Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let's Talk About Rise of the Triad



My original ROTT game and t-shirt

I think it is time for me to discuss one game that has had a huge influence on my life: my very  first first person shooter game, Rise of the Triad.

The reasoning behind my inspiration to write about this game is because of the announcement at QuakeCon this past summer of a Rise of the Triad (ROTT) remake in the works. When I heard this news in early August, I honestly could not believe it. This is because I know that ROTT was not an incredibly popular or successful FPS game of its time. Nonetheless, it had a tremendous impact on my personal gamer life, and because of that I would like to share my story.

ROTT at QuakeCon 2012, Taken from ROTT's Facebook Page

ROTT is a classic FPS game that released during the time of DOOM and Wolfenstein. While most gamers at the time were playing these more popular FPS games, I was enjoying ROTT, developed by Apogee Software.

To this day I cannot understand why ROTT was not as successful as the other classic FPS games. While the plot is not the most important part of the game (not many were during the 90's) I believe ROTT is much more unique than other games such as DOOM for a number of reasons.

Firstly, ROTT includes a plethora of different weapons.
The MP40 is a greatly preferred weapon because it has unlimited ammo. However, my personal favorites include the Excalibat and the drunk missle launcher (the name speaks for itself, mostly). Some weapons are greatly overpowered, but that power comes with a price. When playing, I find myself accidentally taking friendly fire damage because the heavier weapons have so much power.

Next, the game incorporates the strangest, yet entertaining abilities I have seen in a FPS. 
Seeing a spinning dog bone on a level means one thing: Dog Mode. ROTT gives you the ability to transform into a dog for a limited period of time. Becoming a dog in the game gives you invincibility  and you also have the pleasure of tearing apart enemies with your claws. The second ability is God mode, which is one of my favorite things about the game. God mode is an interesting part of the game to describe because it is incredibly humorous  It draws most laughs when you transform into "God". When transforming, you simply see a hand in your view, while loud groans can be heard. When in God mode, your character becomes invincible and with one strike from the hand, you can destroy every enemy in the room. This ability is most useful when you are in a heavily guarded area on a map. A third ability that could be acquired in the game is shrooms mode. As a child, I did not understand what exactly shrooms mode was, but now that I am able to understand, I can laugh at this and wonder what the developers were thinking when they were making this game.

"God Mode" in ROTT

With entertaining dialogue ("No! Don't shoot! Please!"), fun and challenging levels, and an array of weapons and abilities, ROTT completely sold me to the FPS genre. It is hard to believe that I was so young and was playing this game (it was released in 1995, I was playing it around 1997). If I did not play ROTT as a kid, I may not have been drawn to playing many of the FPS games I have grown to love today.
 
Image from the ROTT remake, Taken from ROTT's Facebook Page.
I am beyond excited for the remake of ROTT.
Interceptor Entertainment and Apogee Software have teamed together to make this new ROTT game. This remake is expected to release in the near future for $15. From what they have teased us with so far on social media, the game looks very promising. The remake is said to include many new features including co-op mode, which was not in the original game. I am excited to see this great game remastered and with many new additions.

At PAX Prime earlier this year, there was a demo at the GUNNAR Optik booth and I was so excited to be able to play the game. The weapons in the demo brought me down "nostalgia lane". Overall, it got me even more excited to play the remake.

Myself playing a demo of the ROTT remake at PAX Prime

I am almost certain that I could be deemed the biggest ROTT fangirl out there. If I have not convinced you from the picture with my original copy of the game, I also have the game on my iPhone (it is on the App Store for $2 so I can play this amazing game on-the-go.

The original ROTT on iTunes.

For any person who plans on picking up the remake on release, I would also highly suggest playing the original ROTT. Although now it is archaic, I guarantee it will be an experience and enjoyment for any FPS fan.

"Eat Lead!"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recent Nerdy "Go-To's"



Do you ever feel like there are certain times in your life where you find pleasure in different nerdy activities? For example, I have observed that many nerds go through "phases" of playing a certain game, reading a certain comic book, or maybe even collecting items such as figurines. Recently for me, I have had more time to embrace my "inner nerd" (hopefully that does not sound completely lame) with a variety of different pastimes that I would love to share.

The following is a list compiling all of the activities that have been taking up much of my time as of recent. As I like to call it, my "nerd go-to's".

