The Obsolete Gamer Show: Luminaries of eSports (Walter, Billy, Todd, Ben, Steve, TriForce)


If you are a gamer then you most likely know a little about eSports. eSports is big right now and is only going to get bigger over time. What people may not know is where eSports began. We talk with not only pioneers of gaming, but the first eSports team.

Our guest list for this episode includes:

• Walter Day: Founder of Twin Galaxies
• Billy Mitchell: Gamer of the 20th Century
• Todd Rogers: World’s 1st Professional Gamer
• Ben Gold: 1st World Video Game Champion
• Steve Sanders: Top 16 Gamer of LIFE Magazine 1982
• TriForce Johnson: Founder of Empire Arcadia

We talk about the founding of Twin Galaxies and the effects it had on the gaming world as well as the Life Magazine photo shoot in 1982 and the World’s first television broadcasted video game world championship hosted by ABC’s That’s Incredible. We also discuss the US National Video Game team and 35 years of eSports.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Frank Azor & Raymond Watkins (Alienware)


We’re talking Alienware on the latest episode of OGS with Alienware general manager at Dell, Frank Azor. Along with Raymond Watkins, technical marketing manager we decided that instead of spending time going over hardware trends and the latest tech we would discuss some of the history of Alienware and the culture behind the company.

Both J.A. Laraque and Ignacio worked several years at Alienware in Miami Florida before starting Obsolete Gamer so this was as much about reminiscing as about covering some topics and tackling some misconceptions of importance.

We had fun with this one so if you are interested in Alienware talk that is different than you normally see in articles and interviews check this one out.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Nima Fakhara (1979 Revolution: Black Friday)


Remember Kix cereal? Kids love it and moms will too? The idea was the cereal was really good but it was good for you. We often applaud a game when it’s well made, fun to play, but allso teaches you something you most likely would not have learned on your own.

In the story driven game, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday you play as a photographer during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. A period I certainly didn’t know much about before this interview, but our guest who composed the music for this game did.

Nima Fakhara was born in Tehran, Iran and has composed for film, television and videos games. For this game he used traditional Persian instruments to insure an authentic feeling within the game.

In our interview we talk about how players have received the game so far which is currently out on Steam and how he feels the game represented the events that unfolded during that time. We also cover his love of music and his journey from Tehran to Los Angeles.

You can purchase 1979 Revolution now on Steam

You can check on more from Nima Fakhrara on his Official Website

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Ryan Culver Show

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Ryan Culver Show

People often like to play a game when a movie is going to be made. They want to pick the actors that they feel should be in it based on, who they feel would be the best fit. In some cases they also pick who they feel should not be in them as well.

nathan-drake-live-action-cosplay

With the Uncharted movie buzz there is no doubt who we at Obsolete Gamer feel should be staring in the lead. He already played the part in the commercial for PlayStation’s All Star Battle Royale and oh, by the way, he pretty much lives the part in real life. Not only is Ryan Culver an actor, but his is a pilot, a true adventurer and does extreme sports as well, seriously, who better to play Nathan Drake.

On this episode we talked with Ryan about his work on that commercial as well his other work including appearances on Spin City, Charmed, N.C.I.S and Hot in Cleveland. We also talked about his incredible travels around the world and how anyone can become an adventurer by taking that first step outside their own home.

It was a fascinating a fun conversation so check it out and let us know what you think.

Gamer Profile: Loris Malek

[youtube id=”GfAN71kbG7c” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Gamer Profile: Loris Malek

Name: Loris Malek

Title: President

Company: Moon Spider Studios

Favorite Classic Game: Super Mario Bros, Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter

We’ve talked with fantastic people from around the world and Loris from Moon Spider is no different. Their game, Harold is an interesting mix between Pitfall and Lemmings that gives you that hardcore, but unique gameplay that gamers have been asking for. Loris grew up in France and could have opened up shop in his home town or the west cost of the U.S. but made Miami his home. He is a true fan of classic games and even had an awesome system of sharing console systems and games growing up as a kid in Nice, France, check out our extended interview to learn more.

harold - moon spider studios

About Moon Spider Studios

If you’re sick of hearing, “I’m gonna revolutionize the video game industry!” you’ve come to the right place. Moon Spider Studio, located in gorgeous Key Biscayne, Florida, is home to a collection of veterans and young-bloods focusing on high production values, top-notch visuals, and fun gameplay. The company was founded in 2009 and is a private, independent studio developing on multiple platforms. Only 15 minutes from downtown Miami, Moon Spider is situated mere blocks from some of the most beautiful beaches and fantastic windsurfing in the western hemisphere.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Patrick Scott Patterson Show

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Patrick Scott Patterson Show

For this episode of the Obsolete Gamer Show we talked with Multi-Media personality, Patrick Scott Patterson, a man who has Guinness World Records in multiple video games, has appeared on television and in movies and documentaries, owns his own website where he has been writing articles and showcasing gamers and people from the gaming industry for years. Oh and did I mention he was a wrestler as well?

Patrick Scott Patterson

Scott has excellent takes on a wide range of topics important to gamers and the gaming industry as well and he does not just fire them off from the comment section of a website, he gets out there and debates them against a public that often only knows the stereotype of gamers that has been written and handed out to the masses.

If you like a robust conversation as much as I do then this episode is for you. We cover a variety of topics from how gamers are looked at by society at large to video game journalism to cyber bulling and the changing world of video game media including websites, television and streaming services such as Twitch TV.

So check out the show and let us know what you think.

Tiger Direct Titanfall Tournament

The hosts of  Alt F4Joshua Laus and J.A. Laraque will be at the Flagler location for Tiger Directs Titanfall Tournament today, June 21, 2014 in Miami Florida providing coverage for this event. If you do not already know about the tournament here is the word on today’s events.

titanfall

WHAT:          TigerDirect is proud to announce the first ever live streaming tournament of TitanFall! Sponsored by Xbox One, Creative Labs, TigerDirect and BAWLS, 16 teams will fight for the right to be crowned Titanfall Champion. The top two teams will enjoy free premium gaming headsets provided by Creative Labs. In addition to exclusive Xbox One deals, free giveaways from TigerDirect, and free drinks from BAWLS, contestants are also eligible to win cash prizes up to $1500.

WHO:              TigerDirect.com, a subsidiary of Systemax Inc. (NYSE: SYX) and retailer specializing in consumer electronics, technology products and computer services; XBOX, one of the world’s leading video game companies created by Microsoft; BAWLS, a soft drink with the Amazonian stimulant Guarana.

WHEN:          Saturday, June 21, 2014 | 2-6PM ET

WHERE:        TigerDirect Flagler Store, 47795 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33144

PRIZES:         1st Place Grand Prize: $1,500 | 2nd Place: $900 | 3rd Place: $600

DIGITAL:       www.tigerdirect.com & www.twitch.tv/therealtigerdirect for a live stream of the entire tournament

Now if you are local, come on by and check out the event if you are not already part of the tournament (and you should be) for those of you who are not local, you do not even need to go anywhere, just stay right here and watch the live Twitch Stream of the event!

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The E3 2014 Show

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The E3 2014 Show

So what does one do when you know that there will be hundreds of people covering E3 2014 with video streams, professional hosts and a media team the size of a football roster? You enjoy the show and talk to the people you really want to meet.

borderlands panel at e3 2014

Obsolete Gamer has never been about trying to be like anyone else or outdoing anyone else. We are about enjoying gaming and we wanted to enjoy our time at E3 2014 and we certainly did that. Now we did sit down with a lot of gaming companies and get a lot of information on upcoming games such as World of Warships, the Boarderlands Pre-Sequel and Batman and we will be posting and talking about that in the days to come.

However, we really wanted to see some of the guests we’ve had on the Obsolete Gamer Show in person as well as meet some we have always wanted to have on and we did that as well. We combined that with seeking out games we were really looking forward to such as Star Citizen and Shroud of the Avatar.

So in the special episode of the Obsolete Gamer show you will get to see some footage we took during our time at E3 2014 and special interviews with, 2-Time Guinness World Record Holder Carrie Swidecki, Video Game Personality, Patrick Scott Patterson, Professional Gamer and entrepreneur, Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, a very special interview with Lord British, Richard Garriott on his upcoming gaming Shroud of the Avatar interviewed by Video Game Scoreboard’s own Grace Snoke and finally a panel interview with Ashley Burch voice of Tiny Tina, Dameon Clarke voice of Handsome Jack and David Eddings voice of Claptrap.

Now as we always do we visited the retro museum area and got some great video of the classic consoles and computers, toys and accessories there as well. So I hope you enjoy the show and keep checking Obsolete Gamer and our YouTube channel as we will be adding more videos from E3 and our Facebook and Google Plus page as we will be adding pictures as well.

OGX #3 The Pre-E3 2014 Show

[youtube id=”sBQ7RXN3SDc” width=”633″ height=”356″]

OGX #3 The Pre-E3 2014 Show

e3_2014

With E3 2014 next week we decided to talk about what we were looking forward to most for our trip out to L.A and to reminisce on our previous trips to the expo. There is a lot to E3 besides what you see on the net or videos and it is definitely something you should experience live if you have the chance and if you plan to be out there look out for us. We will be recording everything to be featured on our future shows are articles. For now, I hope you enjoy the show and as always we appreciate any comments or feedback.

