Parental Control?

27 11 2007

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I’m so tired of parents buying M rated games for their six year olds. A few days ago, a mother walked into the Best Buy my boyfriend works at and asked for a copy of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andres” for her six year old. I’m going to take a moment and let that all sink in for you….okay, So he read her the rating and why it was rated that and she immediately was acting all shocked and decided not to buy it….I know that when people buy a movie they usually check the rating of it before handing it over to their six year olds. Why don’t they do that for games?

It’s just a game, right? What harm can a game do? While I’m not going to sit here and give you pie charts and graphs of violence and kids and video games, I am going to say this… “This movie contains sexual themes and drug use. Do you want your kid watching this?” If the answer is no, then stay away from M rated games. M is the R of video game world. And I know all of you who are reading this probably already know and have heard about all of this over and over again. So instead of complaining about how parents aren’t involved or informed, how can we fix this?

Well first, we get to the parenting magazines! Some of those parenting magazines have a movie guide and all, so why not a game guide? I think we need articles in every parenting mag about the rating system of video games. But it should be directed to the appropriate audience and make good comparisons about games to movies and their ratings. I think that would be a huge step in the right direction.

Next try to get some articles posted on other popular sites and magazines. It’d be good for the general public to know what they’re getting into when they buy a game.

I remember being thirteen and renting Titanic, b/c I was never allowed to see it in the theaters and my mom sat and watched it with me and had me close my eyes as she fast forwarded through the sex scene, so if a parent wants to keep their child away from that, they need to be aware of ratings. What is in the games that their children are playing?

I just think its weird that every one says to make the rating marker bigger or they have ads up in game stores or game magazines about the ratings…but who’s buying these games for kids? Their parents, right? So why aren’t we targeting getting the information to the parents? Maybe I should see about getting something done about this…anyone got contact info for some parenting magazines?

Another thing is, I know that some systems have or are going to have parental control settings…I know when I got my Playstation 2 and set it up alone i my room, I set my own parental control code. I don’t think my mom ever found out about the option of a code. It was only for movies, though. So I think that has to be in articles about ratings. Lets inform the parents that there are options or that there will be options for the gaming systems their children have. I just feel like a lot of these parental control and rating issues are more well-known throughout the gaming community than they are to the people that SHOULD know about it. Our parents.

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Thanksgiving Time!

23 11 2007

So I had the BEST Thanksgiving ever! After all the festivities with the whole family, the boyfriend and brother-in-law came played Halo 3 in my room for like 2 hours with me! Score! And then I kinda got tired of playing that so I sat on my desktop and played Team Fortress 2 while they kept playing. I usually play as a Medic, but have recently switched to the Scout. Anyway, I’m still debating between getting a 360 and a PS3…its really a hard decision.

So I’ve been trying to keep my mind busy over Winter Break with some game related activities. I’ve been teaching myself a little flash, getting a lot better with Photoshop, playing alot of games and a lot of Risk, and well, I’m trying to figure out what I want to create over break. I’m thinking I’m going to create another board game. I had so much fun coming up with the idea and gameplay mechanics of the last one I worked on that I’d love to make another one. I think that’d be a good thing to do creatively, while teaching myself C++ and Flash over break. I figure I’ll get those down pretty well and spend my spare time in this upcoming quarter, learning more programming and 3D modeling. Oh! And I should really finish the seventh Harry Potter book…hahaha, I began that this summer and have YET to finish due to school and video games. But I love to read and I should indulge that good habit. Maybe I’ll go to Barnes and Noble and sit at the Starbucks and read. That way, I can’t think of anything else but books.

So I’m wondering if any one can give me some advice. I want to really learn a lot and further my career in the game industry. I have little to no experience in 3D modeling and I’ve only been able to make a board game and a comedy RPG in RPG Maker (which I came up with the idea for and wrote). So what should I be doing? Is learning Flash a good idea? Or maybe I should be focusing on modeling? I’m not 100% sure in which direction I want to focus my career, but I really want to have a good sense of it all. So any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

And when it comes to networking, I do try my best to get to as many conventions, but due to lack of car and lack of money I’ve only been able to attend last year’s GDX so far. I hope to attend more this coming year. I’ve got a good friend over at LucasArts though, so that’s something right? And I can’t forget my fabulous professor Brenda. She seems to be a great source of information and truly inspiring!

Anyway, I’m exhausted right now. I’ll be sure to update with more important topics tomorrow…got to sleep off this turkey. 🙂





That’s a Girl’s Game

21 11 2007

I’m sure we’ve all heard about girl gamers and how they actually kick a lot of butt, example, the Frag Dolls. And we’ve also heard about how outrageous it is that games like Petz and games that teach you how to cook or take care of babies are being made! How dare they try to make games that are obviously directed toward girls?! Well I have a huge confession to make right now….first off, I love games like Counter Strike, Rainbow Six Vegas, God of War, Psychonauts, Rachett and Clank, etc. Now that that is said….I also loooove the old Petz games…You know, when they had Dogz 5 and such. I don’t play it as much anymore, but there are times in a blue moon that the urge comes back. Also, I am kind of intrigued by Imagine Babyz. I know! I know! I feel like I SHOULD be ashamed! But really now, should I? I’m sure once I actually play the game I’ll think its dumb, but just because I do have a girl-like nature, shouldn’t I be able to indulge in that every now and then instead of all the testosterone that’s filled every big time game? I’d like to be able to go in and proudly play my copy of Petz or Imagine Babyz or something to that nature and still be respected as a gamer.

