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By SarahTheRebel On 2 Aug, 2013 At 09:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com.

I recently interviewed Deja, better known as Jade Aurora. Jade is an artist, model, and cosplayer from Detroit, MI.

Me as Bellatrix Lestrange, Youmacon 2012

Me as Bellatrix Lestrange, Youmacon 2012.

1.) When did you first start cosplaying? What inspired you to start?

I started cosplaying in 2011. What inspired me to start cosplaying was in 2010 when my best friends convinced me to attend Youmacon with them. This was the first anime convention I ever went to. Seeing all those people dressed up in these amazing, kickass costumes is what inspired me to join the cosplay club, lol.

2.) What are your favorite video games?

My favorite video games are Super Smash Bros., Mortal Kombat, and Dead or Alive. I don’t know if this counts, but I am a huge Sims addict!

3.) What’s your favorite anime?

I have quite a few favorite animes, but my absolute favorites are Sailor Moon and Soul Eater. Death the Kid can take my soul any day.

4.) What’s your favorite cosplay memory?

I would have to say that my favorite memory was during Youmacon 2011. I was cosplaying as Princess Tiana, and my friends and I were on our way to a panel, when a little girl and her mother stopped us. The little girl thought I was really Tiana, and wanted a picture of me. It was very heartwarming.

Jade Aurora, Cosplay, Tiana, Youmecan 2011, black, female, cosplayer

Jade as Princess Tiana, Youmacon 2011.

5.) What advice do you have for other girls interested in cosplaying and modeling?

Do what you feel. Cosplay is about having fun. Don’t let race, gender, or size stop you from indulging in your fandom. To those who want to take the path to modeling: be prepared, because it is not easy. The modeling industry can be very cutthroat and catty, and you will hear a lot of nos before you hear yes. And do your homework and always take precautions, because there are people who take advantage of women and prey on their dreams to become models. But modeling can be very fulfilling. You will gain confidence in yourself, and will begin to embrace YOU, flaws and all.

Great advice! You can find Jade Aurora on her Facebook page.

By SarahTheRebel On 4 Jun, 2013 At 10:53 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, ROG News, Television | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on Nerdy But Flirty

The other day, we mentioned an awesome Kickstarter by Ashphord Jacoway for her one-woman show I Wish My Life Was an RPG. I’ve seen the show a few times, and it is AMAZING, so I jumped at the chance to interview Ashphord about this latest iteration, which will be performed at the renowned Hollywood Fringe Festival. Oh, and if her name sounds familiar, you may have seen her on season three of The Tester.

ashphordjacoway

1.) What inspired you to create this show?

When I was in college, I took a solo performance class with my teacher and inspiration, Dr.Tawnya Pettiford-Wates. We were asked to bring in material that struck us emotionally and that we were passionate about. I thought of my love for gaming and anime first, and that evolved into an idea – I would discuss life as a female gamer. I had found the passion aspect, but it felt like I was missing the emotional connection. At the time, I was reconnecting with my African ancestry and finding a love for my own culture. As a kid growing up in Northern California, I grew up around a lot of white people and, as a result, the black people I met when I moved to Virginia did not accept the way that I talked or acted. I chose to explore my fears and concerns with my race and the gaming community combined.

2.) What’s your favorite RPG of all time?

My favorite RPG of all time is Earthbound. My favorite game of any other genre is Tetris Attack, cause I’m sooooo good at it.

3.) How long have you been a gamer?

I have been gaming for nineteen years now.

4.) What do you do to prepare for the show?

Now, since the work is so ingrained into my body (I know the show inside and out), I do run-throughs each week and try to add new things to keep it fresh. I also meet once a week with my director, Mischa Livingstone. He cast me after my first audition in LA, and we’ve been close ever sense. I also spend this time playing video games; it helps for research!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPekt6h-drI

 

5.) How does it feel being a part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival?

I feel so blessed. The community is wonderful, and the love and support from my family and friends is even better. It’s nice, because when I’m asked what projects I am working on and I mention Fringe, it gets such a positive response – and a +1 in Respect.

6.) What do you hope people gain from I Wish My Life Was an RPG?

I want people to feel a sense of self-validation. I want people to walk away knowing that they can overcome anything, and that they’re not alone. I want people to be proud to love the things they love.

7.) Do you have any advice for young girls out there who may be going through some of the troubles of being a female geek?

