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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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PSN ID:Der-Sizilianer58
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Back in July, I played and reviewed the iOS game Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood. At the time, I believed that this was by far the shallowest and most atrocious example of celebrity video game garbage I have ever played. I was wrong. DO YOU HEAR ME? I WAS WROOOOOOOOOONG!

I WAS WROOOOOONG!

Kim Kardashian’s: Hollywood is a masterpiece when compared to Lindsay Lohan’s the Price of Fame. At least the developers at Glu Games Inc. put a modicum of effort into Kardashian’s game.  Lindsay must’ve paid Space Inch, the developers of her game, in drugs and booze (Lohan’s currency of choice actually) as this is the only way to explain how this abomination came to be.

Here's the down payment.

Once starting the game, you will notice quotes from various people lamenting the price one pays for fame. Some of these people I’ve heard of, but others I have no clue and I’m too lazy to look them up in Google, because honestly, who gives a shit.

The quotes all have a similar theme. In essence, they all lament that fame is not what it’s all cracked up to be. BULLSHIT! I’m so sorry to hear that Julie Roberts has a case of the frownies because her life is so damn hard. According to Julia, you don’t want to be rich and famous like her. It’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a lot of pressure. NOW OUT OF MY WAY PEASANT AND BUY MY FUCKING MOVIES!

Much like Kardashian’s game, The Price of Frame starts off by having you create your own celebutard. As always, my goal was to create something truly hideous. Again, there are apparently no hideous people in Lohan’s world, much like Kardashian’s, but there are freaks. Oh so many freaks. In the end, I was satisfied with the character I created.

Max Douchey: Hipster Pimp

Now, onto the game play. Did I say game play? Sorry, force of habit. This game actually doesn’t have any type of game play, unless your idea of fun is vigorously swiping your screen over and over again. Essentially, a fan appears on your screen, you swipe up, launching them into the sky, they then apparently plummet to their deaths as a new fan appears. This is how you gain fans. The faster you swipe, the more fans you get, the more fans you get, the more money you earn, and more useless crap unlocks so that you can purchase it, hence getting more fans and more money.

Lindsay laughs maniacally as her fans plummet to their deaths.

BEWARE: Playing this game in public will cause strangers to stare at you.  Frantically swiping a phone is not how a normal person uses said phone. The monotony of such a game mechanic makes you look like a tool. I felt like a monkey at a zoo maniacally masturbating while people gawked at me.

Me at Applebee's

There are ways that you can increase how many fans you get per swipe or even let the game earn you fans without doing anything, because apparently this game can be too physically taxing on the gamer. I believe that this was the developer’s attempt to add some depth… poorly.

“Publicity Investments,” such as handing out fliers, starting a Twitter feud with another celebrity, or faking your own death can be purchased once you amass enough fans. Then you can sit back and watch the fans roll in while doing lines of coke off a toilet seat in a public bathroom, JUST LIKE LINDSAY!

You can also get more fans per swipe by taking part in “Conspicuous Consumption.” Just like a real celebutard, you can purchase expensive and useless crap like coconut water, get ass implants (one cheek at a time, obviously), buy a pet elephant, or slaughter the aforementioned elephant and make an ivory pen out of its tusks.  This is a really classy game.

Lastly, once you’ve built enough of a fan base, you can build your entourage, so that you earn fans even when the app is closed, because really, you need as many reasons as possible NOT to play this game. Go ahead and befriend frat dudes, glee club kids, a Saudi prince, or a bag of puppies to earn fans while you’re at a luxe detox facility in Malibu, because they’re going to confiscate your phone anyway. Sadly, you cannot beat said bag of puppies with a led pipe to gain even more fans. The developers obviously did not think this entirely through.

No game of this ilk would be complete without micro transactions and there is no shortage of that here. You can pay $0.99 to double your fan base, or $1.99 get 3.2 million fans instantly. Also, just like Lindsay Lohan herself, there can be instances where you get into a wee bit of trouble. You can bite the bullet and lose some fans, or you can pay $0.99 for a legal defense.

Micro transactions are not the only way to monetize gamers in Lindsay Lohan’s: The Price of Fame. I hope you like being bombarded with ads, because there’s no shortage of that either. After playing for a certain amount of time you’ll get asked to download Caesar’s Casino. Not interested? No problem, they’ll prompt you again in five minutes just in case you’ve had a change of heart.

Even the New York Times advertises on the game, which is just sad. I know that the Times is struggling, but I didn’t realize they were that deep into the shit.

Is that coke? LINDSAY WANTS TO KNOW IF THAT'S COKE!

Also, I hope you like shows on Fox, because you’ll be seeing this lot.

This is still a thing?

Some ads however, are more tolerable than others.

Let’s talk about some of the fans you can unlock, none of which are based on insensitive stereotypes.

Totally not a gay man.

Totally not a racial stereotype.

Oprah Winfrey?

And then there’s this unfortunate dog with what appears to be a flaccid uncircumcised penis.

I really can’t recommend this game. If you must play a celebrity based game, you’re better off with Kim Kardashian’s: Hollywood. (Can’t believe I actually said that).