I just don’t think that stuff like that should be considered a guilty pleasure. I mean, the babyz or petz games could be the same for guys with Madden. When most people think of Madden that are gamers, they immediately consider Madden players to just be jocks and stupid people. Well, I happen to know a lot of people who play Madden and the same people play Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed, and a lot of older games that I haven’t even played! By the way, I play Madden every now and then, and the game is actually a lot more fun than I ever thought it’d be!

This is also the same argument with “hard-core gamers” and “casual gamers”. Can’t we all just be respected as helping the industry grow in our own personal interests? If people like Petz then they should make more games like that for that audience. If people hate Petz and no one buys it, then they can focus on other things. But just because a girl if playing Petz doesn’t mean she can’t kick your ass in Street Fighter.

So let the Petz players play Petz and let the Madden players play Madden and lets all just give out mutual respect for the people who are playing games. They make the world just that much better! We shouldn’t hate amongst our own kind, but instead embrace the differences that make playing games and talking about games accessible to all.





It’s Console Time Again

21 11 2007

So here we go again with Christmas. My mom just asked me to make her a list of what I’d like. We usually get one big gift and a bunch of little ones. So last year, my big gift was the Wii. So now I’m debating between the Xbox 360 and the PS3. You know, I really wish there was only ONE system…I bet we’d be able to play a lot of more games that way. Yeah, it’d be called the WiiStation 360. Haha, okay that made me laugh…anyway…  basically its a mini-console war at my house right now, so I’ll be having fun this holiday season with that.

So as most of you have probably already heard, there was a vulgar comic strip starring Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond up on a certain site. I did not see the comic because it was taken down by the time I heard of it and I am so glad that I didn’t accidentally run into it. Now I believe Ubisoft is considering some legal action. I just want to add this new development to my post “Pretty Woman”. I am disappointed, but not surprised.

On to happier news, I’ve been playing Assassin’ Creed and even though there is a lot of huffle about the new controls for it, I actually love the controls. I’ve been playing it on my boyfriend’s 360 and I have to say that the controls actually feel natural to me. Maybe because they make sense, you know? Though I do see how they could be hard to get at first, because it took me a few minutes before I got into the right mind set. Besides that, I’m definately enjoying the story and adventure of this game and would and probably will recommend it to everyone I meet..unless they’re five…then I’d recommend something like Viva Pinata: Party Animal.

I’m going to make a post soon about girl directed games…soooo stay tuned for a more interesting post!





Brathwaite on Game Design Portfolios

13 11 2007

So I was just sent the link to an article on Game Career Guide, written by my professor, Brenda Brathwaite on Game Design Portfolios. The article features board games made by my class, including my group’s game too (last page). The article is a great read and is also featured on her blog “Applied Game Design” (which can be found in my links section), which EVERYONE should read! Oh and my name is misspelled in the article. :: sigh:: Its Gabrielle Munster…not Munters…

http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/464/features/464/the_game_design_portfolio_is_.php?page=1

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This is Just Funny

13 11 2007

penny-arcade-smg.jpgSorry, don’t get too excited. This isn’t another long post. I just…I can’t get over this comic from yesterday at Penny-Arcade.com!





Pretty Woman

13 11 2007

jaderay1.jpgSo I read somewhere that at one time there were rumors that Assassin’s Creed producer, Jade Raymond, would be posing for Maxim magazine. This is NOT true and she was very upset to hear that someone would even think she’d do that. And I’m afraid that her personality has over shadowed the game itself. When fans of her found out that she would NOT be appearing in Maxim, they were thoroughly disappointed!

And I don’t get it! Does a woman in this industry have to be completely unattractive for anyone to take her seriously?! I’ve read comments such as:

“well, jade shouln’t be offended by the fact that people like her … for the times i heard her talk in interviews she doesn´t seem qualified for that kind of job. Its obvious its only there for the looks and the publicity for the game (based on her looks and not the game itself)…
( by job i mean talking , not her work on the game …)”

This is ridiculous! How could they possibly judge her on that?! She’s the producer? She’s going out there to tell everyone about this new game and she does a great job of it. There’s only so much that she can say and yeah, she has a very warm personality and so can therefore be able to relate to a lot of people. AND, as a woman who is the producer of such a game, her appearances on TV and such have been a great thing for the game industry! When girls see a woman like that in such a respectful role, they can really begin to think “Wow, I could do something like that too!” I mean, look at Cliffy B! Not once did anyone say, “I bet he’s totally unqualified for the job he has.” How would anyone know that?! And that statement has no basis at all, because anyone who knows ANYTHING about Jade Raymond’s career its all good things! As a female game designer myself, I of course did the research on her as soon as I had heard about her.

She majored in computer science, got her degree, and got a job programming games for Sony. She also founded the first Research and Development group within Sony Online and worked on online games such as the Jeopardy games. She then became a producer at EA and was the producer behind the Sims Online. After that she decided to move back home to Montreal and work at Ubisoft as a producer. So the woman is smart, guys! She has ambitions and a brain and just happens to be attractive. I don’t like this whole “if she’s pretty, she’s probably dumb or doesn’t know anything about games besides Barbie or Cooking Mama”.

So this woman is someone I look up to in a way that is encouraging to know that I can achieve such a status in this industry that seems to be covered in men.

I am woman…Now watch me program!