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Uncle Yo

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Stand Up Zenkaikon

I’ve known of Uncle Yo for several years now. He’s been at nearly every convention I’ve been to and the first time I sat in on one of his shows, I was newish to anime and I didn’t understand every reference made and that was fine, I laughed at the ones I understood and sometimes just laughed with everyone else. It was infectious. A crowd of people sat around me, laughing till they cried, huge fans of the man on stage. At that time, he was just a comedian at a convention (my first ever) and a fun part of a hugely overwhelming experience that I was terrified to dip my toe into. Never did I realize I would later do a cannonball screaming like a lunatic later, into that very same nerd pool.

At Too Many Games 2016, I made a new friend and was talking excitedly about my first press pass. How scary it was, how exciting it was but deep down I was so self conscious about what I was doing, who was I talking to. Hell, Doug Walker was there and I’m a big fan of the Nostalgia Critic, I was even too nervous to show that man how much his work meant to me. Instead, I made a stalking joke (like I do). He laughed genuinely and went on his way.

Anyway, I had seen Uncle Yo the night before, like I had many times by now (even watching him online) and my new friend Sean says, “You should interview him! Let’s go find him!” I’m not sure I even agreed to this but off we were to find Uncle Yo, who was playing some retro game in the game room. Sean interrupts his play and says I want to interview him, he says of course and off we go.

Now I’m in full blown panic, I’ve not prepped for an interview… I’ve only done one, ONE IN MY WHOLE LIFE and THAT I was only mostly prepared for. One quiet(ish) room later and I’m sitting there giving the most awkward interview of, I assume, both our lives. My questions are random, not connected and I’m swallowing that panic attack like a champ. After the interview, I must have apologized a dozen times (I even apologized later in the evening) but he never said a negative thing. ‘NOOOO, it was fine!’ I can still hear it in his voice. I sucked it up, put the article up there and moved on.

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Cosplay Masquerade Ball, Zenkaikon 2017

Can you imagine my shock when we became friends on various social platforms? I don’t just mean through Real Women of Gaming, he has seen pictures of my life and I his, we’ve commented back and forth, I’ve seen/read much. He gets married, goes on a honeymoon to make anyone jealous, he creates new characters, goes to many more cons, meets many new people, brings more people to tears of laughter and joy. I’ve even started watching My Little Pony, on his suggestion, with my daughter and we both love it.

Zenkaikon 2017 comes up and we are asked who we want to interview. Of course, I mark down that I want to talk to him again among many other guests that are attending. HA HA, this time I will be prepared. One tweet however, keeps crossing the back of my mind and it’s one I know I will have to ask. I dive into his tweets, google search him and yet on the screen where I am typing up questions to ask, it’s still blank and it stayed blank. I only had one planned question.

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Karl & his wife Catherine

I see him at the opening ceremonies and he gives a loving pinky swear that makes me a bit emotional and he recognizes me as he’s leaving the room, a hug and a few happy words and he is off again to his next thing. I saw him running around throughout the weekend, he did so much you’d swear there was more than one of him running around. Saturday morning, I had a chance to sit down and interview him. This time a bit more properly, but unfortunately somber.  He explains that this is his last year in the convention circuit and this is his last Zenkaikon. He speaks so passionately about Zenkaikon, the community, his fans… it spills out of each laugh, every smile and all of his words. Our interview finishes, I thank him, give him a hug and he is on his way.

I see the second half of his show and at the end he tells everyone that this will be his last Zenkaikon. He expresses his emotions about it and even breaks a little at the end, sending me into waves of tears. However, he said something important that could have been easily missed. He tells people to take his absence in running panels and run their own. Step forward, be all that you are, show it to the whole community. I saw him at least once more before the convention ended. It won’t be the last time I see him, however.

I have to thank Karl ‘Uncle Yo’ Custer. He will always mean a great deal to me.

