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6:29 PM on 09.07.2015

Having minor foot surgery on Wednesday. Nothing serious but I'll be home in a lot of pain for a couple of days. Not entirely pleasant, but I'm looking forward to it because I'll get 2 days of uninterrupted gaming. Is that weird?


11:14 PM on 09.06.2015

If they were to celebrate Labor Day in the UK, it would be called Labour Day, right?


9:13 AM on 09.03.2015

What Game Maker Would You Go on Vacation With?

Summer is winding down. Soon, we will be heading back to school, half-day Friday’s at the office will be ending, and there will be a nip in the air as autumn approaches.  Of course, if you live in the southern hemisphere, summer is just beginning.

As I sit here writing this, just a few days before Labor Day in the states, which is the unofficial last day of summer for us yanks, I’m thinking back on the recent and the not so recent summer vacations that I’ve been on. Some were good, some were great, and some were utter shit. That got me thinking, what would it be like to go on vacation with a big time gaming personality?

Shigeru Miyamoto – Creator of all things Nintendo.

Going on a vacation with Shigeru Miyamoto would probably be nice if not amazing.  I imagine a wholesome, family friendly, and highly organized affair to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

I’d like to think that he would have customized tee shirts made that everyone had to wear. Embroidered on the shirts, along with your name would be "Miyamoto Dream Vacation 2015."

Sure, the cool kids at the beginning of the trip thought this vacation was totally lame, but end up having the best vacation ever! Even grumpy uncle Frank who poo poo’d the trip in the beginning has a blast and learns a valuable lesson of love and forgiveness at the end. THANKS SHIGGY!

Peter Molyneux – Creator of Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Fable, and broken promises.

Going on vacation with Peter Molyneux wouldn’t be bad, but it would probably fall short of initial expectations.

Have you ever been looking forward to a vacation to someplace new and exciting only to show up and realize that the place is okay, but not quite what you were expecting? Maybe the brochure was using a fancy camera angle with fish eye lens. Maybe you decided to go during hurricane season. Or maybe the pictures you saw were from thirty years ago and the place now looks run down and is in desperate need of a new coat of paint.

The Hotel looked bigger on the pictures we saw online.

The vacation wouldn’t be bad per se, and you may end up having an okay time, but you just can’t help feeling a bit disappointed.

Cliff Bleszinski – Creator of many games with muscular space marines.

Going on vacation with Cliff Bleszinski would probably be, no pun intended, FUCKING EPIC!

Who’s ready to party?

There is something about Bleszinski that screams debauched vacation aficionado. Maybe it’s the fact that he used to go by the nom du guerre "Cliffy B" or he used to have an awesome Pornstache (see above).

He looks like the type of person who would rent a party boat on Lake Havasu while flying a giant banner from the mast (party boats have masts right?) that says “SHOW US YOUR TITS!”

Natty Ice would flow freely. Jell-O shots would be eaten off the tummies of co-eds, whip cream licked off the chests of frat bros and everyone will have horrible hangovers the next day. WONDERFUL!

This actually sounds horrible to me now, but when I was a younger man, this would have been awesome. Also, Cliff has grown up a bit the past few years. He may not be down for doing a line of coke off an Arizona State sorority sister's tramp stamp anymore either.

Hideo Kojima – Creator of Metal Gear, Snatcher, and other things… probably.

Remember that Swedish dad who took his kids to the Gaza Strip to teach them how war was not a game when they asked for a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts?

It will be like that, but much worse.

Sid Meier – Creator of Civilization (the game not literal civilization).

Sid Meier reminds me of a cool history teacher that I had in high school. He’s just a nerdy looking guy who takes things that should be dull and boring, and he makes them fun and interesting.

I imagine that a vacation with Meier would be educational but fun, perhaps to someplace historically significant, like Rome or London. He’ll probably be leading a large group, holding up an umbrella so that he doesn’t lose anyone while pointing out interesting things that can be easily missed and regaling us with fascinating facts.

Richard Garriott – Creator of Ultima, Tabula Rasa and other things that will not help you get laid.

Garriott will probably be the exact opposite of Meier in terms of a fun yet educational vacation. There is just something about the man, that makes me believe that he will just take things a bit too far.

I see Garriott creating meticulous and accurate costumes for each family member, piling them into the station wagon and driving to a distant Renaissance Fair out in the middle of nowhere.

He’s going to force you to stay in character the entire time and if you don’t, well it’s off to stocks for you. People are going to throw rotten vegetables and it's going to be horrible and psychologically scarring.

