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5:32 PM on 08.22.2008

20 years to Second Life



A over zealous and quite possibly unstable Second Life gamer was arrested in Delaware for
attempted kidnapping of her virtual ex-boyfriend. Well, the media report is kind because
the virtual ex-boyfriend is in fact a virtual lion in Second Life. The report states Kimberly
Jernigan, 33 of North Carolina, was so distraught after the virtual breakup she went into a
"downward spiral". She allegedly drove to Delaware, broke into his house, and lied in wait
for him. When he returned home he entered his house to see a stranger pointing an laser
beam object at him. He fled, called police, and upon their entering the house they found a
kidnap kit of duct tape, taser, BB gun, and handcuffs. They also found Kimberly's dog in the
bathroom duct taped (I guess she had to practice first or something). She was arrested an
hour later in Maryland after a brief struggle.



FYI, it says she is a virtual woman in the game. Unfortunately for her, in real life she will be
doing some real time. She is currently charged with attempted kidnapping, burglary, and
aggravated menacing (must be a fancy term for stalking).

I've played Second Life and have attended a virtual concert there and found the whole
experience rather bland. But then again I was'nt a lion hooking up with psychotic southern
girls.

You can read the news article here
http://cbs3.com/local/kimberly.jernigan.second.2.801089.html


Any Destrucoid Lions hunting the veld known as Second Life?   read


2:45 PM on 08.15.2008

Madden 09s with Favre/Jets covers at Blockbusters


I just cruised by my local Blockbuster and I noticed the Madden 09 covers had Favre. The
employees told me that they were delivered with the new cover (not replacement printouts)
and that they were told they were the only show in town to have them.



The question is, why doesn't every Madden 09 have the correct cover? They obviously were
able to provide them to Blockbuster, why not everyone? Will future Madden 09 shipments
have the correct cover or is Blockbuster the only store getting the Favre Jets covers? By the
way, the Madden Wii still have Favre in a Green Bay uniform.

And, as an added bonus, Blockbuster is giving a Summer Gaming bag with goodies to anyone
who purchases a game at $49.99 or higher. Goodie bag pictured below. Pretty much, if you
are over ten, this bag is pretty useless. Though the Super Star Champ temporary tattoo is
pretty hawt.

  read


4:07 PM on 04.28.2008

Local store GTA IV pre-orders



I just spoke to my local store regarding my pre-order of the GTA IV Special Edition and the
manager revealed that I was the only person to pre-order the Xbox 360 GTA IV Special
Edition. He went on to break down all the pre-orders for GTA IV for me.

Regular Edition
18 for the 360
18 for the PS3

Special Edition
1 for the 360
6 for the PS3

We were both surprised that the PS3 and 360 pre-orders were dead even but the Special
Edition orders were heavily weighted towards the PS3. I am really curious what the NPD will
reveal later regarding specific GTA IV sales per console.

Anybody else have numbers from their favorite store?

[p.s. The penguin is there because when I google searched "preorder madness" it gave me
the penguin, go figure]   read


6:31 PM on 04.22.2008

Are gamers part of the environmental problem?


How many game systems do gamers own?

Do you have more than one version of any Gameboy iteration?

Own any extra peripherals and controllers you no longer use?

and the big question

What will you do with your Rock Band Drum Set when you tire of Rock Band?

Waste is a very large part of our society and so is gaming. The waste that is being created
by gamers is growing every year. As gamers, it is important to have the latest system,
game, or accessory. But where does it end? I know several 360 owners who have
purchased new Elite 360s. DS owners with fat and slim DSs. PS3 owners excited at the
news of a
new slim PS3. Isn't one working system enough? Do you need
multiple pieces of equipment that are essentially the same thing, just in different
packaging? How many next gen systems does one gamer need?

Every piece of hardware, software, and peripheral leaves a carbon footprint, some larger
than others. What is the environmental cost everytime you make a purchase? Will you use
the item for a
prolonged period of time? Look at the Wii fit board, how long until it is landfill?

