The Player Perspective

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Mattel has revealed a big change in the usual careers of its famous female toy. From doctor to veterinarian to chef, the new game-designer Barbie is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

According to an article published on, this is a big step. Although Mattel had previously attempted to intertwine gaming with Barbie back in 2014 with the release of a Barbie book titled “I Can Be A Computer Engineer”, it was pulled off the shelves for its controversial sexist themes.

The book involved Barbie working on a game idea then realizing she can’t actually make the game- only come up with the premises.

The Game Developer Barbie- “Career of the Year” campaign is said to be released in Summer 2016.

Read the full Polygon article here!


Heightened interest in gaming leads to exciting city expansions

Vancouver is the site of several innovative board game themed restaurants. However, a growing interest in those games has caused several restaurants to make an appearance in Calgary –  and gamers seem keen about that idea.

Darryl Boone, manager of Pizzera Ludica in Vancouver, established his own board game restaurant in January 2014. Offering a selection of over 700 board games, his pizzeria aims to dispel the typical geeky stereotypes surrounding the genre.

“To me, board games are just a medium like books or movies, and there are movies for everybody. It all depends really, on how the community sees gaming.”

Pizzeria Lucida isn’t the only Vancouver site that appeals to gamers.

Stormcrow Tavern is also known for its incorporation of gaming and dining.

Allowing gamers, sci-fi fans and fantasy fanatics alike to get together and chow down while enjoying board games, Stormcrow Tavern is extremely popular. Customer reviews on Trip Advisor have described the restaurant as a “fandom heaven” with “a great nerdy atmosphere and great menu”

Owner Jason Kapalka feels that a rising interest in board gaming has helped the success of his gamer inspired restaurant.

“Board games are definitely a thing that’s having a bit of a Renaissance. It makes sense that given that increased interest and making a public space where you can play games and do that while eating and drinking, it seems like something the public is certainly ready for.”

And it would appear that the installment of a place such as Metal Galaxy – or Pips Board Game Café that recently opened in Calgary’s Marda Loop – is already gaining fans.

Local Calgary gamer Lucas Boyce visited PiPS café shortly after it opened.

“It was right packed with people of all ages. After playing some games, I had a coffee and sat and laughed with the employees about their favorite games. I was pleasantly surprised”.

Metal Galaxy is another Calgary based gaming store that specializes in social gaming, board games and trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering.

Owner Pascal Espinosa has high hopes for the expansion of his business, which now recently incorporates both social gaming and dining.

“The day we opened my store was swamped. We’re now a traditional gaming store, board-game café, all-in-one. Alongside board games, we also have collectible cards for card game enthusiasts and a variety of card games that you can play in-store”

Espinosa thinks that game restaurants will not only provide a perfect place for people to get together and socialize, but they will also spark intrigue in what board gaming has to offer.

Greg Jackson, manager of the Sentry Box in Calgary, agrees.

“If they are strictly a café that has games to play while you’re there, then I wouldn’t really consider that competition. In fact, that would probably help generate more interest in gaming in the city.”

SAIT culinary student and card game enthusiast Eric Facchini also agrees that there is major appeal in having gaming restaurants.

As a loyal Calgarian, Facchini says that having more of these gaming themed restaurants would make the city even more exciting.

“I find [gaming] would make a large difference, especially on the atmosphere inside of restaurants. So you go in and see your favorite game and say ‘I want to play that but oh man, what am I going to do when I’m hungry?’ Then you can just order some wings, or some fries. It’d be heaven for a gamer.”

(Story and photo by Lexi Wright)



PC gamers have not only taken the reigns as master console players, but they have also proven their success in the sack.

MyVoucherCodes, a UK based discount and couponing website (don’t get me wrong, if you check out the website, it has nothing to do with either gaming or sex….) produced a poll asking 2,747 different types of gamers about their sexual relationships.

Once determining who was a faithful PC player versus Xbox and PlayStation junkies, the poll asked how each individual would rate their partner in the bedroom.

The results? Computer gamers emerged victorious, with 54% of respondents describing their partners as “good” or better at sex. 22% of respondents said their  PC-gaming, role-playing hotties were “excellent” in bed.

Xbox gamers pulled-out at a close second, with 47% of pollers describing their sexual partner “good” or better. Playstation gamers ended up not-so playful. 3% of those polled described their partners as “excellent”and 8% rated them as “good”.

But console gamers, don’t be ashamed if these results turn you off. Although the study is uniquely surprising, the real question begs: more gaming? Or more sex?


In 1993, a trading-card game was created. In 2015, it remains the word’s most popular. Magic: the Gathering is a strategy card game that allows players to collect and trade cards in order to build a deck that they can use to play in casual or competitive events. Each card has its own unique properties and caters to a specific gaming tactic. On Sept. 27th 2015, Broken City, a trendy bar in the heart of YYC, held the Battle for Zendikar pre-release which celebrated the release of a new set of cards. With over 140 attendees, the event proved to be one of the largest pre-release events yet.

