Running out of space on that overpriced PS Vita memory card? Of course you are, delete some demo’s! This one took me a frustrating few minutes to figure out.
Simply long press the game/demo icon, wait for it to go all shaky, then click the tiny circle with three dots in the upper right corner of the icon (erm do circles have corners? no). Up will pop a menu with a delete option. Problem solved. Another life saving tip from Gamdo, seriously life saving! Gamdo out.
This is the ending of Dear Esther. If you are sat there for a few minutes wondering WTF? or maybe you have opened up a browser within Steam to google the question ‘Dear Esther black screen ending? Then yes. This is it. A black screen. This is not a bug, its the end for all of us (ooohhh that’s deep!)
If you are bored why not quick save at this screen (F6) and then quick load (F7), this will totally freak you out as it will load up with you just staring at the sky! WTF? I don’t know but there is a huge discussion on the Steam forums here.
Even without this deep analysis of the ‘game’ I thoroughly enjoyed Dear Esther all the way through. For me it’s one of the first games where you can just sit back and enjoy the art that normally fly’s by as you speed through levels blasting everything in sight. This is just a peaceful journey with great atmosphere, superb art and some kind of story that you have to make your own opinion of. It kind of reminds me of that other non-game Dinner Date, but in comparison I enjoyed Dear Esther a lot more. The visuals and atmosphere are stunning, along with a traditional first person ‘shooter’ view and a perfect choice of narrator, overall this is my favorite non-game ‘game’, of the 2 non-game ‘games’ I have ever played. Long live the non-game ‘game’ genre!
Another epic Barcraft in London this month covering MLG Winter Arena, put aside the entire weekend 25th-26th February 2012 and head down to The Assembly House, 292 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TG, nearest tube station is Kentish Town, get out turn right and you can see the pub.
Doors open from 3pm Saturday so get in early for a good seat, some good food, lots of drink and of course some great StarCraft. This is the first MLG event of 2012 being shown @LondonBarcraft so there will be a great turnout, as we’ve all been starved of the awesome MLG since November last year. Look forward to seeing you all there. Gamdoooooo!
Gamdo: Hey Tara, first I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview for the StarCraft community.
For a lot of us, our relationship with you began yesterday when Day tweeted “even supermodels want to date SC2 players” followed by a link to your recent article 10 Reasons To Date A StarCraft Player. Although a lighthearted yet highly informed post, some community members were not happy with either the article, you posing semi nude or the fact that it appeared in the feed of StarCraft 2′s most high profile community member, Day. With over 92k twitter followers Sean Plott a.k.a Day has risen to the top of the StarCraft 2 scene thanks to his awesome daily show day9tv.com and shoutcasting most MLG tournaments amongst many other gaming accomplishments, he is therefore highly respected.
I noticed not long after the Day tweet, and you even mentioned to me, that there was a small negative reaction to your article from a select few, both girls and guys. Some complained directly to Day, others just tweeted how they had a problem with the sexualisation of it all, and others were just not happy half of your breasts were out, hence why I thought it would be good idea to get an interview. After doing my research on you, which was tough with all those erm, pictures in my way of the hard facts, I can see that you are actually a real gamer, and obviously a glamour model.
Tara: Well, first of all, I want to thank you for the interest in interviewing me, and for possessing the drive to delve deeper into a sensitive subject.
I’ve been a professional model for nearly three years now, which means I travel the US meeting clients and other industry professionals. I’ve done a plethora of photoshoots, hosted a ton of events, and represented at a bunch of conventions. I also have had the honor of working with a lot of amazing print publications and well-known websites along the way! I interact with fans on my (non-nude) website, TaraBabcock.com, where I post all of my images, merchandise, and diaries of my adventures. In addition, I also write gaming-related articles for ImpulseGamer.com, quick weekly top ten college lifestyle articles for LionsDenU.com, and I dabble in photo retouching, graphic design and CSS/HTML coding with my side-business, Tara Babcock Can Edit!
