Tag Archives: Dragon Age

Video Game Ramblings

I can’t state enough how much I love Steam, and how they have really good sales. Last year, between the Winter and Christmas deals, I was able to bag more than twenty games (which I really wanted) for around 30€. I also am on Origins due to my love for the EA/Bioware games.

A friend got me a new copy of Final Fantasy VIII for my birthday last year, and I started playing it (I think this was my 3rd or 4th playthrough) and spent more than 120 hours without even completing everything (most of it, but some were buggy like the UFO or headaches like the Chocobo). I wanted to finish FFVIII before jumping into Dragon Age Inquisition, which I also got for my birthday (I try to wait for games until they are on sales with a decent discount, except Star Wars and Dragon Age franchises).

Quistis Trepe (Final Fantasy VIII). Source: Final Fantasy Wiki.

Quistis Trepe (Final Fantasy VIII).
Source: Final Fantasy Wiki.

Sadly, my computer can’t take Dragon Age Inquisition, which makes me very sad as I was so excited for this game. A new desktop (I am a PC gamer all the way) isn’t in the cards before a couple of years at least. I start to think that Bioware games dislike me, because a few months ago, Star Wars: The Old Republic refused to reinstall (on the very computer it had played for more than a year and an half) and nothing I could do would change it. And the first Knights of the Old Republic went poof on me as well, even with a new version! Did I mention that this really turns my relationship with Bioware games into a love/hate one? At least, my Mass Effect games are still behaving. I am in the suicide mission in the second one but just need to be in the mood again to go back to it.

With Dragon Age Inquisition poofing on me, I went old school and picked Dungeon Siege, which I had never played. I am in the second chapter and having fun with it. So, I’m pretty happy with it. Just like Final Fantasy VIII, I’ll probably post a review of it once I have completed it.

What game(s) are you currently playing and/or have recently played?

Links: Writing, Media, Inclusiveness

Links: Writing, Media, Inclusiveness

Photo Credit: Lucas Löf.

Photo Credit: Lucas Löf.

Links: Writing, Feminism, Video Games, Science Fiction

Links: Writing, Feminism, Video Games, Science Fiction

Image courtesy of Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Discussing Fandom And Its Past and Future Impact

Thank you, Tricia for letting me know about this video, The Future of Fandom from PBS Idea Channel! If you are interested in fandom and how it can develop and impact society, you should watch it!

I was glad to see several significant things that had happened in fandom included, as well as the Organization for Transformative Works mentioned. While I no longer serve as a staff member (I used to be on both International & Outreach and Fan Video & Multimedia between 2010 and 2013), I am glad to see the OTW still doing well and help fans and their culture.

One thing that I find important is to avoid inner elitism and petty fights. I know that this is wishful thinking, no matter the setting. There is so much that fandom can bring to a person, especially with how community is important in it! The fact that one can belong to multiple communities also adds to the life experiences and how people can relate to others and learn to be curious and respectful of others’ ideas and preferences.

I am a proud fangirl and I know that it has also helped me shape my professional orientation. I wouldn’t have decided to present about Dragon Age‘s female characters in 2012 if I hadn’t been a fan of the game franchise, especially when I had never really included video games in my research before. The conference I attended because of it was a game changer for me and had a great influence on me.

If I hadn’t fallen in love with Star Wars when a child, I might not have gone into media studies, and developed a strong taste for Science Fiction – and interesting female characters.

Live to tell the tale - LJ header

That thought provoking video also reminded me of the upcoming French web documentary Citizen Fan, produced by La Gaptiere. It should be released this summer and I took part in it as Vidding and Fan Studies specialist, last November. The producer’s interest in fandom was refreshing, and I am looking forward to the finished result.

Writing, French TV, Dragon Age: Redemption and Links (Religion, Feminism, Writing)

ID-10041444 - Notepad And Keyboard Stock Photo - twobee

Image courtesy of  Twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week, I had the impression I might have a measure of burnout lurking, but I got confirmation this week. While I managed to have the structure and almost complete introduction for my next paper, I just meet a dead end whenever I try to work on it since then. It’s not as severe as the burnout I had back in December, but I understand that I need to take it easy and give myself a few days. I’m still learning to recognize and accept such things, despite my workaholic tendency. So I made the decision that my writing goal this month will be the Lost Girl/Once Upon A Time paper and that I will postpone work on my Scully book proposal to May.

