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* I'm a jaded asshole with a chip on his shoulder and an overinflated sense of self-importance. I'm also notoriously lacking in the ability to let shit slide, so take that as a warning should you take it upon yourself to act like a dick-hole around me. I can dance all day motherfuckers.

* I have an old-school love of old-school games.

* I don't consider myself to be a hardcore gamer, if only because the term 'hardcore gamer' comes off like an elitist badge made for jerk-holes, so lacking in social skills that they can afford to spend the time and cash required to earn the label. Maybe that's not what it truly means, but we're all brought together by a love of the hobby, so fuck the bullshit labels and the horse they rode in on.

* I once killed a man just to watch him die. Then I skull-fucked the corpse.

* I'm still holding out hope that one day the Wii's potential will be met. Until then it's merely an interesting diversion.

* I'm a fan of gaming in all of it's forms, and think that being brand-loyal to the point of bias is silly, and gets in the way of truly enjoying the hobby.

* I don't have anything else to put here now, but can't stop typing these stupid bullet-points.

Anyway, all that aside, I'm just here to have a good time. Any like-minded individuals can feel free to add me to their friend's lists.
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I have loved gaming for as long as I can remember. I've always been fascinated with it, and still am, though my love has faded somewhat in the last few years. I've recently spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I don't quite love the hobby as much as I once did.

I initially put it down to shifting priorities. A few years back my mom came down with a severe disability that kept her from being able to work, so I moved her in with me. She doesn't require any special care, but I'm financially responsible for her since she can't work. I rationalized my waning interest in videogames away by convincing myself that I just didn't have the time to play them. However, I don't quite think that my responsibility for my mother is to blame, because I end up finding myself spending a whole lot of time doing nothing much at all anyway. So why not fill that time with videogames, if nothing else?

I also put it down to the economy of time. There are only so many hours in a day, and there's so much that I want to do in what little free time I have available to me. Which is a good problem to have, I admit, but the problem is that it can be overwhelming to even just chose something to do in the first place. I've always had a problem with being indecisive, which means that I often end up not doing anything at all. And even when I finally do chose something to do with my time, I end up feeling like I'm missing out on something else, and so I don't enjoy what I've chosen to do as much as I should.

Another potential problem is that I tend to buy a lot of videogames. I know that doesn't sound like much of a problem, but remember my indecisive nature? It can cause problems when I finally sit down to play, because more often than not, I don't know where to begin. I'd love to be able to just chose a game and then sit down and play it, but more often than not I end up spending more time staring at my stack of games trying to figure out what to play than I do playing them.

Now none of these issues are insurmountable by any means. In fact just knowing that they exist makes it easier to get a handle on them. However I find myself resistant to doing anything about them. Why is that? Well I've considered every possibility, and I think that my resistance is really down to one gigantic factor.

Gamer culture.

See, when I was a kid, the worst of what gamer culture had to offer was half-hearted playground arguments about which console was better. However, nobody really cared all that much about it when all was said and done. Just playing videogames at all was ultimately more important than what console or computer we played them on. Oh, we talked a good game for sure, just like the fan-boys and forum trolls do today, but there wasn't a dyed-in-the-wool gamer that would pass on the chance to play, even if it meant playing on whatever system that he had slammed for being inferior during recess.

We didn't define ourselves by what console we owned, or the type of games that we played either. Sure, owning a console could be a status symbol of sorts, but you were cool because you had a console, and not because of which console you had. There were no Nintendrones or XBots, we were just kids with enough sense to avoid letting our harmless playground squabbling get in the way of our shared interest in videogames.

Now the issue isn't so much that anything has fundamentally changed between that harmless playground grandstanding of yesteryear and the crazy fan-boy antics of today. On the surface, it's still the same silly, meaningless nonsense that it was then, and it's still driven by our inborn need as human beings to justify ourselves through our possessions. Rather, the issue is that the internet has taken what was once a reasonably civil face-to-face interaction limited to a few people, and has made it something that can involve hundreds of people, most of whom hide behind the anonymity of the internet and act like douche-bags to one another.

Now I'm not complaining about fan-boy behavior in and of itself. However, as an enthusiast of the hobby, it's not uncommon to want to share that enthusiasm with other people. The problem is that when nearly everyone is arguing about pointless nonsense and being generally negative for no good reason, it can sap that enthusiasm completely. One has to wonder whether or not there's anything to be enthusiastic about after all, being that the very folks who count themselves amongst fans of the hobby can't seem to find anything about it to enjoy a good deal of the time.