1. Reading a good science fiction short story.
Reading science fiction is one of my favorite hobbies. I have not had much time (or drive, unfortunately) to read a novel, so instead I find myself reading short stories. One of my favorite science fiction authors, Harlan Ellison, writes excellent short stories. My most recent read is "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman. This was a rather disturbing story (as many of his stories are) that closely reminded me of George Orwell's 1984, but I would still say it was a great read that captured one of my favorite elements of science fiction, dystopian future.

2. Watching an episode of Star Trek: TOS.
You can rave about TNG all you want, but the original 1960's Star Trek will always be my favorite. I have found myself becoming quite the Trekkie lately, and I embrace this by watching my favorite Captain of THE best crew. Star Trek: TOS never fails to make me smile each time I begin to watch that classic opening to the show.

3. Watching videos of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.
This may be considered more of a guilty pleasure than a "go-to", but I shall bring it up while still on the subject of Star Trek. I recently discussed with a friend the close relationship between Pine and Quinto. I had no idea that the two were actually childhood friends. After watching several interviews between the two, I can see the closeness and it is ADORABLE. (Ahem. I apologize. I promise to not sound completely and desperately lame while discussing this.) After filming the new Star Trek movie, Pine and Quinto had this ongoing joke that the two tried to see who could use bigger and better words in their interviews together. It seemed to turn into some sort of competition, and as you watch the interviews it can become extremely amusing watching the two come up with big, sophisticated words and then becoming impressed with each other.

4. Playing a Matchmaking Game in Halo 4.
Well, this has not exactly been a recent "go-to", being that I am home for the holiday and for some reason Halo 4 refuses to install on my mother's Xbox (that is another rant for another day). Anyway, every night I like to dedicate at least an hour to some "good-ol''" Slayer in Halo 4. This has become so fun that I have not even started the campaign yet (shame on me, I know).

5. Reading Modern Age DC Comics.
This is unusual for me because I almost never read DC Comics unless someone literally pushes me to do so (besides the more popular ones such as Watchmen and Batman: Year One). This does not mean that I dislike DC Comics, per say. I simply prefer and enjoy reading Marvel. (I feel like every comic reader has their preferred company that they enjoy reading more) With that being said, I have recently been reading Green Arrow comics from the 1980's, and I am actually enjoying the stories. I finally read one of his more famous stories, The Longbow Hunters. It was very brutal and dramatic, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I would seriously encourage any comic reader to go outside of their "reading comfort zone" and pick up a comic they would not normally read.

6. Playing Classic Arcade Games.
This may be inspired after seeing Wreck-it Ralph, but I have found myself enjoying some great arcade games. My favorite among the bunch is, of course, Space Invaders. But I have also been having fun playing others such as Centipede, Asteroids, Missile Command, and Tempest. The Atari Greatest Hits app, which I got for free from a great deal some time ago, has become my best friend for playing these great games. After all, it is always expected of us gamers to "remember our roots".



This concludes my list of "geeky pleasures" (I really am trying to be as creative as I can with these names). If you consider yourself a nerd, I would encourage you to look at your habits and try to find what you have been into recently as opposed to two months ago. What has changed? What games are you playing, books are you reading, etc.? It is always fun to see the "phases" we go through as nerds and see what things we really get into at different times in our lives.

Keep on nerding out!

Love from upside down,


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halo 4: First Impressions



As many of you are aware, last night was the release of the highly anticipated Halo 4. I was able to pick the game up last night and play it for a few hours.

I will admit that in the past few weeks I have not been too excited about Halo 4. This is mostly because my life has been crazy busy, and all of my gaming excitement was directed toward Assassin's Creed III, which came out so close to Halo 4. I have not yet finished Assassin's Creed III and I plan to finish it before I dive deep into Halo 4. However, I needed to play Halo 4 for a little bit. And, well, after playing it last night I fell in love.

