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6:03 PM on 01.18.2011  

Heavy Rain



There. I've been meaning to Photoshop that for the last seven months.

(If you don't get it, watch Bowfinger. It's the last good movie Eddie Murphy made.)   read


5:19 PM on 01.16.2011  

Rebuttalstorm



Haha, so. I pissed some people off.

If you haven't seen it, here's Friday's episode of The Destructoid Show. I went off on a tangent about how I'm not stoked for Bulletstorm because I'm not a fan of Cliffy B, the guy who does stuff at Epic Games. His big claims to fame are Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. Bulletstorm isn't even his baby, it's being done by People Can Fly. But Cliffy's currently playing hype-man for the project, because he's a character like that.

First off, I should say that making a personal attack on Cliff was a cheap shot, and I was out of line for that. He doesn't make bad games by any means, but they're not to my liking. Technically speaking, they're quite good, and he's obviously a hard working guy. Stylistically, I think they're pretty obnoxious. Someone compared him to Michael Bay, and I think that's quite astute. Michael Bay is extremely good at what he does.

For the record, I love Michael Bay's work. I love dumb action movies in general. I own two copies of Tango & Cash, and that's one of the most idiotic action movies ever made. I like plenty of stupid video games, but for some reason, Epic Games rub me the wrong way.

Cliff makes fun games. Playing Unreal Tournament is one of my fondest memories about 9th grade. Given, it was a pretty crappy year for me, but shooting dudes in the face with a flak cannon is a fun thing. Somehow, even though I said in my rant that Cliffy B makes fun games, and that Bulletstorm has a lot of cool shit in it, people yelled at me for calling the man talentless, which is something I never said. Obviously, he's not talentless. He makes award winning video games that sell millions of copies.

Those games, however, are ridiculous. That's not arguable. They're adolescent and meat-headed. I don't want to go into the endless debate about whether or not video games are art, but they are a growing medium. They're becoming a thing that isn't just for bloodthirsty teenage boys. While Cliff's games make steps forward gameplay-wise, they seem to be a bit less progressive in terms of subject matter.

When I refered to his games as parodies of games, I meant it in the sense that if Gears of War wasn't an actual game, it would not seem out of place as something you'd see Nelson Muntz playing on The Simpsons. I love mindless violence as much as the next heterosexual male, but sometimes I try to look at things from the perspective of someone else. Gears of War takes itself too seriously for me to laugh at it, and it's too ridiculous for me to take seriously.

Conversely, I will say this about Cliff Bleszinski: while his games might be increasingly stereotypical, he is not. He's a game developer who fucks hot chicks and drives a nice car and goes to fancy parties. A game developer doing these things. This is a new concept. He's living the dream, and for that, I commend him. It's a change of pace from the old stereotypes of game developers being gross dudes sitting at keyboards and being smelly. We're living in this age of nerd revenge, and he's doing it right. He went from geeky shy kid who got picked on in high school to a celebrity.

Cliff, I didn't mean to take a dump on your career. Keep doing what you're doing. If at any point, you feel the urge to make a Gears of War Teaches Typing game, a lot of your fans could benefit from it.

Also, it was wrong of me to make fun of your haircut. If it's any consolation, I was told I have Justin Bieber hair numerous times, so let's call it even.   read


1:09 PM on 01.08.2011  

This Was A Little Too Long For Twitter.

Mornin' sweetheart. How'd you sleep?

Figured I'd write another blog, because I'm probably supposed to, and because I love you. This week has been insane. In a fun way, mostly. Hosting the show has been so, so much fun for me, and if you watch the three episodes we did this week, I think it's pretty glaringly obvious how much I've gotten into the groove.

Before you think it, yes, that expression is idiotic. Makes me think of disco. But not good disco, like, bad late-90s post-ironic disco. This is yesterday's episode, and I'm feeling pretty happy about it.

[embed]191157:35265[/embed]

Also, I'm hungover right now, so what I'm about to write is going to be incoherent and retarded, but probably funny on some level. (God, my blog probably makes me seem like the biggest drunk ever. I'm not, guys. I'm just a major proponent of weekends.)

