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Qalamari's blog

4:51 PM on 11.10.2012


3:22 AM on 08.03.2012

Followup: Dtoid Raft trip!

Greetings again, Destructoid. I have an update on the get-together I'm planning for next weekend. I want to keep things relatively snappy, so for most of the relevant details, I'll refer you to this thing. This thing right here.

So far, I'll admit there's been less enthusiasm for this than I'd have thought. That doesn't mean we're not going anyway! Even if you can't make it for the rafting, you're still welcome to come for the games and socializing afterwards. I know it's pretty close to a couple of major gaming events, and I apologize for that. I'll keep it short and say that this is the weekend I have off, so this is when it had to be. If it goes well this may have the potential to become an annual event, so if that happens I'll try and schedule it for sooner in the year next time.

Anyway, here's where we are right now. I have confirmation for both the raft trip and subsequent Games and Stuff from the following people:

Myself (duh)
My wife
Crime Minister
Corduroy Turtle
Steezy XL

Now that... that is a brilliant, talented, and dare I say it, devastatingly handsome group of people. It's my understanding that Turtle will be staying overnight, and that Steezy will be making other accommodations. This means we still have plenty of room available for those who'd like to crash overnight. I just need to know by the 8th (That's this coming Thursday) who's coming for the party and who needs a place to stay.

I've heard from the following people (or intermediaries) that they have at least some interest in attending, but haven't gotten firm confirmation one way or the other yet.

Com 01
PhilK3nS3bb3n (if you do make it, I have no idea how to pronounce that. I'ma call you straight-up Phil. Cool?)
Bill Zoeker

Additionally, Swishiee has said he can't make it for the rafting but will join us for the after party. I should probably stress that this is totally an option for those who want to socialize but don't want to get wet or are afraid of inflated rubber or river spiders or whatever damn thing.

So yeah. If you haven't RSVP'd yet, now would be the time. A comment here would be great, or Mr. Andy Dixon very kindly set up a meetup thing that'll let me know who's coming.

One final thing. I'm not sure who's a fan and who's not, but I thought it might be worth mentioning that Weird Al Yankovic will be playing shows in this area over this weekend, and tickets are still available. If you've never seen Weird Al live, I can confirm that he puts on a great show and you will leave thoroughly entertained. For some reason I can't get the link to work here, but if you google "Weird Al Three Stages" you can get all the venue information. Just something to think about if you decide to come.

Think that's pretty much it. Again, hope to see several of you here next weekend!

Q   read

4:25 PM on 07.08.2012

Dtoid Sac and SF, a Toobin' invitation!

Greetings to you, Northern California users of Destructoid! I have a proposition for you. I've been working on this for a while now and I think the story is ready to break. The short version is, I'd like to invite everyone who's within a reasonable distance of my home base on a Destructoid themed raft trip down the lower fork of the American River. So here's the pertinent information, in old-school JOURNALISM style. I shall now don my newsman's fedora with a "Press" tag in the brim to prepare myself mentally.

(Ahem.) That's better.

WHO: Everyone who considers themselves a part of Dtoid and lives close enough to make a day trip to Sacramento.

WHAT: We'll be doing a raft trip down the Lower American River. I won't know exactly how much per person this will cost until we have a final headcount, because prices are calculated per raft, not per person. Figure on spending somewhere around $25-$30 per person, though it's my hope that with coupons and a large group discount, we can get it lower than that. Afterwards, we'll be doing dinner (probably something grilled), games and stuff like that there at my house. If you have your own raft/kayak/heavy innertube, go ahead and bring it, but just let me know ahead of time so I don't include you in the headcount for rental pricing.

WHERE: River Rat Raft Rentals, which apart from having a wonderfully alliterative name, also has a pullout farther down the river than the competition, meaning we get to stay on the water longer. That link has info on all the details, so I won't repeat them here.

WHEN: August 11/12. I'm trying to avoid any other prior engagements those folks in the industry might have... I'm aware that Gamescom is the following week, and PAX is not long after, but unfortunately this is the only time I could be certain to be available. We'll meet up at River Rat at 10:30AM and float down the river together, and should be done by about 3PM. There's a shuttle back to the launch site and we'll be heading back to my house from there. I'd prefer not to put my home address out on the internet, so I'll be letting everyone know in person when we meet up the first time.

Anyway, those coming from farther away (Bay area, most likely) are welcome to stay overnight either at our house or if we run out of room, with Spencer Hayes and his family. Bed space at our house is rather limited, but there's plenty of couches and room for sleeping bags. We do have 2 cats, and they're shedding more hair right now than should be physically possible, so if you're allergic you should keep that in mind. Seriously. Big ol' tumbleweeds every morning, no matter how much we vacuum. If we let them pile up they'd soon be bigger than the cats that made them and THAT JUST DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. Also, Spencer has cute lil' dachshund dogs, so, y'know, pick your allergen.