I have yet to play the campaign. I love Halo's story, so I am definitely looking forward to it. However, Halo has also been one of my favorite multiplayer franchises -- so I decided to dive into that first with my friend Dylan. That being said, my first impressions of the game are going to be based on the multiplayer. Here are my thoughts:

  1. I am glad the Battle Rife is back, but I feel it competes with the DMR greatly. Both the BR and DMR are weapons that can be used in Halo 4, which is the first time that has ever happened in a Halo game. I have always been a fangirl of the BR, and it is hard for me to admit that the BR has weaknesses. The DMR is obviously a better long ranged weapon, so I find myself using it more when I play on larger maps. As someone who always views the BR as the "end-all and be-all" of rifles in Halo, it is hard for me to admit that I don't use it in every match I play.
  2. The newly incorporated load out system closely resembles Call of Duty.
    Especially because just about everything requires currency and/or level upgrades (including emblems). For the most part, I like this because I am able to chose which weapons, abilities, grenades, etc. that I want to start out with. I also like how you are able to change your loadout throughout the course of the match.
  3. The Assault Rifle has surprisingly improved. And it is good.
    I never thought I would be able to say that I actually don't mind using the Assault Rifle. While it is not the best weapon, it is definitely an improvement from the past. It sounds cooler, it looks cooler, and you feel cooler when you need to use it. These are all things I never thought I would see out of the Assault Rifle.
  4. The new weapons and abilities that I have seen are impressive.Specifically, I am really loving the SAW gun, which is basically an LMG that wrecks faces. Also, a new ability is the Promethean Vision,  which allows you to see through walls for nearby enemies.
  5. The game just looks really good.
    The graphics have improved greatly from Halo 3, and even from Reach. The first thing I noticed when I got into my first multiplayer match is how beautiful the environment was (and that says a lot because usually Halo multiplayer maps are quite bland). I can only anticipate how good the campaign will look.
  6. Multiplayer, overall, is a huge improvement from Halo Reach.
    I could not get myself to enjoy Reach's multiplayer. This made me worried that 343 would use much of Reach's multiplayer as inspiration for Halo 4. Thankfully I can see more traces of Halo 3 than I can of Reach, and because of that I have decided that Halo 4 will become my new "multiplayer game".
  7. From what I have seen so far, there is no penalty on EXP if you quit a match mid-game, which means there will be no penalty for my rage quits!
    I'm just kidding about this one, guys. (Or am I?)
Being such a huge Halo fan (as I am currently staring at my miniature replica Battle Rifle on its stand and I sleep next to my Arbiter action figure near my bed each night), I can say that I have really great hopes for Halo 4. I am happy that 343 Industries has decided to take on Bungee's successful franchise. They now have  this chick's full approval (not saying that means much,  but I still feel cool saying it)!

And, as 343 reminded us this morning in their message to all Halo players, do not forget to vote today if you live in the United States! There is still time to do so!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Biggest Gaming Charity Event Of The Year



This Saturday, October 20, has been deemed by the Extra Life Foundation as a day for gamers everywhere to participate in a charity event. On this day, gamers can take a pledge to stream games and have friends and family sponsor their efforts. This event is backed by big names such as G4. I have noticed that many of my friends and awesome gamers that I follow have decided to take part in this event.

For those who are unfamiliar with Extra Life, they are an organization founded by gamers with a mission to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. It is a tremendous cause and I applaud the many gamers who have put effort into raising money for this foundation.The organization was founded only a few years ago, but it is greatly rising in popularity.

More information on Extra Life's event can be found here.

I fully support all of my friends who have decided to take part in this charitable cause. To honor them, I have decided to compile a list of my friends who are taking part in Extra Life 2012 this weekend. Please take a look at each of their efforts and consider supporting their cause!



Extra Life 12 Hour Marathon Livestream Part 1

Frag Dolls - October 19 & October 23

Donation Page
Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/fragdolls

The Frag Dolls will be hosting two 12 hour Livestream events for Extra Life. The first half on Friday, and they will be playing several different games such as ShootMania and hosting special guests on their stream. In addition, the Frag Dolls be holding giveaways with awesome prizes to those who donate. Tune into their stream at 11 a.m. EST and donate to their cause. 





TakeoRey - October 20

Donation Page
Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/takeorey

My friend Allen has been a huge supporter of Extra Life for years. This Saturday, he will be at the Microsoft Store in his area for a 24 hour livestream event to raise money.

The goal he is looking to reach is for each person to donate $1 for each hour of his marathon. That is $24 for each person who sponsors him.

Allen is a member of the Extra Life Houston street team. Check out their Facebook page to read up on their cause and support him.