Alexey Pajitnov – Creator of Tetris, Tetris, and Tetris.

Pajitnov is Russian. Every Russian person I know likes to drink excessively on vacation. I’m completely okay with this way of vacationing. People who do not do this on vacation should be looked at with suspicion and contempt.

Is there some other game maker you think would be fun or horrible on vacation? Let’s hear in the comments.


1:12 PM on 09.02.2015

I hear through the grapevine that a game called Metal Gear just came out that is sort of a big deal.


11:02 AM on 08.21.2015

I just eat a piece of fruit that still had the tag on it. Am I going to die?


7:38 PM on 08.20.2015

Have finally gotten around to playing Valiant Hearts. Still haven't cried yet.


1:47 PM on 08.17.2015

You can cut the tension with a knife...

Come on. You know you want to.


1:03 PM on 08.10.2015

I get black out drunk, come back and everything has changed.


2:07 PM on 08.04.2015

World of "Bat" Tanks

The late great comedian Rodney Dangerfield once said "I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out." I can relate. I once bought a game about Batman, and I was completely ready to play a game about being Batman, it just turns out that it's a game about tanks.

No respect...

There's nothing wrong with tank combat in video games by the way. I wrote a blog post about my favorite game related tanks that was front-paged a little while back. Fighting in a tank against other tanks in a video game is a jolly good time and I highly recommend that everyone try it at least once.

There is just one issue though. I like to specifically engage with games where tank combat makes sense. A game like Call of Duty is going to have a tank level, guaranteed. The Battlefield series would be strange without a tank level. I would be remiss if I did not have the opportunity to play in a Scorpion in Halo. Tanks in these games make sense.

I was, however, not ready to engage in tank combat as Batman and this is something that you do a lot in Batman: Arkham Knight.

You better get used to this view.

Now, I'll be totally transparent and say that the tank combat in Arkham Knight is very competent and certainly fun. The problem is, being a Batman fan, there was never an instance when I said, and “You know what Batman needs MORE FUCKING TANKS!"

When I think of Batman, I see a haunted man, who uses his wealth and wits to become the ultimate detective who then beats the living shit out of bad guys with his bare hands. Sure, he has incredible gadgets, weapons, and vehicles, but a Batmobile that can turn into a tank on the fly?

I can suspend disbelief to an extent, this is a comic book character after all, but I feel like the whole Bat Tank function is bit contrived. My Bat senses tell me that developer Rocksteady depends on this functionality way too much in the game for my liking. It feels like a crutch—a way to pad out the game, or maybe force it into new directions, adding a new dimension to the gameplay and it is wholly unnecessary. There are far too many instances where the Dark Knight is piloting his stupid tank.


Spoiler Squirrel looking out for you.

The fact that the storyline has to explicitly state that the tanks Batman battles against are unmanned drones, so he can blow them to smithereens with his 60-millimeter cannon is a bit of stretch. He can blow them the fuck up because he's not killing anyone, which would be against his bat code. Isn't it great how that works out in such a nice and tidy fashion? It's also fortunate that the city is entirely abandoned by all civilians, so Batman doesn't run anyone over accidentally or blow them up by his tank’s 60-millimeter cannon or the machine gun, because collateral damage is a bitch.

All in all, I'm enjoying Arkham Knight for what it is, and that's fun video game. It just doesn't seem to be a true Batman game. It’s too much of a departure, even if the mechanic it’s self is well done and well executed.

I mean, what will they think of next? A Bat motorcycle with sidecar?



12:20 PM on 07.14.2015

Amazon Thinks I Have a Gaming Addiction

I do a lot of horrible gaming related things for your personal amusement. I mostly play horrible celebrity branded mobile phone games, but this time around, I decided to read a book about gaming addiction. This was not what I would call a pleasant experience.

Thank goodness that this is only a “book” in the most general sense, in that there are words in it, and those words are printed on a page, however there are not a lot actual pages to read. I’d say that this more like a pamphlet—a horribly written piece of garbage pamphlet, which will make you dumber if you actually take the time to read it. Also, this is actually an eBook, but now we’re just getting into semantics.

I happened upon this book a couple of weeks ago, when my company decided to send me away again for business. Luckily, the flight this time around was relatively short, so no need to purchase in-flight Internet access or rent Direct TV to keep me occupied. I can just do a little bit of reading and pound miniature bottles of vodka, just like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack did, when air travel was GLAMOROUS. The only difference being that if I light up a cigarette or slap the “air waitress” on the ass for a job-well-done, the air marshal will crack my skull open with the butt of his Glock.