I give this game 1.0 Lohan’s falling onto a cactus out of 5.

Now, let’s hope LiLo doesn’t read Destructoid or she’s going to sue my ass.

PS: Lindsay, please don't sue me. I still think you're hot. I hope you get your shit together and make comeback.

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Couple weeks back, I was browsing the interwebs pretending to work, when I came across an interesting TED Talk about gaming. What made it even more interesting was that it was presented by third grader Cordell Steiner. The presentation was called 'Individualization, failure and fun', and I’m hundred percent certain that his parent’s helped him this.

Here’s the presentation, in its entirety. It’s just over 5 minutes long. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

First things first, he really gets on my nerves. There’s nothing more annoying than a precocious kid who talks like an adult. There’s something disturbing about it ­– something, unnatural. It gives me the heebie-jeebies, like watching a spider or millipede scurry across the floor.

You may be surprised by this reaction, since I have written many times that I’m a father myself, and you may be under the incorrect assumption that parents love children in general. You would be only half right. I love my daughter, more than anything in the world. Every other child is intolerable, and should be seen not heard.

Or both.

I don’t want to be cruel, especially towards an argyle sweater clad third-grader, but his entire “talk” concerning games in the classroom is a non-issue. Before watching the video, I assumed that he was going to make a plea for mainstream and commercial games like Call of Duty, or GTA, stating how they improve problem solving or hand-eye coordination or some other stupid cliché shit.

To my surprise, he was speaking of educational games, which his third-grade teacher, Mr. Pie (TEE HEE!), assigns to his students. He goes into how the games assigned to him and his classmates are individualized, so that everyone can learn at their own pace and how fun it is. He waxes eloquently on how his teacher, the so called Mr. Pie (if that’s even his real name!) “rocks”, and how cutting edge he is. The little scamp even nonchalantly drops that he’s an “advanced learner.” Perhaps Mr. Pie should teach a lesson on humility next week.

Maybe I’m being tough on the kid. There’s a very good possibility that I’m harboring a wee bit of jealousy, towards a child no less, since no one has asked ME to do a TED talk. Sometimes, when I’m home alone with the dog, I like to give an impromptu TED talk to an audience of one. The wife may be out shopping, or visiting her mother, and I’ll just be inspired to give a kick ass presentation to the dog like a fucking BOSS! When I’m done, I feel fantastic. Maybe the dog will be awestruck by my rhetorical eloquence. Then she’ll lick her own ass and leave the room. MY DOG DOES NOT APPRECIATE MY IDEAS!

Meh...

After watching the video, I decided to do a bit of research. When I say research, I’m referring to speaking with my wife, who just so happens to be a teacher with seven years of experience, and also currently teaches the third grade. COINCIDENCE!?!?

Actually it’s totally a coincidence. And aliens.

Do kids no longer have access to educational computer games in school? When I was in elementary school, back in the 80’s, when big hair was in and Michael Jackson was legitimately cool, we played tons of games on Apple IIe computers.

Matter of fact, the possibility to play a game on those old Apple machines was a bit of distraction. Many of the classrooms in my elementary school had only one and maybe two computers if you were lucky. The urgency to get your work done first for the chance to play a game on the computer led to some Lord of the Flies style shenanigans. It was not a pretty site when two kids finished their work at the same time and rushed the teacher to get permission to boot up the computer and play a game.

Little Simon got the message. He'll read a book silently in the corner.

Things have changed over the years however. Having visited my wife’s classroom multiple times, I’ve noticed that she has five desktops in the back of the room for her students. I asked if her students play educational games on those machines and she said that they do all the time. All of the computers are loaded with educational games and the browsers are bookmarked to hundreds of educational Flash sites.

So frankly speaking, what the hell is Cordell Steiner talking about? This is a non-issue. Maybe he’s speaking about schools in poorer areas, where they do not have the budgets to facilitate video games in the classroom, but he never states that in his talk. If that’s the case, then this is societal issue. I really can’t blame Cordell for that GLARING error though, since he’s just a kid, albeit a self proclaimed “advanced” one. I blame Mr. Pie.

...And his parents for dressing him in that HORRIBLE sweater

Okay, enough on TED talks! Let us take a trip down memory lane, where acid wash jeans were worn non ironically, MTV played actual music videos, and Playboy Magazine had more bush than a botanical garden in summertime.

That's a big bush

Spieler Dad’s Top 5 Apple IIe Educational Games from the 80’s

5. Math Blaster

All that I remember about this game was how cool the title was. In the 80’s anything with the word “blaster” in it was cool... probably. It reminded me of the NES game Blaster Master as well as the totally cool Master Blaster character from the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Sadly, Math Blaster has nothing in common with each of these things.

WHO RUNS BARTER TOWN!

4. Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego

I had the hots for Carmen Sandiego when I was in grade school. Carmen Sandiego, for a fictitious female thief is not unattractive. The red hair, the fedora, the sultry come hither glare, she’s a pre-pubescent boy’s dream come true. Was she a Latin? Pretty sure she was a Latin. I’d say she’s probably from Argentina. That means she’s red blooded and fiery.

