My Trip Through Borderlands: Opening Pandora’s Boxes

mulan laser

I will shoot lasers at you, asshole!

I finished Borderlands with mixed emotions. Not because of the less-than-stellar ending, but because it was a first-person shooter, a genre which I had previously eschewed, and I LOVED it. I can hear yourself saying, “So you like FPS, asiangrrlMN. What’s the problem?” The problem is, when I first started my journey into gaming, I was adamant against FPS. I was a bit of a dilettante when it coming to trying games from different genres, but I stayed very clear of FPS because, BLOPS, ugh – no way I wanted any part of that. Yes, I thought all FPS were like Black Ops: linear, on the rails, and just senseless killing. In addition, the few I’ve tried in the past made me nauseous, which is the very opposite of fun. It didn’t help that the first time I tried Portal*, I had my now-ex yelling at me to SHOOT HERE, JUMP THROUGH THIS HOLE, MOVE THERE. It was stressful, to say the least, and I didn’t even make it out of the first room before I quit.

Fast-forward a few years and to my recent foray into video games. If you read my first post, you’ll know that I’ve dabbled in different genres, but I steered clear of FPS. Then, Steam had one of its many crazy sales, and I ended up buying Portal and Portal 2 for something like seven bucks total. At Ian’s urging and because I’d heard how great Portal was, I reluctantly gave it another try. To my surprise, I was quickly hooked and powered my way through it. I got stuck a time or two, but I finished the game with gusto. (click for more Borderlands craziness)

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Confessions of a Non-Gamer Who Games

Editor’s note: A hearty welcome to asiangrrlMN, a dear friend who can usually be found at Angry Black Lady Chronicles. She’s also a prolific fiction writer, and you can find some of her excellent zombie-oriented work at Dead Shuffle.

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One of asiangrrlMN’s dark elves celebrates a Blood Bowl touchdown.

Hi, I’m asiangrrlMN, culturegamer’s partner in crime for his Let’s Play Magicka! series.  I am not a gamer, nor do I play one on TV.  I didn’t game much in my youth, save for the occasional game of Pitfall or Ms. Pac-Man, and who among us of a certain age can say differently?

In the past five years or so, I played casual games, but I shied away from hardcore games.  Let me be brutally honest – I saw the racism, sexism, and homophobia that runs through the online gaming community, and I wanted no part of it.  I’m not a joiner by nature, and I definitely didn’t want to be part of a community that was hostile to me.  Plus, I had an outmoded idea of what hardcore games were – mostly first-person shooters in the vein of Call of Duty—and I had little-to-no interest in that kind of thing.  It is with this blithe ignorance that I dismissed hardcore video games – until I met Ian, a.k.a. “culturegamer.”

Ian is passionate about games, and through our many discussions about them, he’s helped me see that they are more than ‘just games’ – they have cultural value and can be more engrossing than movies or television.  I was intrigued and requested that he find me a game.  After much consideration, he suggested Torchlight to me, and I was hooked.  I played the hell out of that game, and I loved being involved in a miniature world of dungeon-crawling, monster-smiting, and fishing!  I had a pet cat, Enigma, and if I fed her fish, she’d transmogrify into other creatures with varying powers .  I played as the Vanquisher in a large part because she’s female and looks vaguely Asian, and I quickly learned to love Mulan and her trusty Toxic Ribauldequin.  I also realized that I vastly preferred ranged characters to melee characters, and I’ve stuck with the former mostly in my subsequent forays into RPGs.

(click for more confessions)