First, I'd like to formally say that I'm writing this from a PC. It's my girlfriend's (bother her: @gennhaver school laptop. She's a dental student, and for some reason, her school was like "All dental students will be needing Dell Latitude E6410 notebooks," so she has one. I'm using this is because a few weeks back, my old Macbook fried its motherfucking logic board because I was trying to Photoshop an HD YouTube video into my game of Far Cry 2 which was running on Boot Camp while my computer was sitting on top of a radiator and I was using it as a coaster for my hot cocoa. Okay, not really, but probably did all of those things separately. R.I.P. my awesome three-year-old laptop.

(Please don't think I'm one of those sissy wiener kids who's been using Macs his whole life. I was a PC guy until 2008, and then I made the switch.)

Since I'm on a PC, can you guys think of any games I should check out? I'm currently playing Windows 7 and this game sucks. I'm also getting my ass kicked. Earlier, I tried to change the desktop background, and I wound up subscribing to iJustine's YouTube channel by accident. Let's think of some cool games from like five years ago because I'm fucking BORED. Bear in mind, this is by no means a gaming rig.

Also, bear in mind because I am currently thinking about bears. Also, re: bears, you need to read [url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/madisoncats/5298936329/lightbox/}this comic[ my friend Erika made because it rocks ass all over the place, and she's super cute and talented.

First funny story: I sort of crashed an IGN.com meet-and-greet last night.

You guys don't know my origin story, do you? Heh. I'll save that for another day. It's a doozie. "How I went from pissing off former Dtoid editor Ben Perlee at a community college newspaper to drinking mimosas with Jessica Chobot to co-hosting The Destructoid Show: The Max Scoville Story."

Anyway, IGN's Scott Bromley and I are really close friends. He currently hosts their GameSpy Debriefings podcast, which is like The Howard Stern Show of game journalism, but a while ago, he got me my first gig in this wacky industry.

I haven't seen the guy in months, but hanging out last night made my heart swell with rad bromance. I mean, it's really like, Bromeo And Dudeliet since we work for competing gaming sites, but we go way back. I met him in 2007 when I was sort of dating his hot cousin Christina. The first time we hung out, he made me watch [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ4KzClb1C4"]The Room[/url] for the first time. He's let me sleep on his couch a number of times, and his girlfriend gave me a set of her housekeys when I was homeless because she always slept at his place anyway.

I'm sorry to subject you to this, but I'm going to post a bunch of gay pictures of us doing things together.

Here we are shortly before going the cemetery to pour glitter and vodka on his grandmother's grave:



Here we are partying because we are awesome dudes:



Here we are fuckin' up a pig at his aunt's wedding:



Here he is dressed up as me:



Here we are as David Bowie and Mick Jagger from the video for "Dancin' In The Streets":



Here we are-- Oh. Huh.



Finally, here's a video of us sitting around pretending we're Europeans. We were seriously doing this for like four hours:

[embed]191157:35261[/embed]

So last night, I show up at this IGN thing with my girlfriend, and we're both dressed to the nines because it was date night. We show up, and Scott's at a table with a bunch of fans of his podcast. He goes, "Ladies and gentleman, Max Scoville from Destructoid!" I gave him my official Dtoid business card and he pretty much shit a brick. I mean, this is the guy who got me into the biz. Meanwhile, his fans are like, "Wait, Destructoid? What's he doing here?" and looking sort of like peoplee probably look upon seeing this for the first time:



We hung out and had drinks and went back to my place -- My girlfriend and I have a new place, which is super-duper nice, somehow. And Scott's the guy who's used to the Max Scoville who's this roving womanizer vagabond who always needs a place to crash and tends to hook up with his girlfriend's friends the night he meets them, and all of a sudden I have a serious girlfriend and a grownup apartment. Crazytime.

That was last night.

So anyways, about the computer (told you I was scatterbrained today). Normally, I've been using the Dtoid Macbook Pro, which I use to edit video and watch important movies of cats and so forth. Hamza needed it back, though, because he's flying to New York for a big honkin' THQ press event next week. I decided to have some fun with it.

First, I organized all the nice movies and videos I had. First season of Adventure Time, a bunch of nerdy movies, stuff like that. Figured he'd want something to watch on his flight. Then, I got a baggie of Oreos and wrote a note saying "Have fun on your trip, Hamzie, XOXO," because I figured he'd get hungry on the plane. Then, I changed his wallpaper to something really cool, so nobody at the airport would make fun of him:



Of course, I'm an intensely stupid person, and forgot to log out of all my important accounts. So after calling me on the phone and calling me a "fuck," Hamza sent this email to Zac Minor, our show's producer:



He, of course, threw it up on Twitter.

