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the lane to the land of the dead

April 23, 2012

Just digging myself out after finishing my first ever video game. Technically it’s not the first video game I’ve ever played, a friend made me play Baldur’s Gate once and we had a Game Boy when we were kids, but I never really got into them before. I’d often get frustrated with games when they got too hard and I couldn’t get past certain sections so I’d just give up, but the past couple years it feels like there are more and more video games coming out that appeal to me. The kinds of games thatgamecompany make, Portal 2, Mass Effect 3, those are the ones that really started tempting me. Really though, this new inclination probably started with the first women’s studies class I finally managed to take.

A bit of a cyborg

You’d think that if I was going to take a women’s studies class I’d have done it when I was at Oberlin, but it didn’t happen till I ended up in library school. Gender and Computers, while one of my favorite classes, was also one of the most frustrating. Nonstop reading about stereotypes and the gender gap in tech fields gets depressing. That being said, it inspired me to be even more of a girl geek than I already was. I enlisted in the Information Science program, became mildly obsessed with programming, and got vaguely curious about games.

So about a month ago I finally decide to just go ahead and buy a PS3 and make my first game Deus Ex: Human Revolution because I’d seen some good reviews and my library had a copy (yes, my library is pretty awesome). Much to my surprise, the learning curve wasn’t that steep. I was playing it on the easiest setting, but I slowly figured out how to both aim and stop running into walls or in circles. That being said, I did almost give up at the first boss because I couldn’t figure out how to kill him. That was when youtube became my best friend. Yes, I cheated, I am a video game cheater and I’m not ashamed of it. All told, Deus Ex was a good first game. Adam Jensen, the main character, was nice to look at and enjoyably conflicted and it didn’t hurt that his body augmentations basically made him a cyborg. That whole theme, the augmentation one, was pretty fantastic, what that does to our humanity and all, but then I love cyborgs. If you squinted there was even some nice subtext between Adam and Frank Pritchard, his cyber-security contact. Also, the graphics and music were decently impressive. However, it’s not so long since Gender and Computers that I didn’t get a little sad watching the credits and seeing maybe two female faces among the creators of the game.

Here’s the thing, I got a bit immersed in Deus Ex, a bit dead to the world, so I know I should take a break from the PS3, get some other things done, but I kind of just want to jump right into another game. Maybe Red Dead Redemption, maybe LittleBigPlanet, maybe Journey, but I should really work on my cover letter and resume and finally make someone pay me to be a librarian. This PS3 is really not going to be much of a friend to my motivational skills.

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