Games Should Be Accessible

Last weekend, Nintendo gave players a chance to demo their new game, Splatoon, on a global scale. As it was only available for a select three different hours over a two day period, it seemed to double-function as a hype building exercise and a stress-test on their online servers. That said, the game looks and feels amazing! I’d love to geek out about it for hours, but now isn’t the time. However, during the one hour I played, the game felt just slightly awkward: it was hard for me to aim. In most shooting-based games (first, or third person) camera control and aiming is controlled with a second analog stick on the controller. Splatoon, on the other hand, has the vertical aiming controlled by tilting the Wii U’s controller. (I didn’t know at the time that it could be changed!) Being fairly experienced in the “typical” method, this threw me off to a high degree, which got me wondering: does everyone new to games feel this way?

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In Brightest Day: Warcraft’s Old Gods

Since World of Warcraft’s become the main source of most lore involving the citizens of Azeroth, most of the main plots have revolved around, in some way or another, the concept of the Old Gods.

In fact, I would argue that the Old Gods are one of the biggest threats, if not the biggest threat, to the stability of Azeroth. They also have shown over and over again that they have the ability to make even the strongest warriors of Azeroth go mad.

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In Brightest Day: Arthas Menethil

As I said in my last article, Warcraft is not given enough credit for the in-depth character development that tends to suck players into their universe. For an example of this, look no further than Prince Arthas Menethil.

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In Brightest Day: Warcraft—An Introduction

So I made a huge mistake a couple weeks ago. In a fit of weakness, I updated World of Warcraft and began several new characters. And now, my soul belongs to the devil that is Blizzard Entertainment.

In reality, I should have started World of Warcraft back up a year ago, if only for this blog. You see, some of the major characters in the Warcraft universe have experienced unimaginable trauma. It is at the heart of this trauma that most of Warcraft‘s stories play out. And let me tell you, there are some amazing stories in the Warcraft universe. Almost too many.

Honestly, I don’t know if I could touch on all the important disabilities, both physical and mental, that have pushed the Warcraft universe to where it is today. I definitely can’t do it in one post. So I figured I would divide the problems up and focus on the major problems of all the current races in World of Warcraft.

Let me just get this out of the way; all the major characters of Warcraft suffer from the same problem. They all suffer from dangerous doses of pride and vanity. While that in of itself is a disorder, the reasoning for their pride and vanity is their disorders. Whether the character has an actual, medically recognized disorder or something like a personality quirk, it all leads to eventual downfalls.

As we move further into this, I want the readers to start considering what they would’ve done in the situations I present. For example, my first article will dive into the collapse of humanity during Warcraft III. Specifically, I will look at Prince Arthas Menethil’s shift from living as the heir to the throne of Lordaeron, to destroying his kingdom and turning his subjects into undead, to his transformation into the powerful Lich King.

In Warcraft III, Arthas is convinced that, to save his people from a curse of undeath that has begun to crop up, he must slaughter an entire city to prevent any spreading of said curse. This snowballs into a life of pure evil.

Finally, if you are a Warcraft fan, sound off in the comment section. This is a really deep lore-filled story, and I would very much like anyone who wants to mention anything to speak up.

Until Wednesday, then.

“There You Go” with Dino Andrade: Part 3

First parts of the interview here and here.

MadameAce: Now the Scarecrow, he’s a Batman villain that has been re-imagined a lot, over and over again. How did you envision him when you first started playing him? I know you talked about the demon in the human body and whatnot, but I’ve just seen so many different versions of him.

Dino Andrade: Being a long-time Batman fan, the first thing that I did was look back at the first, the original Arkham Asylum graphic novel which then I got the script and discovered that the two had absolutely nothing to do with each other. After that, I started looking at darker versions of the Scarecrow. One of my favorite versions of the Scarecrow, although he’s not in it for very long, is in the series Batman: Vampire where Scarecrow has human fingers sewn into his costume and stuff like that. He’s this terrifying character and I really liked that interpretation.

