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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Leonardo (The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Variety) Meets Magritte

Leonardo returns to his classical roots with this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle/René Magritte mashup by ben6835. (via Geek-Art)

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I will make it legal!

You Can’t Purchase A Red Lightsaber Unless You’re Really, Really Evil

You ever wonder why the default lightsaber for evil Star Wars characters is red? That’s how the stores sell them! Take a look at Vendors: Episode 1. It’s a new animated series based on Star Wars: The Old Republic. YouTubers TheWarZone show us what the process is for purchasing a lightsaber in a galaxy far, far away. We already know Darth Maul would be able to buy one because he’s totally evil, but let’s see how this gentleman fairs.

(via Topless Robot)

Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: The Borg Assimilated A Wedding Cake

That poor fondant never stood a chance. (via When Geeks Wed)

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And All Was Right With the World

Stephen Fry Defends Electronic Arts Against Anti-Gay Controversy

Video game publisher Electronic Arts has been in the news a lot lately and the news hasn’t been good. Their BioWare division has been receiving a lot of flack about the ending of Mass Effect 3 (causing them to create a whole new ending for the fans who complained) and the company as a whole has had to defend itself against thousands of letters complaining about same sex relationships in their games. Now, British actor Stephen Fry has taken it upon himself to not only give a huge vote of confidence to EA, but also promote All Out’s campaign to help them combat the letters with a petition. Hit the jump for what he had to say. 

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Essay

A Video Game Starter Guide for Total Newbs

Yeah, I know, a lot of you out there are already gamers. You’ve got raiding schedules and encyclopedic knowledge of voice actors and DPS formulas good enough for publication in academic journals. For this, I salute you.

But some of you aren’t gamers. I’ve had comments from and conversations with folks who have an inclination to game, but just haven’t given it a try yet. I understand why. Knowing where to start is tricky. Being intrigued by games and actually choosing one to play is a little like following up the statement “I’d like to learn to read” with strolling into a bookstore.

To make things easier for the Potentials, I’ve put together a handy starter guide just for you (and if you’re already into comics or SF/F, all it’s going to take is a tiny nudge). Chances are that the activities and fandoms you already enjoy have have primed you for a happy life of questing and leveling up.

(And veteran gamers, do stick around. I’m going to need your help at the end.)

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Essay

For They Are Weary of Space Marines: Why Some Men Are Playing Women, and Why Game Developers Should Take Note

I spend a staggering amount of time thinking about video games. I’m constantly chewing on the reasons for the character choices we make and how people are represented within games. I’ve spent a lot brainpower mulling over that stuff from a woman’s perspective, and I confess that for a long while, I hadn’t dedicated many neurons to wondering how our brothers-in-arms felt about those very same things.

I knew that there was a big difference between the groovy gamer guys I hang with and the snarling trolls that lurk elsewhere. I knew that some men do not speak for all men, and that male gamers are every bit as diverse as women gamers. But there was one point that I had made a rather mindless assumption on: that for most straight male gamers, the main reason for playing a female character was to have something nice to look at. I mean, if you’ve spent any time in a multiplayer game, you’ve heard the following phrase: “If I’m going to look at an ass all day, I don’t want it to be a dude’s.” Even the most egalitarian gentleman can enjoy a bit of eye candy (who doesn’t?), and surely the plethora of cheesecakey box art and booth babes meant that the industry knew it was a view that most dudes shared.

But a few occurrences over the past few months got me thinking there was a lot more depth to the “target audience” than was being talked about.

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Essay

So Maybe Including A Shock-Collar-Wearing Female Slave In The Old Republic Wasn’t The Best Idea?

I tend to think that I’m a nice person. I mind my Ps and Qs. I hold the door for people. I put spiders outside if I find them in the house. I don’t enjoy being snarky. And when I game, I always play the good guy.

Well…most of the time.

On rare occasion, I bust out of my Paragon mold and set the world on fire. I take the “RP” part of RPGs pretty seriously, so if I go bad, I go really bad. I am ridiculously over the top when I assume the role of the villain, in a mustache-twirling, ice-cap-melting-space-laser kind of way.

So when my brother talked me into playing Sith in The Old Republic, BioWare’s recently released Star Wars MMORPG, I knew it was going to be brutal. I was hesitant, at first. Sith? Me? I mean, come on, my housekeys are on a Rebel Alliance keychain, for goodness’ sake. If I had to play Empire, surely I was going to be the bounty hunter with a heart of gold, trying to subvert the system from the inside. But no, my brother was adamant. Sibling assassin team. Totally evil. No compromises.

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Bioware Will Allow Same-Sex Romances in Star Wars: The Old Republic… After Launch

So here’s the order of events: Bioware announces a Star Wars MMO. Bioware announces that each player will get NPC companions, much in the same way that “Han had Chewie, Luke had R2-D2 — even Jabba had the cackling monkey lizard Salacious B. Crumb,” and here, perhaps, is a place where Bioware maybe didn’t pick the best canonical examples to highlight, because the player can also romance some of their companions. Because this is Bioware.

But unlike many other Bioware games, this time the romance was to be strictly boy, girl, boy, girl, with no option to vary the seating arrangement, so to speak. That is until yesterday, when an announcement was made on the SW:TOR forums that homosexuality will be patched into the game after launch.

And now we’re not sure whether to facepalm because it wasn’t included at launch or laugh with delight because we live in the future: where acceptance of homosexual relations can arrive via software patch.

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