I vividly remember Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego being so much harder than Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. What can I say, even as a child, I was so much worldlier and sophisticated. The borders of the United States could not contain me.

3. Oregon Trail

This is the game that made shitting one’s self to death into a meme.

 Every Brooklynite hipster has the t-shirt.

2. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego

Did I mention that I had a crush on Carmen Sandiego? Sometimes, while playing this game, I used to fantasize that I was part of some international crime fighting task force, akin to Interpol. Carmen was smart, but no match for my wits. I will pursue her to the ends of the earth and I will capture her. She will crumble under my interrogation and we will give in to the sexual tension. We will then run off together becoming the most formidable art heist syndicate known to the world. Our lair will be a stately villa on the shores of Como. Antiquities and famous objets d’art will not be safe. We’ll sip cordials from our terrazzo while planning our next big heist, before retiring to our boudoir for a night of passion.

1. Odell Lake

This game was my favorite. I’m not even sure that this game could be defined as being educational. You were a fish. You ate other fish. You tried not be eaten by bigger fish or caught by anglers. I’m not sure what this game was trying to teach. Maybe it was a commentary on society? Was it teaching the big fish little pond theory? Maybe it was trying to teach kids about the dog eats dog mentality of our society?

Or maybe this game was designed by a bunch of Minnesotan stoners and this is about being a fish. The world will never know.

It’s a mystery.

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Who doesn’t love playing hooky every now and then? There’s nothing better than waking up one morning and saying fuck work/school today, I’m staying home and doing whatever I want because I’ve earned it. Sometimes you just need an unscheduled break to stay home, sleep in and to do whatever your heart desires.

I find that playing hooky requires a fair bit of planning and a bit of theatrics in my honest opinion. Sometimes, I like to plant the seed a day or two earlier at work, pre planning a hooky day, if you will, because I’m twisted. Maybe I’ll start complaining of a sore throat or have a coughing fit every now and then. That gets my coworkers thinking that I’m starting to get sick and they begin hoping that they won’t get sick, eventually leading to WHY IS HE HERE IF HIS SICK? HE’S GOING TO GET EVERYONE ELSE SICK! THAT ASSHOLE! This works surprisingly well during cold a flu season.

Planting the seed helps build a certain amount of sympathy from your coworkers so that when the day comes when you strike and call-in sick, they’ll all go, “yeah, he’s been battling something all week, I hope he feels better.” This ultimately makes me feel better about calling out, because people feeling sorry and having sympathy for you is great and I’m a horrible person 

However, there are days when you simply want to call out and you have not pre-planned or planted any seeds of illness prior. This is when I go into my old bag of tricks that works like a charm every time. What you need to do is get up ridiculously early, which for me is at the ass crack of dawn, and e-mail your boss/coworker/professor at an ungodly early hour and say that you ate something nasty and you been puking and pissing out of your ass all night long and you’ve only been able to settle down to bed just now. Then go right ahead and sleep for a few more hours, you’ve earned it. 

They will buy it, due to the profane hour you’ve sent the e-mail and how remarkably gross the situation is. No one questions diarrhea. You can even follow it up with a phone call later, just make sure that you’re giving an Oscar winning performance so that you sound sick. I like to call as soon as I reawaken. I think it helps make me sound out of it. I’M GIVING YOU GOLD PEOPLE, THIS NEVER FAILS! 

Nothing feels better than getting everything straightened out with work/school and having the day for yourself. Really, you can do whatever you want, but I like to stay home or relatively local. I’m incredibly paranoid of getting busted, so I rarely venture far and regardless, hooky days are meant for relaxation and nothing is more relaxing than staying home all day, sitting around in the clothes you slept in and being a lazy shit.

Gaming and playing hooky go hand in hand really. There is not a better feeling in the world than just sitting at home and playing a game while everyone else is breaking their asses. I have fond memories of my childhood, staying home from school and gaming all day long.  There is, however, a major difference between playing hooky and gaming back then and doing the same today. That difference is the integration of social media. 

We live in an age where everything you do is broadcast to everyone. You can thank social media for that. Some people bring this upon themselves and willfully divulge every detail of their lives, giving a play by play on Facebook, checking in on FourSquare, or taking pictures of their food and posting it to Instagram, the later being the most loathsome, and there is a special place in hell devoted to the people who do that.

This brings me to my point. Social Media integration is so intertwined with everything that we do today, that sometimes we broadcast what we’re doing and do not even realize it or ignorantly wave our rights so that businesses post to our feeds in our behalf.

Case and point, a few months ago, I played a bit of hooky from work to spend some quality time with my PS4 and the Last of Us Remastered. This is a damn fine game and was well worth taking a sick day to devote my time to it.

I was just about to start playing the Left Behind DLC, when an interesting note popped up on screen, asking me if I wanted the game to post to my Facebook account on my behalf. Not thinking, I was just about to give it permission to do so when I realized what a horribly stupid idea this was, because then everyone will know that I’m playing video games instead of working. My entire story that I gave to my boss will be blown. He thinks I’m sleeping in the bathroom to be near the toilet when the inevitable explosive bodily function takes hold.