Greenpeace has
done a great job identifying areas that the big three can improve in and also provides a link
so you can email the company of your choice recommending they become more earth
friendly. Visit the site and drop the big three a note today.

Personally, do something about the problem. I did. I made a choice to not buy the complete
Rock Band set. I have the game but I
use my Xplorer guitar from GHII and a USB mic. I don't have the drums nor will I purchase
them. All those Rock Band drums, the two million plus out there, will eventually have to be
thrown away. I'm really disappointed that a more environmentally friendly alternative isn't
available for the drum set like these
mini sized drum pads. I want to play the drums in Rock
Band but not at the expense of the planet's future.


[embed]79425:10597[/embed]

Perhaps you are familiar with the worse video game offense that I know of. The Atari 2600
E.T. debacle. Atari was so
concerned with their image they crushed and then slabbed over truckloads of E.T.
cartridges that weren't selling. Even though the game sucked, the waste Atari created was
even worse.

So what can we, the gamers, do to make gaming greener? Here are some simple steps:

1. Only purchase necessary gaming accessories. Fan systems, steering wheels, cases, and
other peripherals are not needed to enjoy the games. Do you really need a stage kit with
smoke and mirrors to enjoy Rock Band? How many steering wheels do you need? Restrain
your purchases and the larger the item the more cautious you should be when purchasing
it. Case in point, where are all those Steel Battalion controllers nowadays?

2. Trade your old video game equipment. Trust me,
there is a gamer who wants what you have. I recently acquired an Atari Jaguar and am
looking for an Alien vs Predator. Don't throw the old games and systems away, someone...
somewhere wants them. Lets keep them out of the landfills.

3. Recycle your electronics. Costco
http://www.greensight.com/CostcoTrades/Common/equiptypes.aspx has
established a trade in program with Greensight
Technologies where you can even get cash back for trading in your electronics. It is sad but
only 1 in 4 consumers in the United States actually
recycle their electronic waste. Way too
much is making it to the landfills that shouldn't.


Happy Earth Day everyone, game green!   read


10:51 PM on 04.16.2008

DS game encouraging sex with stuffed animals?


I was cruising through the new game release lists and came across a budget DS title from
Destineer called "Plushees". I didn't know if I should laugh or scream. Plushee is rather
close to plushie which is a term describing people who have sex with stuffed animals. I had
heard about this practice years ago from one of my friends. He had wanted to do a
documentary showcasing its participants. Unfortunately for us all (or fortunately I guess),
he is currently directing music videos and his idea never got off the ground.

However, the practice has hit the main stream. Of course,
Urban Dictionary has a
definition of it and of course someone has made a
Wiki for the practice. Probably where
most of you have seen it is in the following clip from YouTube where the practice made a
strange appearance in a C.S.I. episode.

[embed]81967:10428[/embed]

Now, my question is, did the developers and distributors of the game have no knowledge of
the fetish association with their title or did they not care? I realize it is spelled differently
but the description of the game troubles me further;

"Product Description
Stuffed animals that have come to life and need your virtual love and care / ESRB E
for Everyone"

Virtual Love! and this game gets rated an E and people are upset about GTA IV?

Another past game comes to mind with a questionable title that hit US stores years ago.

Grabbed by the Ghoulies


Yup, the title really grabs ya by the balls, doesn't it? The game had several sexual
reference and innuendo using British slang. It was also rated an E for Everyone in the
States.

ESRB? WTF are you doing?   read


7:31 PM on 04.14.2008

Pointless GTA IV Intro [rumor]

[embed]81581:10360[/embed]

meh

The poster of this video blows.

Unless he is a Rockstar North team member who put the video up to see how many hits a
pointless video with no game content, spoilers, and anything of value can get in a few days.
Then, he is genius.   read


10:19 AM on 04.07.2008

CoD 4 double XP and new map weekend-Recap



Call of Duty 4 (CoD 4) released new maps on Friday morning. I was actually out and about
buying an omelet for my son's birthday (hey, that is what he wanted, who am I to
complain) when I read the news that the maps should be out by 6:30 PST. When I
returned, delivered said omelet, I quickly fired up the 360 and downloaded the maps. Only
took about 15 minutes to get them and I quickly jumped into a Team Deathmatch game on
Broadcast. It was a great first experience with a good team. However, my experience
quickly declined from there.

