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Mass Effect: Non-Fangirl thoughts from a fan

Epic.

It is quite a cliché word when you think about it, it is used a lot by teen males to define much of anything like drinking alcohol and trying in vain to be sexually attractive to female teens, as well as doing dumb things to impress their equally stupid, usually, peers.

When I was a teen it was used a lot by others of the same age, I never used it mostly because I hardly ever spoke, was never considered a person so was never welcome anywhere and tended to be bullied and attacked far too often.

Others though used it often to describe much of anything, from their first shave to burping loudly, to their simple minds they thought it was 'epic'.

A constant misuse of the word in other words.

The word 'Epic' is more fitting to things that stand out, that make an impression to you to the extent where the word has meaning. The word is coined as a reference to many ancient stories like Beowulf and Ancient Greek legends, where, I guess, it fits well.

But what of our modern world? Where does the word 'Epic' fit in when it comes to our modern media? To be fair it doesn't fit in all that often thanks to the tiresome ideas that do nothing new while doing the usual chest pounding promotion of male stereotypes, hardly 'epic', more stale.

So it is rare that anything of the modern age will stand out and fit the word well.

But maybe there is a video game series that does fit it, even if the haters will complain about the ending of the series without taking the time to really think about the ending, I feel that the word 'Epic' fits the series.

What series am I talking about though? Mass Effect.

Now before I explain why I should say that I am not one to go into some blind fangirl moment without careful thought and consideration on why I am expressing my feelings on something I feel fits such an badly over used word like 'Epic'.

I am sure that others may have noticed that my feelings for the games I play are very direct, I express both the good and bad in equal measure and never go into a fangirl mode, such a mindset where I would blindly like something without considering it's flaws would be counterproductive to any bias and non-biased opinions.

So there will be no 'Fangirl mode on', the series is excellent yet flawed. No game is perfect and no game will ever be perfect, perfection is impossible and an ideal that can never be achieved in the imperfection of the human imagination.

The series is excellent though despite it's flaws.

As of this morning, about 07:30 hours AM, GMT time, I finished the series in full. As in all of the DLC, all three games, all paragon endings, no one lost in Mass Effect 2, Miranda still alive by the end of Mass Effect 3 and the Synthesis ending chosen because I felt it was the best ending to go for.

Why though? Why did I choose that ending? And why did the ending make complete sense to me so that I made that choice?

Because of a thought I had before beginning the series play through and starting Mass Effect 1 for something like the eighth time or so since it's original release.

That thought stuck with me as I made a new character – female, name of Harriet Shepard, Sentinel class, Spacer background, fought against Baterian slavers on her own, brown hair, blue eyes. From even before I made her I knew the ending I was going to go for with the final game, I understood the reason for the ending and a scene in Mass Effect 3 only strengthened my choice to go for that ending.

Synthesis is our next step in evolution, the more our technology progresses then it is only logical that we will become a blending of technology and organic development. Technology will become alive while organic life will become technological in growth, scope and ideal.

So when Harriet Shepard sacrificed herself to bring about a new era in organic and technological life after the Catalyst, or rather The Great Intelligence that the Leviathan race had created in their determination to seek a way to bring order to natural chaos, explained why the Reapers existed, it made complete sense.

And it was, well, epic.

~

Many complain about the ending of Mass Effect 3 and that is their opinion and choice, but have those who have complained about the ending really thought about why the ending comes across in the way it does?

Hard to say, most who blindly hate without reason never really think it through, they simply hate for the sake of hate.

I found though that every choice and sacrifice I had made throughout the series was actually all tied off well, that ending was exactly what all of the choices and sacrifices had been working towards.

The Reapers were controlled by an ideal created by logic, the Great Intelligence sought to bring order to chaos by destroying chaos. But chaos is unpredictable, logic is pretty useless against chaos since chaos will always find a way around order.

The harvest would have continued but it would have been for nothing, the Great Intelligence would have never been able to bring order to chaos because the balance of life requires an equal measure of both, not one or the other.

Kaiden's death, I kept Ashley alive, made sense, as did Legion's death, Thane's death, Mordin's death, it all made complete sense when I choose to pursue the Synthesis ending. That ending made complete and utter sense.

Chaos is forever, as is the ideal of order, life, death, it's all one and the same thing. All of it has an impact and all of it is a balance that has to stay exactly level for life to exist in it's infinite diversity and infinite unknowns.

Maybe I've been putting a little too much thought into it, or maybe my transition is opening up new understandings as I endure the pains and long waiting to keep progressing farther.

But it made sense and it still does.

So in a sense the series is and was epic, from the very first second to the very last, it was epic.

The word fits the Mass Effect series when you take the time to think about exactly why it fits.

It was epic. Despite the flaws, the series deserves to have that word applied to it. Hopefully the next game in the series won't water it down and turn it into some mindless, empty cliché done to death mess like most games are.

Fangirl mode is still off.

Little Self Promotion: Write, Left, Write, Left

It's not often that I promote my writing, generally because I'm my own worst critic.  But seeing as I do have to get my confidence up as part of my transition - Playing as female for example is one thing that helps my confidence in myself to build more, although such a thing is a rarity in gaming - this year in particular so few - then promoting my writing and showing my creative side helps a little more with my confidence building.

 

So I'll show off some of my short stories and a little of my Beaumont series in the blog.  To read more though then look up ReinaHW on Deviant Art and Reina Harriet Watt on Wattpad to see my work, the blunt of it is on Deviant Art.

This short story I'm going to show is one of my more recent ones, it's called I Remember:

 

I remember

 

I remember the first time that this happened, I was a child of barely two years.  I remember being dressed for bed and as I closed my eyes after my mother had said good night, I died shortly after in my sleep.

I remember it so clearly, I recall how I felt myself detaching from my body and not feeling scared.

 

Then I woke up the next morning with memories of my parents finding that I had died in my sleep, memories of my funeral.

But I do not recall exactly how I came back to life.

 

I remember

 

This would continue every day, I would sleep, die and wake the next morning with memories of something that couldnt have happened.

It wasnt until I was older when I realised that every day brought slight changes, from a toy being in a different place to colour changes in the clothing my parents wore or behavioural changes.

One change in particular was unexpected, I woke from my death one morning when I was in my mid teenage years to find that my mother had died many years ago, yet when I woke from my death the next day my mother was still alive.

 

Another had me waking as the opposite sex from what I usually was.

 

I wasnt just dying, I was shifting from reality to reality whenever I died.  Every version of me was.

 

I remember

 

I have died almost every day of my life, I have memories of my funerals and I do not know how to stop this from happening.

I am far from the reality I started in, I am unable to make friendships because I keep dying.  My parents are like strangers to me due to how often this happens.

 

I am a shadow of a life detached from a solid reality, drifting from death to death, life to life, possibility after possibility.  Will this condition ever end?  Am I doomed to die and shift to another reality until I am too old to continue?

Will I ever have the chance of a life of my own?

 

I remember

 

As the years pass and I get older, I wake to find myself married, a parent, I wake to find myself single and alone, I wake to find myself disabled from an accident or from birth, I wake to find myself in many different paths.

In one reality I may be pregnant, the next morning I am not.  In another I am with my spouse, male or female, in another I may be facing a day of pain and torment.

 

It is all random with no pattern and the years are falling away at a rapid rate.  Soon the years will stop and I will not wake at all.

