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Alyson L. Carpenter

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Raised by an N64 and a Gameboy Color, Alyson is into classic survival horror and weird indie stuff with a good story and macabre flare. When she's not working two jobs or hunting for glitches, she's desperately trying to remember NOT to do the line-art on the sketch layer.

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Rat Queens Volume 1

The term high fantasy evokes thoughts of Tolkien-esque adventures; serious and lofty magical worlds where good and evil clash, and a hero must rise above adversity to take their rightful place among legends. Rat Queens, on the other hand, features a house party in which magic mushrooms are consumed, one night stands are had, and everyone takes a hit of a magically infused hookah. In short, it’s pretty amazing.

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With video games, particularly RPGs, gender is a pretty important aspect of gameplay. It decides how your character will look, how certain characters may interact with you, even how whole facets of the plot develop. In that sense the Dark Souls series is pretty standard. So with regard to gender, what makes these games any different from the rest?

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While some might criticize the game market for being saturated with high testosterone shoot-em-ups meant to appeal to the base desires of the masses, Broforce brings a thoughtful, complex, and intricately crafted masterpiece to the table that….pffffffff, sorry, I can’t even finish that sentence.

If you’ve ever picked up a Bioware title you’re fully aware of the studio’s trademark morality systems. Who will you play? The no nonsense enforcer? The snarky savior? The genocidal jerk-face? It’s all up to you, and the consequences of your choices shapes aspects of the digital narrative the game provides. While Inquisition doesn’t disappoint in comparison to the company’s various other titles, even my most diplomatic and kindly of characters is still expected to fight and kill their way through altercations, with almost no alternatives ever given. So naturally I tried my hand at a pacifist run.

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Space Station Silicon Valley

Thinking back to 1998 on the N64, there’s more than a good chance you’d think of Ocarina of Time, but a mere month before arguably one of the most influential games of all time hit shelves, we got to experience the quirky little puzzle/platformer Space Station Silicon Valley. The colorful, upbeat game was created by developer DMA, whom you may know better under its current title: Rockstar North, and garnered primarily positive reviews at the time of its release. Having nothing but fond memories of the game as a child, I decided to dust off the Ol’ N64 and get a better look sans nostalgia glasses and child-like wonder.

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Do you ever dream about a place you know well? It could be your house, your school, your job, anywhere. The place is familiar, but there’s always something… off. A hallway will be where it doesn’t exist in real life, or windows and doors will be in the wrong places. You know exactly where you are, but your subconscious garbles it and mixes it together with other locations. Playing Off Peak felt exactly like a one of those dreams to me.

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Art Video Games

There has always been a lot of argument over whether or not video games can be considered art. Some write them off as fun, mindless diversions, while others laud the mixture of narrative and interactivity. Almost all of us have that one game, or even moment within a game, that we can point to and say “I’d hang that on a wall.”  So then, why are so many gamers divided on the existence of “Art Games?”

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Lately we’ve been inundated with good dogs in video games, protecting you on long quests, providing companionship, and just being god-awful cute. But we aren’t talking about those pups today; instead lets a take a look at some mutts in need of a muzzle. Who’s a good dog? Not these guys.