Dave Blank - October 20

Donation Page
Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/darkalleyethics

My friend Dave from 2K Games will be holding a 24 hour gaming marathon with a variety of different games. During his stream, he will also be auctioning amazing games and collectibles  including rare Borderlands 2 merchandise.

To read further about his cause, visit his blog to see what he will be auctioning during his stream.



ms_vixen

Ms. Vixen - October 19

Donation Page
Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/ms_vixen

As part of Team V Gaming, Lanai will be playing Modern Warfare 3 for 24 hours on her stream starting at 11 a.m. EST. With a 4.2+ K/D, you will want to watch this girl rock MW3. She will also be giving away prizes on her stream.



V Rex - October 20

Donation Page

Vanessa will be hosting a 24 hour gaming marathon and playing a variety of games such as Battlefield 3, Halo: Reach, and Minecraft. She is inviting gamers to add her on Xbox Live in order to play with her during her marathon.

Further information about her gaming schedule can be found on Pwned.com.




I know that there are so many other gamers out there who have decided to devote 24 hours to supporting Extra Life's efforts. These people are incredible, and I know they will be making a difference in the lives of children at their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. I will be supporting each of my friends in their livestreams this weekend. With your help, each of them can reach their donation goals (donations are tax deductible!). I wish all of these gamers the best and much love. 


xoxo
Miss Magitek

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New York Comic Con 2012


My college friends and I on the last day of NYCC 2012!

This year is the first year since 2009 that I have attended NYCC. This event happens to be one of my favorites for many reasons. Firstly, it is located in the city which I call home -- New York City. This also means that many of my friends attend NYCC, and being able to see them always makes me happy.

This year's NYCC was a little different for me. For the first time in what seems like forever I did not find myself working at this event, nor did I debut a special cosplay. I did cosplay all weekend, but I wore "simple" costumes that I did not spend time slaving over and trying to set up photoshoots. For the first time, I simply enjoyed the convention.



I earned a "life achievement" on Friday at the con: I finally met Stan Lee. Meeting him was a top priority of mine, so it was one of the first things I did on that weekend. This man is simply incredible. He is over 90 years old and just recently had surgery where he now has a pacemaker. Despite all of this, the man still decided to attend this convention and do his thing. I would not take back the few seconds that I spent in Stan Lee's presence for anything. 

However, I do wish the meeting had a bit more to it. I was able to have a photo op with him, but the photo op consisted of me walking in the room, saying "hi" to Stan, snapping a photo, saying "thank you", and walking out. If possible, I would have at least wanted to shake his hand and tell him that he has inspired me since I was 7 years old. In addition, the picture of Stan and I is completely unflattering (I was in my Star Trek cosplay. There is a reason why Vulcans do not show emotion -- they do not look good when they smile). Even though I was not able to have a real conversation with Stan Lee and my picture came out bad, I am still unbelievably happy that I met him.

My NYCC Collection, including Cable & Deadpool #1 & Amazing Spider-Man #620 Variant

The top right picture in this image is a photo of my boyfriend and I with Peter Davison. Seeing Davison, who is mostly known to be the 5th Doctor and David Tennant's father-in-law, was a fabulous moment. He was such a kind man and I adored his British accent. It only made sense for the two of us to wear Doctor Who cosplay for this exciting event.

There are many stories of meeting famous people to be told from this past weekend. My boyfriend and I have been following IDW's Star Trek/Doctor Who series since it's inception. So far, it has been great. We both incredibly admire the artist, J.K. Woodward. To our excitement, he was in attendance at the Artist Alley. We were able to purchase postcards of his amazing artwork. On Sunday, I was donning my Star Trek uniform while Christian had his David Tennant suit on. When we stopped by Woodward's booth, I think he was more excited to see us dressed up than we were excited to see him. We managed to get one of Christian's comics signed, and he tweeted a picture of us! It was certainly another memorable moment of the weekend. Woodward is an amazing artist because of his amazing paint jobs on all of his artwork. When we visited him, he was in the process of doing a painting of Amy Pond and it looked absolutely beautiful.

The two of us also had encounters with Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings, and Mark Waid, the current Daredevil writer. But alas, another convention has gone by without me meeting Nathan Fillion who was one of the surprise guests at the Firefly panel. Conventions like this always get me excited because I have the opportunity to meet so many famous individuals -- I am still in awe of being in the presence of so many cool people.

