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3:26 PM on 10.30.2010  

Review: Tommy Tronic


 


Don’t worry, he’s not as cool as this makes him look.


Tommy Tronic's, favorite pet dog, Yapz, has been missing for days, and according to the intro screen, Tommy is lost without him. At the same time, monstrous noises are coming from the Gnarly woods nearby. Could the two events be connected? It's up to Tommy, with his trusty, but for the most point worthless, pong shooting gun to find out. This is Interplay Discovery’s second Indy game release and boy does it show.

Let’s get this out of the way, Tommy Tronic is awful. It’s a barely passable platformer with very little imagination. Every part of this game screams student project, from the controls to the sound design. What wasn’t ripped off from a Warner Bros. cartoon was lifted straight out of an old Commander Keen  game. The sales pitch claims that this is a game for the whole family, which is usually a euphemism for “do not play”. Here’s why...


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8:59 AM on 07.07.2010  

An Aside: Red Dead Rape

Still playing Red Dead Redemption but thereís a part of the game thatís really starting to urk me. To the point that I avoid going into cities unless I absolutely have to. Whatís up with all the rape/violence against women in Red Dead?

The first time I went to Armadillo I was given the instance of saving a women from being stabbed to death by her john. I thought, ďThatís kind of coolĒ, pretty heroic thing to do in a western, save the lady. But every time I entered that town, there was a new woman getting attacked by their john. The guy would be straddling the girl in the dirt, holding a knife over her, and if you arenít fast enoughÖ STAB! STAB! STAB!

Itís to the point where now I ignore the screams of women being raped in the game. Is that something that Rockstar wanted us to become indifferent to? At this point Iíve seen more random rape scenes than any other type of instance, four fold. Thereís a statistic out there that states that one in six women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime (www.rainn.org/statistics), which is heinous, but I donít think it should be so casually thrown about as it is in this game.

Itís to the point where I wonder, what the fuck are all these women coming to the west for anyway? Donít they read the flyers? ďWanted: Women to populate the Wild WestÖ expect raping.Ē

And donít even get me started on kidnapping. Men, I implore you, only have sons in the Wild West. At least then theyíre only going to be shot to death in some random dual to see whose penis is longer. What do you think happens to all those ranchersí daughters while theyíre being hidden in some hole in the wall?

Early on there was a gang hide out mission near Armadillo that asked me to save a rancherís daughter from bandits. In the end, if you arenít fast enough, the leader will shoot the girl in the face, causing you to fail the mission. It was so early in the game, that I was not aware of my Dead Eye abilities, so I couldnít figure out how to be fast enough to not get the girl shot. After seeing her die three or four times this way I just gave up on the mission, it had become too disturbing.

Donít get me wrong, I get it. It was a wild time in our history, nobody really gets off easily, and the main plotline women are some of the best characters in the game. But perhaps the ďrandomĒ algorithms should be switched up a bit. I mean, you never see AI people get into duals, thatíd be way more interesting than seeing my 500th rape on the way to the general store.

An Aside: If I werenít at work when I write these Iíd make a video of all the raping in Red Dead set to ďMy Sister KateĒ.   read


2:39 PM on 07.01.2010  

Video Game Love Stories: Why They Donít Work

When we watch a movie or read a book, itís not hard to believe the love stories. Weíre given two characters, see them interact, hear bits of back story, and watch them fall in love. Happens all the time, no big deal right?

The capitol ďPĒ Problem with romance in video games comes in when we the player, are expected to love the love interests. All of a sudden weíre one of the characters that are falling into a relationship. And thatís when it all goes to hell.

For the most part we could care less about anything that doesnít involve us getting from Point A to Point B in a spectacular way. When weíre told that along the path thereís a lover, and letís be honest here a big breasted lover, that every once in a while interrupts our travels then we get a little bothered and hope thereís a button to skip the cutscene.

