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Mike Wuest's blog

10:32 AM on 11.17.2011

So I'm considering a career in the video game what?

Hey everyone. Figured the ol' dtoid blog was as good a place as any to post this little quandary I'm having.

So...I'm thinking about trying to break into the industry, and was wondering what resources or advice any of you may have.

For some history; I'm currently a 28 year old higher education professional working at Florida State University in Event Planning and Space Reservations (LOOK AT THOSE TRANSFERABLE SKILLS! I'm such a catch) My problem is that I don't really see myself doing this for the rest of my life, and my recent dissatisfaction with my career (a field I've been in since I was 18) has made it obvious that I should probably try and pursue one of my passions, namely, working in the video game industry. (Other passion? Sports. Which is why I'm also thinking about pursuing a career in event planning at a sports venue, we'll see which of these 2 is more reasonable).

My problems and issues are many, and I'll try and outline them for you (so that you may mock me mercilessly):

1. No programming experience whatever.
2. No professional writing experience (my master's was in history, so I wrote CONSTANTLY, but I'm not sure it's the same thing, eh? Also, I've got some blog posts here...but I have no idea if my writing is any good )
3. I'm hesitant about the whole 'starting over' thing, especially considering that since I do have a job, I may be looking a gift horse in the mouth as it were. Jobs ain't exactly falling from the sky in this economy.
4. I'm getting married next May (woot!) and my fiancee is firmly dedicated to the idea of a higher education career, so I have to respect her career desires as well.
5. I literally do not know where to begin. Which is why I'm hoping all of you wonderful people will have ideas for me to plunder.

In a perfect world I could see myself doing PR or Production, but it seems that to even get a foot in the door I need basic programming skills or the ability to write well. What do you folks think? Is there any hope for me? Any advice or thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated. Thankfully, since I do work at a university, the option to take courses related to the specific skill-set required in the industry is available to me. Thanks in advance people.   read

9:50 PM on 05.05.2011

P2 Press Start: Volume III - Hold the Phone

Tonight's post is going to be relatively short as I have to post by midnight (or I turn back into a pumpkin). The topic of tonight's post may not touch directly upon playing co-op/competitively, but I think it counts; hopefully I can convince you as well.

Last year for the 'Blog-a-Day in May' Competition, I began the month by touching upon my favorite video games of all time. The first game I discussed was Fallout 3, and one of the reasons that I picked it as my favorite was because of the shared connection I had with my best friend Justin while we were playing the game.

Fallout 3, as I'm sure you're aware, is a single-player only game. How then, could I have had anything remotely resembling a co-op experience while playing the game? Simple. By telephone.

Justin and I spent the first month playing Fallout 3 talking on the phone. He lives in Orlando, and I'm in Tallahassee, so phone-calls were the most expedient way for us to have conversations. (And yes, I'm aware of parties on xbox live...I really don't remember why we didn't use that more often). And let me tell you something, we called each other all the time. For a game like Fallout 3, it was fascinating to see just how different each of our adventure's could be. We would talk all the time, whether it was sharing tips, asking advice, or figuring out the best way to navigate the Capitol Wastelands, we always had something to talk about in regards to Fallout. I remember one Saturday where we literally spent three hours on the phone as each of us navigated different sections of the subway system under Washington, D.C.

Now I know we weren't technically playing the game together, but I think that our phone conversations definitely shaped the way we approached the game itself. Not only that, but it was an excellent chance for two friends who don't see each other that often to catch up on things in our respective lives. It was quite the unexpected side-effect, but I cherish the time we spent discussing Fallout.

Anyway, I think that's all I'm going to post tonight. I originally had this grand plan for this post, but the lateness of the hour, as well as the amount of beer inside me are conspiring against the chances of this resembling anything close to a quality post.


mw   read

8:03 PM on 05.04.2011

P2 Press Start: Volume II - Online with Friends/Online with Enemies

So it seems that I may actually be able to pull off the hat-trick of posts I have in mind for this month's 'Monthly Musings'. That in and of itself is something of a small miracle...I suppose I should mention that I never promised that these would be be quality've been warned.