That was kind of my jump off point from there because I knew that Arkham Asylum was going to be much grittier than anything that had been seen or done before on video games or comics and so on because, of course, Chris Nolan’s Batman, which took a grittier tone, was so successful. I believe that was part of the mandate for Arkham Asylum: to go for darker territory than Paul Dini and company were allowed to do in previous television incarnations. That’s why I purposely studied Batman: Vampire which is probably the darkest Batman story there is.

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“There You Go” with Dino Andrade: Part 2

Read the first part of the interview here.

MadameAce: I know you said that you experienced some disappointment when you did that role, but in the early days what were your thoughts on doing voice overs?

Dino Andrade: At the time most of what I wanted to do in voice over was basically to [have it] work as a stepping stone. I really wanted to get into doing on-camera. I started doing a lot of commercials at the time. I was doing commercials for McDonalds, Delta Airlines, various things like that kind of working my way up. I was also doing a lot of training with The Groundlings comedy / improv. I’m a very physical actor, physical comedian. This was something that I felt might be the future for me, but it was very disappointing: unfortunately it seemed that 90% of what I was being sent out for was one Mexican, cholo gangster after another. It is so not me! That was very discouraging and I decided that, “you know what, if I’m going to get into these projects I might as well make them myself.” So I decided to leave acting for about ten years and spent the 90’s being involved in independent filmmaking, writing screenplays—I sold six screenplays, none of which were produced. [laughter]

Stewi: You still got paid

Dino Andrade: I still got paid. I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who said that the best thing that could ever happen is to sell a screenplay and have it never get actually made so your work isn’t screwed up. [laughter] So my work has not been screwed up six times, but it was kind of cool that I sold them. I also produced one independent film called Bob’s Video that ran the film festival circuit for a year and got me to travel around the country which was really fun. In the end, in the 00’s, I decided to go back to acting and to my original love, which was animation and fantasy, which then meant voice over. Even that was somewhat accidental.

There was a director who was working on an anime show called Vampire Princess and I was being told about that. And I thought, “well maybe I can get in on that as a writer. I’ve never done anime writing, but maybe I could give that a shot.” It turned out that he was also working on another show called Saint Tail and his wife was casting it and when I was contacting him I wound up contacting his wife and his wife thought I was an actor calling in for a scheduled  telephone audition. I said, “…sure! Yes, that’s me,” and so I wound up auditioning completely cold, had no copy at all, so I just had to make up something about, “oh yeah, I didn’t get it. The courier didn’t make it. The fax machine died,” or something. I don’t remember. So they fed me the lines and I auditioned and they said great and I got a small part on Saint Tail. I took that as a sign and said, “okay! I guess this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” I returned to voice over at that point.

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My Thirty Second World of Warcraft Experience

So here’s a true story:

One day fairly recently when I was particularly bored, I decided that playing World of Warcraft was a good idea. It was free as long as your character was under a specific level, and if I actually liked the game it might be worth the investment after that. So I download the game, designed my pretty character, and get transported to the World of Warcraft.

Let’s just say, I did not like it. I was literally thrown into an unknown world with all of the people. I’m a little claustrophobic in real life, and I guess I’m claustrophobic when it comes to online games too. I kept running into people, which I think is incorrect.

Secondly, they gave very few directions (goes right along with that running into people bit). Eventually, I think I figured out how to move around and kill things, but there were so many inventories and tabs and I still have no idea what any of them were. I’m fairly certain there was a journal/guide thing, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.

Thirdly, I personally didn’t appreciate the fact that I could essentially do whatever I wanted. In a video game, I like having a specific plan or goal and without a specific target result I get lost. In short, I felt like Jackie Chan in this picture.

As you can imagine, I do not enjoy feeling like Jackie Chan. I decided that my time was better spent playing a different game, and I will bring you more games to play in the coming weeks!