Even if you’re not Facebook friends with the boss, all it takes is one slip up from a friend at work and my cover is blown! I imagine the conversation would go something like this:

Co-worker:  Where’s Spieler Dad?

Boss:  Oh he’s home, he ate some bad sushi from a gas station and now he’s pissing diarrhea out of his ass.

Co-worker: Really? Because I can see that he’s tearing up The Last of Us on Facebook.

Boss: Really? Where did I put that number for Human Resources? Gas station sushi my ass!

It’s bad enough now that Xbox Live and PSN is fully integrated. If you are friends with someone, they can see when you’re online or through SmartGlass. 

When the next –gen was first announced, everyone freaked out how the need to be always online was a horrible idea, because if the internet goes out, you’ll be shit out of luck. However, there is an even bigger reason why always being online is a horrible idea. What if someone wants to just stay home from work, call in sick, and play video games in their underwear while two fisting a bag of Doritos? I guess you didn’t think through entirely Mr. Smartass Marketing Product Manager. 

And yes, I know that there is a way to disable how your presence is shown online, but Sony and Microsoft bury that shit in the settings. They need to make it easier to disable right from the top. 

Case and point, last week, one of my co-workers was “working from home,” which means, he’s watching The Price is Right on TV while tapping the track pad his work laptop every so often so that your status says “available” on Instant Messenger.  A few hours later, one of my other co-workers said out loud, in front of his manager, of all fucking people, I wonder how much work said employee is getting done while playing Battlefield 4.

That’s a real scumbag move right there, blowing up his spot like that.  Not sure what came out about that, but the manager did not look pleased. Seriously, fuck that dude. That’s like asking your buddy if his rash has cleared up while he’s macking with a hot little number at the bar. 

It doesn’t help that many games are now going in the direction of needing to be online in order to play them as the developers intended them to be played. Titanfall and Destiny are perfect examples. These games wouldn’t function properly or at all in the case of Titanfall if you simply disconnect from the network. 

Like an old man, waving his cane at the kids running through his yard, I do yearn for the simplicity of years gone by from time to time. That is why I propose to the marketing execs at Sony and Microsoft to build a hooky function into their consoles. 

It will just make everyone’s life much easier to lie. I don’t want to make an even bigger spectacle out of calling out sick to play video games. I’m already being a lazy shit by staying home to play video games when I should be, you know, actually working.  All I want is to sit in my underwear for nine hours straight and game without having to jump through hoops. Is that too much to ask?

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I realize that I haven’t posted in awhile, but I have a valid excuse. Who has two thumbs and is finalizing a Master’s Project in videogame violence?

Actually no. That’s Borat and it’s me that is writing a thesis on video game violence.

Want to know something about writing a Master’s thesis? It SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS! Writing a Master’s thesis takes fucking forever, even if it’s on a topic that you enjoy, like video games. The structure and style of a thesis sucks every ounce of enjoyment out of writing about something that should be interesting.

The first three chapters are nothing but foundation. You mention your topic, defend its merit, and then write fifty pages citing other people’s work that aligns with your study. Want to give your opinion on something? Fuck you pal! Who the hell are you? Do you have any letters after your name? No? Then bugger off peon. That’s what academia is about, take something that is enjoyable and interesting, and then tear it apart so that it loses its essence.

Here’s another thing, how come you don’t get a fancy title after completing a Master’s? When you complete a PhD (aka a doctorate) you’re called a Doctor. How come no one get’s called a Master after getting a Master’s Degree? That would be fricking sweet. Matter or fact, after getting a Master’s, you should be referred to as Maester, ala Game of Thrones. I mentioned this to my wife, on how after I complete my Master’s she should refer to me as Maester, but she said that she prefers to call me by the title she gave me after we got married, Mr. Stupid Face.

Just as long as they don’t cut of my balls, as that would suck.

I am glad to say however, that my first three chapters are done and I’m venturing into my actual research portion of my project. That’s where you, the Destructoid Community comes in. I’m looking for some fine folks to take a survey and see what gamers think of video game violence. What a novel thought, huh?

Taking surveys are great by the way. I take surveys for this company that gives out, among other things, GameStop gift cards after you accrue enough points. I then take those gift cards and buy PSN and Xbox Live gift cards, where I will then buy my games direct from Sony and Microsoft, because fuck GameStop.

Frankly speaking, I’d say that my survey is pretty quick and painless. I’ve taken some shitty surveys and did my best to ensure that my survey is not one of those.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Take my survey and you’ll have a chance to win your very own Sicilian Donkey Cart!

Okay, I lied about the donkey cart. I can’t actually give you anything for taking this survey, as that would not be very academic. All your responses are confidential and it will be specifically used for this academic study only. The University made may say that by the by.

I’d appreciate any of you that will be willing to take this survey. It’s not hard and relatively short, 10-15 minutes tops. You’ll probably find it enjoyable. All I ask is be honest and answer the questions to the best of your ability. Go ahead and send it along to anyone else that you think may find this topic interesting. The more responses, the better the study will be.

