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4th-Sep-2011 11:52 pm - PAX
kate shep
So. PAX! I don't really know where to start! I met so many awesome people and cosplayers, who were all terribly nice. Made some friends, played some awesome demos, went to some panels. But I'll start with my costume picspam!



Insert Assuming Direct Control Joke HereCollapse )

All things considered, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I made the official Mass Effect twitter too, which was a nice fluffy ego boost.

Cosplaying itself was an experience! I don't think I've ever been approached by so many people at once, or had such a fantastic icebreaker. I'm pretty shy, and I'm sure it showed, but I made so many more friends than I expected! The crabcat costume panel was the highlight of the weekend for me. The sense of community among cosplayers was far more surprising to me than it should have been. It's like a big nerd party where you stand around taking awesome/goofy pictures and trade crafting tips. Which is the best party in the world, if you're asking me. Unfortunately I could only wear my outfit for a day due to the heels murdering my feet. Lesson learned.

When it comes to demos, the Mass Effect 3 Sur'Kesh level plays like a dream. That new roll move makes combat flow so much smoother, I got to keep my Locust SMG, and the Atlas mech was fun to take down. I wasted my time by I getting tangled in the UI trying to level up my sentinel, which was a mistake, and then got hella lost due to the lack of mini-map with objective markers. But the UI is hardly final and the parts that matter were fun to play. Plus the new mod system looks really fun.

Skyrim's line was fantastically long. Toughed it out and got ten minutes to get killed by wolves and fall in rivers. It looks really, really good, but I was way too short for monitor and the viewing angle sucked. Hence the getting killed by wolves that I couldn't see. I wanted to go to the panel but when I turned up they told us to come back in twenty, and since I listened of course I got bumped when they opened the line 10 minutes later and it filled in seconds. And I'm still not over it, damnit!

And on a final note: SWTOR. Now.

ETA: Forgot to add my bioware pulse cameo. Clearly, I'm a star!
12th-Aug-2011 04:32 am - We are a go
kate shep


There are a few things you may surmise from this picture:

There will be a very short, shy, and nervous Miranda at PAX this year.

I have a shitty camera.

The only place I have for self-leg-photography is in front of a sad looking door (logistically, if not aesthetically sound).

I have not cut the velcro on my kneepads yet because what if I cut it wrong and ruined everything oh FUCK.

DEM LEGZ.
22nd-Jun-2011 12:30 am - A Hissy Fit in the Key of Duke Nukem
kate shep
I'll admit it. Duke Nukem was never intended for me.

I am, first of all, a woman, lacking the crucial genitalia for access to the Duke Nukem club. I also don't find rape jokes very funny, and I have an unhelpful and inaccessible tendency to throw words like "privilege" and "misogyny" around. I am clearly simply lacking the necessary sophistication needed to "get" the humor in Duke Nukem Forever.

I also have not played the game. This will no doubt factor largely into naysayer's dismissal on my opinion. I can already hear the comments. "You can't judge a game based on the video clips! If you haven't picked up a controller and looked into every nook and cranny, you have no right to criticize!" Maybe I don’t. But the content I have seen has no reasonable excuse, so I'm going to risk it.

Sex, I can tolerate. I've developed a healthy ability to ignore blatant sexual objectification in games, because if I was bothered by every instance of it, I couldn't play games. The fact that a lot of games reduce women to a giggling pair of tits something I've come to terms with, simply because there are great games out there that don't. Not very many, but I digress.

What I can't ignore, is this. It's grotesque torture porn, innocent victims literally absorbed into the walls of a horrifying womb-like structure, deserving of death due to their not-so-figurative rape by an alien overlord. They moan and beg for mercy as you shoot and punch them, green breasts glistening as they protest "It was my first time - with an alien!" or "We'll take the weight off in a week, honest!" as if it is their fault they have become abominations. It is a twisted parody of which I am not sure the creators understand the subtlety. It is an attempt at frat boy humor gone tremendously awry. It is, in short, reprehensible.

My opinion is not a popular one among the target audience of Duke Nukem Forever, and I cannot help but wonder why. Why does anyone think it is inoffensive or excusable? How can anyone argue that the content doesn't stem from misogyny? Why does the excuse of "it's a joke" make such imagery ok?

I've been told I'm overreacting, which is probably true. I tend to get a little self-righteous when it comes to popular culture normalizing violence against women, I suppose I've just never seen advocating treating women as human beings as a fault.

Because the women in the above video are not treated as human beings. They are objects of scorn, sex, violence, and derision. They are sexual, and have paid the price for it. Unfortunately, protesting as much has plastered me with the label of humorless feminist, which I honestly do not understand. How can anyone not be a feminist, when faced with such frank and disgusting images, intended to entertain and amuse?

I have come to think it's simply a symptom of a larger problem within the gaming community. Games are marketed to a demographic consisting of straight, white, young-adult males. Hence the breasts, the testosterone-injecting thick-necked protagonists, and the gore. Somehow, this has become the standard for what the demographic enjoys, and it is the demographic game publishers and developers market their games to. Even if it is not necessarily the only demographic who play their games.

