The Mommy Gamers

Browsing Category:

Hot Topics

    TERA MMO Console Release Date Announced

    En Masse Entertainment announced today that TERA, the true action MMO designed for consoles, releases for free on Xbox One and PlayStation®4 April 3, 2018. Come launch, gamers will be immersed in a massive world that combines the high adventure of epic MMORPGs with TERA’s own trademarked fast-paced precision combat mechanics.

    Gamers too eager to wait for April 3 can purchase TERA Founder’s Packs beginning March 27 for $29.99. Founder’s Packs include a full week of Head Start access, also beginning March 27, and grant a variety of compelling in-game items to diehard players.

     

    Watch the new TERA Coming Soon trailer HERE:

     

    “There is a lot of excitement in gaming to finally see the action combat TERA is so famous for realized on console,” states Matt Denomme, Sr. Product Manager at En Masse Entertainment. “We had an amazing reception to our Open Beta test from TERA veterans and newcomers. We are pumped to finally bring the deep, challenging, definitive MMO experience gamers have been waiting for to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.”

    Featuring streamlined interfaces, intelligent button mapping and new gameplay systems to compliment TERA’s trademark fast-paced combat, all of the skills, tactics, and high-octane combos that make TERA’s combat so deep and satisfying are now in hands of console gamers. With a character type to match nearly every play style and innumerable customization options, TERA gives every player a gameplay experience that is uniquely their own. Quest solo, bring your friends, make new allies and take on Big Ass Monsters (BAMs)… the world of TERA awaits.

    TERA will be available across the Xbox One family of devices and the PlayStation 4 on April 3, 2018. Head Start for Founder’s Pack purchasers begins March 27.

    For Founder’s Pack details, please visit: tera-online.com/founders-pack

    Download the new TERA Coming Soon trailer and images HEREpress.reverbinc.com/5

    For more information on TERA, please visit the official site tera.enmasse.comand follow the game on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

    Author
    Share on

    New Fortnite Update Introduces Battle Royal PvP Mode

    Fortnite Battle Royale PvP Mode The Mommy Gamers

    Today, Epic Games announced Fortnite Battle Royale, an all-new PvP mode coming to the action-building game Fortnite on Sept. 26, available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Fortnite released in July as a paid early access game for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Mac. PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds players will find this new mode familiar as Fortnite Battle Royale similarly drops 100 players onto one giant map. Combat and building skills will be put to the test and the last commander standing wins. Check out the Battle Royal Announce Trailer here:


    Fortnite will also be available on discount this week at 25% off the Standard and Deluxe Founder’s Packs. The price discount runs through Sept. 18. Anyone who owns Fortnite can immediately play Battle Royale in the special Public Test for Fortnite Players that runs now until the launch on Sept. 26. Though it is worth reminding everyone that Fortnite is still an early access game, so players will likely experience crashes and bugs. From my personal experience with the game thus far, the crashes are few and far between.

    The Mommy Gamers community has been enjoying Fortnite on our Twitch streams found here. We also frequently team up through our Discord server, so if you are looking for friends to battle and adventure with check out our Discord community here.  I know I haven’t been bringing you guys a lot of gaming news, but I am really having a great experience with Fortnite and PUBG and I had to dump my excitement out somewhere. You’re welcome?

    For more information on Fortnite and to pick up the game visit the Epic Games site here.

    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 170: Of Eclipses and Uranus

    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 170: Of Eclipses and Uranus

    For Episode 170 of The Mommy Gamers Podcast Carrie and Marcia are joined by Jeff Hannah, Principal Technical Artist at Volition Games to chat about the release of Agents of Mayhem. Jeff chats about all of the local community hype revolving around the game launch, and Carrie gets extra excited about all the Uranus jokes because #ButtStuff. The ladies introduce a new segment titled “You Know You’re Old When…”, everyone chats about their experience with the solar eclipse, and for some reason something about a poop emoji plunger Kickstarter made it in here too. An awesome listener question regarding the current trend of early access games turns into a really great discussion, which helped make this a very well balanced episode and one you won’t want to miss.

    Shout out to our newest Patreon supporter Dee Phair! If you love our show, and want to support us and get fun rewards including a shout out on the next podcast, you can join our Patreon community here.