[The Obsolete Gamer Show]

[Alt F4]

[M.A.M.E of the Game]

[The Gamer Profiles Show]

[Beneath the Surface]

[OGX]

J.A. Laraque on Game Talk Live

J.A. Laraque on Game Talk Live

jaon1337loungelive

Obsolete Gamer’s own J.A. Laraque will be on the 1337 Lounge Live’s video game talk show, Game Talk Live tonight during the 5PM PST/ 8PM EST broadcast. He will be talking about his recent article on The Jace Hall Show page, 10 Really Bad Console Knock-Offs. We hope you will tune in.

[youtube id=”ovEVMV97PxM” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Just because we love this video, check out when J.A. Laraque appeared in a promo for his first appearance on 1337 Lounge Live.

What is Game Talk Live

game talk live

Game Talk Live is the ONLY live, one-hour daily video game talk show on the face of the planet — at least as far as our interns could find. We air five days a week, from 5-6 PST, with all of the day’s top video game news, analysis, and jokes…aided by A.I., the artificial intelligence interface we picked up cheap at an NSA yard sale.

[youtube id=”WLLNto9_L6Y” width=”633″ height=”356″]

J.A. Laraque on 1337 Lounge Live!

jaon1337loungelive

J.A. Laraque on 1337 Lounge Live!

The Gamer Profile Story

So here is the story. When we first created Obsolete Gamer, one of my personal goals was to talk to as many people as possible and find out what their favorite classic game was. To reach this goal and bring people to the site I created Gamer Profiles. The idea was simple. We asked people what their favorite game was and why. At first it was hard to get people to respond, but we were lucky enough to know the founders of Origin PC and they became one of our first gamer profiles, but I was just getting started.

I wanted more and I figured if you can get one profile then why not 100. We added profiles from small indie companies all the way up to people from Capcom and more, but then I said: How about celebrities. I am a big fan of the Jace Hall show and wanted to interview the man himself. We sent out e-mails, but he was very busy at the time working on his web series as well as the remake of V. For a time I thought I would never get his gamer profile, but then after several delays he promised to send one.

A man of his word, in a few weeks I had it and from there I was determined to get many more and so I created the sub category of GP All-Stars, but it did not end there with Jace. Later we got a full interview and we teamed up to help our respected sites. I participated in video game discussions and talked with his staff about my ideas. Then I got an e-mail I never expected.

I was asked to come on the show 1337 Lounge Live. I was ecstatic and within a few weeks we shot the promo you see below. Here is the story of the video, the 1337LoungeLive hosts forgot about a very important interview with video game legend, Jace Hall, and try to cover it up! Xander and Jennifer are super cool and the whole experience was incredible. Now, this is a promo and it is for my appearance as a guest on the show on April 26th from 6PM to 8PM PST. I will be hanging out and talking with fans of all video games.

So I ask you to spread the word and hang out especially if you love classic gaming. Who knows if this goes well maybe we can do more. Either way it will be a fun time so I hope to see you there. In the meantime check out the video and let us know what you think.

CREDITS:
Written by: Jennifer Zhang & Xander Denke
Directed by: Adam Rady
Produced by: Jennifer Zhang, Xander Denke, Adam Rady
Cinematography: Jared Hoy
VFX: Adam Rady
Starring:
J.A. LaRaque……. as himself
Xander Denke……. as himself
Jennifer Zhang……. as herself

Cosplay: The Ladies of Metal Slug

One of the best slide scrolling games ever. Check out one of our recent reviews here. The two ladies from Metal Slug, Eri Kasamoto and Fiolina Germi were added in the later editions of the game. Check out their profiles from their wiki page.

Eri Kasamoto

  • Voiced by: Susanna Fera

Eri is an orphan, abandoned on the steps of a church. Once she was mature enough, she fled the church and became a leader of street kids. The Intelligence Agency of the Government Forces noticed her combat skills and recruited her. She went on to receive special spytraining for those with special talent and successfully completed a number of missions as a first rate agent. But Eri, weary from the series of missions involving assassinations and plots that took a hard toll on her conscience, requested to be transferred to the Special Ops Squad S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S. Her request, which normally would go ignored, was specially granted given her achievements and superior abilities. For her efforts in suppressing Morden’s second coup d’état, she received a promotion to sergeant second-class.

Fiolina Germi

  • Voiced by: Melissa Ex

Fio is the only daughter of a wealthy Italian family. After she was born, her mother was unable to have any more children, making Fio the first heiress in the history of her family, as she had no older siblings. Throughout the generations, the Germi family has made a tradition of sending their eldest child into the military; Fio upholds this tradition willingly, though she has aspirations of becoming a doctor someday, having studied chiropracticsacupuncture, and moxibustion in college.[1] Fio is a Master Sergeant of the Intelligence Agency’s S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S, which serves as a special forces group for the government. As with her comrades in Metal Slug 2 and beyond, she rose through the ranks for her service against General Morden. She has also appeared in the King of Fighters series, first as a Striker in The King of Fighters 2000, and then being playable for the first time in KOF: Maximum Impact 2; in the game, she has a special intro when fighting members of the Ikari Warriors mistaking Ralf, Clark, and Leona as Marco, Tarma, and Eri respectively.

Now you know something besides the cosplay.

League of Legends Cosplay

 

For the last cosplay entry for 2012 we bring you awesome League of Legends cosplay.

 

Cosplay: Comback

It’s been a while since we had a pure cosplay featuring  awesome cosplay ladies from the video game world. We are truly thankful for sexy cosplay be it on a Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

 

Halo Cosplay

This week in honor of the release of Halo 4 we bring you some awesome lady Halo Cosplayers, enjoy!

 

Booth Babes 2012

It has been a while since we have profiled booth babes on Obsolete Gamer. This years conventions featured a ton of great booth babes from E3, CES, PAX and more. So check these out and tell us which one you like the best.

 

Gamescom Cosplay

This week we look at some excellent cosplay from Gamescom. These are various pictures from throughout the different years Gamescom has been around. What is Gamescom?  Gamescom is a trade fair for video games held annually at the Koelnmesse in CologneNorth Rhine-WestphaliaGermany. It is organised by the Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software).

It is used by many video game developers to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware. Gamescom is the World’s largest games event with 275,000 visitors, more than 5,000 journalists and 557 exhibitors from 39 countries attending the show in its third year. It was first held from 19 to 23 August 2009. Gamescom 2012 is held this year from August 15 to 19. It is held on a 120,000 square meters area.

 

Cosplay: The Dark Right

This weeks cosplay is for all the cosplayers out there taking up the mantle of Batgirl. With the release of The Dark Knight Rises we wanted to showcase some awesome Batman related cosplay, so enjoy.

 

The Interview: Amanda MacKay – Battle for Everything

battle for everything

Battleship will be in theaters in just about a week and leading up to the movie Coke Zero has launched Battle for Everything, which is a tower defense game that you can play for free and earn rewards. We had a chance to chat with the GTTV host about Battleship, Battle for Everything and even classic gaming. Check out our video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IB-l-YVv8mE[/youtube]

Battle For Everything is a tower defense game packed with unique twists and alien battles by sea, land and air to save planet Earth. It was created by Coke Zero as part of its sponsorship of Battleship, which hits theaters May 18. Gamers can use My Coke Rewards points to access additional levels and upgrade weapons for the chance to win exclusive prizes, including Coke Zero coupons, movie tickets, concert tickets, dream vacations and more. My Coke Rewards points can be found on 12-, 16- and 20-ounce bottles, fridge packs and 24-packs of Coke Zero and other Coca-Cola products.

Check out Amanda’s Gamer Profile.

You can view the latest Battleship trailer and play the tower defense game at Battle for Everything dot com.

All Camera No Lights

All Camera no lights

Is it just me or does the media like to interview those of us with, how should I put it, less than a Grade A intelligence? I am a current events and news junkie. I am the kind of person who will flip between the cable news programs so I can catch as much information as possible. Over my thirty plus years of news watching I have found some strange patterns when interviewing people for reports.

Show versus No Show

One trend I have noticed is that the nicer the home or the richer the area, the less of it you will see during a report. It does not matter if it is a headline such as a murder or disaster or a fluff piece like, Christmas lights or a three legged dog. When the media interviews someone in an affluent neighborhood, often the person hides behind their door to speak or will walk out to the garage to interview. On the other hand, in the less than affluent area’s it seems people are more than willing to show off their entire home and neighborhood for that matter.

Lowest common denominator

If you ask me, when a media outlet looks to interview people for a poll or general question they seem to seek out the same people Jay Leon would question for his Jay Walking bit. Personally, I believe the media does this on purpose to make its viewers either feel more in touch with the interviewee or to feel above them. Have you ever been interviewed and gave an intelligent well thought out question only to never see it aired and in its place someone who could not even answer the first question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with three life-lines?

Maybe I have just watched too much television and am reading too much into this. We are a smarter people are we not? Perhaps we are all glued to our websites and blogs to be out in the street available to be interviewed, I for one hope that this is the case because this is getting out of hand. We need representation for those of us who read and continue to educate ours in the public media. I call on all of you who read this to stand up and be questioned.