 

I remember

 

My body begs to sleep and as I close my eyes and feel myself die again, I wonder if it will be the final time.  I wonder if I will see another sun rise.

I am so old now, my body is becoming weak with age as I near the end of my life and the nights are terrifying for me.

 

I close my eyes in protest, I do not want to sleep, but I always do even when I try to stay awake.  And again I die.

Again I await the dawn.

 

I remember

 

The dawn comes and something unexpected has happened, I have been reborn and I am once again an infant, I am starting my life anew.

But will the shifting continue or will I be able to live this life?

 

I dread the coming night, for it brings an uncertain future.  Please dont let this be a loop.

 

I remember.


~

This next short story is part of my Beaumont series, it is called We Are Never Meant To Live Forever:

 

Is it a curse?

Is it salvation?

Is it hope?

Is it damnation?

 

The word is Immortal

The reality is beyond understanding.

 

The mother:

 

An illusion of sincerity can be seen in the eyes of those who do not grasp the horrors of living beyond the natural life span intended for humans.  They pretend to understand when they learn of what I am, but how can they truly understand something that even those who are forced into this kind of life can barely understand?

 

I envy those who are not long lived and I pity those who are, for those who are not long lived eventually come to the end that nature intended, they become dreamers of the dream.

But those who keep going, they do not dream, they simply continue.  As they do they lose the will to live, they fade away a little bit for every year they continue to live when they should have been long dead.

 

It is a curse wrapped in the thin layer of a blessing.  There is no pleasure in slowly and surely fading away within yourself.

 

~

 

The sister:

 

Eternal tears of hopelessness develop but never fall, you wish so much to cry those tears in the hopes that those tears will be your last, but they never are.  They are merely more tears that pool into a large river within the weakened soul of one who is being kept alive.

People come and go in our lives, we may love them, hate them, wish them dead or wish them to remain with us in this unwanted torment.  But they never do.

They come from so little and become nothing but dust in the bitter and cruel winds of time.

 

Take my hand, I beg you, plunge a blade into my heart and let it drain my lifes blood from me, let it drain my body of all life so that I can finally, and blissfully, sleep.

Take my hand and remove me from this damnation of undying existence.

 

For humans are not ready to live beyond their means.

 

~

 

The daughter:

 

The winds carry petals from many flowers that have grown from a mere seed, like all life those petals become part of the winds that are life.  We are all, in a sense, petals in the wind.

We twirl and swirl in the winds of life, settling or constantly going until finally gravity brings us down and holds us in place where eventually we wither and crumble into nothing.

 

But what if you were born to forever stay in that wind?  What if gravity could not bring you down onto the unforgiving ground of a sudden end?  Where do the winds take a petal that does not fall?  What lands are there for that petal to see?

I am a petal that does not fall, I am a rarity amid many petals and the winds of life keep blowing me along into paths that so few or no one has ever been to before.

 

What does the future hold for me?  What delights and horrors will I witness?  Only the winds know and they do not reveal their path to anyone.

 

~

 

The grand-daughter:

 

I am a product of violation, an unwanted life.  That is what I am and like my birth mother, I am born into a life that does not seem to have an end.

Am I bothered by this?  I do not know, for me it is perfectly natural and feels normal to me that I do not age as many others do.

 

I watched those around me become old while I remain young, I watch their bodies decline and then stop.  I do wonder why I was born the way I am, what does life hold for one who is born to live so much longer than the majority?

Do I consider myself superior to them?  No, I do not, I consider myself to be both equal and inferior to them.  Some would say that my being unable to grow old and die could be seen as a blessing, as a sign of superiority.  But what superiority is there when you say goodbye to those you care about more often than you do hello to anyone you have only just met?

 

There is no superiority to being long lived, there is merely the ever constant loneliness and heart ache from the many losses of those who mean a lot to you.

Why was I born this way?  What purpose is there to an immortal being born?

 

The many possible joys and delights of life, the happiness that you may find along the way tend to pale next to the goodbyes that gnaw at you.  What does the future hold for me?  I do not know, I hope there will be happiness.

 

But I feel that there will be more loneliness than happiness, and that hurts a lot.

 

We are never meant to live forever.


~



This next short story is called Sunshine And Lollipops, a dark story:

 

What can I say of how it was?  It's hard to say since it just was and ultimately meant nothing.  You look at me as if expecting me to say something profound, something predictable to whatever you clearly expected of the moment.
But I find I have nothing to say, it meant nothing to me while it meant everything to you.  Do I lie to you and say it was wonderful?  Do I tell you the truth and say it meant nothing, that I felt nothing?

All I know is that I am still alive and for that I can't apologise.

Still you look at me, your eyes displaying more pleasure than I feel.  How long must I wait until I know there is something wrong?  Is there something wrong with me?  Or am I feeling the way my heart feels?
Please stop looking at me like this, like that, like you expect me to say something that I don't feel.
From the corner of my eyes I can see that it's a sunny day, sunshine and lollipops like my mum would say.  Have the hours passed by that fast?  I must have lost track of time when I switched off within and felt nothing, nor desired to.

Yet I am still alive and I can't apologise.

You try to engage me in banter, it's clear that you don't feel what I feel.  For you this was special, wonderful.  For me it was just another day, another job.
I feel nothing for you, nothing for this job.  Yet I need the money due to the way my gender is seen and regarded, as if we're still inferior to you, still nothing but property.
So I switch myself off whenever I'm with anyone while on the job, be it day or night, I switch off so that I don't feel the increasing shame within me.  I hate that I feel this shame.

Yet I am still alive and I can't apologise.

The money owed is paid and I say goodbye in a half hearted way, you still look at me as if you expect me to be happy.  I feel only revulsion now, at myself.  I hate this job, I hate my life.  I hate what I'm forced to do because of the lack of options I have.
I head home and as soon as I am alone I collapse in tears, then spend an hour in the shower sobbing and trying to wash away all traces of my job for another day.

Yet I am still alive and I can't apologise.

I feel so numb, so cold despite the beautiful day.  Sunshine and lollipops, mum, that's what you told me.  Sunshine and lollipops.
I look down at the gun in my hand and wonder if today is the day I can pull the trigger.  If today is the day when the numbness will end and I can be free of this hell.
Can I be free?  Can I feel even the freedom?  Only one way to find out.

Yet I am still alive and I can't apologise.


~



And one more, this next story is called For I Am:

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones

 

Taunts aplenty come from your lips, hurt so much comes from your hands and feet as you attack me, insults never seem to stop coming from you.  You try to bring me down, you try to crush my spirit.

You are succeeding, yet you are also failing.  A part of me is still fighting against the misery you bring upon me.

 

But your words can only graze me

 

You call me a freak, an it, a thing.  You demand me to be just like you because you are too close minded to understand that no one can be exactly like you, no one can be what you demand them to be.

You and your friends who follow you around, who dont think for themselves because it is so much easier to be a group mentality than a single mind, you and your friends do not think for yourselves.

 

Every word stings, every bruise is painful, but as much as I am hurting and wounded, I am determined to stand my ground.

 

You spout ignorance and hate

 

I try to reach out to others who are as different as I am, who are like me.  But they are also hurting due to so many who also hurt them for daring to be themselves instead of conforming to the demands of hurtful ideals and misinformation.