This Problem is doubly confounded if youíre not attracted to the love interest, especially if youíre a girl gamer or gay gamer. All of a sudden you have this character thatís fawning over you, making witty banter (if weíre lucky), and at some point making out/having relations with us and weíre just kind of sitting there, horrified by the spectacle our avatars are going through without our control, or worse yet, with us playing a damned mini-game.

If weíre lucky there will be multiple girls to fall in love with. Several stereotypes that we the player can choose to woo. Although I find that this happens a lot more often in RPG-esque games and less so in the summer blockbuster style ones. I guess role players are more willing to spend time in cutscenes than run and gunners.

Actually, the most endearing love stories in video games come from the damsel in distress genre. When the girl is point B then itís more like theyíre treasure for us to find and not a creature to fall in love with. If you never have to interact with the lover, then itís much easier to identify with the character weíre playing.

In the long run, much like our parents, game developers canít tell us who to fall in love with. Try as they might.

Well, unless they bribe us with treasure.

An Aside: I must be jaded. I had no qualms about burning the weighted companion cube. I caught it winking at one of those turrets when it thought I wasn't looking.   read


11:13 AM on 06.24.2010  

Cyber Bullying Morality Game: Living in the Grey

When it comes to morality, there tends to be a distinct dissonance between the real world and video games. For the most part, in video games morality is presented as a series of True or False statements. I can either be good and save the victim from thugs, or I can be evil and join in on the victimization. And thatís if the game is being subtle with its choices.

In reality, morality is based on your actions to thousands of different stimuli, and for the most part is considered grey. But when it comes to programming, the easiest way to present/code anything is to think of it as a series of 1s and 0s, on or off, good or evil. In more recent years, the player is presented a neutral option, but for the most part that comes about through inaction, and usually results in no player rewards. Being all good or all evil results in far more prizes than being indifferent.

The next stage in developing the morality play games would be to introduce more grey into the worlds.

Okay, so hereís my idea for a cyber bullying morality game. Itís a text based game where youíre presented a chat window and an AI and you have a conversation with it. The AI talks as though itís a pre-teen, so slightly annoying/obnoxious and doesnít ever really have its facts straight, but is really interested in keeping the conversation going. The way that you interact with it changes its personality. So if youíre nice itíll be happy, if you try to explain things that it gets wrong it will slowly learn, if youíre mean itíll become depressed. If youíre mean to it long enough it will eventually commit suicide.

The longer you play with the AI the more you learn about its character. Perhaps it comes from a battered home, or is a spoiled brat. Randomized stats could start the AI out as a low self-esteem mid-westerner with an interest in cooking or a rich southerner who has an abundance of friends but needs a pen pal from another state as a class assignment.

The game ends when the conversation(s) end, either by death, disinterest, arrest (sexually flirting with a pre-teen is illegal), loss of internet access, or some randomized event in the characters life. Later installments could include in the randomized chatter creator a feature that the person youíre speaking to is actually a perv or a cop.

The idea would be that instead of having morality on a sliding scale it would be a circular graph, with multiple overlapping sections. There isnít good or evil, just a lot of gray. Although based on your actions, the ending you received could be considered good/evil but for the most part would lead to ambivalence, much like online conversations in real life.

There has been talk of getting rid of the whole morality scale in games and to just allow our actions be the deciding factor, much like real life. I feel like thatís being lazy. Without feedback from the game world, our actions would be meaningless, much like in the real life. I think the further we develop our AI characters, the more important it will be for those characters to have multiple responses to our actions, especially since interaction and versatility are two of the strongest characteristics of this genre of art. And for this to work, at least in this point and time, it will require a value scale of some sort.

In the future, I envision companies who specialize in this sort of middle ware, allowing game developers to focus on setting up a story/world and having it populated by teams of programmers working with sociologists. But for now, I guess weíre stuck with saving or stabbing prostitutes.




