Hi there! I'm MeanderBot. I enjoy video games. My video game playing history begins like many others: someone across the street got an NES, then I stumbled across a used stack of Nintendo Power at a swap meet, and soon enough I was spending more time with a controller in my hand then lying in my bed.
As mentioned above, I'm a bit of a Nintendo fanboy. Though I'd like to think I'm open minded enough to not get needlessly insulted whenever someone slights Ninty, while being able to acknowledge its shortcomings. But if it's got a big red N on it, chances are it will fall within my sphere of desire. I have every other current gen system, and thanks to the rediscovery of a local swapmart, I've pulled my SNES and NES out of storage so I can agonize over trying to get the damned things to work. I also try to do some gaming on my crappy PC, which usually ends up being either six+ old games, or indie games. Which is pretty much all I could ask for.
Outside of zeroes and ones, I'm also interested in skateboarding, drawing, photography and drinking a metric asston of soda. But that stuff's boring.
(Warning: excessive sentimental foreward, then a shit ton of photos)
For the third time, I had the pleasure of attending PAX Prime. It was great to once again see the now almost familiar sights, be completely surrounded by the culture I grew up loving and to just get out of the oppressive Arizona heat. Although it was my third time, it was still filled with memorable first moments for me. The first time I got my hands on a WiiU; the first time I finally managed to attend a panel on becoming an artist within the industry; the first time (in a long time, at least) that I could play Asteroids in an actual arcade; the first time I got to wear the Destructoid helmet! But by far the most important first for me, was something I've been struggling to do since the first time I came: I made friends.
I know that sounds pretty sappy, but it's true. The biggest reason I finally created an account at Destructoid after reading the site for several years was right before my first PAX. I had seen all the meetups that were planned for the site, and I very much wanted to be a part of it. I joined in the hopes that I could develop an identity and people would want to hangout with me. It worked, sort of. Having an identity didn't help my crippling social anxiety, and for the most part, whenever I showed up at a Destructoid event, I wandered around, made some awkward conversation and left early, overwhelmed by self-loathing and my inability to talk to strangers, though I enjoyed myself a few times. But this year was totally different.
I decided that I would share a hotel room with other people from Destructoid, instead of getting one by myself like I had the previous two years, in the hopes that it would lead me to meet more people. I ended up arranging to stay with Cataract, Glichy and Knives, which was the best thing that could've happened to me. They were nothing short of awesome, and by fifth-wheeling around with them I met Ali D, IcarusKills, Mr Gobbldigook and Gobun; several more ridiculously friendly and awesome people. With a comfort zone established, I managed the fortitude to stick around the gatherings and actually talk and meet lots of people. I got a chance to talk briefly with Max. Tara, Anthony Carboni from Rev3Games, Hamza and Niero (even though I can't remember a single thing about it). I even got a chance to geek out about cameras with Dale North! THAT SHIT WAS AWESOME!
AH EM. Anyways, what I meant to do with this blog before it became an emotional outpouring was share my photos. Now I didn't really take many pictures of the show floor, or games, or cosplayers. You can find those pictures pretty much anywhere else. What really matters to me are the people. It's the unique moments with friends that really tickle my inner photojournalist, and mean much more to me then soulless pictures of under dressed women. Before I get to the pictures, I leave you with one last line of emotional dreck: For the first time, I can say that I am excited for PAX not because of all the nifty new video games and merchandise (and getting the fuck out of Arizona), but because of the many exemplary people that have left an indelible mark on my life.
After meeting up with Glitchy and Cataract the night before PAX, we made our way over to IcarusKill's place and meetup with him, Gobun, Mr Gobbldigook and Ali D. It was at this point I was introduced to Cards Against Humanity, which I am now convinced to be the greatest thing ever.
IcarusKills was kind enough to cook some wonderful burgers...
...even if they were a bit crispy.
Mr Gobbldigook and Cataract share a moment. No, I wasn't jealous. I swear.
I was trying to take a candid group picture at arms length, and not doing too well. A guy across from us demanded, “Give me your camera.” After briefly considering telling him to get lost and/or mock his more then likely shitty camera skills (I was right), I handed it to him and he took a few pictures. Apparently I was the only one still interested in making it seem candid.
Jumping forward to the end of the meetup on Thursday, I was drunk on ambrosial IPA and my unexpected success at socializing. Sitting by myself at a small table, Niero came and sat next to me, and engaged in conversation. Hamza joined soon after. I can't at all remember what was said, but I greatly enjoyed, and was honored by, their presence. Eventually, they started talking business, which triggered my “shit I feel awkward better take a picture so I don't have to try talking” reaction. Not as awesome as last year's picture, but significant nonetheless.
Friday afternoon, at the Destructoid panel. Much more interesting, and somehow insane, then last year. Max's reaction in that picture is quite accurate. The new Podtoid animation is quite mind-blowing.