If it’s negative, it’s not true. You are wonderful and amazing, and if no one wants to game with you, make your own raid. People will come, because they can see the light in you. And no matter what games you play and how often, if you have a passion for ANYTHING (games, anime, comics), be proud and know that you are a geek, gamer, nerd, or whatever you want to be!

Don’t let anyone tell you what you are and are not. Lots of gamers (male and female) want to challenge your geekdom and see if you’re really one of them or just one of the new geeks who say they are geeks because it’s the cool thing to do now. It’s called a Nerd-Off, and it’s ridiculous and created out of fear – now their sacred thing is public and no longer hidden – but that’s another story.

Either way, I say be who you are and stay true to yourself, because validation comes from within.

8.) Anything else you’d like to share?

I am so happy to be working on this project, and I feel as though I am doing something useful with my artistic abilities. I want to create change in this world, and I know that I can. I started in college by performing with The Conciliation Project, a sociopolitical theatre company based in Richmond, VA. When I do panels with my group, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, we hold open dialogues about race and gender in the geek community. There is always someone who approaches us at the end and says, “Thank you for sharing, because I thought I was alone.” I want everyone to know that they are not alone. That is why I do what I do!

Donate today!

By Will On 3 Nov, 2012 At 01:17 AM | Categorized As ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Call of Duty Black Ops 2

As in a press release, well, released to the press on October 15th, shows that the “Elite” feature that was a paid service in the last game in the series, will be completely free.

“We’ve learned a lot in our first year of Call of Duty Elite, and we’re very proud that we over delivered on our commitment of playable content to our premium members,” said Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg.  “What we have realised is that several of the Call of Duty Elite services which are currently only available to our premium members for Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 are things that would further unite, engage and delight our player community.  So we are going to make them free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. For Call of Duty: Black Ops II, DLC Map Packs will be a separate offering from Call of Duty Elite.  The Season Pass will be a great way to acquire all four Map Packs at a discount, but if our fans would rather take it one Map Pack at a time, then we’ll offer each pack á la carte for anyone who wants it.  What we aren’t doing is requiring a paid membership to access the great player services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II and we’re thrilled to offer all of Elite’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II features to players for free.”

So, they are finally getting around with what they should have done in the first place? HURRAY!!

Source: Gamespress.com

No GravatarWhen you hear the word cosplay, the first image that comes to many people’s minds is a waif-like Asian girl. However, anyone who has ever been to a con can tell you that cosplayers come in all shapes and sizes. Despite this fact, many people still hold outdated beliefs on who is allowed to cosplay which characters.

Chocolate Covered Cosplay, also known as C3, is trying to change that perception. These six ladies couldn’t find a community for cosplayers like themselves, so on June 15, 2011 they formed Chocolate Covered Cosplay,a group to showcase and empower the gamer/geek/cosplayer within everyone, regardless of culture, shade or background”.

The six founding members are Ashphord “Ashi-Chan” Jacoway, Ginger Burton, Brittney “Angel Tenshi” Drake, Nivi Pix and sisters Danielle and Deanna McRae.

From left to right: Ginger, Angel Tenshi, PeiPei, Ashi Chan, Danielle

The Mission

“We want to be an inspiration to other women of color who haven’t done that cosplay that’s outside their race” said Ginger.

Often cosplayers of color will find themselves classified as a “version” of a character, for example they will be considered a “Black Melfina” instead of just a person cosplaying Melfina.

“I don’t wanna be a ‘VERSION.’ I don’t want to be a side character. I want to ‘BE’ that character.” said Angel.

These ladies don’t believe that skin color, shape, or size should rein in their imagination.

“I love C3 because it gives me the opportunity to be myself,” said Ashi Chan. “It’s nice to be in a group of women of color who are excited about what you do and there isn’t any judgment; there’s just love and I feel as though we should love each other all the time, because this is the one way we can all be free.”

Changing Minds

C3 often holds panels and discussions focusing on race and gender in the geek community. They hope that these open discussions will strengthen the community as a whole and change perceptions.

“Nerds should have a beautiful community, and we should always uphold that no matter what our race or color or gender is,“ said Ashphord.

Events

June is a great month to catch these ladies out and about, as they will be participating in quite a few events to celebrate their founders day, culminating with their one-year anniversary party June 23rd at Meltdown Comics. The event will feature cosplay items and vendors with the theme of diversity in cosplay.

They also plan to hold another panel at Anime Expo. “Like” C3’s Facebook page to stay informed about their upcoming events.

