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About
A relatively new dad telling tales on what life is like as a gamer and a father.

- I'm the youngest of two children with one older sister.

- I'm first generation American as my parents were born in Italy.

- Married to a wonderful wife and have an amazing daughter who makes me laugh and smile every day.

- Hobbies include exercise, reading, writing, sci-fi, film, and of course, video games.




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I don’t like reviewing games. By the time I get around to playing enough of game to review it, weeks, or even months may have past. What good is that going to do?

However, what if I were to review a game that no serious gamer would want to play anyway? Now that’s a fine idea. Core gamers can get a peak at what the casual crowd is playing, and I get to review a game, becoming a more well-rounded game blogger. It’s a win win I tell you!

The game that I selected for this little experiment of mine is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood for the iOS. This game promises you to live life, just like Hollywood starlet Kim! Be a fixture on the red carpet and become a celebrity gaining fame and fortune! Maybe get your own reality show on the E! Channel. THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!


Screwing famous people, then releasing a sex tape can get you millions of fans too!

Luckily, the game is free to download and play, so anyone can get to live life just like Kim. All you have to do is to go on the App Store and download it. Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

Your first task in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which we’ll call KKH from this point on because, seriously, I’m too lazy to write that shit out over and over again, is to create your own avatar. 



I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things to do when creating an avatar for any game, whether its Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls, is to create the most detestable and vile creature imaginable. My goal is to get my character as close to those pig people from the classic Twilight Zone episode, The Eye of the Beholder.


Hey there handsome!

Here’s where I find the first fault in KKH. Apparently, ugly people, or even regular everyday, normal looking people don’t exist in the world of Kim Kardashian. You better have impeccable style and high cheekbones, whether natural or augmented by plastic surgery or you can just get the fuck out you freak. Thwarted from making some man beast, I only had one other option. Create the most obnoxious douche bag the world has ever seen, someone who would fit right in Kim’s world.


BEHOLD! DOUCHE BOUCHESTON!

Since KKH plays like an RPG, albeit a very simple one, the main character usually starts from humble beginnings. In my case, I work at a clothing store for women, and a very posh one I might add.



As luck would have it, the one night I have to stay late to fold blouses, dresses, pantyhose, crotch less panties, (I really have no idea what is sold in these high end shops), Kim herself appears. She’s in a bind and needs some fancy frock for a premier or some shit like that. I offer to hook her up, even though the store is closed and what the hell, I give her the dress for free, because why the fuck not? Everyone knows that rich people don’t pay for shit, that’s how they stay rich.



Anyway, this was my key into getting into Kim’s good graces, as she invites me to some fancy swanky function. I’m now well on my way to becoming an A-list celebutard.

The key to becoming famous in this game really has nothing to with being talented. Just like Kim, you climb the ranks by just doing shit. You don’t have to be a musician or an actor; you just need to become famous for the sake of being famous. You will need to go to functions, meet, people, chase ass, and slowly but surely, you’ll gain followers and go from D-list to A-list.



All the while, Kim acts as your guide… a sage, if you will. She’s like Buddha, but with a huge, gravity defying ass. She’ll hook you up with connections, like your agent, Simon, who’s a creepy old man who you may or may not need to blow at some point in the game. Simon will net you gigs to photo-shoots, launch parties, and commercials. Simon also never asks for money, so there’s a very good chance one day, while in his office, he’s going to ask you to sit next to him on his plush leather sofa, and ask you to watch while he jerks himself off. Pretty sure that’s how it works in Hollywood.


I have my assumptions...

Kim will also set you up with a publicist. Why a no talent hack needs a publicist? To help get you Twitter followers of course! That’s how popularity is measured in Hollywood, apparently.

Kardash will also help you get some stink on your hangdown, if you know what I mean, but not after confirming what team you play for, or if you like to switch hit. That is actually pretty progressive for such a shallow game. Triple A titles have shied away from talking about LGBT characters for the most part, and when they do, they normally get shit on by the mass media. Kimmy K, though is no fool though and she’s down with LGBT. Like I said, she’s wise, like Buddha.



No game would be complete without a nemesis. As luck would have it, the bad guy in this game is a bigger douchebag than me. Just like in the great battle of Troy, this war starts over poon.  Dirk Diamonds does not take kindly with me trying to get in his ex-girlfriend’s pants. A power struggle is inevitable. Unlike Troy, no blood will be spilled in this war, as we will fight on Twitter, lobbing passive aggressive tweets at each other.