An Aside: Morality in multiplayer games is a moot point; everyoneís a dick when it comes to playing with other humans.   read


9:48 AM on 06.21.2010  

E3 Best in Show - Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

My best in show from this E3 was surprisingly Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. The potential seen in this demo sold it for me.

The game plays as half Castlevania half Beat Ďem Up. Youíre given a thirty room castle that you must scale in order to get to the boss fight at the top. There are multiple paths to reach the boss, some requiring the help of another character to complete (see: Elevator Switches). There are monsters, traps, chests and candle sticks to hinder or help along the way. For my play through I picked Alucard to get me to the top since, aside from Soma (who was not playable in the demo), heís the character I know the best from the series, so his attack patterns were familiar and by about halfway through I was able to pull off some pretty nifty combos, be it the extended jumps through mist form, or wolfing my way under enemy attacks. Magic was relegated to Smash Bros. format with one button performing multiple spells based on the direction of the analog stick.

The inventory system took some getting used to. The only time you could change equipment was when you ran into a floating book. I donít think at any point you could pause the game, since this is meant to be played as a brawler with six people, but enemies are pretty confined to their room (most Castlevania enemies donít wander the halls much anyway). As a person who is very familiar with the series, the inability to pick a weapon best suited to the enemy was a little frustrating, but I suppose in the long run it becomes more about strategy. In most of the chests were money bags, so I assume that in between levels there will probably be a shop system that will allow you to upgrade your armor and weapons. Alucard had his five slot defense and two slot weapon system, but this is not standard in every game, so the potential for separate systems for each character is there. Iíd love to see a soul collection tie-in for Soma, and I found a few grappling points for Shanoa that prevented me from going down a completely different path in the map that I played.

The music and sound effects were all classic Castlevania fare, what I could hear of it (E3 is noisy), so I suspect that it will take from previous soundtracks for the most part. And the ability to zoom out of the map to see the entire layout came in handy while I was planning my attack path as well as for avoiding the death laser coming from the boss every twenty seconds or so.

We were only given ten minutes of play time with the demo which I think should be included with the finished product. I probably could have beaten the level in twelve on my own, and with up to six other people playing it could probably be done in ten pretty easily, unless there was a radical upgrade in difficulty. Iím not sure how replayability will factor into this game, I would think that unless there are a lot of levels planned in future DLC that it could get stale pretty quickly. From what I was told by the booth guy (one of about five at the whole convention), there were only going to be ten as of release. With more characters above the starting five planned, letís hope they continue level creation as well.

Of course look at me, the gameís not even out and Iím already hoping for DLC.

An Aside: A level editor for this game would make or break it for me. Itís fairly boxy in itís level design already, just give me the ability to snap together premade rooms and I think youíd add a lot of value to the game.   read


12:33 AM on 06.17.2010  

E3: the Unrecogning.

Okay, so I know Iím a noob when it come to the whole E3 thing, but from my perspective, the event is not as cool as what I was lead to believe. Sure the 3DS was ridiculous and awesome, but really, thatís been the only thing worth seeing at the convention. I know they kind of killed it with the ďno public allowedĒ persona that they went for three years ago, but come on! Thereís supposed to be 45,000 people here this week and for the life of me, I canít find them.

That probably explains why I was extended an invitation (the one person who actually dished out $400 to go to this event from what Iíve unofficially gathered by the conversations Iíve been having so far).

Hereís the thing, no one plays ďThe Deadliest CatchĒ, so I guess itís no surprise that the Discovery Channelís gaming presence is relegated to just two television monitors hooked up to a support pillar to the right of the entrance way. I watched your video on ďMan vs. NatureĒ the video game, and I can tell you this, I bet I was the only person to bother to sit through the entire 1:30 minute video. The Hello Kitty people had a better turn out, and I bet their MMO is way better than the two generation old tech you were showing off. Iím bad at animation and I bet I could do better.