Being able to simply enjoy the geek culture and meet awesome people who inspire me made NYCC great. I had an incredible weekend, and I look forward to my next adventure at a convention.

Geronimo!

Monday, September 10, 2012

PAX Prime And My Future Aspirations


PAX Prime 2012 was the weekend of August 31-September 2. I apologize for constantly being least one week late when it comes to talking about events I attend. This is mostly because after events, I have much "catching up" to do with the rest of my life. In this case, I had a great deal of schoolwork to make up after attending PAX Prime.


My first trip to Seattle for PAX Prime was a success. I had an incredible time working with Ubisoft and the Frag Dolls. Ubisoft had an immense presence at this convention with many games being showcased. Not only did I have a great time, but I feel that PAX Prime was an incredible learning experience for me.

_______________________________________________________

I worked with two games at PAX: Rayman Legends and ShootMania Storm



Rayman Legends was a fun and interactive demo for the Wii U. The game was so great that it recieved two awards at PAX Prime this year. The game, which was first showcased at E3 in June, has a co-op game mode where one player uses the controller while the other player uses the Wii U Touch Pad to interact with the environment. The players work together to make it to the end of the stage. The music in Rayman is also acclaimed, and many who demoed the game were unbelievably impressed. This platformer game has completely sold me -- I fell in love with Rayman.



ShootMania is a new, competitve eSports title that Ubisoft is part of. This game is a simplistic FPS for the PC. At the moment, it is only in beta -- but it was on sale for pre-order at PAX. The ShootMania area at PAX included professional players and shoutcasters who displayed the competitve aspect of the game. I have been a hardcore eSports supporter for many years now; I follow games such as Starcraft 2 and LoL. Seeing the competitve nature of ShootMania has inspired me to get back into the eSports scene. One aspiration of mine was to become a shoutcaster for any eSports title (Starcraft is where my heart truly is). I have become re-inspired to pursue that dream. Also, I am currently taking an announcing class at school, which has been teaching me about the many aspects of broadcast and sports announcing. I believe this class will help me develop skills necessary for a shoutcaster in eSports. When others question me about how I could apply what I learn in school to the things I learn with the Frag Dolls, I believe this is a perfect example.

These events have become a learning experience for me. I have noticed that I can apply the techniques and skills I am learning in college to my experiences with Ubisoft and the Frag Dolls.

_______________________________________________________

I will admit that PAX Prime was much more hectic than any of the other events I have been to. That is mostly because there were over 20 of us Cadettes, Frag Dolls, and Frag Doll Finalists working at this event. Because of that, it felt to me like this event was even crazier than San Diego Comic-Con; even though PAX is a significantly smaller event.

Despite the craziness, I was able to meet many new faces and grow closer with great friends. That is another thing I love taking away from the events that I attend. The memories I create with friends are lifelong.




_______________________________________________________

 In addition to working with Ubisoft, I also enjoyed demoing several soon to be released games.


Firstly, Dishonored looks like it is going to be an incredible game. Originally, I did not know much about Dishonored. I watched one trailer, but I was hesitant about if I truly wanted to play through the game or not. The demo I played at Bethesda's booth sold me over to the game, which is being released in the near future. The Dishonored demo was a challenge, and I look forward to using unique abilities to stealthily maneuver my way through the game. 



Secondly, I believe that I demoed more PS3 games than I did Xbox 360. This is strange for me, being that I have always loved my Xbox and care little for PS3. I am not one to admit this so boldly, but it looks to me like the PS3 is getting many more exciting and interesting games than Xbox. I was able to play PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (Team PaRappa!), God of War: Ascension, and The Last of Us. All three were incredible games -- so much that I have become convinced to purchase a PS3 even before I build my new PC (which was next on my "Gamer to-do List").



Lastly, I demoed one of my personal most anticipated games: Rise of the Triad. This is a game that is very close to my heart and deserves its own blog post (stay tuned because that will be coming in the near future). At first, I did not know if ROTT was going to be playable at PAX. There was a party on Friday night that had a playable demo, but I was unable to attend the party because I was working at the Frag Dolls' party. However, I checked Twitter to discover that the ROTT demo was going to be at the Gunnar Optiks booth. I was completely ecstatic. My first break on Saturday involved me running over to the Gunnar booth to play the demo. Immediately I turned into a screaming 7 year-old girl (which just so happens to be the age I started playing ROTT, so I feel it was rather appropriate). It was only a brief multiplayer demo, but nonetheless it was awesome and nostalgic. I got to use the Excalibat. At that moment, all was right with the world.