As I mentioned earlier, your agent Simon job is to get you various gigs, such as attending product launches, photo-shoots for ads, or simply telling you to go places where you’ll get noticed, like clubs and restaurants. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to earn fame and fortune and become A-list, through hard work.

By hard work, I mean tapping on the screen at blue dots. That’s what passes for actual game play in KKH. On a photo shoot? Touch a blue dot to change the backdrop. Touch a blue dot to touch up your make up. Touch a blue dot change the lighting. This is the core gameplay mechanic for every task in the game. Does that not sound exciting?



Well you better calm yourself down spank, because touching blue dots is exhausting. You only have so much energy in the game. Touch a blue dot, and you lose some energy. Touch too many blue dots and you’ll have to rest. You can, however, purchase cocaine, ahem, I mean “energy” with real world money and continue playing. Your friendly “energy” dealer will provide a designer suitcase of coke (Hah, I did it again!), that is, “energy”, and you can party for days and days on end, without rest. This is what elite Hollywood glitterati call “Lohaning” … probably.



So in a nutshell, your agent Simon or Kim Kardashian give you tasks. You complete said tasks and slowly and surely, you become more famous. Complete enough gigs and you’ll go from E-list to A-list. Truth of the matter is, you don’t really need to play this game to earn anything. If you want, you can use real world money and unlock everything without even earning it, which is, if you think about it, kind of how Hollywood works too.

I’m a little disappointed that out of everything you can do in the game to become famous, recording a sex-tape, and “accidentally” releasing said sex-tape on the Internet is not an option to help you gain some Hollywood cred.



All in all, I really can't recommend this game to anyone. There is not a person on this earth that should be subjected to this game… except Hitler. Yes, that’s right Hitler. If there was a way to travel back in time, find Hitler, and force him play this game while he was still young and painting panoramas of the Austrian countryside or some shit like that, he may have offed himself right then and there, saving countless lives.

That’s the only reason I give this game 2 out of 5 botched plastic surgeries, as it may be used as a tool for time traveling assassins, but I can’t recommend it to anyone else.



The joke's on me though, as Kim Kardashian's Hollywood is projected to rake in $200 million for Glu Mobile, the game's publisher. If that's the case, Kim's cut would be $85 million. Not too shabby.
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Humankind has accomplished a lot of incredible things during our history on this little blue marble of ours. We have developed languages, writing, tools, art and architecture, which separate us from our closest ancestors, the chimpanzee. Well, we can now add another accomplishment to the list, as we can now fuck our iPads.



Fleshlight has announced the Launchpad, ostensibly, a case for your iPad, which you can put your junk into. Don’t believe me? Check out this video below.



That’s one fine advertisement right there. I’m surprised his wife/girlfriend doesn’t dump him right then and there when she becomes aware of what he’s doing. Of course the video ends right before the awkwardness begins. How does one segue into having an intimate conversation with one’s partner to attaching an apparatus onto a tablet computer and then having simulated intercourse?

This is pretty creepy on multiple levels, and logistical confounding. First of all, what does the girl get out of it? Does she just watch and wait for him to finish? Is she supposed to grab her favorite toy and joy in herself? Also, how is a man supposed to use this device? Does he manipulate it on his wang while Skyping his significant other, watching a video, or simply looking at porn? If so, that is not a very good user experience, since the screen is going to be bobbing up and down. Are you supposed to lay it down and actually fuck the thing? Well, then you can’t actually see the screen very well, if that’s the case. All in all, this device, which you attach to your iPad and then pork, is not very well thought out.

According to the Fleshlight Launchpad site however, early adopters love the device. Check out some of these glowing reviews:

“The LaunchPAD takes watching POV videos to a whole new level! It feels like I’m really having sex with my favorite porn stars!” –JT

Except you’re not. You are having sex with an iPad.

“I love warming up my Fleshlight, finding some awesome porn, and going to town with the LaunchPAD.” – CAPTAINBEEFSTIK

Captainbeefstik, is obviously a connoisseur. With a name like that, his review certainly carries some weight and should be taken seriously.

“Stoya porn on your tablet + the Launch Pad + Stoya’s Fleshlight makes it feel like she’s really in the room! IMHO this is better than the real thing.”  FLESHLOVER

I can assure, without a shadow of the doubt, Mr. Fleshlover, if that is your real name, that is NOT better than the real thing.

“I get out my Launch Pad whenever my wife goes out of town. Now I wish she’d leave more often… this thing is amazing.” –MONEYSHOTS

Let’s hope that Moneyshots’ wife doesn’t find that out, because she may be leaving town permanently, giving him all the time he wants to have sex with his iPad.