I love this job, and I love this industry. We are all big, gigantic, disgusting children. And we are awesome. I can't believe you read this whole thing, you could have read an entire important book instead. Aw, I love all of you.

I'm gonna go shower. It's two in the friggin' afternoon.   read


1:14 PM on 01.04.2011  

Hostbusters

Hey hey everyone. I don't even know who reads this, but you guys usually comment, which is kickass because it makes me feel less like I'm talking to myself over the internet while sitting alone in my room in my underpants.

Anyway. I started co-hosting The Destructoid Show, as you can see HERE. Video went up after I went to bed last night, so this morning -- at 4:30, when I woke up because my day job is an exercise in cruelty -- I ran to the computer like a kid running to open presents on Christmas. And then, you know, I read the comments on YouTube, which were YouTubish. And then I was in a bad mood until I listened to "Eye Of The Tiger" and "Push It To The Limit" a few times and smoked a cigarette. I hate mornings anyway.

A few hours later, Twitter user Flintsci tweeted at me, "ignore the youtube comments. this is like Internet 101. nothing good ever comes from reading them on any video." And I immediately felt stupid, because he was totally right, and I already knew that. Putting things into perspective, I got off easy. Nobody called me anything particularly mean. There was lots of positive feedback, but at five in the morning, it's easy to take things to heart.

Obviously, people are pissed I'm taking over for Holmes, but, uh. I am. So I don't know what to say.

Wait, yes I do:

If The Destructoid Show is your Mom, and Holmes is your Dad, then I'm basically your Mom's new boyfriend. I'm not trying to replace your father, but I love your mother dearly, and she'd be a lot happier if everyone got along. I don't expect you to call me "dad," but it'd be cool if you got to know me a little better before screaming "You're not my father," slamming your bedroom door, and playing Papa Roach really loud.

(If The Dtoid Show is your mom, and Holmes is your dad, I don't know who Tara would be, and trying to factor her into this just gets all kinds of fucked-up in ways that would make Freud's head explode. But Tara's really cool and everyone has a crush on her, so that's not really an issue.)

Anyway. I'm tired and should probably make a sandwich or start doing research for tomorrow's episode or something, but here are some idiotic Photoshops I've done for no reason whatsoever that will probably be appreciated by Dtoid community members.


Hamza said I was gay for making that, but I've never worn a hat that stupid, so he can shut up.


I sent out a friendly holiday email to the entire Dtoid family email list, and Jim Sterling said something like, "Oh, great. Another email thread where I have to be nice." So I made that.


Yesterday, after we shot the show show, Zac Minor (the show's producer) took a bunch of cutesy photos of me and Tara for some reason. A few hours later he sent us that.


...And I replied with that because I'm obnoxious.

So there you have it. Cool story bro. lol ya inorite?   read


5:57 PM on 12.31.2010  

Vintage Drunken Note-To-Self #2

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a little keepsake from my idiotic community college years: a note I'd written to myself while totally trashed off Coors Light and Jagermeister.

Today, I'd like to share with you... Another embarrassing drunken note.

As I mentioned, I'd found this pile of old notes and stuff amidst some doodles and correspondence, and thought it was funny enough to put on the internet in a place where prospective employers can frown at it.

Here's the front side:



Translation:
Doo (does this pen work?)
Yes. Okay holy shits. The world
will not sit still; Planet Earth is
fucking spinning... Alex [last name omitted] an Jeff [last name mostly omitted]
-y helped me home... Remind me to
thank them. This is gonna be so funny
to read tomorrow. Sam! Niggaz4life!
Murder Beach Pythons stone cold killin'
machines, sucka!

Gaynavysaurus

What comes next?
I'm very drunk, I wanna keep -->

[Aaaaand the back side:]


Translation:
Track of what's up.
I love some people.

This is probably from the same timeframe as the other note, spring 2007.

Around this time, my buddy Sam had just gotten a Geo Metro hatchback for about 600 dollars, and was extremely excited about driving such a hilariously shitty car. There was a CD player, but it was literally duct-taped into the dashboard, and the speakers were rolling around loose in the back. I'm a big guy, so I didn't fit in the car normally, but somehow, that night, Sam decided to give Alex and Jeff a ride home too. (Just to make this story more interesting, Jeff is a very handsome and athletic fellow, while Alex is a really hot girl who was probably like seventeen when all this took place.)