Marriage: An editorial

rings

Much has been talked about over the last few weeks regarding what is being called, “political adultery”. There are many people out there who have taken this opportunity to talk about the changes in society toward marriage itself. For a long time, people have believed that marriage is becoming less and less important. They say that as the next generation reaches the age of marriage they think less of the commitment and meaning behind it.

I am only thirty-three and not married. I do not profess to be an expert on anything regarding marriage. What I can tell you, first of all, it is not completely accurate to look back at marriages from say the fifties and compare it to today.

Far too often we look back on our history with rose colored glasses. People seem to forget that just because there were laws put in place to give people rights that did not mean that in the home that was what transpired.

Even as women gained more rights in the eyes of the law, in the eyes of their husbands, friends and peers, the change was extremely slow. The idea of an unwed woman over thirty was still unbelievable to many. If a woman was also a mother they were often shunned and ridiculed. Something was wrong with you if you did not at least have a husband and this forced many into relationships that today would never have been.

Once married, there was little women could do. While there were many pioneers and women who were able to accomplish great things, there were also many whose only purpose was to serve the man and take care of the children.

There was little outlet for women to explore education or professional pursuits. An argument could be made that the opportunity was there, but it is one thing to have it available and an entirely another to be able to reach it.

With little to no support by family, friends and their own husbands, many women were forced to just accept their role and deal with such issues as adultery and abuse. Even those who lived lives without such worries were never encouraged or received support to achieve much outside of the home.

To ask for a divorce was unheard of. Many women had no place to go, no outlet. Other women and even family members would encourage wives in horrible marriages to stick with it out of nothing more than how people would perceive them.

A man could walk away from his wife and family with little to no repercussion from his peers, but this was not true for women. Often no matter the reason, the burden was placed upon the wives to do whatever it took to keep the marriage together.

With little chance to make a living and barely any support outside the home, women had no alternative but to remain behind and fight the good fight. I cannot say what the divorce rate would be back then if women had the same opportunities as today, but I think it would be much different than it was.

Today, women have much more chances to make it on their own be it single, married or divorced, but we are not yet out of our embedded mindsets that I believe have lead to marriages that should have never been and divorces that were inedible.

We are still bombarded with the idea that one should be married before age forty. It is understandable that if you wish to have children then being married and actively trying to conceive before age forty makes sense.

However, this can also pressure many into a marriage they are not yet ready for. I have heard many people plan their lives with marriage being on the list of things to do before age thirty. There is nothing wrong with goals, but I believe many, when they near age thirty, feel they must rush things which again can lead to a mistake.

There are women who do not wish to conceive any children, but feel that as they get older they will not find someone they would want to spend their lives with. Often women and men for that matter, feel that dating in their mid and late thirties will only bring in people with baggage, issues and kids from previous relationships.

This has caused many people to look for their marriage partners while in college. They feel it is the best place to find someone the most compatible. I personally know quite a number of people in happy marriages where they found their soul mate in college. The key is communication.

Communication amongst your significant other is paramount, but it is also important with those around you, especially your family. Another cause of what I call, premature marriages, are demanding parents. Due to their beliefs and history they want to see their sons and daughters married and with kids before they are too old or pass on.

In many cases there is nothing wrong with feeling this way and they only have the best interest of their children in mind. However, there are cases were overbearing parents pressure their children into marriages they were not ready for.

I will skip the part of arranged marriages and religion playing a part and return to communication. I have noticed that once someone is married they are much less likely to tell their spouse they have fallen out of love.

Now this happens in all relationships, but it seems that once married the idea of telling someone you vowed to spend the rest of your life with that you no longer love them and want out is much too hard to do.

In the public spotlight this can be even more difficult. As I said before, being looked down upon by your family, friends and peers can cause people to stay in a marriage they would have normally left. It is not honorable to remain in a marriage only to cheat and lie and hide things from your spouse. Even when children are involved, in the end you will end up causing more harm if you remain in a loveless marriage only to dishonor the mother or father of the children.

We as a people have become much more able to walk away from so much more. We can cut ties on many things if it is not working out. When it comes to marriage, many of us cannot cut those ties and instead remain until it causes more pain and suffering than being honest and upfront.

Till death do you part should be reinterpreted to mean until the death of your love for one another. It’s not easy to accept or even think about. Perhaps people believe you have to fight to keep a marriage together. I can understand this to a point, but when you are about to commit an act that dishonors your vows anyway it would be better to sit down with your spouse and talk it out. If in the end the best course is to walk away then so be it.

Many can come to the brink and pull themselves back to live happily ever after. I would hope most could achieve this, but just like standing before a battle you rather not wage, it is better sometimes to just walk away. I believe you can keep the sanctity of marriage by parting on the best terms possible. Sometimes you cannot win them all, but at least you can leave with your honor and the respect of the one you once loved.

One: The Making of a Novel

One - The Novel - J.A. Laraque

 

There are a ton of stories sitting in people’s heads or on their desks and computers that will never see the light of day. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time making up stories for my toys long before I put my hands on a video game controller.

When I was in school, I did some early writing, but then dropped off of it and really did not think about it again until I was in my late teens. In between delivery runs, I wrote a novel about the afterlife, which I hope everyone will get to read next year. To think now that I wrote a novel by hand amazes me, even more because I stopped writing again around age 20 and did not write again until age 30.

A good friend of mine had me pick a book to read from her collection and I picked What Dreams May Come. I had already watched the movie and wanted to read the book. I really enjoyed it and read it cover to cover within a few days, something I never did before. I wanted to resurrect that old book about the afterlife and so I began the writing process.

Before I knew it, I had written that novel and a second that was much more action oriented, but also based on the afterlife. Again, I hope to have those out in the future, but during this time, I began thinking about my life and the changes I had undergone.

Even though it had been more than a few years, my mother death was still in my mind more often than I thought it would be. I was lucky because I had many friends who were there to help me even though I felt I could do it all alone. I began to realize that since then I had withdrawn more. Sure, I hung with friends, but I valued being alone and kept thinking it was the best. I even began to think being alone was a virtue and it made me better, stronger. I believed I could adapt to anything life threw my way.

Strangely enough at the same time I turned to humor to make me feel better and had been a longtime member of the comedy site Something Awful. Since I was writing, I hung out in the creative message boards and one day I saw a post asking what would you do if you woke up one morning and everyone disappeared.

What captured my attention was not so much the premise, but that many people replied that they would not be that affected. Some people talked about how it would be fun or that they are alone all the time anyway so they would adapt. It made me think about my own feelings and I realized that most of these people don’t get what being truly alone is.

Later I talked with my sister about the question and told her I wanted to write a story about it. She loved the idea being a horror and Stephen King fan. I told my sister I didn’t want to write your standard last man on earth story and that it had to be about the character not so much the environment. I decided to take a part of my feelings and pull and stretch at it until Timothy was created.

Timothy is a 20-year-old man who believes he is dealing with the death of his father, who just a year prior was killed by a drunk driver. He believes it is his mother Martha and sister Ashley who are putting their own issues onto him. Timothy is smart, perhaps too smart for his own good and having to deal with his family and his girlfriend Christine, believes he just might be better off alone.

The next morning Timothy awakens to a world of one. Now Timothy not only has to find out how everyone disappeared, but why he is suddenly plagued by visions of his recent past. What keeps going through his head is something his sister told him the night before.

When you’re all alone and the only voice you can hear is your own, you find out the truth about yourself.

I wanted this story to be a mystery as well as a tale about how we view our life and how we deal with it. My hope was to put a new spin on these types of stories and when it was done, all I wanted was for people to see it.

The problem is you can never get a story 100% right. You can read it a million times, edit it, have friends and people you do not know read it. However, each time you come back and look at it you will feel something isn’t right. Also, you know there are people who want nothing more than to rain on your parade and no matter how many times you say it does not matter, you do care what people think of your work.

Getting something published is like becoming a movie star. You can be a great actor or not, you can be lucky or you are not. What I mean is there will always be great, new stories out there people will never see for many reasons be it that you are not well known, you don’t know people who can help you, you don’t have money or all of the above.

This is not to say I think my story is great or even new because I frankly do not know. The point is, many people will become discouraged by publishing houses that rather push out books from reality stars than spend the time on an up and coming writer.

What did I do, I stepped away and worked on my other novels. I was scared. Scared to fail, scared it wasn’t good enough, scared to succeed. However, I kept writing and I thought that was good enough. As time went on I came back to the story and polished it over and over, but I was never trained in writing and even with friends who read it for me and helped me edit it, I felt there must be a mistake I missed, a typo, a comma missing, something.

Finally, a good friend told me to just do it. Forget the rewrites and get it out there. Sounds simple and in the end it was. Places like Amazon and Google and even ITunes makes it simple to self-publish. The hardest part is letting go and putting it out there.

There was more editing that I did to try to catch what I could and I formatted it to look good on phones or Kindles or what have you. In the end, I had to let it go and admit I could not do any more. In my heart, I know the story is good, in my mind I assume it is not perfect, but it does not matter because it is out there.

This is the part where I say give me book a look, but honestly not so much because I think it is a great story, even though it is. This is for anyone and everyone who wants to write. I want them to see that a guy who misspells a lot, messes up with grammar and fears criticism can put something out there. I hope if nothing else it makes you say “If he can do it so can I.” I want to see more people self-publish and get their stories out because we know most movies and television have exhausted their supply of decent stories, we need new blood.