With glowing reviews like these, it’s pretty safe to assume that gaming will eventually become an integral part of the Fleshlight Launchpad. There will certainly be an eventual dating simulator, probably being developed in Japan as we speak, where your prize will be to bang your conquest. No offense to the Japanese, mind you, but they are the premier developers of dating simulations, this is the next logical step. Hopefully, it will include massive tentacle cock as well. That is if Apple even lets them, as it’s common knowledge that the folks from Cupertino are a bunch of boring prudes.



Also, now that Fleshlight has opened up the Pandora’s box, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an eventual attachment for an Xbox or Playstation controller. Both the Xbox One and the PS4 allow you to browse the web. Both systems even give you the option to browse in private, so that no history is recorded. It’s almost like both Sony and Microsoft wants people to be beat off to porn on their new consoles. Why else would you put a private browsing function on a game console unless you were going to be looking at and streaming nasty German scat porn from RedTube.com?

Personally speaking, I having nothing against using technology to satisfy one’s basic instincts. One of the first things that I do with any type of new technology is to see how well it displays pornography, because I’m horrible and have a depraved mind. Whether it’s an iPhone, a tablet, shiny new console, etc.… and let me tell you, the Xbox One and the PS4 both do an admirable job. It’s almost like the browsers on the PS4 and Xbox One were created to display porn.

I’d like to imagine a scenario when the engineers and programmers were showing off the browser functionality to the suits at Sony and Microsoft headquarters. Here’s the console displaying Google, CNN, Youtube, Reddit, and then being interrupted by a marketing executive saying, “Yeah, yeah, that’s all fine and dandy, but does it display SororitySexKittens.com? WE NEED THAT FUNCTIONALITY! MAKE THAT THE PRIORITY!” 


You know what we need? MORE PORN!

Hell, I’m getting more excited (figuratively speaking) just thinking about a Launchpad for consoles. Microsoft is seeking a reason to make the Kinect a must have accessory. Imagine strapping on a Fleshlight to your Xbox One controller and playing a pornographic game with the Kinect? This could be one of the few cases where a game truly is, “better with Kinect.” People would never leave the house. 


Who's up for a 3-way!?!

Sony can get into the act too. Remember the ménage a trois from God of War 3? How cool would it be if you could just strap on a Flesh Light and actually participate? Extra points for lasting longer than 15 minutes! Or, what about Fleshlight with Project Morpheus? It’ll be like that scene from Demolition Man starring Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock.



Lastly, it would be amazing just to see the inevitable backlash from the mainstream media concerning a Fleshlight gaming controller? It would be totally worth it just to see some stiff from CNN, FOX News, or MSNBC trying to talk about this with a straight face having to say Fleshlight over and over again.

The more I think about it, the more I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. It’ll be a train wreck of epic proportions. Will it ever happen though? No way in hell. Microsoft and Sony will never allow a company to release a game that is compatible with a male sex toy, but is there anything stopping Fleshlight from actually making a device that’s compatible with console gamepads?

With that said, I really do hope that Fleshlight does release a version for game controllers, and I would expect Destructoid.com to be the first to post a comprehensive review. I’ll offer up my services, because I have no shame. I’ll do it for the good of the community and posterity.
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Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Some people enjoy really bad movies starring Nicholas Cage or books that have a painting of Fabio on the cover. Others have a weakness to certain sweet, savory, and salty snack foods, like pork rinds (Mmmmmm deep fried pig skin!).  As a gamer, I also have had my fair share of guilty pleasures, that is, games that I know are just plain horrible, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t put them down.

With summer we yearn for leisurely activities that are not meant to tax the mind, but rather just purely entertain.  It’s the time of year when the film industry releases big blockbusters starring giant robots and flicks that have Tom Cruise running from things, it doesn’t even matter what he’s running from, as long as he’s running.



If books are your thing, do you really want to be reading some deep thought provoking shit? Hell no, you want to read about Fabio plunging his wang into some sexually repressed librarian or something. AM I RIGHT LADIES!? How else can one explain Fifty Shades of Grey, a best selling series about a man named Christian Grey who fucks anything and everything that moves. (Full disclosure, I haven’t read any of the books.)

I remember going on a cruise once with my in-laws. Word to the wise, don’t go on a cruise, they’re horrible, let alone with your in-laws. First off, your boat is a giant floating petri dish in the sea, supporting some of the nastiest bacteria and viruses man has ever encountered. It’s not a matter of if but when you will shit your brains out while on a cruise.