How can we ever speak when our words are dismissed as not conforming to a limited notion of what it is to be a person?

 

Is there anyone who will listen to what me and so many others like me have to say?  Is there anyone in the world who even cares about those of us who cant help the way we are born?

 

You are insecure though, you are afraid of looking inside yourself

 

For I am trans-gender, I do not conform to a gender binary because I am unable to do so since I was born this way.

My gender does not match my body, my feelings do not match who I am demanded to be.  Many demand me to be what is between my legs, they tell me that it is sinful and evil to not conform, to not be the person I can never be.

 

Please, oh please, is there someone out there who can see me for me instead of only seeing me for who and what I can never be?

Please?

 

The bruises fade, the broken bones can heal.  But the scars within from all the hate, those do not heal so easily.

 

I can not conform to your demands, I do not want nor wish to conform to your demands.  I wish to be myself, I wish to be the person I was meant to be but was denied due to natures random acts.

My seeking to be myself is no threat to you, your demands are the real threat.

 

So please, do not judge me for something I had no choice in.  Please stop hurting me.

 

For I am Trans-gender, and I have the right to live.


~



Let me know what you think.  These are just four short stories from my fairly large portfolio, although much of my written work has been lost over the years, I still have a great deal written.  In total I guess I've written well over a thousand pieces - stories, reviews, articles and more.
And there we go, all done.  I might do another blog some other time if there's anything to be talked about.  And please don't expect me to write what's demanded by the many, I write what I wish to write and say what I wish to say. 

Double Topic: Games from movies and stop demanding me to be male!

With two topics on my mind then Ill make this a double article

 

First topic:

 

Games made from the back of movies have been around for almost as long as video games have, from games made from movie releases like Star Wars and Rambo up to today with movies like the vile JJ Abrams Star Trek Wars nonsense and the games made to tie in with those terrible movies are just as bad as the movies themselves - and super hero movies.

And so many of those games have been complete and utter rot to put it mildly.

 

So few games made to fit with the release of an upcoming movie rarely work out, the few that so are so few and far between that its easy to think that any movie game is worth the time and that is usually the case.

However there are some that have turned out to be pretty good, sometimes even better than the movie they were made to be released along side with.

 

Take the Transformers:  Revenge Of The Fallen movie for example.  A terrible movie with annoying toilet humour, badly written characters and generic, bland ideas like Devastators testicles being seen in robot mode, a definite what the hell? -  idea for sure and a mini robot humping a leg are just two examples of why that movie was a prime example of bad ideas in many movies today.

Yet the game that was released alongside the movie turned out to be better than the movie, it wasnt a great game but it was more enjoyable than its movie counterpart.  The game at least had Transformers in it as the actual characters instead of being heavily human focused with the Transformers as the cameo appearances, if you didnt blink and miss many of those appearances.

 

There is also the Toy Story 3 game, a very good and enjoyable game and the movie was excellent as well such a rare thing for that to happen.

 

So why do so many games made from the backs of movies tend to be so bad while so few are ever any good?  Could it be the rushed development time or bad management in the development process?

Could it be a case of developers and publishers having little to no imagination which is fairly common these days in gaming in general and just looking to make a quick profit from gullible movie goers kids and adults alike?

 

Whatever the reason you usually know when a game made from the back of a movie is going to be bad while once in a while, and it is very rare, you might be surprised with one that is actually pretty good.

 

But it makes me wonder if the games made to be released alongside a movie should perhaps not be made at all, or have a longer development period.  Sadly though with the amount of greed there is with publishers then when they want a game out at the same time as a movie or just before or just after the release, then a good degree of development time is rare.

 

I know I wont be going for the Star Trek game thats just been released, thats for sure its set in the Abrams verse and I hate his notion of Trek, hes turned it into little more than an even more dumbed down version of Star Wars and Im not a Star Wars fan at all and its male lead only, and as Ive mentioned so many times I cant play as male.

No interest in that game at all.

 

I dread to think what a game based on Let the Right One In would be like, it would probably be some military shooter that has nothing to do with the actual movie and book.

 

And thats one topic done, next:

 

Second Topic ~

 

If youve been reading my articles and such then you know that Im trans-gender male to female and bi-sexual, I've explained my past more than enough times yet for some reason I am expected to want to be male in games and real life because of my male body, I'm expected to like the same games as the majority because my body is male.

That indicates that many gamers, publishers and developers think that every gamer no matter how diverse and individual should all think, feel and be the exact same without having any free will.

 

That would be one really boring existence.

 

Sadly it looks like I have to explain again:

 

I can not play as male, I can not be male, I can not think and feel as male, I can never, ever no matter what be male.

To do so is quite frankly a death sentence for me after years of being forced and demanded to be male, of being repressed due to societys obsession with conformity and demanding that we all be whats between our legs and externally instead of being who we are within.

 

I am female, I always have been and at this time in my life after years of being forced to be male I have to be myself in order to avoid the suicidal thoughts and depression of my past from ever hitting hard again.

That means that I have to avoid every single male lead only game at any cost, I have to avoid repressing myself in real life and in games.

 

Now I'm sure youre saying that it shouldnt matter, but here's the thing, most likely you are cis-gender and have never been repressed, have never felt the horror of being trapped within your body as you are forced to be someone else.

Being forced to be male all my life has resulted in, as well as being a writer, a skill within me that automatically attempts to form an emotional bond with a character I write.

This allows me to develop the character considerably for as long as that character is around.  Writing a male character is something I rarely do because its pretty painful for me.

 

Now I'm sure youre thinking that I could just switch that skill off when playing video games - I can't.  I've been trying to switch it off when I play games for close to thirty years with no success, most likely because if I switch it off then my writing will suffer.

 

When I play video games and the lead is human, my brain automatically attempts to form an emotional connection so that I can focus a lot better, I can role play and I can be immersed in the game.  This gives me a higher chance of enjoying a game, but theres a catch when playing as male my brain automatically represses the dominant personality, me, and attempts to think and feel as male in order to relate a lot easier.

 

Now imagine what that feels like when your own brain is repressing you and you can't fight back, imagine feeling yourself starting to fade away as you're pushed down more and more.

I've had to suffer that for years in real life as it is, in games when you're playing for hours its like you're slowly dying second by second.

 

Playing as male is lethal for me due to how my brain works, I am unable to fight back against my brain's attempts to relate a lot better and try to get any enjoyment out of a male lead only game and I get zero enjoyment out of such games.

When I play as female my brain doesn't repress me, it just forms the connection and I can enjoy the game without any problems.  But with a male lead it's like when your body has undergone sleep paralysis and you're screaming at your body to wake up, to move, but it doesn't respond, thats how it feels for the most for me when playing as male, I am screaming at my body and my brain to not push me away, to let me live.

It takes a lot of effort to eventually regain control, resulting in the male lead only game being removed from the console and put away.

 

In order to avoid that happening anymore I have to avoid male lead only games, which means avoiding something like 99.9% of every release every year due to the obsession there is with catering to males, male lead onlys and keeping video games in the past while ignoring the more diverse video gamer demographic of not just female gamers, but also gamers of different skin colours, sexualities, gender identity and more.

With so many male lead only titles and so little diversity then I'm running out of games to play, I'm tired of seeing the same old thing time and time again, the same old sausage fest of frankly lazy male lead only characters, male catering and stale ideas while the industry continues to be stuck in a rut.