No matter what happens I will continue writing. Even writing for these websites and as part of my day job, I get a little bit better. If you need the key to this here it is, keep writing and don’t let your work sit forever. We are all waiting for you.

My book One can be found in the Amazon Kindle bookstore.

 

Angry Birds

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot

Angry Birds (2010)
By: Rovio  Genre: Puzzle  Players: 1  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Android  First Day Score: 108,400 (single stage best)
Also Available For: PC (forthcoming), iPhone/iPod, Symbian

You know, the progress of mobile communication technology really has been remarkable. After many years of refusal to conform, I finally had to yield and buy my first mobile phone, and even to this day I’m only on my third phone. I had no intention of ever using any of them to play videogames and, were it not for a quirk of fate, I’d still be using my second phone and continuing to not play games on it! Through much of this time, however, I had been watching, with a certain degree of envy, admittedly, the evolution of the iPhone as a legitimate gaming platform, yet no single game tempted me enough to take the plunge. Until this one.

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot

Actually that’s not true. I still don’t own an iPhone, despite trying to get one almost purely to play this. I knew from the first moment I saw a shot of this that I wanted to play it, so I found it frustrating that I was apparently unable to. Then, with the aforementioned quirk of fate, my phone was broken. Since it was too old to be fixed or replaced, I was instead given a state-of-the-art (for about five minutes) Android phone for which I found out Angry Birds was due for release. Hooray! Even better, when I was finally able to download it, it was free! This in itself made me very happy, but after all this waiting, was the game actually any good, or had I built it up so much for myself that I was in for a disappointment?
Like most puzzle games, the concept behind Angry Birds is a simple one which doesn’t really need a detailed backstory. Suffice to say, some evil (and for some reason, green) pigs have stolen the eggs belonging to a group of birds. This has understandably made the birds angry who have decided to channel their anger into a direct assault on the pigs who have barricaded themselves in and around various strongholds. It is then your job to launch the birds at the pigs using a large slingshot with the eventual aim of defeating them and reclaiming the treasured eggs. This is achieved either by direct contact, or by causing nearby structures to collapse onto them. Those pesky pigs have built some elaborate defenses though, so it won’t be easy!

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot
According to the walkthough on the Rovio website, the game consists of five ‘themes’ each comprising of twenty-one levels, but there have been other sets of levels made available to download so the exact number is hard to say, but it’s a lot! Each one features a pig, or pigs, on the right of the level and your slingshot and quota of birds on the left, and there’s usually various obstacles between the two. The structures the pigs are usually protected by are made of glass, wood, or stone, each of which is obviously progressively harder to break through, and are more often than not made of strategic combinations of several materials. To break down/through these structures you have six different types of bird at your disposal.

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot
The first bird you’ll use is the red one which is a tough sonuvvabitch but doesn’t really do much beyond collide with whatever you fire it at. Next up is the smaller blue bird which will split into three separate birds in mid-air when you touch the screen. After this helpful fellow you’ll encounter the yellow, and possibly angriest of all the birds. A tap of the screen while he’s in flight will see him increase in speed and plummet kamikaze-style in a straight line, causing greater damage. Next is the heavy black bird who self-destructs in a powerful explosion after he makes contact with any structure. Soon after him you’ll meet the white bird who, with a tap of the screen, will drop an egg bomb. Last but not least is the green bird who can reverse his course in mid-air. Each level gives you a pre-set quota of these birds that you can use to defeat all the pigs on that level, and careful planning is needed to make best use of their abilities.

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot

The pigs have a few tricks up their sleeves too though. The smaller ones barely need a touch to be defeated, but the larger ones are tougher, some of whom are equipped with helmets and armour! Some are so tough you’ll need help to best them. There are often strategically positioned rocks or other objects, for example, which, with a well-placed bird strike, can fall and cause an extensive chain-reaction of destruction. Some levels even have carefully placed boxes of TNT which can be ignited with the strike of either a bird or object of any other kind. The pigs don’t seem to care though, and sit there looking at you, blinking, sometimes grunting, and laughing when your attempts to reach them fail! Completed levels will give you a Star Rating out of three depending on your points, which can be earned for destruction of structures as well as a 10,000 point bonus for any unused birds.

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot
The first thing I noticed about Angry Birds is how slickly presented everything is. You can breeze through all the menu screens and suchlike in a flash, which might not sound like much but it really is a breath of fresh air, with many games these days, mobile or otherwise, having clumsy interfaces and long loading times. Here, if you fluff up a level, two touches of the screen and a similar number of seconds later and you’ll have restarted it! The visual style used here appeals to me a great deal too. Whilst obviously far from the pinnacle of modern technology, it suits the game perfectly and is very easy on the eye. There’s even some amusing cut-scenes! Whilst there’s no in-game music, the sound is also of a decent quality, with many amusing sound effects befitting the style of the game, and several catchy tunes and ditties on the various screens between levels. All the flashy front-ends in the world can’t disguise a sucky game, but luckily Angry Birds is anything but that.

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot
The best games on a platform as limited as a mobile phone are ones creatively programmed to make the best use of its unique features, and it’s here that Angry Birds excels. The game was created originally for the iPhone but, since Android devices use near-enough identical technology, it works just as well here. The touch-screen controls are simple and precise and I don’t think it’s possible for the game to work any better. The physics are spot-on too, with partial destruction of some structures leaving the remains teetering and swaying, sometimes taking thirty seconds or more to finally collapse. This is one of those games that you can play for five minutes but often end up playing for hours on end, constantly adjusting your birds trajectory until you get exactly the shot (and ensuing destruction) you want! Even if you manage to finish all the levels on offer, there’s still the challenge of achieving a three star rating for each of them. Angry Birds is such a simple concept but it’s supremely playable and unbelievably addictive. I guess I’m a bit of a sucker for these silly games – I was exactly the same with LocoRoco for the PSP – but everyone should at least give this one a try. Android owners don’t even need to pay for the privilege. Ready. Aim. Fire!

Angry Birds - Mobile Games - Gameplay Screenshot -

RKS Score: 9/10

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNNzRyd1xz0[/youtube]

Retro King Simon is a 36 year old guy from England, and likes lots of stuff, including retro videogames, movies, and anime. You can check out his blog here – Red Parsley.

Holiday Hardware Guide

pile-of-christmas-presents

Do you remember getting your first console system or computer? The feeling inside must have been great, so much so that you most likely did not realize how much your parents suffered to get it for you. Check out my tale about one Christmas and the NES hunt.

You would think that you could not replicate that feeling once you are buying your own gifts, but that isn’t true. When I purchased my black Xbox 360 I felt just like a kid again even though I was spending my hard earned bucks and the same can be said for games like Batman Arkham City and the upcoming Star Wars, The Old Republic.

So you may have purchased your gifts this year and if you are lucky you have others buying gifts that you know you will love. Here at Obsolete Gamer, we look at modern games and systems that can also have a Retro twist to it, but in the end will bring smiles to our faces when we open it.

Genesis Desktop System: Origin PC

origin-pc-genesis

Here is the simple truth, you can build your own system or buy similar systems from any of a thousand retailers, but like the sexy MILF next door told you experience counts.

The Genesis is the premier desktop system offered by Origin PC and what makes this system and the company great is the different configurations they offer and the service and support they provide. You can go with an Intel P67 or X79 or even AMD. You can select the case you want and have multiple choices for everything you put inside. Best part is if there is something you want to add that you don’t see, ask them and they can hook you up.

Sure, you can have a nice house that looks like everyone else’s home on the block or you can create your own masterpiece by custom designing your rig with paint, artwork, lights and more and since pretty much everyone at Origin PC has been a gamer and in the business for over a decade or more you know when you need help you will get real answers.

The key for the holiday shopper is you don’t have to spend 5K on a system, you can build it to exact specifications and remove anything you don’t need guaranteeing you get exactly what you want.

You can check out the Genesis here.

iCADE: ION

I got a chance to see this system at the last CES and was impressed of how well it played using an iPAD. Now we all know you can find classic games on emulators, downloads and even in flash, but there was just something about using the arcade style joystick and buttons that made the iCade really fun to play.

Now currently it only runs Atari classic games which you can find more on the App Store so for Apple haters this might not be for you, but for everyone else this is a really cool device to have in your office or wherever you might game and for just under 100 bucks it won’t break the wallet.

You can check out the iCade here.

Siberia Headset & Sensei Mouse: SteelSeries

SteelSeries-Sensei-Mouse

Everyone has their favorite devices, for me it is all about comfort, control and durability. Having played pretty much every type of game and game system I learned what works best for me. For instance, I like the Xbox 360 controller the best because it works for me and the same is true for the mice I have tested and use from SteelSeries.

From turn around blind shots in FPS games to fast scroll movement in RTS games the SteelSeries mice have the precession and comfort that makes gaming and everyday tasks a breeze. I still use the XAI mouse I tested some time ago today and have no plan to replace it and the new Sensei mouse is now married to my gaming laptop.

Now as for headsets I fell in love with the Siberia because of its comfort and sound quality and the black and gold edition is pretty bad ass. Check out the full review here. I have been impressed with Steel Series products and their price point doesn’t leave you in debt after the holidays so for the people in your life that need computer accessories they are a great place to shop.