Secondly, imagine the worst of the worst of Wal-Mart trash. Now imagine being forced to be in close proximity with these people for four days and three nights, with the only way to escape is to vault one’s self into the briny deep. Lastly, the food, which your shipmates will go on and on about is not very good, but they serve a fuck ton of it, so you you’ll have plenty to crap and puke out when the inevitable norovirus strain firmly entrenches itself into your bowels. I once saw a pack a severely obese people shove children out of the way to get on line for ice cream sundaes. It was a stampede flab and Ed Hardy t-shirts. They were going to get their fucking ice cream sundaes, no matter what. 



Anyway, while aboard the USS Hershey Squirt, I decided to catch up on some reading. My book of choice was a nonfiction work on Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. As I read my book, perfect strangers would walk up to me and ask me what I was reading, as they were confused, since the pages I was reading didn’t have colorful pictures on them. When I told them that this was a historical biography, the look of surprise and at times, disgust, on their faces was extraordinary. They were legitimately taken back that I would read a book like this on a cruise. This was some heavy reading, it wasn’t about teenagers murdering each other for the entertainment of the denizens of some dystopian future city, nor was it about Christian Grey sticking his hang down into his secretary. I’m a total square apparently to the cruise-taking crowd. Come to think about it, going on a cruise must be a guilty pleasure, because no one in there right mind would think that going on a cruise is in any way, a good idea.

To get back on point, the gaming industry has always been guilty of not releasing enough quality games during the summer months. Maybe they believe that everyone is on vacation, outside getting skin cancer, or shitting their brains out on a cruise ship somewhere out in the Caribbean Sea. With the dearth of games available, I usually find myself playing games that I missed out on earlier in the year and more often than not, games that I would never dare consider playing, let alone overplaying, as it is so often the case.

This is not a new phenomenon for me either. I recall playing a Gerry Glanville’s Pigskin Footbrawl on the Sega Genesis way back when in the summer of 1992. I actually rented this game and kept it way past its due date, racking up some serious late fees. My mother was none too please. Even in my youth, I knew this game was a steamy turd, but what else was I going to play? What amazes me is how much I enjoyed playing this game. I was working in construction at the time and I actually looked forward to coming home at night, cranking the air conditioning after a long day breaking my ass, and playing this shitty game. Maybe I was suffering from heat stroke and didn’t know any better?



The game was so putrid, that they couldn’t even find a decent celebrity to endorse it, so they chose Gerry “Fucking” Glanville of all people. A buffoon and mediocre coach for the Atlanta Falcons, whose only famous for saying something vaguely funny on the sidelines during a game to a referee that just so happened to be recorded. He actually has a losing record in all of his years of coaching, both at the collegiate and professional level and yet I’m sure he has a nicer house than me so FUCK HIM!



Two years later in the summer of 1994, I became smitten by another mediocre game, this time for my Sega CD. The game was FIFA International Soccer and I pretty much played this game non-stop for two months. I must’ve have led Italy to the World Cup fifty times. The kicker was that this game was so incredibly mediocre, but I was in the grips of World Cup fever, which was being hosted by the United States that year. I even had an opportunity to attend a match between Italy and Norway, which was just incredible and I’ve been a fan of the sport ever since.



What was not incredible was FIFA International Soccer for the Sega CD. EA Games essentially took the code from the equally mediocre Sega Genesis version and just ported it over to the Sega CD. They slapped on some grainy video, added some crowd noise, and abracadabra, they set a precedent of repackaging the same crap year after year, something they still do to this day.

A good friend of mine, who is still close to me today used to break my balls for playing that game. To this very day, every once in awhile he’ll bring up that summer I wasted playing that shitty soccer game.



Now, with the advent of Xbox Live and PSN, I don’t have to take a trip down memory lane to see what horrible games I spent way too much time on. All my transgressions are saved, via achievements in my profile. THANKS MICROSOFT AND SONY!

Unlocking an achievement in a horrible game is equivalent of a cross campus walk of shame at 6:00 in the morning, where you’re still dressed in the clothes from the previous night and everyone who’s out just knows that you made some horrible decisions the night before, and probably woke up naked next to someone who could be mistaken for a sasquatch.


Oh my god. I hope I wore a condom.

Perusing some of my old achievements of summers gone by on Xbox Live, I could see that I played way too much Prey on the Xbox 360 during the summer of 2006. Prey’s claim to fame was that the protagonist was a Native American trapped on an alien spaceship, and he can, at times, walk on walls and ceilings. Oh, and on said alien spaceship, there were GIANT VAGINAS!