Yesterday I spoke on the benefits that co-op/comp. gaming can have when you play with someone actually in the room with you. Couch gaming makes shared experiences for you to talk about, and can serve to strengthen relationships. Today I'm going to discuss online co-op/comp. gaming and it's benefits/downfalls.

For tonight's post I'd like to focus on one recent game that I think can bring out some of the best and worst in a person, or team of players; Halo: Reach.

This game is incredible...but multiplayer will make you want to MURDER THE WORLD

I love Halo: Reach probably as much as I love Halo 3: ODST, which I realize makes me a heretic and probably makes the rest of this post suspect; do what you will. I just finally finished soloing the campaign on Legendary today, and I can say that from beginning to end, it was an incredibly satisfying experience. Not to mention the incredible value you get from the various multiplayer options included with the game...which brings me to my main point; playing online in Reach is going to do one of two things to you (possibly both); it's going to make you value your teammates as you strive together for a common goal...or it's going to make you DESPAIR FOR HUMANITY AND WISH FOR THE INEVITABLE APOCALYPSE WHEN THE EARTH CRASHES INTO THE SUN. So yeah...not a lot of middle ground there.

On the one hand, it really is a fantastic experience to have your team come from behind and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat during a particularly intense round of Team Slayer. Also, having a four-man squad wreck shop during a campaign run on Legendary is equally exhilarating. The communication and general camaraderie among a group of friends, or even complete strangers is an experience that can be unique, to say the least. And when something works well during an online session, you generally remember it; whether it's someone else added to your friend's list, or just a new tactic that you can use in the future, when a team works on a fundamental level, it's an enjoyable experience for all.


When it doesn't work, or worse yet, when you're dealing with assholes online...well, at least for me personally...I want to burn down the world. That's...that's reasonable...I think. It's not a unique experience by any stretch, we've all dealt with assholes in online games.

It's 2011...I don't...I don't really have to explain this to I? Grandma?

Now don't get me wrong, I can be an absolutely relentless shit-talker. However, I try and hold myself to a higher-standing of shit-talking; no racism, no homophobic slurs, no sexism. I just try and break a person down piece by piece, destroying everything they've ever loved, and ruining any chance they'll ever have at a normal, functioning relationship with other members of humanity. See? It's TOTALLY different. Much better my way. Those other guys are the jerks; I'm trying to create TEACHABLE MOMENTS for these people. (And some people just recognized my higher education background).

Anyway, nothing brings down the mood of an online match quicker than unrelenting douche-baggery on the part of your opponents (or even teammates). Getting tea-bagged in an online match drives me to the point of irrational fury, so much so that I will spend the remainder of my match forgoing whatever objective we're supposed to be pursuing for the sake of making that person's match as miserable as possible, by any means necessary. And yes, God knows I realize how childish that makes me sound, but what am I supposed to do? Ignore them? Pffftt...what am I, Gandhi? When someone insults me in real life, I try my hardest to destroy is no different. FICTIONAL ACTIVITIES TAKING PLACE WITH FICTIONAL CHARACTERS IN A FICTIONAL SETTING COUNT TOO, DAMMIT! Actually typing out that sentence made me realize how incredibly ridiculous the whole thing is, which I'm sure my fiancee will also point out...voluntarily. The point is though, is that I think most of us who engage in online play are guilty of this to some degree, we may not be the douchebags, but when crossed, we become the douchebags, no matter how we try to rationalize it. Does retribution make it right? Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly does justify our actions a little more easily.

I suppose my main point can be summed up, like so many ideas, by an original thought that I got from myself and no where else because no one thought of this before me:

See? My idea. I did it first. Me. Wil is actually short for Mike. True story.

Round 3 commences tomorrow.

mw   read

6:23 PM on 05.03.2011

P2 Press Start: Volume I - Gaming with the Fiancee

So I have this grand idea that I'm going to post three separate blogs about May's 'Monthly Musings', the chances of that actually happening though? MINIMAL AT BEST.

However, on the off chance that I do actually follow through on this, I think I'd like to start out by addressing what I feel is one of the most important aspects of co-op/competitive gaming; playing with someone else in the room.