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Stand Up, Zenkaikon 2017

I, like many others, suffer from a great deal of things, disabilities, disorders, diagnoses, whatever you want to call them. The positive push he gave me after out first interview was everything to me. It helped me not be as hard on myself. Every time I’ve talked to him he always comes across as genuinely interested in anything I have to say and anything I want to ask. He’s caring and helpful. He’s proud of people he doesn’t even know for stepping out of their comfort zone. He believes they can do it and he doesn’t care what size you are. I’ve watched him tell entire rooms of people that it’s okay to be themselves and do it for themselves.

From kids to adults, sometimes we just need to hear that from someone else. I see faces light up when they see him, even if only because he makes them laugh or because he gets it. Karl is a treasure and I am so happy that I was lucky enough to cross paths with him. I hope to take his encouragement with me and I pray I can pass it on to other people.

Most of all, I hope people take all he has given them and pay it forward. I hope they step out of their comfort zone, host a panel, do that cosplay no matter your size. Embrace that new person at their first con and show them how awesome it really can be.

As for Karl, thank you so much. Now, you go get a drink and we will continue this conversation later. We will be right here.

Uncle Yo’s Convention Schedule: AnimeNEXT, ConnectiCON, DekuCon in Denver, Derpycon and AnimeNYC.

Review: Anarcute

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Anarcute is advertised as a riot simulator. When I think of riots, I do NOT picture the cutest fuzziest animals alive, but there is a shit load of rioting going on.

What’s it about?
You are cute and fuzzy animals that have had it with the government oppression and squishing your desire to spread love. You are so filled with furry rage that you take to the streets and beat the crap out of anyone who gets in your way, taking down every building you can find to combat the evil overlords and bring peace and love back to your world.

You have to navigate your rioters through maze-like levels of buildings to avoid guards, lasers and mines while rescuing your friends to make your group larger. The larger the group, the harder they are to navigate and control. Keeping them from harm is a near impossible task. You move through the level trying to keep as many of your furry friends alive while trying to complete your level objective.

What did I think?
OMG, I LOVE THIS GAME. I have fun even during the most difficult levels. This game stresses me out even less than Flat Kingdom does. You go through different countries, liberating areas and freeing locked-up comrades. You can buy bonuses and earn them. You gain different abilities depending on how many rioters you have in your group. You can get anything: from stomps that throw your enemies, to abilities to knock down buildings and even a roman shield formation to project everyone.

This game is full of adorable visuals, a great soundtrack, a terrifying story line and continued complexity. However, this game isn’t for kids (in my honest opinion). There are snipers and your rioters will die if they take too much damage. I don’t know how well they will react to seeing a bunny sniped in the streets (even if there is no blood). The mechanics of the game continue to impress me and the boss battles are interesting and well thought out. I am also impressed at the animals that you save/unlock throughout the game. They aren’t just your typical animals. They have snails, jellyfish and unicorns alongside the cats, pugs and horses.

Do I recommend it?
This game is by far one of my favorites. I love every aspect of it and I think it’s a steal for $14.99, available on Steam. If you love great music, cute fuzzy characters, a really good laugh and supporting indie developers, then this game is surely for you.

However, if words aren’t enough, please take a look at all the fun I’m having in my Let’s Play here:

How One Gaming App Can Benefit Your Daily Life

How One Gaming App Can Benefit Your Daily Life

In today’s world, we’re moving just a bit too fast. We all have 10,000 things to do and it’s hard to keep track of all of them. When we fail to do so, we start to feel overwhelmed or even awful about ourselves as people. When this happens, we become discouraged, more “to dos” fall to the wayside, and we begin to feel like we can’t get out.

I’m a personal fan of organizing my day. I have two calendars hanging on the wall next to me and a To Do List Notebook as well as a 2016 Daily Planner on my desk. I cross things off as I get them done and make sure to check my lists at least 3 times a day. This is how I keep myself from drowning under my daily to dos.