You can check out SteelSeries products here.

M.A.M.E. Arcade Cabinet

Northcoast Custom Arcades

Before the anti-pirate people come out the woodwork there are plenty of legal ways to play classic games on a M.A.M.E system including owning the original game. Honestly, one of the best ways to play M.A.M.E is on a full size arcade cabinet which you can have built or build yourself.

Personally, I never owned one, but I know a few that have and they built them themselves and it is pretty awesome. Pretty much the hardest part is knowing how to cut the wood and put it together, the wirework is not too hard, and there are a ton of websites that can show you step by step how to do it or you can search for several companies that will build you a system.

If you are going to go with a builder go with a professional like Northcoast. Just check out the awesome arcade cabinets they have already built and see images from customers. You also know they do good work because they were featured on the DIY network. Sure, these can get pricy, but it is worth it and if you are going to spend the cash make sure you get the best.

Just keep in mind this is a full size arcade cabinet so if you live in your dorm or small apartment you will quickly find yourself out of space, but if you have the room this is just an incredible addition to the classic gamer’s game room.

Check out NorthCoast arcade cabinets here.

Supaboy: Hyperkin

SupaBoy

So I first heard about this product on the Jace Hall Show page and knew I had to try one out. This handheld system plays original SNES carts and plays them on a 3.5 inch display that can even be connected to your television and two original SNES controllers.

Sure, you can get these on phones or pads or your PC and consoles, but there is something about having the original cartridge sticking out while gaming. Well, at least to me it is cool. The SupaBoy can be picked up for only 80 bucks which isn’t bad especially if you have a large SNES collection. I’m thinking Retro Stocking stuffer!

Check out the SupaBoy Portable SNES console here.

Get to shopping!

Now there will be more to come, but for now check out these products and see if any of them fit into your holiday gift giving plans. We also want to hear from you. Suggest to us some great holiday gaming hardware and we will bring a review to you.

Razer DeathAdder – Transformers 3 Collector’s Edition Review

razer-deathadder

Razer has released their Transformers Collector’s edition of the DeathAdder mouse and I had a chance this weekend to try out the purple Decepticon model. The mouse has a shiny metallic purple color to it and both the scroll wheel and Decepticon logo lights up. The design looks great but in the dark with the neon-like colors, it looks awesome.

Let’s talk highlights, first off the DeathAdder features at Ergonomic Right-Handed Design. What this means is the DeathAdder is made for right-handed users and is designed for maximum comfort. When you grip the mouse, your hand rests comfortably on the base so when you are gaming for long periods of time you don’t get pains or feel fatigue that can happen with other mice designs.

Larger or small hands the DeathAdder feels as if its molds to you which is important in games with fast movements like Battlefield. The scroll wheel is a bit larger then on some other mice, but not to big that it feels cumbersome and it has 24 individual clicking positions. The rubble and groves on the wheel work perfectly with your finger when scrolling or pressing down on it.

razer-deathadder-

The two side buttons are easy to reach with your thumb and feel sturdy when you press down hard on them. I like that these side buttons are a decent size and of course, they are programmable so you can customize it to your favorite games. The two top mouse buttons are also large and wide enough for various finger positioning.

As for performance, I tried out the DeathAdder in various games from Call of Duty to World of Warcraft, Portal 2 and World of Tanks. One main selling point of the DeathAdder is the 3500DPI 3.5G Infrared sensor, this deals with precision when moving the mouse and with sensitivity in games and within windows.

In games like World of Tanks depending on what tank you are playing you may want more or less sensitivity. I noticed right away the sensitivity of the DeathAdder was much higher by default from my other mice so you may need to adjust your in game setting if you are not used to it.

razer-deathadder-

However, even with increased sensitivity I quickly adjusted because of how the mouse flows and reacts to my movements even when I get a little twitchy. So when you are trying to shoot a tank from far away or locking in a headshot the DeathAdder shows no sign of negative acceleration meaning you can move with speed and ease and quickly get the shot off.

This is also due to the 1000HZ ultrapolling, which deals with response time. For you old school FPS people, remember spinning your mouse for a railgun shot in Quake 2? The response time of your mouse can be the difference between a kill and a wild shot so with a response time of 1ms on the DeathAdder, you do have faster feedback, which can give you an advantage in competitive FPS games.

Now you can control and tweak all the DeathAdders setting in the control panel provided by Razer. Here you can control acceleration, horizontal and vertical sensitivity. You can also change button assignments and control the glow effects of the mouse. Best of all the on-the-fly sensitivity control means you can alter the sensitivity within a game without having to exit the program and adjust your settings in Windows.

razer-deathadder-

The DeathAdder mouse glides across multiple surfaces, which is good for those who hate using mouse pads. I used the mouse on various surfaces including my wooden desk and even though I still prefer my ultra-thin mouse pad, the DeathAdder worked well on each surface.

A few things to note that also gives the DeathAdder a nice touch is the gold plated USB connection and the 7-foot braided fiber cable. Nothing sucks more than not having enough cable if you keep your PC further away than normal and the strong cable design is great if you are a little rougher on mice than normal gamers.

Overall, we give the DeathAdder the Obsolete Gamer stamp of approval for overall comfort, performance and design. If there is one negative point it would be the price tag. At $60 the price is a bit high for a mouse, but for advanced gamers and gaming professions it is worth the cost.

You can purchase the DeathAdder Transformers 3 Collector’s edition at Razer,

Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Batgirl CGI Promo

 

BatGirl

Here is a CGI promo that was aired during Cartoon Networks, Batman: The Brave and the Bold that shows a teaser for the upcoming Batgirl show.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW3qrdfRj04[/youtube]

Tales of a driver: Pompous bitches & Panhandlers

fast food

During the summer, I would work extra hours during the afternoon at Chicago style restaurant and help take orders, make food and run the register. Even though we were right on the gold coast of Chicago this was Clark Street and we got all kinds of characters came into the store.

A snooty lady came in one afternoon asking for a burger with no meat on it, so I rang up an order for a single burger and gave her fifty cents off the price. The lady wasn’t happy with that; she told me that the meat is half of the sandwich so she should get half off.

I told the lady we have salads but that’s about it and that considering the burger was only a buck twenty nine, fifty cents off is pretty good. She then got in a huff and said that obviously I do not know how to serve people.

I was to busy for this shit, I told her we are very busy and if you want I will give you double veggies on your burger but that’s it. She then asked for the manager, great call because the manager and I were friends and love to play jokes.

The manager comes out and the lady tears into him about how bad I am and how I should be fired. He then turns to me and says “Well (J.A. Laraque) I have heard enough and you have got to go” the lady had a big smile on her face. “(J.A. Laraque)” the manager said “Show this pompous bitch out” the other people in the store began to laugh and clap as the lady turned red and walked out the door saying “I’ll see this place closed down within a week”

She was all hot air and we never heard from her or anyone trying to close us down.

My manager was a nice guy; however we had some bums slash panhandlers that would often come by since we offered a hot dog and fries for 99 cents. We just asked that they be respectful and if they were dirty or had a lot of crap on them take the food outside.

These guys had all types of goods, I knew most of it was stolen but they gave you awesome deals and I would often add bacon to their burger or extra cheese to get in good with them. One time I was really busy and kind of upset when one of these guys fries were handed to me I gave him some free cheese sauce but I guess I was in a hurry and didn’t give him that much but hey it was free so it didn’t matter right?

Wrong, this guy gets all loud says “How you gonna give me one spoon of cheese dog?” I told the guy I would get him next time. “They getting to you aren’t they man?” He asks “You use to hook it up good now I get a spoon of cheese what can I do with that feed my rat?”

At this point the manager came over. “Man I told you about being loud, now take your food and go” My manager wouldn’t take any shit from anyone but this guy wasn’t backing down.

“Your ribs aint shit homey” he yelled “My cousin can out cook your punk ass, you use too little sauce and the meat turns dry to fast bitch” my manager was pissed. “Get the fuck out before I through you out” I decided to slink back towards the dishwashers.

 

HBO’s Real-Life Superheroes Documentary

HBO's Real-Life SUPERHEROES Documentary

If you haven’t had the chance you need to check out HBO’s latest documentary on real-life superheroes. Currently there are over 300 registered masked superheroes patrolling the streets in the United States and HBO interviewed and went on patrol with a number of them in their documentary series that aired yesterday.

Here is a trailer.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zxCLbPncGk[/youtube]

New project aims to preserve the history of video game landmarks

The Computer History Museum building

This November will mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the first consumer video game product.

Gaming has seen its highs and lows during this entire period of time, going through a growth period in the 1970s to a boom, bust and rebirth through the 1980s to controversy and new technologies in the 1990s to mainstream entertainment in the modern day.

It’s uncommon in 2011 to not find someone who owns or plays at least some games.  The average age of a gamer in North America today is 37 years old, and it seems that every electronic device released today can be used to play some form of video game entertainment.

Despite the industry finding itself on the same mainstream ground as film, television and music, the sheer lack of locations and artifacts of historical significance to the industry is shocking.

While the efforts of the International Video Game Hall of Fame could change that and the American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot is a fantastic location to revisit a portion of video gaming history, a look around the map finds very few places for those who celebrate the history of gaming to visit.