(Story and video by Lexi Wright)

3..2..1..GAME DESIGN!


Photo_Kyle_2.JPGCheck out Reczek’s latest gaming endeavor at

Like many Calgarians, Kyle Reczek started his career working in the oil and gas industry. But he ended up leaving the comfort of his job to pursue his childhood passion for video games, becoming a one-man-band game designer.

“I remember bugging my parents to get me a Nintendo for Christmas, so they gave me one just to shut me up” Kyle Reczek says, adding that his first video game experience was the original Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo NES console.

After that, there was never a shortage of rented Blockbuster games hanging out in his bedroom.

Though Reczek was able to identify his passion for game development early on, the process of turning that into a job seemed daunting. “I knew I wanted to go and make games as a career, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do that,” Reczek says.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Calgary, Reczek got a job in the oil and gas industry working with oil and gas software company.

Oil and gas offered a stable career, but Reczek revelled in launching his own gaming company –BanyanGo – something that happened in May of 2015.

“I had a few [game] prototypes that I had been working on in my spare time. Because I would work an eight hour shift at my oil job, I would come home and work on games until midnight. You can only do that for so long, so you kind of have to make a choice about what you want to do.”

That choice to become a one-man game studio gives Reczek lots of independence and options – from designing the physical appearance of a game’s character to the music that’s going to be heard during gameplay.

The latest result is a game called 3,2,1,Grenades, a first-person shooter that will be released on Mac and PC within the upcoming year. Reczek designed a simple game so that regardless of video gaming skills, anyone would be able to play with ease.

“I don’t know if it’s paid off yet, I won’t know for a while, but I do know it’s definitely better than I had expected”.

(Story and photo by Lexi Wright)


I came across an interesting article on the Internet the other day while allowing my curiosity to get the better of me. I have always had a keen interest in taboo topics, one of which remains the secrecy behind Internet culture. I have little heard the term “deep web” be used in personal conversation, but I saw the term used on Facebook and my curiosity spiked.

What exactly is the deep web?

According to Paul Gil, Internet basics expert with, search engines index less than 10% of online content. This means that 90% of the world wide web is hidden from the public eye. This 90% includes both dark content, such as websites designed to buy, sell, and trade illegal drugs, but can also be used as a communication wave for those living in totalitarian and Internet restricting states.

You can read an in-depth article about the deep, dark, and invisible web here: (Pc Advisor)


Apple’s new iPad Pro is to be released on November 11th but because early reception to the device has been overwhelmingly positive, online sales will commence directly on launch day with retail stores releasing the iPad later during the week. (IGN)

Beginning Winter 2015,  Frisco, TX will house the National Video Game Museum where creative and competitive minds alike can revel in not only a variety of retro consoles, but unique and rare gaming artifacts. (Polygon)

Traditional release dates of Call of Duty video games have historically been on Tuesdays but in the UK, the game has been shipped three days in advance giving rise to some of the most advantageous sales the series has ever seen. (Gamespot)

Role-playing shooter game Fallout 4 is being hailed as one of the best games of the year, but critics say the game isn’t as glorious as it seems due to its inconsistent logic where elements of realism conflict with other aspects, such as the invincibility of the main characters pet dog. (Huffington Post)

6000 people attended Anime Nebraskon 2015, an anime convention held in Omaha, NE. but not only did the convention prove successful for individual attendees, the convention helped raise $7,500 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. (The Daily Nebraskan)

How Calgary plays the world’s most popular card game…

On September 27th, 2015, the Battle for Zendikar pre-release was held at Broken City bar in the downtown district of YYC. While reporting on this event, I had the fantastic opportunity to interview pro-tournament players and spend some time immersed in Calgary’s Magic: the Gathering community.

You can read my full article on the Reflector’s website here: CLICK ME I’M MAGICAL

Magic: the Gathering combines both skillful strategy and good old-fashioned gaming luck.
Magic: the Gathering combines both skillful strategy and good old-fashioned gaming luck.


Video game music is almost exclusively heard in video games, but gaming nerd Stephen Colbert brought had an orchestra showcase music from the popular video game series, Legend of Zelda, on his late night television show. (Last Night On)

Nintendo has reported the new release of a console called the Nintendo NX, but after the short-lived success of the Wii U, the pressure is on to see this revolutionary gaming device thrive. (CBC)

A revised edition of Game of Thrones: The Card Game, has officially hit gaming store shelves, but the newest edition of the game has sparked interest due to the cards new art and gameplay mechanics. (Cnet)

A new card game called Epic is looking to win the hearts and dollars of gamers but it will have to compete with Magic: the Gathering, which has been in existence for over 20 years.  (iDigitalTimes) 

North Bay, Ont. has a new form of entertainment where individuals must escape from a locked room. But the success rate for the rooms is only 35% making it difficult to decide whether the experience will be fun or frustrating. (Nugget) 

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