Welcome to the world of Maude Garrett

Archive for July, 2012

Darksiders II Video!



Best thing I’ve seen all week

This is GENIUS. Well, not the part where ‘The Universe” blocks out the top user name, but keeps the reply visible.

But seriously thinking of starting up an account just to do something like this.

Next Cosplay?

Goyte vs Harry Potter

It’s one of those days…

I’ve been staring at a computer screen so long I feel like my sanity is going to try to escape out the pains in my lower back.

I was sent a simple measurements form by my agent to fill out. This is what they received. Whoops.


Another cheeky photo bomb

Happy Birthday Jade…?

OBSESSED with this game at E3!

I went to E3 this year. Pretty stoked to be there. This game was one I couldn’t step away from . Warner Bros Interactive had linked up 5v5 computer’s to play…


IT’s a real time strategy game using characters from the Tolkien lore.  Best part – it’s available on XBL and PSN!

Check out today’s press release:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today has released a new Battle Profile gameplay video forGuardians of Middle-earth where players will catch a sneak peak at of the strengths, weaknesses and abilities of Gollum and Gandalf. From the guerilla tactics of Gollum’s fast and strong attacks but weak resistances to Gandalf’s support driven abilities to deal and take a tremendous amount of damage, players will find that the strategy and tactics in Guardians of Middle-earth knows no bounds.

Here’s the vid!

Why I love my friend Milli

She made this for me. How true it is.


Each Tuesday morning, I’m a panelist alongside ACP’s Debra Thomas discussing relevant topics through the eyes of different generation.

After being styled by Amber Renae , I’m slightly more aware of my dress sense!

Loving long socks in winter. And rainbow coloured hair.

Maude turns from Slob to Woman with help of stylist Amber Renae

My friend Amber Renae constantly sees me in themed tights, oversized shirts, leather jackets and boots. She does not question why so many girls have chatted me up recently. It’s apparently quite clear to her. And I needed help.

This is me on an average day.

This is me on an average night.

This is what I looked like at the recent Audi event, with Amber Renae herself.


Difference? I think so.


Because gosh darn it, I love video games.

Any sort of gaming really. I was introduced to computer games by Dad when I was around 6-7. I didn’t really understand a lot of the themes, but picked up the game play quite quickly. In 1993 graphics weren’t out of this world. But the game play quality definitely made up for it.

Games included:

- Hack

- Leisuresuit Larry: Looking for Love

- Golden Axe

- Wolfenstein

- Ghostbusters II

- countless other games that I can only remember fragments of (ancient roman empire game, car game with nitros, wheel of fortune game)

Looking back, it was funny to realise my favourite of all these games was Leisuresuit Larry. Essentially its about a guy who’s middle-aged and balding, and really wants a root. You start the game dumped by your girlfriend, then you accidently win a perfect match contest, then the lotto, then you’re being hunted by the KBG, you have to pretend to be a chick to escape them (if you dont get a body wax or put soaps in your bikini top you get sprung) etc etc all the while trying not to catch std’s or be tied up by someone’s mum who’s into dominatrix. ODD!

My gaming evolved when I was 8-10 and spent a lot of time at vocational care during the holidays when Mum and Dad were both at work. Both my older brothers and I dominated the single SNES they had there. The other kids realised they could never be as good as us so never kicked us off. They just all gathered around and watched in awe.

Games included:

- Super Mario Bros

- Super Mario Bros 3

- Earthworm Jim

I can still play the first level of Mario Bros 3 with my eyes closed. Best part is you can download old school Nintendo games ONTO THE WII! So with a quick flip of my wii remote, I can still play it with the same graphics and soundtrack as the early 90’s. Ahh bless.

From 9-12 Dad would work on weekends. This would have been quite dull, except for the part where Dads workers all had link up games on their computers. Each week one of us was allowed to bring a friend, and we would all play against each other for hours. Best Sunday afternoon fun.