 

I am not sexist, I dont mind males if anything I find some males quite attractive although I have no desire nor wish to sleep with any of them since I have no interest in sex, I simply can not play as male due to how dangerous it is for me, as well as my being fed up of seeing male lead after male lead time and time again with no diversity, no option to play as female, very few to no female leads.  

Tomb Raider not so long ago was the first game to even have a female lead you played as in several months, one female lead amid one too many male lead only titles, and many male gamers think thats a lot!

If there had been a few games released with the option to play as female, then it would have been nice, but instead it was one female lead and the rest all male.  And if anyone speaks up against the very imbalanced ratio they're attacked for speaking their concerns!

No wonder gaming is stuck in a rut when anyone who speaks up is shot down for daring to infringe on male privileges.

 

Anyway I'm going off on a tangent, its a topic that is important to me but which I'm always attacked for daring to even mention.

 

I can't play as male, I refuse to play as male, so please, please, stop demanding me to like male lead only games!  Stop demanding me to be male!  I'm not male and I am sick to death of being constantly demanded to be male and to like the same tired thing as the majority!

If you can't accept that then instead of insulting me and attacking me for not being like you, just kindly get lost.  I have enough to deal with without being attacked by insecure cis-gendered haters.

 

Like it or lump it, I have to do what I need to do for the sake of my life and my health.  Simple as that.

 

And once again done.

Are games lacking a challenge? I think so

"It can be nice to think about the past, but the more you try to hold onto that past the more that past will consume you. The past is best thought of in moderation and definitely not to be seen with rose tinted glasses, because then youre just looking at a lie. Never forget the past, but dont live it either" - Reina Beaumont

~

The good old days, when life was about school, cartoons, playing outside, dreaming of the unknown future, toys and for those of us of the video gaming generation video games.

They were simple days in many ways, we did not have the stresses of the adult life that would later come. We didnt think about bills, taxes and work. We didnt have things like love, families to take care of and the stresses of the work place.

We had stresses, aye, like being bullied at school, the school work and other concerns, but that was when we were a lot younger and still very much unaware of what life held in store for us.

Compared to being an adult, life as a child fairly seems a lot more carefree when looking back on those days.

Well those days werent exactly care free for me, but thats something I would rather not get into at this time.

Back in those days every video game was an experience, a world to be played through and a score to brag about, well if you had any friends with which to brag about the score with.

Each game was magical in its own way and the challenge didnt put us off, it only made us more determined to improve. Back then games were to be enjoyed and beaten as best we could.

Games that allowed you to save your place were rare, every extra life and continue you could get was like something to be treasured, every small step forwards in the game was an adventure in itself.

The good old days Maybe.

~

As we've gotten older and the industry has moved into the cinematic games that are so common place today, it hasnt been hard to notice as we've grown up that games have become so much simpler than they used to be.

It could be because we've only gotten better as we've gotten older or it could be that games really have gotten easier, which is probably true when you consider that games today tend to rely on hand holding mechanics and increasingly simplified game play in order to market to the younger generations who tend to be unable to play a game if its too hard and too challenging and cant be completed very quickly so that they can rush into the multi player and scream their little hearts out in racist, sexist insults towards other players across the world.

With games getting increasingly shorter and easier to play and many games lacking anything even remotely considered a challenge then what does the future hold for video games?

Will games continue to become so easy that a one eyed, one pawed cat with a cat nip addiction could complete them? It does tend to look that way.

Thankfully there are games coming out that do have a challenge to them once in a while, they are few and far between, but they can be found.

Games like Demons Souls, which is said to be an extremely challenging game, Dark Souls, Dragons Dogma, the new XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Sonic Unleashed are games designed to be challenging and to give the player the kind of challenge that is sorely lacking in the majority of todays games.

But such games are, as I said, few and far between. Todays mentality towards defeat and doing badly is seen as automatic failure and damaging to a childs developing mind instead of a learning experience to be learned from, where once we would learn from our mistakes and try again, today such a thing is seen as a bad thing in things like schools, video games and more.

Were the good old days really as good as we remember them to be? Was having our egos and confidence crushed by defeat and mistakes enjoyable?

I think it was, although I dont think the good old days were all that great, they were still an important time in our lives that would shape us into who we are today.

Without defeat and mistakes there is no way of learning where you went wrong and how to improve so that you don't make the same mistake again. Learning from the past tends to be looked down on in todays society.

How can a child learn from their mistakes when they are being told that its important to be successful, instead of it being important to learn?

~

Is the current direction of consistently simple games a good thing for the industry? I dont think it is, there is little moneys worth in a game that doesn't at least give you a challenge that was memorable.

Without a challenge to test our abilities, then how can we ever learn to face whatever challenges await us, be they in a video game or in real life?

'As a child, we learned and we made mistakes which we learned from. As an adult we still make mistakes, but if we are not willing to learn from those mistakes then we will only end up repeating them'

I think we need games to have more of a challenge these days, they tend to give a much richer experience than the ones that lack a challenge.

~

"Dont be worried about falling on your backside, if you do then just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. Youll get there eventually" - Reina Beaumont

To Thine Own Self Be True - Additional

In a blog I wrote a couple of years ago, I explained who I am and of something that many in the world are unable, and generally, unwilling to understand about those who are trans-gender and trans-sexual and how I have been born as a female within a male body and how damaging that is to me.

This additional blog and information will attempt to explain the terms better.

~

The term Trans-Gender is an umbrella term used in medical terms to describe a person or person's who are born as the opposite gender from their physical sex.

Gender is an aspect of personality from birth and is formed within the womb by chemicals introduced to the developing brain during the early stages of development, while chromosomes play a large part in our DNA structure and physical development, chemicals play a part in other areas of our development.

In the womb the developing embryo is exposed to two particular sets of chemicals - testosterone and oestrogen. Testosterone is a major part in creating a male body and brain development, just as oestrogen is a major part in creating the female body and female brain.

All humans have those chemicals in them, in males the testosterone rate is higher than that of females while oestrogen is higher in females than males, those chemicals play a part in our physical and mental development all through our lives and can be a large part in governing our actions and personalities.

Now for those born trans-gender there is a chemical imbalance in the womb, the body will develop in one way while the brain will develop in another.

If a developing embryo is developing as a physical male but receives a large dose of oestrogen to the developing brain, then that person will be born as female within a male body. That applies to those born as male in a female body as well, but instead the brain has received a higher dose of testosterone while their body has received a higher dose of oestrogen.

This can lead to the term of being trans-gender, for the person is the opposite gender to their born physical sex.

At any early age, around two or three years old, sometimes older or sometimes younger, a child's self identity will develop and one of the first things they note is who they are, their gender in particular.

However at such a young age it is hard for a young children to understand the differences between males and females, all they know is that something feels wrong because their body does not match the self identity within themselves.

Some will say out loud that's something's wrong, that they don't feel like a boy or a girl, others keep very quiet about it and try to understand what's wrong with themselves. Those feelings never fade, they continue to increase as the child gets older and can cause a lot of self identity issues when they are raised to be the physical sex of their bodies, instead of the gender they are within.

It can also cause a great deal of depression, self-hatred, self-harm a lot of the time and suicidal yearnings as a means of being free of the body they do not feel connected to. The suicide rate of those born trans-gender is alarmingly high.

