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Tuesday, 10 September 2013 23:01

Return the Flag

The beginning of a new charity stream

I play a healthy amount of video games.
That's possibly the understatement of the century, but bear with me. I'm going somewhere with this.

I play a healthy amount of video games. I forego almost every other form of digital media and/or entertainment because I fully believe that the variety offered by gaming makes it much more than the sum of its parts. However, there is the stigma attached to the fact that it's a waste of time (spoken by the people that watch 'Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo,' 'Jersey Shore' and 'Sportscenter,' but I digress), and that's something that doesn't shake off easily.
I've just realized that as much as I love gaming, there are ways to make my favorite pastime constructive and bring out the best in the gaming community.

Published in Tekk
Thursday, 18 July 2013 10:02

The King and I

A saga of moving

 

When I worked at Gamestop, I had a few lucky coworkers who managed to snag tickets to PAX East. If you're not familiar with PAX (or the Penny Arcade Expo, to give it its full name), it's basically a celebration of all things gaming and geekery. Now, being the poor sap (both figuratively and literally) that I was, I couldn't make it that year, but my comrades promised to bring me back a bit of the convention.

I honestly didn't really think much of it until my buddy Ryan came back with a small box and big smile on his bebearded face, handing it to me like an invitation to Hogwarts. I opened it up to find a fantastic little figurine of the King from Castle Crashers. Being a huge, huge Behemoth fan, this was a perfect gift. He immediately took his rightful place at the top of my desk at home, watching over his desk kingdom like the benevolent, if not insane, monarch he was.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 12:02

Potatoes In A Toilet

 

Testing a game's immersiveness

I have a curse when it comes to games that allow you any sort of freedom of movement (so ... just about all of them). Anytime I'm supposed to go somewhere, I will seek out the exact opposite side of the map and go there, just to spite that bossy little objective marker. I need to know what lies on the other side of the ocean before I take one step toward picking up that can/meeting my partner at the marketplace/having an audience with the king. When I was growing up, I used to drive my buddy Jeff nuts, because every single time we'd start a game, I'd see if I could go exactly where I wasn't supposed to, and the poor guy just wanted to know what happened in the story next.

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, 19 June 2013 15:37

Introducing your lord and master, Microsoft

A quick chat about the Xbox One

Aaron Waite: Hello there, Microsoft!

Microsoft: And hello to you, too, Rumpojec!

AW: Um, my name's Aaron. Rumpojec is my Xbox Live Gamertag.

Microsoft: Oh, my bad. It's not like I view you as an actual person, anyway. Here, have 100 points for accessing Xbox Live and doing stuff. How generous am I, right?

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 15:24

I Wear A 'Fez' Now

Examining 'Fez''s spectacular nostalgia

 

I'm a wicked sucker for documentaries, especially (obviously) ones on gaming, so when I saw 'Indie Game: The Movie' finally up on Netflix, I decided that I had two hours to waste on the trials and tribulations of three different indie developers: Jonathan Blow (of 'Braid' fame), Team Meat (the sadistic creators of 'Super Meat Boy'), and one Phil Fish of Polytron Corporation.

While I was familiar with the first two developers, the only thing I'd ever heard about Phil Fish was various rumblings on the internet, generally involving words that are terrible to say and even worse to put into public print. Over the course of the movie, I watched him sway from hopelessness to hopefulness back to despondency as he poured himself into his game. His passion turned into a full on range of emotions, his frustrations dumping into every word he spat about his finances, his new, unstable code and his unsympathetic former business partner.

That being said, his trial through fire turned into gold. 'Fez' is easily one of the best throwbacks to the NES/SNES era ever created since those bygone days.

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, 17 April 2013 15:49

A Sporting Chance

Give competitive games a spotlight

I remember when I made the mistake of saying that NASCAR wasn't a sport. It was said in passing, during my tri-sport jock years, and obviously, at 16 years old, you know everything.

I tell you what, NASCAR fans descended on me like flies on a log of crap.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 14:47

Infinite Dark' is art

 

Bioshock Infinite's descent into storytelling

 

If you want to avoid some mild spoilers for 'Bioshock Infinite,' you may want to stop reading for a bit and catch up later on in the article.

There's a point early on in 'Bioshock Infinite' that made my mouth drop. Not in a 'DUDEBRO, THAT WAS A TOTALLY RAD EXPLOSION THAT WE JUST MADE WITH OUR LIGHTNING STRIKE SCORESTREAK!' kind of way, or even a 'I am so invested in these characters that I can't believe they did that' kind of way. No, no, this was an honest-to-goodness, mouth-agape, I-can't-believe-they-actually-did-that jaw dropping moment.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 12:57

The Ballad of The Villager

With the advent of an HD version of 'Age of Empires II,' my friends and I have been replaying the original to brush up on our skills. After a few games, we started to notice some incredibly odd things about the world that 'AoE2' resides in, such as the fact that trees are more hardy than most walls. That got my imagination going, and I had to wonder, what do the denizens of this weird place actually think about what's going on? My next thought that the best person to tell this tale of woe and oddity would be one of the immortal villagers who has been chopping wood since the Dark Ages. The rest, as they say, is poetry.

Published in Tekk
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