It's a boys club, something that women in the industry can attest to. Somehow, this has created a culture that supports a very juvenile mentality. In spite of the aging of the demographic, and the diversification of the base, games simply haven't aged with the consumer. This creates a toxic environment that not only supports homophobia, sexism, and negative gender stereotypes, but (such as in the case of Duke Nukem) encourages them. Somehow the community has become an acceptable forum for angry, narrow-minded people who are unhappy with any loss of privilege to the marginalized. This is somehow acceptable for the game industry to market to.

That Duke Nukem is an extreme case does not invalidate the argument. The fact that it was made and published without someone crying foul testifies to a culture of acceptance. The fact that I am shouted down as a liar playing the domestic violence card when I point this out demonstrates that the gaming community does not wish to change its attitude, either on women as game players or as game characters. It is simply a demonstration of what is wrong with the community at large.

That's my opinion. I'm sure it could be better worded and supported. I am also no doubt wrong, or overreacting, or lacking anything close to resembling a sense of humor. Yet I doubt I'm alone.
12th-Jun-2011 04:01 am - Getting my act together
kate shep
As I don't want to look like the socially-awkward, slightly pudgy, possibly unhygienic cosplayer crashing a party filled with all of the above, I've been making some lifestyle changes that will hopefully help me feel happier with myself in the long run. I'm picking up my shamefully neglected weight control regimen (which helped me lose 45 lbs before), and making some improvements. Instead of eating what I wanted until I reach my calorie quota, I'm changing what I eat to meet my limit. Stuff preferably low on the glysemic index. Whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and rice, lean protein, low fat dairy, and fruits and veggies. Processed foods, white bread, potatoes kept to a minimum. It's a bit hard to get used to, but better for me by like, a million.

I'm also going to start exercising. As the stereotypical geek who hates excercise, this is pretty huge for me. Like, my best friends are scraping their jaws off the floor kind of shocking. Hopefully it will help with the weight-loss plateau I hit a few months back before I gained my "freshman 15."

I'm also whitening my teeth. Because I'm vain.

I excited about this, and hoping it will help balance me mentally as well as physically. Chronic anxiety and depression tends to be influenced by physical health. Since I'm in the middle of a med change right now, I'm trying to find other ways to aid mental health issues.

Which is important, since I'm starting my bachelor of arts in the fall. Sorting things out with disability services will hopefully make my course load manageable, and the meds should be sorted out by then, so fingers crossed? Hopefully I'll have some reserves stored by fall to help. Physical health should be a big one.

Anyway, time to sleep, or I'll get the sleep lecture from my doctor again.
kate shep


Queen of the Dirt - the Ladies of Mass Effect Fanmix

Download Here

Track ListingCollapse )


Yep, it seems like these are the only things I'm capable of churning out these days.
25th-Mar-2011 08:05 am - Modding Yay!
kate shep
I got tired of Aveline's hairband.

So I fixed it.



You can download it here, if you're so inclined.

Also, I'm mostly on tumblr these days. If you like dumb photoshops of Grant Imahara in the California Gurls music video wearing a green wig, it might just be the tumblr for you!
1st-Mar-2011 05:30 pm - And so it begins
kate shep
As I am determined, nerdy, delusional and, apparently, awash with funds, I have decided to do a Miranda Cosplay for PAX 2011, which will (hopefully) look something like this when all is said and done.



I picked up some of the basic components today.

Boots:


Oooh, boots

And a basic bodysuit:


You put your body in it

This has inadvertently led me to the first problem of cosplaying Miranda Lawson.

I'm cosplaying Miranda Goddamn Lawson.

I am 4 inches too short, 15 pounds too heavy, and 2 cup sizes too small to be Miranda Lawson. The bust I can fix (thank you modern padding technology!), but the *ahem* ladylike hips and lack of inches?

Luckily I have anticipated this problem. If the stock in spanx and gym memberships rises over the summer, you'll know why. I suppose it's part of the project?

I shall soldier on, regardless.
11th-Jan-2011 08:21 pm(no subject)
kate shep
I have this rather ridiculous dream of making myself a set of Shepard's armor or Tali's outfit. It's rather ridiculous because I have very little sewing experience, absolutely no prop making experience, and I have absolutely no money. But still, the dream persists.

I really wish I could be one of those people who seems to be able to pull that kind of talent out of their ass, but alas, I have the attention span of a four year old and the perfectionism of... someone whose perfectionism is crucial to saving lives or something.

Ah hell, I've lost interest already.
22nd-Dec-2010 04:03 am - Fanfiction? Me?
kate shep
Done for darkyo over at masseffect.

Title: Company
Characters: Tali and Garrus friendship
Rating: As PG as can be
Wordcount: 1,006
Synopsis: Garrus and Tali share a moment in the engine room.
Warnings: Some brief spoilers for the LotSB dossiers.

Everything from the tilt of her head to the cross of her arms seemed to Garrus to be the Quarian version of a smirk.Collapse )
23rd-Nov-2010 04:00 am - I had this ready a month ago
kate shep


High Rise Grave - A Post-Horizon Kaidan/Shepard Fanmix

Download Here


Track ListingCollapse )

Now with handy quotation references. You can actually see why I chose a song! What a novelty!
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