In May, I travelled to Silicon Valley for a visit to Stanford University to check out a fantastic scientific experiment relating to video gaming (my visit recently aired on Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen and Wired).  While in the area, I decided I would swing by Borregas Avenue in Sunnyvale, CA to see the former Atari corporate headquarters locations.

Former Atari Building

When video gaming hit its big boom into the early Reagan Years, Atari seemed to be the center of the universe.  The Atari name in those days went with video gaming like the Coca-Cola name does with soft drinks.   The Atari name was attached to the clear number one video gaming console and many of the biggest hits in the arcades at the same time.

I had to pay a visit.  I was pleased to see that both buildings are still in fantastic shape, and still look almost identical to pictures and news clips I would see back in the day.  1165 Borregas is empty but very well maintained, and looks almost identical to the photo that appeared in 1983 book Screen Play: The Story of Video Games by George Sullivan (one of the hundreds of books and magazines in my historical collection of the industry).  1196 Borregas looks identical to photos found in many old Play Meter Magazines and a YouTube video clip that I found since the visit.

During this visit I also took a seat in a partially covered break area behind 1196.  I could only imagine the concepts and discussions that might have taken place from Atari-years personnel who’d taken their lunch breaks or what not in this area.

At first I felt very inspired to be there.  It was quiet and peaceful at the time with nice clear skies and a slight breeze.  I began to think about the games and products that were created and developed at these locations and in the buildings surrounding the area and what it must have been like to see it in its day.

That inspiration later turned to sorrow, however.   If anything could be considered hallowed ground in the history of the video game industry I was standing on it.  Many of the most influential and memorable products in the history of video gaming came to be right where I was visiting, but if you didn’t know it already there was no way you would know.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFnmUmMb9os[/youtube]

There are no markers in this area to indicate the video game history that came out of it.  There are no signs.  There are no remnants.  There are no reminders anywhere that say “Hey, you remember Centipede?  Did you know it came from right where you are right now?”

This saddened me, and continued to do so as the weeks passed.  All the photos I snapped of this area have brought me is the ability to compare them to the photos I have from materials from back in the day.   The early history of a multi-billion dollar industry is sitting on an oddly positioned road in Sunnyvale, CA and I doubt even the people working in what is occupied out there has a clue.

That is going to change.   While the efforts of the International Video Game Hall of Fame  and the Videogame History Museum can hopefully  eventually create a destination dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the industry history, there also needs to be something done to ensure the important locations are remembered and marked for their roles in gaming history.

This is why late last week I began a feature on my website titled the Registry of Historic Gaming Locations.  This new project features where these locations can be found and why they are of historical significance to the video game industry.  From the former locations of companies like Atari and Bally Midway to the first test locations for the biggest hits ever, I hope by undertaking this project that I can eventually help create a firm and official registry of locations of historical significance of the industry and possibly gain the ability to mark these locations such to ensure this history is celebrated and preserved.

Presently the project is starting off small with hopes that will allow the idea to gain momentum and support without putting it at risk of becoming lost in a sea of discussion topics between groups of people who seem unaware that time is passing them by.  In time, I hope to have grown this project to the point where these locations can see some kind of permanent marker which notes why it is important to the history of what has become a multi-billion dollar mainstream entertainment industry.

Movies, television, music and sports have similar reminders of their history in place.  Gaming deserves the same.

The first five locations have been listed and four more are currently in the final research stages and will be announced soon.  Check it out at my website link below.

 

We are too hard on Cosplayers

When I was at Blizzcon and had a great time meeting people from all over the country and the world. While there I also met some people who dressed up in various costumes from Blizzards games such as, World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo. Some of the people there were dressed up for the costume contest Blizzard held, but others just dressed up for fun.

Often Cosplayers get far too bad of a rep. Most of the time these people just want to have fun and step out of their daily life temporality into a world where they have had many hours of enjoyment. I understand that some Cosplayers take it too far. I personally have seen people dress up in places that were inappropriate.

However, I have found that this is a small minority of people. On the other hand, much of the attacks against Cosplayers come from how the person looks in their costume. I have seen some posts that showed a character like Sakura from the anime Naruto. She is a petite fifteen year old ninja, but the person dressing up as her is a three hundred pound middle aged man.

I get it, it’s like when you go to a nude beach and the only nude people are over the age of sixty-five, not a good time.  Much of the scorn against Cosplayers comes from those who think they are much too cool for games or anime or comic books. Some of these people have no problem dressing up in the worst looking clothes to head to a club and wait in line for hours to get in, but that is cool, right?

The bottom line is if people want to go to a Star Trek convention with Spock ears then they should be able to without ridicule. As long as it kept within the confines of the convention or party or festival, for me at least, it’s completely acceptable. Now furries on the other hand…

Anne Hathaway CATWOMAN Photo

Anne-Hathaway-Catwoman-Costume

Our picture of the day comes from Warner Bros upcoming Batman movie, the Dark Knight Rises. The picture shows Anne Hathaway in her Catwoman costume riding Batman’s tumbler. Now WB calls this photo Selina Kyle which could mean the full catwoman suit was not revealed here. As more images are released we will let you know.

When the Aliens come, they will eat the fatties first U.K. Gym warns

GymAlien2

If you have seen the movie Zombieland you will notice the main character talks about rules for surviving. One of his rules is cardio. He states that you have to be able to run from the zombies, jumping and ducking to escape and you can’t do that if you’re out of shape.

It seems a U.K. gym has a similar idea with their new campaign. First reported on the Telegraph, one of the largest independent health clubs in the U.K. launched an advertisement which featured a green alien that read: “Advance health warning! When the aliens come, they will eat the fatties first.”

Unfortunately, the advert, meant to encourage people to make a new year’s resolution to lose weight sparked anger and outrage. Many residents said the sign was offensive to those struggling to lose weight.

Vicky Palmer contacted the health club to complain after seeing an advert similar to the sign in a local newspaper. Mrs. Palmer, who had an eating disorder as a teen, said the sign and adverts should be removed.

“I am not overweight yet I still find this extremely offensive and patronizing, but how much more so to someone genuinely overweight?” she said.

She and many others are calling for the ads to be pulled. However so far it looks as if the signs will remain. The manager at the health club, Jason Eaton said: “The alien campaign has been developed as a tongue in cheek look at the fact that people, generally, over the Christmas period do put on a little weight.

“We do not intend to cause any offence to anyone.”

Picture of the Day: Man of Steel Superman Suit

man_of_steel

Today we get to see a official image for the upcoming Man of Steel movie. The movie will be directed by Zack Snyder and star Henry Cavill. The Man of Steel is set to be released in summer of 2013. So, what do you think of the look and feel of the new superman?

 

 

 

 

 

Laurence Fishburne to play Perry White in Man of Steel

laurence-fishburne

The hard nose old fashioned newsman, Perry White will be played by The Matrix and CSI star, Laurence Fishburne. The Man of Steel film is set to begin shooting this fall and is scheduled for a summer release, June 14, 2013 to be exact.

We all know Fishburne can play the role of a tough, but noble guy. The question is how do Superman fans feel about this? Does this change matter to you?

I wish they’d play the Deep Cover intro theme when we first see him on screen.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA6A79IPN_E[/youtube]

New Ultimate Spiderman identity

Miles Morales - Spiderman

After the death of Spiderman by the hands of the Green Goblin, fans have been wondering who would take the reins of Spiderman and today we learn his name is Miles Morales. Miles is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen that has never appeared in any Spiderman comics before.

There have been a number of changes to characters in Marvel Comics to add more minorities to the cast of heroes. One of the most notable recent changes is Nick Fury who was changed from a white man to a black man after the portrayal of him by Samuel L. Jackson.

There has been a split reaction, not mainly because of his race, but of Marvel’s reasoning’s to do this. Many believe it is an attempt to steal some thunder from DC re-launch. Others believe it is political or pandering. Some blame the media for making more of this than it is while a few consider the ultimate universe non-cannon so it does not matter.

I try to think and write as a human of earth than a specific race. While I think it is good to add more minorities to stories, I think we need not make it such a spectacle. I remember before the awful Batman and Robin movie they considered casting a black Robin. When I said, no, keep him like he was, people looked at me weird as if I should be fighting for a black everything.

While I believe change is good, I do believe some things should stay as they are. Since this is an ultimate series, it is fine to try a new Spider man, but in historic series keep the original and instead try to push new characters that are of different background instead. Afterall, we cannot keep pushing Superman, Batman, Spider man stories forever. We will need new blood, no matter what color the skin above it is.

Fallen Skies: What hides Beneath

Fallen-Skies-What-hides-beneath-4

We open to Captain Weaver plagued by nightmares and lack of sleep. As the resistance moves up the timetable of the attack to within 4 days, the lack of word from the other troops and the troubles in making bombs has General Porter concerned. Porter asks Tom to take a scout team into the city to gather intel on the aliens.

During this Hal goes to look for Ben and finds that he has been jumping rope for almost three hours without breaking a sweat. Ben tries to hide this fact from Hal, but he finds out and looks concerned.

Porter meets with Pope who is still recovering in sickbay. Pope tells Porter he can help them make real explosives and while they do not trust him, they give him the go ahead to help. During the conversation, Weaver notices a drawing of a series of buildings that Rick made. Weaver asks Rick how he came to draw them. Rick does not answer but gives the drawing to Weaver.