WHY: Ah, now that is the question, isn't it? Well, for those who aren't aware, Mr. Corduroy Turtle and his lovely companion COM 01 have recently made a significant life change and moved from middle America to the Golden State. This is sort of a "welcome to the neighborhood" for a couple of people I like a lot and am glad to have in closer proximity. But really, it's just a good excuse to have everyone over, eat and play games together. And the Bay area folks have always been exceptionally nice to me, so I figure it's time to return the favor.

HOW: As I mentioned, prices are variable based on how many people we actually have coming. That said, there are a few constants. Shuttle service back to where we parked will cost $4.50 per head. I'd recommend that everyone bring your own bag lunch, sunscreen, swim clothes, change of clothes, towel, any games you'd like to play/share, and bring a sleeping bag just in case. It might also be a good idea to bring a folding camping chair for the after party. We won't be serving alcohol at the party, but if you'd like to bring some for the raft trip or after, you're welcome to. Coolers with snacks and drinks are probably a good idea too, but remember no glass bottles are allowed in the rafts. Also, bring water guns. Lots of `em.

If you need to get in contact with me, I check Twitter fairly frequently. I'm @Qalamari there, and you can also reach me at Qalamari {at} gmail {dot} com. Hope to see a lot of you in August!

Q   read

3:24 PM on 09.22.2010

PAX 2010 episode 2: Attack of the Clones

By now, I hope you've had a chance to read about the journey I brought megaStryke and GamesAreArt on as well as its tragic end. What I didn't tell you before was that I had thought in the back of my head that something like this might happen, so I secretly visited the clone world of Kamino prior to my journey.

Doesn't look as impressive as I remember it.

The clone masters regarded me strangely as I presented the DNA of my targets. It would have been expensive to make perfect clones, so I allowed them to remove the color from the end product. The clones themselves probably wouldn't be happy about that, but a little brainwork ensured that they'd never know the difference.

Oddly, the clones seemed to have no personality of their own. It was like they were a blank slate on one side. I knew that wouldn't do, so I lent them my voice, and a message to spread.

Now that I had my clones, I needed a place to distribute them, to allow them to blend in with the rest of society. What better place than the meeting hall of the robot's army?

My work done, all I could do was wait. I saw signs of my efforts in some intercepted missives, but very little direct communication. It seemed my clones were rather like fish eggs, hundreds distributed to the wild in the hopes that a few would survive.

It was all right though, as I had an ace up my sleeve. I talked to the leader of the clone masters, a grumpy, turtle-like fellow with the flair of a true artist. He crafted for me two very special clones, far surpassing their brothers' capabilities.

When the tragedy happened, I knew I couldn't keep these special clones to myself. And so they have been carefully packed in carbonite for the journey to their unwitting donors. As a matter of fact, the transport ship is on its way now.

Nope, still not that impressive.

All joking and strangeness aside, thank you to everyone who took the time to help me show mS and GAA around PAX. I'd especially like to thank GrumpyTurtle for his awesome drawings, requested over Twitter and prepared in advance. I'm sorry we didn't get to hang out more sir, and I definitely feel like I owe you something special next PAX. If anyone has pictures they've taken with the clones that they'd like added to the post, it's not too late! Just send them to my email or add them in the comments and I'll make sure they're inserted into the post.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Destructoid for putting on a hell of a show at its PAX panel. It is because of my clone warriors here that I managed to snag the elusive "first post" at the Dtoid Live panel, and thus you, GamesAreArt and megaStryke, you are responsible for the completely awesome set of A30 Astro headphones that I took home. I was shocked and flustered at the outset, when I said who I was on the site and people cheered. That's certainly never happened to me before. And so thank you to everyone who was so nice to me at PAX, I had a great time meeting a lot of you, new faces and old. Thank you to Hamza, Niero, Jim, and anyone else involved with the amazing audio equipment I brought home. And thank you most especially to the community here who has accepted me and tolerates my half-assed ramblings on a regular basis.

And there's one more PAX blog I have yet to write. Sorry Sentry, but that one will have to wait for another day...   read

11:31 PM on 09.10.2010

PAX 2010: Megastryke and GamesAreArt's mystical journey

I'm not sure why, but I've been having a terrible time trying to get this blog written. Maybe it's the fact that I haven't done a non-recap blog since February (Lord, has it been that long?). Maybe it's the mental block, knowing that once my post is done, PAX will be well and truly over to me for another year. I suspect it's some combination of the two, but no amount of procrastination will allow me to turn back time; if anything quite the reverse is true.

This might be one of those situations where words aren't necessary, though. Well, maybe not so many words as I usually use. This will be a photo-heavy blog, so be fairly warned, Slowskys.