_______________________________________________________



Seattle is a beautiful city.

Being a first time visitor, I must admit that I fell in love with Seattle. This came to no surprise to me because I adore the west coast and I adore big cities. Because I was in this city for the first time on my own, I felt something special that I cannot quite put into words. I also turned into a super tourist (being from New York City, I usually make fun of tourists. But this time I actually turned into one). I visited the top of the Space Needle, but I did not do all of the tourist attractions that I had planned. I will definitely be returning to Seattle for many future visits. 


_______________________________________________________


It is quite possible that PAX Prime was my last event with Ubisoft as a 2012 Frag Doll Cadette. Though I cannot confirm that statement being that I do not know if the Frag Dolls will need me for any future events in the upcoming months, I definitely used PAX as a reflection toward everything I experienced this past year. I cannot say for sure if I want to pursue a career in the video game industry. I have many passions in my life and gaming is just one of them. Next year will be my last full year of being an undergrad in college. With all of that being said, I have been thinking more and more about where I want to go with my life.

Being young is a great thing, but I know that these next few years in my life will involve major transitions. I have many friends who are only a few years older than me and are already settled into a great career. When I look at them, I realize that in just a few years I will be in their place talking about my own job, whatever that may be. I am not frightened by this realization, but I have learned to take each day for what it is. I count my blessings. I thank my God for giving me the opportunity to pursue great dreams. I look forward to the future. The opportunities I get to attend events are not simply for my enjoyment as a gamer, but a learning experience. I cannot say it enough -- I have learned so much.

MISS ♥ MAGITEK

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Recent Updates: SDCC, Doctor Who, And Being In The NY Times



I have been on a bit of a blogging "depression" in the past few weeks -- there has been a great deal going on that I could blog about, yet I have not blogged anything at all. First and foremost, San Diego Comic-Con was a few weeks ago and it was an incredible experience for me. I was going to write a series of blog posts about my experiences during the four-day convention, but I have decided against that. Being that SDCC was weeks ago and most of the hype has died down, I decided that it was best to briefly discuss a few of my fun adventures. I have wanted to go to SDCC for many years now (last year I blogged about my troubles  involving getting tickets to SDCC 2011). The Frag Dolls provided me with the amazing opportunity to work with them at the convention this year. I had the pleasure to work at the Microsoft Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel demoing Assassin's Creed III multiplayer with the Ubisoft developers. I met a great deal of new faces and I also reunited with some old friends.

_______________________________________________________

My blog on the Frag Dolls' Website about Comic-Con 2012


Before I go any further, if you are interested in seeing some of the biggest attractions from Comic-Con this year, check out my blog on the Frag Dolls' website. I covered all of the major comic book, movie, TV show and video game news from SDCC this year. I also discussed what all of the Frag Dolls were up to at the convention.

6850940596_c30a721ae5_o.png


_______________________________________________________

Most exciting moment at Comic-Con 2012: The Doctor Who panel

One highlight of the convention for me personally was getting into the Doctor Who Nerd HQ Panel, which was a completely random event. On Saturday evening at the convention, my lovely Frag Doll friends and I decided to check out the Nerd HQ Lounge, an off-site event that was only a few blocks from the convention center. It was there where I saw a line of people in Doctor Who attire outside of the convention, and I knew exactly what they were in line for. There were several Doctor Who panels taking place throughout the course of the weekend, but I knew this particular event was completely sold out because I had tried to get a ticket earlier in the day. As I walked past the line with my friends, I was feeling a little discouraged because I knew there was no way for me to get into that panel. About 15 minutes later, one of my friends had to use the bathroom, and an employee directed us toward the back room. 

At this point, the line was completely gone and all of the Whovians were in their seats waiting for the panel to begin. As we were walking toward the empty line that had been full when we first arrived, a security guard asked, "are you ladies here for the Doctor Who panel?" At that moment, I immediately blurted out "YES! We are!" From there, the security guard let us into the back room where the panel was about to take place. The room was packed and all of the seats were taken, but we were able to watch from the standing area behind the seats.

