Silence: Why Hearthstone Makes Me Less Anxious

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When I join in to a player versus player game – Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, even Guild Wars 2’s PvP – my biggest worry isn’t really how well I do, it’s how the other people in the match will react to me. This isn’t an article about how women who identify themselves as women (whether through voice-chat or feminine-coded gamertags) generally deal with more harassment in multiplayer games. That’s an entirely different, though important, discussion. Even when my gender isn’t revealed, there’s still a cloud of toxicity that permeates any multiplayer game – except for one, in my experience.

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5 Podcasts to Listen to While Gaming

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I have a confession. Despite having been on a number of game-related podcasts, I don’t listen to game podcasts much (unless I’m traveling and don’t have as much time to keep up-to-date on gaming news). Instead I usually listen to comedy or other geeky-interest podcasts. Since a majority of my gaming time is spent in MMOs, there’s a lot of time that goes by doing repetitive things or gameplay that just doesn’t require quite as much of my attention so I often listen to podcasts while working my way through the landscape or leveling alts. Here are five podcasts that I frequently turn to to help me pass the time in those less-than-exciting hours of gameplay.

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Sym – Platform Anxiety

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Since I was a teenager, I’ve been suffering from anxiety. Sometimes it’s perfectly manageable and other times it is debilitating. My life has been peppered with incidents caused by my anxiety – dropping out of a drawing course my Freshman year because I was getting so stressed out from it; breaking down crying in the airport the first time I had to fly by myself; being too anxious to eat in the dinning hall of my dorm while studying abroad; not being able to sleep through the night because I was so freaked out despite nothing being wrong with my life – the list goes on but I’ll spare you the details. So when I first read about Sym from Atrax Games – a game that aimed to illustrate what it’s like to have an anxiety disorder – my interest was definitely piqued.

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Earthtongue – Diversity at Play

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At first, it might seem like there’s not much going on in Earthtongue. You’ve got some mushrooms and bugs growing. But then as time ticks on and new fungi and bugs come to inhabit your little planet, you begin to realize just how much diversity there is in this little vivarium simulator. Balancing out all the herbivores and predators and fast growing fungi and carnivorous fungi can be tricky but getting to watch the neon spores and growths spread across your planet is surprisingly fun and addicting.

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Crypt of the Necrodancer – Fighting to the Beat

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My first experience with Crypt of the Necrodancer was in a dark back room at the first Bit Bash Chicago event in September 2014. In a tiny, cramped room filled with Killer Queen arcade machines, on one wall Crypt of the Necrodancer was being projected. In front, two Dance Dance Revolution dance pads were sprawled out and hooked up to the game. It had one of the more reasonable lines compared to all the other games set up, so my friend and I decided to wait. He got a go first and I watched carefully in an attempt to figure out how to play before I got up there and embarrassed myself. Finally when it was my turn up, we managed to get through level 1 of Zone 1 and got to the first dragon mini boss before we both died. Along the way I haphazardly sliced at enemies and accidentally dug my way through walls, trying to move my feet to the beat.

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Why I Still Buy Early Access Games

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Two years ago Steam introduced its Early Access platform to both developers and players. The system allows developers to put their game out on Steam in an unfinished state. The idea is that the system allows players access to games they are looking forward to sooner and from that the developers get more revenue earlier on as well as feedback to help them develop their games. I see a lot of people decrying the Early Access system and calling for others not to purchase any games that utilize it. Personally I feel that point of view makes the issue much more black-and-white than it is. Every game under the Early Access umbrella is different, as is every developer and their intentions and aims. I happily buy games that are still in Early Access within reason.

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4 Comics to Get Into Right Now

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If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been talking about comics a lot lately. My dream goal is to open a comic shop in my little New Zealand town since the closest shop is over four hours away. Until then I have to rely on digital services like Comixology and online ordering. It doesn’t come close to the feeling of browsing a comic shop and seeing all the art for yourself though. From following sites like Comics Alliance and the Mary Sue and creators like Kate Leth and Madeleine Flores, I’ve discovered some pretty awesome comics without having to step foot into a store though.

It can be intimidating to get into comics, especially ones with decades-long histories. But today I want to tell you about some comics that I think are super easy to get into – whether because they’re fairly new or because the writing makes it easy to follow along, even if you don’t know the history.

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