Gamdo: That’s an impressive portfolio of work that doesn’t usually span two such extreme fields. There are very few gamers I can think of who are models, male or female, hence the heightened interest in you, not just by myself. Actually I just thought of one who I know you met at a Barcraft in Seattle, Anna Prosser who we all know is often in the limelight next to her progamer partner EGiNcontroL. So you clearly have made the effort to get into the scene, visit a Barcraft, and judging by the photo (above) you actually play StarCraft because you enjoy it, tell me how you got into the game?
Tara: Why, thank you! Yeah, Anna and Geoff (iNcontroL) are very inspirational, sweet people. I had a great time at Seattle BarCraft, too!
I got into StarCraft because I grew up playing Warcraft. I played WC2 religiously with my friends when I was super young. I wrote off the first StarCraft when it came out, until last year. I let my prejudging get the best of me; I thought it was a lame attempt at milking the success of the Warcraft games, and I had no inkling of how amazing it was then. I co-own a raiding guild in WoW, so I follow the BlizzCon events, and during the 2010 ‘con I got really interested in StarCraft, and eSports in general. It also helped having a ton of gamer friends constantly telling me how awesome it was! I finally gave Brood War and SC2 a chance and, naturally, I loved it! To me, it’s more than a game, it’s not something you can just pick up and be good, or even decent, at. It takes time, skill, and dedication. Even at my lower level, often casual, gameplay… it can be such an emotional rollercoaster! It’s exciting to play a video game with such purpose and longevity, other than just for the visual stimulation and the captivating storylines!
Gamdo: StarCraft was pushed onto me by friends too, and I also played WC2. I notice you are Silver 1v1, which is good considering the competition out there is constantly getting better and as you say you are casual. I know a lot of silver players who take the game seriously so you are doing well, heck I’m only Gold 1v1 but in my defense I mainly play team games as they are less stressful, and as you say StarCraft is not something you can just pick up and 0wn!
I thought your article was great fun, the humour was right up my street, sex and StarCraft, after all I am from England. It was clearly written for entertainment value, yes it is sexualised but this is the games industry, pert breasts, skin tight outfits are on every female character from Tomb Raider to Kerrigan, and even male characters are hardly ugly and out of shape. But clearly a lot of girls (and some guys) have issues with this in the gaming and now in the SC2 community. How do you feel about sexualisation in games, and female roles being heavily sexed up?
Tara: I’ve done a lot of StarCraft observing and studying, but I’m definitely lacking tons of practice and experience! I’m not satisfied with my ladder ranking and I hope to get to Gold or Platinum before I decide to stream. Even then, I plan on using my stream to shamelessly document my rise in ranks, and whatever weaknesses and difficulties I happen to encounter along the way. That should be interesting!
With my article, and all of my Impulse Gamer articles, I wanted to make it cute and fun, while also being informative. Anyone can write a dry, typical guide or review to a video game, but if it’s also interesting, clever, and relate-able, then it has an edge! Especially with StarCraft; I don’t feel like I have the right, or the knowledge, to write an article like I am an expert, so a beginner’s guide that would promote the community in a more mainstream and interesting light would be perfect, I thought. I wanted to make everyone in the community laugh, and I wanted to interest new players!
It’s hard to explain how I feel about sexed-up media in a brief paragraph. However, I don’t see anything wrong with sexy male and female super heroes or game protagonists. We are all sexual beings, and we all love to look at beautiful things. Although what is “hot” is very subjective, there is an overlap where most people will generally agree, and it becomes an argument of semantics. These video games are meant to be fantastical, and out-of-this-world. They need exaggerated characters, and ones that will grab attention. It’s cool to see a woman who looks too proper and delicate to be tough in a fighting game, or adventuring in an RPG. The only problem lies with how the community interprets this information. A lot of people take this as an attack on them because they do not look this way, or gain unhealthy image issues from it. That being said, women should not have to look this way to be girl gamers, and I don’t think this is an issue. After all, not all gamer guys look like Tychus Findlay! Gamer girls should, and do, have a ton of support!
Gamdo: Well I can only vouch for what I have seen at London Barcraft, but most of us DON’T look like Tychus Findlay, even after a few drinks!
