Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


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Firefly Online Announces Lead Voice Actors

I’ve blogged about Firefly Online before, but here’s an update of meijianguo proportions.

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On Wednesday February 23, Firefly Online announced that Wil Wheaton will be the male voice lead for the upcoming game, a multiplayer strategic RPG set in Joss Whedon’s TV show universe.

Today, they announced (in an exclusive with the Mary Sue) that the female lead will be Courtenay Taylor. Taylor is no stranger to voice acting in video games, with credits in games such as Evolve, Mass Effect, Starcraft II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age: Origins.

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Destiny gives us a Lesson on Stranger Danger

You know how there’s that saying about if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is? And you know how your parents probably warned you about strangers offering you things?

A young Destiny user learned this lesson the hard way when he gave control of his game to a stranger, who promptly deleted his two highest-leveled characters, as well as dismantling an exotic weapon.

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Marvel reveals an all-female A-Force, and why it’s important

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Cover Art for A-Force

This morning, Marvel announced a new monthly series of comics to be released in May. Written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite K. Bennett, and with artwork from Jorge Molina, the “A-Force” will star the likes of She-Hulk, Dazzler (those skates!!) and Nico Minoru from Runaways.

The kicker? It’s an ALL-FEMALE TEAM.

“We’ve purposefully assembled a team composed of very different characters — from disparate parts of the Marvel U, with very different power sets, identities and ideologies,” Wilson said in a statement. “They’ll all have to come together to answer some big questions: what would you sacrifice to succeed? What is being a hero worth?”

And while those are all very interesting philosophical questions for superheroines to ask, there’s more on that front. The A-Force will also introduce Singularity, a cosmically charged brand new super hero to the universe. However, Singularity isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill Amazonian heroine. Continue reading


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Holy high rollers Batman! New DC-themed casino to open in Macau

6b5736149d11f96d036870fac7799053-what-does-batman-do-in-the-stripclubWhen you think of money, you think of millionaires like Bruce Wayne, right?

Or, maybe not. But soon, there will be a way to cash in on the intersection of DC comics and money. Loads and loads of money, that is.

According to Bloomberg, Time Warner (the parent company of DC) has licensed a casino company in Macau to create a new DC superhero-themed area as part of a casino called Studio City. Dubbed the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment Center, the 30,000 square foot facility will reportedly include several Batman-based rides, as well as incorporating fellow DC heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. Continue reading


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What to expect from Halo: Nightfall

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A couple Thursdays ago, about 100 women from the videogame industry gathered to watch a sneak preview of the first two episodes of Halo: Nightfall, a five-part digital series on the Halo Channel (available on Xbox One and Windows 8.1), which launched with The Master Chief Collection last week.

Halo: Nightfall is the product of 343 Industry’s first time working with Hollywood. Ridley Scott is listed as an executive producer, and according to Kiki Wolfkill, Executive Producer at 343 Industries, “it was an amazing experience to bring that creative voice to the universe.”

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Women in Gaming: an evening with Halo: Nightfall

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Last Thursday, at the Big Picture in downtown Seattle, I found out about the male-dominated history of the community for women in the videogame industry.

L-R: Jessica Shea, Marta Beck, Holly Barbacovi and Kiki Wolfkill, all of 343 industries. Image courtesy of Jason Pankow.

Bonnie Ross, CVP of 343 Industries, recounted how she and several other women organized a cocktail event at the annual Game Developers Conference as a networking opportunity for women in 2001. Considering that women only make up around 5-20% of their fields, and that on average they earned 86 cents on every dollar that men made in the US game industry, it was crucial for women to have an opportunity to meet others within their profession.

However, more men than women turned up to the event. Continue reading


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Assassin’s Creed Unity lets you spend up to $99.99 to boost your character; internet gets mad

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Assassin’s Creed Unity will have an alternate in-game currency which you can buy with real-world money.

Along with the standard currency used by the characters, you can buy “Helix Credits”, presumably with your credit card. Helix Credits will allow you to access boosts or unlock certain customizations (that you’d otherwise have to save up for with your ingame money), or reveal hidden stuff on the map without having to go to a viewpoint. So, for at least some features, you’re paying for convenience.

However, you can also buy boosts which enhance your abilities for a short while or upgrade existing weapons by “hacking” them, for considerable benefits:

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Iron Sky: The Coming Race trailer

What’s better (or worse) than Nazis on the moon?

How about Nazis riding dinosaurs at the center of the Earth?

Maybe zombie Nazis riding dinosaurs?

Maybe zombie Nazis riding dinosaurs?

Yep. The team that brought you Iron Sky in 2012 are launched a new crowdfunding campaign today to make a sequel, which is available on Indiegogo.There are a variety of tiers of contribution, with $10,000 buying you the title of Associate Producer. Continue reading


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Play 900+ free old-school games in your browser!

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Old school gamers! This one is for you. Remember those games that required a ton of quarters (or tokens, if you were at one of those pizza places)? I think later, some of these were on Commodore 56 as well. But if you’re hankering for some old school nostalgia, hanker no more. qbert

Behold, the Internet Arcade.

Jason Scott and JavaScript Mess have created a repository of many of our favorites by porting them into a playable online version. With over 900 (yes, NINE HUNDRED) games to pick from, it’s not hard to find some old favorites (hello Frogger, Bomb Jack, Pac Man!) and maybe discover some new ones you missed the first time around. Continue reading