The choice of whose avatar to take with me to PAX was complicated, and required deliberation over several factors. OK, maybe not several, but a couple. Ok. One. One factor each. You happy now?

Tony Ponce (AKA Megastryke) made a truly amazing blog earlier this year wherein he took to PAX east the avatars of both myself and the lovely Beyamor (and I am justified in saying lovely, for reasons that might best go unspoken). For this reason, he was an obvious choice to bring along.

GamesAreArt is a little trickier to pin down. It was clear from this tweet that he desperately wanted someone to take him along, but was too cool to ask for it directly.

I can respect that. Also, he's a fellow recapper and general stand-up gentleman, as far as I can tell. Also also, his avatar is adorable.

We began our journey at the asscrack of dawn. (Alternate nomenclature: the taint of time.) I am no stranger to being awake at 4:00 in the morning, but I generally approach it as a good time to start thinking about going to bed rather than beginning my day. It is for this reason that I have very little to show on the way to Seattle.

Here you can see GamesAreArt by the windowzzzzzzzz...

When we finally did get off the ground, we launched in tandem with this Virginal plane. I certainly wouldn't make any jokes about that.

I've been to PAX for four years running now but I still don't know exactly how to describe the feeling you get knowing you're surrounded by literally thousands of like-minded people. It's lovely to have one weekend a year where geekiness is an asset rather than a liability.

Swag bag in hand and shell on head, the three of us went off exploring the show floor. The first thing to catch our eyes was this ugly customer. I certainly wouldn't want to run afoul of him, but my 2-dimensional compatriots were much braver. I believe I heard GamesAreArt threatening to give him a paper cut should he try anything funny.

The boys were impressed by this life-size TRON lightcycle, but both were too polite to deny the other the honor of the first ride. In the end, neither of them ended up on it.

Telltale had a pretty strong showing, promoting their upcoming Back to the Future game all over the place.

The boys had less trouble deciding who would get to try out Doc Brown's custom DeLorean. Sadly, the car had a speed-regulating throttle and could not be driven faster than 87 MPH.

It's hard to get angry when you're at PAX, even when a giant sign tells you to. GamesAreArt is an iconoclast, and he does a headstand just to tell the Man he won't be havin' any of that, thank you very much.

Tired by this acrobatic display, the lads decided to take a rest by this oddly-shaped pile of rocks.

But wait! That's no ordinary pile of rocks! In fact, it almost looks like...

A D-d-d-d-d-DINOSAUR? And it seems to be emanating a high amount of radiation! Holy eff, guys, let's get out of here right now!

Having left the show floor, it was time to meet up with some of our fellows. Like, about 200 of them, by my estimation. Our first attempt was very nearly lost to the ages thanks to an Enforcer who clearly liked the smell of his own farts. Still, you can see me and my charges over on the left hand side, near the middle.

Since we weren't sure the first photo had been taken (seriously, that guy was a jackass) we all moved outside. I hope I didn't block anyone with the guys, but you can see us up near the front and center. Behind Funky and DOMO, if that helps.

It was a little chaotic, but I think I gave my charges equal representation, at least.

After the big group picture, it was time to get some more, shall we say intimate photos. First up was the picture reserved for Cblog Recappers. Both of the guys qualified, so they demanded to be included.

Before everyone went their separate ways, we managed to get some pictures with several of the editors.
CrimeMinister and I double-teamed Chad for this shot. GamesAreArt and MegaStryke were happy to share Chad with UsedTabe, Manic Maverick, and LawofThermalDynamics. Chad looks happy too, but you never know with Chad. It's kinda like this.

After the sunniness that is Chad, we cleansed our palate with the abrasiveness you can only get from one James Tiberius Sterling, in full Jimquisition regalia.

Dale North and Conrad Zimmerman were surprised to learn that they both had a twin in another part of the country.

Jonathan Holmes recently mugged Zoey for her sweatshirt, but he took a couple of moments to pose with both of my boys.

Speaking of mugging... this picture is definitely one of my favorites.

What kind of person would I be if I went to PAX and didn't get a picture of our benevolent robot dictator? A lousy one. And I am. But I did manage a picture of the man behind the helmet, at least.

I managed to catch former editor Anthony Burch and his lovely wife just after the Gametrailers panel. Funny thing-- Papa Burch was standing right next to them, but he doesn't appear in my picture. My only theory is that the density of his awesomeness bent the light around him, preventing him from leaving a trace in my photographs.

Mikey and Stella were at the Gametrailers panel, too. So cute!

Much later, we caught up with the rest of Destructoid at the Rock Bottom Bar, and here I got a few shots with various members of the community. First up, I caught a shark.

A rather hairy shark, as sharks go.

