By ccesarano 2 years, 6 months ago.
I’ve become a much less active person on here, for which I apologize. There are many reasons it occurred, one of which was a few stages of depression.
However, lately it has also been a lot going on in my life. A couple weeks ago I finally got a car to call my own, and this week I started work at…well, I dunno how much I can really discuss about my job. The position is as an e-Media Simulation Developer. I can certainly say that I work in what is called “Serious Games”, or stuff that’s used as training simulators and such.
The training period is pretty long compared to other jobs due to a steep learning curve, but when I first walked in I started to feel like I was in over my head. Now, I’m feeling like I’m doing what I never expected I could ever do. While I’m not using complex programming languages, I’m certainly intrigued to learn C# and the XNA Framework or to try my hand at ActionScript/Flash game development now.
So yeah, life is interesting, and unfortunately I haven’t had time to keep part of the GirlGamer community.
Oh, I redesigned my website, too. www.gamertagged.net for those that were never there.
To all you newbies: welcome to the site! To everyone: Have a Merry Christmas!
By ccesarano 2 years, 10 months ago.
Today I did a lot of driving. For most a 25 doing a lot of driving isn’t a big deal, but when I was in high school I was frightened at the concept and barely did it. My College was too far away for our Ford Pick-Up, so I ended up being car-less for all six years of my enrollment at RIT.
The past year I’ve slowly been practicing with my mom’s piece of shit Ford, and a couple months ago I finally reached the point where my knuckles are no longer white as I grip the steering wheel. I’m still tense, but I’m a lot more relaxed. It’s beginning to feel second nature. Two things helped me out here. The first is thinking of all the people I’ve known to have trouble playing FPS games with an Xbox pad for the first time, and the second being my friend noting that everyone else on the road is just waiting to see if I screw up just as much as I’m afraid they will. Knowing that people can react to my mistakes while simultaneously keeping in mind that I can play complex video games, the task seemed a lot less worrisome.
Driving is honestly such a dangerous activity, though. While most of the ride to and from West Chester, PA today was fine, there is a moment when I’m returning to NJ that I have to get onto a highway and then shift over four lanes in the course of a little more than a quarter mile. Maybe half a mile at most. It wasn’t its busiest today and I managed to make the lane shift in more than enough time, but it was still a frightening experience. If I get this job, I can only wonder what it’ll be like in rush hour traffic.
It feels a bit weird to be discussing this, though. I’ve learned that I’m a decent driver, though inexperienced. It seems my greatest weakness at the moment is parking. But I’ve always been the sort to just park in the boonies and walk the extra feet anyway. Still, being 25 and learning all this now, it’s like not learning to tie your shoes until you’re 10.
In better news, I enjoyed Alan Wake: The Signal DLC. It was good. I also enjoyed the movie Dinner for Schmucks. It was a GOOD comedy, and that sort of thing feels rare these days. Then again, not quite so rare now that the whole “Scary Movie, Epic Movie, Date Movie” shit has died down.
I’ve written a Bayonetta review, and a first week journal for Damnation. I’ve been dying for feedback on Bayonetta, particularly since I know a lot of people really loved it. Some of my favorite comments are negative opinions. It means people get to discuss stuff, and that is awesome.
By ccesarano 2 years, 11 months ago.
So tomorrow morning at 6:20a.m. I’ll (hopefully) be leaving the Philadelphia airport on a Boeing 757 on a trip that will eventually take me to Illinois for my friend’s wedding. I say eventually because I transfer planes in Minneapolis, and then land in St. Louis where a friend will be picking me up. This is the first time I’ve ever flown before and I chose something that can be so easily screwed up in favor of saving money.
If you don’t hear from me ever again, it’s because the plane was hijacked by Terrorist Fremen and they confused me for a Harkonnen.
Normally I wouldn’t make an excursion like this, but Eric was one of my best friends in College and definitely one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. When I moved in with him I wasn’t very certain of a lot of things with life and I was filled with nothing but longing and dislike for who I was. The only thing I knew is that I had finally used logical thinking to come to the conclusion that there was a God of some sort. With him and my friend Jeff I began to explore my interests further, become a more friendly and social person, became a greater critical thinker and finally learned to become happy.
