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About
My name is Jason Cook, I am a English/journalism grad with a rabid interest in gaming and game writing. I have some reviews on Popmatters.com and would love to work for a gaming site/magazine someday soon.

I grew up on the NES, quickly advancing to Genesis, SNES, PS1, Dreamcast (RIP, brother), Xbox, PS2 and now 360 and Wii. Some favorite genres include RPGs (huge FF geek), Action and Shooters.

I also love music, sports (run-of-the-mill rabid Boston sports fan), reading and am getting into graphic novels and comics.

Currently playing:
SMT: Strange Journey

Ongoing list of games I need to buy/play:
Silent Hill
Viewtiful Joe
Okami
Fatal Frame series
Resident Evil 1 & 2
Eternal Darkness
Beyond Good and Evil
Gears of War 1 & 2
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Following (2)  


Last night I threw up a cblog about how my 360 and Wii were stolen. The response from the community was ten times as heartening as I thought it would be. As of writing, there are 40 faps and twenty-something comments -- all of which were helpful/consoling -- which is way more than I thought a 100 word, hastily written post would get.

I decided to tell the full story here, not to garner sympathy or to complain, but to warn my fellow gamers that there are a lot of d-bags in the world and stolen game consoles can be a really easy source of cash. Also, it's fairly therapeutic to tell this story to people who understand, not the police who give me blank stares or the robots at Microsoft customer service.

So buckle up, I have a feeling this'll be a long one.



First, my Dtoid history so you know who the hell is writing this. I joined Dtoid in 2008, right around the time Monthly Musings was kicked off. I know this because I am pretty sure the first MM ever was Good Idea, Bad Idea and my entry made the front page. I remember getting an e-mail from Hamza -- who was/is someone who has the best job ever on the best site ever -- and being so amped they were going to front page something I wrote.

As I'm sure is the case with everyone reading this, I fell in love Dtoid quickly. Although I didn't cblog regularly, I always got up for MM (and yes, the chance to be front-page'd is a really good motivator) and ended up on the front page here and here. I began commenting regularly, playing FNF's with Dtoiders (ya'll showed me what's up in Left 4 Dead), joined in a few cblog memes (watching the 10 Things You Don't Know About... filling the blogs was a joy), and generally finding a great video game community to be a part of.

Anyway, enough about me. Let's get to the drama. I have lived in Providence, Rhode Island for about six months now. My apartment is in an OK neighborhood and my place had zero history of any sort of break-in. I am moving out of this place the 31st of this month, so my roommate put out an ad for someone to take my place. One person in particular (let's call him Bob) had checked out the place and proceeded to come back two times when my roommate wasn't around. One time, Bob walked past my window and pointed to the front door, telling me he knocked but no one answered. Strange, I thought. But whatever, people are weird.


Not to judge, but I think you qualify as weird.

Fast forward to the day of the break-in, Tuesday, March 23rd. I just got back from the gym at about 1:30 as my roommate was leaving for work. I was heating up some lunch and checking my e-mail. I check my inbox and see an e-mail from the magazine I work as part-time assistant editor.

They were letting me go.

They say it was part financial, part "performance-based," but either way, I was crushed. I had never been fired before and this was my first job in the journalism industry.

But I looked on the bright side. "Hey, now I can focus on Rhode Island. I won't have to commute. I never really liked the subject matter I was writing about." Things happen for a reason and all that.

A long shower was in order, so I jumped in. As I was getting changed, I hear rustling in my apartment. "Eh, probably our upstairs neighbors." But it gets louder, like "definitely in our living room" loud. I walk out and see a person. It was Bob.

I yell "What?!" in utter disbelief this guy had broken into our house. As he ran out the front door, I locked it behind him and peeked out to see if he jumps into a car or anything. Nothing.

I look over to my shelf that houses my consoles. Empty. No Wii. No 360. All the relevant cables, controllers, and game cases were gone. All less than one hour after I had been let go from my job.