Elsa was a little camera shy, so I promised I'd make some slight alterations to her photo. Nothing major, not in the least! Frankly, I cannot imagine why she'd want to cover up that face, as she is a damned handsome woman.

I got one more group shot with Funky, Tactix and JohnnyViral, and all of our adopted avatars. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Xzyliac is a very pretty girl.

ScottyG and WalkYourPath (originator of the Adopt-an-avatar program) shared an adult beverage with the guys before we broke for the evening.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. I packed the guys safely away in my suitcase, little realizing the horrors that would await me when we touched down.

Uh oh. These guys have been stuck in my suitcase for the better part of a day, smashed up against my dirty clothes... particularly the stanky socks, rich with the sweat of three days tromping around downtown Seattle. I sure hope they're all ri...

Well, dammit. Sorry guys. I hope your last vacation was as much fun for you as it was for me.


4:41 PM on 02.23.2010

California knows how to party (Photoblog)

As I mentioned in the recaps last night, last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend Destructoid's housewarming party in San Francisco. Dtoid San Francisco already posted their gallery, but I thought you might want to see my photos too since they show off a little more of how the house is decorated. My friend Scott who lives in San Jose came with me, which was great since I was tired from driving all day. Besides, he wanted to see what was up with this website I keep talking about.

As you walked in the door, there was a long strip of cardboard in the opening hall, and all guests were encouraged to sign in. I'd show you what I wrote, but it was less than stellar and I didn't take a picture. I decided from now on I'm gonna leave the art stuff to the real artists, though.

The new house is a two-story, tan colored Victorian on Utah street in San Francisco. If you've ever seen Full House, you know those things are packed together pretty tightly. You could see into a couple of the neighbor's houses from the various balconies and the backyard... I hope they didn't mind!

Like this! Except, you know. Not.

My friend and I got there pretty early, so we got a good look at the decor before there were too many people there.

The kitchen area was packed with food and booze, maybe not in that order. I was impressed by how the place was decorated-- it's like walking into the website. The walls, even the ceiling are covered in gaming paraphenelia and stuff Niero has recieved from the community. It's gotta be great to get up in the morning, pour yourself a bowl of cereal, and look over to the wall and see the poster ScottyG had everyone sign. I didn't take any pictures of the bedrooms 'cause frankly that's none of my business, but from what I saw walking by they're also a testament to the power of the internet.

This was the chandelier in the living room. Samba de Amigo is SO BAD.

The original helmet adorned this plastic fellow off in the corner. You may note that he is pantsless. It was that kind of a party.

The shelves above the food and stuff were crammed with awards and memorabilia collected from trade shows and conventions. Chad keeps some interesting company... Jenna Jameson, Vivi the black mage and Ron Jeremy flanked him.

Everywhere you looked you saw something related to the site. Here's the orginal Smoking Robot toy that started it all.

The candy choice was deliciously appropriate, no?

Like Bender Bending Rodriguez, this robot has an insatiable desire for alcohol. Fortunately the bartender was happy to oblige.

This picture was what you saw as you walked in the bathroom. I hope no one saw the flash from my camera as I took it... they'da probably thought I was a pervert.

Some charts and graphs were on the walls showing how Destructoid and the rest of the Modern Method sites have taken off over the last few years. Apparently Niero studied the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition in addition to coding and such.

This picture was on the wall between the kitchen and the living room. I don't know what it is, all I know is that it spoke to me.

We headed downstairs since that's where the games were. There were 3 TVs set up with Nintendo consoles hooked to each... it was on the way to Hamza's room, so every time he wanted to go in or out he damn near tripped over someone's N64 or Gamecube cord.

This Tomopop banner graced the wall on the way to the basement.

And this... this is an accident waiting to happen. This thing caused more bad trips than Alfred Hubbard.

We were mightily impressed by the Wall of Power that faced us as we came down the stairs. Nearly every console and accessory you can think of is readily accessible...

All the way back to the Atari 2600. Oddly enough, there's no copy of E.T. here. Can't imagine why. By the way, don't worry too much about the broken Wii in that previous picture. There was a perfectly sound one in the corner playing Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom all night.

This is CTZ and Hammershark playing a quick game of Mario Kart before the party really got started. The door in the back leads to Hamza's room.

The N64 got a lot more use than the Gamecube, actually. I realized I still had my old muscle memory stored from Mario Kart 64...

To say nothing of Goldeneye. Maybe it's the retrogoggles, but I think FPS's were better when you could punch your buddy in the arm if he killed you with a Klobb.

Rock Band was set up on a projection screen downstairs. It was going great until the drum set's kick pedal stopped working. >_<

To the left of the Rock Band stage was this spectacular arcade cabinet, containing more than 3000 not-emulated games. Obviously there have been some concessions to modern design: I'm pretty sure HALO never came out in the arcades. This was the highlight of the night for me, though... I never thought I'd get to play Smash T.V. or Battletoads on an arcade cab again.

