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Wednesday, 10 January 2018 14:03

A decade of dice – SnowCon X

BANGOR – Game enthusiasts from all over the region are poised to descend on Bangor. The Cross Insurance Center is playing host to SnowCon, the locally-born gaming convention that is marking ten years. The event takes place on Jan. 13 and 14, with a kick-off event (the delightfully-named “So You Meet in a Tavern” – this year’s gathering is a “Pirate vs. Ninja Trivia Party,” which sounds like a hoot) at Mason’s Brewing Company on Jan. 12.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:17

One con to rule them all

Gamers roll into Bangor for SnowCon IX

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 11:24

Pokmon GO' causing real-life pain

LOS ANGELES Beware: 'Pokmon Go,' a new smartphone game based on cute Nintendo characters like Squirtle and Pikachu, can be harmful to your health.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 16:49

Chess, Not Soccer

 

Slowing down our addiction to bite-sized gaming

I've been a baseball fan my entire life. I grew up as a Red Sox fan (and a Red Sox fan in the '90s, mind you, so I deserve all of your pity), and I learned over the course of time to appreciate the pacing of America's pastime. There's a chess-like battle between pitcher and batter, the subtle yet poignant heartbeats between the selection and delivery of the pitch. There's a tension in each at-bat that is unrivaled in any other sport out there.

However, as I listen to 92.9 in the morning and get my morning Sportscenter fix, I find that flashier, faster sports get a lot more of the attention. Any and all NBA and NFL news dwarfs most baseball reports. The end of the MLB season is clouded by drafts, analysis on said picks and training camps. I understand the need for competition and variety, but some days it feels like people have moved on from baseball simply because it's not flashy enough, not bombastic enough, not fast enough.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 12:11

Saturday Morning Peace

The importance of gaming in solace

Every Saturday morning I have a routine, a routine that dates back to my single-digit years. Throughout the week, I would have school, Little League games and a host of other things that would crowd in on me, but Saturday mornings were made for one thing and one thing only: gaming.

I would awake at 6 or 7 on these mornings and creep downstairs to the NES (or SNES, in later years) and try to find a game to play. Finally reaching a decision, I'd game until Mom or Dad dragged me away to do some form of chores (thanks a lot for the personal responsibility cramping my style, parents!). But for those few brief moments in the basement, with the morning light just starting to seep through the small windows, I took those precious moments of quiet time to heart. Small, simple moments of just enjoying a good game.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:17

The Assassination of Lord British

It seems to me that In every geek's life, there seems to be a defining moment, a moment of clarity that either drives you away from your hobbies of choice and pushes you into the arms of popular societal norms of watching reality TV and going to bed at 10, or one that cements your status as a someone who's proud to stand outside 'normal' pop culture lines and say, 'I'm so frigging glad I'm not them.'

Seeing as the geek culture that most of us know and love only really started toward the early '80s, it's not like we have generations of examples to pull from. Speaking from personal experience, I've watched quite a few potential geeks that seemed to give up on it and simply took their place in the rat race without even so much of a struggle. It was like a jacket that they could take off, hang up and never look back at again.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:53

Father

Homestead: Part One

Good news, multiplayers! I'm back from my momentary retreat to the darkest recesses of Valhalla (Thor claims you owe him five bucks, by the way)! To make up for my month-long sabbatical, I'm starting a new series on how gaming has woven its way into my family and the tales that it begat. Hope you enjoy!

I wasn't particularly old enough to remember the momentous event, but it was spoken to me as a young child, passed on like an oral history of our gaming heritage. Whether or not it's actually true, I don't know. But if it's not true, don't tell me, because the tall tale is better than reality.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 15:38

A Truly Black Op

A Halo fan dives into competitive CoD

It was inevitable, really. Major League Gaming, the premier e-sports bastion, was built on the back of 'Halo.' They grew exponentially by word of mouth and the exploits of its stars, and by the time 'Halo 2' rolled around, it was a full-blown pandemic of competitive gaming. Names like Walshy, OGRE 2, Captain Anarchy, Karma and Ghostayame started traversing online forums just as easily as Jeter, Clemens and Ruth. It became a culture unto itself, shepherding dreams of professional gaming to a whole new audience.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 11:33

SnowCon 2013

Five years of fun and games

ORONO For the fifth straight year gamers from across Maine, New England and the United States will gather at the Black Bear Inn to crawl through ancient dungeons, cast arcane spells, try to evade insidious madness and barter for sheep or lumber. SnowCon is back.

This is a weekend of live gaming, as opposed to video gaming. It's people around a table rolling dice, playing cards or moving pieces, whether it's role playing games (RPGs), strategic board games or various card games (think of everything from 'Magic: the Gathering' to 'Apples to Apples').

Published in Cover Story
Thursday, 20 December 2012 12:07

The Legend of Noel

Where Christmas and gaming combine

It's staring at us, mockingly existing in the digital space, taunting us from its fortress of my parents' 32', 4,000 pound CRT beast. The gentle Wii menu music chimes around our mental anguish, flowing like a river around two stones. We know it has to be done, but we fear pain, we fear frustration, we fear defeat. We aren't the stone-cold bundles of reflexes and Pixie Sticks that we once were back in the mid-'90s, when it was still okay to have an NES and 'Boy Meets World' was still in production. It's haunted us for years, a black mark on our gaming records, but today, we move forward unto a new dawn.Today, we shall play 'Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.'

Published in Tekk
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