Mouse Smash

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


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Adventures in QA: Chapter 4: Funderemployment

It’s been a while since I updated my Adventures in QA series. Like, a year or so. Well, luckily for me I now have plenty of time to do it!

One thing about QA work is that it’s not always constant. Even though technically it’s a full-time gig, it doesn’t mean that the work or hours are full time. There are peaks and troughs with the workflow depending on things like seasons (so it was busier toward the end of the year when the holiday period opened), or things like how many projects there are.

So, we’re in a trough at the moment. For our “full-time” schedule, I have three weeks off. Continue reading

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Some Observations about Comments about Marriage

Okay, to start, I am generally opposed to the institution of marriage. I think it’s archaic and ought to be unnecessary, except to gain a particular legal status that everyone should have the right to anyway. I’m definitely not the type of woman who has been planning her dream wedding since the age of five, and even if I had, I’m pretty sure my dream wedding would involve me riding a dinosaur, so it’s not like that was going to happen. However, there are specific reasons why I need to go through this stupid and outdated process, so here I am.

Anyway, we’ve been engaged for over a year, but it wasn’t until we started planning the actual event that I realized just how obnoxiously gendered the culture and language around weddings was. I already knew about the sexist traditions of a bride having her father literally give her away (although now there are several alternatives), the bride’s parents traditionally being burdened with the costs of the wedding (and even with the “modern” versions making the costs more equitable, they’re still predominantly for the bride’s family to cover), but once I told people that I was getting married, there was a clear shift in what they thought I would be interested in talking about, and many assumptions were made about certain norms I was apparently supposed to adhere to.

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Now Paris Hilton is Also Getting a Video Game

Actually, she's a repeat offender when it comes to "celebrities with video games".

Actually, she’s a repeat offender when it comes to “celebrities with video games”.

Get ready to groan, everyone. First it was Kim Kardashian. Then it was Lindsay Lohan. Soon, Katy Perry and Kanye West will have their own as well.

Today, Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands announced that Paris Hilton would also have her own video game. The company signed a deal to agreement to license the name and likeness of Hilton, as well as imagery and content from Paris Hilton Entertainment, the company who manages her brand. Animoca Brands is responsible for other licensed gaming apps around characters like Ben 10, Garfield, Doraemon, and Astro Boy. Continue reading


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Destiny Troll tells Victims to “Suck it up”

cuckoo Last week, a video went viral about a young Destiny player who used the Share Play feature on his PS4, and had two high-leveled characters and an exotic weapon deleted by a stranger when he stepped away for a few minutes. The victim was 11-year-old Henry, who went by the handle CuckooKnight.

Much vitriol was leveled at KirmitTHEfrog, the account that deleted the characters, including someone threatening to find and burn down his house, or another person telling him that they “wished he got cancer and died”.

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WTF of the day: Soulcalibur: Lost Swords hires Hentai Artist for Female Character Costumes (NSFW)

By now, it’s not news that the game industry is rife with accusations of sexism, misogyny and objectification of women.

Given the publicity that the industry’s received in the past year about its horrendous sexism problem, it’s baffling that Bandai Namco Games has collaborated with hentai artist Yamatogawa to design new costumes for characters in their free-to-play PS3 game Soulcalibur: Lost Swords.

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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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Error 404: Ethics in Journalism issue arises; Gamergaters not found

I’m not sure if this article should start with something like YOU DON’T SAY.

Prior to the launch of Assasin’s Creed Unity, Ubisoft made reviewers agree to an embargo time set 12 hours after the game went on sale on the east coast of the US. An embargo is an agreement between the press and the publisher about when coverage for the game can be released to the public. What this means is that, in theory, reviews can’t be published before the agreed time, which is usually prior to the game’s release, so players can see if they want to buy the game.

By setting the embargo time to AFTER the game was released, consumers didn’t have any information about the game’s quality before they dropped their cash on it. It also doesn’t help that the game is incredibly buggy. According to this BBC News article, players have been posting screenshots online of characters missing parts of their faces, hanging onto invisible ledges, and bending to QWOP-like proportions.

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