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

Casual Thinking. Serious Gaming.



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

Alan Alda for Atari

Category : Gender, Representations of Gaming · No Comments Jan 18th, 2012
Alan Alda with an Atari Computer

Alan Alda, looking particularly gleeful in his role as Atari spokesman.

I recently stumbled across a series of Atari advertisements featuring actor Alan Alda. I have a soft spot for Alan Alda, partially because of his feminist politics, and partially because of a deep love for the series MASH — which Alda agreed to star in only after gaining assurance that surgery scenes would feature in every episode.… 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

Pole Position to Family Game Night: Fun for the Whole Family

Category : Representations of Gaming · No Comments Nov 15th, 2011
Pole Position to Family Game Night: Fun for the Whole Family

This television spot for Atari’s Pole Position (1982, Namco) has one of my favorite exchanges of all time. As the camera physically invades the space of the family car, focusing on the bespectacled, bow-tied father driving the vehicle, an aggressive voice shouts at him:

Hey!

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From The Memes of Babes

Category : Gender, Representations of Gaming · No Comments Nov 7th, 2011
Cool Chick Carol with text "A Movie? Puts in a Porno."

The "Cool Chick Carol" meme imagines a "dream girl" who is largely defined by her sexuality.

At some point while I was taking a break from some edits, I came across the “Cool Chick Carol” meme.… Read the rest

Lana Del Rey, “Video Games”

Category : Representations of Gaming · No Comments Oct 11th, 2011

Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” is a sweet little love song, even if it’s so drenched in melancholy it sounds like longing for something that’s already passed. In the song, video games are woven in as an activity among other daily minutia, like putting on perfume and drinking beer.… Read the rest

Arcade Machine as Object

Category : Gender, Representations of Gaming · No Comments Oct 5th, 2011
Arcade Machine as Object

I was digging around the ever excellent Arcade Flyer Archive earlier this week looking for some images of men and women playing video games together. While I found quite a few of what I was actually looking for, I’m most fascinated by an image I wasn’t looking for.… Read the rest

The Evolution of Video Game Controllers

Category : Representations of Gaming · No Comments Sep 19th, 2011

Pop Chart Labs Video Game Controllers Poster

Pop Chart Lab makes these totally beautiful, totally detailed charts on pop culture topics. The one above is “The Evolution of Video Game Controllers.” I am interested in how we have arrived at a point where, culturally, the phrase “video game controller” refers exclusively to console controllers.… Read the rest

Who Loves Their Gamer

Category : Gaming, Gender, Representations of Gaming · No Comments Sep 2nd, 2011

I was scrolling through the catalog over at J!NX the other day when I came across this shirt:

If you can’t quite see it, it is a lavender women’s t-shirt that reads “I love my gamer” with a red pixelated heart standing in for the word “love.” Now, J!NX sells”clothing for geeks and gamers,” and the company has a significant collection of women’s clothing for sale.… Read the rest