ultracal

Hey kids, I have a question.

So Hubby, for those of you who don’t know, has his blog ultrace which is basically his perpetual love letter to classic gaming.

He just made this post about an anti-piracy message hidden in an old Commodore 64 game. That part he’s got covered. The part we’re unsure about has to do with that game’s designer and programmer, Danielle Bunten, who is a transgender woman.

Hubby didn’t specifically bring up that she was transgender in the article, going on the idea that it doesn’t have any bearing on her innovative game designs and heartfelt plea that was the focus of his post.

We were talking about it though, and the point came up: wouldn’t this be exactly the sort of thing that we should point out and celebrate? Particularly in such a toxic culture as gaming? As Hubby points out in his post, Danielle Bunten’s Modem Wars is essentially the grandfather of the entire RTS genre. That means games like Command and Conquer, Starcraft, fucking WARCRAFT, all have Modem Wars as their parentage.

And without Warcraft? No WORLD of Warcraft.

Suck on that, gaming community. You owe all of that to a transgender woman, and I think that’s fantastic.

But this is territory where I am still so ignorant and still learning so much. We’d both very much love to hear your input on this.

Super Mario Kart: Senshi Style

sean-gaffney asked you: 
So which Kart do the senshi choose when playing Mario Kart? Do they snake? Favorite item? Any other obvious Mario-Kart related senshi behavior?


This question was tailored pretty specifically to Ultrace, who has the dubious honour of being legally bound to me. Poor sod. Here is his answer. I am certain he will maintain this blog’s fine tradition of drowning you in words.


I guess I’ll start off with Minako, because Minako is the best Mario Kart player among them. Because Minako PRACTICES. Minako doesn’t play to play, she plays to WIN, every time. God Driving in the Mario Universe. There’s only one way Minako knows how to drive, and that is fast. So she always picks the fastest character: Bowser. (It’s worth noting they’re playing Super Mario Kart on the SNES, or I guess Super Famicom.) In that same line of thinking, Minako’s favorite power-up is the speed boost. As far as she’s concerned, if you can still see her, she’s lost.

Usagi always picks Princess Peach. She has no idea if Princess Peach is a good character or not, but Princess Peach is the princess and Usagi is the Princess, so how could she go wrong? Usagi’s favorite power-up is whatever lets her win, but her approach is pretty simple, so she’s a big fan of turtle shells. “If I can see somebody in front of me, shoot at them.”

Rei’s character of choice is Mario. She doesn’t really play this game very much, but she wants the best character, and if it’s called “Super Mario Kart”, then MARIO must be the best character. The thunderbolt is her favorite power-up, because no matter how far ahead Minako is, she can still use that to zap her and listen to Minako’s anguished cries.

Ami doesn’t really care about winning or losing in the game. But, if she’s going to play, she’ll give it her best shot. Of the five of them, she’s the only one who actually measures up all the characters and picks the best one: Koopa Troopa (the most balanced of all the racers, without steering or acceleration sacrifices). I’m going to say Ami would use the feather, because Ami’s play style isn’t about screwing over her opponents, but avoiding anything they want to do to her, and obstacles on the course.

Mako likes Toad. He’s a mushroom, and it’s a plant-type thing, and it’s a food, and he’s cute. (Mako does not play this game often.) Mako will take whatever the game throws at her for power-ups, and she always uses them immediately with no strategy involved. Which makes it all the more remarkable when she hits somebody.