Monday, October 14, 2013

Game Changer

Recently,  there have been a spate of violent mass shootings. Every time a Newton, CT or Washington Navy Yard-caliber event happens, eager politicians react in the only way they seem to know how: by politicizing the event and mobilizing their constituents into a fervor of fear. 

Usually, these tragic incidents are reduced to a series of talking points as the politician elaborates on why this latest incident demostrates a need for more stringent gun control, harsher mental health penalties, or a reduction in civil liberties. Sometimes, however, a particularly overzealous politician will point to the ESA and claim, inexplicably, that violent video games are the reason that some obviously troubled individual decided to commit such an unforgivable atrocity.

Contrary to what politicians may try to tell you, there is a limited amount of research on the casual link between playing violent video games and actually being violent.  In fact, the American Psychological Association, which issued a controversial statement advocating for a reduction in exposure of violent video games in 2005, has recently decided to review its statement. Conflicting reports exist in regards to exposure to video game violence and a propensity for real world violence. Until definitive research is published, and a consensus about the implications of the research reached, it is premature to assume that video games or any other form of media is responsible for a violent outburst.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Future is Now!

Every console war has ushered in new and exciting games that will come to define the following generation for years to come. These contemporary classicss forced the consumer to sit up and take notice of the exciting platforms. Mario 64, Goldeneye, Halo, Assassin's Creed; these are but a few of the harbingers of excitement that the gamer community has been fortunate enough to behold. If you were anything like me, I'm sure you were rocking this expression when you unwrapped your Christmas presents:

Now, as Sony and Microsoft (...and Nintendo, I guess) square off again, this modern generation of consoles is posed to create new and exciting games that will keep us sleep deprived and socially inept for the next decade. Here are some of the games I'm most excited about. 


Grand Theft Auto 5

Three protagonists. Two hands. One Controller. Awesome.

Beyond Two Souls

Ellen Paige reprises her role as Ellie from the Last of Us...what? Different characters? Are you sure?

Batman: Arkham Origins

I want that suit. I'm referring to Black Mask's suit. Batman's suit is cool, too, I guess.


Uh..............I'll come back to them. 



 Giant (non)mechs meet whiney fanboys. COD> LIFE. (sorry, had to do it. )

Quantum Break

Honestly,  I have no idea what the hell is going. And I just watched this video 30 times. It's pretty, though.


I mean, there's gotta be something right?


The Order

Glowy weapons and olde English?! Verily, I am hype.

Infamous: Second Son

Ash powers? It's called lotion, son.


I finally thought of some games I want to play for the Wii U!

Pikmin 3

Swarming flowers? Maybe now my girlfriend will stop asking for them.  

Super Smash Brothers

A challenger approaches...for my attention!

What are some of the games you're looking forward to playing? Sound off in the comments!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Console Wars

A few weeks ago, Microsoft finally revealed the plans for its long-awaited successor to the Xbox 360 - the awfully named Xbox One  

and fanboy's heads everywhere exploded.

The event was broadcasted live and was a clear indication that the next generation console wars are upon us (Sony released some juicy tidbits about their pending -and numerically logically named system- a few weeks ago).If you get nerdwood about polygons and framerate counts then you may be able to appreciate the specifications chart that IGN posted shortly after the reveal.
Currently, I have all three systems - a PlayStation, a Wii (what was I thinking!?), and a Xbox - and they are all adept at different things. If I want a triple-A exclusive title, more often than not I choose the PlayStation. The Xbox is home for all of my co-op or competitive multiplayer interaction (seriously great idea packing a microphone with your system; thought that would have been a no-brainer, Sony), and the Wii is most useful for keeping important papers from blowing away (newsflash Nintendo: There are only so many Dance Dance knockoffs and craptastic "exclusives" one can swallow before one loses faith in your brand). When the consoles were first revealed, I had no idea that I would prefer one over the other. I like to think I am objective and can make a clear and rational choice in all matters. Initially, I was impressed by the sheer amount that Xbox could do. Between Skype, "snap" mode, and the reward-me-I'm-lazy! availability of voice commands, I had very little doubt that Xbox would slowly ascend to the top of the crap heap that is my TV stand Lord of the Flies style. I was, however, dismayed by their approach to used games even if I was buoyed by the sheer number of exclusives they have. The PlayStation, which is my usual bastion for Triple A rated titles, seemed to have a dearth of exclusivity, instead offering add-ons or DLC that very few people should actually care about. However, PlayStation seemed to recognize the gamers and wanted to reward the gamers for being loyal. They took a very friendly approach to lending and buying second-hand games. I think Microsoft should think long and hard about alienating their main constituents in order to appeal more widely to the masses. I understand the merits of the Blue ocean Strategy, but shouldn't that strategy be adopted in conjunction with the strategy of keeping your core constituents happy as well? I wonder if Microsoft should take some notes from Nintendo about how well alienating "hardcore" gamers to engage casual gamers works as a business model?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Manual Restart

I haven't been buying many games recently. The reason is immaterial-possibly due to my lack of funds, possibly due to my backlog of games being taller than Shaq. I did, however, get Assassin's Creed, as a gift, and I bought a copy of Mass Effect. My favorite thing to do when I buy a new game-if I cant play it right then-is to read the manual. So imagine my surprise when I ripped the cellophane off my that brand-new, beautiful box, only to discover that the manual was nothing more than a glorified flyer trumpeting the joys of Xbox Live. Where, pray tell, are the pictures? The directions? THE INSTRUCTIONS? I miss that new game smell. I don't like being surprised and figuring things out. I want you to tell me! Tell me what button combination to hit to unlock all the cheat codes! Not only do I have to buy the game, but I have to use the game to learn how to play the game?!?!? Actually, I guess that is not that bad. Well, shit. Nevermind.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Don't Always Watch TV, But When I Do, It's Awesome.

