Mouse Smash

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


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Marvel’s new Ant-Man trailer is here–and I’m reminded of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

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“Is it too late to change the name?”

During Marvel’s Agent Carter this week, viewers were given the opportunity to see the first full-length trailer (as opposed to ant-sized, which premiered a few days earlier). 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


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The (Social) Justice League

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Amongst the hostility of current Gamergate debacle, there have been positive, creative and humorous responses. The Doubleclicks, for example, offered internet trolls their own love song. Nonadecimal developed asatirical battle game about arguing online. And this year, Sarah “Chip” Nixon brought 150 sets of social justice class buttons with her to GeekGirlCon. Continue reading