Meet the ladies of Chocolate Covered Cosplay

Ashphord, “Ashi Chan” Jacoway

You may recognize Ashi Chan from Sony’s The Tester Season 3. She is also well known for her one-woman show “I Wish My Life Was an RPG”  which discusses race and gender as it affected her development as a nerd and for her appearances on season 5 of the Guild and Video Game Reunion. She is also a cosplay artist and model.

Ginger “GNB Cosplay”, Burton

Ginger is the Editor-In-Chief of Otaku Sanctuary Cosplay Magazine. She is also a cosplay commissioner, sewing costumes that have garnered her numerous awards.

Danielle McRae

Voice actor and singer, Danielle voices Hagara The Stormbinder in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Karma the Enlightened One in League of Legends, and Painwheel in Skullgirls.

Deanna, “PeiPei” McRae

PeiPei is a freelance artist and web designer. She has a great webcomic, DeadFingers, as well.

Brittney “Angel Tenshi” Drake

Angel is a cosplayer, stylized artist and cosplay photographer. Check out her amazing work with body paint!

Nivi Pix

Nivi is a self taught photographer, motivational speaker, and model. She is the long-distance member of the team, as she is currently in Nevada!

 

By Charles On 30 Mar, 2011 At 01:12 AM | Categorized As Nintendo DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWay back in the late 1990s, it was impossible to go anywhere without seeing something related to Pokemon. As a fad, it hit like a truck, with a video game, animated television series and best-selling collectible card game. The main driving force behind the wide appeal of the phenomenon was centered around the popular Game Boy titles Pokemon “Red” and “Blue.” The games, which were simplified Japanese-style RPGs that revolved around a boy collecting and training creatures known as “Pokemon” or Pocket Monsters, were devoured by fans young and old, thanks to their extremely easy gameplay and the task that you “Gotta catch em all,” as the jingle went. Indeed, the collectibility of the monsters themselves often overshadowed the battling itself, as fans traded with each other in order to catch those rare and unique monsters that only appeared once throughout the game, or were lost forever. As the series went through its successive generations of “Gold/Silver,” “Ruby/Sapphire,” and “Diamond/Pearl,” the games began to add new material, longer and more developed stories, and, more importantly, more Pokemon. What began as 150 little critters (or 151, if you could actually FIND the infamous “Mew”) eventually ballooned to 385 by the end of the GBA generation, and shot even further to 493 with the massively successful transition to the Nintendo DS.

Sigilyph: Someone was seriously smoking too much peyote this time around.

This past March, the DS received what is its third, and most likely last, generation, Pokemon Black and White. (For the purposes of this review, I will be referring to the game Pokemon Black, as it is the one I purchased.) This game added another 156 Pokemon to the mix, along with a massive new region of Unova for players to explore. While this may seem like a further expansion to an already massive series, a few things need to be taken into account.

Firstly, unlike other games in the series, Unova is based not on a region in Japan, but rather on a very simplified United States. Over the course of the game, players were visit cities like “Castelia,” based on New York, “Driftveil,” akin to Las Vegas and “Nimbasa” (which to me felt like Scranton, PA, but I doubt the designers were thinking the same). These cities are much larger and more richly designed than in other games in the series (especially  Castelia, the first fully 3D rendered city in Pokemon history) and are full of unique people and shops.

We've come a long way from Nurse Jenny and a Chansey.

In addition, the Pokemon Centers have all be fully revamped, now including a built-in Pokemart on the main floor (along with a sporty 3D refinishing). Add to this the fact that, for the first time, the seasons and weather change based on whatever month it is in the real world; there is now “high grass” where the rate of encounter is increased and double battles occur; and the new “rotation battle” system, and you have the richest, most expansive Pokemon world developed to date.

The Gyms have also been dramatically overhauled. Multi-level challenges, often with mazes and puzzles are the rule of the day, more than in any other entry in the series. (One stage requires you to navigate via elevators, while another actually fires you out of cannons to reach the gym leader.) These fancy new digs come with even more personable Leaders, who no longer just sit around waiting for you, but actually take a much bigger hand in the developing story, and have a cluster of personalities as eccentric as any would expect from the United States. (Especially Clay, the 5th Gym Leader, who speaks, acts and dresses like a Texas Oil Baron.) And when their part is done, they put up some of the best challenges of any recent Pokemon title.

Oh no, we've been ambushed by LARPers.

