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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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OK, I admit it. This isn't a good title for such a subject for a monthly musing but what can I put on that's somewhat relevant? Ah nevermind...

Video games are becoming something like the new "movie industry". It's a new medium that combines all that cinema includes, making it interactive by the help of Technology. But, unlike cinema, there aren't a lot of games about social problems or have some views or solutions or even show some shocking aspects of our society.



Sure, this kind of entertainment is somewhat for the wealthy people, but so did the cinematograph but it's not 1802 anymore and things get to mature a but quicker since the info spreads around more easily. That doesn't change the fact that video games lag behind in terms of the variety of subjects that will get them into our consience as another art.

Let's get started with some games that *maybe* have some social sense in them. Let's get an example at Mirror's Edge.
Dice's first person parcour title was all about opposing to some regime that tried to control completely the flow of information in the fictional society in the game. They were like the all-seeing Big Brother that know anything that happens anywhere.
There were a lot of social movements showing in this game. Protests, people clashing with the police and then, some secret organisations that exchange info via Runners.

This game had the ideal background to be something like the dystopia that a post-modern society may be. Just because there is a large flow of information, someone will try to put a limit to it blocking content and monitoring people.
Mirror's edge focused on the Faith's story. It's not that it's bad to have a protagonist, but the game never reveals who does all that stuff and why. The police department look like new clan of Nazi employees not revealing why they are so obsessed about capturing Faith. We never learned why the gonverment wanted to regulate every single bit of information in the city and from what social group did Faith and her family came from. Everything was so quickly and simply explained, it threw away so much potential of the story and all the sociological interest this game would have.

Another game that tends to comment over sociological matter is... yes, GTA IV. To be precise, every GTA except some few that came out just because the croud wanted to kill people and jack cars.
Immigrants looking for a better life in America - a fake paradise of chances- is a serious problem in a society due to the criminal stuff that float around in such big communities. Also, bullying and gangs that are products of sub-cultures are tapped by GTA in some degree. Woman discrimination is also there in the Liberty city, and, hopefully, in the newest episode of GTAIV, the discrimination towards homosexuality.
But also, GTA series fail to show a complete image of those matters, even if there is a lot of room in a freeroaming game like that. It mostly stays at the sarcasm of matter that happens in modern and post-modern societies rather than revealing causes and excuses. But, still it's pretty close in sociological interest.

But still, something's missing. Trying to make things look cool in games mostly spoils all the other dimentsions of things. For example, medieval times were hard as hell. There wasn't anything like "honour of a knight". There were just owners of fields and farmers that lived like slaves by the strict rules of christianism. There weren't any magical spells or wizards or dragons. Even the Kings were nothing but some people who have enough money to build large cathedral churches.

Wild West was also a time that, in fact, it was borring and hard as hell. Not to mention 2nd world war that there were real change in the gonverment form in european countries, large social movement throughout natzi regime over europe. None of the games really showed the starving orphans of the war, neither the dirty cabarets in Germany where drag queens (men dressed like women) tried hard to keep their sexual preferrement secret in fear of excecution. Those were really dark times that, for some reasons, through games (and movies but mostly games) look interesting times full of fun and pownage.

I'm not asking for games to stop being fun or try to be some kind of documentaries. That would be a total mess. But, there are games that are as fun, as they have some clear messages to deliver. For example, COD Modern Warfare, had some strong anti-war messages and socking scenes about the beastry of a modern war. Just show the nuclear blast that happened in the game to anyone and they will be overwhelmed by the degree of destruction and shocked by the dead silence of that scene. Bioshock's utopian community that went nuts is also a great example of having really strong and true messages without being sacrificed in terms of fun and gameplay.

But none of them are complete. Since there is room for more social understandment for making stories and goals in videogames I can't understand why the creators keep ignoring them so much. Maybe unpleasant stuff turns gamers down and that's the turning point.

Ever been in XBL playing HALO3? You sure have been and hear all kinds of offensive stuff like "nigger fucker", "homo nigger", "go die u gay noob" and such. How is it even possible for people who are mostly young, to accept a video game that makes them think over some stuff in their society? How is it ever possible to make the majority of people think outside gamerscore, achievements and multiplayer deathmatches? It's a freaking circle. Things like today's games tend to sell because the croud asks for it. Be different, and your games sink in the hell of "games nobody played"

So what needs change? First of all, us. We need to be a bit of thinkers of what the media (not only videogames) transmit to us. IT's not all that hard if you give it some thought instead of leaving your braind in a couch next you when playing. Besides, games can be a way to make the brain actually work, not only in terms of memory and awareness, but also learn new things, receive and process messages about the world around us.

Besides, TV is the main braincell killer, right?

(next time I will refer to stereotypes, games favorite form of human.)
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Yeah, pretty shitty subject for 1.46AM local time.

I have recently joined Playfire. It's a place where gamers gather, show off their game collection (aka. E-peens) and kinda resembles Myspace, in terms of social connection.

In a nutshell, it's another social networking site with gaming orientation, infested with annoying fanboys with their groups and forum wars. Even though I have encountered some great guys and some cool girls of gaming, I admit that this site is a fanboy lair.

I talked to some guys about the console wars, some where right on the spot with facts and logical claims that actually made sense about the consoles they love and support, while some ps3 fanboys annoyed me saying that no game actually reached ps3's full horsepower just because Kojima said it.

It's one of the latest industry's marketing fads. Some important person says that "we reached the 70% of the console" and the fanboys shit their pants. But, looking it at the actual impact this has to the games...