This isn't even the worst of it. Gamers can be elitist, needlessly cynical, self-entitled, soul-sucking parasites at times. And while it's true that most of the negative traits associated with gamers can be traced back to fan-boy proclivities and the factors that motivate them, it can still be incredibly annoying even if you understand what's driving it. Sometimes you just want to let yourself be excited about something, without some nameless, faceless twat sucking all the life out of the room.

As for why it's annoying, I think it's mainly because it's all completely avoidable. If we were capable of meaningful insight, we'd take note of what's motivating us to be such insufferable, anti-social jerks, and we'd stop arguing completely subjective matters with one another. We'd subscribe the Destructoid mantra, and JSTFUAPG. We share a common interest in the hobby, folks, if not common tastes, and yet that rarely seems to factor in unless we're seeking out credibility in the eyes of our fellow gamers.

So hey, call me a pussy if you must. Tell me that I'm being too sensitive. I don't care. As a once and long time fan of the hobby, I needed to examine why I can't seem to enjoy it as much as I once did. The conclusion might seem like a bunch of over-sensitive whining to you folks, but I honestly think that itís been cathartic. I think that understanding what has been keeping me from enjoying gaming as much as I once did will rekindle my enthusiasm. Iím fact Iím itching to get off of work so that I can get home and play, and that feels pretty good.







Cyberxion
5:45 AM on 09.29.2009

Looks like my favorite low-budget, homemade, videogame-inspired flick Press Start is getting a sequel, due in 2010. That's a good thing, to quote that disgusting lump of failure Martha Stewart. A good thing indeed.

The original Press Start was one of those rare low-budget flicks that really I really enjoyed. The production values were actually pretty decent (score one for ADR!), the storyline served as a vehicle for the clever gaming in-jokes, and the acting wasn't half bad. Peter Davis' turn as Count Vile in particular was truly inspired. No, really. The guy had me busting a gut whenever he was on the screen. Press Start was an all-around fun flick, and really got me wondering what the crew could have done with a bigger budget and the backing of a major movie studio.

After Press Start, Director Ed Glaser turned his focus to dubbing foreign remakes of American flicks like Rampage (Aka Turkish Rambo) in English and releasing them to the masses, while his Press Start characters appeared to be consigned to the Press Start Adventures animated series. So when I read the announcement on his blog of the impending Press Start sequel, I was pleasantly surprised.

So yeah, this could be a good thing indeed folks. The budget is still likely to be next to nothing, and it's unlikely that any major film studios are going to come knocking, but if the sequel is given the same love and attention to detail that the first was, then it ought to be worth checking out. I for one can't wait.

http://blog.darkmaze.com/








So, wow. I haven't been 'round this place forever. Last I checked in, I had just bought a 360. The thing came down with a nasty case of RRoD a few months after I bought it, and so I was out of the game for a bit. Early this year I replaced that son of a bitch with a new unit, and so far it has performed admirably. So far. I know it's death is as inevitable as my own, so I know that it's just a matter of time before I'm boxing this bad boy up and sending it to Microsoft, but I'm cool with that. So far it's working great and I couldn't be happier.

Well apparently I could be. As much as I love my 360, and I do, I wasn't content with owning just that and a Wii. I had to complete my collection of current-gen systems. Why? I have no clue. Maybe it's just the freedom of choice that owning all three systems allows that motivated me, or maybe it's that I'm still a geeky gamer at heart and had to have 'em all because I'm finally in a place financially to afford it. Whatever motivated me to do it, I am now the proud owner of a shiny new 40GB PS3.

So here I am once again, asking you folks for opinions on what I should check out for the thing. I've got Street Fighter IV and Soul Calibur IV for my fighting game needs, and I have Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction because I'm an unapologetic fan of the series. Beyond that, my shelf is looking a little bare. So help me out folks. What would you suggest that I look into? I'm pretty open to games of all genres as long as your suggestions are good examples of their respective genres. For example, I'm not a huge FPS fan, but if you suggest to me a must-play FPS, I'm more than willing to give it a look.

So have at it!








So, I finally stepped up and joined the legion of XBox 360 owners out there this past week. I bought my unit used over at Gamestop, along with a used 20GB HDD. The total cost was less than a new Arcade unit, and well, that one comes sans HDD, so I think I did well. Or did I? The spectre of the RROD looms over me every time I turn the thing on. It's a refurb though, so we'll see how it plays out. I've got thirty days to break the thing.