The next day Pope enters Scott’s lab to assist with the explosives. Pope finds an alien mech that has been disassembled. The mech gun is accidently fired scaring Matt. Pope and Scott notice the giant hole in the wall it makes.

Fallen Skies - What hides beneath

As the team prepares to go on their scouting mission, Tom asks them if they thought Weaver has been acting strange. Weaver enters and asks Tom if he is questioning his right to command to which Tom says no. Weaver tells Tom he will be going on the scouting mission.

Dr. Glass brings Ben in to check on him. Ben’s spikes from the harness are still there and he comments how he and Rick still have them while the other children’s spikes have faded. Dr. Glass notices a hardening of the skin around the spikes that Ben cannot feel when poked with a scalpel.

The scout team reaches their lookout point and views the large structure the aliens are building. The group takes notice that the construction is every human-like and can be taken down by human means. We get to see for the first time a new alien. This alien seems to be the commanders of the skitters, they are talk and slender and look humanoid-like.

On their way back with pictures and intel the team runs into a survivor named, Sonja that after a short while warms up to them and invites them for tea. Weaver stays behind as a lookout as Tom and Hal go to the woman’s house.

Fallen Skies - What hides beneath

Back at the school, Matt goes to talk to Pope against his father’s wishes. Pope tells Matt that the mech’s could have been made by humans as far as their construction and they should not be feared. Pope shows Matt a mech bullet that was man made, scavenged from military bases, but with a mech metal slug that is stronger than a normal bullet.

Meanwhile, Ben talks with Ricky who more and more has lost touch with his humanity. Ricky still believes the skitters love him and will be back for them. Ben tells Rick he hates the skitters and would kill them all of he had the chance.

Tom and Hal talk with Sonja who says she was taken by the aliens to a camp, but then released. She said she talked with the harnessed children, and that the aliens do not want humans on earth. Tom and Hal hear a noise and run outside to see Weaver has left and removed their sparkplugs so they could not quickly follow. As Tom and Hal leave, Sonja asks if they will be back.

Back at base camp, Dr. Glass asks Lourdes to keep a secret and enlists her help to examining the corpse of a skitter. Lourdes notices the anatomy is much like a human. Dr. Glass finds something she feared she would. Inside the skitter is the same harness found on the harnessed kids. Dr. Glass believes the skitters may have originally been something else.

Tom tracks Weave to his home and finds him outback. Weave is distraught and drinking and tells Tom how his wife and kids were taken. Weaver says his youngest child was harnessed and he discovered her in a camp and when he tried to remove the harness, it killed her. Weave does not want to fight anymore, but when a mech attacks and Weaver finds a pair of his wife’s glasses that were not there before he decides to continue the fight.

Fallen Skies - What hides beneath

Tom, Weave and Hal return to Sonja as they figure out the mech was heading straight for them and that Sonja sold them out. A harnessed Karen comes to Sonja’s door asking about Tom and the others. Hal wants to rescue Karen, but they hold him back not knowing who else is out there. Karen leaves food for Sonja in exchange for information and we see one of the new commander aliens are with her. As Tom and the group leaves, they feed Sonja false information knowing she would not want to go with them, but would still give the aliens information on them.

With the group back at the school, Tom says he will leave out Weaver’s breakdown in his report. Lourdes wants Dr. Glass to tell everyone about her findings, but because many people are scared and hateful of the freed harnessed children she does not want to do it, but agrees to tell Tom about it. Before the two can talk, Pope has a demonstration outside.

Pope tells everyone he can make mech busting bullets from melted down mech’s and shows how powerful they are. Seeing this Rick looks frightened and Ben sees him running away.

I really liked the movement in this episode. The fact that the aliens use human technology is interesting and provides the ongoing mystery. Now we have the added mystery that all skitters were harnessed beings of some sort. This could explain why the alien’s care for them as the harnessed will become skitters. Now we get to see the resistance take to the offensive, should be interesting as we are close to the end of this season.

Obscure News: Wife Slices Hubby Over Kitty Bills

simpsons-cat-lady

The Story

Robin Warren, a 55-year-old South Florida woman, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery for attacking her husband with a pair of scissors and two knives. The reason for the attack was the husband did not want to pay the veterinarian bills for their cat. While there are no reports on how much the bills were, when the husband refused to pay the woman went crazy and attacked him catting his hands and arms.

The Take

It had to be South Florida didn’t it, home of the crazy old cat ladies. We have the feeders out there that go to other people’s homes and leave food for the cats so they come and crap on your lawn and scratch up your car. I like cat’s, but cat people, some of you need help. I am sorry they took away your kids, but that hole in your heart cannot be filled with cat fur.

I bet you ten bucks if someone tried to rob her she would run and hide, but over a damn cat, this woman turns into Baraka from Mortal Kombat dual wielding weapons. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, don’t stay with women that have the crazy eyes or cats they think are their children.

The Comments

Donna Anderson · MSU, UW – she was protecting the pussy.

Steve Klamm · Tascosa High School – Now they have Vet’s bills and emergency bills. Way to solve a problem is with another problem, besides just being wrong in the first place!

Karen Derr – Then he deserved it……?

Susan Stanfield Banert · Manager at ESkiptrace.com – Absolutely!

Diana Jaffe · CW Post – You go girl.

Linda Karls Becker Beane ·  hooray for her and it does make sense.

Five ways to request a seatbelt extender

seatbelt-extenders-demotivational-poster

Let’s face it; if you are overweight you have to have a sense of humor. Everyday can present a challenge in one way or another and if you cannot smile or laugh it away you will go crazy. One real challenge for overweight individuals is flying. We have all seen reports from airlines about restrictions for overweight passengers. Some airlines are charging people for two seats and even denying them from flying.

For me personally I feared to fly once I got over the 350lb mark. I was scared I would not fit in the seat. I was scared I would be kicked off the plane, but most of all I feared being embarrassed in front of everyone.

When I began losing weight I believed all that fear was behind me, but when I flew to California I discovered I still had more weight to lose before it would be a good fit (pun intended) for me. While I did fit fine in the seat I still needed a seatbelt extended. The flight attendant was very nice and discrete about it which made the experience painless.

Since then I have flown a number of times and I still use an extender mainly because it is much more comfortable. With that I have come up with a few ways to ask for a seatbelt extender.

The Call-ahead reservation

You ever wonder how people get a kosher meal on an airplane, they call ahead. If you call the customer service for your airline you can request ahead of time for them to leave the extender in your seat. Now lately I have been told some airlines no longer do this, but many still do so you will need to call in and ask. This makes it the easiest because you do not have to say anything or draw attention to yourself.

The Walk by Wink and Point

This doesn’t always work, but if you have ever had someone give you the eye or stare a bit too long at you just because you are overweight you will understand. I used this to my advantage on airlines. When boarding the plane I would give the greeting flight attendant a wink and point to my stomach. Most of the time they knew exactly what I meant and they would bring an extender to my seat shortly afterwards.

WARNING: For the men out there this can be kind of dangerous because if the flight attendant is female and you wink a little too hard and point a little too low you could find yourself thrown off the plane charged with sexual harassment charges.

The Whisper Request

This works when heading toward your seat or if you have already sat down. You can whisper to the flight attendant, extender please, and that should be enough to get you one. However, this can also go wrong and the attendant can either not hear you correctly or repeat loudly what you just said. There is also a slight chance he or she might be mad you whispered in his or her ear so be careful people.

The Charade or Wrestling Belt motion

So you sat down and thought the belt would fit, but it didn’t or it’s so tight you feel your lunch contents being pushed back out. In this case you can use the whisper request, just ask normally or try this trick.

Ever watch the WWE or any other wrestling programs? When they want the title belt they will make a hand gesture of a belt near their waste. I have found this works well to signal to the flight attendant that you need an extender. Again, this doesn’t always work, but it is less likely to be mistaken for something else, unless there are wrestlers on the plane.

The captured animal

This is the least used technique I would suggest because it relies way to heavily on the flight attendants sense of compassion. I am not saying they are not smart, helpful, attentive and friendly, but we are all human beings and we all know that everyone can have a bad day at work and miss something.

Pretty much this works the same way as seeing a deer caught in a bear trap would work. You force the belt closed and squirm in pain until the flight attended sees you struggling and brings you an extender.

I personally would not recommend this, but I mention it because it happened to me once. The flight attendant saw how uncomfortable I was and brought me an extender without me asking for it. Obviously this will not always happen. Many times they are busy and will not notice or they don’t want to assume you need one out of fear of embarrassing you. So just keep this one in mind, but don’t really try it unless you are going for a laugh.

Just keep smiling

I wrote this because all these things I have done, but really if you ask for an extender 99% of the time the flight attendant will quietly bring one to you. I have even had some hide it in a pillow or blanket so nobody will see. Most people understand it is not easy to fly even when smaller in size and the flight attendants are sensitive to this. So keep a smile on your face, be polite and keep saying to yourself, it will all soon be over.

What I have Learned

lifes raod

The great thing about life is if you open your mind and are willing to learn you can continue growing forever. Far too often people believe once you reach a certain age that is it, you have learned pretty much all you needed to know and experienced pretty much all there is to experience.