Due to society's notions that we are what is between our legs rather than who we are on the inside, then when a trans-gender child is brought up as the opposite sex from their actual gender within then that can be very distressing and mentally destructive.

Someone who is trans-gender will not follow gender roles as demanded by society, they have their own individual interests and likes. Someone who is male to female may not be interested in socially considered female interests for example, they might have interests that are more considered and enforced to be for males while someone who is female to male may like female things more than male things or like a balance of both.

Sexuality is not part of being trans-gender nor trans-sexual, sexuality is separate from that. Where gender is an aspect of personality and self identity, sexuality is based around reproduction and sexual preference in regards of sex, love and intimacy.

Someone who is trans-gender is not homosexual only, regardless of the misinformation and lies of the media and misinformed in society, someone who is trans-gender is quite able to be heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, pan-sexual and so on, it all comes down to their born sexuality that kicks in around mid puberty or late puberty.

~

The term trans-sexual is a medical term used to describe the sex change surgery, or Sexual Realignment Surgery - SRS. This involves an operation where the sexual reproduction organs of the person are removed and used, if able, to reconstruct new genitals.

This operation results in the person becoming sterile however and at this time medical science has not been able to develop ways to allow trans-gender males and females to be able to reproduce after the surgery.

Making the choice to undergo the surgery is not an easy one and is one that is weighed heavily with what the person needs most in their lives. Once the surgery is done there is no turning back.

There are many who are trans-gender who do not pursue the surgery and are content to live with their reproductive organs intact, however they do get looked down by society -mostly heterosexual males and females - for not conforming to socially demanded and enforced gender ideals, just as those who undergo the surgery and also before the surgery are treated.

~

Those who are trans-gender tend to have very little support from family and friends, many families of a trans-gender child are known to disown their child out right while the person's friends abandon them. Support is also low from the medical field, from religious groups who look down on anyone who does not conform to a limited notion of life and from society in general.

Despite being an aspect of the LGBT community as well, trans-gender and trans-sexual support in that community is low for they are known to be looked down on by many in the LGBT community.

There is also a high murder rate towards trans-genders.

~

I hope this has explained some things well enough, now I will move to the next part:

I have mentioned before many times that I am unable to play as males in video games any more and I have explained why many times, yet I have found that it usually falls on deaf ears. So I will explain once again ~

As you know I am a writer and part of my writing skill requires me to think and feel as the characters I write so that I can refine them, define them and develop the characters.

This also applies for me in video games, when I play a game I need to think and feel as the character in order to havea strong focus on what needs done, on the story - if there is one - and the motives behind what's going on. I have to be immersed in the character so that I can game as good as I do.

Ever since I came to accept myself for who I am as a person - male to female, woman trapped within a man's body - I have had to stop hiding behind a male persona so that I can finally live as myself, hiding behind a male persona will only cause me a great deal of emotional and mental distress and return to that depressed and suicidal thing that I used to be before I came to accept myself.

This means that I can never, ever, play as male again due to the way I play games and have to be immersed within the character in order to focus and do well. I am unable to play a game if I can not connect to the character.

Having to pretend to be male again is something I have to avoid at all costs if I am to live as myself, if I am to ever find my happiness in life. Add to that my upbringing as a male and how damaging that was to me and how I had to repress myself so that I wouldn't be hurt even more than I already was due to the sexual and mental abuse of my childhood and the constant bullying I received for being a naturally quiet person then it's very clear that I can never be a man, I can't be a lie again, not if I want to be able to live.

If I play as male, or even pretend to be male, for a long period of time or even an hour or less, then I am running a very high risk of becoming deeply suicidal again.

I can not allow that to happen.

I don't mind men, I find them interesting and being bi-sexual then I am quite able to be attracted to them. I am not sexist nor feminist, I just simply can not be male again, I can't live a lie. Living a lie is not a life, it's a death sentence.

That does mean that my game choices are very limited since it's rare that a game will allow for playing as female.

~~

Hopefully this has explained everything just fine.

And please, my name is Reina. Please just regard me and treat me as the woman I am, instead of the man I can never be, nor wish to be.

Thank you.

A writer's heart can be a mystery

Now I don't know who will read this or not, or who even reads other people's blogs so maybe I'm wasting my time, but eh, whatever.

I am a writer, I was born with the gift of words but only in the written form. I'm not very good with speaking vocally so instead I speak with the written word and I have been doing so in full ever since my writing skill kicked in back in 1990 when I was 11.

I have no ambitions in getting published since I can't afford to do that, plus I doubt my work would be read much since it isn't about some wimpires who sparkle in the daylight nor do I wrote porn.

Instead I write emotions, feelings and thoughts. I tell stories with those words and with the images that develop in my imagination, at times music will help, at others time I write out my dreams, sometimes a story idea will just appear randomly like if I am having a bath or making my supper.

There is no particular planning in how my writing talent works, it just works when it wants to and nudges me to write when it's ready.

I write short stories and larger stories, sometimes I might write an article or a game review, maybe even a review of some Transformer I added to the collection. Although I have not done that in a long while now.

My main work is a series called Reality Of Fate: Beaumont. It is a story about three women - Reina Beaumont, Rena Beaumont and Karen Beaumont.

Reina and Rena are twin sisters from an alternate universe and Earth where the human race is oppressed by the British Empire and the European Confederation after the near extinction of the species due to the Nosferatu. The Nosferatu were unleashed on the humans of that universe when they allowed their arrogance to get the better of them, so Earth punished them by almost wiping them out.

The sisters are both forced into long life - Rena is the first to be forced into long life after disappearing in 1997 during a special operations mission when she was 17, in that universe the human race is spilt by five Bloods - Beggar, Worker, Military, Rich and Ruling.

Rena and Reina were born into a Military Blood family and trained from the age of three to serve the Empire and protect it along with every other Military Blood child who has been trained to fight the Nosferatu and any other enemies.

Reina is the second to be forced into long life and she is thrown back in time, just as her sister was, and tries to preserve the time line while caring for her daughter, Karen.

Karen is a born immortal, a rarity, and much prized by those who seek to create an army of immortals, this makes Reina extremely protective of her daughter.

Reina and Rena meet again in 2007, after Rena has returned and thrown her sister into the past. Rena however has gone insane after being alive for over four thousand years and she wants revenge on the all life as well as Earth for the life she has lived.

My other work is mostly practice work that helps me to improve and develop the writing talent even more so that I can write the Beaumont series, I am currently working on a paradox addition and a horror story that connects to the series and is set after the events of Rena's return and her revenge.

Here is a sample of my work, this is a short story I wrote recently ~

Time hurts

In the palm of my hand is dust. The remains of other lives maybe, or the remains of a former civilisation. Could the dreams and hopes of billions be reduced to the dust that sits in the palm of my hand?
The compression of time, the destruction of the past, the present and the future and the results are dust. The newly born, the young, the matured and the old, all reduced to nothing more but dust in a dead world.

And beyond this single world, the universe is falling apart as time collapses as it is compressed. The weight of centuries crushes all life, it crushes the universe. The born are unborn, the unborn are born. All are crushed together and all perish.
No dreams of the shore for those who have never existed, no dreams of the shore for those who did exist.No shore left to dream of.