As we entered, the announcer said three names that made my heart skip a few beats -- Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill. My heart began to race, my body was shaking, and I was beyond excited. I was actually standing in a sold-out panel with the three biggest stars of Doctor Who.

 

At this point, I was screaming, cheering, and jumping up and down. My friends were not interested in Doctor Who, but they could clearly see how excited I was and decided to stay so I could enjoy the panel. I thank them for that so much. When the three stars entered the room, the crowd exploded with excitement and you could hear pictures snapping every few seconds. I whipped out my camera, and tried to catch a few good shots myself.


 

I will admit that Matt Smith is one of my biggest celebrity crushes, so being able to see him in person was a dream come true. He was so animated and expressive, just like he is as The Doctor. Karen was absolutely stunning in person, and the only thing I could notice about Arthur was his interesting choice in fashion (he was wearing an oversized, patterned sweater if it is not clear enough in the pictures).

The panel itself had its share of funny and emotional moments. For example, Smith was wearing a hat and he noted that his hat was "cool". Also, one little girl asked during the Q&A if Smith was afraid of the Weeping Angels, saying that she was also afraid of them. Smith told her not to worry, and that he was going to fight all of the Weeping Angels off. I am pretty sure after he said that, every girl's heart melted in the audience.

Taken from "Doctor Who and the Tardis by Craig Hurle"

The Doctor Who Nerd HQ panel was the biggest excitement for me at the convention. I had a few bad moments at SDCC this year, but the fun times I had outweighed the negative by so much that San Diego Comic-Con has become one of the best weekends of my life. From playing awesome games before they are  released at the Ubisoft Party, working with awesome people at the Microsoft Lounge, checking out the convention floor where I got to say 'hi' to John Barrowman, and hanging out with the Frag Dolls, I would say that Comic-Con was a huge success.


_______________________________________________________

My face on Xbox Live

I feel like every gamer's dream is to get a spotlight on the Xbox Live dashboard. Being able to see your face, your gamertag, or even your avatar out there for everyone to catch a glimpse of can be an exciting feeling. I was able to experience that excitement when I saw my face for a brief moment on a video on Xbox Live. On the video "Comic-Con Round-Up #1", my friend Tiffany and I were spotted gaming in the Microsoft Lounge at the beginning of the video. It was pretty cool to see myself on there, and I feel that as a gamer I can say it was an "achievement unlocked".



_______________________________________________________


Collection of swag and other awesome purchases

Comic-Con would not be a convention without free swag and money well-spent on awesome stuff. In the past few weeks I have collected so many cool findings pictured below. Some things were what I collected at the convention,  others were comics and magazines I recently purchased from visiting local comic shops, and some were gifts from my boyfriend (he rocks). Here is a quick compilation of everything I want to show off.


From L to R: SDCC exclusive Doctor Who t-shirt, Doctor Who socks,  Eleventh Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver.






_______________________________________________________

Getting a picture in The New York Times

Finally, I want to address a New York Times article released yesterday that had my picture in it. A photographer took some shots of the Frag Dolls and Ubisoft developers playing Assassin's Creed III during Comic-Con and they used it for an article about sexual harassment in gaming. 

My picture from an article in The New York Times.

Clearly this is an issue that is big enough where not only gaming websites are recognizing it, but now one of the biggest journalism outlets is addressing it. While I agree that all harassment in gaming is bad, this article specifically addresses sexual harassment. I do not think this issue is something that should be undermined and dismissed. There are plenty of male gamers out there who respect and treat females just as they would males, and that is a great thing. But the truth of the matter is, for every one male gamer who does not single out a female gamer there are ten more of them who do single out females (usually in a negative manner) whether we want to be or not. As much as we as gamers want this to change, I feel that this will never change with the way our society runs. Many people do not realize how serious this issue really is, and I believe this article addresses it very well. I am very honored to have my picture in this article, and as an aspiring journalist, I am glad that the author did her research and addressed this issue in a clear, concise manner.

_______________________________________________________

I am ecstatic to be sharing all of these past achievements on my blog. The things I am sharing here are what I dreamed about happening to me in years past. As a gamer, I believe that with a lot of hard work and dedication, it is absolutely possible to achieve your goals. I encourage anyone reading this to continue to strive for what you want to achieve in your lifetime. One day, those things you dreamed about really could happen.