PARRIS LILLY

Spawn On Me Episode 54: Midnight With Parris

 

Not only does Shareef Jackson come to hang out with Cee and Kah, but also GamerTagRadio’s Parris Lilly makes his first visit to Brookago! We talk about Parris’ long history in podcasting. Plus we get his take on the current state of video games. In this week’s Breakdown: We talk about Nintendo’s new console & their new mobile strategy, a new Joe Montana football and Take-Two and the ESRB. Plus, Stubby Stan gives you his Kinect tips?

Guest Info

@vicious696. @gamertagradio, @shareefjackson, @operationcube

Don’t Forget to Follow Us

@stubbystan@kahjahkins@spawnonme@spawnpointblog @dantherobot

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EVAN NARCISSE

Spawn On Me Episode 50: The Narcisse Naissance

 

Very special episodes require very special guests and we oblige like only we can! Kotaku writer, Evan Narcisse makes his first trip to Brookago! We talk about Evan’s provocative, but truthful article about blackness and gaming. Kah, Cee, Shareef Jackson and Evan talk honestly about race, gaming, representation and how we can, collectively, make things better.

Read Evan’s awesome article

Video Games’ Blackness Problem

http://kotaku.com/video-games-blackness-problem-1686694082

Guest Info – Follow Evan here on Twitter.

@EvNarc

 Don’t Forget to Follow Us

@stubbystan@kahjahkins@spawnonme@spawnpointblog @dantherobot

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ineeddiverse

Spawn On Me Episode 36: WE Need Diverse Games

We have the pleasure of talking shop with the creator of the viral Twitter tag #INeedDiverseGames Tanya Depass about how the tag originated and how important representation is in video games. We dig a little into why #NotYourShield could have had potential and why it failed. Can we make Kahlief’s rage domain purchase of SJWGames.com an investment for good?

Then in our Breakdown we talk Call Of Duty, how DLC should be done and more. This was an amazing show!

Check out Tanya’s work and I Need Diverse Games Here:

#INeedDiverseGames

 Check out their Tumblr

Follow Here on Twitter

Music Break

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsRjSK71E-8

Don’t Forget to Follow Us

@stubbystan@kahjahkins@spawnonme@spawnpointblog @dantherobot

If you like what we are doing let us know by subscribing to us on SoundcloudiTunesPodomaticStitcher, and Swell Radio!

Send all email/feedback: feedback@thespawnpointblog.com

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Missouri shooting

Spawn On Me Episode 26: #MikeBrown lived in Brookago too

As members of the black American community, we are not immune to the events of the past 10 days. We don’t pretend they do not exist and we open the show, with frequent contributor Shareef Jackson, acknowledging how the uprising in Ferguson has affected us and we talk solutions. We then talk about how the gaming media tried to marry real world events to video games. While all of this craziness was happening at home, the world’s largest gaming convention, Gamescom, was taking place in Germany this week and we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about some the biggest events taking place there. Plus, so much more!

Music Break

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 Pharoahe Monch – Welcome to the Terrordome

Special Outro

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Boogie Down Productions – Who Protects Us From You

Guest’s Info

@shareefjackson, @operationcubicle

Don’t Forget to Follow Us

@stubbystan@kahjahkins@spawnonme@spawnpointblog

If you like what we are doing let us know by subscribing to us on SoundcloudiTunesPodomaticStitcher, and Swell Radio!

Send all email/feedback: feedback@thespawnpointblog.com

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Spawn On Me Episode 14: Don’t Lose Your Day Job

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This week we welcome New York Video Games Critics Circle member, Don’t Lose Your Day Job content creator and beastly beard grower, Kevin L. Clark to the Brookago arcade. We talk about all the work he’s done, how DLYDJ became a thing and what’s in store for the future.  Kev’s stays for The Breakdown where we learn that you should simultaneously trust everything that Stubby Stan says and ignore everything he utters. Also, we find out that Japanese corporations don’t necessarily operate like American ones, and that’s a good thing.

Show Links

Watchdog’s impressively confusing preorder list

Xbox’s 180

Music Break:

The Roots – 

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Contact Info:

Kevin L. Clark, Don’t Lose Your Day Job

The Site, The Show, Kahlief, Cicero

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oculus-rift-facebook

Spawn On Me Episode 7: I is for Immersion

Episode 7 has the dubious distinction of being the first of our weekly shows.  In it we discuss how you can help us rename our news segment. We show that we’re literary geniuses, talk about what the difference between being a kickstarter backer and a real investor,  play another game of “Mad Tag” (this time Cicero is it), and much more!