We piled into of Sam's Geo Metro with Alex and Jeff. Sam drove to my house, and Alex and Jeff decided to walk me inside, because I so illegibly mentioned: "Planet Earth is fucking spinning." Ah, to have the alcohol tolerance of a fifteen year old girl... Those were the days.

Also, this was back when I was in a GANG.

We were really the only gang in Sonoma, and we were called The Murder Beach Pythons. I'm not sure this was a very fitting name, since there are no murders, beaches, or pythons in Sonoma... But we all wore orange bandanas and hung out in the Safeway parking lot listening to Run-DMC really loud out of our car stereos.

I was one of the founding members, and my gang handle was "Mongoose." Some of the other names were "Wooly Bully," "Hands," "D-Pad," "Chief Thunderstorm," and "Brando Calrissian." I have the gang handbook somewhere, it's written in a Super Friends diary. Man, we were raw as hell.

Anyway. There's Gaynavysaurus, as you can see, and some ugly guy.

Then, on the other side of the paper is a worksheet about memory. Which is really funny, because I have no idea where that came from.

I'm sure this kind of ridiculous drivel isn't quite as interesting for you guys as it is for me, but what the hell. Free blogz. Hope everybody has a happy new year and writes themselves hilarious notes to read in the morning.   read


12:07 AM on 12.24.2010  

If you don't like N64 or The Beatles, you're a terrible person.

I recently set up a YouTube channel for myself, because that one friggin' VGAs interview I did with the VP of Blizzard has like, a bajillion hits, and I figured it'd be a good tool to put all my dumb internet videos in one place. You know, by favoriting them. ("Favorite" is not a verb.)

Of course, this process required me to trawl YouTube for videos I've shown up in. And doing this last night, while drinking Mountain Dew and vodka (a cocktail I call a "Mount Doom") resulted in me finding a bunch of other weird shit because I wasn't paying attention.

Most notably, I found a video done by a couple of friends of mine. "Nintendo 64," sung to the tune of "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles.

[embed]190246:35000[/embed]

Robin Khamsi, who sang the song, currently works for BioWare. Dexter, who has the large jew-fro just got his degree in computer something-or-othering from UCSC, focusing primarily on game design. We worked on an iPhone game together last year.

They're both very talented guys, and it's gonna be cool to see where they wind up.   read


2:38 PM on 12.23.2010  

Island Of Misfit Games

Hey gang, hopefully by now you've gotten a chance to check out the totally festive-as-shit Destructoid Show Holiday Spectacular, which I hosted yesterday with Jon Carnage.

I thought it turned out pretty well, considering I started writing it the night before we shot it. One of my favorite parts was the list of games that your relatives might get you for Christmas by mistake. I Photoshopped all the covers yesterday afternoon. I'd been up since 4:30 in the morning and was running solely on two cans of Rockstar, and that's why these are so awesome.


(Red Dead Redemption.)
I'm assuming you guys get the reference.


(Mass Effect 2)
I apologize to anyone who is a fan of math or clipart.


(Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit)
When I read the description of this one on the show, we had to reshoot it because everyone in the control room was cracking up.


(Kirby's Epic Yarn)
It was really hard to find a good picture of Furby on Google Images. Probably because back when Furby was popular, 640x480 was considered high resolution.


(Halo: Reach)
Yes, the Halo reacharound joke is played out. However, having my girlfriend walk in on me while I was looking at gay porn, and then trying to explain it to her by saying "it's for work!" is still pretty funny.

Merry Christmas, everybody.   read


10:35 PM on 12.19.2010  

Vintage Drunken Note-To-Self #1

While going through one of my many shoeboxes of pointless trinkets and shit, I dug up some notes I wrote to myself a few years ago. But lo, dear reader, these are no ordinary notes. These are notes I wrote to myself after the first few times I'd been exposed to alcohol.

Until I was about twenty and a half, I didn't do any partying. I'd been straight edge for most of high school, and in Sonoma, where I grew up, this is pretty unusual. It's wine country, and it's Northern California. So basically, if you're not smoking something or drinking something, people look at you a little bit strangely. Of course, it probably doesn't make people think you're any less weird if you've drawn X's on the backs of your hands because you're hardXcore.

Anyway. Here's what happened the first time I had Jägermeister, sometime around spring break of 2007:



Translation:
Michelle + Curtis are adorable. Please God don't throw lightning at me for this shit.
'Are you Irish?' 'No, I just like TMNT'
Lucky Sexyback
I just got so much dumber.