Also, Bethesda, you want people to hype your game, let them into your fucking theme park. I know itís cool to be mysterious and shit, but you have a t-rex in your booth you sure as hell better let people without a press badge and an appointment see it. Iím sure you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on it, might as well let it get some use. Also, your reveal in ďBrinkĒ would have been an actual reveal if we knew what the hell was going on. I mean seriously, is that the mages tower from Oblivion? Because otherwise, I have no idea whatís so amazing about about that place.

Kinect? Like the building set? Cause that requires more imagination than the shovelware that will probably come out with that system. I donít need a $150 tabbed browsing system that youíre trying to sell me. Iím sorry, until you can provide the holodeck, youíre not going to be able to take away my controller. Not from my cold dead hands.

And donít even get me started on the Move. You might have been cool three years ago, but at this point, youíre going to have to wait until the PS4 to come out and you bundle that with the system before people start buying that product. The only thing going for it is the two handed capabilities, the Wii mainly focuses on one hand at a time, and if you can corner the two handed motions then maybe, just maybe youíll be useful. Maybe the Sony is banking on the fact that it needs about three years to catch up, so it would always go through this mocking phase, who knows. Come back to me in three years.

I still have one day left for this Con to impress me, but as a layman, who canít get into the interviews in that sea of cubicles, well, youíve lost me. If this is the Gaming Cons to end all Gaming cons, man/woman impress me. Cause so far Iíve gone to bed before midnight and not felt like Iíve missed out on anything.

Peace Out.   read


12:43 PM on 06.16.2010  

Tales from an E3 First Timer: Day 1


E3 Day 1
Day one really only consisted of one thing for me. Getting my hands on the 3DS. Which, unsurprisingly was the goal of many who attended the event. The problem with the 3DS is that you really can't record the device with any justice. You're camcorder isn't going to capture the 3Dness of it, so at best I can give you my interpretations. Also, Nintendo was a punk about recording in that area. Footage will probably be added when I get back from LA, but enjoy some random pics.

Without further ado, some bullet points!

3DS itself:
- There's a lever off to the side to turn on and off the 3Dness. it was a slider, so that implies there are varying levels of depth you can achieve, but i didn't really see any difference except for on and off.
- The 3D picture capabilities were pretty impressive. I'm curious if there will be a function that will allow it to be sent to other 3D devices. Otherwise, you'll have a bunch of pictures that only you can see.
- There's a chance that the 3D will cause headaches after prolong viewing. I wasn't given enough time with it to tell and the three hour line may have caused some of what I was already feeling at the time of trial.
- There's a very specific viewing angle, and I mean very specific. Otherwise it goes blurry. It almost seemed to go blurry on me when I moved my eyes left and right.
- I didn't see everything, I got kicked out after ten minutes. Lame.

An aside: All the demo people were women. Pretty, but professionally dressed. Way to go classy Nintendo.

Kid Icarus (movie only):
- This movie reminded me of act raiser. There seemed to be a clear distinction between the flying levels and the land levels. Flying bits appeared to be an over the shoulder shmup, while the peasents on the ground sections looked more like and adventure game.
- The woman from smash bros makes a return. she seemed to be the narrator/side kick/originator of his wings. She kept giving KI orders. Things like, "I can only give you wings for five minutes, then thy burn up (guess she draws her power from the sun)", "save the peasants!"
- At one point, KI flys up to the screen and says something along the lines of "Sorry for being late." I could have sworn he also winked. Some fan service from the people at Nintendo.

Nintdogs
- They're still adorable, I'd have to go back and look at the original ones, but they appeared to be the same level of polygons/qualities as the original, just in 3D.
- The woman kept talking about wigs/afros you could put on the dogs. that capability was not featured in the demo i played with. All i was able to do was call the dog over (with a button) and pet it.
- Included in the demo were a beagle a yorkie and possibly a retriever. There was a third dog, but I'm not sure of the breed.