Thanks in advance to everyone who take part.

Please click here to launch the survey. 

 

 

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It’s late August and the specter of autumn is upon us. Soon, we can expect shorter days, cooler air, the changing of the leaves and all that bullshit that comes with the turn of the seasons. Of course, if you live in the southern hemisphere, this time of year means that winter is coming to end for you (HEAD EXPLODES). My earth science teacher would be proud that I actually retained that, given that for most of my high school days I was preoccupied with sports or lost in an ether of bong hits, funneling beer, or inhaling nitrous through a balloon. Good times.



Know what else comes in the fall? Sports we actually give a shit about, that’s what! No longer must we feign interest in baseball, cricket, tennis, quidditch (that’s a sport right?) and competitive tango dancing. Americans will soon become enamored with FOOTBAWL, everyone else in the world will dive headfirst into proper football or soccer as the yanks and Aussies adorably refer to it.

Of course, we can soon expect EA to take last year’s version of Madden NFL Football and FIFA, give it a little bit of spit polish, repackage it, and sell it off as new, and we’ll all buy it, because we’re dumb.

This got me thinking; we really are in a rut when it comes to new sports games. It’s always about Football, Soccer, Basketball, Hockey, and Baseball.  There are so many more sports out there that can add a bit of spice to the tired yearly retreads. Many of these sports are batshit crazy. They are just begging to be made into a videogame.

10. Il Palio di Siena

In the town of Siena, just a short way from the city of Florence in picturesque province of Tuscany, they enjoy themselves a good old fashioned horse race a couple of times a year. When I say “old fashioned” I really do mean OLD FASHIONED, as in they’ve been doing these races since the 14th century and possibly even earlier.



Twice a year, on July 2 and August 16, all the neighborhoods in the city sponsor a horse and jockey. The main plaza in the heart of the city, known as the Piazza del Campo, is converted into a dirt track and locals and tourists pile in to witness the festivities.

The entire city pretty much turns into a Renaissance Fair, as people dress in period garb, toss banners in the air, blow trumpets, pretend to have the plague, marry their own sisters, put leaches on their scrotums, and toss women accused of witchcraft into wells. (Full Disclosure: I’ve never actually been to a Renaissance Fair.)

The main event of course is the horse race. Jockey’s supported by the neighborhood they represent are escorted into the transformed piazza on their horses bareback. The rules? There pretty much are no rules. Want to punch the jockey next you? Go ahead! Kick a guy off his mount? Be our guest! Claw, bite, cheat if you like, just as long as you win!  By the way, even if a horse comes in first without a rider, doesn’t matter, that horse wins. The rider is there only for decoration. He can be mangled heap on the side of the track for whatever its worth.



To put it simply, Il Palio to Siena is like the classic motorcycle combat game Road Rash.

I’m actually surprised this wasn’t a minigame or mission in the Assassin Creed II, you know the one with the whiny Florentine, Ezio Auditore. Racing in Il Palio di Siena would have been right up his alley. Ubisoft dropped the ball on that one.



9. Roller Derby

Do you know there’s a Roller Derby game released for the original Wii? No? That’s because it was Wii Ware shovelware crap.


I refuse to acknowledge your existence.

Roller Derby deserves better than a Wii Ware game. It’s a fast, brutal game, with strong and sexy women as the star athletes. Not only are the ladies of Roller Derby not unattractive, but they can kick in your face then shove an old school four wheeled roller skate up your ass.


No not up your ass silly!

Roller Derby is one of those sports that can really translate well in a videogame. I propose taking the ladies from Dead or Alive, and instead of going off to the islands for beach volleyball, which is stupid, they should form a team and join a Roller Derby league. I’d buy that shit up in a second and not feel one iota of shame, which I couldn’t say is how I felt when I bought Dead or Alive: Beach Volleyball at the local Best Buy years ago.


This is the tamest image I could find on a Google search.

8. Chess Boxing

Chess Boxing is an actually thing and its fans and athletes take it very seriously. Events are held worldwide and it is especially popular in the UK and Iran, but leagues are sprouting up all over the world.



The rules of Chess Boxing are pretty clear-cut. One should be both a good boxer and chess player as you can win or loose at any facet of the game. Six rounds lasting 3 to 4 minutes of chess are alternated with five 3 to 4 minute rounds of boxing. You win by either checkmating your opponent in chess or KO/TKO in boxing.

Now, making entire game devoted to chess boxing would be ridiculous, but what’s stopped EA from making this an unlockable feature in their Fight Night series. I think Chess Boxing online against a human foe would be lots of fun and the trash talking possibilities are endless.

7. Wheelchair Rugby / Murderball

Played in over 27 countries as well as the Paralympics, wheelchair rugby is perhaps the most intense sport for Para-athletes. 



Developed in the 1970’s by a group of disabled Canadians, who were seeking a sport other than wheelchair basketball, in which athletes who had upper body disabilities were relegated to non-offensive roles. They named their newly found sport Murderball because Homicide Ball didn’t roll off the tongue as well.