I'm going to give you a little personal background; I've been engaged for just over 4 weeks now, and one of the reasons that my fiancee (remember fellas, unless you're marrying a dude, you're gonna need to drop that extra 'e' on there) work so well together, besides the fact that she can tolerate me being a six year-old (mentally), is that we both love playing video games.

I've been playing video games for over 20 years now, and for me, whenever I dated someone, it was important that that person not only tolerate my...ahem...addiction, but also that they genuinely participate as well. If they couldn't handle that, well long. Which is why I'm so lucky with Kelly (among other, more obvious reasons, the first of which being my remarkable lack of common sense).

For me, I could sit on the couch playing a single-player game, or something online on my 360 for hours at a time, no questions asked. But part of being in a committed relationship means that you don't get to do everything you want at the expense of your partner, and the fact that Kelly loves video games as well...well...that means I'm probably luckier than I deserve. It also means that we (as of right now) play two very awesome, yet very different games together; Castle Crashers and Portal 2.

This. This is her favorite thing in the ENTIRE game. We both probably have issues.

I'm going to be honest with you; our relationship changes depending on which game we're currently playing. With Castle Crashers, we're both working together towards a common goal, and it's rare for either of us to become irate with the other. As long as she has pooping deer and the ability to smack someone with a fish, she's happy. I'm happy too, happy that we can share something like this. At least...with Castle Crashers that is...when it comes to Portal are a little bit more...complicated. And by complicated I mean she's usually 2 seconds away from murdering me where I stand (totally my fault).

The point is, whether we're fighting or working together...or fighting when we're supposed to be working together, we're at least doing it TOGETHER. I think that's the most important part of playing video games with someone else present (and it doesn't have to be your significant other), you're doing something with somebody else. Listen, I can sit down and play Fallout 3 for 7 hours straight, but has that really done anything for me outside of personal gratification? Probably not. However, by playing games with my fiancee, at the very least, I could argue that I'm strengthening our relationship (even when she seems exasperated with me). We're communicating, we're problem-solving, and most importantly, we're sharing an experience that is particular to us. By playing these games together, we're making an active commitment to share a little bit of ourselves with each other, and really, I think that's one of the most fascinating aspects of gaming today; the shared experiences that you create with someone else.

I think that wraps up Part One of my Monthly Musing piece. Tomorrow I'd like to talk about online co-op/competitive gaming, so tune in tomorrow night to see if I actually stick to my guns.

mw   read

2:53 PM on 05.02.2011

The Return of 'Blog-a-Day in May' Get Ready.

Well, well, well...I can't believe it's been a year already. First off, I'd like to thank anyone who read/voted for last year's competition. It was fun to compete, and more fun to crush my opponents. So thanks for that. Also, sorry for not posting at all over the past year...unless I'm being forced to do this, I get pretty lazy, so that's on me. However, I have the following month to win you back with my delightful writing skills, and by 'delightful writing skills' I mean 'dick jokes.' So....there's that. Anyway, since this is the first day of the competition, we have to post the rules, as well as the competitor list, so here they are:

A post must be made each week day in May, meaning weekends are not required, but may be bonus points later...every post should be made after 12:01 am and before 11:59 pm each day.
In general, vacations, days off during the week, travel, etc. are not exemptions to blogging. If extenuating circumstances arise, we can discuss on a case by case basis.
Everyone should take the time to read everyone else in order to make the voting better in the end.
While themes are not required, they may be helpful bonus points.
No word minimum.
Be creative, show your personality, and love blogging!
Voting will take place at the end of the month for individual category winners as well as the overall winner of the challenge.

Based on last year, here are the blogs:
Mike: This is me, you're reading my blog RIGHT NOW.
Adam: Hasn't sent it in yet.

So...I've got some competition standing in my way of being back-to-back champion, but it should be a fun month regardless. Anyway, feel free to peruse my offerings from last year...looking back on them...yeah, that's probably not my best effort, and God knows, the further on the contest went, the less I cared about individual posts. This year will probably be about the same, just to forewarn you; lots of effort at the front-end, filler in the back. That's the kind of quality hand-made craftsmanship you can expect from Mike Wuest this year. As for topics...I assume that I'll be sticking with video games once again. I see that May's 'Monthly Musing' deals with playing with someone else, so I may begin my offerings with that post tomorrow...after that, it's going to be a wild-card; I'm not nearly as prepared as I was last year. That being said, this serves as my intro piece, so until tomorrow....STFUAJPG. (Does anyone say that anymore? God, I am so incredibly old.)


