My Female Gaming Role Models: Samus Aran

Galactic Federations, Space Pirates, and Mother brains, Oh My!

If you haven’t played any of the Metroid Series, stop reading, fire up that emulator, and go!

Just kidding.

Seriously tho, you should.

I was actually introduced to the Metroid Series a few years ago by Ezrah (my fiance) with Metroid Prime for Gamecube. The mix of sci-fi with puzzles and a “fill in your map” (I absolutely love filling in maps… I could probably play an entire game just about filling maps).

Since I didn’t actually grow up with Samus Aran, I can’t tell you how she inspired me growing up. What I can tell you is how bad ass she is.

Let’s start with the very beginning. A very good place to start….

MetriodNintentoCase  The original box art for Metroid gave no indication as to the gender of the protagonist, or if it even had one. All the box art tells you is that you are purchasing a side scroller monster shooting game. The main character could be a robot. In fact, according to the manual….

MetroidManualpg7

Samus is introduced to us as a male cyborg space hunter. Progressing through the game, the player has absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. There are no specific gender markers that make you question Samus’ gender identity in anyway.

Once you get to the end however, you are given the big reveal…..

MetroidEnding

image cred: gameradar.com

Samus is a female! Above is one of three ending reveals depending on your progression of the game. Now, before we start thinking about the “sexiness” of the costumes, remember one thing: A character being seen as “sexy” does not, and should not, diminish his or her accomplishments. Having “multiple endings”, as multiple as you can get with a Nintendo game, is a business decision on re-playability. She was also the first of her time. Not only was her game the first of its kind, bringing two genres of  video games together in a unique way, she was the one of the first main female protagonist. What the developer’s did was marketing genius.

By showing off her abilities first, by the time you realize she is even female, you have already been through the whole Planet Zebes and saved it. There is no discrediting her capabilities or her motives by changing her gender. With a reveal at the end, you take away all stereotypes about females that could hinder one’s ability to relate to the character. Metroid probably would have not had the success it did, without this revolutionary idea. It may have been dismissed as another great Nintendo game if her gender was male, or may have been dismissed all together if her gender was revealed sooner throughout the plot.

Samus has a lot to be proud of. The Metroid series has sold 16.69 million copies over the years, and was blessed with the title of “the first playable human female character in a mainstream video game” by the Guinness World Records 2013: Gaming Edition.*  As a mascot of Nintendo, her games and her legacy will live on for years to come.

I fell in love with the Metroid series (trust me, there are some gaming series’ I don’t love.) Having played Castlevania, I had the same excitement of filling in the maps, and finding all the loot, while battling monsters and such. As a lot of other people, I loved morph ball. As the gender of a character isn’t really an issue for me, as far as being able to relate to them, Samus being a female was an added bonus, just as Lara Croft, being…well… Lara. As I’ve said before as well, Samus being considered a “sex symbol” (which was not there original intention) in no way takes away from her contributions as a space hunter. To say that sexualizing a female is a bad thing, is weird to me, as long as its not her primary function. (No, I haven’t had the pleasure of playing Lollipop Chainsaw…)

Did you play the original Nintendo Game? What was your reaction to the big gender reveal?

Have you recently been introduced to Samus? What do you think about her as a character, or the games?

Please make sure to check out other installments of My Female Gaming Role Models, and tell your friends!

/bow

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My Female Gaming Role Models: *Guest Post* Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool?

I’ve been wanting to do a post about Coco Bandicoot, however someone already did it! So without further ado, Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool? by  InvaderC8!

Woah!

That one word sums up one of the best series from the Playstation: Crash Bandicoot. Released in 1996 by Naughty Dog, Crash Bandicoot changed the foundations of Action platformers and was one of the highest selling games that year. It was about Crash, who started out as a normal Bandicoot, until Dr. Neo Cortex took him and was genetically enhanced to help him take over the planet. However, Crash was too carefree to be able to lead an army, so Cortex tossed him from his fortress, and decides to use Crash’s girlfriend, Tawna for his experiment. With time running out, it’s up to Crash to get through Cortex’s three islands, stop him from taking over the world and save his girl. But I’m not here to talk about Crash, even though he’s the star, and deservedly so, I’m here to talk about his little sister, Coco.

Coco B

From her introduction in CB2 and on, she was a kindhearted genius who loved her computer and helped out Crash when he was in trouble. However, after Crash Team Racing [the fourth game in the series], Naughty Dog gave the rights of the series to ”Radical Entertainment”, who decided “You know what Coco is missing? She needs a bratty attitude and have her make generally useless inventions! Oh, Oh, and, lets use her as a damsel in distress!” *sigh* You were so awesome in the beginning, Coco, and Naughty Dog won’t be able to come to the rescue. Well, with that disappointing thought in mind, I figured to do an article on why I thought she rocked in CB2 and CB: Warped.

Coco first appeared in “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back” and was established as Crash’s little sister. What happened to Tawna? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyways, in the first few seconds we see her, we quickly learn her characteristics: She’s intelligent, loves her laptop and is more level headed then Crash. On his way to get her a new battery when her Laptop one dies, Crash gets caught by Cortex, who proclaims that he actually needs Crash to help him collect Crystals. It seems that the world is going to be destroyed by a force that will be generated when all the planets align, so he created the Cortex Vortex to protect it. However, it needs Crystals to work, which is where Crash comes in. While he is a good guy, Crash isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the room, so he goes with it without hesitation. Luckily, Coco doesn’t believe a word Cortex says, and hacks into his computer to try and figure out what his true motives are, which we find out late in the game….

[Skip video to 3:12:45 if it doesn’t jump on it’s own.]