So with the limited time available to me before my flight, I found a free Wi-Fi hotspot by the gate and went onto Amazon on my iPad to see what I can download cheaply. Since I read a fair amount of gaming and tech related stuff, one of Amazon’s recommendations was Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days, by James Henry. Amazon apparently thinks that I have a problem. Luckily enough, the book was free and with time running out, I went ahead with the download. LET’S GET READING!

The book starts off with an introduction from the author, the one and only James Henry. My comments added in ALL CAPs.

“Do you find yourself always playing games even when you have important things to do like hand in a project at work or even spend time with your kids? (I PLAY GAMES TO SPECIFICALLY AVOID THESE THINGS) Has your need to play games taken over your life such that you never even find time to do important things like eating and sleeping? (I FORGO GOING TO THE BATHROOM JUST TO PLAY GAMES, DOES THIS COUNT?) Have you wasted a lot of money buying all kinds of games just to get the thrill and adrenaline rush from playing such games? (YES, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS I WASTED ON HOOKERS AND BLOW) If you relate to any or all of these scenarios, then you definitely have a problem that needs to be addressed. The good thing is that all hope is not lost and with the strategies outlined in this book, you will overcome your gaming addiction and live a normal life. (PRAISE JEEZUS!)"

Like any self-help book, the author has to cover his ass, so there is the requisite legalese.

“The information provided herein is stated to be truthful and consistent, in that any liability, in terms of inattention or otherwise, by any usage or abuse of any policies, processes, or directions contained within is the solitary and utter responsibility of the recipient reader. Under no circumstances will any legal responsibility or blame be held against the publisher for any reparation, damages, or monetary loss due to the information herein, either directly or indirectly. (SO THE HOOKERS AND BLOW COSTS ARE ALL ON ME?)”

The author goes onto explain the different types of games available for those who are reading the book on behalf of a loved one. Nothing ground breaking here. He defines single player games, multiplayer games, eSports, and mobile games. All these game types have something in common however, and that they are all HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!

This is all well and good, but you may be saying to yourself, “Surely, I don’t have a gaming problem.” But you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG!

The author goes onto to state that if you have done one or more of the following listed below, then you are officially a GAMEAHOLIC (TM by Spieler Dad, like just now).

*Being interrupted from your normal life pattern such as having to play at night and shifting to sleeping during the day. (VAMPIRA-GAMING, TM SPIELER DAD)

*If, to a certain extent, you risk or actually lose your job or drop out of school to play a digital game or online competition.

*If you require a bigger fix such as having to play for longer periods to enjoy same level of gaming. (OR DECIDE TO PLAY GAMES WITH NIPPLE CLIPS ON)

*If you experience withdrawal problems such as feeling anxious or irritable when you stop or disconnect from your playmates. (I PERSONALLY SCREAM AT THE DOG)

*Constant cravings i.e. a strong desire to play or go online even when far from gaming facilities. (THANK GOD NO ONE HAS INVENTED A WAY TO PLAY A GAME AWAY FROM THE HOME!?! THEY WOULD MAKE MILLIONS!)

So how does one avoid becoming addicted? The answer to that is that they don’t. Games are designed to be addicted.

“There are various causes of gaming addictions but one of the key reasons is that they are fundamentally designed to be addictive. The designers or creators of games are interested in making profit (BASTARDS!) thus they need to make addictive games to continue enjoying profits. Games are often made to be challenging so that you keep on trying without giving up and once you overcome a particular level, you have another level waiting for you. This is why you will keep on playing and since you cannot beat the game, you will be on a continuous journey of trying to beat the game, which is impossible.” (I CHOKED ON MY OWN SALIVA LAUGHING SO HARD ON THIS)

So, you have decided that you are addicted to gaming. What do you do now? Luckily the author gives you some options on how to do so.

Option 1 is to go Cold Turkey. For this to work, he recommends that you do the following:

“For this strategy to work, you have to do these steps almost immediately! Right now, delete all your video games from the computer, Smartphone or console. Do away with every sign of it. Do it now, even if it means throwing away those DVDs or disconnecting the Internet. Destruction of all video software and selling of gaming electronics helps a lot to gain immediate recovery. Later, if you feel like downloading or buying new game, you find it harder as you’d have to start from scratch.”

The second option is to slowly wean yourself off gaming. He recommends getting rid of everything except one console and begin limiting the time you spend on gaming. I say go ahead and pick up a Wii U. You’ll give up gaming in a matter of days. ZING!

The author’s last topic of discussion is a touchy one, as he goes into how games can impact children. However, all the tips he provides are very safe and common sense. He doesn’t provide anything groundbreaking.