Music Break: Quadir Lateef – The Quickening Arts

UPDATE: The Navel Strike DLC for Xbox One has been released but is still not available for PC.

OSU video games study

CONTACT US:

email us: feedback@thespawnpointblog.com

tweet us: SpawnOnMe, The Site, Kahlief, Cicero

Facebook us: Spawnpoint

 

 

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Black Girls Code

BlackGirlsCode’s S.T.E.M Program Might Produce Gamer’s Next “Flower”

Black Girls CODE

(Courtesy of) Black Girls CODE.

I can remember the first time I played a videogame, a small circle figure traveling around a maze chomping on dots captured not only my attention but my imagination. A secret dream I’ve always held on to was to one day make a game of my own. My love of videogames springboarded my love for computers and tech and is the reason you are reading these words on the SpawnPointBlog today.

That same love of all things nerdy is shared by an amazing organization called Black Girls Code. I became aware of them via Twitter and one my favorite shows, “The Melissa Harris Perry Show” on MSNBC. She profiled the group in her “Foot Soldiers” segment titled, “Why Girls Should Be Geeks,” and I knew that at some point I needed to reach out to them.

Well this Saturday, August 17th the New York chapter of BGC along with Hidden Level Games will be holding their first “Make a Game in a Day” class that is a part of their Summer of Code. Any parents out there with young girls should run and be a part of this wonderful program.

To give you a little info on what is going on with BGC and this Saturday class I reached out to Donna Knutt and Peta-Gay Clarke who were kind enough to answer some questions about the program via email.

Check out our interview below:

SpawnPoint: Please introduce yourself and give some background about Black Girls Code.

Donna Knutt (DK): I am Donna Knutt and I’m the Technical Lead for the New York Chapter of BlackGirlsCode. I run my own Web development company right here in New York, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with code and creating things. When I came across Black Girls Code, I jumped at the chance to be part of such an amazing organization!

Peta-Gay Clarke (PC): I am Peta-Gay Clarke and I am also the Technical Lead for the New York Chapter of BlackGirlsCode. I work as a Technical Analyst for a bank in the heart of New York. I am a graduate student at Pace University and most importantly, I am a mom to an amazing little girl. I first came across Black Girls Code via a facebook post. Once I read what this organization was doing, I thought, “We have to get this program to New York!”

DK & PC: BlackGirlsCode was founded in 2011 in San Francisco by Kimberly Bryant, a Biotechnology/Engineering professional. Kimberly decided to launch BlackGirlsCode to meet the needs of young women of color who were underrepresented in the STEM fields. Programs are geared towards girls ages 7-17 and range from Web Design classes to mobile app development classes, and even trips to tech companies. BGC’s goal is to provide girls with skills in computational reasoning and computer programming. We want to expose them to role models in the tech space and inspire them to become the next generation of tech creators and entrepreneurs. From BGC’s inception to now, much has changed but our mission remains the same: to empower girls of color to make a lasting contribution to society through the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) industries.

SP: What are some of the classes that BGC has offered in the past?

DK & PC: We’ve had classes such as Build A Webpage in a Day, Mobile App Development, and other programming workshops. We’ve also done national video game challenges across the US with our other chapters in Altanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. The New York Chapter is really excited to launch our very first Game Design Workshop this Saturday Aug 17 at Pace University!

SP:  Can you go into some detail about the Summer of Code “Make a Game in a Day” class? What are some of the rules, and what will be taught? What programs will you be using?

DK & PC: Our “Build a Game in a Day w/ Beta” workshop is this Saturday, August 17, 2013. It’s being held at the Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems from 10am-4pm. The workshop will focus on game development with Beta! Beta is an arcade puzzle platform designed to make learning how to code more fun. The Beta team of developers which includes folks like, Errol and Patrice King along with Chris Moody created the program to use codePop, a tweet-sized game programming language. Players are given a great deal of control including the ability to create and customize every aspect of their game world. The workshop is designed to encourage student-driven learning, as participants think analytically, design, play, and code in real-time. What’s unique about Beta is that it blurs the line between playing a game and creating a game. So we’re excited to see some of the things that the girls will create and do with Beta. To learn more about Beta! Visit: http://www.betathegame.

