“What video games are good art?”

As bloggers, we know that our journeys on the Internet can sometime lead to unexpected places. That’s where I find myself today, at this point, answering a very innocent question posed by the kind proprietor of The Long and Short of It (a blog/blogger worth following if you’re not already) on my article “Are Video Games Art?” And that question is:

What video games are good art?

To further quote, of said question, he succinctly and brilliantly dubbed it a “storm in a teacup.” I simply love that turn of phrase; how remarkably accurate it is here. Because truly, how in the holy hell of cultural edifices does one even begin to answer that?

Continue reading ““What video games are good art?””

Tricks, Treats, and Feats: Getting Mid-Evil in in Fable II

This month on Virtual Bastion, we’re celebrating the fun side of Halloween with our “Tricks, Treats, and Feats” posts! Join us each week as we share some of favorite game stories involving in-game tricks, special items, and grand shows of skills! In my first festive post, I offered up some tips on getting one of my favorite weapons in Fable II: the Maelstrom. It’s an evil, eeeeevil weapon for which one must complete some evil, eeeeevil deeds. (But don’t worry, is eventually forgiven. It’s only a game, after all. 🙂 )

VIRTUAL BASTION

Image captured by Hatm0nster.

Despite its reputation as being a simplistic and middling RPG, Fable II remains, for me, an enjoyable experience. And part of that is due to the inclusion of some interesting…ahem…rewards, if you’re willing to go the extra mile to attain them. One of my favorites is a legendary weapon called the Maelstrom. And the trick to getting it involves the game’s alignment system, along with, well…setting aside one’s inherent good nature.

Fable II expanded upon the original Fable’s simple good/evil alignment system with the addition of four additional trait scales: pure/corrupt, rich/poor, funny/scary, and loved/hated. In the end, however, these additional instances really only affected the hero’s interactions with Albion’s citizenry in the game, and had little to do with any of the side quests. The only exception to this could be the path to obtaining the Maelstrom, which is done through a quest called…

View original post 817 more words

Ac!d Commander: In Which Nothing Happens

This is my new game project: “Ac!d Commander.” It involves Metal Gear Ac!d for the PSP. Rather than being in written form, I decided to do an actual Let’s Play, making videos and everything. I’ll be posting one to three new videos every Friday from today until the game is over. I welcome any comments and discussion. Apologies in advance for any audio hiccups, video malfunctions, or other jackassery, which will surely ensue.

Continue reading “Ac!d Commander: In Which Nothing Happens”

Dragon Age: Origins Redux

When I first played Dragon Age: Origins sometime in 2010, I was… distracted. I realize that now, as I’ve just completed my second romp through the game. That was a strange year, because in just a matter just a matter of months straddling 2009 and 2010, my husband lost his job, we briefly moved in with my folks to help with the finances, my husband got a new job, and we moved out on our own again in a neighboring state. It wasn’t an unhappy or unstable time, but for awhile there, things felt rather hazy. It was during that glassy, glossy period that I played Dragon Age: Origins. And, for better or worse, I ended up having only a couple goals in mind with the game:

Goal 1: Bone Alistair.

Goal 2: See Goal 1.

Continue reading “Dragon Age: Origins Redux”

[Old] Thoughts on the [new] PS4

During a recent review of the contents of a couple old USB drives that I had forgotten that I stashed away, I found a handful of articles that I had written for a site that went defunct. Since I hate for words to sit unread (even those in incoherent, rambly sentences), I decided I might as well share them here. In a little over a month, the PlayStation 4 will be celebrating its fourth birthday. Waaaaay back in March 2013, a couple weeks after the PS4 was first announced, I wrote up this post detailing my thoughts on the new console.

Huh. I never did play Destiny or Watch Dogs. Funny thing, that.


By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Now that some of the PlayStation 4 hype has died down, I figured it’d be the perfect time to inject my two cents, pence, pesos, or whatever currency you so desire. For the sake of transparency, I’ve previously stated that I don’t plan to be in the market for any next gen consoles. This fact hasn’t changed. Yet, even though I’m not riding shotgun on the PS4 bandwagon, I was sincerely impressed by Sony’s presentation.  The whole conference was both exact and vague, where some questions were answers and many more were left hanging in the rafters. All the demos and images showed promise. There was plenty of hyperbolizing, but no proselytizing. The two hours went by quickly and there was no downtime between sets. So back to my two cents. Taking into some of the PS4 news that has transpired over the past week, let’s talk about a few key points that I’ll parse out under those that I find less exciting and those that I find more exciting.

Continue reading “[Old] Thoughts on the [new] PS4”

Ac!d Commander: Life after the Powerhouse

This is my new game project: “Ac!d Commander.” It involves Metal Gear Ac!d for the PSP. Rather than being in written form, I decided to do an actual Let’s Play, making videos and everything. I’ll be posting one to three new videos every Friday from today until the game is over. I welcome any comments and discussion. Apologies in advance for any audio hiccups, video malfunctions, or other jackassery, which will surely ensue.

Continue reading “Ac!d Commander: Life after the Powerhouse”

Pitfalls of the “nice” workplace

The following post originally appeared on Geek Force Network, 1 August 2014.


I work in a very nice place with very nice people. The kind and courteous atmosphere is one of the biggest perks of my job. And this is only one of several nice places in which I’ve worked over the course of my career. Call it good fortune or eerie coincidence, but I can honestly say that I’ve never worked in a place where I wouldn’t describe my co-workers as “nice.”

But therein lies a problem. A first world problem surely, but a problem nonetheless. The problem of being too nice. You know that saying about how you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can never please all the people all the time? Well, I have been in more than one work situation in which the parties involved try much too hard to please all of the people all of the time. Niceness often trumps sensibility (and to a certain degree, backbone), and it can make for some rather silly and frustrating scenarios that sometimes play out rather passive-aggressively.  We all have to take the good with the bad in life, but that doesn’t mean plain old common sense should be cast aside to save face. Because let’s face it, there’s nice, and then there’s stupid. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

Continue reading “Pitfalls of the “nice” workplace”

VB on YT: “Nostalgic Notions” Returns!

As terrible as things might be going with my own attempt at a Let’s Play, Virtual Bastion’s YouTube channel has been soaring! Aaaaaaand…not that I’m patting myself on the back or anything, but…

“Nostalgic Notions” is back! WOOHOO!

(awaits grand flourishes)

(even the crickets are sleeping)

Sigh.

Continue reading “VB on YT: “Nostalgic Notions” Returns!”