Time hurts

Lush fields surround me, life is abundant.Nature is in full swing and I watch as time continues to compress. The old become younger, the young become older and all within the blink of an eye.
The old are born again as the young turn to dust, their lives lived within seconds. Dreams are realised and crushed, love is found and destroyed. The seasons change from one to the other within seconds of one another. Day and night become a blur.
And I watch as I have always done, I am witness to the end of time.

Time hurts

Cities rise and are reduced to ruin, ghosts of the dust roaming the ruins of forgotten memories that existed merely seconds before.
Empires are made and they too fall in the forgotten past of seconds before. Vast space faring fleets explore the cosmos and seconds later are just floating shells filled with the echoes of the dead.
Suns flare to life only to die one after another.And all I can do is watch, helpless to prevent the compression of time and existence.

Time hurts

My pleas are ignored as I plead for this to end.My tears fall to the dust, gone before they can wet the dead earth at my feet.
This was my doing, my fault. I made a choice and my choice caused this compression. I am the murderer of time, the destroyer of dreams.
I am the witness to a foolish action.

Time hurts

Time ends and begins again. And I watch for another eternity as time compresses. I have watched this so many times that I have lost count.

And it is all my fault.

Forgive me, my children, as I watch you die again and again.Forgive me.

Time Hurts.


~

I am my own worst critic so I do not know if my work is any good or not, but it does seem to be well received by those who read my work.

I don't write fan fics since I am able to write pre-made characters since I can only use what I create, I am unable to take characters that others have made, nor am I able to write male characters all that well, I tend to write female characters a lot better than I can male.

I do my best to be original and creative, even if it takes me a while to fully write out a large story I do my best to ensure that the story is written with love and care, instead of rushed out and done in a half hearted manner.

And any vampires I might write are of the blood thirsty, throat ripping kind, not the sparkle in the day light wimpire kind.

Feel free to read my work, I welcome comments but bear in mind that I don't take ignorance nor hatred kindly.

I am ReinaHW on Deviant Art, I'm not hard to find although anyone wishing to read my filtered work would have to join the site - which is free - due to content like strong language, violence and gore, sometimes some sexual content if the story fits it and other restrictions.

I am also on Wattpad, not hard to find.

Enjoy and if you've been reading, then thank you.

Forgiving the video game industry - Not looking very likely

It can be hard to forgive in life, there is a lot in my own life that I can not forgive for and in the video game industry there are several things I can't forgive for, things that tend to have me seen in a bad light by those who would prefer that nothing ever changes.

1) The over abundance of male leads and male lead only games: I know that the industry is focused on catering only to male gamers while enforcing the rather backwards notion that only males play video games, but enough is enough. Female gamers are on the rise, male leads are always so stale and boring with the usual bland stereotypes, poor writing and lack of personality.

There are only so many times that the usual male space marine, soldier and more can save the day in their usual generic way of killing anything and everything in sight. And then there are the games that would work just fine with allowing for playing as female for a change, the excuse that females can't do anything like fire a gun, swing a sword, defend themselves and other backwards nonsense is holding back any creative thought and effort in progressing the industry from the stale males only mentality.
And the excuse that it wouldn't be realistic to have a female doing anything but spreading her legs at the demand of a male, popping out babies and generally being restricted from doing much of anything doesn't cut it, video games are not supposed to be realistic. Real life is more than realistic enough, video games are supposed to be an escape from real life.

So enough with the excuse that females can't do jack all, you can bet that if a woman has to defend herself or other and has a weapon at hand, then she will use it. Just as any female will do what is required of them when it comes to either saving the day, working hard, completing some tough mission, assiassinating anyone and more.
Using the excuse that only males can do such things is limiting any creative potential in the industry, so kindly quit it, get over this whole 'males only!' mentality and start alowing for playing as female in more games! You'll find you'll be making more profits that way since more female gamers as well as more male gamers will be more interested in seeing games that are not the usual generic male only.

2) The obsession with multi player and trying to be the next Call Of Duty/Halo: Ever since multi player gaming in regards of MMO's like WoW and others and the success of games like Halo and Call Of Duty, the majority of developers and publishers have become obsessed with slapping multiplayer onto every game while trying to be the next COD/Halo, when it comes to non-MMO's and trying to be the next WoW when it comes to MMOs.

It's boring. Seriously.

Most MMO's do the same thing regardless of their name - Grind, loot, grind, loot, complete luckluster missions/quest, grind, loot - repeat. It is not fun. Many MMO developers and publishers keep doing this and they think it will make them a vast amount of money, but all it's really doing is clogging the market with clones.

And cloning is not a good thing after a while because the original DNA, well coding, becomes degraded and that is what has happened with MMO's.

Now in regards of shooters it's much the same way, it's always the usual soldier/space marine who must fight the evil terrorists/aliens and save the day, male lead only of course since that just adds more to the stale cake.
Over a decade ago these games would have been enjoyable enough, but that was then. This is now 2012 and they are still the same exact game with each release.

Shoot, run, shoot, run, pound chest, shoot, run - Rinse and repeat a few thousand times until the next ho hum installment not long after.

It's boring, it's stale and it's lapped by the usual gullible fools all the time while the greedy pocket the money and demand the same to be made again.

Very yawn.

3) Leaving content out of games that should just be left in: Before the days of Downloadable content, games would usually be released in a complete fashion. At times, at least for the PC, an expansion pack would be released later down the line. Sometimes it might happen for consoles, it wasn't as common, but it would add more to the game.

These days with the internet being so common place then developers and publishers have gotten into the habit of releasing their games half complete, or barely even complete, and then releasing the rest of the content and charging the costumer for the content that should have been unlocked on the game in the first place.
While this may be understandable in a money grabbing business sense, it is frankly insulting towards the cosumer to demand that they pay full price for an incomplete game and then spend even more for the content that should have been in the game in the first place.

And then there is the way that many games today are released in such a glitch filled condition, New Vegas being one such case in point as an example. Whatever happened to games being made with love and care? Has that been abandoned in the name of fast profits and making the rich even richer?
It's a disgusting practice for sure and really needs to stop.

4) Public relations laywer responses: "Why yes, we are very happy that one of our employees decided to leave to pursue farther venture" is the usual response when an employee might leave a company, the real response though is more like "The employee was not happy with the way we treated them nor their fellow co-workers, they saw how greedy, anal and selfish we truly are and wanted nothing more to do with us, so we fired their ass. All hail money!"

Do the PR reps in companies really think we are so stupid as to not see that there are cracks underneath the false layer that they create? It's pretty clear that the lazy suits at the top of the ladder are pocketing all the money while the workers are being treated like slaves.
If they can't tell the truth then they should just not bother to tell their terrible lies.

That's a few of the things I find to be unforgiveable in the industry. It is hard to say if I ever be able to forgive the industry for the way it is now and it's constant refusal to progress and move beyond the rut it's gotten into.
It's hard to forgive the fools at the top who are clearly out of touch with the costumers and reality.

Stories in video games? Very rare

I'm sure there are many of us who can remember the twist in the tale of KOTOR 1 when the truth behind Reven was found out and the mouth opening 'NO WAY!' remark that may have appeared at how well that story and it's plot twist were handled. It was very well done, it was handled in a way that had the player actually forget about Reven and get ready to face Reven's successor.

The twist wasn't expected and for that the writer's did a great job.