I had to just laugh at how ridiculous a situation I was going through.



I called 911 and pretty much everyone I knew who was home at this hour to tell the tale. The police came by about two hours later, followed by the CSI people to attempt to get fingerprints. All in all, the theft was over $250, so it qualifies as larceny. Since I got a good look, along with a name and phone number, there's hope they'll catch him. But who knows.

But there were silver linings. Hilariously, he stole all my game cases -- but not my games. I keep those in a CD binder on my shelf, something he overlooked. Enjoy those empty cases, you rat bastard! I also thankfully, was not hurt. It sounds corny -- that these were just things and can be replaced -- but it's true. I don't know what would have happened if I chased him outside or the door he ran out through was harder to get open. Lastly, he (or whomever he sold it to) was foolish enough to use my XBL account when logging in last night. After changing my gamertag (from Count Gr1shnack to the ever-so-l337 Killa Eyes vF 7) using the 800 points I had sitting around and deleting my friends list, he popped in CoD MW2. Sigh.

So I am jobless, games-less, and pretty bummed out. But I remain realistically hopeful the authorities will at least catch this scumbag, even if I never get my stuff back.

I will leave you with some lessons. One: be very wary of people you are showing your apartment to, especially when using craig's. We are 100% sure this person knew the layout of the place from seeing it, so be cautious. Two: when it comes to your games, I think it makes sense to have them displayed as I did. Empty cases on shelves, and a binder (either hidden or in a different location) housing your games. Yes, if the person knew this it would have made stealing all my games a lot easier, but it's more likely the games were in their respective cases. So he ended up short ten Wii games, twenty or so 360 games, and a host of PS2/PS1/Xbox games whose total value easily surpasses the cost of the consoles. Three: register your consoles or copy down serial numbers. I did neither of these and it's going to make recovering them pretty difficult to neigh impossible. For ten minutes of your time you can have a lot of peace of mind if your consoles ever get stolen, you can have a chance at tracking them down. Four: don't display consoles in a wide-open, easy to nab place. I think if I had some sort of glass-door entertainment center, they would have a chance at grabbing a fingerprint. As it was, my consoles were just on shelves right in the living room. A few simple measures would have made it harder on the jerk.

I guess I don't really know how to end this. I still have my DS (really digging into SMT: Strange Journey to take my mind off stuff) and will work to replace my consoles in the future. I am actually more bummed out about losing my gamerscore and XBLA games (I was right at the end of Megaman 9, fixing to beat it that day) than anything else.

But for now, I feel like a gamer without a country. And that's a weird feeling.

So here's a big middle-finger from me to you, Mr. Console thief. May you burn in hell.









Hey. I am going to be brief here as time is of the essence. But my 360/Wii were stolen. The fool has signed into XBL and is on right now. He changed my gamertag from Count Gr1shnack (I may be on some Dtoider lists from some FNFs) to Killa Eyes vF 7.

I don't know what ya'll can do, but I figure it can't hurt to have more feelers out there.

Thanks.










Not too long ago, I was a huge Magic: The Gathering player. I frequented weekly tournaments, worked a job selling the cards/hosting tournaments in our store, reading sites about the game and generally obsessing about it. I wasn't a hardened player by any means, more casual, but I did play heavily and thought I was pretty good.

As such, hearing about the XBL version of the game (with a pricing scheme not fucking awful like MTG online) made me nostalgically happy. Being able to play a deep strategy game with my friends list for a relatively low (800 points) price? Sign me up.

So I downloaded and played through the trial (two matches against the A.I.) today to see if I would put my moon money where my mouth is. And in short, yes, I probably will.

*Warning, some possible MTG lingo follows*

To start off, Duels of the Planeswalkers lets you choose from either a green or red deck. The red is full of burn spells and cheap, quick creatures. The green has bigger dudes, pump spells, land fixing, and a splash of little guys. I quickly recognized the green deck was far superior (Troll Ascetic?!) and choose that.