I decided to take a break from video game blogs (since I do them so often...) and focus on one of my other major hobbies:watching TV. For this blog, call me Evel Knievl for I am going to attempt the impossible: to rank the greatest show of the last decade. Some you will agree with, some you will not. Some are in this decade, some are not (well, at least not entirely). Here they are!

10.Futurama. A show about a pizza delivery boy frozen in time and thawed in the future only to have to deliver shit with a bunch of misfits? Crazy! So crazy it just might work...Awesome voice cast, with stellar characters and hilarious writing revived this show from an all-too-soon cancellation. New episodes are now on Comedy Central, check your local listings for times.

9.Curb your Enthusiasm. Have you ever been around a guy who has no filter and is a social assassin? No? Then meet Larry David. This is the only show on television that can actually make one cringe from the ridiculous situations Larry gets himself into. When you add J.B. Smoove into the equation, egging Larry on, and shit gets real uncomfortable, real quick.

8.Flight of the Conchords. Two dudes playing hilarious music about hilarious topics in a hilarious setting. Added bonus: Kristen Schaal making uncomfortable situations even more awkward.

7.Friday Night Lights. Admit it: you don't really like football. You watch it because you're socially obligated if you're a male, or because you're trying to impress a male if you're a female. Well, this show will make you love football. More importantly, you fall in love with the amazing cast. Kyle Chandler, Connie Brittion, Adrienne Palacki, Minka Kelly, Gauis Charles, and TIM MUTHERFUCKING RIGGINS (aka Taylor Kitsche). Watch the first season with your girlfriend, and yall wont leave the house for about 24 hours.

6. Chappelle Show. The man was worth $50 million dollars to Comedy Central, which is kinda a big deal. He revolutionized sketch comedy. I actually went as Clayton Bigsby for halloween, and it was the best costume I ever had. Except maybe the time I went as Mr. T.

5. Arrested Development. The best sitcom ever to be on the air (Married with Children is a close second), this show also suffered from stupid people syndrome (SAVE COMMUNITY!). If the writing is smart, you can expect a show to be cancelled quickly, and unfortunately, Arrested Development was no different (SAVE COMMUNITY!). The original six seasons and a movie cry(SAVE COMMUNITY!) Pardon my plug, but both shows are similar to me.

4.Southland. This show might be one of the most intense shows on TV. NBC made a terrible decision to cancel this show (stupid people strike again), but luckily TNT picked it up. I consistently watch this show this my butthole puckered, because it is so intense.

3.The West Wing. I'm no politician. Hell, I can't stand politicians. I hate watching CSPAN with a passion. There is nothing more boring than the inner workings of Washington. Then I watched the West Wing. Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to yearn for a Washington where the politicians are principled and tireless and work on your behalf instead of cowardly and greedy and intent on ripping you off.

2. Breaking Bad. The devolution of one man into a cold-blooded criminal for a very good reason. This show is totally about moral ambiguity and how far one man will go to save his family. If you haven;t seen this show, you need to watch it immediately.

1. The Wire. The. Best. Show. Ever. There is no amount of typing I can do that will convince you of that. But ask anyone who's seen it, and they will agree 1000000000% with fervent belief.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

5 Things the New Consoles Need

Since everyone is adding their two sense to what should be included with the new systems, I thought it was time to include what I would like to see. Here are the top 5 innovations that should be included with the new console generation.

5. Holographic Skype support. According to Star Wars, holographs have been supported for decades. So why not allow my Skype conversation to be in fully-rendered, monochromatic holographic wonder? Speaking to someone isn't sufficient anymore. Nor is just a from-the-neck-and-up video chat. I expect both of these systems to be invasive enough to force people to wear pants while playing video games.

4.Augmented Reality. I can't wait to be able to put on some glasses that allow me to play Angry Birds with my eyes, while I'm supposed to be listening to my boss during a staff meeting. Since i wear glasses anyway, my boss would never know! The glasses would have to have eyes painted on the front just to sell the illusion, though.

3.Molecular Re-organizer. Since I spend more time with my consoles, than I do with my girlfriend (sorry, baby!), it's only fair that my consoles learns to cook for me. It can take some random matter, say the dust that amasses on my TV stand, and transform it into my favorite food, say Beef Wellington. Hell, I'll settle for a ham sandwich.

2.Flux Capacitor. At the very least, can I get a hoverboard?!

1.Support for my Japanese sex doll. My girlfriend left me since she read number 3. Luckily, I had my sex doll, Aoki, in the closet hidden behind all my exercise equipment. I minored in Japanese in college, but I still don't understand what the hell she's saying to me. I just want her to make me a ham sandwich! Any console worth it's salt will have some sort of translation. Or maybe just a Fleshlight built right into the console....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eating my words

I wrote a blog a few months ago concerning how stupid people are for trying to include movement in video games. My aunt, however, recently got me a Kinect, and I have to admit: It may not be as stupid as I thought it was. Before you try to implore to keep an open mind, allow me to explain why I think this idea is not as stupid as I originally thought.
THE KINECT ACTUALLY ALLOWS ME TO BE LAZIER. How, you may be asking yourself, does a motion-sensing peripheral allow you to be lazier, VGG? Aside from the slight inconvenience of having to wave my arm to initiate the start-up sequence, its voice activated! I don't even have to waste the extra 30 calories to push the four buttons on my controller. I support any invention that streamlines my laziness. Now, if only my girlfriend would respond to voice activation. "Girlfriend, beer!" has done nothing but cause fights thus far.

(Disclaimer: I still think it's stupid to have a game based entirely on motion controls. Invariably, you will end up looking like these morons