That was then though, back before stories were reduced to little more than 'man have gun, man go boom boom' which has become the most common form of 'story' that appears in games these days.
While graphics have become even more beautiful and detailed, stories have fallen by the way side in order to cater to the generations of gamers who demand more graphics, more guns and more killing, but less story since they are too impatient to read or listen to a story if there isn't something blowing up every few seconds.

Once in a while we might get a game that has a story, but you can usually tell that the developers got bored and just stopped bothering with a story and added more killing in so that the increasingly short attention spans of people today don't drift from the game.
Some stories are even little more than copy and paste jobs from other games.

While this might be just fine for those who only care about running around and killing anything in sight, it can make a game fairly boring if there is nothing to really draw you in outside of the usual violence.

Games like the Elder Scrolls, Mass Effects, Dragon Age, Fallouts and such will have a story, but the story may suffer in parts. Mass Effect being on such case in point recently, the story was gripping but the end felt like it had been shoved in without any connection to what had been happening in the story from the first game up to the very end, all of your choices that you made through the series really didn't make a difference.
It felt like the writers just said 'Sod it, let's copy and paste from another game'.

Now there are sometimes books of a game franchise that are supposed to add more to a game's story, but those books can be a tad hit and miss. Sometimes they might fit in just right with the franchise, but other times they feel like a loose fit.
The Fable 3 book that came out for example was a very loose fit and felt like it was more intended to follow a different branching point of the Fable series.

Writing a story based off a game franchise is a tricky thing to do when you consider that the writer and the game writers will have different ideas, which can cause the book to seem like it doesn't connect.

Maybe better writers are needed, although writers are largely undervalued in society if they don't come up with lots of CGI, explosions and guns and the usual kind of army recruitment nonsense that a lot of movies today end up feeling like - the Transformers movies being one such case in point.
With the way writers are undervalued then that can lead to writers being pretty demoralised and increasingly unwilling to write anything - something I know all too well what with being a writer and the way my work is usually passed over for some anime fan fic.

Will stories get a chance to improve in the next generation of consoles? Probably not as long as short attention spans that want the usual male lead only, guns, explosions and stale ideas time and time again continue to get their way.
Publishers are too obsessed with making fat profits and developers are expected to make the next military FPS/TPS without any regards for progress and improvements.

The future, to be honest, doesn't look good for better story telling in games and in any books made from a game's franchise. Especially as long as people are too impatient to just simply read instead of running and gunning.

More To Video Games Than Killing

Something comes to mind, it's from my own creation of Reina Beaumont, when it comes to violence –

"Violence is the nature of humanity, more so in males, due to several factors – defence, hatred, power, wealth, sex and/or general hostility. The day that humans learn to control their urge for violence is the day when they learn the true meaning of peace. And that is something that they are unlikely to learn as long as violence is encouraged and promoted by those who profit from it"

Violence. It is such a large part of the human equation. For centuries men, and yes it has been mostly males throughout history who are behind much of the violence of our history, although there have been some women who have been just as capable as men when it comes to smashing heads in.

Usually it comes down to the aggressive feelings that testosterone can create, leading to wars, fights and other forms of violence from domestic to global. The urge for violence is a very hard urge for many to control and in this day and age violence sells.

It isn't hard to see how much violence is promoted within the media, from a lot of action movies to video games and more. Aggressive can feel good to those who are causing it, it acts as a stress release for them and in turn makes very big profits from those who profit from the human urge to kill.

However violence is not all we are capable of, if it were then the human race would have wiped itself out centuries ago in some meaningless war of manly pride and posturing for no reason other than to scratch the itch of violence within their hearts.

Humans are capable of peace and cooperation should they wish to, and to be honest when you consider the nature of the world today then it wouldn't hurt if the human race learned to control themselves before we end up with a real life enactment of the Fallout series.

But this wee blog/article/whatever isn't about that.

~~

As stated before, violence sells. And in video games violence is a large part of the industry. From the yearly military FPS rehashes that are churned out to the depiction of violence in trailers and hack and slash titles to other genres, violence makes a lot of money from those who yearn for explosions, gore and the chance to kill as many as possible without the real life legal issues that would come from going on a murder spree.

Publishers and developers know this, and they profit greatly from giving many video gamers the chance to destroy and kill often.

But the constant amount of violence in the industry does get pretty boring if it's all you are doing all the time without any change of pace. There are only so many times you can throw a timed explosive charge on someone, watch them run into a mass of people and detonate for a messy explosion, or shoot people in the head before you find it all ho hum and hum drum.

That's where less violent games come in, games that aren't about violence and killing, but about more peaceful things.

However non-violent games aren't exactly in abundance when you compare that to the number of games that are more violence focused. A game that doesn't allow for constant action and violence is usually seen as 'kiddie' and 'girly' within the gamer community.

It can make it hard for non-violent games to be accepted by many due to that.

The truth of the matter however is that the non-violent games can allow for a more mentally stimulating experience than giving in to the urge to kill.

Games like Tetris, Harvest Moon, A Kingdom/World For Keflings, Viva Pinata – although you do bash Sour Pinatas and other hostiles in with a shovel, Lumines and other games that aren't designed around violence, but solving puzzles or running a farm or raising piñatas or anything that isn't focused on a violent solution can be quite beneficial and an asset for keeping a control over any aggressive feelings that may still be strong after time spent destroying your opponents in any which way.

Consider the Harvest Moon games for example. Those games, for the most part, are focused around the notion of building a farm from humble beginnings. Later games in the series added more to that in the form of falling in love, getting married, raising a family and a story that has you working hard.

Those games are quite peaceful for the most part, they can be calming and relaxing and don't require any violence. They can be highly time consuming and addictive and the chores that may seem mundane and boring can become hard to put down when you are managing your crops, tending your animals, building friendships and pursuing a love interest.

I find them to be a wonderful change of pace after the past several years of violent games. After almost a decade I finally returned to the Harvest Moon series with Harvest Moon DS Cute several hours ago and I was hooked all over again.

I had been, and still am, yearning for a game that wasn't about killing. With all of the sword play, gun play and other forms of violence and action I've been playing in games for so long, it was a wonderful breath of fresh air to put down the weapons and work on a farm.

Viva Pinata is, in a sense, the same kind of concept. Only with that you are mostly focused on raising piñatas. The Pinatas are generally cute, the game is colourful and bright.

Underneath the endearing graphics however is a game that has a steep learning curve and a fair challenge that keeps you on your toes if you want to do well.

Viva Pinata is sadly very underrated since in the eyes of most of the gaming community, the games are 'kiddie' and 'childish'. If I had a child I would be unsure about them playing Viva Pinata due to how cruel it can be with it's challenge. It isn't a game you can just breeze through, the cartoon like graphics are very misleading.

Great games though, well worth playing.

~~

The Keflings games are another peaceful series. In those you play as a giant – either a pre-made one or your own X-Box Live Avatar – and you build a community.

They aren't hard games, but they can be very time consuming and at points a little demanding. Also the few bits of music in them can get very annoying when they keep looping.

They're fun games and quite cute.

There are other ones but it would take a while to list them all.

~~

When you compare the amount of non-violent games to the more violent focused games however, it is pretty clear that there are more violence focused games than none.

Violence sells, and likely always will.