To be eligible to play Murderball, one must have a disability that impacts both the upper and lower body. Just because the participants are disabled doesn’t mean that this sport is for the squeamish. The game is intense, physical, and hard collisions with men on modified wheelchairs are not the exception but the rule.



I highly recommend for anyone who is interested to check out the documentary film Murderball which covers the intense preparation and rivalry between the Canadian and US Wheelchair Rugby teams leading up to the 2004 Paralympic Games.

I would say something cute about how to make this sport into a videogame, but what else needs to be said? This is tough sport, played by tough guys who are braver than I not only for playing, but living and thriving in spite of their disabilities. A videogame that brings more awareness not only to the sport, but also to those with disabilities would be a good thing.

6. Buzkashi

Buzkashi can be summarized simply as an Afghan style of Polo. Unlike Polo, which is a game played by the wealthy on pristinely manicured fields and watched by woman wearing ridiculous hats, Buzkashi is a bit grittier and certainly less exclusive.


Just a wee bit grittier

First off, instead of a ball getting knocked around with mallets towards a goal in Polo, in Buzkashi, the “ball” is the carcass of a goat. Each team, consisting of 4 to 5 players attempt to lean off their horses to retrieve the goat and carry it to the goal, as the opposing the team attempt to stop the “goat carrier.”

Competition is pretty fierce. Getting whipped in the face by an opponent or getting knocked off your horse is not uncommon. Many riders prefer to wear old Soviet tank helmets to protect themselves. See! Something good came out of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The sport was actually outlawed by the Taliban when they took control of Afghanistan, citing that it was immoral. However, the sport is starting to make a comeback.

As a videogame, Buzkashi would be perfect as a mini game in Goat Simulator. Imagine the hijinks with that. There already is a goat; all you needs are some Afghani horsemen and BOOM! BUZKASHI TIME!

Also, doesn’t Metal Gear V take place in Afghanistan? I’ve seen videos online of Snake on horseback with the horse actually shitting. All you need is a goat and voila, you have yourself a Buzkashi match waiting to happen. Kojima-san needs to make this happen. Multiplayer Buzkashi matches would be fantastic.


Also HORSE POOP!

There is no reason why Buzkashi should not be in Metal Gear V as Kojima already puts creepy hairless cigarette smoking monkeys in his games, Buzkashi would be downright normal as far I’m concerned.

5. Calcio Fiorentino

The people of Tuscany must have a hard-on for brutal sports. We already talked about the Il Palio, which takes place in the town of Siena. Just a short distance from Siena, in the city of Florence they play Calcio Storico Fiorentino, which translates to Historic Florentine Football.



The game originated in the 16th century and many believe that it’s based on the Roman sport of harpastum. Chances are pretty good that big hairy oiled men played that game while wearing loin clothes. Let that image set in and marinate ladies.

Once again, like Il Palio, the teams represent various neighborhoods throughout the city. In the third week of June every year, the Piazza Santa Croce is filled in with sand and a pitch is created.

The modern version of the game consists of 27 players per side. Matches last for 50 minutes and the goal is to carry the ball from your end and tossing it into your opponent’s goal.  Sounds simple enough and relatively similar to rugby.

Unlike Rugby, head-butting, punching, elbowing, choking are all legal. Sucker punches are frowned upon though, and two or more players can’t gang up on a single opponent, unless he’s carrying the ball of course, then you can go ahead and beat the ever loving shit out of him.



When the game is started the player who wins possession of the ball very often runs behind his line and witnesses the carnage of 27 men fighting hand to hand, MMA style. Games quickly devolve into a gang fight and the ball handler waits until he has an opening where enough players are knocked out or being held down (or not joking, sat on) to make a move and run towards the goal without getting the shit kicked out of him in the process.


And the referee is FABULOUS!

Like Il Palio, how did Ubisoft neglect to make this part of Assassin’s Creed II? Yes, the game originated shortly after the events of Assassin’s Creed II’s timeline, but how awesome would it be to play as Ezio while he battled hand to hand in brutal version of Rugby. Hell, it could have been a mission where he had to assassinate one of the opposing team’s players. Jesus Ubisoft, you really dropped the ball on this one, do I have to fucking think of everything?

4. Bo-Taoshi

Bo-Taoshi is a game played in Japan by mostly students and cadets at the National Defense Academy. It loosely translates into “bring down the pole” in English. The objective of the game is to, wait for it, bring down a pole.



I’m disappointed that they the creators of the game couldn’t think of something more, creative, since I do believe that the whole exercise of keep a long hard wooden pole erect while an opposing team tries to pull it down, has some definite phallic undertones. I mean, it’s an erect dick right?

In the game, two teams of 75 players each go head to head and the goal is to either keep the penis, ahem, pole, erect, while the other team tries to pull it down. Sounds simple, no? Well there is a good amount of strategy involved as players have clearly defined roles and positions.

On the defense, there are pole supporters, barriers, interference, disablers, and my favorite, the ninja. The ninja balances on top of the pole and uses his weight to counter balance when the offensive team is trying to pull the pole down.