There is another way to organize, though. Calendars and notebooks and planners can be so boring and monotonous. The other day, Crymson told me about this cool app she has on her phone called Habitica.

Habitica Promo

Habitica turns your life into an RPG.

How cool is that?!

According to the website, Habitica is designed to help you improve your habits in day-to-day life. By forming healthy habits and being productive, you can build up your avatar and collect awesome loot. You can team up with your friends or even join a guild in order to keep yourself motivated and on the right path.

The app promotes good habits by giving you experience points and gold pieces for being productive and taking away HP for doing unhealthy or unproductive activities, such as procrastinating or eating junk food. You can purchase rewards with the gold you earn and get cool new gear or health potions.

Sample Screen - Equipment

Equipment

 

I decided to download it myself and give it a test run. When I made my account, I was asked to create a custom 8-bit avatar – Final Fantasy style. She has black hair, very pale skin and a black shirt. She even has a green flower in her hair. 8-bit Vanri is adorable.

Next, i was asked which areas in my life I wanted to improve. This was easy: work, school, health and wellness, and creativity. I was then taken to my profile, where I already had tasks and to dos waiting for me! I got 6 EXP and 1 GP just for writing this article.

Sample Screen - Boss (iOS)

Boss Fight (iOS)

The mobile interface is easy to figure out. You have your home page, where you have four lists: Habits (i.e. Eat Healthy), Dailies (i.e. Do Homework), Todos (i.e. Finish Creative Project) and Rewards (things you can buy with your GP). You can go to the Tavern, meet people and “Pause your Dailies,” which will keep your unfinished dailies from hurting your over night. You can also create a party or join a guild from the menu on the side.

As a highly organized and bored individual, I can definitely say that Habitica will help bring the fun back into my busy life. I’m still going to need all my calendars and to do lists to keep everything straight, but at least now I can treat them like a video game, which takes some of the stress away.

I highly recommend it. I mean, it’s free, so you might as well try it, right?

Free Game Spotlight: Orcs Must Die! Unchained

Free Game Spotlight: Orcs Must Die! Unchained

orcs-must-die-unchainedDeveloper: Robot Entertainment
Publishers: Robot Entertainment & Gameforge
Platforms: PS4, PC
In Open Beta since: 3/29/2016

Orcs Must Die! Unchained is the 3rd game in the Orcs Must Die! series.

Set years after Orcs must Die! 2, the War Mage and the Sorceress have resurrected the Order in an effort to fight against their new enemy, the Unchained, an army led by powerful new and old heroes. Dozens of new magical worlds have been discovered and Heroes from both sides are waging war to take control over the new strongholds and portals.

Like the two games before it, Orcs Must Die! Unchained has a focus in tower defense. This game stands out from the other two, however, in that you can summon armies and attack AI characters or other players as well as lay siege to the enemy team’s fortress.

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Gameplay is fairly simple to understand. You choose your Hero, then enter the realm. You then have a certain amount of time to summon your guardians and build traps in your killbox, which can be barricades, spikes on the ground, spikes on the ceiling, lightening, axes on the walls, etc. Once the Orcs are released, it is your team’s goal to attack the enemy team’s fortress as well as defend your own. Players on both sides are responsible for defending their own fortress and summoning minions to attack the other fortress.

You can play as awesome heroes, depending on your preference. They range from the typical melee to ranged type of attacks, but each hero has their own backstory and special skill that sets them apart from the rest. Whether you prefer the Order or the Unchained, there’s a hero for you.

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Orcs Must Die! Unchained is a really fun game with a lot to offer. Despite being in open beta, it runs smoothly. It has elements of comedy, strategy and all around fun. It can be downloaded through steam for free or through the official website. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Valentine’s Gifts for Geeks

Ever wonder what to get a geeky significant other? Want to know some gifts we’ve given or received for Valentine’s day? You’ve come to the right place! The Real Women of Gaming staff have come together to tell you what we want, have given or have gotten for Valentine’s Day! Look below to see more!

GeekyValentines

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