His first bit of advice to parents is to restrict their children’s playtime to one hour or less in a day and to keep track on the total amount of time their children spend gaming. Again, this is common sense really, but there are stupid people out there who managed to procreate, so I’ll give him this one.

He also suggests that parents should be present for their children. Not sure what he means by this. Perhaps he’s suggesting to not leave them out in the wild where they can be raised by a pack of wolves?

He ends his advice by suggesting that parents should closely monitor their children’s behavior. He goes onto to state that, “…A number of games have been attributed to causing negative attitude on kids, or other aggressive reactions towards ordinary issues. “ The author however doesn’t cite where he got this information. Did he just make that up?

One can assume that he’s referring to the multitude of studies that state that violent games “may” make children more aggressive. Also, he neglects to state that a parent shouldn’t allow a young child to play violent and mature games in the first place. One would think that should be his first point.

To conclude his guide, Mr. Henry wishes me luck on my journey to conquer gaming addiction. I have decided to deny that I even have a problem in the first place. Also, I can quit gaming anytime, thank you very much, SO DON’T JUDGE ME!

The author requests that I go onto Amazon and rate his book, which I can assure I will do no such thing. Going on Amazon and writing a scathing review on this so-called book would be pointless, like tits on a bull.

Yet, something just didn’t seem right about this book. The writing was too shoddy, the book too short, and the advice overly elementary. Also, who is this James Henry person?

Turns out that James Henry is the pen name for James Gurbutt. According to his profile online, he works in publishing, and enjoys windsurfing and long lunches (WHO DOESN’T?!?)

A search online brings up the following image below where he appears be enjoying himself.

I think he's the one in the middle.

In the end, James seems to be a good chap, so I’ll leave him alone, even though I feel he is not qualified to give advice on gaming addiction. However, I cannot recommend reading Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days.

When all is said and done, I give Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days 1 out of 5 Creepy Dudes in Vests.

If, for whatever reason, you want to read this book for yourself, you can download it from Amazon here.


9:45 AM on 06.29.2015

Why do we still care about Backwards Compatibility?

E3 2015 has come and gone. The big corporations had their pressers, the unwashed masses got to try out the latest wares, and the Los Angeles area is free of game industry marketing reps and journalists, to concentrate on more important things, like not dying of thirst.

Out of all the big press events, Microsoft won, in my humble opinion, by a nose,  by slightly edging out Sony. So congratulations Microsoft, you win the Spieler Dad’s Sicilian Donkey Cart for Best E3 Presser – 2015!

To all the Sony fanatics out there, put your pitchforks and torches down. Sony had the thing won, up into the very end, when Andrew House starting talking about the Playstation Vue and Spotify of all fucking things. That’s an automatic disqualification.

Also, if Andrew House was to get a PhD, he can be called Dr. House, which would be neat.

Microsoft had shown so many great things at their press event. Plenty of good looking games, cool looking exclusives titles, a new FANCY controller, and HoloLens, to name just a few. However, the thing that got everyone excited the most was the announcement that the Xbox One will now be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360.


For reasons that escape me, people deeply about backwards compatibility. On the surface, I can understand why this is a feature that would make sense—games are expensive and it would be nice to continue playing your older titles when a new generation comes around. Personally speaking however, I could care less.  I’ve always been about the new hotness. When a new console is released, I go all in. Sorry last generation, time to take you behind the shed and introduce you to Mr. Shotgun.

I thought we were finally passed the whole backwards compatibility debate. Microsoft released the Xbox One without backwards compatibility while Sony hitched it’s wagon to game streaming, by purchasing Gaikai for $380 million so one can pay through the nose and poorly stream PS3 games on the PS4.

Deep down inside, I can’t help but feel that the Microsoft’s plan to make the Xbox One backwards compatible is an elaborate form of corporate trolling.

...Then we light the bag of shit on fire, ring the doorbell, and run away.

In short, if you bought digital games on the 360, you’ll be able to download them again to your Xbox One, if they’re added to the compatibility list.  The same will apply to disc-based games that are added to the catalog. You just need to insert the disc and download the game. And the best part is that this is all free.

In one fell swoop, Microsoft made Sony’s Playstation Now streaming service look like a $380 million turd. This is quite remarkable, as Microsoft had dug themselves quite the hole after the initial Xbox One launch, but they are slowly starting to pull themselves out.

I doubt that Microsoft will be able to fully recover though, but it sure is fun watching them try. They also did something that I thought no one would be able to do, and that’s make me excited about backwards compatibility.

