Tina K. Russell

April 28, 2009

Gavin Newsom and the hedgehog vote

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 9:32 pm

When I heard that San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom was running for governor of California, I was very happy. You see, when the Walk of Game exhibit at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco opened in 2005, with Sonic The Hedgehog among its first inductees, Mayor Newsom spent some time hobnobbing with videogame heroes. (Presumably, he was courting the gamer demographic, which we could call “the question-mark bloc.”) Here is the defining picture of that event, and what I always think of when I hear the name “Gavin Newsom”:


That’s right. Mayor Newsom has his arm around a celebrating Sonic The Hedgehog. You have no idea how happy this photo made me: a politician, one with influence, is angling to be seen living it up with my favorite blue hero. (No doubt Fox News must have thought this made California look weak in the face of videogame threats.)

What amused me the most is to imagine a publicist fretting away at Newsom’s office that morning, pacing frantically and telling Newsom, “you know what you need? We need you to be seen putting your arm around… a blue hedgehog!” (You know, because you have to court the blue hedgehog demographic. You need to show that you care about animal and spectral diversity.) The truth is that it felt like he was doing it for me, for gamers everywhere, telling us that he gets the importance of videogames and modern technology, gets why I would like such a silly and idealistic hero. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but he made me happy that day.

November 1, 2008

Of echidnas and columnists

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:30 am

I was doodling in class the other day when I realized this odd similarity:

On the left is New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. On the right is Angel Island standard-bearer and Master Emerald guardian Knuckles The Echidna. I now know where that brow comes from… Bob Herbert is secretly an echidna.

This made me consider further a critical election-year issue: what if the Sonic characters were New York Times columnists? Sonic would be the quick-on-his-feet, wise-cracking Frank Rich. Tails would be the prescient, detail-oriented Paul Krugman. Amy would be the bubbly Gail Collins, while Rouge would be the alluring and vacuous Maureen Dowd.

I’m still trying to match Kristof, Friedman, and Brooks. For Kristof, I can’t think of a Sonic character quite so coolheaded, even if his realistic idealism runs deep in the Green Hill Zone. For Friedman, I need someone with good ideas but has all the articulation and substance of a broken record. (Perhaps Omega: “Observation: world is flat. Recommend course of action: innovate out of crisis. Allocate six more months before additional decision-making.”) For Brooks, I need someone who is intelligent but paints the world around him in overly broad strokes, is convinced that his opinions are that of the vaunted “average man,” and often loses himself in the layers of his arbitrary abstractions. (Perhaps Shadow: “I must avenge Maria! The real issue is one of revenge versus the concept of restitution in evolving 20th century mores! This election will come down to whether the average voter prefers Chaos Control over Chaos Blast!”)

I do not, of course, need to tell you about William Kristol. What other bald man wants to export his vision of a perfect world through military might abroad? If he begins growing a moustache or hoarding small, cute forest animals, you may want to alert Frank Rich. Tell him to bring Krugman along.

October 31, 2008

Sonic Chronicles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 1:36 am

I’ve been guzzling Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. You may remember how excited I was when the game was announced (though reports of my orgasmic death were greatly exaggerated). I have the game, and it’s wonderful. In fact, so far, I’ve found only two major problems with the game:

  1. I am aware that it ends, and
  2. Every seventeen hours, I require a period of sleep, limiting my playtime options.

Seriously, the game is a bit shallow, and may be a little too… fruity… for the hardcore RPG fanatic. (Incidentally, want to know how to tell who is an RPG fanatic? It’s anyone who considers his or her favorite variety of RPG to be the definition of “role-playing game,” believing everything else needs a qualifier. This counts double if they consider it to be the definition of “game.”) However, it’s the exact sort of fruity that appeals to me, Succulent Strawberry Tina. I’m going to require you to call me that from now on, although “Her Tastiness” will suffice.

I need to get some sleep! Good night! (…Yes, it’s 3:30 on the West Coast. Hey, saving the world is hard work…)

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