Monday, March 29, 2010

l'Cie Tattoo Finally Real: First Gamer Known to Get the Arm Ink

Yes, the day is here.  The L'cie tattoo has left the world of fantasy and entered the realm of crude matter.  Major kudos to Crawlerbasher for making this totally airwolf ink happen.  Follow this link for the full pic.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

8-Bit Vintners

As a gamer, when you hear the term "home-brew", you likely think of people developing software.  But there is another world out there, a world of people who make actual, real-life things.  And sometimes our world overlap.

Enter 8-Bit Vintners

My wine is for anyone who spent time trying to save a princess or fit odd shaped blocks together. We may have never met, but we have more in common than we ever knew. So blow out that old Contra cartridge, give the NES a good dust off, and pour yourself a glass.
Excellent!  For reasons completely unknown to me, wine says "class" to Americans more than anything.  So why not pull out a bottle for your next dinner party?  Before Rock Band, I mean.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Illusion of Chomp

I cannot, nay, will not get enough of this video.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guy Applies for Bills Asst Coach -- with Gaming Resume

One of the PostersImage by Pete Zarria via Flickr
Gaming yields skills.  Teamwork, problem solving, negotiation, leadership, tenacity.   You know this.  I know this.  But do the Buffalo Bills know it? 

I guess we're going to find out.  This guy submitted a very professional resume and cover letter for the Bills assistant head coach position.  A few of my favorite qualifications:

  • Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare - Instituted various team building exercises that resulted in avoiding Epic Fails.
  • Madden 94-09 -- Responsible for in-game play-calling and execution, including the proper time to call an audible and when to "reverse the play".
  • Tecmo Bowl -- Rushed 4,897,611 yards during the pre-season  with Bo Jackson.
If this dude doesn't get the job, it will be a severe setback in the movement for gamer's rights. 

The post is a must-read, so get over there and check it.   And if his site doesn't start selling 8-bit 716 t-shirts, I will be sorely disappointed.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Gamer T-Shirt: National Joust Association

No, I've never written a fan-fic based in the Joust universe.  Who would do that?  I mean, that would just be crazy, right?  Heh heh.

Get the shirt here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Super Star Trek -- There's an App for That

I am not alone in my interest in the archaic text-based space strategy game Super Star Trek.  Recent months have given us an iPhone version

Is the iPhone ushering in a new generation of homegrown games?  The direct-to-download PC market doesn't seem to be breaking any records, but perhaps the portability and general fun of Apple's money-printing machine is providing garage game developers with a new outlet.

Find reviews here and here.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Top Five Final Fantasy Characters... on MSNBC?

Concept art by Yoshitaka Amano.What about me?
Apparently we live in a society in which mainstream news outlets care about Final FantasyMSNBC recently posted a list "the top five greatest" FF characters.  My feelings are mixed.

Pro: Hey!  FF on MSNBC!
Con: Isn't "top five greatest" redundant?

Pro: Vincent Valentine!
Con: Tidus?  I mean... Tidus?  The crybaby?  Not Auron?  Or Yuna?

Pro: Balthier!
Con: Why aren't there any characters from before 6?

Pro: Sephiroth!
Con: Sephiroth?  Obvious much?

While I am glad to see a big news site taking an interest, I am disappointed in the choices.  How were these characters selected?  Perhaps something more specific than "top greatest" would have been helpful.  Most memorable?  Coolest? 

The stories of Final Fantasy are certainly complex enough to merit actual literary analysis.  If you're going to say "greatest", I want to see a PhD involved.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Urgent EVOKE - Week One Reactions

Could a video game change the world for the better?  Let's find out.

The concept of EVOKE -- the browser/RL mmorpg which calls itself "a ten-week crash course in changing the world" -- is to take all of the highly addictive and social aspects of online gaming and use them to turn the click-happy into engineers of social change.  Curious?  A slick online presence, with a well-made comic and  hip grunge graphics, will seal the deal. 

Naturally, I signed up for an account.  Mission #1 came today, and instead of pondering which flash game to try on I found myself deciding exactly what my social agenda will be.  Do I care about the greening of the world?  Access to education? 

Each piece of Evidence (e.g. following a social innovator on twitter, reading an article and posting about it on an EVOKE blog) yields character points which you allocate to your powers.  Yes, powers.  Not Ranged Weapons or Mana Recovery, though:  Collaboration, Sustainability, Local Insight, etc.  Each action you log is reviewed, and if found suitable awarded points.  And as other users check out your stuff, they can give you points for it as well.  Forget grinding in a dungeon -- grind on the web looking for examples of urban farms.

So far it's a great concept carried out with flair.  I'm concerned about scalability, though; if it gets huge, how many staff will be needed to review the Evidence?  Either way, being a "certified EVOKE innovator" is sure to be more fulfilling than making Commodore Emeritus on Super Star Trek.  Not by much, but still.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

DSi XL Feature News: Update Your Gray Matter

Yes, the DSi is the apex of gamer lifestyle hardware.  And yes, bigger might just be better.  So much marketing has gone into selling this little guy as the magic keep-your-brain-active tool that the pressure to make the screens legible to people over the age of ten has presumably been rained down upon the R&D folks in a torrent of directives and memoranda.  While the 'nets are all hoping/assuming the DSi XL is meant to compete in the burgeoning e-reader market, perhaps it's meant for something else.

The list of included software pretty much clinches it:

  • Brain Age™ Express: Arts & Letters
  • Brain Age™ Express Math
  • Photo Clock

What in Helsinki?  Where's the Classic Book Collection?  How about a little PDF reader action?  HEAR MY PLEA!

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