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Binders Full of Women: Collecting All the Ladycards in The Witcher – part 2

August 8, 2014

The inevitable continuation of my attempt to sleep with all the women in The Witcher and survive the experience with my faith in humanity/eroticism/videogames intact. Part 1 is here.

I’ve been in dark crypts and slimy sewers full of monsters, but the scariest moment I’ve had playing The Witcher so far was running through a hospital full of groaning near-death female patients coughing on the floor, desperately hoping that I wouldn’t have to have sex with any of them. Read more…


Binders Full of Women: Collecting All the Ladycards in The Witcher – part 1

August 3, 2014

To me, the sexiest videogame in the world is one with no sex, no nudity and no romanceable NPCs.

Years ago, when I was pregnant with twins, I was bored, nauseous and full of hormones. I was incapable of much more than playing videogames and lying on my bed thinking about sex. I didn’t want to HAVE any; that would involve moving. Instead, I played the first Guild Wars game, and imagined that my player character was an incorrigible, charismatic sex-fiend who slept with all the men and women in the game. Guild Wars has a diverse and beautiful world, full of diverse and beautiful NPCs. They are not romanceable, but they have just enough dialogue with you to give you a sense of who they are, and in my case, whether my character would want to fuck them, and they him. The rest, I could invent for myself. I would play a few quests, then script seduction scenes in my head. The chaste priestess, the gruff, taciturn ranger, the rebellious noble son, the distrustful, snarky assassin. It was great.

It was absolutely nothing like The Witcher at all.

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The Machine

July 30, 2014

A piece of short fiction that acknowledges a stylistic debt to Mallory Ortberg’s wonderful Texts From.

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The Metaphysics of Morrowind: part 4

November 23, 2010

Concludatory ramblings to a post series on extraludic/metagamey wossnames in The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. Introductory part one here, part two on time, space and Dragon Breaks here, and part three on meta-NPC extraordinaire Vivec here.

Final musings on metaphysics in Morrowind

TES examines what it means to create an imaginative work by setting up a world and then subjecting it to the literary/ludic equivalent of laboratory analysis. Metaphysics undergo destruction testing, seeking the limits of the universe by pulling and twisting time and space to (dragon) breaking point.

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The Metaphysics of Morrowind: part 3

October 25, 2010

Third (belated, apologies!) part of a look at how the metaphysics of Morrowind reach out beyond the game to drag extraludic, metagame phenomena into the fiction of the world… or is it the other way around? Here are parts one and two.

HERE BE SPOILERS, and I also apply the standard Elder Scrolls caveat that it is truly more fun to play the game, read the texts, and figure out your own interpretations. Also, because I’ve seen people on Reddit getting confused about this, THIS ESSAY DOES NOT CLAIM TO ACCURATELY DESCRIBE THE INGAME LORE. Seriously, read the game books for that. This is a piece of textual criticism, describing the relationship between the player and the game.

Divine CHIMistry, or: How Vivec Accessed the Construction Set.

“Certitude is for the puzzle-box logicians and girls of white glamour who harbor it on their own time. I am a letter written in uncertainty.” – Vivec, 36 Lessons, Sermon 4

I wrote, in the introductory post, that the Elder Scrolls series “does very strange things to the fourth wall, not so much breaking it as morphing it, moving it, twisting it, painting it purple and sitting on top of it laughing”. The person sitting on top of the fourth wall, possibly some inches above the actual wall, would be Vivec.

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Escaping the fridge

September 6, 2010

A quick break from srs metaphysical bsns to talk about ladies and kitchen appliances.

When is a woman in a refrigerator not in a refrigerator?

Dragon Age: Origins offers the player several ways of beginning the game, several “origins”. Each one provides your character with a home, a history, and a reason for joining the elite fighting force of the Grey Wardens, thus setting up the rest of the game’s story. This about one of them. Trigger warning for rape and violence; spoiler warning for the City Elf origin.

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The Metaphysics of Morrowind: part 2

September 2, 2010

Part 2 of a series of posts about The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and how it weaves metagaming into its metaphysics to interesting effect. Part 1 is here.

How to Break Your Dragon.

You may think historians in our world have it tough – sorting through multiple individual versions of events, accounting for bias and the vicissitudes of memory as they try to pin down what actually happened. Amateurs! Try it in a world where the fabric of reality can be warped by pure imagination, where multiple players create multiple possibilities and where time itself can break, or rather, be broken.
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