Haha Satan Bear

I think were done here. I need to make a movie.

The night of the party, I'd been wearing a bright green hoodie and an orange bandana. This, of course, was not because of Irish pride, but because of Turtle Power.

Britney Spears' "Lucky" and Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback" were two songs that I had put on when someone let my stupid ass go play with the iPod. Of course, instead of this being humiliating and people laughing at me, a really hot half-Japanese girl said "You did not just put on Britney!" Then we made out on the couch until her friend came into the room and reminded her that she had a boyfriend.

I'm pretty sure after that, my buddy drove me home in his Geo Metro and thought I should draw a picture of Satan Bear even though I had homework for a filmmaking class.

I have a few more of these notes, and they get progressively more embarrassing. If you thought this note sucked, I'm sorry and here's a picture of Glenn Danzig fighting Lemmy from Motörhead:

  read


10:28 PM on 12.17.2010  

INTERNET MACHINES!

More drawings for you. This time, I've got a series of drawings I did for my History of The Cyborg class (art school is ridiculous.) There wasn't actually an assignment, but I had the idea to draw a bunch of popular websites as they'd look if they were actual machines.


The Amazonan Outfitting Co. Dispensary Cabinet! Purchase the finest in trinkets and sundries, simply insert appropriate coinage and retrieve your parcel from the delivery trough!



More of a gamblin' man? Perhaps you'll have a finer time with[i] The E. Bay & Co. Auction House Bidding Kiosk!



Fed up with that incompetent slattern at the telegraph office? Send a note to your chums with The Face-Book Library of Friendship! Write upon peoples' walls without attracting the wrath of the constable!



Do you lack the knowledge to converse with learned scholars? No longer! Gaze into the glowing orb of the Wikipaedia! You too can pontificate on the latest discoveries in phrenology!



Do you dare blather away moistly about your daily goings-about like the town oaf? Tuck away that soapbox and spread your news with The Automatic Twitting Post!   read


4:03 PM on 12.16.2010  

The Academic Code Of Horror

Hello my little internet.

I've been awfully busy lately, going on my wacky adventures. Since I last wrote in here, I went to Las Vegas and Phoenix to dick around with the new NASCAR game. Last weekend, I was in LA for the SpikeTV video game awards. I've also been very busy helping out with The Destructoid Show. Hopefully, you'll be seeing more of me on there sometime soon. You know, besides the occasional guest-hosting or eating cookies backstage.

I just moved into a new apartment, and I can finally settle down here (I've been couch-surfing and subletting for about two and a half years now) which means I get to unpack some of the awesome crap (Miami Vice action figures, KISS comic books, a friggin' sword, etc.) I've had in storage.

Among this awesome crap, I found several pages of doodles from art school and community college.

Without further ado, I give you...















On the back of that last page, there were some strange notes. The messy handwriting is mine. The other probably belongs to some girl I was trying to score with:







There you have it. Some mysterious treasures.

Hopefully, now that I'm a little more settled, I'll put more fun stuff in here, even if no one reads it. But they'll read it... Because as I previously mentioned:



I HAVE A DAMN SWORD.   read


11:09 AM on 10.03.2010  

Gone To Texas

Hey gang. Writing this from a hotel room in Dallas right now, where I'm staying thanks to THQ. They flew me and Chris Morris (AKA Azereki, or "Ass Ricky") out here for reasons that we might now be allowed to talk about yet, but I figured I'd fill you all in on the wacky antics that have led up to this current situation:


Someday, all this will be yours. Except for the pizza, I am eating that, you can't have it.

Last time I wrote in here, it was like five in the morning and I was telling you about how I played Zelda in high school. Cool story bro. That was Friday morning. See, I had orientation for my new job as a barista at 7:00 AM, and I went to bed at about 10:30 the night before. Unfortunately, I woke up at 1 AM and couldn't get back to sleep.

I'm not telling you this because I'm trying to put you to sleep, but to establish the fact that for the past couple days, my sleep schedule has been like that of a narcoleptic methhead Dracula.

After the coffee shop thing, I went home and slept for a few hours. Waking up at one in the afternoon to a text from Hamza asking when I was coming over to the house. I said I was on my way, even though I was actually browsing Reddit in my underwear.