“Hello, puny human!” PanaMusica (I think?) and his kid. Hamza eventually stopped during the Q&A to apologize about showing the Podtoid animation with his kid present. Hilarity/traumatized childhood ensued.
My terrible attempt at taking the group photo. Highlight: Someone urging the group to move into the shadows, shouting “C AMERAS DON'T WORK THAT WAY HAMZA!” as I demonstrated here.
There were lots of people up front, so I moved to the side and took another terrible picture.
Moving on to the Saturday meetup at The Elephant & Castle. Here we have featured Cataract and Glitchy, surrounded by other lovely people(s).
Mr Gobbldigook, some faceless creature, Beccy (another triumphant person I meet this year) and IcarusKills listen on to Cataract's complex plan to takeover the world.
ScottyG (I think?) shows Beccy how to accurately counterfeit money, while Mr Gobbldigook waves and makes a silly face.
Hey guys, did you know Gobun and Spencer wear the same sized clothing?
Looking at my pictures, you can tell the exact moment that I get really drunk is when I think “Bulb exposure with flash IS THE GREATEST IDEA EVER”
A Very Cool Man I Neglected To Meet shows his love for JackShadow
We watch in horror as Hamza demonstrates his ability for out of body experiences
Glitchy watches in disgust as Mr Gobbldigook whispers sweet nothings into Gobun's ear
ScottyG (I think?) shares in a robust conversation with RobotBebop
Knives and Glitchy embrace in an effort to give me cavities
Ali D sneaks up on IcarusKills and Glitchy
With surprise special guest, Mr. Freddie Wong! He left before I realized who he was, otherwise I would've briefly considered talking to him before settling with being a timid turtoise
ScottyG (I think?) shares in a loving high five
Mr Gobbldigook kisses JJMcCallum (yet another awesome person) goodnight
This is what happens when a drunken, egotistical photographer who loves self-portraits meanders down a street with countless convex mirrors
And now in the final stretch, here we are at Sunday's final celebration at Rock Bottom. JJMcCallum poses while everyone else pretends that they don't know I'm taking a picture
Beccy perches on a Mr Gobbldigook
MuddBastard, clearly enjoying a hug with Mr Andy Dixon
And possibly soiling himself (and Mr Andy Dixon)
A picture of my water glass. Oh, and also Glitchy and Cataract
JJMcCallum shares elemental love to Ali D
A Very Cool Man I Neglected To Meet shares a silly face. Maybe I should get a silly face group picture next year.
Mr Gobbldigook, Spencer and Cataract acting as a plinth for the classical Greek statue that is Gobun. The only thing missing?
Athena and Hera (err, I mean JackShadow and Glitchy)
And then we threw in a Beccy for good measure
IcarusKills demonstrates how not to give a massage
While Spencer steps in to clean up
The gang lines up for one last love train, while I silently lament, “Always the photographer, never the lover :(“
And Ali D bids farewell to JackShadow.
And that's it! If you made it this far then Flying Spaghetti Monster bless you. If you noticed that my pictures tended to jump around a bit, that's because I also shot a bunch of film that I haven't gotten developed yet. So if you enjoyed this ridiculously overwrought trek through memory lane, stick around because shortly I will have more, and assuming I wasn't too drunk to not screw up the exposure and composition, maybe they will be even more awesome! Thanks again for everyone who took time to hangout with me, and dealt with my hanging on. PAX 2013 (and hopefully MAGfest!) can't come soon enough.
Being a boss is a pretty nice position to be in. Dozens of underlings at your beck and call, your own sweet lair and the opportunity to deliver an epic monologue before kicking some ass! But let's face it: chances are that you aren't at the top. So while you do get a taste of power, there's always some jerkface above you with a ridiculous ego and delusions of grandeur. But you have to take the good with the bad, and take solace in the fact that at least you aren't a fuckin' Zeb.
So this is me trying out some grey markers I had lying around for sometime, taunting me with their latent potential. I'm pretty happy with what happened, other then that nonexistent background. I might have to do this again. Or maybe I'll just scribble on some paper with a dried stick of poo. It all depends on what mood strikes me at the time.
We tend to take advantage of the kindness of others. Especially when it comes to characters in video games. Take Yoshi, for example. Without asking for a thing in return, he selflessly carries you on his back for countless miles, aiding you in your epic journey and how do we repay him? Make him eat obviously hazardous materials, like cacti, spiny turtles and freaking FIREBALLS? And anyone who says they had never damned their reptilian friend to a bottomless pit to save their own hide is a dirty liar. So with that said, I'll leave you with this: What goes around, comes around.
