Party Camp: Who’s Your Player 2?

We talk at length here about game structure, analyzing everything from critiquing widespread gender disparity to broader subject matter like breaking down the multifaceted fantasy genre. That’s all well and good, but what about something as simple as who you choose to play all those video games with? It’s something intimately interwoven into our experiences as gamers: the ability to connect with another person through a mutually cherished game. With that in mind, I put this to the FemHype team: who comes to mind when you think of your player 2? I’ll be asking you the same question at the end, so have a comment ready.

Pokémon Silver

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Easy: my two childhood friends, Zachary and Jessica. Video games were just one of the many glues that held our friendship together throughout the hot summer days in California. While we played many games from Diddy Kong Racing to Final Fantasy to Legend of Zelda, the game we consistently pooled our heads together over was Pokémon.

I still remember being enormously upset when they received Pokémon Gold Version and Silver Version for their birthdays and my mom wasn’t able to afford it at the time. It just felt so wrong not to join in on the experience with them and debate over who gets which starter! Thankfully, their parents took pity on me and went and got me a copy. Cue us immediately sitting down on the floor to coo over the full color graphics.

Playing video games with others is similar to reading the same book or watching the same television series; you compartmentalize your friendship/acquaintance into a mini-journey where you can reflect not just inwardly, but outwardly. There’s just something really memorable about walking along the same path and doing it a little bit differently than those beside you. And let’s face it: it really, uh, enhances the experience to have someone else to play a horror game with.

Continue reading “Party Camp: Who’s Your Player 2?”

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Pixel Barrier: ‘Animal Crossing’ & Gaming With Depression

Animal Crossing

I’ve been playing video games since I was five years old. Despite the fact that I didn’t have a true understanding of how to play Super Mario Bros. or Duck Hunt, I knew I was having fun. From there, I’ve moved onto the Super NES and the Wii U (I’m really showing my age aren’t I?). I love Nintendo the most since it provides true escapism. I can be a Pokémon trainer, a pink alien with the ability to inhale nearly anything, a plumber out to save a princess, a swordswoman, an amazing lawyer, and even a puzzle-solving professor. However, as much as I’ve played video games over the years, my main hobby is really drawing. I’ve been drawing for much of my life and I’m currently undertaking a challenge where every day I draw one Pokémon by their Pokédex entry.

But video games have had a huge impact on my life. There was a time when I was going through depression and I wasn’t able to seek therapy. My depression came about right before I graduated high school. I had no job, none of my dream colleges replied, and my parents were divorcing. I took the year off and invested in what little money I had to buy a Nintendo DS and Animal Crossing: Wild World. These kinds of games don’t even look all that great, but they’re astoundingly amazing. This is probably why you’ll never catch me playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or, as I like to call it, “That really pretty game that no one can remember.”

I used this system and game to create a colorful barrier around me so I wouldn’t see how grey my world actually was. I played that game everyday, for on average an hour a day, but an hour wasn’t enough. I wanted to see what my town looked like before 6 AM, which neighbors stood up at midnight, and I was already ready to visit K.K. Slider at the museum at 7 PM.

Continue reading “Pixel Barrier: ‘Animal Crossing’ & Gaming With Depression”

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