x video games | GeekGirlCon - Part 3

Ask GGC: What was your favorite childhood video game?

Here’s today’s Geek Fact of the Day: The Sims launched on February 4, 2000. Happy Birthday to The Sims!

In honor of this nostalgic video game many of us played growing up (or still play today), we asked GeekGirlCon staff members to share their favorite video game from childhood. Check out some of their answers.

Elevator Action NES Cover

Elevator Action NES Cover

“Choosing only one game was really hard for me as I have so many good memories of game time growing up. However, there is one little known game that I always come back to partly because I played it so much and partly because almost no one has ever heard of it. It’s Elevator Action. In this 1983 NES classic you’re a thief trying to get into the hotel, steal the goods, and get to your getaway car (using the elaborate elevator system, of course) without getting shot by the good guys or squished by one of the many elevators. It’s partly puzzle, partly reactionary, and mostly just plain fun! There’s nothing better then hearing that short few notes that said you made it to the car and you’re headed to the next level!” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration

Torin's Passage

Torin’s Passage

“My brother and I LOVED Torin’s Passage. It’s a point-and-click PC game, and you play Torin, who’s on a quest to rescue his family from an evil sorceress called Lycentia. Torin travels to the “lands below” to worlds beneath the surface of the nested planet, through colossus crystal columns called phenocrysts. He is aided by a purple cat-like creature called Boogle, which is able to change itself into a variety of shapes. It’s got lots of fun puzzles (some of which were pretty hard for a children’s game), but the best part was the humor. The game was designed for parents to play with their kids, so a lot of the jokes went over my head as a child, but they are hilarious now. BRB, searching Ebay for Torin’s Passage…” – Amber Dawn Bushnell, Designer

Classic Frogger

Classic Frogger

“Frogger! At the end of every semester when I was in Catholic grade school, we had a school party day at the local roller rink, Rollero. I never had very good balance with wheels on my feet (I still don’t), so I spent most of my time–and lots of quarters!–in the little video arcade room. There was Donkey Kong, some ridiculous shooting ducks game, Ms Pac-Man (also a favorite), and then there was Frogger! For some reason I loved being the little green frog dashing across all those lanes of traffic. I wasn’t terribly good at it–we only went twice a year, plus a birthday party here and there–but I just loved it. Play the game here.” – Sarah Grant, Copywriter

Classic Centipede

Classic Centipede

“The game was simple: one button, one 2 ¼” trackball.* Me versus one determined centipede! I would play that game for an indeterminate amount of time on a pair of quarters at our local arcade. Once I played before a high school volleyball match and I played so long, that the next day, I had to hit the ball with my left hand because my right was so sore. If I see the game, I’ll get a nostalgic twinge and dig for quarters in my wallet so I can play.

“The coolest thing is that several years ago, I learned that the game was designed by Dona Bailey, one of the few female game programmers in the industry.

*The same size as a billiard ball.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

The Magic Map!

The Magic Map!

“When I was a kid, I bought King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow at my neighbor’s garage sale (for 25 cents!). It quickly became my favorite game of all time. As a kid, it was thrilling to use the game’s magic map and discover some seriously awesome lands. I loved that Sierra incorporated stories like Wonderland (the Isle of Wonder), Beauty and the Beast (Isle of the Beast), and Theseus and the Minotaur (Isle of the Sacred Mountain). Both my sister and I played through King’s VI many, many times – frequently as a team. I sincerely hope a King’s Quest reboot is on its way!” – Stephanie Little, Web Administrator

“Mine was Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? One of my earliest memories of DOS games. My dad was a total astronomy enthusiast and just sat me down with this and I was hooked, engaged by the graphics and enthralled with researching V.I.L.E. operatives, planets, and moons. Since I love space, this definitely stood out for me more than any of the other games in the series. The imagination behind the dossiers was particularly impressive. I remember reading that thing more than a few times, for sure. A few years ago I wanted to play it again to see how it held up but there’s next to nothing on the Internet about that installment of the Carmen Sandiego series. Definitely the best one, too.” – Kathryn Storm, UX Designer

So readers, what’s your favorite childhood video game?

“Rock On!”

GeekGiftGuide: Geeky Gifts for Kids

Holidays are for the kids! Whether you have a geeky kid or are a geek who needs to buy for a kid, here’s your guide to geeky gifts for kids. Your guide writer here has kids ranging from baby to teen to buy for, and I’ve got some ideas for you.