I then took the next two summers off from gaming, but in July of 2009, I came back with a vengeance and played the craptastic Red Faction: Guerilla for days on end. All I remember about this game was that it took place on Mars or some uninspired shit like that, so everything was colored with brownish red hue. For whatever reason, the main character had a sledgehammer that could topple entire buildings. Given the amount of time I played this game, one would think that I could do a better job of describing it, but I wasted enough time on the game, so I would rather forget that I ever played it.



Fast forwarding to 2012, Max Payne 3 became my guilty pleasure of choice. I was actually looking forward to play that game. I was so eager to return to the world of Max Payne 3 that I was blinded by how incredibly unmemorable it was. Once again, not a bad game, per se, but certainly not a great game, deserving of the amount of time I eventually poured into it playing it. I remember trying to talk my friends on giving it a try, pleading that it was good, just underrated, but they weren’t buying into it. They probably thought that I was back on peyote and was hallucinating…. again.



So there you have it, my walks of shame of summer’s past. As you can see, I don’t fall into the trap every summer of guilty pleasure gaming, but it’s certainly a trend. It’s almost like I learned my lesson for a short time, only to fall off the wagon, just to get back on again. Will it be the same this summer? I’m trying to be strong. I have a couple of games from earlier in the year that I want to finish up, but who knows, I’ve been known to make bad decisions before.


Hey baby, listen, about last night... I was really drunk.

Would love to hear what some of your gaming guilty pleasures were. Go ahead and share some of your walks of shame in the comment section. I won’t judge… Unless it was really bad and then I’m totally going to judge.
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Last Sunday, I attempted to trade in some games to my local GameStop. To my surprise, the storefront was abandoned, adorned with a poster stating that Little Caesar's Pizza was "Coming Soon!" My first thought, "Holy shit Little Caesar's still exists!"



No problem, I thought to myself. Sure, I heard GameStop was shuttering some of their underperforming and redundant stores, but this location always seemed pretty busy. It's not like I had access to their balance sheet, but I assumed that this one location would not be one of the stores to get the axe. Having seen the crowds for their midnight launches of both the PS4 and the Xbox One, this store seemed to be doing pretty well.

A little inconvenienced, but not completely put off, I decided to stop at a secondary GameStop a little later as I made my way to Father's Day festivities at my sister's, where I would stuff my face, drink way too much and watch the World Cup. To my surprise, this GameStop was also closed down. There was no indication whether a national takeout pizza chain would soon occupy this location.

Now I was surprised, as this GameStop was in an affluent town and this store always seemed to be busy with soccer moms buying games for their kids in between Pilates classes and blowing the pool boy. I was also, at this point, quite annoyed, as my time has been wasted not once, but twice. Not to mention, that there was no longer a GameStop a conveniently located near my home.



As I pulled out of the second shopping center empty handed, my wife asked me what the heck was going on with GameStop? I mentioned to her that GameStop had announced that they were shutting down stores, but I never thought that it would have been this aggressive. She assumed, that GameStop were doing great, since I gave them so much of my fucking money.

All in all, GameStop has claimed to shut down between 120 to 130 stores, but it seems like a lot more. 130 stores is not much in the grand scheme of things as they have 6,457 stores worldwide, these closures only accounts for approximately 2% of their total locations. What’s more symbolic is why GameStop has decided to start shutting down stores in the first place.

GameStop’s CEO Paul Raines describes the closures as the beginning of “GameStop, 3.0”. Just give me a moment for me to slam my fucking face onto my desk as hard as I can, because I love marketing buzzword bullshit so much. Think, for just a moment, how the news of this was broken to GameStop employees who were just shit canned. I’d imagine it went something like this, “Good news, GameStop is now GameStop 3.0…. AND YOU’RE FUCKING FIRED!”

So what is GameStop 3.0? Apparently, it’s less about games and more about mobile technology. So they’ve closed down 130 stores, but they’re going to open 200 to 250 additional stores that will cater to mobile phones and computers. Tim Raines calls these “gaming-adjacent fields.” MARKETING BUZZWORD! Excuse me while I punch myself repeatedly in the nuts. So will GameStop continue calling themselves GameStop, since, you know, they aren’t exactly just selling games anymore?

So let’s back track a bit back to last Sunday after finding that the second GameStop location I went to was closed. I was visibly annoyed and my wife asked me if I was upset, which quite honestly I was not. She then asked me where I would be buying my games now.

As we drove down the road, I pondered this question. There was always Wal-Mart, but I refuse to shop there out of principle. There was Target, but once again, even though the lesser of two evils, buying games at a big box store is just not appealing to me.