I get the impression you’re just like every other girl gamer, but rather than a 9 to 5 job you are a glamour model. The problem is I don’t think a lot of people saw that, they just saw large breasts. One thing that may have caused this is as soon as you hit the link to your article 10 Reasons To Date A StarCraft Player over 50% of the page is pictures of a hot (imo) semi nude chick, you. I can see that scaring off a lot of girls, my wife for a start would close the page instantly, and I bet a few guys who are in the office or with family would have to ALT+F4 the page.
Whether or not we closed the browser or read all your articles, people were quick to spit out a few hurtful remarks on twitter, some saying you were a porn star not a model, some saying all they saw was just a pair of tits which isn’t how girl gamers should be portrayed and some were saying why would Day link to such a thing. How do you feel about these reactions and have you anything you want to say to those who judged you so quickly?
Tara: Well, I bet you would look like Tychus if you were a stimpack advocate who carried around a Marine suit twenty-four hours a day!
Day did say it was “slightly NSFW”! I would think that gamer girls, a group often targeted with prejudice and trolling, wouldn’t do the same to someone else. I never said that how I look is how they should, or anything to that effect. I’m quite used to comments and judgements like that, and I don’t waste my time on negativity, but I was quite shocked that some were so offended they threatened to e-mail Day‘s feedback team. I am incredibly sorry that I inadvertently pulled him into that situation and caused him any trouble. It’s saddening that an article that was meant to make people smile did the exact opposite for some, as well.
I believe Day  posted the link because he read the article and thought it was something the community would enjoy. Being such a nice guy, I don’t think he would get hung up on my profession. I think he supports the whole of the StarCraft community, not just those who look a certain way, or have a “normal” job.
Gamdo: Hey I go gym! I’d like to think I’m on my way to the Tychus look but without the stimpacks, but people say I look more like the Hellion avatar!
I think Day may have also been overwhelmed by you mentioning he is cute, although a lot of girls say that! Personally I think his brother Nick “Tasteless” Plott’ is the cute one, I can say that right, that’s not gay? So who in the SC2 community does it for you, who do you follow and cheer for, players, casters whatever. Oh and I just got a request asking what race you play and if you are an a-move girl?
Tara: That’s awesome! You’ve gotta love those Hellions! I look more like an Overlord without makeup!
I’m sure Day is extra used to gamer girls having huge crushes on him, so my calling him cute shouldn’t be an issue! Tasteless, eh? I don’t know about that! My favorite progamer is definitely SeleCT. I play Terran, so I enjoy watching him, and I envy his dropship play awesomeness. Other players I like are MMA, Sheth, HerO, and I enjoy Idra’s play, drama-filled or not. My favorite caster is, of course, Day, but I also think Husky is really great at what he does!
I’m assuming when you say “a-move girl” you’re asking me if I send my army blindly at the opponent without bothering to micro. I definitely don’t do that! I enjoy micro-ing my units during an attack, and the challenge of trying to keep up my macro and keep an eye on the map is really exciting. I’ve never been great at multitasking, and StarCraft is the ultimate challenge! I’d like to think I’ve got some of the basics down… it’s just the application I sometimes fail at!
Gamdo: Terran, GG! All this drama around you reminds me of an incident last year, when another hot blonde was in the StarCraft limelight. Lindsey Sporrer was put on air live in between NASL games, unlike you she had no clue about the game but was a great filler. The community was divided but generally took to her, alas her promise of staying in the scene and live streaming her StarCraft games never quite came through. I guess some of the community may be worried you will disappear too, are you here to stay and if so how and where are the best ways to see more of you? (Excuse the pun)
Tara: While I play Terran, I actually think Zerg is the most adorable, interesting, and challenging race!
Well, from what I understand of that situation, Lindsey Sporrer was a gorgeous aspiring host and actress who just booked a job and kind of botched it with her lack of knowledge. After the warm welcome and understanding of the StarCraft community, she was humbled and compelled to learn more, but got busy with her budding career. In contrast, I was a gamer before I had any success with my career, and my gamer status has endured throughout as well. Hell, I was a gamer before I could walk. No matter how busy I get with my career, gaming will always be how I spend whatever free time I may have. StarCraft is a game that will never stop being rewarding and interesting to play, and watch. I can’t see myself going anywhere! In addition, I would love to use my pull in the industry, and with the general public, to make gaming part of my job as well. I would kill for a chance to transition and host eSports events, or do other exciting gaming-related things like my Impulse Gamer writing gig. Combining modeling with gaming somehow, and becoming a personality and an inspiration to those in the community, would fulfill all of my dreams!