PS - I promise these will get more entertaining...maybe...probably.   read

3:02 PM on 10.08.2010


Ma$e and Halo, goes together like PB and...something that's not jelly

Well, well, well. What's the haps, Dtoid? Sweet fancy Moses, it has been a while, hasn't it? Glad to see the place hasn't gone to crap in the four months my lazy butt hasn't posted. That's my bad, I dropped the ball on that one.

I'm sure you're all wondering who won that little 'Blog-A-Day-in-May' competition I was in. You ready for this? IT WAS ME, BABY! WOOOO! Not only did I win Best Overall, but I won Best Individual Blog Post (for Fatal Frame II, Games as Art, AND Red Dead Redemption Preview). AWESOME.

So...what's been going on, peeps? I haven't really done much since May...beat RDR (great single-player, horrendous MP) I've really been enjoying Reach...if only I didn't suck so much at it. Eagerly anticipating New Vegas. That game is going to be so awesome. That's pretty much all I'm willing to share at this point, although there may be some more in-depth blog posts in the future.

Looking forward to posting some more...definitely not one-a-day, but one-a-week shouldn't be too difficult for me to do. I say that knowing full well that I will slack off SO HARD.

Later kids.   read

6:42 AM on 06.03.2010

Voting is Open!

For those of you who have been following this piece of crap for the last month, I've got some exciting (it's not really exciting) news for you!

Voting for the 'Blog-a-Day in May' is open! For all of my loyal readers (I do have loyal readers, right? Right? Bueller?), go here:


Remember to vote for me (ahem, please)...although be sure to check out the other competitor's at least give you a frame of reference for how terrifically awesome mine is.

I appreciate your assistance in helping me to crush my competition within my iron fist. Together we shall usher in a glorious new age...of me getting a free dinner. (I think that's the prize this year). Anyway, Mikey's gotta eat, so help a brother out...would you kindly.   read

9:12 PM on 05.28.2010

And So It Ends

Here we are...the last day of our competition. I still can't believe I managed to go the full month churning out (relatively) quality blogs. Guh. It's been a pain in the ass. But I'd be straight up lying if I said I didn't appreciate all the support from the (badass) Dtoid community. 'Preciate it folks.

I've looked at all the evidence, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a Wii tomorrow after kung-fu. I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone who commented on yesterday's Wii post. Good lord, so much information. I'd also like to give a shout out to my main man Occam's Electric Toothbrush for a. commenting so much, and b. busting my balls so much. Thanks. Dick.

It's been a lot of fun...and while I'm not sure I improved my writing style at all, I will say that I was embraced by the Dtoid community, and for that I'm thankful. I should keep blogging on this site, hopefully not everyday though. This will give me a chance to make some posts that are actually meaningful and not just me trying to make deadline, which doesn't do anyone any good.

I'd also like to give some big ups to my fellow competitors; even though I'm pretty sure I CRUSHED you assholes in overall quality, (am I joking? Maybe) mad props for sticking through to the end. Nobody cried off this year; color me impressed.

You know...I figured I'd have more to say, but the Yuengling is making it slightly difficult to concentrate, so I'll leave you with just two final thoughts:

Shut The Fuck Up And Just Play Games!

Also, cocks.

Much love everyone,

Mike Wuest.   read

8:05 PM on 05.27.2010

I Think I'm Going to Get a Wii.

And don't judge me, this ain't my first time to the rodeo so to speak. I did have a Wii for a while. But I let my ex-girlfriend keep it and it's been long enough that I can't ask for it back without it being considered a TOTAL DICK MOVE. I try to avoid those as much as possible in my everyday life. And it's not like I'm unsatisfied with my 360. I love that stupid machine. But...well...I mean have you seen the black ones?

You know what that is? It's chocolate sex. In a box.

Plus, ALL of my damn higher ed friends have Wiis, and NONE of them have 360s, the heathens. So, when we all get together to hang out, as we are wont to do, it'd help if we had something to do at my place besides playing NHL 09. The Wii remedies that situation.