The one caveat is that not every title released for the Xbox 360 will be backwards compatible. It’s safe to say that many of the hits will be, but what about the niche titles? What about the crap titles?

Microsoft has stated that they are listening to their consumers and have created a site where people can vote on which titles get added in future updates. Not surprisingly, the list currently shows last gen AAA mainstays, with Red Dead Redemption rising to the top.

That’s why I propose that we have a little fun at Microsoft’s expense. I went ahead and did a little research on what is the worst Xbox 360 title ever released and propose that we all vote to have Ride to Hell: Retribution added to the backwards compatibility list.

Let’s ensure that future generations have the opportunity to play one of the shittiest games ever made. Together, we can do it.  



1:30 PM on 06.02.2015

Sony Makes Money While You Sleep...

They are also probably eating your lunch out of the office fridge, got your girlfriend pregnant, and your mom secretly likes them better than you. They are like a malevolent clown doll that watches you while you sleep. One day, when you least expect it, it will strike when you are most vulnerable. 

Sony, a massive company with a diverse product line competes with other large corporations to become your electronic gadget maker of choice. We all know this as this is nothing new.  

You also may know that Sony has invents and manufactures a lot of technology that goes into various doodads. Some of Sony’s tech even goes into products manufactured by their direct competitors. The Blu-Ray player in the Xbox One for example, ensures that Sony gets a taste of the action for every console that Microsoft sells, just like Don "Black Hand" Fanucci from Godfather II.

He just wants to wet his beak.

This is not ground breaking news, but what I do find amazing is just how much revenue Sony brings in by selling components to its competitors. When the Xbox One was first introduced and it became known that it would sport a Blu-Ray drive, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter estimated that Microsoft would have to pay Sony $2 to $3 for every Xbox One sold to license the Blu-Ray drive.

Let’s assume that Microsoft pays Sony just $2.00 per console for the Blu-Ray license. Well that would translate $20 million if Microsoft sold 10 million consoles worldwide since launch, as they claimed back in November 2014. $30 million if Microsoft pays closer to the top end. In the end, it’s probably someplace in the middle, so let’s just say Sony made approximately $25 million from Microsoft since the Xbox One was launched, give or take a couple million. That’s nothing to sneeze at. 

Now keep in mind, my math can be completely wrong in terms of how many actually Xbox One consoles were sold. I got my numbers from Wikipedia, which is quoting a Microsoft PR flak, so chances are good that my numbers are completely wrong. At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that Sony making millions off of Xbox One sales. 

Sony is not just taking millions from Microsoft however. They also currently have Apple over a barrel. According to the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, “Sony is trying harder than ever to profit from other companies’ innovations, such as the iPhone 6. Each iPhone 6 contains two Sony-made image sensors and related parts, which generate revenue of as much as $20 per phone for Sony, analysts say. Earlier-generation iPhones had one Sony sensor apiece. The ‘selfie’ craze has strengthened Sony’s grip on the market.” 

Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6 on its weekend. That’s a $200 million payday for Sony and that figure doesn’t include revenue from all other Apple product that may be using Sony technology, like older iPhones and iPads. 

Kaz Hirai, who you may remember as the former of President of Sony Computer Entertainment and is now CEO of Sony stated in an interview with  

“Whether it’s a device that goes into other manufacturers’ products or sometimes our own, if there’s innovation there… That’s something I get excited about.” 

I imagine that he was tweaking his nipples when he said that. 

Meanwhile, Sony makes its very own smartphones and tablets in the Xperia line, but why even bother when you can just ride on the coat tails of other manufacturers?  

And that is a scary thought for me personally. I’m a fan of Sony and a fan of their Playstation brand—especially the exquisite PS4, but what does Sony have to gain when they can make more money being a supplier of technology to other manufactures and letting them take all the risk? This is not a rhetorical question as I would really like to know.

Kaz Hirai in the interview readily admits that this may lead to a pivot for the company as he goes onto say,

“If we’re talking about the organization and our strategies and where we want the company to be next year, two years from now, three years from now, yes, we’re starting to turn the corner.” 

Will Sony one day decide to bow out completely from the limelight of high stakes consumer electronics? I can’t say for sure, but we have seen stranger things. Who would have thought that Konami would stop making video games to manage health clubs, open up gourmet cup cake shops, and make slot machines full-time? What if Sony, at their E3 presser announces that they are getting out of the consumer electronics business to sell chips and sensors to Apple? I would imagine that the combined fury of gamers everywhere would tear a rift in the universe.


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