Of course the moment I understand I need a break and accept to take it, my creativity starts to fire up again. While I was on my way back from a walk today, I suddenly remembered a video idea I have for a character in a French TV show that lasted four season (and whose cancellation is still a shame as they already had so much to make at least one other season). And right on cue, I have an idea of paper to defend this series. This cop/investigation show called Les Bleus: Premiers Pas Dans La Police (“bleus” here means “probies”) followed new recruits in national French police in Paris, and also their superiors.

The show made decent audiences but it was considered a “bad” show by anyone who was supposed to have a brain and also considered as impossible for exportation. I beg to differ on both accounts. I don’t see why our own judiciary and police systems would be more complicated for other countries to understand that US ones to non US viewers. Cop shows like that are all the easier to bridge between countries in my view because of the general story devices behind them.

So I want to write a paper to defend this show, because while not perfect, it had many good moments and many solid and layered characters. It was also great in terms of diversity: gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation representations were diverse and in the main cast. It also brought up topics such as motherhood and going back to studying/work, dealing with one’s roots and a life different from one’s family. It didn’t only present one or two romances that was all chase. At least a couple relationships lasted even after the characters actually got together, through the good and the bad, even when they didn’t always end well.

I fell in love with the Dragon Age universe from the moment I started playing the first video game of the franchise, Dragon Age: Origins. Not only is this one of my favorite video games, but I love all that followed, from the expansion, the second game (I can’t wait for the third one!). I also liked the animated movie Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, and I have the three novels on my to-read shelf. Yet, I hadn’t seen Dragon Age: Redemption until earlier this week.

I admit that I’m not a big Felicia Day fan. Yet, I wanted to check this short series because I love the universe. And for the first time, I actually liked Day in a part. I didn’t like her more than the rest of the cast, and my two favorite characters were the male Templar and the female Reaver. I think that the series was very in tune with the rest of the universe and tapping into my knowledge of the franchise to recognize places, specialties, organizations was really neat.

Links: Religion, Feminism, Writing

Quick Update

  • With family visiting for the week, I don’t spend as much time on the computer. The break is welcome! I still get opportunities to brainstorm whenever ideas and muses ambush me. Thank God for notebooks!
  • Speaking of ideas, I already have the first notes for the blog series I’ll do in February 2015. What? Yes I am early, just a tad.
  • I am planning to start my February blog series about a small but heterogeneous list of romantic movies either tonight or tomorrow. I was originally planning for it to end on Valentine’s Day, but it’s likely it will run until a little bit later in the month.
  • By February 28, I should know whether a paper proposal I submitted in December is picked for publication. I’m crossing fingers it is, because I am quite excited about the topic. I’ll get the answer regarding the two other finished papers I submitted for possible publications later this year. I know one answer should come in May; but I don’t know about the other.
  • I recently read a very interesting post about Dragon Age: Origins by Tsunderin. The angle of the Triple Goddess makes so much sense and I hadn’t thought about it before. It definitely gave me more food for thought and inspired me to tackle further research about female characters in the Dragon Age franchise, especially once Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out this year.
  • I still have to finish two slides of my upcoming guest lecture. Then, I’ll be able to check with my friend who actually teaches the class, whether this suits him.
  • Preparing this guest lecture was also the opportunity to repost a 2011 Battlestar Galactica video. I had created this one to introduce the ‘Boomer 2004: The Feminine and Cyborg Metamorphosis’ in Brussels, which was later published in 2012.

Gaming Musings

For the past weeks, I have been toying with the idea of delving into some gaming again. The two reasons why I haven’t done that are that I don’t know which game I would pick and that I am worried of how time consuming it would be.

End of 2011 – mid 2013, I spent a lot of time on Star Wars: The Old Republic. I loved the game to pieces and up to this day there is only one class (Sith Warrior) whose storyline I didn’t complete nor brought to level 50. The game remains one of my favorite but since I cancelled my subscription last summer, I feel that the game is behind me. It might sound silly as I still own the game and could play it again, but I don’t have a strong will to hop back into it.

I am extremely impatient for the next Dragon Age installment as this is a franchise I adore, but since the game doesn’t come out until next Fall, it isn’t an option right now! I’ve been excited about Dragon Age: Inquisition since I first heard about it. Just mentioning the franchise again makes me entertain the possibility of picking up my research on female representations in it. I might do just that after the new game, and this time include the other aspects of the franchise, besides the games only.

