and that became the moment: could it possibly live up to it?
Last week into the beginning of this one, I was in Indiana for my first ever GenCon. For the uninitiated, GenCon is a gaming convention that mostly caters to tabletop roleplaying, LARPing (L Live. A Action. R Role. P Playing. Live Action Role-Playing), collectible card games (like those weird Japanese things where you basically raise cute little fake animals to be stone-cold murderous gladiators), miniature wargaming, and stuff along those lines. Essentially, it’s Gamer Nerd Heaven.
My wife and I knew a bunch of people who were going, which was the main draw. See, we’re what I call half-jokingly Retired Gamers. We used to tabletop regularly, but stopped about 3 years ago. We used to play two or more LARPs a year, but stopped about 3 years ago as well. We used to play Magic: The Gathering but stopped 6 or so years ago. So we don’t really game much. In fact, we planned on playing absolutely nothing when we went out there, which is pretty much the opposite of what everyone else does when they go to a GenCon. Our plan was to hang out with friends and drink.