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Hey! I'm a 24 years old man and I'm living in Greece. Video games aren't banned in Greece.

Here's another update to my blog description.
Hi, I'm Marioland and I'm a gamer for a long long time. Greece sucks in general. I'm still practically unemployed. We have a VAT rate at 24% for everything except milk and the cost of living vs the salaries are so unequal, that it is needed to have two jobs in order to run your own house. We are the generation that grew up and stays in parents' basements.

My angst for the lame gamers in Greece is now silenced. Everybody plays as they want. I don't care. I have enough friends to play with so, random matches are a stranger to me.

Younger gamers still can't afford to READ the solution for a game. Let alone play it themselves.

And, yeah. Somehow I feel happy. Also, I kinda like gaming on iDevices, as long as it's not an iPhone.

I am growing old to the gaming journalism, but I still count my self as a newcomer. I contribute to a greek gaming site called Game 2.0 where I post news, reviews and editorials. It's all in Greek so, it will be kinda Greek to you.
I still believe that gaming journalism is a harsh place. Everything you do gets a lot of negative attention (that's kinda good in a cynical point of view). But, now I know more of the people in other sites, I could see that some of them are actually good people.

Anyways, I own a DSi, a PSP, an Xbox 360, a Wii and an iPod Touch 4G 32GB. Feel free to ask me for friendship on these platforms. It would be nice to get my ass handed to me by someone from Dtoid.

Keep Gaming!

Update kinda lame. But I had fun changing it!
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Dear gamers,

Videogames are our beloved medum. We all know that they basically are programs that need to be contained somewhere in order to excecute them everytime we have that characteristic itch on our fingers.

Now, here's the thing. Which one of you criticised a game before the current gen consoles about the media the game was in?

The latest rage about L.A. Noire going around the internet for being in multiple disks on 360 and that "it's better played on the PS3" makes my eyes roll over. Seriously people. Haven't you learn that gamers should not care about the containing media but the game itself?

It's like saying, "yeah, Mortal Kombat on SNES was better than Mortal Kombat on Genesis because the SNES cartridges had higher capacity" Overlooking completely each version's merits and weaknesses.

Also, does anybody remember a multiple disk game that sucked because of the.. multiple disks? Lost Odyssey was awesome on 360. I can't remember anybody complaining about disk swapping on Final Fantasy 7 or Final Fantasy 8, Parasite Eve 2 etc.

Besides, multiple game disks use to separate the different chapters of games. For example, Final Fantasies on PSX used to give the player a shock right before the disk's ending, concluding the "chapter", giving the gamers the time they need to think of what they just saw. It was a clear separation of chapters.

What if Final Fantasy 7 had Aeris' death somewhere in the middle of the game without a pause for the gamers to stomach the loss? It would have been a "meh, she died" event right next to other events and wouldn't be that memorable if the gamers wouldn't have the time to think about it. The next events would take over quickly and the gamers would mourn her death as they mourn for an outgoing fart.

So, don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Blu-Ray and its capacity - It's fine by me. The problem is that gamers need to stop thinking about things that don't matter. What if L.A. Noire turns out to be a monstrocity? Will the single-discness it save it?

So, open that lid and throw in the second disc, gamers. Your couch and snacks won't go anywhere for the few seconds you're up, changing the disk...

Wow, last minute thought: I don't remember a game spun in more than one cartridges! Let's go back to the cart era! YAY FUN!

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It wasn't too long ago when I tweeted @Dtoid with an impressive picture of a stack of five Sega Megadrives along with six gamegears towering on top. They were all on their way to a nearby landfill but our lucky fellow Dtoider Cubilone noticed them in the trash bins and collected them.

The consoles inside were intact, in their initial plastic and paper wrappings, all the manuals and warranty papers are still white. The only thing showing their long stay in a warehouse, was a thick layer of dust which was cleaned off, revealing some almost perfect original packages, albeit some minor dents and rips.

As my friend contacted me to inform me about his findings, he showed me all the nice pictures. My heart skipped a beat. I (still) am a Sega fan and a sucker for their classic (or not so) consoles. I felt rage for the heartless toy-store owner who rejected such treasure like it's common trash.

As expected, these gorgeous consoles will be sold on e-bay (except for a Mega Drive and a Game Gear given as a gift to me from my friend) but before that, we had to check for their integrity. You know, see if the cables, the manuals and all are in there and nobody took a cable or a controller. Since Cubi had no idea what Sega packages included (he grew up only playing Nintendo, that ignorant fool) This is where I came in. We managed to have several vids of the inspection (I can't say unboxing since I haven't stripped the consoles from inside the box).

we start talking in English at 1.05 so so skip ahead.

I also attempted to play some games on the consoles that were destined for me, succesfully. So, don't worry, the other consoles are stil.... *virgin*. Both consoles are working perfectly which is a good sign that all of them are working too.

Tried the Gamegear with its included cartridge - 4-in-1

Tried a Sega Mega Drive with the worst Sonic game for the console. A console where Sonic reached his full glory. *sigh*
So it's Sonic 3D.