I’m already sitting on quite a few games, notably in my Steam library. A good many of them, I am not interested playing for the time being. Even after some brainstorming, I am still entertaining a few different possibilities. The first is to pick up Mass Effect again. More than a year ago, two friends of mine got me the first two installments of the franchise, as I had been eager to play it for a long while. I started the first game and was having fun, until I got stuck early in the game. I know I could just pick up another planet, but I still have a sentiment of frustration. Yes, I am aware this is a classical gamer’s sentiment!

I have also not touched Torchlight 2 since a few days following its release. I’ve spent countless hours on the first game, loving the simple game play and colorful design. I enjoyed the beginning of Torchlight 2 and will eventually go back to it. I like the uncomplicated aspect of the game. I love engaging games with solid story lines, but sometimes I just want to have fun, i.e. explore and kill enemies. One improvement I really noticed from start in the second installment is how they made all classes available for both male and female characters. I always prefer playing a female character when I am given a choice. I think that the big exceptions when I had as much fun playing a male protagonist – due to lack of options – were Final Fantasy VIII and The Witcher.

Speaking of Fantasy VIII, it still is my favorite game from this franchise. I played bits and pieces of other but Final Fantasy VIII is an all time favorite. Since I saw the game made available on Steam, I have been itching to purchase it, as I am unsure that my old copy would be friends with my Win 7 computer. Since purchasing new games isn’t something I would pursue right now, I am nevertheless tempted to try out my old copy on my desktop computer. I haven’t played it in years and every once in a while I feel like going through another replay.

The final game I have been toying with as a possibility for hopping back into gaming is Path of Exile. I am intrigued by the game. It looks right up my alley and I really like the fact that it is free to play. What worries me is the insane skill tree. I never really like those, but the special one they have in this game gives me a headache from start. I also am worried that I might invest crazy amounts of time in it, given how my only previous MMORPG experience, Star Wars: The Old Republic, saw me spend countless hours enthralled in the game, more than any other single player ones I played before.

Writing all my musing down makes me stir towards a few possible final choices; but I am still wary of delving back into gaming. Thing is that besides all the work I have been doing lately with crazy amount of writing – which makes me a very happy camper, i.e. researcher! – I had the luck to be able to vid again, like I hadn’t in a very long time. I am a bit worried that if I play video games again, my vidding muses might just run away.

I am starting to think that maybe gaming would be left best for once I am done with other videos I need to make for another upcoming blog series I want to publish this Spring, and that some of the TV shows I am currently following end their current seasons. I know that I could just divide everything in smaller patches of time to have a wilder mix of every hobby, but these days I don’t do as well in that regard and am more comfortable focusing only on a handful things at a time.

A Vidder’s Ramblings: Not Everything Is Lost

Made in 2010, Not Everything Is Lost was my first Dragon Age video – so far I have made two and I also used clips from that franchise in a video game crossover video. While I never was an avid gamer, I have been known to enjoy some selected titles over the years. Yet, I had taken a break from such things since KOTOR I and II. It was Dragon Age: Origins that drew me back into gaming. I fell in love with not only the first game, but the franchise as a whole. I loved the universe and the stories. I went through quite a few plays of the different games, and it’s one I can go back to at times, besides being very much waiting for the next one.

Dragon Age was also the first video game that made me decide to take the step to actually write about gaming, as shown by my talk “Dragon Age: offered and created womanhood” at the 4th Global Conference: Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment in July 2012 in Oxford. Since then I have written about more games, and know that I will continue to do so in the future.

Before even remotely thinking about incorporating Dragon Age in my scholar projects, I needed to vid the games. Although I still wish that it wasn’t just a male protagonist shown in the promotional material, I managed to make a decent ensemble video, based on trailers and videos from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, including my favorite female NPC Morrigan and Leliana.

The song, ‘Walk the Earth’ by the metal band Silent Force had been on my ‘to vid’ list for a couple of years already, if not more. The original song is about six minutes, but I was lucky it had a good cutting point for the much shorter video. The lyrics just worked well for Dragon Age and all the characters’ journeys and it had that ‘epic’ sound that always heightens my creativity when having some cozy time with my video editing software.

On a side note, I find it amusing that rewatching that video to write this post also reminded me of another fandom that this song would be perfect for. I actually completed a Lethal Weapon vid on this song tonight. The muses never need sleep!