“How about Best Buy?” My wife asked? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! We both had a good, hardy laugh about that. Maybe I’ll just use Amazon and my Prime membership? That still is not optimal, since chances are, I wouldn’t be able to play the day and date a game is released, which is not a huge deal, but still.



Finally, almost out of nowhere, I said, almost to myself, “Maybe I’ll just start downloading them from PSN or Xbox Live.”

“I don’t understand why you are not doing that already… Stupid Face.” That was my wife’s candid, and frankly, hurtful response. As I sat there, wondering if I should call her something equally awful (coal mine hooker came to mind), I tried to think of a reason why this wasn’t a good idea either. However, those reasons were pretty shallow.

There really isn’t a good reason why I shouldn’t be downloading games instead of buying physical media. I went to GameStop becasue it was convenient and they gave me store credit for used games. Now, that GameStop is no longer convenient, I can no longer personally justify going there just because they give me store credit on my used games, which quite frankly is a pittance.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship for many years with GameStop, but I think I’ve finally come to the revelation that it’s time for me to evolve and begin downloading my games. So all that store credit that I have still GameStop, will be used to purchase PSN and Xbox Live points, for future downloadable games.

It’s not like GameStop didn’t see the writing on the wall either. They always said that the eventual industry’s transition to digital distribution would not impact them. What they didn’t say was that it would not impact them because they were going to start selling cell phones and computers and pretty much become fucking Radio Shack.



So you can say that I’m venturing into a new frontier of digital distribution, which is not so new if you think about it. I went from buying music CDs (like an animal) to downloading and streaming, like a civilized person. PC gamers pretty much download everything through Steam now, so why shouldn’t console gamers like myself do the same?

Sony has recently announced that their AAA titles will soon allow for pre-loading, which would alleviate the need to go to a midnight launch. While suckers are waiting on line at a brick and mortar location, at the stroke of midnight, I could be playing. Unless of course, it’s a game from EA then you’ll be lucky if the online component even fucking works at all.



With the news that Sony will soon be allowing pre-loading for AAA titles on the PS4, Microsoft cannot be far behind with the Xbox One. Given the fact that online and digital distribution was such a major part of their initial plans, all they probably need to do is flip a switch. I would like to add that I know absolutely nothing on how any of this shit works by the way, but I’d like to think some tech just flicks a switch and shit just happens.

I’d would also add, which will probably inflame a lot of people out there and cause a mob to form outside my house where the townsfolk will brandish pitch forks and start a bonfire, burning me in effigy, but never the less, Microsoft’s initial plan for the Xbox One sounded pretty cool to me. Yes, there were certain parts that made me concerned, but change is scary. Sometimes you just need to jump in. Sure, sometimes the water is too shallow and you’ll have a depilating spinal injury, but maybe not. Maybe that water is deep enough, and all the chicks will think you’re hot shit and will want to go steady. (What am I talking about again?)



It’s time for me to change how I acquire games. Buying physical media is really, no loner that attractive to me. I’ve been gaming a long time and very little has changed on how I got my games, but this old dog is willing to learn new tricks. It’s time to take a leap off the cliff and hope the water is deep enough. What do I have to lose? If I don’t like it, I can always just start buying my games at Wal-Mart.

Kidding. Fuck Wal-Mart.

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It' E3 time, that wonderful time of year where game companies from around the world converge on LA to showcase their latest and greatest wares to their adoring fans. By the way, when I say their adoring fans, I mean Walmart, Target, Gamestop, and pretty much anyone who doesn't play videogames, but rather sells them.

Did I burst your bubble there? Did I ruin the myth for you? Was my statement akin to telling a small child that Santa Claus is not real? Well I'm sorry, but if it's any consolation Belsnickel is very real and he's waiting for you, at home, in your closet.



Don't get me wrong, E3 is great, but it's not really for the gamers, per se. Sure, gamers wait all year long to watch and see what's coming down the pike, but it's true intention is to get the retailers moist. That’s why it’s called a trade show, you see.  Yes, it’s an opportunity to show off, even to each other. How great was it seeing Shigeru Miyamoto donning the Oculus Rift? Imagine the possibilities of that. (By the by, I just imagined the possibilities and I was not impressed.)