Professor Lyton:
- This game seemed to take place on a 3D boardgame, butIi only got about 30 seconds with it before they started pushing me towards the exit.

Paper Mario (movie only):
- Not very impressive. It looked like a 2D game that got converted later to 3D. It seems like it would have a ton of potential in 3D, but I didn't really see it. Also, they've pretty much stopped messing with the graphics of that game. No new tricks that i could see from the demo.
- They had the wiggly catapiller guy walk from the background to the foreground, very casually while mario watched... it was slow.
- They also did that old 3D cliche of the wall in the background moving further into the backgorund. it's simple but shows off 3D well.

To be honest, I hadn't really given the thing much thought until I got my hands on it. I'm interested in it now, and with a release date of August, it won't be too long before we all get a chance to get some extended time with it. This is a definite buy, for the Nintendo software alone.   read


10:18 PM on 06.14.2010  

Tales from an E3 First Timer: Day -1

I'm sitting in my hotel room, mere blocks away from the LA convention center, 8:30pm California time, 10:30pm Arkansas time. I'm already exhausted due to plane travel and lack of sleep last night (too excited, brain would not shut off), but I can't sleep yet due to the same problem as last night. So I figured I'd make a few quick notes of what I've already learned for people coming to the convention next year.

1. Be part of the press! "Exhibit Only" badges are for noobs. You don't get access to anything cool.

2. Know people! There are tons are parties going on that are invite only. Schmooze the hell out of people before you get to E3 so you can get into those parties. I'm hoping to make some connections tomorrow that will make sure I'm not sitting in my hotel room at 8:30pm, trying to catch up on sleep.



3. Don't be this guy! Buy boxer briefs, it'll cut down on the chaffing from running around, and the male camel toe. Seriously, did the art director not get the proofs for these ten foot tall posters or something? Also his leg is wrong and he has boobs.

4. GPS programs for when you loose the pack of people you're with! And trust me, pretty lights will get you separated from the herd. It's a fact. Also, get a map!

5. Buy bread and peanut butter! This is just a general travel tip from me. If you want to save money when staying in a hotel room, a loaf of bread and some peanut butter is the way to go. You get about ten meals out of it for $5. Save that money for eating at the over priced sbarros in the food court.

6. Internet/Cell coverage sucks! Bring quarters, cause there are few places in LA that aren't over loaded at this point. It's bad.

7. Booth Babes are Eye Candy Only! Not finger foods. I guess there's a big debate going on at the moment or something, I've missed it somewhere 40,000 feet above New Mexico. Just because they're pretty doesn't give you the privilege to be creepy. Come on men, elevate yourself!

Stay tuned tomorrow for actual coverage. I should have video as well (although there's a good chance that'll have to wait for the weekend after E3 as my laptop will be whoring itself to Dtoid).   read


11:52 AM on 06.10.2010  

Playing for the Other Team #1: Mario

In POT, we look at a variety of different video game characters and explain why theyíre probably gay. Thereís more than you may think.

Since this is the first edition of Playing for the Other Team, letís start with the most recognizable mascot in the world, video game or otherwise. Our mainstream ambassador, Mario Mario. There are many reasons why Mario is most definitely gay, but for the sake of brevity weíll just go into a few of the more obvious ones. Feel free to add your own observations in the commentary.

For starters, there arenít a lot female characters in Mario land. You could probably count all of them on one hand, and thatís including the transsexual Birdo (hey, if she calls herself ďherĒ who are we to argue). So in each of the main games, and quite a few of the side stories, youíre saving Princess Peach. Peach makes the ultimate beard (for the uninformed, a ďbeardĒ is a woman a gay man may keep around in order to not arouse suspicion of his gayness). 90% of the time sheís been stolen by some invading emperor, and the rest of the time the most sexual thing she wants to do with Mario is bake a cake. And where do all those Koopa Kids come from? Thereís a good chance that Mario, Peach and Bowser are just playing some elaborate kink game. Think about that while youíre playing Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Also, is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to save her as the years go on? As if Marioís growing tired of the lie. In the newest game there are 242 stars to get, I think some of that may be Mario going, ďGotta collect-a them all before I can bring my *cough* love *cough* home.Ē In the first Galaxy I got to 115 stars before I told Mario to send a letter to Peach that just said, ďFuck it.Ē