    Also, you don’t have to come back here every week to get the latest podcast. You can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on iHeart RadioGoogle Play MusiciTunes and Stitcher or you can access The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to catch the live streams on Twitch and follow them us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook too!

    What Is It with This Pokemon Go Thing Anyway?

    pokeGOlogoYou’ve been hearing about it ad nauseum, and you’re shaking your head at the bands of kids trespassing on your property in search of the Pokemon that’s apparently hiding in your backyard. You put up this meme:

    pokemongo

    Nevertheless, at least half the people walking down the street with their phones are clearly not 10, either. Some of us even have jobs. So what is the deal with Pokemon Go? Why do you hate it so much? Why does it feel so invasive? Why is everyone playing it in inappropriate places? Well, before you out yourself as the grumpy old person yelling at kids to get off your lawn, here’s what you need to know:

    

The Basics

    pokemonteams

    The teams are Valor (red – discipline), Instinct (yellow – intuition, and Mystic (blue – intellect). Players can choose a team at Level 5.

    Pokemon Go is a free app available for smartphones, an “augmented reality” game from The Pokemon Company and Niantic, Inc. This basically means that it puts virtual gameplay onto a map of the real world, and players interact with both. Pokemon Go is designed to get people out and about, to make them happier and healthier. It does this by generating virtual “pocket monsters” (that’s what Pokemon stands for), well known from previous Pokemon games and thus already favorites with fans, that appear on the phone screen.

    Players catch Pokemon with a flick of the wrist – throwing a virtual Pokeball toward the target. 

In addition to roaming Pokemon, the game also includes PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms. PokeStops are basically stationary rings that you can spin to get free items such as Pokeballs, which are used to catch Pokemon, along with eggs, which hold Pokemon inside and can be hatched if you do a certain amount of walking, and other enhancements. Gyms are places where players can battle each other. If you win a battle, you can take over the gym.

    Playing Pokemon Go is easy. Open the app, and the GPS finds your location. Your screen shows you which Pokemon are close, and where nearby PokeStops and Gyms are located. Start walking. You’ll find Pokemon along the way. At level 5, you can join one of three teams – Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue), or Valor (red). Think of it as being sorted into a house at Hogwarts – your identification becomes tied in with these groups.

    

The Good

    artinst

    The Art Institute of Chicago posted a controversial Facebook post this week encouraging visitors to come find Pokemon inside – in this case, in front of its iconic Chagall windows.

    Pokemon Go is a game of discovery. It makes people get out and explore their neighborhoods, and it encourages socializing. My son has actually been getting off the couch this summer and going outside. Last night I took him to Ravinia Festival for an outdoor musical concert, and he talked to at least ten people about the game. We went to the zoo, where I’ve been volunteering every other week 20 years, and I didn’t recognize half the PokeStops because they were at statues and landmarks I’ve ignored in all my visits there. I had no idea they existed. In my hometown, I discovered a war memorial I must have passed 100 times, and never noticed before.

    Anecdotes already abound about how Pokemon is helping people’s mental health. And it’s giving local businesses a boost. Because Pokemon Go is so popular, entrepreneurs are trying to figure out how to utilize it for their own purposes and small businesses are seeing an uptick in sales from people coming in the door to find Pokemon. Pet shelters and museums and retailers are advertising the presence of Pokemon to get people in the door. (If you are looking for ways to leverage the popularity of the game, I recommend making an in-app purchase; spend $1 – 100 PokeCoins- and set off a lure, which will attract Pokemon and customers for 30 minutes after you activate it.) Also, T-Mobile just announced that data used to play Pokemon Go will not count towards its users’ data allowance.

    Ultimately, the addictive appeal for Pokemon can be a good thing. The goal of hatching eggs is already making more inroads than my Fitbit Alta in getting me to walk places, and I’ve never seen my son so excited to go places that might have Pokemon. The zoo! The botanic garden! The hardware store down the street, which has a gym! And there will be more ways for small businesses to leverage the game’s popularity, too, such as sponsorships that will turn them into portals.

    The Bad

    Screenshot_2016-07-14-23-02-49

    Here’s a screenshot of my phone, with a promotion that showed up on my feed from Binny’s Beverage Depot.

    As with any other engrossing app, Pokemon Go has people looking down at their phones instead of ahead. This can cause problems, because people not paying attention can cause accidents and such (although that traffic accident supposedly caused by someone playing the game is totally false, bad things are happening to players who are careless or who are putting themselves in danger). In addition, Pokemon tend to spawn everywhere, even places that aren’t necessarily friendly to the public, and Gyms and PokeStops can be located in unexpected locations.