The auctions will be up in a few days. We are trying to determine how much a never-before used Game Gears and Mega Drives are sold. (if you have ideas, tell me in the comments) For the ones who are interested, I'll make a new post or follow me @Azureleeonardo where I'll tweet the links of the auctions.

BTW excuse my crappy English or Greeklish :P I was too excited to be careful but I hope you enjoy the videos...

[edit: for some reason, the videos didn't appear. That was because of HTML5 embedding. Now it's working]

Socialization: It's something we do right from the beginning of our lives. It's a complex proceedure of getting involved with the ones around us. learning the rules of interpersonal interactions with other people. Almost everything in our lives are basically socialization. attitude, formality, smiling at someone, loving someone, giving something to someone, sharing something with someone... It's a whole complicated emotional network that takes "me" and transforms it into "us".

Basically the term "Social Network" doesn't even mean electronic friend services. A social network can be an extended area full of people who interact with each other. It's the friends of your friends you don't know about and it's your friends that your friends haven't been informed yet. Everybody is practically a nod of several social networks and when two people meet and become friends, they create a link between all those networks.

I know. It's quite complicated.

Electronic social networks such as Facebook and Myspace are tools of sharing stuff with other people of our choice, electronically. Mostly because they either are away or it's akward to share otherwise. For example, if I like a Youtube Video, it's highly inconvenient to make a huge recipient list on and share it away using e-mail. This also applies to links, pictures, animations etc. Even the short status updates are serving a purpose of socializing. It's like you are in a cafe with a bunch of friends and inform them that you are hungry or your goldfish died. They are the tools of doing socialization without the actual presence of people but broadcasting to them your emotions and ideas. So, a normally one should expect a Facebook newstream/wall to be full of messages, videos, ideas, emotions... A colorful and diverse stream of stuff to like, comment and interact with.

Thus, in such terms, "social gaming" isn't really social. I've been playing FarmVille for quite a while and I found out that it's a lonely-lonely game, that happens to tell everybody in preset messages when something special happens. The interaction with other players is being kept at minimum too. You can fertilize someone's crops and send them presents. Nothing out of a restricted path. The other player's farm can easily be some randomly generated farms with AI's deciding at random times to send you presents and/or fertilize your crops. That's far from social interaction as I know it.

Furthermore, the messages that are sent from such games, spoil the function of social network services. If Facebook's newstream gets full of messages about brown chickens, need of jewels and highscore announcements, the said service won't be a social network anymore. It'll to become Crapville. A platform for games that spams your wall and your newstream with repetitive messages from repetitive single player games. They don't carry socializing material in them. It's just the same repetitive messages over and over again.

So, social gaming as it is now, it's far from social. They're just some slow games that time manage their players and they are using their integration with a social network as a gimicky incentive to keep them hooked.

To conclude, social gaming needs to keep on, it has to become truely social. I don't know how this will be done and I'm currently out of ideas on the realization of it. But when someone talks about the "future" of social gaming, I know that it's crap promotion talking until someone actively finds the way.
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Here I am, fellow Dtoiders, writing from the distant land of gloom and economic crisis.

I haven't been writing blogs for so long because of some severe problems in my family. Nobody is dead thankfully but sometimes death is salvation for some. Enough with this stuff though. We are here to talk videogames, right? So, yesterday I had the chance to visits Game On 2.0 in Athens.

It was an awesome journey through the history of videogames. We got to see some rare stuff that we thought they were lost through time. We got to play old hits from Arcades and Atari 2600 to Halo 3 and Kinect sports. It was pure magic and I have photos to prove it!

Computer space! That's right fellas, they got TWO OF THEM with different panels. I never imagined I could get close to one and see it in personal. Really.

This cabinet is a piece of art. It makes you worry why people keep tredmills and ugly excersise stuff in their living rooms instead of getting arcade cabinets?

A Nintendo pong console? Oh don't act surprised... Head over to Bit Museum and see the guys playing that thing!

Magnavox oddysey. It sucked. But it's officially the first domestic gaming console.

A ZX Spectrum with some sort of contruption to play ROMS. I guess it doesn't count as piracy since all the tapes must have been demagnetized by now...

It's a fucking Famicom.

A Dreamcast Hello Kitty edition running Soul Calibur. Is it awesome or just wrong? (tell me in the comments :P)

This is the most sexist pinball table ever.

Planet of Zoom? Who goes there? :P

The original Pacman cabinet. Some of your daddys had their first WAKAWAKAWAKAs on one of those.

Remember the time when Mario was called Jumpman and was a carpenter? Me neither. I wasn't born yet. But, I have played the game in it's pure original form and here's the proof!

Isn't it beautiful? Just that cabinet... I want it... so much... (the Empire Strikes Back game with vector graphics is also one of the gratest Star Wars games ever!)

Concept art from... Donkey Kong! wow. They really kept those...

Part from the non-playable collection they had. Sadly we didn't get to play PCE portable or Sega Nomad. They also had some cartridges cracked open for us to see.

Well, that's all folks. My camera decided to die at that point because it's crappy.

