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5:03 PM on 12.07.2007

Jean-Claude Van Damme Is A Mage, What's Verne Troyer?

As I had stated earlier in a recent post, it was reported that Jean Claude Van Damme would be appearing in another round of the World of Warcraft advertisement campaign, "What's your game?" I speculated that he would go the stealthy ninja like route and be a rogue. Boy was I wrong.


I never saw him being a troll mage but apparently, "Hand-to-hand combat for me: it's over!" Here is the full transcription of his commercial.

"My name is Jean-Claude Van Damme... and I am a mage."

"Hand-to-hand combat for me: it's over!"

"Now I can cast powerful spells!"

"Just try messing with me... I'll turn you into a sheep."

"A sheep!"

"...Because we all are a bit like sheep, you know..."

"I am Jean-Claude Van Damme, I am a mage."

"And you?"

"What's your game?"

And the next celebrity, as the title says, will be "Mini-Me" himself, Verne Troyer. If they cast him as anything else but a gnome I'll be disappointed.


10:59 AM on 12.06.2007

Child's Play, Gamers Win

Video games. When most parents here those two words they think of gore, violence, and blood. There is a stigmata that surrounds video games because of all the negative press given to it by national media and it's most well known denouncer, lawyer Jack Thompson. Two gamers however set out to combat that negative press. They were eager to get out a positive message regarding video games and the people who play them by setting up a charity supported by gamers and gaming companies.

The Child's Play Charity was started by Penny Arcade creators Mike “Gabe” Krahulik and Jerry “Tycho” Holkins, in response to a story written by Bill France in which he stated that video games are training our nation’s youth to kill. He later apologized for giving the assumption in his story that he thought all gamers were bad people.

“The Penny-arcade Web site and many of their readers, who are apparently gamers, demonstrated that they have big hearts and generous instincts,” said France of learning about the Child's Play Charity.

Child's Play is a Seattle based charity that accepts age appropriate video games, coloring books, art supplies, movies, and lots of other toys. Since 2003 Child's Play has raised over $2 million dollars in cash and toys. Their 2006 event alone raised over $1 million dollars and supplied toys to 40 different hospitals. When I asked project manager Kristin Lindsay whether "Gabe" and "Tycho" expected Child's Play to become such an enormous project she said,

“They had no idea it was going to be as huge as it was in that first year. They had about a quarter million dollars of toys packed into a garage, they weren't quite ready for that. It's one of the best unexpected events we've ever had!”

To contribute to Child's Play, thanks to a partnership with, you can simply click on the one of the hospital controllers on their website and you will be presented with a “wish list” of products you can purchase for the kids. If you aren't into the internet shopping phenomenon, you can also contribute money through PayPal. Even if you aren't there to see the kid receive their present or watch them play with their new Nintendo Wii, you can be sure they are smiling and their once sad spirits are raised. While the cut-off date for sending gifts is December 20th, 2007 donations from PayPal are accepted all year round.

"Let’s give these kids the Christmas that they deserve and let’s give the news papers a different kind of story to write about gamers,” Mike exclaimed in his original post announcing the Child's Play Charity in 2004.

With over 45 hospitals to donate to and more joining every year, there are plenty of opportunities to give back. While individuals are helping in this cause, gaming companies such as Epic, Microsoft Game Studios, Ubisoft, and Valve have all dug deep and contributed to Child's Play who helped bring this year's total contributions to over $300,000 dollars. When asked what the goals are for this charity beyond it just getting bigger Kristin Lindsay had this to say,

“We are looking to branch out into other areas, such as finding ways to help smaller facilities and programs. There are a lot of great things we could do, and we know we can count on the incredible support from gamers to make that happen.”

Everyone belonging to the Child's Play Charity describe their work as “humbling, rewarding, fulfilling, proud, happy, exciting.” Every year they are swamped with e-mails thanking them for their help and support. One e-mail in particular came to the mind of Kristin about a boy named Dan Knapp who succumbed to cystic fibrosis at the age of 16. Much like how Penny Arcade helps children in hospitals, the Knapp family began the project Dan's Room in order to provide laptops for sick children and raise money for CF research. It was quite an inspiration for the people part of Child's Play.

Thanks to some gamers, kids are receiving smiles and fun during a time where the chips are stacked against them. I'd attempt to write something thought provoking but Jerry “Tycho” Holkins beat me to it.

"What the Internet has done is remove barriers to impulsive acts of generosity,” Jerry Holkins said, “When clicking a few times amounts to an act of genuine compassion, you can find good samaritans everywhere.”


10:16 AM on 12.06.2007

Nintendo Hates Europe

If you live in Europe, and were upset that Super Smash Bros. Brawl was pushed back to an '08 release, you might be pissed at this point.

"If the game is not listed on the schedule up until the end of Q2 it is currently not due out until after that time."

That answer was provided by a Nintendo spokesman to when they asked when Europe could expect SSBB's arrival. If that is indeed the case, Europe won't get to play the highly anticipated fighting game until June, at the earliest. That is about 4 months after the US release date.

Sucks to live in Europe.

EDIT - I suck at the internet.