Games include:

- Doom

- Duke Nukem 3D

- Heretic

This was the most revolutionary thing we’d done – I never knew link up existed. I always wanted to play co-op, because frankly my brothers were damn good at shoot ‘em ups and I was sick of dying. Playing a lot and getting good came at a curse of course – I was on a date with my 3 week boyfriend in grade 11, and he suggested that we meet up with his mates at a gaming station to play counterstrike. He had no idea I could play, so I feigned dumbness when it came to gaming. “What button do I press to shoot? Who do I kill?” I beat not only him, but all his mates. By a lot. He dumped me.

The pivotal moment in my gaming career was when Dad brought home a Nintendo 64 when I was 11. Not only did I become the most popular girl at school, but I became addicted. This console allowed 4 players so no one ever missed out. It also meant holidays weren’t spent at vocational care anymore, since all we did was play games all day long and persuaded the folks we could look after ourselves.

Games include:

- Mario Kart 64

- Zelda: Ocarina of Time

- NBA Hangtime

- Golden Eye

- Mario 64

- Diddy Kong Racing

- Lylat Wars

By far, the best game I have ever played is Zelda – Ocarina of Time. It will always be my favourite game. Every game I play, I compare it to this one. I think it proved to me that my favourite type of game is 1 player platform adventure. Sigh.

Because of the Nintendo, my family grew a loyalty to the brand like no other. We never bought a Playstation, and to this day still have never owned one.

From 14-20 technology was flowing. Our PC was faster and better than ever before, and many games were added to it. My brother also purchased a gamecube – which seemed like a good idea at the time

Games include:

- Age of Empires

- Heroes of Might and Magic

- Sims

- Super Smash Bros Melee

- Zelda: Windwaker

Then of course, another revolutionary gaming experience occurred when I was 19. Dad purchased World of Warcraft for PC, a massively multi-player online role playing game. I started up a character or two, and my life was over. It was a constant struggle between family member on who would play when. I had it during the day when Dad was at work, he had it at night. It is a game that eats your soul. I would easily play for 7 hours straight, forgetting to eat or live. I have played until 4am in the morning scared to let down the team I was in doing quest after quest. My brother bought a computer a set it up next to the first one so that 2 people could play at a time. I have since stopped playing, but my father has not. He has so many characters, many at maximum levels. He is God.

I now own every moden console, including hand held. I play online, I have the headsets. I’ll keep reviewing the games I’m playing.


MASS EFFECT 1 through to 3 ON XBOX

First Impressions of my favourite games

I found game reviews too! Very interesting reading these, especially since I’ve played through the sequels.


Dragon Age:

If you haven’t worked out by now that I’m a fiend for an RPG then you’re brain dead with a talent of punching in this web address. I tried Oblivion to no avail (why make the whole world open from the start! I need to be guided through, I need directions!) so cue the biggest RPG release of the year – Dragon Age. I love that you can choose your race/class . I opted for a Dalish Elf warrior and I’m already regretting it. Tanks in this game are in no way superior. Go the mage, I say! In fact, I’ll probably make another character very soon – and make her a mage. It won’t be tedious for me to start again either, since each different race has a very unique start (think WOW). The graphics are a little Oblivion-esque, was hoping it would favour the Fable II graphics a little more. Still! The excitement is there. When you battle. If you battle. There are soooo many effing cut scenes in this game, that I was very excited to find the skip scene button (x). So I now have no idea what the hell I’m doing, replying to, or what is being said, but at least I get to kill things quicker!

Assassins Creed:

I was definitely slow off the mark with this game. I’d heard the title come up in a few forums and convos, but never looked into it. Shame on me. It’s a sensational game! I have completely fallen in love with it, and struggle to get off once I get started. Everything about this game is breath taking. The graphics especially. They have been so meticulous with every detail, from backgrounds, to buildings, to non-descript people, to shadows. I didn’t really understand what was going on at first, but as soon as it shaped together I was addicted. I love the way it is so easy to scale buildings, the fluid motion of every movement from horse riding to jumping from rooftops. And the fact that I can silently kill guards with throwing knives and a concealed blade. This, scarily, makes me shudder in delight. Assassins Creed 2 comes out in days. I will lose a lot of sleep over this, in anticipation until I own it, and then not stopping until I’ve finished it.