The interface is very clean and easy to handle. RT zooms in on cards, the stick highlights cards, A is confirm, Y is switch phases -- it's all very intuitive. When you play a card, a small timer begins that allows the opponent to respond. You can stop the timer if you have an effect to play which is a good way to handle the constant back and forth of an MTG game and is a nice way to deal with the problem of the stack. Only once -- when I wanted to play a spell during blocking -- did I mis-click and get an unwanted result.

Things like not having to tap land (awesome!), icons denoting flying, trample, etc., pump spells appearing on the creatures power/toughness, are all great touches and make everything very easy for new players.

My biggest complaints were the lack of an "end of turn phase" (when many important spells/effects are played) and a generally very straight-forward A.I. and card pool. The A.I. is just plain not very good, constantly walking into simple traps and making questionable decisions. But obviously the best part of this game will be playing real people, so I won't hold that against it.

I think the full game -- with a nearly endless card pool (via DLC) and actual players to play against -- will be worth the 800 points. And if there were draft capabilities, dear God I may never get anything done again.
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I am in your films, makin you angry.

So the internets have been ablaze with the news that the beloved PS2 title Shadow of the Colossus will be adapted to the big screen. This news has angered fans of the game beyond belief. Some commentators on this here site has some very interesting (see: blindly rage-filled) things to say about it, ranging from death threats to physical violence.

I ask, why the hell is this such a big freakin' deal?

Yes, the game is beloved. It has atmosphere, character and uniqueness coming out it's ass. I love the game, you love the game, anyone who's played it loves the game. And the film will almost certainly not 1/10 as good.

But the film -- no matter how shitty it could be (which is something else altogether. Isn't there a small chance it will be great?) -- will not change that in the least. I am reminded of the minor firestorm that came about when the Dante's Inferno was announced. Really, it does nothing to detract from the original. But the outrage at that project is nothing compared to what we have here.

Really folks, from The Inferno to the Watchmen and SotC films -- the creation of these tie-ins does not take away from how great the original is in the first place. If anything, it confirms to fans what they knew all along. "The *blank* was better."

One commentor said something to the effect of "unless it makes my copy of the game magically disappear, I don't care." I wish everyone else would have that mentality.

Plus, you're all going to go see it anyway.
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So week two of the Dtoid comment of the week proved much harder than week one. First off, I only found one comment I thought was clever/funny during the week (hence this being on Sunday instead of Friday) so I had to dig through and find some good ones today.

But hey, here they are. Oh, and MrSadistic won the popular vote and a million internet bucks for last week's comment:

re: GTA: Chinatown Wars gets Nintendo Power banned from school
MrSadistic: "It's because Asians are offensive."

Now on to this week.

RE: New games are better than sex, claim two thirds of men

Pime Taradox: "I prefer both at the same time. Something about shooting off a rocket launcher while the whole thing wraps up just feels right."

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RE: EA says Wii MotionPlus has too much Plus and Matthew Razak as weekend editor

SantanaClaus89: "Matthew, why does your avatar look like you're waiting for a giant cock in your mouth?"

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While this last one wasn't particularly funny, the way Corak eviscerated Lliinnkk made me smile.

RE: Ten obnoxiously cheap ways of extending a game's length

Coark: "Jim Sterling has a quite a reputation of bring out the assholes that visit this site. Unfortunatly you are the newest, welcome. I'm sure you'll receive a warm reception from the rest of the community as well as Mr. Sterling himself. This is nothing new to the community and your attempts to discredit him or just plain mock him, or call him names like "douchebag" will most likely fall on deaf ears as its all been said before and disproven shortly after. You can disagree with him no one will try to take that from you, but there is a way you can go about it where you don't like an internet asshole, which you just honored yourself with being a new one here. As people say here, "welcome...don't suck" I guess its too late for that last part huh?"