I got a few changes of clothes and my camera and computer gear, and headed over to the Dtoid house. If you're unfamiliar with our base of operations, it's ridiculous. It's like a cross between the Lost Boys' hideout in Hook and Hey Arnold!'s bedroom. Speaking candidly, one of the reasons I like working with Dtoid is that they (we) haven't forgotten how awesome it is that we get to write about video games.


When we're not battling Captain Hook, we have food fights.

Mountain Dew sent Hamza a box of official Halo Reach Mountain Dew and Doritos. He was so excited, he put up a video about it on YouTube, and then proceeded to eat all the Doritos for breakfast. If I ever meet someone who is blasé about getting a box of free video game-themed chips and soda in the mail, I will make a point of stepping on their neck until they are dead, because breathing the same oxygen as me is a privilege, not a right, and they were probably a Replicant anyway.

Anyway, I got to the house and spent four or five hours editing that Comic Jumper video I posted. When it was finished, Hamza said he was about to go over to Faithcon 2010. I'd gotten a Facebook invite to this, and initially thought it was some kind of Evangelical Christian Mega-Church kind of thing, but it was actually a party being thrown for Faith from the Frag Dolls.

According to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, "The Frag Dolls are a group of girl gamers recruited and employed by Ubisoft with the aim of promoting women in gaming as well as Ubisoft's games." Wikipedia doesn't state the obvious fact that they're also attractive. Having read that description, I rolled my eyes and figured Faithcon would be some kind of publicity fan-service thing. Figured I'd go anyway, because I like going places.

Jonathan Holmes decided he'd come with us. I just met him earlier this week, and at this point I can safely say that he is the nicest human being I've ever met in my entire, and pretty much everyone I've talked to shares this sentiment. When you're talking to him, it's just like you're being given good news. He's so likable it's just fucking baffling. He's like Goku.

Since Hamza can't ever give a straight answer to a question, I spent the entire walk over to Faithcon trying to figure out where it was being held, and what to expect.

"Hey Hamza, where is this place?"
"Ehhh... Ten blocks that way?"
"What kind of establishment is it?"
"A bunch of Dtoid friends are there."
"Yeah, but is it like an office or a warehouse or what?"
"It's a house."

At this point we turned the corner, and I realized we were right outside Ben Perlee's house, which I've been to before. Ten blocks of me asking stupid questions, when the answer to the first question was "Ben's house." I swear to God, Hamza only does this shit to mess with me.

What followed was not some kind of publicity fan-service thing; it was a good old-fashioned house party, except most of the people there worked with the gaming industry somehow. It's fun to be at a party where you can stand there and talk about Star Trek for twenty minutes and not care, because everyone there is also a nerd. A beer pong tournament was starting, so Jonathan and I made a team named "A Link To The Pabst." Hamza partnered up with Sam Houston, and formed the less-clever "Team Samza."

We all played beer pong, and this happened:


I think I might send this photo out as a Christmas card this year.

Jon and I beat Hamza and Sam, but got our asses kicked by Faith and her partner. Their victory was obviously won with feminine wiles and trickery, since our team definitely had the edge. (Read: I totally suck at beer pong and am amazed I won the first game.) Faith is pretty cool. I know a lot of people will write off pretty girls who get attention for being nerdy AND pretty, but she's legit. Haters gonna hate.

I forgot to mention that I was supposed to be on a flight to Texas at 7:15 the next morning. Hamza said he'd give me a ride to the airport, with plenty of time to meet up with Chris at our terminal and get a Cinnabon or something. I'd sleep on the flight. This was the plan.

At about 2:30 in the morning, Hamza said "Hey, what time you wanna leave tomorrow? Er. Today?" and I said "5:45?" and then he said, "So, we should probably wake up in like three hours, huh?"

We went home and went to bed. I set my alarm and plugged my phone in. After curling up on the couch, I was out like a light. I slept for what seemed like thirty seconds, and the next thing I knew, there was a blinding flash and Hamza was bursting in the door shouting "WE BOTH SUCK!"

It was 6:15. Hamza had set his alarm wrong, and my phone -- though plugged in -- had mysteriously died in the night. We jumped in the car and Hamza did eighty the whole way to the airport. We got there in like ten minutes, which is completely insane. It doesn't even matter how far we were from the airport, we got there in ten minutes. No one ever gets to any airport, ever, in ten minutes. It's physically impossible. Airports are built more than ten minutes away from everything.