The offense consists of spring boarders, attackers, and pole attackers, who try to knock the ninja down and take the pole down.

The offense wins the game if they are able to pull the pole down 30 degrees, respective to the ground, which is not an easy task when there are 75 Japanese cadets beating the shit out of you.

In a videogame, I can see Bo-Taoshi being an excellent party game, maybe utilizing the Kinect or Playstation Camera. Go ahead and have a few drinks, laugh with your friends, and try to knock the ninja off his giant penis. It’s fun for the whole family really. Get the grandparents involved, THEY’LL LOVE IT.

3. Royal Shrovetide Football

Shrovetide Football has been played in England in the town of Ashbourne since at least the 12th century. It may even be older, but fires destroyed the earlier records. With that said, this game is old as dirt.



Played on the Shrove Tuesday, which is the day before Christians celebrate Ash Wednesday, as well as the day of Ash Wednesday itself, the game’s origins are shrouded in mystery. Some say that the game started when a man’s head was tossed into the crowd after an execution. The mob would then battle for the head, much in the same way a crowd goes crazy to retrieve a homerun hit into the bleachers in a baseball game.

Like Calcio Fiorentino, the game really is just an excuse for people from different parts of town to beat the shit out of each other for bragging rights. Unlike Calcio Fiorentino, the field, or pitch, as my English friends lovable call it, is the entire fucking town.

The game starts off in the center of town where a ball is tossed into the mob. From there, the teams (Up’Ards and Down’Ards) vie for control of the ball, where they try to return it to a goal in their part of town using any means necessary As one can see, the teams are formed depending if you live uptown or downtown.

Upon kick-off, at 2:00 PM, the game is played out over a course of 8 hours, which is a really long fucking time. Hope there’s alcohol involved or this is going to be long day. Wait, I forgot, this is England, of course there’s alcohol involved.



So how do you make this into a videogame? Watching the video, I can't help but to notice the mass of humanity and total chaos. I get a Dead Rising vibe. I reckon it would be easy to tweak the code in Dead Rising so that one can play a game of Shrovetide football against a horde of zombies.

2. Kabbadi

Kabbadi is very popular in India, Pakistan, South Asia, and Southeast Asian countries. It is also the national game of Bangladesh.

After reading multiple explanations, the game appears to be a cross of some of our favorite and most cherished playground games from our youth, before the bleeding hearts ruined everything, and banned all of or favorite games because little Billy might scrape his knee. The main facets of the game include, holding one’s breath, playing tag, and gold a fashioned wresting.



Each team consisting of 7 players occupy their half of a court. They will then send forth a “raider” who will cross over to the opponent’s side. Before crossing over however, he must take a deep gulp of air, and hold his breath while attempting to tag one of the opposing team’s members and then cross back over to his side to score a point. All the while, he must say the word “Kabbadi” over and over again to prove that he is not inhaling, while the opposing team does what ever it takes to keep the raider from crossing back over. The raider can be wrestled and pinned down until he takes a gasp of air.

Also, these guys are jacked 

Indeed, this game does seem fun. The only way I could improve it is if it incorporated a staring contest as well. Then every playground game from my childhood would be represented.

No clue how this could be made into a videogame, but it is crazy as hell, so someone who’s cleverer than me should have no problem designing it. Utilize the Kinect or Playstation Camera. Once again, great possibilities for an interesting party game that can turn violent at a drop of a hat.

1. Jai Alai

When I was a wee lad, one of the coolest shows on television was Miami Vice, starring Don Johnson and… that other guy.


Don Johnson and.....

I was too little to really understand what was going on in the show, but man, did I want to be them, driving around in hot supercars, shooting guns, and hooking up with buxom ladies in bikinis.

By far, my favorite part of the show was it’s iconic opening credits. It encompassed everything that was awesome. Guns, speedboats, sports cars, beautiful women, while that hypnotic pulsating music played in the background. 



There was one short clip during the opening credits that intrigued me the most, and that was of that dude playing Jai Alai. I had no clue what the hell they were doing, but this was Miami Vice, so it had to be fucking sweet.

I’m not even going to pretend I know anything about Jai Alai or even attempt to explain the rules, as I’m too lazy. I’ve read through many posts on the sport and have no clue, but this is even more of a reason to make this into a  videogame, as it will educate people, and maybe bring some exposure to the game. Here’s a link to Wikipedia, see if you can make heads or tales of the rules. 


Here's a video from the 80's that is so bad it's great

The game is indeed pretty badass. Known as the “fastest sport in the world”, players routinely sling the ball upwards of hundreds of miles per hour with their xisteras. The fastest toss in Jai Alai clocked in at 188 mph, a world record. Just imagine what that would do if it hit you in the nuts fellas.



Given the popularity of this game in South Florida, it would have been right at home in Rockstar Games homage to the excesses of the 1980’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Rockstar borrowed so many themes from Miami Vice, that the more that I think about, the Jai Alai omission from the game appears glaring. Then again, we’re talking about the PS2, so perhaps storage or tech limitations were an issue? Who the fuck knows really? I’m pulling stuff out of my ass.