    This is because, by the way, Niantic put out a previous game called Ingress, in which users submitted “portals” to be included on the virtual map that’s now basically being used for Pokemon Go. There are rules for these submissions, so PokeStops and Gyms do not interfere with private property, emergency services, or schools. Not all of these locations are completely current because things change so often in the real world, which is why players may end up in locations that don’t truly exist anymore (Please note: you can now submit requests to create portals in the game).

    There are other issues (for example, click here for the word on the game’s overly broad permissions ask). Different Pokemon are found in different locations, and at different times of day. So it can very well be dangerous for some people to play. I know a white man who feels uncomfortable loitering around parks where women and children are clustered. I’ve heard stories of black men who feel the game is too dangerous for them to enjoy, given the present climate. I’ve heard tales from physically disabled people who literally cannot access places where where Pokemon are found. It is not a perfect situation.

    

The Ugly

    Screenshot_2016-07-15-09-04-32

    A game screen, with map. The blue rings at the bottom are a PokeStop; click on it, and a photo of the landmark appears. You spin it to  get items. The darker blue landmark in the distance is a Gym, and it’s blue because right now it’s controlled by Team Mystic. On the bottom right of the screen, the white box tells you which Pokemon are near. If you click on a Pokemon as it appears, the screen changes to a camera image of what’s in front of you, with Pokemon superimposed and a PokeBall ready to “throw.” I caught a Rattata on my bed this morning…

    In the nine or so days that the game has been available, there’s been been a lot of buzz on the Internet, and much of it is bad. Any obsession, enjoyed without rules and not in moderation, can of course be dangerous, and there is etiquette to be learned and followed. The game is new, and people haven’t thought about the consequences of their actions yet (most of them have never heard of Ingress, so they don’t have experience with a game of this type). On the other hand, Pokemon Go gamers have been called many bad names by people who don’t understand the game’s appeal. The Internet is judgey, as usual. The comments sections should not be read.

    If Pokemon Go players are encroaching on your space, you have every right to say something. If they are breaking rules by sneaking in someplace that requires paid admission, that’s wrong. It’s true that there are currently PokeStops in some places that might be viewed as inappropriate – those places were put on the map by previous Ingress players and are only now being deemed offensive because of the number of people playing Pokemon Go. No one even noticed them before. In the past, however, Niantic (once a part of Google) has been responsive about removing them. The people who placed portals in these places most likely had good intentions – bringing people in, for example. It doesn’t mean players are being forced to use those stops, though. As more people play, and as everyone understands the problems of having Pokestops in these locations, things will change.

    But in my experience, it is both possible to stay out of the way of people while I’m playing Pokemon Go, and also be tolerant of people who are, after all, simply enjoying a fun little game that is getting them out and about. Just give players a little time to adjust. I’ll also remind the naysayers that the novelty will wear off – and although there will be updates and changes (an announcement about trading and other improvements has already been made), Pokemon Go – which is, after all, a fun game but not a really great one – will be much less appealing in the winter. At least, here in Chicago. If you live in Florida, you may be out of luck.

    If some kids do cross your lawn in search of Pokemon, feel free to channel the spirit of the game. Instead of yelling at them, why not ask them about it and make some new friends?

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Author
    Share on

    Yaya Han’s new cosplay fabric collection is out!

    The Yaya Han Collection Fabric (2)

    This past weekend at C2E2 in Chicago, I saw probably more costumes than I ever remember seeing at the comic book convention. Now, I’m no cosplayer myself (I mean, I can technically sew…). However, I can certainly appreciate the artistry that goes into creating costumes, and I’ve often marveled at how lovingly crafted they are. And yes, I’ve wondered, where did she get that material and how does he go to the bathroom?

    P1040532

    Cosplayer extraordinaire Yaya Han, speaking yesterday at C2E2 about her new line of cosplay fabrics, says she was “honored and flattered” to be tapped to help out with the fabric line.

    So, earlier this year when I heard about Yaya Han’s line of cosplay fabric, I was interested in an academic and abstract way. I very well might have gotten more into cosplay when I was younger if I knew at all where to find stuff (I used to dress up as Deanna Troi because it required one low-cut flared dress and one Starfleet logo communicator pin). And I like pretty fashion things.

