Wednesday, December 26, 2007

All YouTube, All The Time!

Hope everyone had a festive holiday. Here's some geeky youtubery related to the season:

First off, this video short was animated in the space of about 6 months-- two guys, adobe photoshop and adobe premiere and after effects. The premise: 3 LARPer nerds end up interrupting a nativity scene. Hilarity ensues.

They also animated two youtube responses:

Heh, of course, technically, I think if you're a paladin to Tyranus, you CAN be Lawful Evil;. But then again, I didn't see the lawful evil paladin use any class abilities. ;)

Here's a video for all the gadget dorks and Wii hackers: How you can take a Wii remote, a Wii sensor bar, and your laptop to create a Virtual Reality display! Seriously! The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Help A Homeless Shelter By Donating Your Used RPG Material

From livejournal user belladonalin:

Hey, ya'll.

So those of you who are on my regular friendslist know that I work at a homeless shelter with street-dependent and homeless teenagers. I have a handful of kids there who are gamers. Unfortunately, when they had to move out of their respective homes, they lost all their gaming stuff.

I know that there are some people on my friendstlist who used to be D&D gamers (or still are) and I'm wondering - if you have your old gear that you're not using, would you mind sending it to me for these kids?

They're trying, you know? They're trying to stay out of gangs and away from the drugs and in general to maintain relatively normal lives. I'd buy the stuff for them, but that's not appropriate for me to do.

So, if you have any of the following, used and in any condition? I'd love it. More importantly, they would.

Any extra character sheets you can spare (or direct me to a decent downloadable one?)
Player’s Handbook
Dungeon Master’s Guide
Monster Manuel I
Player set of dice (1 D4, 4 D6, percentiles, 1 D20)

Would Like:
Complete Warrior Handbook
Player’s Handbook II
Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures
Feind Folio
Monsters Manual 2-4
Complete Arcane
Complete Divine
Complete Scoundrel
Complete Adventurer

More info here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

World to end: Duke Nukem Forever Gamplay Trailer to be released tomorrow.

Straight from George Broussard's mouth:

"Tomorrow, Wednesday the 19th, around noon CST, we will release the first teaser trailer from Duke Nukem Forever. To tide you over until then, here is a screen shot taken from the teaser."

Tell my wife I love her!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Polybius

An Urban Legend Comes To Life....
polybius the arcade game debug screenAs the story goes, whispered in back alleys of arcades in the US, an unheard-of new arcade game appeared in several suburbs of Portland, Oregon in 1981. The game was called Polybius, and was supposed to be incredibly popular... to the point of addiction! It was said that obsessed video game wizzes lined up to play the arcade game constantly.

Soon after, rumors abounded that smartly-dressed men in black suits began visiting these arcades that had Polybius . Instead of the expected marketing or demographic data you'd expect to be collected by company visitors to arcade machines, they collected some unknown data, allegedly testing responses to the psychoactive machines.

The players themselves were said to have suffered from a series of unpleasant side-effects, including amnesia, insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, and supposedly... even death. Some of those who played Polybius stopped playing video games, while it was whispered that one hapless tester became an anti-gaming activist.

The supposed creator of Polybius is Ed Rottberg, and the company named in the urban legend is Sinneslöschen (German for sense-delete), often named as either a secret government organization or a codename for Atari. The game play is said to be similar to Tempest, a shoot 'em up game with vector graphics.

Such a spooky game made for great storytelling, but no one ever could point to the real thing... until now.

Behold... Polybius!

Yes, some dedicated classic game fans and digital pranksters couldn't find Polybius.. so they created it. Not only can you download the ROM file, they also include free fake artwork and game cabinet stickers. They even wired a flickering bulb effect into the main bios... this group thought of everything. So now you can build or convert your own arcade cabinet into a Polybius cabinet and freak people right the hell out.

if you liked this article and want to see more, you can donate a buck or more to my Patreon or toss some coins in the virtual tip jar to the right. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

E-Books? Good idea? Bad Idea?'s own King R@t weighs in with a pretty good breakdown.

The Mind's Eye Theatre book for Mage: the Awakening isn't here? But where...only being released in .PDF format? [cries]

Well, it looks like you won't be toting THAT one around in your Jansport anytime soon. But is it really such a bad deal?
He goes over the pros, cons, and how's new e-book reader might affect the playing field here.

Good News, Bad News: Palladium Edition

First, the bad news.

The new Robotech RPG release date has been bumped again, with a release date set for February 2008, as announced in the Palladium Forums by Kevin S.

The good news? Palladium seems to be pretty optimistic about its future, and a recent press release teased some interesting details, like...

Downloadable adventures, source material and G.M. aids;, and a second podcast program...
... which is very encouraging. Could we finally see Palladium making greater use of digital distribution?

Hell, be still my beating heart, might we even finally see... PDFs? E-books?

The most recent press release is here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Former ECW wrestler is a hardcore... gamer?

Well, actually, a lot of pro wrestlers are also big video game geeks (returning WWE wrestler Chris "Y2j" Jericho once waxed nostalgic on his website about all the fun he was having with MAME, for example).

But how many pro-wrasslers have done ads for local video game stores?

How about... Stevie Richards?