I went through security, got to the plane while the last handful of people were still boarding. I saw Chris in his seat, and stammered something to the effect of "I've never seen anyone drive a Toyota Corolla that fast."

Neither Chris nor myself had been to Texas. I saw the inside of the airport once during a layover, but the actual place? It's a mystery. When we landed, our heads were full of wacky ideas. Insane stereotypes and expectations we'd compiled from thirteen seasons of King Of The Hill, two Bush dynasties, and our California liberal xenophobia.

Of course, most of my expectations and interest in going to Texas have stemmed from Preacher.


Yeah, I know. The cover art turned me off too. The actual comics look way better.

...Which, if you haven't read it, I highly recommend. It's like if Tarantino had directed Dogma. It's one of the most politically incorrect and offensive comics ever. Definitely check it out if you like swearing and America.

So, Texas. We got off the plane and met our driver. He was a little guy, but friendly as hell, with a cool Texan accent. He answered all of our dumb questions, including "Is it true you guys don't recycle?" and "Which side of the state is Dallas on?" The guy reminded me of a gross between Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2 and the truck driver from Die Hard With A Vengeance.

California is an awesome place, and I love it to death, but in a lot of other parts of the country, I'm hesitant to say that's where I'm from. In certain states, depending on who you're talking to, saying "I'm from California" is like saying "I'm a vegan Prius-driving socialist. Let's listen to NPR." I feel like a lot of Californians don't realize this.

We got to the hotel, and realized that we weren't even conscious. Between lack of sleep, beer pong, and a three hour flight, I wasn't feeling too hot. Nobody enjoys sitting on a packed airplane, really, but I'm 6'6". It really sucks for me.

In my hotel room, I spent about half an hour trying to figure out what time zone I was in. Then, I read the clock wrong, realized I only had time for a twenty minute nap, fell asleep, and woke up thinking I was late for a meeting. After that, I concluded that since it was only three-thirty, I had actually learned to travel back in time, and in fact had plenty of time for a nap.

Chris and I went and did some press stuff that you'll hear about soon enough. Afterwards, though, we went and drank beer with a bunch of other gaming journalists and some of THQ's developers. While out for a cigarette, we met a bunch of WWE roadies.

I don't use the word "crusty" a lot, but it comes to mind. I'm talking about dudes with mullets and names like "Lurleen" tattooed on their arms, which you can see because none of their shirts have sleeves.

We talked about cigarette prices and work, and one guy talked about how stupid his wife was for wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey in Indiana. Another guy didn't talk about anything, but after a while he started throwing up into his bandanna. I realized that being a roadie for the WWE is about the most manly American job possible. Think about it: It's driving around a giant-ass truck full of professional wrestlers.

WWE's Hell In A Cell is tonight, and I'm gonna be there. I never got into wrestling as a kid; I guess it kinda goes with the territory of being an artsy sensitive type raised by a liberal single mom. If you told me ten years ago I was gonna be watching a WWE pay-per-view event live in Texas, or that I wore cowboy boots every day and played beer pong, I'd probably make this face:



Of course, back then, I also thought Attack Of The Clones was gonna be awesome (There were rumors that Jet Li was gonna be cast as Boba Fett.)

What can I tell ya? Things change.

Also, sorry for writing such a ridiculously long blog post. I'll try and make them more fun-size in the future, but if I stop typing this, I'll either go back to sleep or eat the rest of this pizza.   read


5:14 AM on 10.01.2010  

Tales From The Distant Year of 2005 A.D.

I have a cute little story for you. It's about high school and video games.

It was the last few months of my senior year -- it was actually my second senior year, if you wanna nitpick. I um. Kept putting off Phys-Ed class because I hated it so much, and wound up having to make up some credits -- I was eighteen, and my classes were all really easy. I think I had two free periods, and I was able to leave campus when I felt like it. Cruisin', basically.

It was around this time that I demanded my friend Tim let me borrow his Game Boy SP. I needed something to occupy my time. He obliged, because he'd just gotten a Nintendo DS, and loaned me all his Game Boy Advance games, including The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap, which I proceeded to play nonstop until -- and during -- graduation.


If you look closely, you will notice Sloth from The Goonies and a subterranean burglar-duck.

I friggin' loved this game. One of my all-time favorite games is A Link To The Past. I wouldn't say I'm a die-hard Zelda geek, but it's something I liked as a kid, and it's something I like even better now because I can actually figure out the puzzles on my own without crying.