Speaking of effing it. Look at that mustache, thatís straight out of a 1970s gay porn film. Isnít it possible that he was a porn star before he retired to become a plumber? Or better yet, maybe he was starring as a plumber in a film when he was first called to duty saving the princess. Although itís not like a plumber is that much different than a porn star, youíre still cleaning pipes and snaking drains.

What about Luigi? Brother or lover? I think thereís a case to be made for lover. Mario came out in a different time period, less accepting of two men living together. So Luigi became his ďroommateĒ, for thirty years. Think about it, their last names are ďMarioĒ, you canít tell me that that didnít come about when someone asked Luigi early on what his last name was and in his usual stumbly way just said ďMarioĒ, I mean, have you ever heard him say any other word?

ďBased on tourism industry data, the annual economic impact of LGBT travelers is approximately $63 billion in the US alone.Ē (homearoundtheworld.com, 2010) Only a gay man has the large amount of disposable cash necessary to be in the number of games that Mario has been. Without kids, he has the indiscriminate spending power to travel to far off places on vacation. Whoís to say that these places (Dinosaur Land, Delfino, Sarasaland, Ancient Italy, Outer Space, Wimbledon, etc) arenít just that yearís Fire Island (look it up)?

So for these, and many other reasons, Iím stamping the rainbow flag on Mario Mario (and to a lesser extent Luigi Mario). Number One video game mascot and highest ranking gay in gaming.   read


12:32 PM on 06.09.2010  

Strip Clubs Are More Honestly Portrayed in Video Games Than You May Think

I donít have a lot to say this week. With E3 looming ever closer, most of the news coming out is that so and so company is making an announcement at E3. Not that I typically talk about current video game stuff anyway, I try to keep it snooty here. But I havenít had a lot of time to play games as Iíve been dusting off my video camera and my Premiere skills in order to get ready for the event. Well, that and working my ever so banal state job.

So, what to talk about, what to talk aboutÖ

Oh, how about I relate my recent first trip to a strip joint and how video games have told the truth to us all these years about those places, while TV lied itís ass off.

So as Iíve stated previously, Iím gay, and therefore have never really had a reason to go to a strip joint. Iíd been curious for a while now about what actually happens in those places, so I asked a few of my straight friends to take me to the nicest cheap one in town.

First warning, always have cash for the strip club. Iím a plastic man myself, and that shit donít fly. Even when you order a drink you should pay in cash in order to receive more ones as change.

How itís like a video game:
Canít touch, much like bad bump mapping. Touching is a no go in the strip club. Iím not real familiar with boobs, so when my friends kept insisting that they were wearing pasties that looked like the real thing, I didnít believe them. Thanks to my open gayness, one of the strippers had no problem with me getting about an inch away from her breast to check the authenticity. I had to stop myself from peeling up the band aid like devise out of curiosity. She just laughed and pulled it off herself to show me.

Fantastical Feats of Gymnastics. I think the most impressive thing about the strippers were their ability to climb twenty feet up a pool and then hang by their ankles while spinning around the joint. Thatís some Laura Croft level techniques there. At one point, while I was tipping, one of the girls asked me if I wanted ďto see them danceĒ. Hell yes I responded, at which point she spent the next 30 seconds making her jugs wiggle like the biggest pecked body builder.

Cleaner than Youíd Expect. Much like the older video game textures, there was little dirt hanging around. I expected something much seedier based on my experience with TV shows and movies, but this place was impeccable. Well, except for the bathrooms, I felt sorry for the guy in the bathroom handing out soap and towelsÖ not sorry enough to tip him, but come on, his tits were tiny.

