Jenifyr Kaiser

Author and Freelance Writer

Month: July 2016

Adventures of a middle aged nutcase

I’ve gotten myself into some interesting things over the years. I grew up in a time when women were trying to figure out their place in the world. We were either expected to cook, clean, and take care of our husbands or we were expected to do all of that, have a career, and raise children on our own. Whatever else we were expected to do there were some things that were just not done. If they were done, they definitely were not encouraged.

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It has taken me most of my life to realize that it’s okay for me to be myself and to enjoy things that my younger self would never have considered. Some of this self realization comes from hard lessons learned through tough experiences.

I am the youngest of four children and as such I have witnessed the death of the vast majority of my family including my parents. There is something terrifying and lonely about losing your parents, but there is also something about it that grants you a certain freedom. If you are anything like me, you grew up doing what people expected of you. Those expectations form our view of the world and shape the behaviors that follow us around like lost puppies. Breaking free of them can be difficult at best.

“The idea is to die young as late as possible.”  – Ashley Montagu

Facing so much death forces you to face your own mortality. Because of that, I have learned to open myself up to new experiences. Doing so allowed me to accept that I am gay and led me to my wife, Kellie, who is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is a beautiful, wonderful, free spirited woman who has brought out the very best in me. With her support I have been able to try new things and experience so much more of life than I ever thought possible. I love her dearly for that and so much more.

A couple of seasons ago Kellie convinced me to try snowboarding which, at the not-so-young age of 41, was quite a feat. I learned. It hurt, but I learned and I had a blast doing it. Living in Vail, CO was a huge help since I could go anytime I liked. It was a fantastic experience and one that I never would have done on my own.

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Last November my lovely wife talked me into learning how to SCUBA dive on our honeymoon in St. Thomas. I was scared, I’ll admit, but it was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. The beauty of life below the waves is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. I plan on getting my SCUBA certification before our next vacation, so I can get back down there as often as possible. Under da’ sea, under da’ sea…

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Our latest adventure is riding motorcycles. I am 43 years old and I’m learning to ride motorcycles. I must be insane. I mean, I rode dirt bikes a little when I was a kid, but that was many, many years ago and street bikes are a whole different ballgame. Oh well, here we go again… It has been quite an adventure so far and it is just beginning. It all started with a dream, oddly enough. I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.

Until then… happy motoring!

 

New Horizons

I am very happy to announce that I am officially freelancing for Dapper Penguin Studios on their upcoming title Project Automata. I will be writing in game dialog and tutorials as well as blog content, web content, and managing press relations.

I am very excited about this new venture and about the new game which is going to be amazing. It is a beautiful industrial simulation game that will definitely be a hit. The Kickstarter campaign should be going live soon. I’ll keep everyone updated as the game progresses!

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My Interview with Kahl Shariff

As promised, here is a link to my latest article. I had a chat with the CEO of Project Whitecard – Khaled Shariff. He opened up about his company and their latest game Star Rangers. The game was developed with NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and many more amazing organizations. I hope you will read it, enjoy it, and pass it along. Thanks!

 

Exclusive Interview: Khaled Shariff, CEO of Project Whitecard, talks about Star Rangers and the future of the gaming industry

 

 

Interesting Interview

Those who know me well, know I have a fascination with space exploration and science fiction. Well, I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the CEO of a company that is changing the gaming industry and the world for the better.

I won’t say more today, but keep an eye on my site for the article which should publish in the next few days.

My latest article was featured on Gameskinny today!

Check out my latest Top 5 list:

The 5 best open world sandbox games you should be playing, but probably aren’t

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Taking names!

One of my latest articles garnered a little attention. Yay me!

Gamer Girls Unite!

This is a guest post I did for a good friend and amazingly talented writer — Rainy of the Dark. Check out her website and I hope you enjoy the post.

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Yes the title is a bit dramatic. No I’m not starting a revolution, although… nahh, not today. What I am saying is that we game and tech geeks of the female persuasion need to stick together. Being a woman is tough, but being a woman in the gaming and technology world is crazy tough. I worked in the IT field for nearly 20 years and it was definitely a man’s world. When I started back in the early 1990s there were only a handful of women in the field. Getting anyone to take you seriously back then was like trying to push a rope. If they didn’t outright laugh, they would just ignore you and hope you went back to your knitting.

Things have definitely changed in the last couple of decades. Women are getting closer to being paid fairly. We’re not quite there yet, but moving in the right direction. I see a much larger number of women in the IT industry now as well. It’s becoming much more popular and we are actually being viewed as competent, successful members of that society. Considering it’s been less than a hundred years since we were granted the right to vote, I think we’ve come a long way. It just goes to show that with enough time, courage, and downright stubbornness we can accomplish damned near anything.

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So, here we are, an enlightened society who, by the grace of our own virtue, have created relative equality for all humans (I know that’s a big stretch, but work with me here folks). Can someone please tell me why I can’t get a female character to play in Assassins Creed or a female version of Link in Legend of Zelda? Why is that such a huge issue for this industry? There is a huge disparity between the number of games with female protagonists to ones with male. The number of games that have any female characters to choose from at all is limited. When I do see one it usually restricts me to one girl. Can anyone tell me why the hell that girl is always a ranger, witch, or sorceress? Come on guys, really?

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Don’t even get me started on the clothing. In what universe would anyone, regardless of gender, wander out into the frozen north to fight the evil trolls wearing nothing but a chain mail bikini bottom and nipple pasties? Seriously? Tell me this industry isn’t still male dominated. Imagine, for a moment, a world where female teachers, nurses, and business women were portrayed in the mainstream media as bikini wearing sex goddesses. Imagine the outrage that would cause, and yet we still see it in the gaming world on a regular basis. Now don’t get me wrong, I like playing a strong, sexy, bad ass girl. I just don’t want them all to be airheads with giant boobs, a terrible sense of fashion, and a complete lack of common sense.

As a freelance writer specializing in games and tech, I have noticed a lot more women in the profession now than ever before. In fact, according to the Washington Post:

“The stereotype of a “gamer” — mostly young, mostly nerdy and most definitely male — has never been further from the truth. In the United States, twice as many adult women play video games as do boys..”

If that’s true then how in the world is the industry still so lopsided? I do hear a lot more of my sister’s voices in the media and see a lot more on YouTube and that fills my heart with pride. I suppose, as with most issues, that we have a log way to go. I do think we are on the right track. We just need to stick together and keep our voices unified.

I tend to make light of and poke fun at our community, but I know the struggle is real. Gamergate has opened a huge chasm and caused an enormous amount of animosity between traditionalists and the rest of us who think the gaming industry should wake up and join the rest of the 21st century. I won’t go further down that road, but if you don’t know about Gamergate or would like to know more, please read The only guide to Gamergate you will ever need to read by Caitlin Dewey. It was an ugly and frightening mess that affected me personally as a journalist in this community and still does today. Suffice it to say that this is not a one off incident, but an ongoing struggle in the battle for women’s rights that is continuing on a whole new front. Misogyny is alive and well and it’s hiding in the dark corners of the gamer culture. The only way to stamp it out is to bring it out into the light. So lets stick together ladies and keep our heads held high.

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