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Video Game Review: Monster Loves You!

The first video game I played was GTA3, all the way back in 2001, on the PS2. I didn’t enjoy it very much (and still don’t enjoy GTA-style games in general). The second game I ever played was much better - Age of Empires 2, on the PC. Why do I bring this up? Because it’s important to note that I started playing video games well beyond the era of the text-based adventures and RPG’s of the early 90’s. Which is important to note because Monster Loves You! is essentially a text-based adventure game, albiet one that doesn’t require typing and has a graphical interface.

It’s definitely a solid game, with a clearly defined goal that you’re working towards, and it’s probably the right length for a modern text-based adventure. The graphical interface is cutesy enough, and is very effective in capturing the player’s interest. The game also successfully incorporates some clever RPG-like stat-building, with a series of stats that can be raised or lowered depending on the conversation options the player chooses. All these elements combine into a lighter game that will be enjoyed more by casual gamers than those that play more seriously.

Which is why I can’t recommend this game; most people on Steam simply won’t enjoy it for long enough to get their money’s worth. While I enjoyed it, that was only for 51 minutes; I have no desire to play through the game again. That’s not the fault of the game, moreso the fault of the genre. Gamers have simply moved on from the days of the text-based adventure, and now prefer their RPG stats to be accomponied by a 3-dimensional world that they experience through the eyes of a character they make. If you enjoy text-based adventures or more casual games, than this is a game that you’ll get multiple hours of enjoyment from. Otherwise, the stat-building and graphical depiction of the story simply won’t be enough to keep you captivated beyond the first playthrough.

Final score: 3/10
Available on Steam for $9.99 USD

Voting For The Senate in Australia: A Guide

It’s voting day tomorrow! And while the focus is on the House of Representatives, there’s another vote that we all have to make that is perhaps a bit more important: the vote for our Senate representatives. The Senate is the second house of Parliament that all legislation has to pass through, after succeeding in the House of Representatives. 

This year has a phenomenal number of Senate candidates - ranging from 62 in WA to 110 in NSW for the states, and 24 and 27 in the NT and ACT respectively. Except for the NT, the ballot paper you receive for this will be 2 A4 pages long.

Each state has ONLY 6 seats available. Each territory has ONLY 2.

Sure, you can number each candidate individually, however that can take an incredible amount of concentration with anywhere upwards of 50 names, and if you screw up even a tiny bit, your entire vote is considered invalid. HOWEVER, you have a second option: voting above the line by putting a single vote for whichever party you support. Is simplez, as Alexsandr would say. You like this party’s policies, so you’ll simply vote for them!

But then there’s these things called “preferences”. They’re the votes that one party receives from a defeated party, to boost their primary vote (the vote you marked above the line) and get a result. They represent the voter’s “second” choice. It’s the same system as the Lower House - which is why you must number each candidate on your House of Representatives ballot.

I believe that preferences are more important than policy for Senate votes this election, simply because of the volume of candidates.

"Ah," you say, "but I didn’t preference anyone else! If my party is defeated, then my vote is done! Finito!’

"… Right?"

Incorrect. See, the Senate parties do these things called “preference deals” with each other. These decide who gets your vote if you mark above the line and your party meets an untimely demise. All of these preference deals are published, and are able to be clearly viewed for each state here: Each party has to submit a “group voting ticket” - basically what each ballot paper will look like when a voter marks above the line. Check out the one for your state - I recommend right-clicking the link, then clicking “copy link address.” Paste that into your browser’s URL bar as if you were going to a website, then backspace the “CSV” portion of the URL (so, JUST the last three letters) and type “PDF”, before pressing enter. This will bring up the PDF version of the document, which is easier to read.

Why are preferences so important? Because they can force you to elect a party that you hate. For example, Pauline Hanson, leader of the One Nation party, only needs 2% of the primary vote ABOVE THE LINE in NSW to gain a seat. The other 49%? Preferences. Speaking of One Nation, those of you voting in NSW might support the Democratic Labour Party’s stance on fusion power… But you’re also supporting One Nation, because they’re preferenced as the second party by the DLP. Knowing that, you might now feel like supporting the Fishers and Lifestyle party, because they have a nice name and you don’t really know who else to vote for. Congratulations! You’ve also voted for the similarly-named SHOOTERS AND FISHERS party, as well as - you guessed it - Pauline Hanson, both preferenced highly by the party.

So this election, don’t vote solely based on policy. I fully disagree, for example, with the Socialist Alliance’s radical stances on many issues. However, they’re on my shortlist because of their high preferencing of parties such as Wikileaks and the Pirate Party, and putting (have a guess) One Nation at the bottom of the pile.

That’s my election message to you, my vote for my Senate party “Doug’s Awesome” when we list candidates on the four-page ballot paper in 2019.





Trendy Cafe Serves Kitties With Every Cup

A new coffee shop in Sydney, Australia has a signature gimmick that cat lovers will enjoy. Every purchase comes with a purring kitty to keep you company while you sip.

“Cats are proven to calm nerves and create a restful atmosphere,” says Ralphie Hazelip, co-owner of The Purrfect Cup. “That’s exactly the mood we want to create. So far, customers love it.”

Via Brian Costelloe.


oh my god wat


Not really a cat person, but I still think that THIS IS SO COOL.


BlackBook talks about Beyonce’s amazing all-female band

One of the coolest things about Beyoncé’s live show won’t get nearly as much play as the impressive choreography or the light show or the ’90s-kid-Twitter-detonating reunion, and that is The Suga Mamas, Beyoncé’s all-female tour band, with whom she has been touring for years (as NPR’s Ann Powers helpfully pointed out, “not a gimmick”).

An all-female backing band may be part of her image and a very deliberate decision, but in an age where women playing rock instruments is still totally novel to a lot of people because most of America and the world is in a dumb time warp about stuff like this and women who are guitarists, drummers, etc. still have to “prove” themselves more than their male counterparts, to have The Suga Mamas on the biggest and most mainstream stage, performing to millions the world over, is really goddamn impressive, even if they were supporting one of the biggest names in music and of course they’d be there. 

And leading this pack is Bibi McGill, who in addition to having a pretty incredible stage presence and complementing Our Bey well, can play like nobody’s business. It’s a shame people probably missed her playing because everyone was waiting so attentively to see if Destiny’s Child would show up, because it was boss. There were pyrotechnics. There was shredding. The planets aligned and all was well.

Find out about every member of The Sugar Mamas, Beyonce’s all female band here.

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