Here is the latest from the controversial mother of a nine-year-old girl who launched a Kickstarter to make her own RPG. And it looks quite promising.
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What began as a cute and inspirational story about a girl gamer has turned into a major divisive issue.
When news first broke about nine-year-old Mackenzie Wilson’s Kickstarter to create her own RPG, the coverage — including ours — was largely positive Her goal was to raise $829 to cover the cost of a programming camp. She’s since earned more than $21,000.
Since the story went big, folks have been digging up info MacKenzie’s mom, Susan Wilson, who is managing the Kickstarter. Among their findings: She’s the former CEO of a debt-collecting firm, she was named one of Fortune’s Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs and she was among CNN’s most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. Also, she once bought a very expensive pair of shoes.
Move over, brogrammers. The next generation is here, in the form of an entrepreneurial nine-year-old blonde girl on a scooter.
As of writing this, Mackenzie Wilson, 9, has raised more than $14,000 on Kickstarter to create a role-playing video game. She — or, more accurately, her mom — set up the page two days ago, asking for a paltry $829.
Most people call me Kenzie. I’m 9, in 3rd grade, and I’m getting straight A’s. I’ve always been the tallest person in my class and this year I’m actually taller than my teacher. I love computers, video games, apps, and role playing games – especially Magic the Gathering and Borderlands 2 that I get to play with my Dad (because my 15 & 16 year old brothers are too mean to play with me). But we do have D&D tournaments on the weekends which is cool. My favorite PS3 game right now is Dragon Age II.
An anonymous developer has come under fire for building a Counterstrike map set in Vancouver’s Port Moody Secondary School.
They called her names. They threatened her. They even made a video game about punching her in the face. But the haters couldn’t stop pop-culture critic Anita Sarkeesian from producing her Kickstarter-funded video series, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.
The first episode hit the tubes today, and be warned, it goes after some of gaming’s sacred crows. But, as Sarkeesian says: “Remember that it’s both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.”
While America debates what role, if any, violent video games played in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, kind-hearted gamers are using the medium they love to help those most affected.
Andrew, who has always had an arcade in the basement of his home, was hosting a December birthday party for his son on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The family sent out emails to everyone invited, leaving it to the families to decide if they still wanted to attend.
“Not only did every kid come, but a whole bunch of the neighborhood came too,” he said. “I just knew from that moment that, wow, this is something that’s bigger than us, how kids would enjoy these games and have fun with it. I thought, hey, let’s see if we can make this a bigger sort of thing for the whole town.”
The arcade — which doesn’t charge anything for kids to come in and play with their pinball machines, arcade games or Xbox 360s — is run entirely on donations.
Polygon’s Tom Connors calls it “a place where families can perhaps for a moment forget the tragedy that swept through the town and shocked the nation. A place that allows kids to be kids again.”
Or you can donate to Gamers For Sandy Hook, which is helping to cover the costs of victims’ medical bills and funerals.
Okami HD is a beautifully rendered argument against the very idea of gaming as mindless violence.
Where other blockbuster games centre around carnage, destruction and personal achievement, Okami HD instead rewards creation and revitalization and selflessness. While the crux of the gameplay involves solving puzzles and fighting monsters, countless hours are also devoted to bringing dead trees back to life, feeding hungry animals and helping restore villagers’ self-esteem.
A vibrant, high-definition re-release of the acclaimed PlayStation 2 and Wii title, Okami HD is set in a fictional world resembling a watercolour painting of classical Japan. The adventure begins when a great evil descends upon Kakimi village and the surrounding land of Nippon. The powerful trees that once warded off bad spirits are left wilted and blackened. The once-lush landscapes are rendered barren and desolate. The people have lost their faith, both in themselves, and in a higher power.
The ancient sun goddess Amaterasu – Ammy for short – is awoken after 100 years of slumber. In the form of a white wolf, she sets about restoring the land. And in completing this quest, the pen – or, more accurately, brush – is mightier than the sword.
You’ll climb the backs of giant ogres, desperately hacking and slashing as they try to wriggle you off. You’ll triumph in the glory of slicing a chimera’s snake-tail from its body and watching it writhe in pain. You’ll gobble down health potions as bandits rain explosive arrows down upon you as wolves nip at legs. You’ll curse your luck as you hide in the shadows of a cave, waiting for the sun to come up and the monsters to go away.
But you won’t fall in love. You won’t make friends. And you won’t find yourself lost in a storybook tale within a rich fantasy universe.
Dragon’s Dogma is an action role-playing game that’s heavy on action, but sadly lacking in role-playing. Fortunately, its riveting combat and challenging gameplay mostly make up for a meatless plot and mindless characters that leave the world ringing hollow.