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REVIEW – ‘Little Player’ Magazine brings age appropriate gaming to kids

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When I was a kid, my brother and I would wait anxiously every two months for a new ‘Nintendo Power’ magazine to come to our mailbox. And every time that glorious publication made its way to our home we were excited to read the new articles, insights into new games, and interviews with people in the gaming industry. The internet was around, but wasn’t widely used, so magazines were the way to go.

As I grew up, I started reading other publications, or going to the internet for gaming news. ‘Nintendo Power’ ended up stopping publication in 2012. As a young adult, I was a little nostalgic about the last issue, but as a parent, I was worried.

Every other gaming magazine features adult content in it, either very violent or very sexy. While I don’t mind reading these myself, my kids are young gamers so I don’t allow them to read those. And pretty much everything on the net is a no-go unless I’m driving the mouse, because you never know what they’ll click on and what page they’ll end up at.

So imagine my excitement when I heard about a new publication just for kids. As soon as I heard rumblings about it, I knew I had to get my hands on it and check it out. So, I did.

And, let’s face it, as much as I like the concept, my kids may not. So, joining me on this review is CJ and Anna, who are 6 and 5 years old respectively. (Granted, they’re slightly younger than the 7-12 age group that this magazine is targeted at, but they’re familiar with gaming and I thought it would be a good gauge anyway.) So let’s get to it!

The following is a review of Issue 0 of ‘Little Player’, which is a preview issue. It will be available to download for free at the Kickstarter page – which you can find here.

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Oversexualization in Entertainment – Are we doing it to ourselves?

Everyone who is a gamer is familiar with the “misrepresentation of women” conversations that have been going on for years. In the last couple of days, I’ve found a few different articles that have somewhat irked me with the way the conversation is presented. And, honestly, I don’t think complaining about it really does any good in the long run. Let me explain.

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There are Ratings for a Reason – Gamer Parenting

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I love my kids. And I love video games. I get absolutely ecstatic when I get to play the video games I enjoy with my kids. But, sometimes, I’m not able to do that due to the content of the video games that are out there, or the addition of online play. It’s somewhat of a blessing and a curse for my kids, because I let them play games, but I know the content of the games that are out there.

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The E3 Experience – Media vs Attendee

(Note: This is a rundown of my ENTIRE three day experience, but contains no spoilers, interviews, or news of any sort. If you’re looking for something like that, head on over to Senshudo TV.)

This year I was able to go to E3 for the third year. Once again, it was a great experience, however it was different than the other two years I attended. This year, I didn’t have a media badge. As freeing as it was not to have a schedule to attend to, there were some downsides.

As media, there is a schedule. There are interviews to go to, people to meet, and specific games you almost HAVE to cover because of their popularity, whether you want to or not. As an attendee, you’re free to move about as you please, going to whichever booths tickle your fancy. On the other hand, as media you get behind the scenes, and you don’t have to wait in as long of lines as attendees. Ultimately, I enjoyed being media over an attendee, even if you have to sacrifice some of your freedom of choice, it’s worth being able to talk with some amazing people. And, let’s be honest here, it’s cool to play the games early, but is it really worth waiting in line for 2 hours so you can get 5 minutes of gameplay? Especially if you have nothing to report afterwards. The whole point of E3 is to announce new IP, returning and revamped IP, and have news go out to the masses. You can’t really do that and have relevant information as an attendee.

Nevertheless, E3 is an incredible experience no matter what kind of pass you have. Just being in the convention center is a special time, where you can be with people who share the passion of gaming with you. So, without further ado, let’s go over some of the awesomeness that is E3 that I was able to experience as an attendee.

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Nailing things down

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Since the age of 6 or 7, I always knew I wanted to be included in the video games industry. I’ve been saying for quite some time now that I’m not sure what to do, though. I don’t program, my art at this point is pretty sub-par (and I don’t know any of the new programs now, anyway), I’m not a teen or young 20-something single chick that can model, I have a face for radio and a voice for silent film, and I’m not plugged in to all the new games and consoles. I tried video games journalism, but I don’t want to just report news. I want to be part of the news. Not a lot going on for me in a lot of areas.

However, I think I’ve finally found a niche that I CAN make a difference in. I want to bring awareness of the gaming community as something more than just a stereotype. I’m highly aware that there are already people doing this. Hell, PSP is one of the best at it (you can find him at www.patrickscottpatterson.com). But there can always be one more voice.

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Myssiing Happenings

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Hi all! Quick update on what’s going on the next week:

1. I wrote an article on the psychology of gaming behavior, and so far I’ve gotten a really positive response on it. You can read it here.

2. This weekend I am participating in Operation Supply Drop’s 8-bit Salute. You can watch me stream on Twitch, and consider donating here.

3. Mike is going to be absent on the show tomorrow, but I’ll be there with bells on! Catch the show Sat at 11am on the Guru Show website!

4. I’ll be writing more articles for Guru Show, and I’ve been keeping my Twitter pretty active with gaming and tech news.

5. Come check me out on Player.me! It’s a great social site for gamers, and I’d love to connect with you on there.

Welp, that’s it for now. I’ll check in again with another update or review. Cheers!

~Myssiing

I quit… but years later, I still talk about ‘World of Warcraft’


World of Warcraft is known as the quintessential multiplayer online game… at least it was in its heydey. The folks at Blizzard knew how to make a stunning and thought provoking game, while encouraging teamwork and imagination. It was full of life, along with victories and letdowns came relationships with fellow players and an open world that you could literally spend hours just looking at. But somewhere along the line, it started to falter.