So this is what the next few weeks of my life with be dedicated to. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Old Book Reviews I found

I found this post from ’09, when I was reading books every waking second.

Books. Yeah, I read ‘em.
And to prove it, I’m going to write a little review on the ones I have read recently. Last week alone I read 3! Since then I’ve read another 2. Go me. Just showing you I can actually put down the controller, get up from the couch, and mosey up to my room to read for hours on end. Such is life.

Yes, I’ve read Twilight. I read the series after it being strongly suggested to me by a friend (way before the movies). Yes, I enjoyed them. Yes, I’m on Team Jacob. Or Edward. Screw it, I’m probably on Team Emmett. I read all 4 books in 5 days. Each day I would wake up, frantically wait until 10am then walk to the book store just around the corner from my house and purchase the next one. So yeah, I get vampires. I like the idea of them too. I recommended the series to my Mum (an avid reader) and she bloody loved them too. But she remained addicted to vamp novels, and continued to purchase every vamp series the book shops could offer her to satisfy her thirst (pun intended). There are hits and misses in vamp series as you’ll see. And I’m not just reading Vamp novels either.

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
– Vampire Academy
– Frostbite
– Shadow Kiss
– Blood Promise
I liked this series. The books are very easy to read – I was reading one a day. The female protagonist Rose is strong, sharp and witty – everything Bella from Twilight wasn’t. The author also creates new elements about the Vampire world which work effectively. For instance, there are two types of vampires – Moroi (who are alive and wield elemental powers, which I believe could have been played up more) and the Strigoi who are undead, evil, and kill people to eat. Then you have the Dhampirs (Rose), a half human/half Moroi who’s sole job is to protect the Moroi (her best friend) from being attacked by Strigoi. Sounds complicated, but it works.
It can be a bit teenagey here and there because most of the series is set in a boarding school-like scenario, and is trying to be the next epic love tale. On the whole, not bad! 7.5/10

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clarke
– City of Bones
– City of Ashes
– City of Glass
For once, Vampires are not the main supernatural specimens. You explore a world of Shadow Hunters who’s job it is to control the peace pact between the Downworlders (werewolves, vamps, faeries, warlocks etc) and to slay demons from other dimensions. It takes a new direction in fanatical magic, obtaining health, stealth, strength and luck by drawing the corresponding runes onto their skin, leaving black tattoo-like marks all over their body.
The story revolves around the are-they-or-aren’t-they siblings/lovers Clary and Jace. Clary discovers the existence of demons and Shadow Hunters, when in fact she shouldn’t be able to see them at all. The Shadow Hunter in question is the angelic looking Jace – who every girl under 25 will just lust after. He holds a lot of his upbringing on his shoulders, something it seems only Clary can remove.
The three books seem to offer something new in each – and special mention goes to the character of Simon – Clary’s unsuspecting but incredibly funny best friend who gives many of the best one liners. I also think he wears a Star Wars and a gaming shirt throughout the series – my kinda guy!

House of Night Series by P.C + Kristin Cast
– Marked
– Bunch of others you dont need to know
Put simply – these series are so very bad. It is written as if it’s for 10 year olds, but in the first third of the book the lead character catches a girl trying to give a ‘uber hawt’ guy a blow job. ???I will not read past the first book, that was hard enough for me. They try to pass Faith Hill of as being a ‘Vampyre’ and use the word ‘poopie’. No thanks. 2/10.