Like I said, there was love for gaming on display everywhere you looked. This retro Link pillow was on the chair by the arcade cabinet.

Hamza's contribution to the decoration.

It got progressively more crowded downstairs as the night went on.

The basement is actually a converted garage, and you can see the garage door opener hanging down from the ceiling in this photo. From what I understand, there were well over 100 people that showed up. We didn't stay the whole night since I had gotten up at 6 for work, so we went back to my friend's place around Midnight.

Once again, I'd like to thank Niero and the rest of the staff for creating this site, and also for being so open and friendly. Niero really is one of the nicest guys you're ever gonna meet, and he was walking about the party constantly, trying to make sure everyone was having a good time. I had a blast at the party, it was well worth the drive from Sacramento to be able to welcome my internet friends to California. Thanks again Destructoid, and I wish you great success here in the Golden State!

-Q   read

11:29 PM on 08.28.2009

PAX 2009: The do's and do NOT do's

With less than a week until the doors of PAX are thrown wide, I thought it might be useful to share some of the things I've learned by attending for the last two years, in a handy and simple do/don't format. Actually, most of this stuff is applicable to any convention you attend. Print one out! Folds up and fits right in your pocket.



Wear comfortable shoes. I can't stress this enough. During the convention, you're going to be on your feet a LOT. Whether you're standing in the concert hall , perusing the show floor or walking around downtown Seattle on a pub crawl, chances are pretty good your basic mode of transport is going to be the Shoelace Express. Do your feet a favor and wear some shoes that you've already broken in. There aren't too many maladies that can ruin fun faster than a blister.

Bring your portable system and a charger. PAX is a digital wonderland, and if you ever wanted to play multiplayer on that obscure Japanese game you imported, this is probably your best chance to find someone else as crazy as you are. You can also let your Nintendogs out to play, battle Pokemon, or level the hell out of your pins in The World Ends With You. You will be standing in a lot of lines, so take advantage of the time to get in a few games of Tetris DS or Monster Hunter. Just don't forget the charger, and make sure to power up every night.

Plan your day beforehand. At any given time there are 5-7 events going on simultaneously. It's simply not possible to see and do everything. You may have to make some tough decisions, but that's where the program guide you get when you register is your best friend. There's a graphical version of the daily schedule in the guide, so it's easy to circle what you want to do and refer to it regularly. And if something you thought you would like turns out to be less interesting than you thought, don't feel bad about leaving and doing something else for a while. The primary goal here is to have fun.

Plan on using plastic whenever possible. Normally I wouldn't recommend this, as I feel it's better to have cash in hand when you want to purchase something. However, the ATM in the convention center ran out of cash daily last year, and there's a $3 fee every time you use the thing anyway. So long as you pay back the balance before the end of the month, it's much cheaper and more convenient to use your credit card for whatever you buy. This isn't to say you shouldn't carry some cash, but plan on using it for food and gratuities, not souvenirs.

Speaking of food, that brings me to the 6-2-1 rule. PAX is a busy weekend, and it's easy to forget to take care of basic human necessities. During each convention day, you should do your best to get:
6 hours of sleep,
2 meals, and
1 shower.
You can try mixing up the ratio, for example getting two hours of sleep and eating six meals, or getting one hour of sleep, taking six showers, and eating a single meal. This has been attempted in the past, and is not advisable.

Bring a camera. Cosplay pictures, upcoming games, some freak wearing a blue shell hat... You won't be able to post pictures on your blog if you don't have it with you. Try to keep it as accessible as possible (shoulder/neck strap, man bag etc.) so you don't miss capturing something epic.

Last but not least, Wear deodorant. There will be more than 50,000 people visiting Arcadia over the holiday weekend, which means there will be, at a conservative estimate, 100,000 armpits. Even though you are certain that your sweat glands release the scent of fresh-baked pastries, please apply deodorant anyway. Everyone around you will show their appreciation by not gagging, turning white, or passing out.


Make an ass of yourself. The PAX rules are written on your badge, and they aren't hard to follow. Breaking them reflects poorly not only on yourself but on anyone you're with... like, say, a certain group of fun-loving bloggers.

Bring home consoles. I tried to do this last year and found out the hard way that most hotels lock out the inputs on their T.V.s specifically to block this sort of thing. Sure, it's a dick move on their part, but learn from my mistake and save yourself the hassle of shipping a console to yourself at your hotel or trying to take it through airport security.

Spend so much time at the convention that you miss out on meeting other people from Destructoid. I did this last year and I've been regretting it ever since. Last year I came up with a big group of friends and spent most of my time hanging out with them. I don't regret that, but only after did I think to myself, "Hey. I see these guys all the time. I just missed an opportunity to hang out with people I won't see for at least another year." If you're going, you really have no excuse not to check out the PAX meetup group's Cblog at the very least.