I will say that Vice City is long overdue to be revisited. Rockstar Games returned the series to Liberty City and San Andreas, I think a next generation iteration of GTA: Vice City would be amazing and including a Jai Alai minigame would be a no brainer.

This Top 10 is obviously only my opinion, but would love to hear from the community what sports you think have been neglected by game developers. Let me know in the comments.
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Sweden is a fine country. The people who live there are tall, blonde, and beautiful. Sweden has also given the world savory meatballs, affordable yet stylish modern furniture, award winning swimsuit teams, lutefisk, and bisexual tech savvy alt-girls with dragon tattoos that solve crimes. What's not like about Sweden? I should disclose that I know pretty much nothing about Sweden.


I mentioned the Swimsuit Team right?

What I do know about the swedes for certain is that the ones that I have met have been incredibly warm and friendly. Two swedes that were friends of friend attended a 4th of July BBQ at my home a few years ago. Were they blonde? Sure thing. Were they tall? No doubt. Did they bring Swedish fish? You bet. Were they beautiful? I actually propositioned one of them and I'm not even gay. I opened up my home to them and showed them some good old timey American hospitality and gluttony with plenty of beer, booze, food, and a roasted suckling pig as the coup de grace. Then we blew shit up, because that's how we celebrate the birth of 'Merica! We have never spoken since.

So why am I going on and on about Sweden? Because out of all the great things they put out, like Pippi Longstocking, Anders Borg's ponytail, Zlatan Ibrahimović, and free health care for children, they too have people who go completely overboard when it comes to their perceptions of violence in videogames.

Sweden is indeed a magical place.

Case and point, meet Carl-Magnus Helgegren, father, journalist, university teacher, and owner of the most Swedishy sounding name I've ever heard of. Again, I really do know very little about Sweden, so take that for what it's worth.



I'm a big believer in always assuming positive intent. No doubt, Helgegren had good intentions when he learned that his sons, aged 10 and 11, expressed interest in the latest Call of Duty game. The original article on TheLocal.se did not mention what version of Call of Duty his sons wanted, but I assume it's Call of Duty: Ghosts. *On a side note, I have a coworker who loves to tell me, "You know what they say when you assume? You make an ASS of U and ME." She can really kiss my ass.

Helgegren made a deal with them. He would get them the game, but first he wanted them to have a true understanding of what war is all about. So he packed them up into the family car, probably a Volvo, or Saab, and drove to the airport. Their destination Israel and Gaza.



Going to Israel and Gaza was actually his third choice; he first considered Iraq or Afghanistan. Full disclosure, Helgegren does have experience travelling in these areas as a journalist.

He decided that his first choices might be a tad too dangerous just to make a point and teach a lesson on the horrors of war, so Israel and Palestinian territories were selected as the destination for Easter break.

Now, while the Helgegren's were on their trip, the area was not as tumultuous as it is today with what is essentially full on and open hostilities between the Israelis and Palestinians, but this was no pleasure trip either. The Helgegren's visited refugee camps in east Jerusalem, clinics where people were getting stitched up, as well as an illegal drug market. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!


Look at the excitement in those boys faces. BEST VACATION EVER!

I also hear that the illegal drug market has a real shitty souvenir shop too. Their best seller is a t-shirt that says, "I went all the way to an illegal Israeli drug clinic and all I got was this lousy t-shirt and a staph infection."

After ten days, the Helgegren's returned home and surprise; the boys really had no interest in playing Call of Duty anymore. I also imagine that Carl Helgegren will be taking advantage of that free children's healthcare. I'm sure that includes mental health services for children right?

The reception from the media, friends and colleagues was also not very warm to Helgegren for the most part. Helgegren claims that he has received criticism as well as death threats, including getting doused in napalm and set on fire, which is a wee bit hypocritical, don't you think? "How dare you traumatize your children by showing human suffering! Now I'm going to set you on fire and traumatize your children!"


THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!

I do believe that Helgegren had good intentions; as most parents are want to do when it comes to their children. There is a small part of me however, that can't help to feel that Helgegren was being a bit selfish as he was also trying to write a good story. Upon his return he did write and publish an article detailing his family's travel and the reasons of this trip. It certainly is a good story, but is putting the welfare of your children at risk to write a good story and prove a point really worth it?

Also, is taking your children all the way to an actual warzone really necessary? Couldn't you just sit down with them and have a discussion about the topic? Maybe turn on the TV and watch the news or go onto the web and do a bit of research? Perhaps, and this may be a stretch, sit down with your boys and play the game together?

As a parent, I really don't like it when other people tell me how I should raise my children. Maybe this is truly what Helgegren felt would resonate with his   own children and teach them a life long lesson. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, even if he may have gone a bit overboard.

Maybe we should give Helgegren some credit. Gamers love to complain on how parents don't take enough interest in what their kids play and will buy them any game they ask for, regardless of content. Here's a parent who does understand that some games may not be appropriate for everyone and he did something about it. He's also Swedish and has a cool name, so additional kudos for him as well.

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