In terms of faith, Eric introduced me to the first Church that I ever actually liked. It was small, but it was a loving and welcoming community. The Bible Study gave me a chance to discuss my thoughts of what I read in the Bible intelligently. With them I I found in Christianity what I could not find in other faiths.
I owe a lot to Eric for what he made me into. When I went into College I was angry, bitter, but most of all uncertain of who I was. I identified myself as an angry geek but I never quite felt as if I belonged with any of the other geeks and gamers either. It was with Eric and Jeff that I discovered that these sorts of labels don’t mean anything. It’s what is in the heart and in the mind that truly matters.
So paying the money to see my friend get married…well, I owe him that much, and I can’t imagine how much I’d regret missing out on it.
Unfortunately I’m nervous that I’ll somehow screw up my first time flying, but I figure that there are dumber people than I that can manage it so it shouldn’t be that hard. Merely tedious.
By ccesarano 2 years, 11 months ago.
To summarize my July 4th weekend: it was awesome. The ratio was anti-RIT. I came from a school where women were a commodity and thus became manipulative bitches, but during the weekend my friend and I were always outnumbered roughly two to one at all times and the girls were nice. Part of this is just a dumb “hehehehehe girl” reaction, but part of it is just…man, sometimes I’m afraid I’m really a misogynist based on my observations of a lot of girls and past experiences, but then I have moments like this weekend where all the girls are just super nice.
It was awesome. Only one of the girls were single though, and though we were up until like 2a.m. I didn’t feel any immediate sparks or chemistry. Gonna see her in a couple weeks during a camping trip, though, and depending on how things go I may ask my friend’s girlfriend for some advice. Hell, I may do that ahead of time anyway. Again, she was a nice girl and pretty fun to talk to.
I got a call back from the job today. Apparently I have interviews down now. Unfortunately, I don’t have the education and experience in Photoshop and other graphic design programs required. Which sucks because I want to shift to a more graphic design based background since that’s what I really want to be doing. Job hunting is going to be a bitch.
Still, the feedback was good, so I’m confident I can get just about any job that I really want. I just need to choose wisely.
Plus side, I can probably make it to my friend’s wedding next weekend.
By ccesarano 2 years, 11 months ago.
So I seem to have gone into a whole ker-fluffle on Interaction in games this weekend. I felt like some of it was worth sharing, but I’d feel cheap just copying and pasting (especially since one of the write-ups is for my column).
So I still feel like a jerk for being like “hey read this stuff on another not Girl Gamer site!”, but hey. What can you do?
The first link basically focuses on games that do in cut-scenes stuff that would be more fitted to gameplay. The second is a musing on an idea involving capturing the emotions of a cinematic experience and combining them with the choice, freedom and options of gameplay. That is, after a bunch of non-related ker-fluffle.
So read and lemme know if you enjoy.
By ccesarano 2 years, 11 months ago.
So after speaking with some folks on GamersWithJobs I finally bought the first two volumes of Scott Pilgrim, the graphic novel that the upcoming Edgar Wright film is based on. Well, in the end I couldn’t help myself and bought the remaining three volumes and am not anticipating the sixth and final volume releasing at the end of July a few weeks before the movie hits theaters.
I think it is important to note that Scott Pilgrim is, first and foremost, a comedy. From some of what people said I was afraid it was going to be more an indie/hipster/music thing than at first seemed, but this is totally a gamer comic. There are references to retro classics all over the place, including multiple to River City Ransom and the band name being Sex Bob-omb. The jokes are great and help the reader like the character.
That said, the story certainly has its drama. There are two things going on here. The first is that Scott Pilgrim is 23, recently graduated College, recently lost his job and has no interest in becoming a responsible adult. The second is that he falls in love with a mysterious girl named Ramona Flowers. The two central themes intertwine and intersect frequently, as one is indeed related to the other.