Evernight – Claudia Gray
I didn’t mind this book. It is set in the usual boarding-school surroundings and focus on the school, students and studies at a darkly school called Evernight (cough, Harry Potter). But this book threw me out – there are 2 main twists that weren’t as predictable as other books I’ve read. That’s a good start! They are definitely trying to do the whole epic love story thing here, and the whole forbidden love thing too. How original. Problem is I don’t know enough about these characters (Bianca and Lucas) to really yearn for them, with them and to really feel anything for them. In fact, I like the other guy that is in the class called Balthazar, he is very well-mannered and I think more boys should take a leaf out of his book. Even if he is a vampire. Spoiler. Whoops. Not too sure if I’ll read the other 2 in this series: Stargazer and Hourglass (due for release this year)

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
This is not fantasy. There are no supernatural species. This, I’m proud to say, is science fiction. I don’t read sci-fi. But this book is AWESOME.
Written in 1985 by the unusually named author, it is set in the future during a century of war with insectiod aliens called ‘Buggers’. The story follows Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin from 6 years of age, when he is plucked from school to start at the Battle School to train him up to become a fleet commander. Ender is a child genius, as are his two older siblings. His eldest brother was too cruel and ruthless, his sister Valentine too compassionate and kind. Ender was the perfect balance of both, and showed tactical perfection in both training and games. He rises through the ‘ranks’ at an unheard of pace – keeping up with the students many years older. It is a real psychological journey in Enders mind, observing what decisions are being made by the head of the school to make him the ultimate person to save the planet from a future invasion.
It is so cleverly written that it absorbed me in. I felt so empathic for Ender, and the amount of pressure thrown on him is exhausting. It is such a good read, one I did in less than a day. It has won a lot of awards, and it’s obvious why. 9/10

Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris
Otherwise known as True Blood on television. There are a hell of a lot of books in this series.
I’ve wanted to read these books as I’d started watching the series on Showtime and enjoyed it. I got a little lost at one stage, then I fell behind, then gave up. Reading the books let me do it at my own pace, but the characters have already been created for me. It is a fun book. There is lots going on, and major things are dropped in, like mind-reading, vampires and shape-shifting without much exposition or explanation. But it works! Sookie Stackhouse is such a gal. She knows how to hold her own with a smile on her face, and has been through a lot without wanting to throw pain back at the world. The book is very similar to the series – but there is no Tara yet! Thank god! That girl irks me to tears. I really enjoyed this book and will read the entire series. 8.5/10

Currently reading:

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

POST SCRIPT – I read Graceling. It’s bloody incredible. The kick-ass heroine is definitely getting milked dry, but she’d be great going head-to-head with Hunger Games’ Katniss. Best part about this story is that you think you really know the ins and outs of it all – until a gigantic ball is dropped on you by the author. Clever girl. 


New pics

This week I did a shoot with Glenn Marsden.

LOVE the fun pics! Glad I got to capture the hair before it all washes out.

2010 – 2012 Copyright GlennMarsdenPhotography – All Rights Reserved.

‘Images may NOT be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission of GlennMarsdenPhotography.’


Just Marvel-lous!

Happy FORCE of July!

It’s a man’s (virtual) world

Here’s an article written by Lucy Meyer about the abuse that females ‘cop’ from male gamers while playing online. She phoned me for a chat about my experiences and I confessed to her that I, like many of my female gamer friends, seem to be on the receiving end of some incredibly inappropriate and vile abuse.

Why does this happen?

How can we change the norm?

Is it just acceptable trash talk, or is it something that should not be taken lightly?

Should females lay low and hide themselves, or fight back?

Have a read, would love to hear your thoughts.

Sexual harassment is rife in the world of online video gaming. While video games are often thought of as a male pursuit, an increasing number of women are playing them. Having entered a domain that was once dominated by men, female gamers are being met by abuse.

“F—–g dumb bitch. I hope a f—–g n—-r rapes you and f—–g kills you and your family.”

These are the words Jenny Haniver hears while playing a video game online. Her male opponent shouts them at her. It’s only a game, but he sounds like he means it.

It’s the worst tirade of abuse Jenny has received while playing video games online, but it’s not an isolated incident. The 23-year-old student goes online almost every night to play the popular multiplayer combat-based game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, where gamers communicate via headsets.