For now, you can find more of me at tarasgspot.com, which is my direct URL to the articles I write for Impulse Gamer. You can also check everything out at tarababcock.com, and keep an eye out for me on Twitch soon! Follow me on Twitter, too, @TaraBabcock. That way, you’ll know what’s new with me!
Gamdo: I’m sure you will have a bunch of new fans following you on twitter now thanks to Day and hopefully anyone who felt you didn’t deserve the link in his feed now either loves you or, still hates you, but at least they know a bit more detail behind the girl gamer that is Tara Babcock. Plenty of us would love to see you shine in the StarCraft scene, and we will be following you closely on twitter. I know the community would love to get another interview with you further down the line to see where you are, I’m in Las Vegas in May so if you are nearby we could do another interview, for YouTube ;o) Thanks again for taking time out to talk to us and we look forward to seeing you again, soon! Gamdo.
If you visit Dawnstar, and pop into the Windpeak Inn you will meet Karita. You may be taken back by her slutty dress and natural Nord beauty and think this is the one for me, this is who I want to marry! Beware, it’s a trap. Do not think you can charm this women by completing every quest in Dawnstar. Even if you become the Thane of Dawnstar, and even if you help Karita’s father with his pointless chores, it won’t work. You can’t marry Karita! Wearing the Amulet of Mara is supposed to get you girls right? Well not this one. All she does is sing and tease, and waste hours off your life in the dump that is Dawnstar! Move on to the next one, just saying!
Just a quick post to let everyone know @LondonBarcraft are hosting another event for Dreamhack. Get down to The Assembly House, 292 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TG from 7pm, this Friday 25th November 2011 for a weekend of StarCraft 2 streaming from Europe’s biggest SC2 tournament.
MLG Providence was a blast, but Dreamhack should be even better as the LondonBarcraft team have secured the other half of the bar and ANOTHER screen to accommodate the ever growing Barcraft crowd. If things get any bigger we may need to extend into the cellar, need a light?
Get ready for another top BarCraft event hosted by @LondonBarcraft this 19 & 20th of November 2011. As per the packed out previous event, StarCraft 2 MLG tournament games will be streamed all weekend across multiple screens at The Assembly House, 292 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TG. Arrive from 3pm both Saturday & Sunday and join fellow StarCrafters in what looks to be the ultimate MLG final event in the 2011 pro circuit.
The Assembly House is a great bar with great food and great owners! They are killing e-sports one BarCraft event at a time and can now be found on twitter @assemblyhouse2. The pub is easily accessed by train, simply get off at Kentish Town, turn right and you will see the pub on the corner, packed with nerdballerz chanting Huk Huk Huk! There is also plenty of parking in the residential streets behind the pub, Leverton Street being the closest with a 30 second walk to the bar.
The London BarCraft team never fail to keep everyone entertained, with plenty of ‘in between’ events filling the holes that most tournaments fail to fill. With giveaways of gaming swag such as T-Shirts and signed Dignitas goodies, ‘guess the StarCraft unit’ games performed by the crowd, classic YouTube SC2 games casted by the in-house caster @JoRoSaR, and even some awful Korean Pop music videos. If you look in the corners of the bar you may even spot an arm wrestle competition, proving nerds actually have biceps thanks to hitting their mechanical keyboards all day! So bring your self and your biceps down to the best BarCraft event in the UK, and don’t forget to practise your StarCraft unit impression, My Life For Aiur!
I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about mechanical keyboards over the last few months. So I decided to take the plunge and after a lot of research my Filco Majestouch Linear Action Keyboard with Cherry MX Black switches has arrived (that’s a big description for just a keyboard). I am typing this on it right now and am loving hitting every single key!