Actual cost out-of-pocket was like thirty bucks. I had a bunch of old crap lying around that I wasn't watching/playing/eating any longer, so I traded it in. And luckily enough, Gamestop was having a deal where when you trade any five games in, you get an extra 30 percent of trade on top of the 10 percent you get for using your Edge card. So yeah, I did well for having traded in several old DS games and a handful of DVDs, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, enough about that. I'm loving my 360 so far, but I'm just a poor boy. Nobody loves me, and 360 games cost a lot of money. My poorly-implemented attempt to connect to an old Queen song aside, I'm looking for suggestions from you guys as to what games I ought to be on the lookout for. However, they gotta be on the cheap. I picked up Bully for 26 bucks, and I'm eyballing The Orange Box, which weighs in at the same price, so that's the sort of thing I'm looking for. So if you guys have any suggestions for good games that a new 360 owner ought to look for on the cheap, let's have 'em!








Little Big Planet is a game of contradictions. Or at least its title is an oxymoron. How can a planet be little, and yet big at the same time? I suppose it makes sense if the planet's inhabitants are scaled to match the size of the planet itself, while the player takes on the role of a normal sized person looking through a microscope at these tiny people, manipulating them like the subjects of a cruel lab experiment. In that case, the game's title might take on a deeper, more appropriate meaning through the use of dual perspectives. However, I don't believe that this sort of progressive design is in evidence here, and so the title stands as one of the biggest oxymorons to come out of the industry since the acronym 'PS3' and the words 'worth purchasing' were put together by some dude who didn't know any better. Riiiiiiiiiiidge Racer!

Speaking of game design, it appears that rather than do much of their own, whoever took a pass at developing Little Big Planet quit somewhere along the way. Perhaps they were bored. Whatever the cause for it, they appear to have decided that gamers are better off doing the rest of the work themselves. To that end, Little Big Planet tasks you with designing your own stuff, only you're less likely to get paid for it than they did, and you'll be working ten times as hard.

If you find yourself struggling to do what the developers should have done themselves, you can bring friends in to help you. This has the added benefit of providing you a work-force of your own to push around. It can be incredibly freeing in between bouts of thankless work to stand on the sidelines and play Foreman, and having minds comparatively fresher than yours may even produce levels and scenarios that you wouldn't likely thought of, being brain-dead enough to have bought this so-called 'game' in the first place. However, even a few brain-dead individuals together only equal half a Forrest Gump. And while he portrayed as being successful in spite of his idiocy, please keep in mind that no matter how many of you numb-nuts get together to take a crack at this thing, the best that your efforts will produce is going to be level after level filled with crude phallic symbols. You can't shit a Rembrandt after all.

From what I can tell, the game's graphics are as half-finished as the rest of the game is. Apparently you play as a number of characters that appear to be mutated hacky-sacks with limbs sewn on, but really, they mainly exist as avatars that are tasked with the duty of silently subjugating you to their supreme master's will. They don't speak to you. They'll never praise your work. They simply stand there, ever so quietly, smiling their crooked smiles. And should you should hesitate to do the job set before you for even a minute, they'll relay that to Sony, who will then come to your house and rape everything and everyone you love. So while the graphics might admittedly be as sparse as the rest of the game, what is there serves to set the mood, and that is one of despair and loss.

In closing, and largely because I ran out of things to say, I urge those of you who are considering purchasing this monstrosity in the making to cancel your pre-order, and to burn the clothes that you were in when you did so. Also, kill your next-door neighbor and bury him in your back yard as a sacrifice, to repel whatever evil spirits may remain as a result of your misguided decision to give this game a chance. There is still time, so save yourselves!

This piece does not reflect any actual opinions that I might have on whatever game I've chosen to victimize, nor should it be taken seriously. It's meant to be fun, and funny, though your mileage may vary.








Somewhere along the way a large section of gamers lost track of the fact that games are central to one's enjoyment of the hobby, with thier focus shifting instead to importance of the name attached to the box on which they play them. I've come to the conclusion that this is merely a by-product of every human-being's desire to be validated. In this case it's a desire to validate one's decision to purchase a given console as being the right one, which culminates in gamers aggressively defending their console of choice against any nay-sayers.

I believe that this conclusion is lent even more credibility by the existence of multiple consoles. You'll often find that your average gamer who engages in such activity often owns but a single console, and that they not only agressively defend their choice, but take it up a step and will engage in casting aspersions on the consoles they didn't buy. As I see it, they do this because belittling the consoles they didn't chose makes the choice they made seem all the more correct.

Now, I think this also comes down to a bit of envy as well, as it's often easier to deal with not being in a position to own something by making the item of interest seem less attractive to one's self. I have to admit that I found myself talking down the PS3 simply because it was well out of my price-range for so long. Now that I'm able to afford it, I find myself taking the time to look at it on its merits, rather than trying to convince myself that it's not worth owning.

So what I'm getting at here is that fanboyish behavior seems to be motivated by some pretty basic human urges. That doesn't make it any less annoying, but perhaps in understanding it we can start to move past it.

What do you guys think?