As all girlfriends do, Ramona comes with baggage. The fact that they are a league of Seven Evil Exes is a perfect representation of how the laws of reality in this universe are bent into the absurd, even though everyone accepts them as being normal. There’s nothing strange about any of it to the characters. This is part of the comical charm to the story.
Scott and Ramona each have a past they are trying to run from, and in the end they are both trying to change. However, we don’t get to know much about Ramona or her past whereas Scott’s is an open book. Details of Ramona are slowly leaked out whereas Scott’s are put all on the table. In essence, he’s a bit of a douche bag. However, the story progresses in him becoming a responsible adult, and when he has slowly reached the point where he is ready to recognize his flaws and change, well, that’s where volume 5 ends at a pretty big cliffhanger.
There is a lot of realistic drama here, but as stated, the comic is a comedy first and foremost. The problems are dealt with in Scott’s fights with each evil ex, and once they have been defeated he realizes what he needs to do in order to change. This makes the dynamics of the relationship feel rather rocky and uneven. However, all in all volumes 1, 2 and 5 are the best with 3 and 4 being entertaining albeit a bit more shoddily written. All of them are good and get you to laugh.
I imagine the film will actually make Scott and Ramona’s relationship flow a lot more smoothly, but at the cost of a lot of the other character’s own developments. In many ways some of the issues with the side characters feels as if it is not delved into enough. In fact, it actually feels as if this comic series is going to be too short. The characters are all enjoyable, and that so much time is spent on Scott and Ramona is a bit of a shame since the rest of the characters are also interesting.
Overall, however, I’m pretty pleased with my purchase and kind of want to read it again without any awkward breaks between. It is funny, and the drama is relevant without being over-the-top or preachy. The only thing over the top is the comedy and geeky references, which are well-timed, written and executed. So this comes highly recommended.
As does the upcoming downloadable game.
P.S. Wallace is the best portrayal of a gay roommate (or even character) in anything ever, and the actor seems to do a perfect job playing the part (best thing: you wouldn’t know he was gay if they didn’t tell you! Not all gay guys act like women, you know).
P.P.S. AT-AT Day Afternoon is awesome.
By ccesarano 2 years, 11 months ago.
When I was at College, I wondered often if there was something wrong with me emotionally. I didn’t really miss any of my friends from high school. I spent a number of years with them, and suddenly they were out of my life. The Kansas song “Dust in the Wind” quite poetically captures the idea well.
However, I frequently found myself wishing my brother could spend some time with me, hanging with some of my friends, speaking with them, etc. It was a huge moment when he and my parents came up to not only take me home for Christmas break, but for my baptism. At the age of 20 I finally became a Christian, and it felt appropriate that my older brother, who has been a major influence in my life, be the one to dip me under (even though as young teenagers we always joked that he’d hold me down a bit too long shouting “Just another minute! He’s not quite Saved yet!”). I got to sit down with him and who I will refer to as Roommates A (they graduated before me, and as a result I invited in Roommates B, both sets of which became very close to me), and we all talked, and that everyone enjoyed each other’s company meant a lot to me.
Now here I am in New Jersey, been here for over a year since I graduated, sans a car, and even though I’m living with my family I’ve never felt so isolated. Once upon a time I couldn’t fathom spending a Saturday in my house without hanging out with someone. Yet that’s just what I did today (albeit I did try to call my friend to chill, but he was already out). I have one friend from high school, the only one I’ve continued to hang out with during my visits home, and have recently reunionized with another old high school friend whose schedule is insane and thus hanging out with him is a rare occasion. In fact, hanging with High School friend A (y’know what? Let’s just call him Luke) is near impossible since he wrecked his car and has been working on another one for a while now. Two friends with no car!
I have some friends in Delaware, but they are also busy with their own lives. Two of my College friends live on the other side of Philadelphia, busy with their own jobs, so I can only hang out with them on rare occasion in the city. My brother is in South Korea, and where he is currently living he cannot hook his 360 to the Internet and therefore we can’t even play games together.