The biggest lie both TV and video games made:
No women who arenít working there come to the strip club. I canít tell you how many couples I saw at the club. And for the most part, the women tipped just as much as the men. Now, they may have all been curious newbies such as myself, but Iíd be hard pressed to believe that, just based on the statistics.

Much like a video game, the night ended when we got sick of the repetition. After all the girls had danced their third set, I was pretty done. Thereís only so many times you can see a girl dry hump a pole before the sobriety kicks in.

An Aside: Someone must have had a cheat code, because a birthday boy got a twenty minute dance on stage which included grindings by all the stippers. Although, much like a cutscene, I felt this went on for far too long and was itching to get back to the action about halfway through it.   read


3:28 PM on 06.03.2010  

Police Crack Down on Vigilantism in Hollywood



It's like something out of The Watchmen. In LA they're arresting costumed heroes in an attempt to clean up the streets. Looks like the bad guys have won this round.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/06/03/hollywood.superhero.crackdown/index.html?hpt=Sbin

I say more power to them, it seems a bit of a waste of their powers to just do photo ops in Hollywood, but I guess moral building is important in these tough economic and political times.

If you want to send money to help in the caped crusaders' legal defense
contact Murdock, Birdman & Stien.   read


10:09 AM on 06.03.2010  

That Old Escapism

I think we can all agree that video games are about escapism, or getting us outside ourselves for a period of time. Even the so-called ďArt GamesĒ are generally about escapism, just on a more obtuse level. Thatís kind of the thing that our genre excels at. Good books let us imagine weíre in another world; good movies give us a window to another world, but good gamesÖ ahhh, good games let us interact with another world. Almost the ultimate escapism, the only thing better at this point exists in the imagination of science fiction writers.

I think about escapism a lot these daysÖ mainly when Iím at my day job, being an excel monkey for the government. This isnít what I planned for myself. I earned a BA in Animation a year and a half ago, right about the time that the economy took a dump. When the studios started shutting down or laying off non-essential employees, when they decided not to take a risk on someone whoís not so good at what he has a degree in (see my portfolio SometimesComic.com). To the point that even offering my services for free gets no response.

So I work a 9 to 5. Woe is me right?

Thatís why escapism is so important to me these days. When I canít escape into video games at work, I sneak time to escape into writing about video games. While my co-workers are taking time out to speak about god and how tomorrow would be better if the second coming came so that theyíd get the day off, or that anyone who voted for Obama should be shot because he didnít spend Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, I sneak into my cubicle and try my hand a editorialism.

When I get to my apartment, that I share with my sister and her new born (because who can afford to live alone with student loans?) I thank my own personal gods for the chance to not be in this world for a while.

Totally woe is me, right?

I may preach about the beauties of the medium, or may go a little insane with identifying with game characters (and their bandanas), but for me, itís the only way I can keep my sanity here in the Deep South.

Where am I going with this? To Los Angeles, or course (twist)! If I canít work in video games, at least I can still pretend to be a part of the industry. This year I received an invite to E3, and even though I may have only received my invite to help boost attendance numbers, and not for anything Iíve actually accomplished, and even though itís costing me a fortune to get in, fly, and stay there, even if this may be the one and only thing I ever actually get to do within the legitimate industry, Iíll be there. And working/volunteering for Video Destructoid to boot!

So screw this Neo Depression, see you bitches in LA.

An aside: No one is ever alone in the boat. Iím curious, how many of you out in the C-Blog Land (C-Bland?) have a similar story to tell? Letís commiserate!

Oh, and I guess if you need something to argue with me about (this is the internet after all), how aboutÖ Chalk Violet (Easter Purple) is the new Salmon when it comes to masculine men wearing effeminate colors. Discuss.   read







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