I was a lowly 7 going into the weekend. I had played the beta alot but never jumped into
the full release multiplayer experience due to issues of time. Portal and other games took precedence. Since it was a double XP weekend with new maps I figured it was time to rank
up. However, the real reason was my students were constantly dogging me since I wasn't
playing and my ranking was low. Yes, it was peer pressure from teenagers.

Of the three maps I played this weekend, Chinatown frustrated me the most. Several of the
buildings can lead to a circular experience. I entered a building, ran up the stairs, went into
a room, ran down the stairs, and ended up where I started. Once I stopped running in
circles I started getting the layout of Chinatown. The map isn't very open and there are
definitely choke points you have to cross to get across the map. This map definitely favored
players who are skilled at hiding, quick shots, and anticipatory grenades. Of all the maps I
played, I had the least success on this map.

Broadcast is my favorite of the bunch. Indoor and outdoor settings with multiple levels
made for some great action. Lots of running and gunning. However, this is the one map
where I encountered the most votes to skip the map. All I can think is the snipers must
hate the map.

Crosscreek is a weird map. Lots of great places to hide but several that seem good, but
aren't. One of my students hid in the cave and continually killed everyone who dared
entere... time and time again. Even though we knew he was there, no one was able to
dislodge him. Luckily, he joined our party and team next game.

As the weekend progressed, my positive experience on Friday quickly degenerated into a
whine fest. My favorite quote Sunday night was one player asking "Is that a boy or a girl?".
The voices of the players got younger and younger, the singing increased, and my personal
peeve, the obviously grossly overweight, struggling for every breath of oxygen, player who
keeps their mic too close to their mouth as they huff and puff every life giving breath as the
weekend progressed. All I can figure is that the kids must have mowed their lawns and
other chores to coerce their parents to buy them the new maps. Parents! Don't give in so
easily!

At the end of the weekend, I leveled up to lvl 18 after a total of 6 hours 30 minutes of play.
Is that good or bad? I have no idea. All I know is that I can now play all the game types,
have enough guns, enough options, and I am sated.   read


2:26 PM on 04.02.2008

[potential spoiler] New Batman-Dark Knight photos



A french website has still images from the new Batman - Dark Knight film. The pictures could
reveal some plot points for the movie but also some game plot points. If you can play as the
Joker there might be some stealth levels. I will leave it at that. If you want to see the pictures,
click the link.

How much news is it out regarding the obvious and inevitable game.

http://www.lyricis.fr/cinema-dvd-serie/batman-the-dark-knight-photos-exclusives-du-
joker/

(I'm such a newb, I can't get the link to work! Still cool and interesting so I am leaving it up)

p.s. It is in French   read


9:01 AM on 04.01.2008

Viva Pinata meets Diablo?


I am not a big fan on April fools day and practical jokes. Being a school teacher for 16
years.... they get old after awhile. However, thank goodness for the creative minds at Blizzard
coming up with some crazy ideas that would be great if carried out in some bizarre way.

The latest, the Loot Pinata in Diablo II
http://www.blizzard.com/us/diablo2exp/pinata.html You have to view the concept
art, it is priceless!

On a side note, does anyone still play Diablo II?   read


12:45 AM on 03.29.2008

50th Anniversary Diplomacy!



Avalon Hill... or Wizards of the Coast... or Hasbro... or whoever is the faceless corporation
currently controlling our non-electronic gaming has decided to reissue
Diplomacy!

The new edition has a great new map but from the pictures it looks like they are currently
going with cardboard pieces instead of the traditional wooden blocks, plastic anchors, or metal
ships of previous editions. Amazon currently has it listed at $22.99 which is
considerably less than the previous version which went for $50.