WHO THE FUCK CARES?

Since not every person who owns a current gen console is a programmer or a computer engeneer, how the fuck they supposed to know that he/she has a console with more power than Chuck Norris?
Why the all-important game creator (I'm looking at you Kojima) has to appear in the public to state a percentage of a console's horsepower usage of a game?

The hardware's potential is something that it's known to the programers at the time they get their first debug units and dev kits. It's not that the hardware will give them the power, or the potential to make a better program or, in our case, a game. It's the ways the developers find to get the best of their routines, making the program require less horsepower for each needed procedure.

So, look at the High Voltage's miracle with the Wii. They really had some good coders to nail those graphics to the weak - compared to the other consoles - Nintendo's wagglebox. Did you hear any of them stating that they reached the end? The answer is: No. Because here will be someone, who will try and find something even better.



So, stating that someone "reached the top" or "did this only by using the #% of the console" is like saying that either the programmers are slow in the top and made a needlessly heavy game, or they are not even trying to understand what the harware can do.

Besides, looking and playing a game won't reveal you how much of the console's CPU/GPU uses. Nor the games as they are today can show something different in all terms just because the console has a bazillion CPU's and they used "just the 20% of it"

So, the next time that someone from the industry states bullshit like that, have in mind that it's mostly a marketing trick. Even if it is true, it won't matter to you because besides some nifty textures and particles, you won't find anything groundbreaking into your game.



If there is to be a change in the videogame industry, it won't happen with bulky hardware (or motion controls). It needs something more: refreshing ideas, brighter minds and consumers who give a second critic thought to what the guys at the gaming industry say.
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I woke up today and as a normal human being, the first thing to do before washing my teeth was to fire up my pc to see what emails and shit I received from the random sites I participate. My brother was screaming on MSN as soon I loged in: OMFGDARWPDSLDFS! LOOK AT GOOGLE!

Yeah. Google homepage looked like this



and a simple mouse over was explaining WHY all this tetris/pixel galore: It was the 25th birthday of Tetris

Yeah, Tetris turns 25 today with all it's glorious communistic blockyness. Alexey Pajitnov, its creator, was at E3 and made some retrospective at some point that nobody listened.

And, boy, what a shitty day for an old game to have its birthday. It's just at the end of the annual E3 that makes too much noise about new titles, innovative technologies of super consoles with dreamy hardware. We completely fotget the true revolutioneers of the past that shaped the game industry to what it is today.

Tetris is the statement of simplicity and innovation. It's simple, yet engaging. Difficult to master and everybody knows how to play it!

Yeah everybody. Including moms, dads, grandparents and children. It's a simple game about putting falling blocks in the line to clear them out. Everybody can get into it and have fun.Thinkin that at first it was an experimental algorithm about random falling blocks.

Since its initial release, Tetris was a real multiplatform game. It's almost in every device that has a processor and use screen, Including MP3 players, PHotocopy machines, Scientific calculators, consoles, DVD players and recorders etc.

To complete the trivia of this tribute, the most selling version of tetris is that Original Game Boy cartridge that sold 33 million copies. That's really wow thinking that back then, videogames were a lot less mainstream entertainment option. Tetris also inspired a wide variety of other games like Lumines, Columns and Pyo-pop.

And that's that. It's the first post for a long time on destructoid and I believe that the birthday of Tetris is a proper opportunity to make it back to our beloved Dtoid.

Let's forget our super fantastic Xboxes and pee ess threez and weez and play some fucking TETRIS!
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Did this caption confused you? I don't know if this has been posted before. Apparently some developers -maybe the ones who invented the curious REZ vibrator- made a game that resembles a lot Guitar hero or DDR but instead of plastic guitars, plastic dancing mats and fake DJ decks, it uses a real, live girl (if you are a boy) or a real live boy (if you are a girl).

It is a bit hard to describe the whole game and the game controllers. instead I give you this video. I repeat, I don't know if this has been already on DTOID.



I really wonder. Is TWISTER that outdated already? Another question is; what would the homosexual couples do if in any chance want the game? would be there any gay and lesbian versions?
One thing is certain. The highest levels will be named "rape"

What do you think? Would you be buying this game for you and your non gaming girlfriend/boyfriend?

And one last thing. You want this game online or offline?








long cat is long and now has a song.


Flash version @ newgrounds.








pursuing MS points. That's how my day has passed.

As well known, I finally got my own 360 and I am over the top happy about it. So, the next step is to connect to Xbox Live and enjoy all the content that MS offers.
It is well known that, despite the rest of the Europe, Greece does not have official support of XBL. Even tough its sales are great, Microsoft decided that we have to cheat the system, saying that we are in UK.
Not only that, but also the debit and credit card assigned to Greek Banks can not buy anything.

Frustrating to say the least, is the purchase of MS points. Since I can't add points through the marketplace at the Dashboard, I have to go through the Internet and try to find someone who sells prepaid cards so I can finally buy Braid and other goodies.

I first tried Google. It was amazing how many frauds there are. 2 out of 3 results were about "free MS points and how to get them". It looks like there are a lot of stupid guys that believe in this crap.

I Found www.gamepointsnow.com. It looked promising and I gave it a try, but it was out of stock.

I just couldn't buy anything on Ebay because my paypal account is a mess

Other online stores sell only US codes.


How am i supposed to get those fucking MS points? Any recommendations?
I got so dizzy that i'll go to get some sleep after i finish this post.

oh btw Here's a petition on bringing XBL in Greece. I am not an activist junkie or sth but someone has to do something about it...
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