Maude Garrett.Gamer girl Maude Garrett.

Haniver is part of a growing number of women who enjoy gaming online. According to a US-based study by the Entertainment Software Association, 42 per cent of gamers are now female.

Every time Haniver plays, she is harassed because of her gender. Men call her bitch, slut and whore. They tell her that she has no right to be playing video games because she’s a woman. And sometimes, they even threaten to rape and kill her.

Alarmed at the level of abuse she was receiving, Haniver created a website called Not in the Kitchen Anymore to document her experiences. She posts screen grabs and audio files of the harassment she encounters.

Jenny Haniver, the creator of the website Not in the Kitchen Anymore.Jenny Haniver, the creator of the website Not in the Kitchen Anymore.

A similar website, Fat, Ugly or Slutty, also chronicles the abuse female gamers are subjected to. When I speak to the site’s co-founder, Grace, she reads me the latest submission: “F— you bitch, f— I will rape you in the pussy, f— you”.

It’s not just websites like Fat, Ugly or Slutty that are drawing attention to the treatment of women in online gaming. A series of recent incidents has also intensified the debate surrounding the issue.

A few weeks ago, the executive producer of a new Tomb Raider reboot, Ron Rosenberg, announced that a pack of scavengers will try to rape heroine Lara Croft during a scene in the new game. Rosenberg’s comments reignited a debate about whether the prevalence of sexualised violence in video games is to blame for the gaming world’s problem with sexual harassment.

Grace from the website Fat, Ugly or Slutty.Grace from the website Fat, Ugly or Slutty.

Around the same time, pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a feminist video series on the portrayal of women in gaming. While Sarkeesian has already raised more than $US158,000, she has also received a large number of venomous comments on her YouTube channel, which include threats of sexual assault.

In February, another female member of the gaming community was condemned for expressing her views. Gaming writer Jennifer Hepler was attacked on Twitter and in online forums after she was quoted on the social news site Reddit proposing that games could be improved if players had the option of skipping combat sections. Many of the criticisms levelled against Hepler concentrated on her gender.

Not long after Hepler was abused, the world’s first online gaming reality show, Cross Assault, sparked outrage when one of its male stars defended the use of the word “rape” and the phrase “rape that bitch” while gaming.

Gamer girl Maude Garrett says sexual harassment is "almost a norm" in gaming.Gamer girl Maude Garrett says sexual harassment is “almost a norm” in gaming.

“There’s nothing unacceptable about that,” stated player Aris Bakhtanians during a live broadcast.

The competitive gamer also claimed that “sexual harassment is part of the culture” of combat-based games.

Bakhtanians issued an apology, but the Cross Assault incident lead to a heated debate within the gaming community about whether the abuse women face is unacceptable or simply a legitimate form of the “trash talking” that occurs between players during online fighting games.

“I try to stay under the radar,”  says Rebecca Oakley, who hides her gender while gaming.“I try to stay under the radar,” says Rebecca Oakley, who hides her gender while gaming.

“Trash talking is a part of gaming,” admits Haniver.

“But when you start attacking people based on their gender, that’s a line that should not be crossed because that has literally nothing to do with their ability to game.”

Gender-focused abuse is so common in the gaming world that many women have come to expect it.

To Maude Garrett, who hosts 2DayFM’s gaming segment, Geek Speak, sexual harassment is “almost a norm” in the gaming world.

Garrett can’t count the amount of times she’s been told to “get back in the kitchen” while gaming online.

Though sexual harassment in gaming is widespread, not all women experience it. But that has less to do with the frequency of abuse and more to do with the way women identify themselves online.

According to Grace, many women disguise their gender to avoid being targeted. They tend to choose androgynous screen names, play as male characters, and even avoid speaking so their voice won’t give them away.

This practice is known as “hiding”, says Grace.

It’s a form of camouflaging that long-time gamer Rebecca Oakley knows all about.

“I try to stay under the radar,” says the 36-year old Melbourne mother.

