I love the "Eat This, Not That" books, but there's that "too much of a good thing"...thing. You really only need to look at one book to see that resta I love the "Eat This, Not That" books, but there's that "too much of a good thing"...thing. You really only need to look at one book to see that restaurant food is deceptively calorie dense, and the grocery store version to shop smarter. I appreciate that they will help people reach their goals, but I almost feel like this would be better as a Consumer Reports style magazine on food vs. an endless series of books....more
Gamer Pals: keep in mind this is a fantasized young adult graphic novel, so there are going to be some inaccuracies and oddities, but for the purposesGamer Pals: keep in mind this is a fantasized young adult graphic novel, so there are going to be some inaccuracies and oddities, but for the purposes of the story, that's ok.
I like the story and Anda's attempts to do the right thing, however naive it is. I love the message behind the story, which is that real people are on the other side of the keyboard on the internet.
The gold farmer, Raymond, hit both a sore and soft spot with me, as I've personally experienced something similar and I'm still a little achy over it, years later.
Gamers and Sexism: I have never encountered women afraid to play female characters in a gaming setting. I'm sad to think this happens. Some men get flack for playing female characters as well - in fact, I think I've seen more of this over the years than females getting grief for just being...females.
I haven't encountered a lot of gender discrimination, myself, outside of forums, but here are my experiences:
I started with first person shooters, and online, there was a mix of expectations from the "guys" about my performance. Some - who remain friends - saw me as just another friendly player to compete against. But there was the odd player that could not stomach being beaten by a female. One man, whenever I won a match against him, would angrily log off without a word. Apparently as a female, I should naturally not be as skilled at pointing and clicking pixels as a man. This reaction, however, was rare. I ran into more sexism issues on discussion forums than I did in the game.
In Everquest II (MMORPG), which I've played for 10 years now, I've really had no real outside "issues" with gender until I moved into the role of raid leader. Raid leader, to a few, was synonymous with the girl who wants to play football with the boys. Some felt I didn't have the knowledge (a reasonable assessment at the time, I had much to learn), but some could just not stand the idea of taking direction from a female. We had a few dramatic exits and tantrums.
So this is to say: I appreciate anything that forwards the idea of females in gaming as sensible, rational people who are there to play a game and enjoy it or compete as equals, rather than ditsy, spacey girls who are there to soak up attention and use the promise of their sexuality as a currency to gain favor or items.
The main character of this comic is emotional and conflicted, but she's not in it for the attention. She's in it to have fun and try to do what is right. I appreciate that there's a lesson there in her going against the grain and against a guild officer's pressure to conform and fit in, in favor of what her conscience tells her is the right thing to do. Good girl. Naive girl, in the end, but good girl.
Gold Farmers: Years ago, we had a guild member named Freehero. A wonderfully sweet young man from China who'd started out on the path to become a monk, and had changed his plans, wanting to meet a girl and get married. He was in school for a computer science degree.
There was something about his personality - he had a gentle sort of character that was immediately endearing and made his in-game friends feel protectively towards him. Thus, when he disappeared from the game, I missed him and worried about him, hoping he was ok.
Around this time, I was a Game Guide for SOE, as well as a guild leader on my "play" server. Game Guides have no authority, but they're expected to abide by and uphold the terms of service, as well as report misconduct - both as players and in their official capacity. Our guild charter was strict about anything involving cheating.
Early on, Chinese "gold farmers") were a plague in EQ2, frustrating players by monopolizing questing areas and sending spam messages. Sony had started taking measures to remove them from the game, filtering spam channels and banning known farmers accounts along with players who purchased from them or supported them. There was a strong stigma towards them both from the players and on the official side, since buying gold and in-game items with real money was expressly illegal by the game terms of service.
Also, because, you know... it's cheating.