We’ll start at the top: the teenager. Buying for teenagers is almost the toughest. They can be really picky and also pricey. First to ask, what is your teenager into? Mine is into cosplay. Here’s just a few:


Kanna from Inuyasha

Temari from Naruto

Tweak from South Park

“Rock On!”

PAX ’12 : Game on!

PAX 2012 was like PAX usually is: tons of stuff to see, lines to wait in, and free swag to get.

Just walking the show floor is an experience worth the cost of the badge, with grand displays set against the deafening noise of games and attendees. I’m always comparing it to a theme park: tiring, exciting, and fun. I played almost too many games to note, a couple of my favorites being the hilarious Octodad and The Walking Dead.

Borderlands 2

The moments I always remember, though, are the ones spent in random rooms on the second and third floor playing board games with friends and people I’ve only just met. It’s not just because I love tabletop; I think that this is where the community of PAX still lives on through the noise and the overstimulation of the exhibits. There’s a very simple joy in gaming that’s hard to find as you get older, and to be able to share that with your friends is a great feeling.

There’s also a great mix of simple, complex, lighthearted and serious tabletop games available in the library, so no matter who you are playing with (or where your exhaustion level is at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday), there’s something for you. Some of the highlights in tabletop for me were Ufology and Cards Against Humanity, which I had never played before this weekend.

Ryan Gosling may or may not have been at PAX…

Now all I have left is lots of sleep, a Magic the Gathering coloring book to do, and a list of games that I absolutely *must* buy. Oh, and a TMNT costume.

Heroes in the Half Shell!

Julia Santo
Programming Operations Director

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Video Game Character Designs, Big Fish Games, and GeekGirlCon ’12

Many of you expressed total excitement when you saw the artwork of dresses that embodied Avengers characters. These drawings came from Amanda Hemmons, a 25-year-old Seattle artist.

Amanda is also daughter of Big Fish Games’ Portuguese language editor, and when she reached out to her mom about creating a similar drawing featuring video game characters, Big Fish Games jumped at the opportunity.

Check out Amanda’s designs below, which Big Fish Games will have on display at GeekGirlCon ‘12. As GeekGirlCon President Erica McGillivray mentioned in a Wired interview about the designs, we love that they feature a range of clothing styles and include different body types and ethnicities. On top of that, these are some really great interpretations that we think will inspire cosplayers.

Could you guess all the video game characters? You can confirm your guesses over at Big Fish Games’ blog.

Be sure to check them out in person at our convention this weekend (and don’t forget to buy your passes before we sell out).

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Fact or Fiction: Women and Gaming

Today, we are kicking off a new GeekGirlCon blog series titled “Fact or Fiction.” In these posts, we hope to dissect some of the stereotypes or assumptions made about female geeks. You know, assumptions like “Geek girls don’t exist.”

To pay tribute to GeekGirlCon’s burlesque show, JOYstick!, today’s “Fact or Fiction” will focus on video games. (P.S. Tickets are going fast for JOYstick! Get your tickets now.)

Tell me, is the following statement fact or fiction: Barely any girls or women are gamers. What do you think?

Let’s take a look at some of the facts:

• According to the Entertainment Software Association, 42 percent of all game players are women.
• Women age 18 and older represent a significantly greater portion of game players (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (13 percent).
• Men & women are playing online PC games in almost equal numbers: 130 million women and 140 million men!

Ok, you might read these stats and think: Well, girls play more social games like Bejeweled and Farmville. Some women certainly do, but here’s another interesting fact:

Nearly 40 percent of all World of Warcraft players are women.

Wow! Women and girls certainly are gamers. Many of GeekGirlCon’s staff members rushed home to play Diablo III the day it came out. And we know a ton of you feel the same way.

Not only are women and girls avid gamers, they make games too! That is why we are so excited to have video game experts like Corrinne Yu, principle engine architect for Microsoft’s Halo video game, at GeekGirlCon ‘12.

We will also have a whole floor dedicated to gaming, where convention guests can play some amazing console games, which are brought to you by EA and PopCap games. On top of that, con-goers will be able to participate in Magic: The Gathering tournaments, try out board games with friends and family, test out their own game design skills at our Mystery Box Game Design Challenge, and join some amazing LARPing workshops.

We hope to you’ll come to our convention (buy your passes here!) and help confirm the fact that women are definitely gamers. In the meantime, tell us: What’s your favorite video game?

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

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