3:17 PM on 12.05.2007

William Shatner, Mr. T, and....Jean Claude van Damme? WoW

You've probably attempted to watch Street Fighter, and failed. You also probably have seen his many GIFs in which he....gets down? Well now there is another reason to laugh at Jean Claude. He will be in the next round of television ads for World of Warcraft currently asking you, "What's your game?"

Notable stars already a part of this campaign include Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, and A-Team badass, Mr. T. So far we have seen Shatner as a Tauren Shaman and Mr. T as a Night Elf Mohawk (Warrior). So what will Jean Claude be? I'm thinking a human rogue. What do you think?

Info from WOW Insider.


[embed]57764:5471[/embed]   read

1:38 PM on 12.05.2007

Conspiracy Theorist Michael Bay

"Microsoft wants both (HD DVD and Blu-ray) formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads. That is the dirty secret no one is talking about. That is why Microsoft is handing out $100 million dollar checks to studios just [to] embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu Ray. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth."

I wish I were on the receiving end of one of those $100 million dollar checks so I could pay Volkswagen to allow Bumble Bee to actually be a F***ING Volkswagen.

What a complete knob.

Bay recently saw a HD DVD screening of 300 in August and appeared to have come to terms with Paramount's decision to partner with the "evil empire", Microsoft. After that comment however it seems that Michael is drinking haterade once again. Bay, in order to support his theory has consistently pointed to an interview in which Bill Gates said,

"We think HD-DVD is great. It's a fantastic experience. I bought a lot of the discs, played with them. It's neat. But over time, eventually online is going to be more important. But we're super pleased with our Toshiba partnership. We had a great year in terms of the devices, the attach rate, the movies, the quality."

In the end though, should Bay really care this much about a media player? Does this amount to the same kind of childish "fan-boy" tactics used by so many people now?


3:24 PM on 12.04.2007

Don't Buy These Games For Your Kids

Thanks to Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, parents now know what the 10 most violent games of 2007 are.

1. Grand Theft Auto
2. Manhunt
3. Scarface
4. 50 Cent Bulletproof
5. 300 The Videogame
6. The Godfather
7. Killer-7
8. Resident Evil 4
9. God of War
10. Hitman Blood Money

This is the 3rd such list she has put out. She hopes that by submitting this list to the public parents will be more informed. Ironically enough the person who helped her put this list together happens to be Theo Broughton, co-founder of Detroit-based Hood Research. Hood Research is a think tank "where anyone can become a member". Research and reports done by qualified individuals are so overrated these days. "Even if adults don't play video games, they should be aware of the messages many violent games are sending", said Broughton. Miss Worthy goes on to point out a Michigan University study that claimed, "The violent content of video games is almost as bad as smoking".

Now, let's analyze all of this. I can't say I would necessarily disagree with her list. All of them are either A. gorey B. bloody C. violent or more than likely D. all of the above. Now as far as parents are concerned, I don't think most of them are that naive to be oblivious to the violence depicted in video games. Video games have and will be constantly splattered all over TV and video whether it in advertisements, tv specials (like the one currently airing on the Discovery Channel), nightly news, or documentary's (Moral Kombat). I think people like Broughton and Worthy need to give parents more credit and stop assuming they don't know the difference between an M rating and an E rating.

Speaking of those ratings, the ESRB rating system is not rocket science. An M rating for a video game is comparable to an R rating for a movie and vice versa for an E rating and a G rating. For some reason people don't see this as a viable system. What is so confusing about these ratings? If you need to, ask an associate where you are buying a video game to explain the ratings to you, that is assuming they know what they are talking about....

Lastly, I wasn't aware playing violent video games causes cancer. I know, that's not what they are implying but come on. A comparison between an addictive product like cigarettes and a video game? Does the surgeon general have to put a warning on video games now? "SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: God of War Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy." Know the ESRB ratings and follow them. It's not hard, however getting off cigarettes is, believe me.

Thanks to the internet, we can express opposing view points via text! Visit brad drac's blog.


2:13 PM on 12.04.2007

Wood Boxes, Plus Some Other Non-Box Related News

In what can only be described as the single greatest video pertaining to the varied uses of wood boxes in a video game, please enjoy.


VG Related News

Kane And Lynch Is Awesome?

Apparently that is what Eidos would like you to think. A game already mired in controversy due to Gerstmann Gate; Eidos didn't help matters after pictures surfaced from the official website claiming that K&L received glowing reviews from GameSpy (claimed 5/5) and Game Informer (claimed 5/5). If Eidos lived in Neverland that could be true, we however live in reality. In reality GameSpy gave K&L 3/5 stars and Game Informer gave it a 7/10 (they don't even use stars).

In addition to the ratings, the blurbs supposedly from the reviews of K&L are in fact earlier comments from previews of the game. Hope Eidos' PR people are good, because their hole keeps getting deeper and deeper.

Activision and Vivendi Marry

Activision is responsible for the acclaimed Call of Duty Series and the Tony Hawk franchise (which was soundly upstaged by Skate.) while Vivendi owns Blizzard Entertainment. I consider myself awesome at a lot of things, finances isn't one of them however. Suffice it to say, my only commentary here is that Activision is sitting pretty knowing they now have perennial cash cow World of Warcraft and with the much anticipated Starcraft 2 coming next year, I think it's safe to say this was a pretty good financial move.


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