One afternoon, I ran into a gold farmer (I loved the "Qwxerqwrl" type name Anda gives her lowbie character, which is a total gold farmer style name) and he sent me a tell, referring to my character by her familiar name: Nini (her full name is Ninibi). I responded with a ? and he "came out." It was Freehero, who said he wanted to confess that he was still around and what he was doing. He knew I would disagree with it and was afraid that I would be angry. I couldn't be angry, but I was disappointed and asked him what had got him into farming. He explained that even with his degree, he was not making very much money at all. Farming gold, he was making roughly $400 a month, which felt like a fortune. He told me "all the girls scream for money! If I want to have a house and a car, I have to have money or I won't be able to get a girlfriend!"
That conversation was an eye opener. Because it was my friend on the other side of this, suddenly the farmers were no longer faceless. There were real needs and interests going into the behavior on the other side of what was to us, as gamers, a frustrating/annoying competition for territory. I had engaged in stubborn battles with gold farmers in areas who had blocked me from finishing quests and reaching objectives - I'd take the "if I can't do it, neither can you" perspective, bring in a higher level character, and clear out the whole area, depriving them of their income. I don't regret doing this, as I was paying a monthly fee to play the game and asserting my ability to actually play it, but encountering Freehero made me lose my hostility.
That was our last conversation. I assume that account was banned and he continued to make others while he could. I never got to talk to him again. I adored Freehero - he had such a gentle personality and I missed his presence in our guild. Through gameplay and conversation, guild members become friends, then an odd extended family, and losing anyone from that circle is painful. I still wish I knew what had become of him, but there is no way to know.
So for me, this was especially touching. Even the drawings of the farmer's avatars convey a certain vulnerability that I felt in my friend. These are people who are being exploited, they are doing a job, and they're trying to make a paycheck. I saw the main character as having her heart in the right place, and being naive in the way young girls often are when it comes to their ideals and world view. That Raymond took her advice to heart just speaks to his own youth, so I didn't find that terribly unbelievable. I did find the rally to his support at the end pretty far fetched, though. But again, it's a story, it doesn't have to be totally accurate, and the motive is in the right place.
I recommend it for teens and parents of teens. It may be a great discussion point if you don't know about gaming, giving your teenager a chance to explain the inaccuracies and share their thoughts on the topics. ...more
This is a Young Adult book & I'm rating this according to the audience it is intended for: Teen
In that context, I think this is an excellent readThis is a Young Adult book & I'm rating this according to the audience it is intended for: Teen
In that context, I think this is an excellent read for 16-20 or so. The humor is right in their ballpark - self deprecating, lots of deadpan comments and sarcasm (it got a bit tiresome for me, nearly 40). There is sexuality and language, but it's a rare 16 year old that hasn't been exposed to this already, anyway.
The only thing that I really felt was inappropriate was the wording of a comment in his chapter regarding the first time he got drunk. He says, "Some of you might be thinking, so what, my parents know I drink and they don't care. My parents are not your parents, and they had a justified reason to not want me drinking; it was really unsafe."
I think this could have been worded in a better way, perhaps one that doesn't unintentionally undermine parents who don't want their kids drinking because it is unsafe, albeit, for different reasons.
The rest of the book was great. It gave insight and perspective and promotes acceptance in the same way Wonder (Juvenile Fiction) does. His positive attitude and his non profit work are fantastic. I can see why Shane Burcaw has been an inspiration to so many people. ...more
This was a little too much memoir for me. A patron requested it due to her daughter's issues with alopecia and, having struggled with the same issue,This was a little too much memoir for me. A patron requested it due to her daughter's issues with alopecia and, having struggled with the same issue, myself, I was curious to read this woman's story.
It is instead a more thorough memoir about her (entire) life, very densely written. As another reviewer mentioned, it is a beautiful book. She's a designer, and the book reflects this - lots of photos and color, lovely paper.
But I really was interested in her struggle with her hair and coming to terms with it. This was the area where I felt I might relate to the author. Because there was so much other content, I just couldn't feel drawn in or relate to her.
I really can't, therefore, recommend it to people who are dealing with this issue. I think it is better recommended to people who know of her already and are curious about her life.