Much like the other Pokemon games, the story is extremely simple. Team Plasma seeks  to “rescue” Pokemon from what they feel are selfish trainers who abuse them. That’s about it. While the idea of protecting defenseless monsters from oppression is a noble goal, and an interesting look into Japanese social philosophy, they barely get any deeper than the surface, and I often found myself nostalgic for earlier games in the series. While definitely a step ahead of the “Team Rocket”- oriented Gold/Silver generation, it lagged behind the twists and suspense (yes, I said suspense) present in 2009’s near-flawless Platinum. The addition of a questioning rival (who felt to me like a foreigner) and the Dreamworld were very welcome, however, and gave the game a bit more depth than just running around looking for fights. That, and Plasma’s uniforms looked kinda cool.

But this is all secondary stuff. The real meat of the game comes down to the Pokemon themselves. After all, what would a new Pokemon game be without more monsters to collect? Right off the bat, Pokemon Black differentiates itself from every other game in the series by ONLY ALLOWING YOU TO CATCH AND USE POKEMON FROM THIS GENERATION. That’s right- to all the players who like to send over their wickedly powerful minions who they’ve been training for the past 5 or so years, too bad. This time through, everyone starts out on the same playing field, with the same choices. (Well, not everyone- if you were lucky enough to go to one of the Gamestop events over the past 2 months, you received a shiny legendary that can be

Triple Threat Battle

sent over to the new game for a nice, tricky Zorua/Zoroark. And if you managed to get the game before April 6th, and have access to wifi connectivity, you can obtain the Liberty Pass and catch the game’s first legendary, the versatile and powerful Victini.) Traveling through a world populated by new Pokemon returns the series to its original roots, mostly because you have no idea what any of these Pokemon do, and unless you feel like looking up a guide, most people will choose their party based on type and appearance, much like they did way back in Red/Blue.

 

Gothorita: Are you trying to tell me something, Game Freak?

As far as the new Pokemon go, they are a colorful bunch, but most do not stand out from earlier versions. Sawk/Throh are this game’s Hitmonchan/Hitmonlee, Timburr and its line are the Machops, Patret is the new Rattata (in moves, not utility) and the bugs are still there essentially unaltered. In fact, until you pass the first few cities, there is little reason to use the Pokemon you find. Later on, you get some true powerhouses- Sandile is a ground/dark type that can slaughter just about anything by final form. Gothita starts out as a “Lolicon” psychic type that eventually learns some very wicked Psychic/Dark attacks and Darumaka completely outclasses the Fire starter by miles. There’s even a Togepi-like flyer called the Sigilyph that blends air and psychic attacks and can wreak havoc on a underprepared party. The designs of these Pokemon are absolutely perfect, though, and a welcome change of pace from “more of the same” as I’ve encountered in recent entries.

For the starters, this is yet another game that loves Fire, gives a very useful Water and a completely pointless Grass type. Tepig, the Fire starter is a powerful, but VERY slow sweeper that packs a huge punch, but even with EV training often acts last in a fight. Oshawott, despite looking completely ridiculous, is a solid Water type in a game lacking a lot of solid Water types. Snivy looks the best of all three, but also has the fewest uses in game. (In fact, there is little reason to even have a Grass type in Black, and the Pansage is a better choice overall.)  Also diverging from other games, you get a “second starter” in the form of a “legendary monkey” when you reach the first city. This monkey is always weak to your starter, but strong to the first gym, and learns a solid move set should you choose to keep him around, just don’t make the mistake of evolving him right away, as he can no longer learn moves after evolving.

Duel Screens

The moves themselves are different, now TMs are no longer used up after one application. This gives them the potential to be abused frequently, but also

allows for a deal of “customization” between battles. Just don’t get too carried away, HMs still need to be unlearned as before. The moves themselves are exactly the same as in previous games also, so don’t expect anything new like the Pokemon. At least you know what they’re going to do at any rate.

All in all, Pokemon Black is a very welcome addition to the series. It’s not perfect by any means- I wish the annoying C-Gear system was replaced by something more useful, like the touch screen menu in SoulSilver, I wish some of the Pokemon were more useful and not just move-clones of older critters, I wish they kept the sprite of your lead monster following you, and I wish the story was closer to Platinum, or at least came with an awesome monster to hunt, but all in all, Pokemon Black is a very nice addition to an aging franchise, and the “reboot” many older players were asking for.

As for my party: Devawott, Galvantula, Zoroark, Krookodile, Sawk and Victini saw me through the entire game and through the Elite 4 multiple times. I especially recommend Krookodile- that thing can one shot the entire Elite 4 with relative easy.