I know you guys're gonna hate me for this, but I still haven't played through either of the N64 Zelda games. I've played a little bit, but I couldn't get into 'em. I like my Zelda games adorable, colorful, and pleasant. I picked up Ocarina Of Time, and it was like, "Here, take this bag of nuts, and go into a nest of giant spiders. Also, this extremely irritating fairy will follow you and shout vague suggestions." I have enough problems in my life without dealing with weird crap like that. I just want some escapism.

I know it's like, the best game ever for the N64, but please. Don't even try to convince me otherwise. One of the most serious arguments I've had with my girlfriend was when she said I wasn't a real man because I haven't beaten The Water Temple, and I told her she should shut the hell up and respect her elders, even though I'm only two years older than her. It's funny. Most couples who have relationship problems due to a "generation gap," aren't talking about game consoles.

Anyway, Minish Cap had the feel of Link To The Past, and I was stoked. I played it in class, I played it during lunch. After school, I'd go to my job at a record store, and I'd have to put the Game Boy away. As soon as my manager went home, though, I'd break it out again and play. Then I'd go home, and I'd keep playing. It was awesome.

Eventually, prom night came around. I thought it was stupid, and decided it would be more awesome if I spent the money for prom on a tattoo of a cowboy with a sword riding a slug-dinosaur. I told everyone this, and they said "Oh, Max." I got home and told my mom, and she also said "Oh, Max," except in a much more disappointed tone. She said she'd pay for my prom ticket if it meant I wouldn't get the tattoo.


For the record, I got the tattoo a few months later anyway.

I didn't have a date to prom. There were girls who would've gone with me if I'd asked, but then they probably would have wanted a corsage, or like. Dancing, or something. So, I went stag. And when I say "stag" I mean, "I went with my friends Tisha and Kristina and Kristina's mom drove us."

At prom, I was the only person wearing shorts, tube socks and Chucks. Of course, I was also the only person wearing a totally boss white dinner jacket.


In retrospect, I probably looked like a clown.

Our prom was held at a race track for some reason. The kind for horses and dogs. There were little tiny TVs at each table, and we turned on ours to find out that Robocop II was on. I was pretty stoked about this, because Robocop is basically my favorite celebrity.

You know what I spent most of the night doing, though?

Playing Game Boy. Looking back, I'm quite proud of this. Of all the prom night memories I could have, mine are of watching Robocop II and playing Zelda. The weird part? I had a few girls ask me to dance, but I was just like, "No, go away. I'm trying to beat this goddamn cloud dungeon."

(...If it's not abundantly obvious, I did not get laid on prom night...)

A few weeks later, it was time for graduation. I had to put on my stupid robe and hat, and sit in the hot sun for like three hours.

Something needs to be said here: Graduations suck. Nobody enjoys them. Yes, you get to finish school, and it's a momentous occasion, but they aren't remotely enjoyable. The people graduating just want their piece of paper, and the people attending don't want to sit around watching other peoples' kids graduate. At the end of the day, it's an idiotic ceremony that everyone feels obligated to attend, even though everyone hates it.

Weddings are beautiful, funerals are poignant, but graduations are just ridiculous. "You've finished a certain amount of schooling! This means you're smarter! Here, put on this polyester cloak and this preposterous hat, and go sit in that folding chair. We will tell you when to throw your hat into the air."

Ahem.

So I sat on my folding chair. It was in the second row of seats, and this meant I got my diploma rather quickly. But then I had to sit there while two hundred other kids got called up. Luckily, I brought the Game Boy. I sat there, mostly ignoring the speeches being given, and then a word was said that caught my attention: "video games."

The alumnus who spoke at my high school graduation was Tim Schafer, the man responsible for games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Full Throttle. I don't think I knew him by name at that point, but I was certainly familiar with his work. Pointing and clicking are two of my favorite things to do on a computer, and when those actions are put into a game? Even better.


LOOK AT IT.

I watched him give his speech. Then, I realizing I could listen without looking at him, I went back to playing Game Boy, but continued listening. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was funny. It wasn't your typical "you can accomplish anything speech," it was more "I'm really surprised they asked me to do this."

That was a little over five years ago. I was sitting at my high school graduation with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with myself, playing Zelda, and listening to Tim Schafer talk about his teenage years.

Now I'm producing videos for Destructoid.

...High five?   read







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