    Given the coalescing of mainstream culture and cosplay represented by my very anecdotal observation about the proliferation of costumes at C2E2, this feels like an idea whose time has come.

    The Yaya Han collection, an exclusive line created by CosplayFabrics.com with input from Han and available only at JoAnn Fabrics stores and joann.com, officially debuted on Friday. In fact, I hear that some people at C2E2 were already wearing costumes made from them. I had a chance to experience the fabrics for myself on the show floor; now, I have no idea what constitutes great cosplay fabric, but I can tell you many of them do stretch in four different directions as advertised and there are some really lovely colors and patterns.

    “Sourcing fabrics has been an intricate part of cosplay,” Han said at her press conference, noting that in the past, cosplay has often consisted of dyeing, manipulating, and digging deep in terms of research. Finding the very materials needed was a huge part of the process. So, streamlining this part of it helps cosplayers in a big way: “This puts the focus on creativity, instead of running around finding things,” she said.

    Yaya Han cosplay fabrics

    A rep demonstrates the four-way stretch capability of one of the fabrics on the show floor.

    The fabrics are now easily accessible by everyone within driving distance of a Jo-Ann Fabrics store, which is huge. Previously, specialty fabrics like these had to be purchased online, which made it impossible for cosplayers to determine quality, flexibility, breathability, durability, texture, and accurate color-matching. In addition to accessibility, Han believes it’s important to offer a variety of materials and colors in different designs for different genres, from anime and steampunk to fantasy and superhero. And naturally, comfort is a big deal too.

    It sounds like Han and CosplayFabrics.com are already looking forward to expanding the line, which currently consists of 75 different fabrics across 16 different categories. They include four-way stretch spandex, four-way jumbo spandex, brocade and coutil fabrics. Coatings include foil, leather, and embossed armor plate. So, if demand is high, the Yaya Han collection could be here to stay – and it might get bigger and better.

    For cosplayers, this could represent more than just another step in the right direction. It’s also recognition that cosplaying is an innovative and creative art form, one that’s becoming more popular, more visible, and more mainstream. “The most wonderful thing here is that somebody noticed us little cosplayers,” Han said.

    CosplayFabrics.com appears to be open to feedback on how to improve the collection, once everyone has had a chance to actually experience the materials in real life, so go check it out at your local store and see what you think. I’d be interested in hearing input from actual cosplayers as to how the fabrics really work.

    Category
    Geekery, Hot Topics, News
    Author
    Share on

    J.K. Rowling Makes Missteps, But I Still Heart Harry Potter

    pottermagicnaNot too long ago I joined my very first Harry Potter-based fan group, a Facebook group called Platform 9 3/4 (for those of you who care, I was sorted into Hufflepuff). As a result, my feed is full of Potter-related memes these days – everything from silly jokes to tributes to Alan Rickman, and I’m part of a community of passionate fans. I was as excited as anyone to hear about J.K. Rowling’s release of information, in four parts this past week, regarding North American wizards. It comes in anticipation of the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a movie trilogy slated to begin later this year. The movie series is set in historical New York.

    As you may know, the very first installment of “History of Magic in North America” (which, by the way, does not at all mention Mexico or Canada), titled “Fourteenth Century-Seventeenth Century,” caused an uproar almost as soon as it showed up on Pottermore, the official Harry Potter website. Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling made some mistakes here. The most obvious one for me, as a non-Native American, was the way she identified the whole population of indigenous people as one big culture. There are other issues, such as her treatment of the legend of the “skin walkers,” a distinctly Navajo tradition that she says has a basis in fact because they are actually Animagi.

    Basically, her blunders in this piece can be summed up to generalization and appropriation. She takes a non-mystical culture and claims it for her magical Potter world. She’s guilty of treating Native Americans the way that most stereotypes in literature and other forms of media have done for hundreds of years. (You can read more about this on the Native Appropriations blog and at National Geographic).