Forget to leave room in your bags for souvenirs. It's easy to get carried away, and there's a few things at PAX you can't find this side of Akihabara. You'll also end up with quite a bit of swag, some of it posters and other things that may not travel well. There's a Kinko's in the lower level of the convention center that can help with shipping it back home if that's what it comes down to... but it's easier just to plan ahead and leave some room in your suitcase.

Be rude to the speakers/other guests. If you need to leave a panel/movie/whatever, try to do so without disrupting other attendees. Don't slam the door on the way out, and wait until you're outside to start talking. This is just common courtesy, but unfortunately that seems to be less and less common every year.

Miss the next PAX. While this may be the last wholly unifying game show in Seattle, the fact that PAX is becoming a bi-yearly event means there's less excuse than ever to miss one. You will have to make sacrifices in time, money, and perhaps favors owed, but I can attest with no uncertainty that it's entirely worth it.

Q   read

8:22 PM on 02.25.2009

Pokemon tournament week one: bracket and battle assignments

Hey guys,

Savage Pikachu, by DeviantArt user Nocturnal Devil.

I'll admit there's been a lot less enthusiasm for this project than I had been hoping for. I'm going to give it a go anyway though in the hopes that perhaps we can build on the first season with a more widespread field of competitors in the future. To those who did sign up, thanks very much. I hope you'll have fun with this moving forward.

Seven people signed up including myself, so I added one bye for the first week of competition to even out the brackets. To ensure that the order of competition is as impartial as possible, I used The Golden Avatar's random name selection program to fill out the bracket. I'll upload the video if anyone has questions, but that seems like it might be more trouble than it's worth. Here's what week one looks like.

Remember, from right now you have ONE WEEK to meet up with your partner and battle it out. Rules are here, please e-mail me with your results as soon as possible.

I'll be posting results every Wednesday until a victor is crowned. Get to battling!

Q   read

1:13 AM on 02.20.2009

Dtoid Pokemon tournament: signups closing Sunday night

Yeah, I used it before. I made it. I like it. I'm using it again.

Hey guys and gals.

I'm heading out of town this weekend but I wanted to let everyone know that signups are still open for the Pokemon tournament I'd like to run over the coming weeks. Why do I say "I'd like to run" rather than " I am running"? Well, that's where you come in.

As of right now I have less than 8 people who have signed up to participate. I'm not a math whiz but even I know that in a community with over 30,000 members, this is just barely on the shady side of 0.0%. Since a tournament is a large group of combatants systematically being reduced in number until only one remains, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to hold one when the number of participants is as close to zero as it is.

I've seen a lot of posts mentioning a desire to enter, but I haven't gotten information from those people. Please, PLEASE send it in, I've tried to make it as easy as possible, and there are three ways to do so. You can E-mail it to me (Qalamari {at} Gmail {dot} com), or hit up my previous Cblog or the forum thread devoted to the subject.

I'll sweeten the deal a bit. If you sign up, I'll send you a set of the special Johto starters I bred up to give away at PAX last year. Signups will be closed at the end of this coming weekend (Feb 22). If at that time there are still less than 8 people signed up, I'll have to call it off. If you have any interest at all, please sign up... I'd hate to have to cancel the tournament for lack of interest.

Q   read

7:11 AM on 02.14.2009

Unofficial Destructoid Pokemon Tournament: Signups and Rules

This is cross-posted in the forums, so feel free to head over that direction if you're so inclined.

All right. From my previous post and Cblog it appears as though there is enough interest in some sort of digital cockfighting organization to make it worth pursuing. SO!

Here's what I need from every participant. You can post it in this thread or send it to Qalamari {at} gmail {dot} com.

1.) "Pal pad" code from your DS game AND/OR Wii friend code+Pokemon Battle Revolution code. Preferably both if you own `em.

2.) Contact information. At the very least an e-mail address so I can get people in touch with their intended opponent. I've found it's extremely difficult to coordinate online battles without some third party method of communication, so any IM clients you use, Skype, Ventrilo, Teamspeak, AIM, even Steam. If you'd prefer to stay anonymous, just list which of those you have access to and I'll only ask for them as needed.

3.) OPTIONAL: What times of the week/day you're available. My schedule is completely jacked up, as you may have been able to infer from the fact that I'm posting this at 5 in the morning on Valentine's day. Knowing what times you'd be available to coordinate would be helpful, but isn't strictly necessary.

Rules-These are open to debate until we actually begin the tournament. The following are some I came up with, I welcome others' input.

A.) If both combatants agree to a different set of rules before their match, whatever ruleset they agree upon beforehand supercedes the following rules. Please make sure both parties understand the rules before beginning your match.