I will say though, that I don't really give a crap for Mario. At all. And yes, I understand that the Mario Karts, and the Mario Galaxies are the bees knees. But I played that game 20 years ago. Although Mario Kart 64 was a staple of my college/grad school years. Actually, do you want to know a secret? The only Mario Bros. game I beat was Super Mario Bros. 2. It feels good to finally admit that. (Although...I LOVED Paper Mario, and Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time)

*fart noise*

Now, I'm not exactly swimming in the money, so I think I'm going to wait until Gamestop does a trade-in bonus on hardware so I can trade in my GameCube. I'm a crafty consumer.

Oh! I forgot about virtual console! Kirby's Adventure and Streets of Rage II are going to be day-one downloads (again). Hell yeah those games are awesome.

I figure once I get the system I'll try out Madworld, No More Heroes, Monster Hunter Tri, etc. If anyone has any suggestions for games that I should try out, let me know in the comments. And I swear to God if you say "Hurr, you should play Mario, hurr," I hope you get eaten by wolves. I know the Mario games are good, and I'll probably play Galaxy 2 because apparently it's the greatest invention since sliced Jesus. I'll get to it...EVENTUALLY.

So tomorrow is the final day of our little going to miss me? Don't worry, daddy's not going anywhere. You'll be stuck with me. See ya' tomorrow.   read

8:01 PM on 05.26.2010

Just got done with Kung Fu

It's 9pm...time for some California Chicken Grill and some Yu-Yu Hakusho with my bff Kelly. Sounds like a decent night.

I saw a tweet today; 'I've said it before; Wednesday. Where you're too far out to see weekend in any direction.' AGREED. Plus it's Memorial Day, which means three day weekend. (among other things, obviously). Which is's just great.

I actually haven't played any video games today...shocked? These things happen. Can't be helped.

Kelly is watching tv while I type and she's watching this thing on CMT about Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett. Now my thoughts about ZBB are well documented (I think he's ass). But I just realized...jesus, I've been listening to JB for something like 20 years now. I got 5 or so of his albums stashed somewhere around my apartment. I need to pull those bad boys out and stick'em in my car...I suppose it'd be a nice change of pace from the Ann Beretta in there now. (God I love 'Fire in the Hole' so much). Yes, my musical tastes are varied and eclectic. I have important opinions about things! I have many leather bound books and my study smells of mahogany! Ugh.

Anyway, food just got here, so I'm peacing out. I'll try to make tomorrow and Friday's updates about gaming and hopefully have some pictures/videos to spice things up...I know I been slackin', you ain't got to remind me.

Adios.   read

8:40 PM on 05.25.2010

Only 4 Days Left! (In Our Competition)

Jesus, this competition is KILLING ME. It's pretty tough to make 25 blog entries that don't completely suck ass. But at least we're almost finished. We've all been pretty constant, and only one person has missed any days...which is better than I expected it to be. I figured more of us would drop dead by the side of the road during this monstrosity. Kudos to everyone...although we've still got to finish the week out, so I shouldn't be handing out congratulations just yet. Dear Lord please don't let me forget to post on Friday...GUUHHHHHH. I would hang myself. (Note: I would not literally hang myself)

Played more RDR it just me or is Free Roam filled with complete mongoloids? It's gotten to the point where I can't load in and even look at my map without some slapnuts shooting me. Really? REALLY? Morons. Drives me crazy. It's rudeness with no reason. I could at least understand it if there was some benefit to killing me...but there's none. Blows my mind.

So I need to kill two cougars with my knife for one of my challenges...this is proving to be impossible. Cougars are like...they're like...well they suck. Notwithstanding the fact that they completely WRECK my horse, but when I come after them with a's like they toy with me before just ruining my shit. Boo that noise.

I shot at a beaver with the bolt-action rifle. It exploded. Is that how rifles work? Did I miss something?

My vote for best facial hair in the game goes to Landon Ricketts. Hands down. That mustache is not from this earth. Incredible.

The Dead-Eye system is extremely satisfying to use once you level it up to level 3. So satisfying.