SP: Playing and later wanting to make video games proved to be my gateway into technology. What are your hopes for the young ladies going through your programs?

DK & PC: We hope that by introducing our girls to coding and STEM in general at such a young age, that we will help bridge the digital divide and help build their confidence to become tech leaders and creators. We’ve also seen that our girls have built lasting relationships with other participants in the class and those relationships can take them even further in the field.

SP: Did gaming in any way inspire you? If so, what games did you play, are there any that you would “pass down” to any young women you know? Or are there any games out there now that would get them more into tech or programming?

Donna: Gaming definitely inspired me to continue learning code. I was an avid Metal Gear Solid player. I also enjoyed games like Ico and Baldur’s Gate (a lot of RPG stuff). These games inspired me to learn more about coding so I can one day build my own game. I’m happy to see that there are a lot of initiatives out there now to get more kids involved in coding and game development (Beta for example and the Hopscotch app).

Peta: I wouldn’t say gaming inspired me to learn coding but it definitely allowed me to develop a love for technology. For me, growing up, I wasn’t your average girly girl. I think at one point I had every video game system you could imagine… from Atari to Nintendo. However, the game I played the most was on my grandmother’s PC she bought back in the 90’s. It was a Tandy 2000 and it came with a MS-DOS Operating System. It was a Mario-like game but it had a math learning component. I remember being addicted to that game and playing it day-in and day-out.

SP: What advice would you give to young girls who are curious about tech or programming?

DonnaI’d say go for it. Have them ask their parents to sign them up for workshops, and participate in community-driven events where they can meet other curious coders and hack it out together.

Peta: Take a leap of faith. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. At the rate which technology is growing, having a technical skill is imperative today and will be even more so in the near future. Furthermore, technology itself is such a broad area. If not programming, there’s the hardware area, networking area, security area. All areas that at least one member of the New York Chapter has a skill in.

SP:  What are some of BGC’s future goals? What can we look forward to in the future and what other programs will you be providing down the road?

Donna:  Black women make up only 3% of the computing workforce. I experienced that firsthand in my computer science classes in college. I was definitely part of the minority in my classes. So our goal moving forward is to continue to create a space for our girls to thrive in the tech space. We have a responsibility to our girls and as cliché as it may sound, they are our future. So we plan on creating more innovative ways to introduce our girls to STEM, and we plan to continue connecting with community partners to help bridge that divide. There is so much opportunity, especially here in New York City, and we want to make these opportunities available to our girls. We want our girls to be able to say, “I built my first app at 7 and programmed my first robot at 10.” Now wouldn’t that be a nice opener at a job interview?

SP: Lastly can you tell folks where and how they can find more information about BGC?

BGC:  We can be reached at:

Website: http://blackgirlscode.comhttp://blackgirlscode.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackGirlsCodeOrg

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blackgirlscode & http://twitter.com/volunteerbgcny for NY updates

For anyone interested in registering their girls for our workshop this Sat. Aug 17, 2013: http://nycsummerofcode2013.eventbrite.com

To register for future workshop or volunteer with the NY Chapter, email us at newyorkchapter@blackgirlscode.org

I want to thank Donna and Peta for taking time out of the schedule to be a part of this article on short notice and also for helping being involved in such an important undertaking.

As for what this means for gamers, I will say this: Many people of color have asked, pleaded, and made their voices heard about their representation in not only the games we have now but how we want to be represented in the future, not only on the small screen but in the meeting rooms when these games and concepts are being birthed.

The success of Black Girls Code means many things: a closure of the technology gap, tech workplaces that are even more inclusive than before, and a generation that is more technologically advanced and aware than we ever were. And hopefully while some these young ladies are taking over the world, they will make games that we will all enjoy.

Black Girls Code, thank you for making the world better one young geek at a time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ballpoint1

Ballpoint Universe is a Doodler’s Dream.

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ballpoint1

Things randomly come across my abundant amount of gaming and news feeds during any given day but few ever really capture my imagination like the game I’m about to tell you about. Ballpoint Universe (formerly a Kickstarter called “College-Ruled Universe”) from from Arachnid Games is strikingly beautiful. The game is a mix of both a platformer and shump that was all created by using ballpoint pens. Yes I just said the whole world is brought to life by the drawings made with ballpoint pens. I know it sounds weird but once you see these illustrations come to life you will absolutely become a believer.