B.) The following Pokemon are considered illegal for this tournament. #150 Mewtwo, #151 Mew, #249 Lugia, #250 Ho-oh, #251 Celebi, #382 Kyogre, #383 Groudon, #384 Rayquaza, #385 Jirachi, #386 Deoxys, #483 Dialga, #484 Palkia, #487 Giratina, #490 Manaphy, #491 Darkrai, #492 Shaymin, #493 Arceus.

Each team may contain no more than ONE from the following list. #144 Articuno, #145 Zapdos, #146 Moltres, #202 Wobbuffet, #242 Blissey, #243 Raikou, #244 Entei, #245 Suicune, #377 Regirock, #378 Regice, #379 Registeel, #380 Latias, #381 Latios, #480 Uxie, #481 Mesprit, #482 Azelf #485 Heatran, #486 Regigigas, #488 Cresselia.

I tried to make this list based on comparitive power. If you think some should be moved from one list to the other let me know and I'll take it into consideration.

C.) All pokemon on the same team must be unique: that is to say you may not have two of the same species on the same team. Having a Porygon-2 and a Porygon-Z on the same team is fine, having two Porygon-Z is not.

D.) Each pokemon must have a different hold item. No fair giving everyone Leftovers.

E.) All matches will be Single battles with teams of 6 at the Level 50 rank. Wi-fi battles will autobalance everyone's pokemon to level 50 at this rank, whether their actual level is higher or lower.

F.) From the time I mail out the battle assignments you'll have one week to coordinate with your partner and battle one another. Once the battle is completed, BOTH parties please e-mail me the results at the above address. If you are unable to coordinate with one another during the week, both parties forfeit. If I only get results from one person or get conflicting reports about the results of a battle, the party I get results from LAST will be the ones I go with. Results will be posted weekly in my Cblog until the tournament has a champion, what time is yet to be determined.

G.) Finally and perhaps most important, don't be a douche. We're all playing this to have fun, don't bring your hacked l. 200 shiny monstrosities into it. There's literally nothing at stake here. If you want to grief people, go play something else.

I think that's everything. If I forgot something or you have other suggestions, post them in the forum thread or below and I'll alter the initial blog as events dictate.


EDIT: added Blissey and Wobbuffet to restricted list due to popular demand.   read

12:57 AM on 02.09.2009

Interest gauge: Would you participate in a Dtoid Pokemon tournament?

I know, I know, Forum post. I'll head over there next.

In my 10 things post, I mentioned offhandedly that I'd been thinking of putting together some sort of unofficial Destructoid Pokemon tournament. This'll only work if enough people are involved, so before I go off half-(also)cocked, I'd like to get a general idea of how many folks would participate. If you'd be interested, please post below. If there's enough enthusiasm for this I'll try and get it set up to get started next weekend.

Oh, and don't forget to head to Toys'R'Us this week and pick up a Shaymin. I've gone to all the wireless events, and it's pretty easy to get in, get the special-edition critter and get out without anyone noticing. If Pokemon is a guilty pleasure for you, rest assured that it's unlikely you'll be spotted.   read

5:46 AM on 02.03.2009

10 things you most assuredly don't know about me

Yeah, I know, I used this in the recaps. I just want to get some more mileage out of it. How often do you get to post a digitally altered movie poster for a re-imagined Shakespeare play on a videogame blog?

When I saw SilverDragon's challenge to the community, I thought it was a great idea. Little did I know that within 48 hours there'd be nearly 200 blogs on the subject from community members both new and old, well known and obscure. This was my first real challenge as a recapper-- the aftermath of the Hugstorm last month was child's play in comparison.

As I said in the recap, I've learned a lot from reading the various 10 things posts, both about individuals and the collective hivemind that is the community. And in every case, I have been favorably impressed by what people have been willing to share about themselves. It's amazing what you can learn if you're willing to give a little of yourself first. My hat is off to SilverDragon for suggesting this.

The reason I say you most assuredly don't know this is because I've never revealed most of these things outside my family. I'm not an exhibitionist; I'm an intense introvert. I'll go into that more later. This is one of the harder things I've ever written.

1.) I'm a procrastinator. If I don't have a deadline looming overhead, I have great difficulty forcing motivation upon myself. It's a habit I'm trying to break myself of, but success has been... elusive. I do feel that except in very specific situations it's better to do something right and late than on-time and poorly or not at all. It's not something I'm proud of, and I rank lack of timeliness high on my list of character flaws.

2.) I'm an Eagle Scout and have been for nearly half my life now. I was fascinated to see that so many others on Destructoid share this accomplishment-- BSA statistics say that less than 1% of the boys who enter scouting finish by earning their Eagle rank.

