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Console Wars. Ready, Let’s Rock!

With the holiday season upon us and the next generation of consoles on the horizon starting with the November 18th release of the Wii U, I find myself shifting uncomfortably in making a decision of what console to play on as we ride the last glorious waves of this generation of hardware.

But isn’t this an old argument, Butterfly? I suppose it could be. PS3 versus XBOX 360 has been an argument ever since the consoles were both released. The Wii was never a real contender (but is a fun little machine nonetheless!), but now with the Wii U being a powerhouse it is giving the other two a run for their money. When I got back into gaming after a hiatus, I brought an Xbox 360. The next year I also got a PS3. I have every console and portable that is currently out. It now becomes of a question of does a “true gamer” even need every console?

 

Source

With all the new hardware coming out and coming up in the next few years, I start considering what kind of gamer I am exactly. I absolutely enjoy owning every console, but is it necessary?

Personally, I have begun to think I own my XBOX 360 for the wrong reasons. It would be the perfect machine for me if I was into multiplayer, but I am old school. Good, old fashioned couch co-op is still my favorite even though I have friends across the world. Most of the games I enjoy most are single-player experiences and, with that, I should just stick to my PS3.

I am head over heels in love with my PS3. It is such a wonderful machine and the images are just gorgeous. I actually think my PS3 is superior to my XBOX 360 just as I expect the PS4 to be superior to the XBOX 360. These are all my own opinions, of course, and I really enjoy both consoles. If I have to choose, however, it would probably be the PS3.

Trophies also do not stress me out as much as achievements and the coveted Gamerscore. There is this undeniable pressure to get every achievement and increase that score. This is stressful for me, a gamer who could actually care less about a number. Trophies do not seem to give me that stress. I can play a game without much worry. If I get a trophy, ok that’s fine. I rarely even check the trophy list. I just enjoy the game. Also, playing offline means much more infrequent updates to my score/trophies. These two screenshots reflect not being online in months.

 

So, what am I going to do in the next current generation?

Wii U – I am not going to be getting this console at launch, but I will be the first to say that this console is a beast! I have played it for several hours and it’s pretty amazing. An attachment issue to my current Wii is making it difficult to move on. I feel like there is unfinished business with it. Also, it is the first console I completely purchased myself. That is a huge deal! I know that I will probably get a Wii U, but it will be further into its lifecycle. Whenever Bayonetta 2 comes out will probably be when I make a decision.

*Note: I have not looked at specs or guesstimates on either of the next two consoles. I will not start research on them until they are officially announced.

“Playstation 4” – I will definitely be getting this console going off of the fact that I love Sony. I never realized how much of a Sony fan I was until I started looking at my past gaming history. When I was a kid I turned in my N64 for a Playstation 1. Also, the Playstation 2 is my favorite console ever.

“XBOX 720” – I am on the fence about this console, at least at its launch. I am 100% sure that all of my gaming friends will probably get this console.

I recently started purchasing more games in PS3 form. Let’s see how the remainder of this generation goes.

Role Models in Video Games – Aveline

Video games would seem a very unlikely place to search for a role model. With their fictional worlds and oftentimes violent nature, video game characters lead lives very much different from the norm. That is what makes them extremely entertaining, but also difficult to relate to our real worlds. We play them, immersing ourselves in their world. We then return to reality.

Recently, Assassin’s Creed 3 and Assassin’s Creed Liberation were released. Both games feature minority characters in the main role. Aveline is the female character in the PS Vita exclusive Liberation. Ever since she was first pictured, brown skinned women from all nationalities rejoiced everywhere.

But Aveline’s heritage is not the only thing that makes her a “role model”. It is her design.

Aveline dresses like a “lady.” Her design is not at all ridiculous or skimpy like a lot of the other game women. As a cosplayer, it is often difficult to find a character with a design that is not accentuating something for males. There is nothing wrong with skimpy characters. It is refreshing to see not only Ubisoft, but other gaming companies making strong women in their games.

I hope this trend keeps up! Despite the fact that Aveline is, essentially, murdering people, she is also a strong female, minority character. We need more of those in our games!

The Inspiration to Succeed – Finding Motivation as a Black Female Gamer

There have been several articles recently discrediting female geeks and downgrading them to the insuffable title of “booth babe” as we supposedly vye for attention at the mostly testorone fueled events through out the year. While these hurtful posts are mostly based on the biased opinion of so-called journalists, they just strike a difficult chord in my ever beating heart as I attempt to join an industry that more or less does not want me.

Not only am I a woman, but I am a black woman. Not only am I a black woman, I am not a size zero. If there is some imaginary ranking throughout the industry then I am most certainly on the bottom of the totem pole. Also, within my beloved hobby of eleven years, I find myself the underdog as I claw my way to show that my cosplay skills are measured by the might of my sewing machine and not my BMI.

Cosplay and gaming reminds me of highschool. I was quite active in highschool. I cheered. I played clarinet. I was a Captain in ROTC. I was on National Honor Society. I stayed busy. My highschool was not very big, however, and I was pretty much in the middle when it came to popularity. I was a gamer and a cosplayer, but no one knew it really. This was all before social media, so I did not exactly volunteer that information to my judgemental peers. I kept looking for a day when I would be able to share my subcultures with likeminded individuals since my small, rural, Southern town knows nothing about any of it.

Highschool pictures of Me

I never expected to be thrust right back into a world of judgement.

When placed in discouraging situations, one looks for inspiration. I look no further then Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in Gymnastics who is sixteen years old and African American. How inspirational it is that Gabby not only left her hometown at a young age to pursue her dream, make it to the Olympics, assist her team in winning the Team Gold medal, AND win a Gold medal for herself in the Women’s Gymnastics all around! Her entire Olympic dream is built on taking risks and pushing yourself to greatness. At 24, I am thoroughly impressed with her just as I was as a young girl looking up to Dominique Dawes, another African American gymnast who was apart of the Magnificent Seven in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics which I remember watching on a vacation to Washington, DC as a bright eyed nine year old.
There is just something about these powerful black women beating the odds in a sport not necessarily tailored to African Americans. I liken gymnastics to both gaming and cosplay. These are all passions that AAs perhaps do not even have a chance to discover – at least in my particular generation. We obviously had a better chance at becoming involved than my parent’s generation, but it is only just now growing into something many AAs are able to discover at young ages. I never even knew there were other black female gamers until a year before I became a Frag Doll Cadette. That may sound strange to many people, but I was never in a position where I could know that information. Even moving away to college I found myself being the only African American woman involved in the Japanese/anime club and the only African American woman that owned a gaming console. I knew that I was not the only one in existence, but I just did not know where they were!

Gabby Douglas at the London 2012 Olympics

Dominique Dawes – Olympic Gold Medalist

We all have different situations in life – different paths that take us different places and allow us to discover different things. I am glad that I was an inquisitive child that fell in love with gaming and, eventually, cosplay. Seeing Gabby take that Gold really makes me want to push to realize my dreams despite whatever odds may be faced to me. So rejection letter after rejection letter is not going to stop me now. I am only just beginning.

me at my first event as a Frag Doll Cadette – Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles!