April 26, 2017

LVL UP EXPO: Get Prepared!

Hey there! Long time no post. Robotics and AP classes have been kind of insane. However, when my new friend Juliana mentioned to me the upcoming LVL UP EXPO* in Las Vegas, Nevada, I agreed to help promote what sounds like a fun event.

I'm a convention-goer. Whether it's big events like PAX or ECCC, or chiller, smaller events like GGC or the Washington State Midsummer Renaissance Faire, I've become an expert over the years on what it means to be really, really prepared for a convention, especially a gaming convention. Here are my top five tips on getting ready for LVL UP this year!

disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with any conventions mentioned. I'm not getting paid for this. I'm literally just a teenager trying to procrastinate on my calculus homework. An asterisk (*) indicates promotional material that I was requested to use, but I do not necessarily disagree with. I would never promote anything I disagreed with. What's even the point?

January 31, 2017

STEM and Gaming | Besiege

finals week be like

Life is crazy. CRAAAAAAZY. When I'm not at rehearsal, I'm building robots or doing homework or trying to exercise more than once a year or maybe doing one daily in GW2 if I have a minute to spare after all that. Junior year isn't fun.

If I ever have time to myself, though, I try to spend it studying what I want to study, which is conveniently not any of the classes that I'm taking. My current freetime subjects include forensics, microbiology, and epidemiology, as well as engineering fundamentals and CAD. It was when I was poking around at some physics and SolidWorks that I got the idea to open Besiege up again. Curly (who is still my best bud and says hi) got it for me waaaaaay back when, and I thought to myself that maybe now that I'm actually building things in the real, I could get a lot more mileage out of it.

January 6, 2017

School's Being Nasty, So Here's An Apologetic Blog Post That's Really Just Salt

I report to you live from inside a fort made of textbooks, packets of AP English readings. It smells like rehearsal and tea, and I'm frankly pretty miserable. I've been dragging myself through hours of homework on top of rehearsals for shows and build sessions for robotics, and it's been hell. Just complete hell.

Listen, I know most of my readers have already graduated high school, and had done so some time ago. I don't know what the hell happened between your graduation and my junior year, but everything in this system is so goddamn messed up. Students are out here missing meals, sleeping 3-4 hours a night, and going to school with infections like strep, mono, and the flu because missing classes is more disastrous than infecting everyone, and we're all okay with that because we would do the same.

And to top it off, students are getting dangerously mentally ill from the stress of it all. And there's nothing schools are doing about it. Nothing. Just "make sure to eat a balanced meal" or "get some sleep" or "make sure to stay on top of your grades" and it's a big, messy pick-two situation that leaves nobody happy in the end. I would do something about it, but I'm also trying to stay afloat.

We're expected to do it all. Good grades, play sports, appreciate the arts, do community service, have a job. Have friends, have hobbies. Be happy. If we don't have the first, we're lazy. If we don't have the second, we're inhospitable and cold. If we don't have the third, we're unreliable. Nobody can do all of this and yet it's expected of my generation. We should not be under pressure to do the impossible. Should not.

I've only had time to play GW2 lately, which makes my stacks of games to review so depressingly tall that I'm not sure how to even start it. I really want to get a full grasp of Starr Mazer: DSP, as well as Feist, finish my big thing on No Man's Sky, and...okay. Listen. I'm just getting angry and stressed so I'm going to post a picture of my level 80 Guardian and just kind of disappear for a little while again.

I don't know how long it will take me to dig myself out to a point where I can get back on track. It looks so completely unprofessional of me, but I have to focus on trying to take a shower every day and still somehow get my homework done. Good riddance, American schools. Good. Riddance.

December 16, 2016

Doodling to Pass the Time

Hey- School's really stressful right now, so I'm making it my first priority. Here's a doodle of what I've been up to in NMS. Enlarge for better detail!

October 19, 2016

Three Great Games I Played at GeekGirlCon

Photo by Clare McGrane on Geekwire, in an article about my panel about women in games!

Wow, this past week has been crazy! After having a blast at GGC paneling and playing games, I immediately fell ill and spent the better part of the last several days coughing, sleeping, and catching up on work. I'm up to all sorts of junior-year mayhem, from calculus to taking my PSAT tomorrow, so playing games has been a really nice luxury lately. I did happen to get on GW2 and make a Charr Guardian character, so that was lots of fun.

I've also been having a really, really fun time playing Starr Mazer DSP, a game that was given to me to play and review (yes, review coming soon!). Starr Mazer DSP was one of many awesome games I got to give a shot at GeekGirlCon this year, where the video gaming section was slightly larger and included a VR area and a co-op lounge as well as a row of single-player games. There are three games that truly stood out to me.

October 8, 2016

Come Find Me At GGC!

Hello! Quick post to let you all know that I'm so excited to be a panelist and a press pass holder at GeekGirlCon this year! GGC means so much to me and I have been given free admission for what I'm contributing, which is amazing and I want to thank the staff of the convention so much.

I'll be on two panels this weekend - Keep an eye on my Twitter, @SGMSoultamer, about when and where they'll be!