For those who haven't had the pleasure of Diplomacy, it is an incredible game simulating pre-
WWI Europe where turns are conducted simultaneously with written orders. The other aspect
that makes Diplomacy different is the game does not rely on chance. There are no dice in
Diplomacy. Some very simple rules handle very complicated situations where support and
numerical superiority can dislodge units and give a player the upper hand. Most turns are
spent negotiating with the other players ensuring that your goals are achieved. Backstabbing
and alliances of convenience are a huge part of this game.

I hope the new pieces are not as cheap as they look in the picture.   read


8:04 PM on 03.28.2008

Why LittleBigPlanet will suck


So, you ask (or maybe you don't), why do I think LittleBigPlanet will suck? It will suck
because there is no gameplay component to this game. None. Zilch. Nada.

So can I back it up? Sure can. If you watch the GDC video of the game
here

[embed]78270:9738[/embed]

and the two most interesting things shown (that got the biggest reaction from the audience)
were the orange assisted leap and one character slapping another. That is not compelling
game play. The game looks beautiful but where was the gameplay? We've seen jumping
from platform to platform (Mario) and side scrolling puzzle solvers (Lemmings) so watching
it again was really nothing special. N
(http://www.addictinggames.com/ngame.html) and N+, with very limited
graphics, great gameplay, and customizable levels is a better gaming option than
LittleBigPlanet.

If you visit the developers website http://www.mediamolecule.com/games.html
you will read these stunning quotes from a variety of sources how the game is "the epitome
of imagination" or "Super Mario Bros. meets an orgasm" but I'm just not seeing it. A side
scroller with cute characters is not that imaginative nor is any game where the object is to
collect sponges for building blocks. How can this be described as orgasmic?

Being able to share your creations online to share with other players will lead to only one
thing, porn. According to reports,
once you create a level and complete it (no
unbeatable levels can be created supposedly) it will then be shareable online with other LBP
players. I can only imagine the combinations of phallic platforms and levels that will be
shared with the unsuspecting gaming public. What is intended to be a cute family game will
definitely prove the ESRB rule "Online Interactions not rated by the ESRB".

This game will win awards and have a huge advertising campaign but it will not be a
reason to buy a PS3.   read


8:54 PM on 03.27.2008

Battlefield: Bad Company Beta impressions



Battlefield Bad Company's Beta is a two map, one game type romp that is surprisingly fun.
The game type for the beta is called "Gold Rush" which is an objective style game where
the attackers are trying to blow up two crates of Gold while the defenders are trying to
keep them intact. The interesting take on this is that every time you blow up the two crates,
the attackers base moves forward and the defenders base moves back with two new crates
of gold to defend. So, as the game progresses, the map and objectives move. Sniper
positions, attack strategies, and vehicles change as the map moves deeper and deeper in
the defenders home base. The terrain of the map also starts to change dramatically. The
"Oasis" map starts in an desert environment and eventually devolves into a swamp/urban
battleground.

The gameplay is quick and deadly. Only a couple hits are needed to get a kill ala COD 4.
However, the tedious walk to the battlefield is removed with a new feature that can have
you spawn with your squad instead of at the base. If your squad mate is in a vehicle, you
can actually spawn in the vehicle! This proves really useful when you notice your squad
mate is in some heavy action and you spawn right behind them all of a sudden turning the
tide of a battle.

One disappointment is the poor game balancing in the game type. Very rarely have I been
on a team that has been able to win as Attackers. It also appears that Ascension, the
mountain top map, has much shorter games with Attackers having an easy time winning
than the Oasis map. This game type seems to have some serious balance issues related to
map structure, game type, and player/vehicle abilities. It is still fun but as an attacker, you
will only win if the other team is clueless.

Weapon types and classes are sufficient and numerous. Additional weapons are
purchasable with experience points. However, some guns have to be purchased through the
marketplace or are part of the limited collectors edition which totally blows monkey chunks!

Is this the COD4/Halo 3 killer. No. I played the betas for both of those and they were more
compelling, fun, and balanced. Battlefield Bad Company is a good game, but not the best
one out there. As far as betas go, this is also the weakest of the three. It really feels like an
improved Frontlines: Fuel of War demo at this point.   read


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