3.) I've never been officially diagnosed, but I exhibit every symptom of Social Anxiety Disorder. I've seen lots of people saying they're shy or introverted, but I find it hard to believe they're as socially inept as I can be. I tend to be very careful about what I reveal about myself, on or offline. Making this post is absolutely terrifying to me, and the only reason I'm even considering it is the cloak of anonymity my avatar affords me. I like to keep my lives on and offline as separate as possible, but lately I've been trying to blur the line, to break out of my shell a little. Results have been positive so far, but I'd like to do more. I've been to PAX the last two years, but apart from the panel, I barely got to meet any of the Destructoid crew. To me, the various editors and even the community members are like celebrities... people who I know a lot about but who don't know (or care) about me. That makes them difficult to approach. I'm making slow progress... I signed up for Facebook this year and although I haven't added many people, a couple of those on my sparse friends list are from Destructoid.

4.) Perhaps because of my tendency not to reach out to new people, I am exceptionally loyal to the friends I do have. I still hang out with several of the friends I met in high school more than 10 years ago. I like helping my friends, in whatever way I can... this extends to virtual realms as well as the physical. Sometimes I promise too much and end up letting someone down because I've overestimated what I can reasonably accomplish.

5.) Between work and going to school part time, my schedule just plain sucks. I work nights and Saturday, and I have to get up early for class 5 days a week and then stay at work until pretty late at night. I wish I'd been able to finish my degree back when everyone around me was getting theirs. Thank God I don't have anyone living with me to subject to my crazy hours. It's very hard to plan anything and my social life is limited to whatever I can cram into the few hours that mesh with normal people's schedules. Unfortunately this means I miss out on all the community events like Friday Night Fights, TFTuesdays... I'm even at work when the Destructoid podcasts are being recorded, so I can't make the show posts. It's rough, but in this economy I feel fortunate enough just to HAVE a job, so I don't complain too loudly. Anymore.

6.) I haven't been a gamer all my life. My brother and I bought a Nintendo Entertainment System with our own money in 1988. My parents HATED that we spent so much time on it, and I'm sure the screaming and shoving matches that resulted from adversarial games of Double Dragon and Super Mario Bros. 3's battle mode didn't help matters. We weren't allowed to buy a 16 or 32 bit console when those eventually came out. By the time I was on my own enough to defy their authority, it was the late 32 bit era and the first console I bought again with my own money was the N64. I feel as though I lapsed and have returned... and I've been doing my damndest to catch up on everything I missed during those years ever since.

7.) Even though we weren't allowed to buy consoles, that didn't stop us both from getting Gameboys. I am what you might charitably call a Pokemon addict. Less charitably, you might call me completely f***ing insane. In the portable series, I've logged over 2,000 hours. Over 600 of that is on my copy of Diamond, where I've managed to flesh out a completely full National Pokedex with all 493 legitimately obtainable pokemon, legitimately obtained, and IN F***ING ORDER. From Bulbasaur to Darkrai. That's one of my proudest gaming accomplishments-- and I still play for a few minutes each night before I go to bed. I've been thinking it might be fun to set up a Destructoid Pokemon tournament... there seem to be a lot of folks here who share my obsession with electronic cockfighting.

8.) My avatar name came from EverQuest. I started that game making a pretty little girl character on the theory that all the horny 13 year old boys playing the game would shower me with loot and free powerleveling. I was stumped when it came time to pick a name though, so I used the random name generator for my High Elf Paladin. I flipped through a few: Faylani, Tradenal, and the like... and the stars aligned when the generator came up with Qalamari. I remember saying to myself, out loud, "That's too stupid NOT to use." My use of the Blooper enemy from Super Mario Bros. as my avatar was a natural extension. What's more, I've had something of a soft spot for squid ever since. In all honesty, it's been a great character name. Even in a fantasy setting not too many people start their names with a "Q," so one letter in the chatbox or through the headset can get my attention. To the best of my knowledge, no one else shares this unique name.

Ok, fine, I won't abbreviate it. Baby.

9.) I don't drink, smoke or ingest illicit substances. Partly because I don't like the taste, partly because I'm a control freak and don't like the idea of having something removing my inhibitions. I'm not judgemental about it, and I will have a drink socially from time to time. As long as you're not affecting anyone else, I don't have a problem with whatever you want to sniff, shoot, snort, lick, or rub into your belly. Just don't ask ME to try it.

10.) I am the quintessential lurker. I read and listen a ton more than I post. I know a lot more about this community than most members (I think) but partly due to my schedule I have a hard time keeping up on anything other than the Cblogs. Part of the reason I volunteered to help out with the Cblog recaps is because I hope it will allow me to get my name out there a little more, test the waters as it were. The rest of the reason is that I can't adequately express how much I enjoy this community and its in-your-face call-it-like-it-is attitude, which I respect greatly. Volunteering is one way I saw I could give something back.

Q   read

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