With that knowledge, Crash goes and takes out the vile Doctor. See? Without his sis, Crash would have unknowingly doomed us all to worshiping Cortex. This was a nice introduction for her, and she was a valuable asset to the storytelling, but it’s in “Crash Bandicoot: Warped”, where she truly comes into her own.

Please go to at Why was Coco Bandicoot so Cool? by InvaderC8 and continue reading about Coco!   

Thank you for the first guest post on “My Female Gaming Role Models”!

Why I refuse to stop gaming

“You’re going to have to stop playing video games.”

“Well, I  guess that’s the end of your gaming hobby.”

“You guys aren’t going to have time to play your games.”

It started when we learned of our incredible life change, pregnancy. As the pregnancy was coming to a close, it got worse. It seemed as if every time we stepped out of the house, someone would comment about how our gaming will somehow cease to exist because of this impending arrival. No more gaming…. What?

Asking me to drop gaming is the equivalent of asking me to stop eating Korean food, or better yet. Stop being Korean. Sure it’s only part of who I am, but if it was gone, there would still be a part of me missing. Why would I want to do that?

Gaming has been a significant part of my being. I’ve been doing it since I was 5. My childhood is Mario and Sonic, (and those damn pigs in Rocket Knight Adventures) My preteen years and teen angst years are Playstation. Halo was college. Halo 2 and FFXI were the beginning of Ezrah and I’s relationship. Our love grew over headshots and Maat fights. Final Fantasy XIV will be a new era for Final Fantasy MMOs along with the pregnancy and birth of our child. See gaming is more than just a hobby. I have been on countless adventures. Why would I give any of this up?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh well, now that you have a new arrival coming, you’re going to have to give up your favorite television shows!”

Neither have I.

There are so many ways your life changes when you become a parent. Why should your favorite hobbies, your core of who you truly are as a person, be different? Why should they change? Entering the world of parenthood doesn’t mean you have to shed your former self and jump into a new person. Mom is not something I became. I simply added Mom to my resume. I am still me. I still game. Ni No Kuni was my maternity leave. I plan on gaming with my son. I cannot wait for the many adventures that we will have together.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have changed. A lot. Life is about experiences. We need to take those experiences, learn from them, and grow.  There are things I find myself doing that I never thought would ever enter my mind. Apologizing to my mom, for one. I don’t smoke. I have wicked mom anxiety. We do laundry every week, clean the house almost everyday. I budget my money. I care about the things I never even questioned before. The amount of time I play each day has changed dramatically, and I can’t go buy any game I want, but I still game.

It is important to take time out to be yourself. The {insert adult mature task you “need” to do} can wait.

Yes those things are important. Yes , focusing on your child is important.

YOU are important.

 

 

 

Changing Discs

As per our usual routine, B decided to take a nap.

Usually when B decides to take a nap, I get excited. That is at least one hour of uninterrupted game play! This is when I sit in my chair, latch on my baby, and get ready for Titan spamming. Since I started thinking hardcore about my Rinoa post for My Female Gaming Role Models, I thought, I’m just going to play VIII again. We’re talking put my PS disc in my PS3.

So here I am, sitting in my chair. Check. Baby latched on. Check. Alright here we go.

About half way through nap time, I get a dreadful thought, as the parade for the sorceress comes to a close.

I’m going to have to change discs.

Wait.. What?

I’m trying to make the battle draw on, (heehee get it. DRAW. ok i’m done), but eventually Edea slings her silver tongued insult at me and the ice is flying.

I save my game. Slowly.

That oh so familiar screen comes onto the television. “Please insert Disk 2”. I look down at B, still all snuggly and asleep, and then at my playstation, on the other side of the room.

I’ll just move him a little, and then…. He begins to stir, and settles back into a less convenient position.

Titan it is…..

What I learned from MMOs about being a Parent

I am not a tank

this is my FFXIV char.

1.) There is no pause button.

2.) You can read all the guides and watch all the videos, but until you’ve done the fight/dungeon/instance you will have no idea what you’re actually going to do. The same goes for teething.

3.) Even though you can do most quests solo, sometimes you need to join a party to get something done. Example: A big poopy diaper with a rolly baby?

Spouse has joined your party! Need advice on a specific topic? Ask your mama guild!

4.) Always join a Linkshell/guild/Free Company. Find a group of like minded parents that you mesh well with, and stick with them. It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to raise a parent. Find your village. Ask questions, let them help guide you with answers and experiences.  You can try it alone but in the end you will need an endgame group to help support you.

5.) Learn the Lingo. (DD, SO, DS, POAS, DTD, TTC…)

6.) Everybody plays the role/job/class differently. Just because you don’t find a certain ability useful, doesn’t mean another parent won’t. It doesn’t make it wrong or right, just different. so….

7.) There will be elitist dickheads. In MMOs. In Real Life. In Parenting. Nobody likes elitists. Don’t be one. If you find someone struggling, help them. But never, EVER, tell another parent how to do their job, or that they are doing it wrong. You may guide, do not demand. It is not your child.

8.) If you find yourself getting frustrated, put your character (or in this case your child) in a safe non aggro spot, and take a couple minutes to breathe. Whether it’s in town, a pack and play, a bouncy seat. Everybody gets frustrated. It is better to remove yourself from the situation for a minute, breathe and then try again. As long as your child is someplace safe, it is ok for him or her to cry for A MINUTE. (We do not practice CIO)

9.) They will consume years of your life and life of your wallet.

10.) In the end, you will love them the best that you can possibly know how, and everything will all be worth it. Enjoy all the moments you can, make new friends, smile everyday, because you are on the greatest adventure you life will ever take you.

/bow

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