It's a shame really, a game like Harvest Moon, or a Harvest Moon game in general, would be a much welcome breath of fresh air on the 360 and PS3, especially the 360 where shooters are in abundance over much of anything else.

While they are mostly on Nintendo systems now, it would be great if Natsume released the series on the 360 and PS3.

But that isn't looking likely as long as violence is seen as more profitable than non-violence. And as long as the view towards non-violent games continues to be one of frankly arrogance from those who regard violence as the by all and end all without considering that non-violence can be important and a change of pace.

Now I think I'm going to return to tending to my farm, I've got some crops waiting to be harvested, some Harvest Sprites to find, a wood shed that should be finished by now and needs filling up with wood and a dog and cat to give cuddles to.

The universe can wait to be saved some other day.

Oh how I love Harvest Moon.

More gender choice and new ideas badly needed in the industry

Before I begin I will apologise for the lack of pictures in this article, I'm no good in that area.

And if you regard my feelings on this topic as 'sexist' and 'feminist' then you are very, very wrong.

~

The video game industry is in a rut in regards of creative ideas and imagination. A rut it created for itself by doing something very stupid – catering only to males and creating the very silly notion that only males play video games.

That rut has made video games hard to be accepted as an art form by those who regard movies and books as an art form, although writing is an art form anyway. It has gotten video games seen as immature, childish and pointless due to it being seen as a male only hobby.

Now there is a way that such a thing can be remedied, it's actually a very easy thing to do but so many developers and publishers lack the courage, creative talent and imagination to go through with it.

The solution is to begin having female leads in gaming more often and to have gender choice in games a lot more often, and for female leads to be created, developed and written in very respectful, mature ways where they aren't some brain dead ditz, the damsel in distress, the sex toy, the victim and the useless support role.

Basically playable female leads and allowing the player to play as female would make a big difference over time, it would attract the rising female gamer demographic to those games, it would attract male gamers who are tired of the usual male stereotype and it would open the doors to new ideas and creative thought.

However since the industry is largely run by men and the majority of developers are men, then they tend to stick to the very stale male lead only in games while making the excuse that only males work with games, when they don't.

A creative mind can adjust a story to fit a female character just fine, a creative mind can look outside of the box and develop a female character who doesn't have to slot into some badly defined stereotype.

But from my experiences of gaming, which I have been doing since 1984/1985, creative thought tends to be rare in the industry when it comes to looking outside of the box and creating a female lead who isn't there as sex appeal for some horny male teen and horny grown heterosexual male.

A recent case in point is the game Neverdead, it's pretty new and the concept sounds interesting, but it's once again a male lead only. The main lead is immortal and male at that, the usual for an immortal character.

That is an example of a complete lack of creative thought and imagination. Why should males be the only ones to be immortal in a game, a story, a movie or a TV series? That doesn't allow for any new ideas to develop.

I have looked for any examples of immortal female characters in the media and there are so few as to be none-existent, the only immortal female character to exist outside of some cliché filled anime is my story character of Reina Harit Beaumont, as well as her twin sister Rena Narso Beaumont, Reina's daughter Karen Linla Beaumont and Karen's daughter Kate Carol Beaumont.

Those are characters I have been developing and creating for a long term story since 1998 and I am very surprised that no one else has ever done such a thing before.

I could explain the story but this article is not for that.

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When you take into account the number of female leads and games with gender choice and compare them with games that are male lead only, it isn't hard to tell that there is a very large difference. There are more male lead only games than female lead and games with gender choice.

The constant catering to male gamers is limiting imagination and new ideas, the mishandling and disrespect of females in gaming is an indication that the industry is extremely immature and controlled by immature men who have not grasped the reality that such a thing is not grown up or clever, it's instead very sexist, very backwards and very immature.

Only having male leads narrows the chances for new ideas that branch from the usual 'man have gun, man kill many' 'man big hero, man save world' 'man greatest, man rule all' nonsense that never brings in anything new to an industry that hasn't progressed much in concepts and ideas when it comes to characters for a long time.

Video games have never been a male only hobby, both male and female enjoy video gaming and have done since video games became a public leisure.

However many female gamers tend to avoid letting their interest in gaming be known because of outdated social concepts of what either gender should do in order to conform to a narrow and very limiting social construct of life.

There is also the annoying habit of male gamers, not all but most, to be rude, ill mannered, sexist and vile towards female gamers. This can result in a female gamer hiding behind a male persona so not to be pestered for cybersex, to show her breasts or to be some male's online girlfriend.

While some female gamers like the attention, many don't. Many female gamers just want to able to game in peace.

Now female gamers are a larger demographic than the video game industry wants to admit. With males being much easier to cater to – just slap a big gun on a cover and you've got a lot of males clamouring for another generic shooter – female gamers can be harder to ask for due to many asking for better stories, being able to play as female for a change, a balance of action and non-action elements and for a more emotional, more developed set of characters and story.

Basically the very things that gaming needs if it wants to progress past the rut it's now in when it comes to the lack of new ideas, generic male lead only characters and too much of the same old thing with nothing new.

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As a writer I know it can be hard to create rather than just rehash, however I find creating new things and new characters – although I only write female characters for the most part and very few males unless they fit just right to my form of character and emotion based story telling since male characters are too boring and bland to write since people always want male characters to be boring and bland to fit with the stereotype expected of males – to be refreshing and a great boost to my creative skills.

An artist who can't look outside of the box is an artist who can't progress. Yet that notion is very alien to much of the industry.

Take Rockstar's games for example. For well over a decade their games have been male lead only with only a pretty boring table tennis game being the first ever to allow for playing as female.

Their games, although being popular and a big name in the industry, are in a rut. The constant male leads, the lack of gender choice, the boring stories and the lack of fun has been done to death in their games yet they continue to sell because those who hate change flock to those games.

The same with military FPS shooters like Call Of Duty and many more, as well as the vast majority of FPS and TPS games. Change scares many gamers, males especially, since change means facing the unknown instead of being safe and comfy in their comfort zones.

If such games had a female lead in them and better stories then many male gamers, or all of them, would be up in arms for any new and different. Much like they are with many new IP's and any sequel that tries new ideas.

Developers and publishers hear the whining and complaining of those who hate change and they decide not to try new ideas while sticking to the same thing over and over again while their games become increasingly stale.

Change is life, it is a very important part of everyone's lives from birth to death. Without change there would be no growth.

Without change, the human race would still be basic cells in some primordial genetic soup. Without change there would be no life, no chance to tap into the potential that exists within everything and everyone.

Change is important.

So why does the industry refuse to change for the better? Why is it so set on ignoring female gamers while doing the same old thing for male gamers?

If the movie industry, the music industry and more could change with the times over the past centuries, then why not the video game industry?

Are the men in control of the industry so scared of new ideas and new creative thought that they are willing to see the industry die slowly?

The industry needs to progress, it needs to embrace change for the better. It needs to be rid of this whole 'males only' nonsense and learn to embrace male and female gamer alike, to have more female leads and gender choice in games, to encourage and support new ideas and new creative thought.

Change is life, we can never avoid it because if we do then we end up being surpassed by those who embrace change while we stagnant and rot in our cosy little fear of change.

In the words of my story character of Reina Beaumont:

"It is better to face the unknown with a willingness to accept what's out there, than to sit back and live in fear forever"

And there we go, all done.