The difference between mechanical keyboards and every other keyboard I have used in my life is sooo huge that I cannot put it into words, but I will try. It’s like the first time you saw GLQuake or Unreal with a 3dfx graphic card as opposed to running in software mode. It’s like when you first switched from a 56k modem to isdn or broadband and hit a quake server with a low ping. The instant WOW factor just hits you and your brain records a memory that you will never forget, stacked up with all the other ‘first time’ experiences that may or may not be PC related
StarCraft is the link that got me into these mechanical keyboards. Its common knowledge that all the pro StarCraft players use a mechanical keyboard, and if you delve deeper you can even find out which brand and which switch type your favourite player uses. But WTF is a mechanical keyboard? A mechanical keyboard has mechanical key switches under each key (in this case, Cherry MX Black switches) as opposed to the cheap rubber dome crap that you find on the majority of keyboards out there, EVEN a lot of overpriced so called ‘gaming’ keyboards covered in gamer crap like LCD’s. I am no expert on the technical workings so for more guidance on mechanical keyboards just read this excellent in depth guide.
Choosing a brand is difficult as there is actually quite a bit of choice now, even from major gaming brands like SteelSeries and Razer. I decided on the Filco Majestouch for two main reasons. Firstly it has the simplest layout, no extras, no weird keys in the wrong place, no 3.5mm jacks for headphones or USB hubs. Just a basic UK keyboard with the standard 105 key layout that most keyboards take and then modify with back lights and volume controls and all sorts of other nonsense. Also it has no extra dead space, like the DAS Keyboard which has a huge extra piece of plastic at the top right for no reason. It is just a plain old simple keyboard, black with all the basic keys. My second reason was the Filco is sold in the UK by a small UK company called ‘The Keyboard Company‘ and I like to support British businesses where I can.
The next choice to make is which mechanical switch to go for. The three main choices are Cherry MX brown, blue and black. The Cherry MX Blue’s are the most noisy being tactile and clicky so I steered clear of those. The Cherry MX Brown switches have a tactile feel half way through the key press and a lot of StarCraft players use these, they have no click so they are slightly quieter. The Cherry MX Black switches have no click and no tactile feel, just a linear key which is good for all sorts of gaming, especially FPS. As I was brought up on FPS I figured this would be best for me, as I am used to bottoming out the key (hitting it so hard it hits the table). For a more technical explanation check out this guide on switches. Also the Filco I went for with Cherry MX Black switches comes with red LED’s, I love red stuff. It’s worth noting the red LED’s are extremely bright when viewed direct on.
Another cool feature with these keyboards is the ability to buy custom color key caps. The Keyboard Company sell ESC and WASD keycaps in red or blue. As I dont use WASD I use arrow keys, I have had to order some red keycaps from Hong Kong on ebay, they come as a pack with all the letters so I can swop out some of my favourite StarCraft keys like ‘A’ for marines with a red key.
Another cool function which has prevented me from changing keyboards over the last decade is N-key Rollover. I use an odd combination of keys, that just so happens to be on the same membrane on all but one 10yr old Dell Keyboard. Which means if i try to press my ‘gaming keys’ all at the same time, they dont work on most keyboards. NKR (N-key Rollover) allows you to hit any combination of keys all at the same time, providing you use the PS2 port not the USB port. Thats right, PS2 > USB for keyboards anyway, as per the super Mechanical Keyboard Guide…
PS/2 or USB?
PS/2 wins on three fronts: First, it supports full n-key rollover. Second, PS/2 keyboards aren’t polled, but are completely interrupt based. And third, it is impossible for it to be delayed by the USB bus being used by other devices. There are two types of USB transfer modes – the interrupt transfer mode (USB polls keyboard, when key is sensed the USB controller sends the interrupt to the CPU), and the isochronous transfer mode, which reserves a certain amount of bandwidth for the keyboard with a guaranteed latency on the bus. Unfortunately, there are absolutely no keyboards made that use the latter, because special controllers would have to be used, thus making it cost prohibitive. So if your keyboard supports both PS/2 and USB, and your PC has a PS/2 port, there’s no reason not to use it.
And that is that, I think I have convinced every one of you to go out there and blow £120 inc VAT on a mechanical keyboard? Yes I left the price till last as they are expensive, but they are worth it. No doubt this will last you a life time. Take my word for it, if not, take my fellow StarCrafter’s word for it on his excellent Keyboard Quest post. See you on Bnet newbz, hitting high APM’s like a BOSS!