    I’ve been privy to some discussion about this piece through Platform 9 3/4, and the general consensus of people who don’t get where I’m coming from is this: “It’s only fiction. What’s the big deal?” Coming from people who’ve invested so much time, energy, and emotion into the Potterverse, this is a bit ironic. The problem is that stories have power, and they educate just as much as non-fiction does – maybe more, considering how many people read Rowling’s stories. So many fans missed the whole point of the criticism because they’ve been hearing this same sort of thing and seeing misrepresentation all their lives. They didn’t even notice that the piece was problematic. THAT is the “big deal.” That we don’t know our history, and we accept the homogenization of an entire culture without questioning it at all. If you don’t think this has real-world ramifications, check out the support base of one Donald Trump. The Mary Sue explains the whole controversy better here.

    ilvermornyI believe that Potterheards are bristling at any takedown of Rowling, whom they refer to as “the Queen.” Rowling has historically been sensitive to issues of race and gender. She defends Serena Williams, thinks its great that the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will have a black Hermione, and defends her decision to make Dumbledore gay (selections from her Twitter feed can be found here). But she’s still a white woman who lives in the U.K., not America, with all the privilege that comes with that identification, and she’s human. I don’t think she’s a bad person at all – she just drank the Kool-Aid, and she shouldn’t have. As the creator of a world loved by so many, I wish she’d done better.

    This isn’t the only error Rowling has made, although it’s the biggest. As a lover of her stories, I have tried to rationalize other (mostly small) Rowling mistakes. For example, snakes don’t blink in real life, and that bit has always bothered me about the first Harry Potter book (see the scene, early in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, where Harry meets the snake at the zoo). I’ve always explained this away to kids at the zoo where I volunteer by saying that “maybe magical snakes don’t blink.” The most glaring example of this in these four short essays that make up the history of North America appears to be the formation of MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America, in 1693. I suppose I’m willing to believe that the wizards influenced the naming of the U.S.A….but the thing is, we were still just colonies all the way up to 1776.

    My criticism doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the rest of the history, which is interesting both in terms of the differences between Rowling’s English world and the American one, and in its own right. It’s clearly a rich source of potential story material. She goes into the witch trials, segregation, even Prohibition. In doing so, she mentions some of the magical creatures of America, such as Sasquatch, and groups of evildoers such as the Scourers – wizarding mercenaries that played a role in the Salem witch trials.

    Rowling clearly tried to incorporate some of the major themes of American history, although she skates a bit over things like slavery (sounds like the Scourers may have been involved here, too), the massacre of her mystical Native Americans, and our wars. She doesn’t even talk about Ilvermorny, the wizarding school, much. I mean, I realize she has to limit the scope just for the sake of brevity, but I’d have liked to know how those issues played out in the wizarding world, and can I get sorted into Ilvermorny or WHAT?

    Overall, I liked delving into the American Harry Potter world. “History of Magic in North America” did what it was supposed to, which is to psyche me up for the release of the “Fantastic Beasts” movie and spark my imagination about what wizarding would be like in my own country. I love the world Rowling has created, and I am glad to be part of a community that’s so fiercely loyal to it. I do hope “the Queen” herself, based on the progressiveness she has shown in public, would challenge herself in the future to do better in understanding and representing marginalized cultures, and so I have no trouble doing the same.

    Category
    Hot Topics, News
    Author
    Share on

    Star Wars Cast Spoils The Force Awakens (Just Kidding)

    I’m not an obsessed Star Wars fan. I’ve seen the movies and will probably be marathoning through them machete order soon, I just haven’t been waiting at the edge of my seat for this new movie to come out. I haven’t minded that my facebook feed has been flooded with Star Wars memes, light saber profile photos, or even Star Wars branded fruit. What I have minded are all the silly declarations of unfriending and attempted murder over potential spoilers being released. With all that being said I find this NERDIST Fake pretty funny.

    http://nerdist.com/the-star-wars-cast-spoils-the-force-awakens-kind-of/

    Category
    Hot Topics, Movies
    Share on

    Lays Flavored Chips: Southern Biscuits and Gravy + West Coast Truffle Fries

    Lays Flavored Chips

    If you haven’t heard yet, Lays potato chips does this crazy thing called “Do Us a Flavor” where they ask people to come up with outrageous flavors which are later voted on by the community. In podcast Episode 98: One Armed Ninja we briefly discuss some of these peculiar flavors. In an effort to take things one step further (and gross Marcia out at the same time), John and I decided to make a tasting video of the two flavors we purchased. Said video is featured below. The review itself is about 4 minutes long and the rest is… well, you’ll see. Enjoy!

Live now! Click to join the party!
CURRENTLY OFFLINE