They also had some rare stuff like the Super Mario All Stars + World playable, Tomb Raider, the 10-player Bomberman for Sega Saturn, a ton of Atari games and controllers, Nintendo's arcade versions of Super Mario Bros. and Excitebike, Super smash Bros Brawl, Game and Watch, Wii games, PS2 games, Sony Move, Kinect, Rockband and some silly virtual reality sphere that didn't make sense. It was truely a shame that they didn't have any arcade (besides Daytona USA) or at least a DDR machine.

Most important, despite of all the family difficulties, I smiled. I felt happy after many days of gloom. I snapped out of it. I laughed with my friends. I played like a child that found out its long-lost toys. I found out how much I love video games and the importance to have true friends.

So, I think I need to recollect and start anew, building up that games collection I'm dreaming....
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So yeah. After years of bitching, crying over Paypal and Google checkout to accept my debit card and suffering the "I'm sorry but your location is too lame for our content" messages, Microsoft FINALLY brought Xbox Live services to Greece. Hurray!

Starting from last Wednesday, we officially have our own Xbox Live server, complete with a marketplace (whose content is entirely and fully available to the gamers of the country) and all the online gaming going on with minimal lag and awesome.

Of course, we don't have ANY other service such as Netflix, due to legal complications. Facebook and Twitter will be added at a later date once they get properly translated. It's nice to see the Gold subcriptions being sold to stores (even though the price is high at 49.99euros). The points are available too but only in 2400 and 800 point cards. I guess it's better to buy it directly from the Dashboard.

So, since I am a Journalist (almost), I went to the Press Release Party of Microsoft Hellas. I wasn't nearly as impressive as the ones you've got there, but I went anyway. For Journalism.

Here are some random photos.

Also, for thanking the greek gamers, they made a folklore outfit for the male avatars (called Tsolias) and a scarf with Greece's national colors for the female avatars. Which is kinda cool and hilarious. You're going to recognize a greek player just from the ridiculous outfit of the avatar in avatar-based games.

So, happy Marioland is happy. Now it's time to renew that gold subscription and download some stuff.

On a side note, we have had so much progress in Greece, we got our very own Southpark-like cartoon.

It's called "DON'T take from the ones who don't have" and it's focused around Menippos, an ancient cynicist philosopher, Haros, the god of death who also took the souls from purgatorium to Hades with his boat - with a fare and Hermes who's job was to lead the souls to Haros.

So, Menippos died, Hermes did his job, Haros did his job too. Before going to Hades, Haros asked his payment for taking Menippos to the other side. Menippos, having nothing but his clothes said "don't take from the ones who don't have" and continued to lurk on with the living for 3000+ years, due to a little stupid bureaucratic complication.

Nowadays, that the old gods got retired, Haros and Hermes had problem with retirement. The tax office won't allow them to retire due to Menippos missing fare. So, they get on the impossible task to find him a legit way for him to get money and pay them. It's funny because Greece isn't a sane place. People as well as gods tend to be a little bit crazy. The cartoon is perfect! I've been having so much fun watching it!

So, yeah. Too much progress on a country to the brisk of economic destruction. I guess those things are available now, but who is going to buy since the money are limited. I am still practically jobless at my 24 with some serious education on my back. Well, at least I have games...
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4:56 PM on 04.27.2010

I am not really good to whatever this cblog post might be: a message, a confession or simply a note to a person that I know only from reading his texts and watching his crazy videos.

It's not one hour ago when I opened up the site and see that smiling strawberry with the vibrant yellow "yes" slapped all over the site, puzzling me for what marketing fad this may be. I had to scroll down to see Anthony's goodbye post, reading it until the end causing my eyes water a bit and see the conclusion to find out what's going on.

All I want to say to Anthony is "thank you" with all my heart. He, along with Jim Sterling, has impacted me not only as a gamer that got informed by his posts, but as a person from the ground up, giving me that essential ideas for my brain to process and enchanting my views and perceptions over our much loved industry of videogames.

Realizing my dream - being a gaming journalist at my country- all my editorials tend to have that Burtch essence because I got affected by his views. I didn't copy him though - it's impossible! But he gave me all the material to process and make out my own views on the industry and communicate them to the readers of Greece. In his own conscience, I loved the indie gaming scene, a scene yet untouched by the majority of the press here.

So, I look forward for Anthony, to take his ideas for games that go deep in our minds and souls while they are awesome at the same time, while I feel that an essential element of my everyday life - essentially Anthony's writings- are going to be so missed from our dearly beloved Destructoid.

So, dear Anthony Burtch. Best wishes for your new life as a member of Gearbox and as a Husband. I'll still follow you from afar, but this time through the games that have your name in their credits. I salute you as one of my personal best videogame journalists and I really wish I would meet you in personal one day. I would also like to send you a gift for your wedding but, there's not much gaming things that a guy that used to work in the biggest gaming sites don't have.

BTW if you ever DARE to visit Greece (honeymoon in a scenic Greek island maybe?), please contact me.

You rule!

P.S. Please make a last episode of HAWP with your crazy sister acting unfittingly during your wedding :P
I can't stop thinking of her face stuffed with wedding cupcakes :P

p.s.2 I am currently playing Sleep is Death for review. It's kinda hard to be the storyteller