Sometimes you end up learning what you can and cannot do, for better and for worse. Some call it being stuck in your ways, but that usually has a negative tone to it because it implies stubbornness and the unwillingness to compromise.

Then again, the willingness to compromise or to let things go can be something we should all learn to sometimes not do. I use to be the kind of person who could let someone who is completely in the wrong go. In my mind I did not want a confrontation or I felt that because they were wrong sooner or later they would discover this fact and change or be disregarded because they would not change.

But now I find myself unable to let things go. I learned I cannot just stand by and watch someone spout lies, be racist, sexist or homophobic. It is not that I have learned to revel in confrontation, but that I realized that today there are far too many havens for these people, too many like-minded people who can gather together and believe that they have a real place in society.

I learned I cannot bite my tongue when I hear something that is completely false or twisted from the truth to try and fit into someone’s weak argument. I find myself asking people why they are specifically challenging a point or rallying against a cause. I do not just accept that they are against something, I want to know why they are against it. I want to learn the thinking behind it, the reasoning the justification.

I learned I cannot accept ignorance, willful or otherwise. I want to know why someone avoids knowledge, avoids the truth that can easily be accessed. I have to ask why someone would sabotage their own daily life because of a belief. How can we ever find answers when we will not ask the right questions or even worse, remain silent and ask nothing at all?

I learned it is not enough to just speak out on my own. I have to find other’s who feel the same way and then together go out and try to change things. It is not just about words it is about actions, but both have to work together because many need to hear the word go before they can go.

I learned I had to pick a side. I thought it was possible to stay in the middle and pull what I believed was the best from both sides, but there must be definition, there must be a line and it must be clear. It may be harsh, but those who stand on the other side are on the wrong side and through I will do everything I can to bring them over, I will not hesitate to tell them they are wrong.

I learned you fight every day, not only for what you want for yourself, but for what you want for the world. The fight never ends and you continue fighting until you die, that is life. The journey is the fight and it is hard and long, but if you are fighting for the right reasons then at every day’s end you know it was a job well done, a day well spent and you are ready to continue.

I learned you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself. Strength comes from within and only once you help yourself can you help others. The person in the mirror is the person the world sees and if you are not happy with what you see then no one else will be.

I learned emotions and rational thought can coexist. You can have passion with purpose and remain open while sticking to your beliefs. If you never open your mind you cannot receive the gift of knowledge and if you never open your heart you can never receive the gift of love. Both are needed to sustain life, it is the fuel that drives us and we need a constant full tank to continue moving forward towards our goals.

I learned all things end, but there is no expiration date on the effect you can have on others. What you do passes on from person to person, generation to generation. I learned I do not want to be mediocre. Excellent incarnate means giving your best everyday and remembering you only get one shot at this so make it the best you can.

I learned a lot of things, but most important, I learned that I have much more to learn.

Fallen Skies – Sanctuary Part 2

 

Fallen-Skies-–-Sanctuary-Part-2-1

We open at the ranch where the kids are playing soccer together. When Jimmy refuses to pass the ball to Ben, we are once again reminded that some of the resistance is mistrustful of the rescued harnessed children. We are also introduced to one of the children from the camp named Tessa who developed a liking for Hal. Tessa’s father cautions her not to get to close to Hal and this is a hint that most of the people at the ranch know the deal between Terry and the skitters.

Back at the school the resistance members prepare for a possible skitter attack as one of the civilians Sarah, is due to deliver her baby.

Back at the ranch, Mike takes notice of how much food is available and how life seems easier at the sanctuary, but Terry says they remain vigilant and are ready to go at any moment. Later Terry and Tessa’s father check in on Pope who we learned was forced to give up the information on the 2nd Mass and their location. We also learn that Pope was captured when he tried to steal supplies from the sanctuary and stabbed Tessa’s uncle in the process.

Terry leaves Tessa’s father alone with Pope who had loosened his binds. Pope knocks out Tessa’s father but leaves his alive. While making his escape Pope sees two men from the 2nd Mass dead by a tree.

Meanwhile Tom grows impatient waiting to hear from the escort team and heads out to look for them with Dai.

Fallen Skies – Sanctuary Part 2

Back at the Sanctuary, the group sits down for dinner and we learn Terry and Mike were friends from before. Mikes son Ricky begins acting abnormal asking Ben how he could eat “their food.” While cleaning up after dinner, Lourdes finds a backpack and sees it belonged to Eli.

Outside Hal notices most of the guards seem to be patrolling the house and asks Tessa why there are no patrols on the roads to look for skitters. Before the conversation continues, Lourdes interrupts and pulls Hal away to a meeting with Mike.

Lourdes tells Mike and Hal about the backpack and Hal tells them about the lack of patrols for aliens. Mike does not want to mistrust Terry without more proof, but later breaks into the barn and finds Eli’s clothes. Terry discovers Mike and tells him that after nearly being killed by the skitters they were able to work out a plan to trade the children for safety. Mike seems to convince Terry he will be on his side, but later meets up with Lourdes and Hal and leads an escape from the Sanctuary.

During the escape, Hal runs into Tessa and discovers she also knew of the plan. When Hal and the others leave, Tessa calls to her father to stop them. Mike holds them off while the others escape, he says goodbye to his son and as Hal and Ricky run away they hear the shot that kills Mike.

Fallen Skies – Sanctuary Part 2

Tom returns from his patrol and tells Weaver that the map Terry gave them is wrong and that they were unable to find the 3rd Mass or the escorts and children.

The children meanwhile make their way toward the school, but stop at a house to rest. Ben tells Hal he can continue moving and is faster than the others. Jimmy still mistrusts Ben, but Hal tells Ben to go back to the school and warn the others.

Ben spots Terry and the others searching from them, but is not spotted himself. Later Ben finds Tom and Dai who went back on patrol and tells them what happened.

Back at the home, Terry and the others catch up and Hal opens fire on them keeping them at bay. Terry tells the others to kill Hal and the others will surrender. Just before Hal is fired upon, Pope shoots one of the men with a sniper rifle.  The others fire back hitting Pope in the leg. Pope spots Tom who takes Pope’s bullets away and tells Terry that Pope is dead and surrenders.

Tom gives himself up to save Hal and in turn tells Hal and the others to come out. The group is escorted back to the sanctuary, but just as they arrive Terry and the others are captured by Weaver, Ben and the 2nd Mass who were waiting for them.

Terry refusing to go quickly pulls a gun and is shot and killed by Tom. Weaver takes the guns from the others but allows them to leave and tells them if they make any more deals with the skitters he will kill them.

Fallen Skies – Sanctuary Part 2

Back at the school, Sarah delivered a healthy baby girl and Pope recovers from his gunshot wound. Tom offers Pope his job back as cook, but Pope warns Tom he may try to escape again.

Outside the 2nd Mass has a funeral for Mike. As the group morns the loss of Mike, Ricky tells Ben that it is mankind’s nature to kill and that “we” would never kill their own. Clearly, Ricky does not consider himself human and identifies himself as skitter. Ricky looks at Ben signifying that Ben should feel the same way.

Overall a decent end to the two part story. I do wish there was a bit more to the skitter deal, but we did learn that the skitters may have quotas to get work done and to capture kids. This revelation may lead to some kind of defection within the skitters down the line.

There are only two episodes left and it looks as if they will be really good and answer some important questions. See you next week.

Jim Crow and today’s relevance

segregation drinking fountain

When the topic of race relations comes up, the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately go to slavery. Now while slavery was extremely damaging far too often it is pushed to the side with many seeing it as an event that happened to long ago.

The issue of Jim Crow laws have been studied at length, however, in common discussion it is overlooked as far as its long lasting effects that reach people even today. Jim Crow in American history began in the mid1800’s. During the reconstitution period after the civil war liberated blacks were now protected under the federal law as freemen. As the political structure of the south began to change, along with blacks being harassed and attacked to prevent them from voting, Jim Crow laws were created the segregate blacks from the state population.

Over the next century blacks were prevented from voting by adding poll taxes and literacy tests. Blacks were segregated in schools, places of business and transportation. There were thousands of beatings, lynches and burning of black owned property.  Alongside the normal effects one would endure under these conditions, one topic not talked about is the effect on the creative spirit. Although there were a number of inventions and patents created by blacks during the Jim Crow era, many more were denied and even stolen from African Americans.

The effect of Jim Crows laws should not be looked upon as an excuse for any failings, but as an understanding of the achievement of those who persevered and contributed to America during those times. Those that rose about the hatred and restriction should be an inspiration to us all and we should look back on their stories to motivate the people of today.

China Couple sells kids to buy video games

china-internet-cafe

This comes from the WTF desk. In China a couple was arrested for trying to sell their children. Why did the couple try to do this? Well, the couple originally met at an internet café and in a very quick time moved in together. The couple got married and had three children. Their first child was left at home so the parents could go to an internet café to play video games.

After the couple was arrested, they claimed they did not know what they were doing was illegal stating:

“We didn’t want to raise them.  We just want to sell them for some money.”

Apparently, the plan was to use the money from selling all three children to buy more games or gaming time at the café.

Sadly, I am sure the story here will be that video games are bad, not that people should use protection and birth control if you rather play video games than raise kids.

Source