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Gorgeous intricately woven foregrounds and backgrounds are here for your eyes to delight in. Whimsical otherworldly creatures greet and instruct you on how the world works. They give you missions & equipment within the platforming sections and bring life into the space. Then the game ramps up again when you get to the shooter parts, interchangeable ship parts not only add artistic flair to your ship but give you the ability to make you more formidable while fighting the waves of two-dimensional baddies.

ballpointuniversescreen1

All this along with a pretty dope original soundtrack from Doc Prop makes this a game I want right now. It looks like from their website we’ll have to wait 22 more days to get the full experience but for now check out the demo here

*To play the game you’ll have to install the Unity Web Player

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sherry jenix

UPDATE- SherryJenix Misses the Point… Again

I follow many folks in the gaming community on social media. I appreciate what they bring not only to our favorite medium, but also what they do to help grow and expand the communities that we all inhabit.

What I don’t appreciate is the misogyny, sexism, and racism that has permeated online gaming within the past ten years. It is a cancer that is ruining gaming for everyone involved but shows no sign of slowing down. I bring this all up because during my usual nightly Instagram crawl I came across this photo from fighting game community member Sherry “SherryJenix” Nhan.

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I had to double take for a moment because besides being a great player, Jenix is pretty well-known in the fighting game scene for breaking down some of the barriers that have befallen many of the women combatants in a super male-dominated field. She has gone to all the tournaments, performed extremely well, and has gotten enough exposure that she was even asked to help debut Street Fighter Cross Tekken in Capcom’s Cross Assault “reality show” earlier this year.

It has become more and more difficult for gamers of color, women, and members of the LGBT community to game without the need to cordon themselves off in muted match limbo or party chats because the rest of the world hasn’t grown up. We’ve gotten to the point that even the good guys are being attacked by other members of the community for speaking out against bigotry. A couple of recent examples include Anita Sarkeesian getting trolled while trying to address some of the video game stereotypes that involve women, and the Gamers Against Bigotry pledge site getting hacked and all petition signatures erased.

What I wonder is, why did she feel like this was ok? It’s not funny for many reasons and does nothing to further the push to make the FGC more inclusive or help remove the societal stereotypes that come along with being part of a specific group.

Knowing how hard I and others root for women like her is what makes this incident so upsetting. We all know where the word that she used derives from, and at this point no one needs to use it or any remixed version of it. The Hip-Hop’s community’s co-opting of this word has enabled people to use a historical epithet like it’s an ok thing.  I don’t agree with its use in either case; I would like to start the process of removing it from everyone’s lexicon.

I’m sure Sherry thought this was supposed to be a joke, one that you can just flippantly post on the web and think that people don’t care. Maybe next time she will use her stature and platform to promote something we can all get behind and not this kind of ignorance.

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

UPDATE

So after some initial blowback in the comments section of the above photo Nhan issued a Twitter post that initially defends her “joke” by stating that people need to “get a sense of humor”

Which lead some folks in the community to jump on the “well a black dude started it” bandwagon:


Which then lead to this badly worded apology:

“To those who got offended, I apologize”.

Not that she actually felt any remorse for what she said or repeated, not that she took responsibility for posting racially insensitive things but she is sorry that you didn’t get the joke.

The thing that I find most problematic is the co-signing to things that really shouldn’t be co-signed. We as gamers need to use our words in ways that aren’t destructive. We need to tell our fellow gamers when they step out of line and need to educate them on why.

Although she took the photo down, blocked folks who were offended and made her Instagram account private it doesn’t change the fact that she and other people still feel like this is an ok thing to do, you can see some of this even in the comments below.

People need to understand that great power carries great responsibility. Let her know what you think @sherryjenix

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Remember Me Announced From Capcom

While many of us were sleeping here stateside Capcom announced a new and interesting IP at Gamescom called Remember Me. Formerly known as Adrift, this game has you take the role of a “Memory Hunter” named Nilin. With part of your memory erased you find the tables turned in which you were once the hunter and now you are the hunted.

The game mixes third person traversal with some stylized hand-to-hand combat and looks to be set in a futuristic Paris. So far I really like what I’ve seen of the gameplay.

Here is a look:

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