“I’ve seen people say, ‘I’m a girl’ and the abuse that gets hurled at them from ‘get back in the kitchen’ to ‘f—- off, girls don’t play video games’ is just incredible.”

Hiding is one of many techniques female gamers employ to deal with abuse.

Another, cited by many gamers Fairfax Media spoke to, is adapting to the gaming world by “toughening up”.

“You have to develop a bit of a thick skin when you start playing online,” says 23-year-old Melbourne student and avid gamer Katie Laczko.

If a male player’s comments are particularly offensive, female players can leave the game they are in and join another.

According to Haniver, this approach isn’t always successful, with some men chasing women from one game to another in a virtual cat and mouse game.

“There are some people who follow you from game to game all night, for no other reason except that they are stalking you for fun,” says Haniver.

“There are also people who will send you messages harassing you hours after you play with them.”

When avoiding an abusive player fails, women can report a player and try to have them banned. But many gamers recount how ineffectual this complaint system can be.

According to Oakley, “you’ll only get a stock standard ‘we take your report very seriously and can’t advise you of the action, but blah blah blah, rest assured, we will be looking into this petition’”.

If a gamer does manage to have an offensive player’s account banned, that player can always open a new account and begin abusing them once more.

For some women, the sexual harassment they experience while gaming is too much to bear.

“A lot of people have said they have stopped playing online games, they will just play single player games,” says Grace.

Laczko recalls a friend who was very active in the gaming community, until the harassment wore her down.

“She couldn’t handle the abuse that was being thrown at her, “ says Laczko.

“Unfortunately, she actually suffered a lot.”

It’s not just women who are turning away from gaming because of the prevalence of sexual harassment.

Long-time gamer and editor of CNET Seamus Byrne says he feels ashamed of the way some of his fellow male gamers are treating women online.

“I quite regularly think about whether I want to be defined as a gamer when these are the kind of people who seem to be getting all the attention for what gaming is supposed to be,” says Byrne.

While many agree that the gaming world has a problem with sexual harassment, there is a debate about what, if anything, can be done about it.

Haniver thinks a change in attitudes is in order. Even though an increasing number of women are gaming, she is still met by surprise when male gamers hear her voice and realise they are playing with a woman. Haniver believes that when men begin to realise that female gamers are common, they will be less shocked when they encounter them and less likely to respond in a negative manner.

Others aren’t so hopeful. Oakley believes that the situation for women in gaming will never improve. To her, the sexual harassment female gamers encounter is an unavoidable consequence of the anonymity of online gaming. In such an environment, she argues, people think they can get away with anything.

Known as the Online Disinhibition Effect, this is an oft-quoted theory that has been applied to all manner of online interactions.

To Grace, anonymity is only part of the picture of what’s happening in gaming.

“People think it’s about anonymity and so they think the problem is too large to try to solve,” she says.

“If you start thinking about it in terms of consequences on an account, it starts to feel like a smaller problem that we can start working on.”

As a programmer, Grace believes there are many changes that gaming companies can make to combat harassment.

In April, she contributed to an episode of online video series Extra Credits, which canvassed consequence-based initiatives that gaming companies could introduce to deter their players from harassing others. These included the idea that if 80 per cent of a player’s messages are ignored, that player should lose the right to message anyone besides their friends.

As part of the episode, Extra Credits launched a campaign targeting Microsoft’s Xbox Live online gaming platform and challenging Micrsoft to act. In May, Extra Credits writer James Portnow was invited to meet with Microsoft to discuss how the ideas suggested in the episode could be realized.

While none of the ideas proposed on Extra Credits have been put into practice yet, Grace believes the meeting with Microsoft was a positive step forward.

“If we can start realising that there are systems out there that can even make a small dent, then that’s better than what we have,” she says.

Even minor changes will make a difference for female gamers, who want to continue playing the games they love without being harassed because of their gender.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/digital-life/games/its-a-mans-virtual-world-20120627-211du.html#ixzz1zQ1rneSj


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