Check it:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Namco-Bandai's GunCon NOT Sold Separately

From the consumer blog The Consumerist comes a rather bizzarre but true policy desicion regarding the next Time Crisis gun light game for home consoles:

Some non-game playing exec at Namco Bandai has decided that the gun controller that ships with Time Crisis 4 for the Playstation 3 cannot and will not be sold separately, even though there's a 2-player mode in the game. Their CSR's helpful suggestion? "You will need another copy of Time Crisis 4." It's as if the game is a license to use one gun controller—if you want more gun controllers, simply buy more licenses!

So if you gun breaks, or is stolen, or you don't want to buy a second game just for the gun... guess what?

Too bad!

Read one customer's chat with a Namco-Bandai representative about this issue here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm Going To Share The Stage With Ralph Nader and the voice of Mr Burns!

Next Tuesday, Dec. 11, marks a historic moment in consumer e-activism: a one-hour call-in podcast, streaming live from . That's where you'll here the podcast theme I wrote and rapped under the stage name "Shawn Who" (with a slick chiptune beat from fellow nerdcore hip-hop artist antisoc).

Guests Jeff Jarvis of, Mona "The Hammer Lady" Shaw, Ralph Nader and comic Harry Shearer will talk about consumerism, net roots action and the frustrations of dealing with soulless corporate giants.

NPR's Bob Greenfield and Bart Wilson will take your calls, and emails, and together they will present Comcast with an alternate view of the universe -- one in which consumers are not simply a cash drawer and a nuisance, but a priceless resource to cultivate and exploit. Just not in the way they've been exploited for decades.

Visit (the new, improved version, coming this week) Dec. 11 at 9 p.m. EST with your ideas, and your rage.

You know, that is, if your broadband is working.

And if you kids have one o'them MySpace dealies, you can check out Shawn Who Raps right here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

"New Games Journalism", Indeed

Nov 13 - Jeff's review of Kane & Lynch goes up. The score is a 6.0 and the review, as well as the video review, are rather scathing in tone. It's worth noting at this point Eidos had been running full page front page ads for Kane & Lynch for a while. These ads would remain up until Nov 29th.

Nov 28 - Jeff is fired.

Nov 29 - The story is broken by Penny Arcade with a comic alledging that GS fired him over his review. In a rare act, Gabe comes onto the Penny Arcade forums to certify that the story is true. Jeff's firing is confirmed by NeoGAF poster mobius, a.k.a. GameSpot freelancer Frank Provo.
At this point, continuing through the next day, some sources come forth confirming that Jeff was fired due to his review of Kane & Lynch, citing annonymous sources. Primotechnology: "According to a fellow Gamespot contributor and close friend of Gerstmann who wished to remain anonymous, the editor was fired Wednesday morning because of his negative review of the game, which he awarded a 6.0."
Rock Paper Shotgun: "We have a reliable source who tells us that while Gerstmann wasn't the most popular man with the CNET owners, it was his Kane & Lynch review alone that allegedly saw him lose his job."

The most explicit was Tycho's comments explaining the PA comic:
"I will tell you the Gerstmann Story as we heard it. Management claimed to have spoken to Jeff about his "tone" before, and no doubt it was this tone that created tensions between their editorial content, the direction of the site, and the carefully crafted relationships that allowed Gamespot to act as an engine of revenue creation. After Gerstmann's savage flogging of Kane & Lynch, a game whose marketing investment on Gamespot alone reached into the hundreds of thousands, Eidos (we are told) pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of future advertising from the site. Management has another story, of course: management always has another story. But it's the firm belief internally that Jeff was sacrificed. And it had to be Jeff, at least, we believe, precisely because of his stature and longevity. It made for a dramatic public execution that left the editorial staff in disarray. Would that it were only about the 6.0 - at least then you'd know how to score something if you wanted to keep your Goddamned job. No, this was worse: the more nebulous "tone" would be the guide. I assume it was designed to terrify them."

Further, Kotaku has some quotes from a poster on the Valleywag claiming to be a GameSpot employee with some interesting insight. Those can be found here.

K&L is now rated 2.0 by users on Gamespot. Many subscribers are cancelling and there's a move to boycott Gamespot advertisers, which seems to be having some effect.

"Obscure video and/or pictures of my pet."

Fellow gamer geek and word nerd August J. Pollak is doing something pretty awesome to raise money for "Child's Play":

A few of you hopefully remember the strip I did back in April called Internet Argument. I guess it hit home for a lot of Intarweb people because it got linked to on MetaFilter, Slashdot, Fark, and a whole bunch of other places. In terms of internet traffic, it's the most popular cartoon I've ever done... the reason I'm mentioning all this isn't to brag, but to hype up the value of the cartoon since the original is now being auctioned off on eBay for charity.

I am making absolutely no money on this sale- in fact, I'm taking a hit on it since I'm springing for the shipping myself- so don't think this has anything to do with me wanting some money. I mean, I do, but in this particular case I'd like all the money possible to go to some sick kids. Every single cent earned from this auction goes right to Child's Play, which if you aren't aware of yet is an amazing organization created by Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik.


This is definitely a lot more than the standard prices for my books and prints, but of course original art is one of a kind and also I suppose it's been a good sixty seconds or so and I should again remind you that your money will be buying toys for sick children.

The bidding broke $375 earlier today, but c'mon, gang... I think y'all can nudge that a bit higher. Get crackin'! Show Duh Media us gamers are good people!

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