I'm re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia. Say what you will, but there's not a story out of the seven that doesn't make me cry like a baby. *sniffle*

I haven't decided if I'm going to keep blogging after our competition is over. I'm learning towards keeping on, but definitely not at this pace. We'll see though, if I have no motivation to post...this page is gonna turn into a ghost town.

Adios.   read

7:55 PM on 05.24.2010

So I Started Taking Kung Fu

I've been interested in martial arts for a long, long time. I took some Tae Kwon Do when I was a kid, and freshman year I joined Aikido Club at Florida State for a semester before my class schedule interfered with my martial arts interests. CURSE YOU HIGHER EDUCATIONNNNN!!!

I've been running pretty regularly (3 miles plus sprints) for a little over a year now, but I wanted to do something to complement it. I don't particularly care for gyms; I can be really self-conscious and there are way too many pretty people/gym douches for me not to wig out whenever I'm in there. I figured martial arts was a safe bet.

This is who I want to be when I grow up...He might be the coolest person OF. ALL. TIME.

Anyway, there's a place in town called Tallahassee Shaolin Kung Fu. I did a little research through the interwebs and decided to give them a call and take a visit. Being impressed with the amount of skill of the practitioners I figured I'd give them a far it's been awesome.

I've been to three sessions over the past two weeks (they meet MW 7-9 and S 11-1). My plan is to go each time they meet, but I was sick as a dog last week, so no dice. Plus, the cost is $70 a month, which is kind of ridiculous. As in, ridiculously cheap.

I haven't actually started learning any styles yet; they teach 3; nan chen, chan chen, and wing chun. I think I'm going to go for chan chen (long fist style) since I'm tall and relatively slender. Should be fun...but first...first I've got to master the warm-ups. Here's a list of the warm-ups I do:

18 ankle rotations (both ankles, both directions)
18 knee rotations (both knees, both directions)
18 double knee rotations (both directions)
18 hip rotations (both directions)
20 'buddha pours the wine' (squat, raise both arms like you're holding a gigantic tun of wine and tilt to the left and right...20 both sides)
20 'dragon trunk twists' (basically these are for rotating at the waist, again, both directions)
20 'magic hands' (arms 180 degrees apart; think windmill, both directions)
30 snake hands (rotate at shoulder, keep hand flat, 30 each direction, each arm)
20 snake legs (stand, make a hook out with your leg behind you, keep it high and bend the want the leg out at about 45 degrees...20 each leg, in and out)
20 neck rotations (both directions)
20 wrist rotations (both directions)
20 sumo squats (you know how you stretch your groin before you work out? it's that, squatting low and bouncing back and forth while keeping both feet on the ground)
30 leaps (jump up, pulling your legs under you, land on the balls of your feet)
100 hindu squats (drop down on the balls of your feet, come back up)
30 hindu pushups (downward/upward facing dog for those of you who take yoga)
20 neck bridges (ok...for these, you place your forehead on the ground, and support your body weight with it while rolling your neck...then you flip over an do it on the back i terrified that my head is going to pop off like a Lego man? ALWAYS
100 situps
30 double leg lifts
stick drills (we use 7 stick drills, i've learned...4 of them...these are for working your triceps, shoulders, and wrists, you have to do 7 of each drill on each side...these things are MURDER on your arms)

So that's it...that's my warm-up...takes me about an hour and 20 minutes. After I got done the first time...I felt like I had the shit kicked out of me for about 4 days...but my body has acclimated somewhat, which is AWESOME. I have no doubt that I'm going to get really flexible...that or my body is going to completely fall of those two.

It's really fun and everyone has been exceedingly nice. I recommend it for anyone who thinks they can take it...they make sure to tell you that it's going to be hell on your fact, one of the advanced students had this to say about the warm-ups, 'They don't work out your body...they work out your SOUL.' I agree.

It's exciting and I can't wait to actually start learning long-fist...which is added on at the end of your warm-ups...I figure I want to try and do 4 weeks of warm-ups (3 times a week) before I get involved in the actual martial arts, but the Sifu thinks I might be able to get to it sooner...and I'm not going to argue with him...mainly because he could straight ruin my shit.

Well...that's it for tonight. Be back tomorrow. Maybe I'll talk about video games. I have no idea. Goodnight!   read

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