My friends and family like to say, “And on that day, the Lich King died, and World of Warcraft died with him.” There are arguments on whether it’s the fault of the developers for spending so much time on one IP for so long, or Activision and it’s money-mongering ways of trying to appeal to too many demographics (hardcore vs casual). Some place blame on Free-to-Play games saturating the market, while others still uphold the belief that World of Warcraft is the best game out there.

But whether you’re looking for someone to blame, or you think WoW is still alive and well, one thing is agreed upon by everyone I’ve talked to about it. Something changed with the dynamics of the game near the end of the ‘Wrath of the Lich King’ expansion.

WoW didn’t have the same feel anymore. Dungeons that had previously been a major challenge and accomplishment to beat were being nerfed into the ground. More and more “daily quests” were being added for people who didn’t have more than a few minutes to play. Stats were being blown to ludicrous numbers, and epic gear started to lose that “I have to have that” look.

I played up until right after ‘Mists of Pandaria’. At that point, the game just felt like a grind-fest to me, and I no longer enjoyed playing. Back in the days of Vanilla and Burning Crusade, I could play all by my lonesome and still have fun. Near the end of my WoW existence, I would really only log in to chat with my guild mates for a few, before calling it and getting on some other game.

So, where do I place the blame? Honestly, I place the blame on the gamers themselves. So much bitching and complaining about game mechanics, or that something was too hard. That they couldn’t find people to run instances with, or that there weren’t enough things to do in only ten minutes. Even gamers like me, who once enjoyed the game, but soon came to find that they were no longer having fun, but still paid the monthly fee for some reason or another.

You can only feasibly be a great game for one type of player at a time. “Candy Crush” wasn’t made for hardcore gamers that like to sit and waste 5 hours on a game, and they’re not going to change their gameplay to get those gamers to play. But WoW did change. They went from an epic storyline with well developed and nigh impossible end bosses to having pet battles and more quests that you can finish in five minutes than you can shake a stick at.

Blizzard did not keep WoW what it was. And that is the fault of the gamers.

Why do I even bring this up? Well, honestly it’s because I still have conversations about it. The fond memories that we had as guild-mates. The screw-ups, the small victories, the big wins, and the major losses. The many political dramas within the guild that resulted in /gkicks or “soandso has left the guild” messages. The times we couldn’t find our pants in our backpack in the middle of a boss fight, so we didn’t wear any. Fun excursions onto other servers to cause chaos on the other faction. The many holidays spent chasing after some crazy trinket good for one use. Funny or lewd things that would come out of some people’s mouths in the heat of battle. All of this stuff that happened and brought us closer together, not only as an online guild, but also people. And almost NONE of it happened after Cataclysm.

During talk of all these memories, I start to think, “What happened? What changed to make such a drastic difference?” And the answer is simple. We did.

My trip to E3 2014 Part 1

So, we’re still a few days out from the actual start of E3, but I’m already getting ready for it. Today is the day to finish packing, doing laundry, getting my equipment together, sorting out my appointments for the last time, and getting my kids ready for a week without Mommy. My mom is also going with me, so she’s getting her stuff together, too. When I’m not at the expo, I’m lucky enough to have my family living nearby, so that I can visit with them.

I will be periodically updating this blog with different snippets of the Expo, as well as some funny stuff that my family says.

The overall plan is for me and Mike (The Guru from www.gurushow.com) to hook up with the Nerd Junkies (www.nerdjunkies.com) during the show, to bring you the most information that we can. I’ll be covering both the XBox and EA media events, as well as getting together with Wargaming.net and 2K Games, and attending an afterparty put on by Bethesda.

Follow me on Twitter (@myssiing), as well as the Computer Guru Radio Show (@azcomputerguru) and the Nerd Junkies (@nerd_junkies) to stay completely up to date, as well as check in periodically on this blog and the Guru Show webpage.

If you’re attending, feel free to shout at me on Twitter, and maybe we can meet face to face!

Tomorrow, I’ll be driving the long stretch from Southeastern Arizona to Los Angeles. If anything interesting happens, you’ll see it on Twitter.

Happy E3! ^.^

~Cheers! ~

❤ Myssiing

E3 Pre Party!

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Hey guys! E3 is coming up, so I’ve linked a Computer Guru Radio Show podcast HERE featuring the Nerd Junkies, who we’ll be seeing at E3. Here’s my itinerary:

Mon – Xbox Media Event

Tue – 2K Games (Civilization: Beyond Earth, Evolve, Borderlands: The Pre Sequel) and Bethesda After Party

Wed – Wargaming.net (World of Warships) and Running with Scissors (informal)

Thurs – I GET TO PLAY WHAT I WANT

So, if you have any questions for these guys, or otherwise would like to get some answers to things, lemme know, and I’ll try to hunt them out for you. Stay tuned for more E3 coverage, and check out the Computer Guru Radio Show for LOADS of constantly updated info! ^.^ Cheers!

LOTS of changes, lately. Here’s why.

Ok, so I know I’ve been REALLY lax on the writing.

Here’s the scoop:

I’ve been busy lately, so I haven’t been able to write as much, let alone actually play any real video games.

On the flip side of that, I now have a new position the Computer Guru Radio Show (www.gurushow.com). So, I have a new platform with which to speak about video games. Yay!

Anyway, I wrote this opinion piece today on WHY I like radio so much. So, please, read it and distribute it to your friends. It’ll help out a lot. And, if you get the chance, peruse the site and check us out on Saturdays at 11am (PST). You can listen live through the Guru Show site, so you don’t have to be local to listen.

I’m also attending E3 again this year! Yay! More on that later.

Thanks so much, everyone! I totally appreciate the support.

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