Gamers get all weak in the knees by all the announcements, but we're not the real target audience here. The game companies are trying to woo the major retailers by essentially saying "LOOK AT THIS SHIT! ISN'T IT GREAT? YOU TOTALLY NEED TO STOCK YOUR SHELVES WITH THIS. PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW!" And we wonder why game companies release sequel after sequel of the same shit every year. Because it’s safe, and it sells and retailer don’t like risking valuable real estate in their stores on things that are not safe and a sure thing and sell sell sell goddamnit! It looks good on their spreadsheets, then they get big bonuses, and then they blow it all on coke and hookers. (Probably not true.)



E3 is meant for the trolls that crawled out from under their bridge in Bentonville, Arkansas, no longer satiated by devouring the souls of their minimum wage workers. Gamers, like you and I are an afterthought, the suits from Wal-Mart are who the gaming companies are trying to impress here, and that’s a fact.

That’s why I always get a chuckle when the gaming media asks the question, “Who won E3?” Because the answer is simple really, the retailers, that’s who. And then the Wal-Mart executives head back to Bentonville, after a week of wining and dining, where they can go back to their true purpose, running the most miserable and shitty big box stores imaginable.



You know what would be really great though? What if E3 really did have a winner, where it wasn’t the retailers, and it was decided by a gold old-fashioned brawl, with fists and makeshift weapons? Now that would be fucking sweet.

I’m not the only who looks at Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime and is immediately intimidated by the man. I’m not a small guy, but I wouldn’t want to run into this guy in a dark alley. If I saw him coming up the street, I’d probably just hand him my wallet, and stab myself in the face, no questions asked. No doubt I would give Nintendo the edge in any gang brawl if he were leading the way. Reggie is always claiming that he wants to kick someone’s ass, wouldn’t it be great to actually see him do it?



However, did anyone else notice that Xbox boss Phil Spencer was looking pretty jacked during the Microsoft presser? The dude has been apparently working out, hitting the weights. I imagine him in his office, doing chin-ups and old-timey exercises, like Travis Bickel from Taxi Driver or Jerry Seinfeld’s uncle. Spencer, motivated by the shit show he inherited from what’s his face. After every pull-up grunting out a solitary word, like “KINECT”,  “24-HOUR ONLINE HANDSHAKE”, and “Don…… MATTRICK!”


HELLO!



How great would it be if at the end of the show, all the executives from all the major game companies, console makes, publishers, and developers all met out in the parking and just beat the ever loving shit out of each other, like a bunch od old school 1950’s greaser toughs? A battle royal, if you will, to prove once and for all, who won E3.

I’d imagine it would be like something from the movie the Outsiders. If you haven’t seen this, then you should for a multitude of reasons. Number 1, it has the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio -- the original Karate Kid and not that bullshit with Will Smith’s fucking son. Go ruin someone else’s childhood memories spawn of Will and Jada Smith.

Number 2, it has a pre-Scientology Tom Cruise in it, with what is quite possibly the worst teeth imaginable at the time for Hollywood. L. Ron Hubbard corpse probably paid to get that shit capped from beyond the grave. We can’t have a snaggle tooth being the face of our made up crazy ass religion!



Lastly, it had the late great Patrick Swayze of Road House, quite possibly the finest film ever conceived and stored onto celluloid. The ladies will remember him from other movies like Ghost and Dirty Dancing (No one puts Baby in the Corner.)



However, the gaming industry is all about glitzy entertainment now, so maybe the all out brawl would be something more stylized, something akin to West Side Story, where the Sharks and the Jets have a dance fight, TO THE DEATH!

Just picture it, for a moment, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, snapping their fingers and smoking cigarettes as they prepare to brawl out in the streets, choreographed to a jazzy ensemble. Who will win? Who cares! Just sit back and be entertained.



Will this ever happen? I doubt it. The lawyers will never let it. All it takes is one marketing executive getting stabbed with a switchblade and it’ll be all about lawsuits, and public endangerment, and murder, and manslaughter and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

This doesn’t stop me from dreaming that one day this cold be a reality. I like to picture Phil Spencer putting Reggie Fils-Aime in a headlock while wailing on him with this free arm. I can see Satoru Iwate, swinging a two by four with nails sticking out of, as all the other executives cower away in fear. Maybe Miyamoto will use his banjo as a weapon? It is a dream that will never come true however, so I guess, we’ll never know who actually won E3.
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The World Cup is just around the corner and fans of the "beautiful game" are waiting with baited breath on whether the historic tournament is going to be reduced to a shit show consisting of poor refereeing, racist chants, and hooliganism. Good luck with that Brazil and FIFA organizers. I’m rooting for you. (Not really)

Even the Logo looks like someone doing a face palm.

