Carly A. Kocurek, PhD - Games, Scholarship, Media

Casual Thinking. Serious Gaming.



It’s only a Purple Moon

Category : Gaming, Gender · No Comments Mar 18th, 2013
It’s only a Purple Moon

Games from Purple Moon are my current eBay obsession. I’ve been very interested in “games for girls” lately — hence the Barbie game I featured a few posts back. I missed Purple Moon the first time around by a few years, as I was well into high school by the time the first games launched, and so I was too busy reading my dad’s old Beat generation paperbacks and cultivating obscure music knowledge to be bothered.… Read the rest

Teaching Myst

Category : Gaming · No Comments Feb 25th, 2013
Teaching Myst

In one of the earlier weeks of this semester, I had students play Myst (Cyan 1993) and read Mark J.P. Wolf’s Myst & Riven: The World of the D’Ni (University of Michigan Press, 2011).… Read the rest

What I’ve Been Playing: Lost Pig & Cabinet Noir

Category : Gaming · No Comments Feb 22nd, 2013
What I’ve Been Playing: Lost Pig & Cabinet Noir

This past week, in my “Critical Analysis of Video Games” class, my students and I played Adventure and discussed the game and interactive fiction more generally. Most of my students admitted finding Adventure a frustrating game, and one summed up the problem as “Guess the Verb.”

cover art for Lost Pig displays "Lost Pig and Place Under Ground by Grunk as told to Admiral Jota" around a cartoon picture of a running pig.

The Lost Pig cover art, featuring the pig in question.

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Modes that are more realistic than Girlfriend Mode

Category : Gaming, Gender, Representations of Gaming · No Comments Aug 14th, 2012

There has been a lot of discussion about John Hemingway’s flippant use of the phrase “Girlfriend Mode” to describe a beginner-type mode available in Borderlands 2. In particular, David Wildgoose’s piece “‘Girlfriend Mode’ and the Definition of Sexism” is worth a read, and I’m very fond of “Girlfriend Mode vs.Read the rest

Going Cardboard: Documentary

I was fortunate enough to get to see Going Cardboard, a board game documentary by first-time director Lorien Green. The documentary features interviews with board gamers, including collectors and critics, as well as both well established and aspiring game designers.… Read the rest

THATCamp Games postmortem

Category : board games, Digital Media, Gaming · (3) Comments Feb 14th, 2012
THATCamp Games postmortem
THATCamp Games Cake

We quickly discerned that the cake was not a lie.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend THATCamp Games. The “unconference” is one of a number of THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) events held throughout the year.… Read the rest

The Simple Genius of the Gamer Girl Manifesto

Category : Digital Media, Featured, Gaming, Gender · No Comments Dec 29th, 2011

I saw “The Gamer Girl Manifesto” (embedded above) by Sexy Nerd Girl Presents thanks to Geekquality. The brief video features a number of young women gamers who identify themselves by their on-screen identities (which range from notable characters like Mario to the more subtly constructed identities from games like World of Warcraft) and by the game systems they use.… Read the rest

I Said Diamonds: the Aubrey Plaza WoW Spot

Category : Gaming, Gender, Representations of Gaming · No Comments Dec 26th, 2011
I Said Diamonds: the Aubrey Plaza WoW Spot

The first time I saw the TV ad above, which features Aubrey Plaza (best known for playing April Ludgate on “Parks and Recreation”) explaining in her trademark deadpan how she became a World of Warcraft player, I was rather charmed.… Read the rest

Women Gamers as Social Animals in the GameHouse Survey

Category : Gaming, Gender · No Comments Dec 5th, 2011
Women Gamers as Social Animals in the GameHouse Survey
women who game

Infographic of GameHouse survey results shared with permission of GameHouse.

 

By now, you have probably seen some of the data from the GameHouse infographic above [source]. Collected by Harris Interactive for GameHouse, the data includes a few particularly sexy statistics.… Read the rest

This Week in Feminism and Gaming: Tits, Chicks, and Casual Sexism

Category : Gaming, Gender · No Comments Oct 21st, 2011

This week saw the publication of two sharp pieces on the casual sexism of much of video gaming culture. At Kotaku, LaToya Peterson responds to comments a Comic Con panel titled “East Meets West, Art Direction for a Worldwide Audience” in “The Tits Have It: Sexism, Character Design, and the Role of Women in Created Worlds.Read the rest