Which is one of the most frustrating things. He and I used to game all the time. Contra, Ninja Turtles, even figured out a 2-player method of passing the controller in Godzilla. And while he was normally better than I was at games (he is six years my senior), it was comforting to know that we both couldn’t make it past that stupid third level of Battletoads.
I should be feeling really happy right now since I have a job interview on Tuesday. However, all that ran through my mind was the fact that I don’t have my own car, the job is located in a place that I’m not even sure gets public transportation, and considering I wasn’t able to really open up at my last job I’m afraid of feeling even MORE socially isolated.
The prospect of having a job has never felt so depressing.
Back when I was in high school I used to get all self pitying when I felt lonely and depressed. I can only imagine that’s why I’m bothering to write a blog about it all, other than to just get it out somehow. But God damn, I don’t want people to pay attention. I just want a fucking car. I want to live in Philadelphia, or in the suburbs around it. I don’t want to live in NJ. I want my independence. And for God’s sake, I want to be able to see my friends. I miss having my friends around all the time. I miss wandering into their room, sitting down and just talking about shit. I miss them making jokes when I screw up in a game. I miss all of us gathered around the TV marathoning shows like Chuck, The Pick-Up Artist and Firefly. I miss going to the cheap dollar theater to see Dragon Wars.
I guess, honestly, I miss having a life.
By ccesarano 3 years ago.
Typically E3 is the most exciting time of the year for me next to Christmas, but this year I just can’t do it. I mean, I’ll watch the videos and all as they stream, but I honestly just don’t care much about it. Which is strange, because this E3 could be the most different.
I’ve been following the event online for almost a full decade now. Hell, I remember grabbing ten 30 second video clips of Area 51, putting them into a single file in Windows Movie Maker and uploading them onto my own server for people to see. And God DAMN was that content low resolution. Yet over the years I’ve become more and more disinterested in videos, and now I’m finally sick of it all. I can’t stand hype, and that’s what E3 is all about.
Now, I’m sure there will be some stuff I’ll be excited about. Hell, watching the demonstrations for Nata-I mean, Kinect (yes, Microsoft, let’s be edgy and spell words totally incorrectly to seem Apple-Clever) and Move should hopefully get my mind wondering on the possibilities of each device as a proper gaming tool.
Yet in the end, I’ve found that I enjoy games the most when I know almost nothing going in. Maybe I’ll check out the announcement trailer or have heard a bit about it before hand, but the only game I followed religiously up until release lately was Brutal Legend, and it is the only game that delivered. Meanwhile, there was no avoiding the hype of Bayonetta, and while I only just finished the first chapter (which was also the GameX demo level) I must say I’m not impressed. It’s not a bad game, but the way people were reacting I was nearly expecting my 360 to transform into Bayonetta herself and get a lap dance.
Then again, considering her awkward proportions, posture and exaggerated movements, something tells me I’d be too focused on how weird she looks to be turned on anyway.
I’d love to attend E3. What I’d really want is the opportunity to play all of the games and give proper feedback to the developers. Part of me would love it for the social atmosphere as well, but honestly, I’m too introverted to even randomly start talking to people in a giant gaming event (well, not completely true: I can work some guts up to talk to strangers, but it takes a lot). I would just want to play all the games, and not even for the bragging rights. Just to see what is going to be exciting, what titles might be slipping past the radar that people should look out for, and then some.
Maybe I should try and figure out a way to E3 next year. I’m actually wondering if I should figure out a way to PAX West, even though the plane ticket would be nuts and I’m not sure I have any friends that could let me crash. Still, it’s worth a thought, especially since VGXPO and GameX aren’t happening again for whatever reason.
But sitting from a computer with nothing but hype and “Dude our product is so awesome you should TOTALLY pay $60 for it”, I can’t help but want to sigh and just play games during that time instead of watching videos that will pretty much be lying to me about their product.
Not to mention that I already know Blizzard won’t be announcing Metal Arms 2, StarCraft: Ghost revived and LucasArts won’t be mentioning Republic Commando 2. I’d love for any of those games to exist, but no. They won’t. Ever.