(I was hoping there would be more to this, but I waited until the last minute, caught a cold and now I can't look at a computer monitor for longer than five minutes without my head feeling like it has a bouncy castle inside of it full of chaotic children. So this is going to have to be it for this month. Waaaa
The Mushroom Kingdom is a strange place, least of which is its name. There are so many inexplicable occurrences. Sentient plants living in pipes? Ambulatory cacti? Fucking DINOSUARS?! SHIT'S CRAZY! And that's just the tip of the iceberg (did I mention there are sapient snowmen?). While I could do a whole series on the idea of revealing the insanity of the Mushroom Kingdom (patent pending!), for now I'll have to settle with The Bullet Bills. Who are they? Where do they come from? Do they have regrets? Dreams? Fears? Maybe they're just content flying endlessly through the air. I sure as hell would be. So before I ramble off into discussing the supernatural physics behind Bill's perplexing perpetual flight, I'll start with something easy: their place of origin. Before becoming the fantastic flyers they are best known as, they start as humble, inert lumps of metal. And what better to understand this lonely creature then the enigmatic Shy Guy? Or maybe Bowser is just a prick and enjoys giving Shy Guys menial, soul crushing jobs. Regardless, the true nature of this intrepid being shall never be truly understood, but it's a pleasing mental exercise. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go work on my dissertation on the migration patterns of Parakoopas.
(Ugh, didn't have the time to finish this proper [THANKS E3], but I'll throw it up anyways, and hopefully I'll be able to finish it up before the recap post)
Behind video game's closed doors. Such a wide topic. If you're an amazing artist. Being mediocre at best, I ran through varied ideas, all the best ones being shot down by my lacking artistic ability. I cruised through my vast video game knowledge seeking something within my ability, and eventually ended up at Super Mario Bros. There are so many weird elements in Mario games that require explanation, and for some reason I ended up with Bullet Bills. Where do these strange anthropomorphic projectiles come from? Maybe Shy Guys are lined up in a line passing munitions forward? Ahh, why the hell not. That makes as much sense as anything in those crazy games.
Stories are often found in great numbers among a civilization. Tales of the beginning of life, of triumph, of prosperity, of surmounting anything that stands in ones path no matter the obstacle. Stories such as these can be found where ever one turns, as people are more then happy to share them. However, it seems that these stories are often overshadowed by other tales, those of great tragedy and anguish. Stories of such pain that to forget them would require a superhuman effort. This is such a story, one of a single man who enslaved an entire species for his own evil gain.
Long ago, it is said that a single man descended from the stars on a strange and alien ship. Where he landed is cause of debate; some say it was on a barren circle where nothing ever grows, some say it was the nexus of what is now a barbarous tribe. But what is agreed on is that when he landed, he was greeted by a group of friendly, simple minded plant-like creatures. Soon, he discovered that they meant him no harm. Soon, he discovered that they happily obeyed his orders without a second thought. Soon, he discovered that they were formidable in combat. Soon, he discovered that they were easily reproduced. Soon, wicked thoughts trickled into his mind...
Before long, the area in which he first arrived was decorated with items of great wealth and the bones of his enemies. Stacks of ill-gotten treasures lined his camp, more then any city, let alone one man, could ever ask for. But it was not enough. By now, the one known as Olimar had succumbed completely to the corruption that often comes with power, and he lusted after more. He led his army, numbering in the thousands, and swept like a plague through the land, capturing anything that held value to his poisoned mind and destroying anything that resisted. After a terribly long time, he stood at the top of his vile empire, consisting of nothing but himself and his army, and smiled. What was once a small landing pad, then stretched out into thousands of square feet, where all was dark and miserable, where life was rare and fleeting, and where nothing was free.
Nobody can say for sure how his miserable time of reign came to an end, and is also an area of much dispute. Some say that eventually his army realized the hurt they were causing and turned on their evil master, then worked tirelessly to reverse the harm they caused. Some say that eventually he and his army found nothing but water surrounding his empire. Still not satisfied, he returned to his spacecraft to find another realm to destroy. Some versions say that one day, as he became grey with age, his loneliness and knowledge of the great crimes he committed weighed down on him mercilessly. Able to stand it no more, he took his own life. All that matters is that he is no more, and that this wonderful land has thankfully recovered to its once untarnished beauty. But despite every sign of his dark empire being erased by merciful time, every now and then, one can still hear mournful whispers recounting the destructive epoch of Olimar The Terrible.
So that was something, right? For some reason I had it in my mind that I had to write a narrative to go with it, but it ended up just having to do with the process. Which I am oddly at a loss for words for. I was thinking of the post that inspired the idea, which put me in a bit of a negative mood. And for some reason, Pikmin came to mind. Put two and two together, and you get a megalomaniacal Olimar. Somehow. I drew this on my tablet, mostly to justify my needlessly expensive stylus purchase. Hopefully next time I won't procrastinate so much and I'll be able to put more polish into it, and/or do more pictures, and/or come up with a better idea. We shall see! Please enjoy. Thank you.