Whether you refer to the beautiful game as football, futbol, calcio, soccer (for the Aussies out there), or DURRRR this is not real FOOTBAWL! (HEY AMERICA!), there is one thing that the sport has an unfortunate connection with , and that is hooliganism. Just like with a lot of things, a few bad apples ruin it for the bunch.

Hooliganism in itself is a violent and physical form of fanaticism. It can consist of verbal abuse, but it can also become physically violent, where fans will attack fans of opposing teams, attack players of the opposing team, and at times even attack players of the team they apparently support.

Hooligans give the game of soccer a bad name, much in the same way that fanboys give gamers a bad name. I will freely admit that during my younger days, I would have classified myself as a Sega fanboy where I would harass my friends and classmates who were Nintendo fans and vice versa. However, this was playground banter any never amounted to anything more than kids being kids, no different than boys arguing which superhero was the coolest.

The answer to that question is obviously Batman.

The days of Nintendo fans versus Sega fans had an innocence to it and yet, as the gamer demographic began to skew older and online communications began to grow via the ever expanded use of the internet, things got less innocent and a lot more serious.

I never quite understood why some folks find the need to turn conversations in comments and message boards toxic against fans of other consoles. Maybe I just became an old man shaking his cane at the neighborhood kids cutting across his lawn and I’m simply out of touch. Perhaps it’s the disposable income that comes with getting older and moving up the ranks in business that allows me to own multiple consoles and not feel like I have to defend my decision with whatever brand I chose. Perhaps some people are just fucking assholes and like to shit on other people.

Before becoming a dad, I used to go to a lot of live sporting events, mostly football and baseball games. Without fail, there would be a fan or group of fans that would spew the most vile and racist shit I’ve ever heard. To make matters worse, they were supporting the same team I was, but their goal, unlike mine, was not to go to a game, throw back a few beers and enjoy one’s self, but rather become the center of attention and ruin the experience for everyone around them.

I’ve seen grown fucking men make fun of a young Jewish boy wearing a yarmulke at a New York Jets game to the point where he started to get tears in his eyes. I’ve also seen men at a Yankees game make racist comments to Hideki Matsui. The stereotypical and vulgar comments that they taunted him are not even worth repeating, and yet these were Yankee fans, taunting a Japanese man, who just so happen to be playing for the fucking Yankees.

I also want to point out that this is far from an American problem. Footballers of African descent are under constant attack at stadiums throughout Europe, not just from opposing fans, but from their own team’s fans as well.

It’s not uncommon for fans to throw bananas onto the pitch at opposing black players as well as taunting them monkey sounds whenever they touched the ball. I confronted a friend of mine who lives in Italy about this once, on how this is blatantly racist behavior. He defended himself saying that the fans were not racist, that whenever they made monkey noises at one of their players, they did it out of respect and Italians could not be racist. According to him, racism is strictly an American problem. We were drinking heavily during this conversation so maybe I hallucinated the entire thing.

In Italy, when you like someone, you throw bananas at them, right? RIGHT!?!

You know where else you can encounter random acts of racism? Go online and play some multiplayer. Hang out in any random game lobby and some prick will eventually go on some tirade spewing every racial and homophobic slur imaginable. The only difference is that many times these slurs and targeted to anyone and everyone, whether they’re black or gay, who knows? You can say that these individuals feel emboldened by the anonymity that comes with being online.

I would also like to add that the same types of people who poison game lobbies very often are the ones who grief their own teammates during a game. Instead of just enjoying the game, they want to make it about them. Not too dissimilar to the racist chants at soccer stadiums or someone throwing a banana onto a field.



Just like racist hooligans at a sporting event, the racist gamers lurking in multiplayer ruin the experience for everyone, however you can always mute them, then seek them out in the game and take them out. I wouldn’t suggest doing that to some asshole fan in real life, unless you want to get arrested.

So what is one to do with the griefers, racists and generally the assholes that you find online? Personally, I mute them pretty much automatically and eventually block them so that I never have to encounter them again. Not too different to what I do with the assholes that I encounter in real life actually. I’d rather tune people out or avoid them than getting into a argument that can escalate into something stupid. For whatever reason, I also rarely report people for bad behavior, both online and in real life situations with hooligans and racists. My hope is that someone else will do it. I would rather not get involved.

As I got older, I’d rather avoid conflict whenever possible. Unless someone is attacking me or my family, I’ll let someone else get involved. My days of scuffling are over.

So how do you guys deal with assholes, both virtually and in real life? Do you tune them out and give them a disapproving glare, like me, do you say something, report them, or go in with your dukes up, like an old timey boxer?

Let me know in the comments.

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