Conan Trashes Final Fantasy XV – Don’t Let That Dissuade You

I can’t stay up late anymore. Between the work, kid, morning workouts, and being on the wrong side of thirty, late night TV is just not an option anymore. Still, I like to catch up on Conan snippets on YouTube whenever I can.

These Clueless Gamer segments always crack me up, but I’ve never seen Conan be so critical towards a game before. This is especially cringe worthy when you learn that the PR folks are right outside the door while Conan bashes the game.

With that said, I wouldn’t base your game purchases on what Conan says.

Bethesda Showed Guts, But They’re Still Wrong    

When Bethesda first announced that they were not going to release advance copies of their titles for reviews, my first knee jerk reaction was “good for them.” Way to show some intestinal fortitude Bethesda.

Then I started to think more about it. I spoke to some friends. I read some blogs. I listened to some podcasts, and you know what? I was wrong. Do you hear me? I SCREAM IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS! I WAS WRONG!

Bethesda, who makes decent to great games is just like any large company, whether they’re game makers or not. They make decisions based on their bottom line and not necessarily what’s best for the consumer. That’s fine. I get that. Just don’t give me a pile of chicken shit and tell me it’s chicken salad.

Noticed how I specifically said consumer and not customer? Because gamers are not customers in the eyes of publishers. Publisher’s consumers are the retailers, like GameStop, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart.

Oh, but you download games through Xbox Live, PSN, or Steam? Well, then Microsoft, Sony, and Valve are their customers, you’re just the consumer at the bottom of the food chain. The only time you can be a customer in Bethesda’s eyes, is if you buy directly from them, but in this case, given their strategy on early game reviews, it really doesn’t matter now.

What bothers me most about this, after I had time to digest and discuss Bethesda’s new strategy with my peers is how condescending they are to the gaming community as they attempt to spin this into a positive.

According to a blog post from Bethesda’s Gary Steinman, “we value media reviews… We read them. We watch them. We try to learn from them when they offer critique. And we understand their value to our players.

Earlier this year we released DOOM. We sent review copies to arrive the day before launch, which led to speculation about the quality of the game. Since then DOOM has emerged as a critical and commercial hit, and is now one of the highest-rated shooters of the past few years.”

Let me untwist this mess of marketing gobbledygook. We released a Doom multiplayer beta that wasn’t very good. We freaked out. We then held back reviews of the game because we thought it was going to get panned. The game turned out to be alright. A lot of people bought it. We’re just going to keep on doing this now.

First off, I admit Doom is a good game and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but let’s not kid ourselves here. It’s not like there was a lot of competition out at the time when Doom was released. Gamers were looking for a good game to play, Doom came out with already low expectations and it turned out to be actually good. I’m not surprised at all that it sold well. They set the bar low and people were hungry for games.

Secondly, it’s a bit insulting for Bethesda to act like they’re going out on a limb here by not providing advance review copies to the media. Other companies, like Blizzard, Warner Bros., and 2K do so as well from time to time and they don’t make a big deal about this.

Lastly, and this pisses me off the most, is that taking a stand against advance review copies is not stopping Bethesda from giving advance copies of their games to streamers, who may be less critical of the title. Essentially, you’re not against providing advance copies, just as long as the coverage you’re getting is going to be positive.

Now, take all these things into account and then look at how the publishers try to get you to pay up into reserving early, by providing free content or early access. You’re taking away consumer’s ability to make informed decisions, and then you dangle a carrot in front of them to buy in early? Sorry, but that doesn’t sit well with me.

In this day and age, there is no reason to ever reserve a game folks.  Don’t get pulled in by promises of DLC or early access as it’s simply not worth it. There is only one way for gamers to show their displeasure at Bethesda and other publishers who hold back advance reviews and that is to wait it out until the reviews come out.

I only wish I heeded this advice when I bought No Man’s Sky.


Don’t Expect Early Reviews of Bethesda Games in the Future

When the latest Doom was released back in May, Bethesda didn’t give any early copies to the media for reviews. This is usually as red flag, since in the past, that means that a game is crap. So imagine how surprised we were when Doom wasn’t crap, but far from it. Doom is actually a Game of the Year contender.

Bethesda took a calculated risk when it released Doom. I’m sure they were aware that they had a good game on their hands. These companies focus test, and they know what they are doing. With that said, it looks like Bethesda will continue this trend.

In a brief blog post, Gary Steinman, the Global Content Lead at Bethesda lays out what to expect from the company in the future.

“With the upcoming launches of Skyrim Special Edition and Dishonored 2, we will continue our policy of sending media review copies one day before release. While we will continue to work with media, streamers, and YouTubers to support their coverage – both before and after release – we want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time.

We also understand that some of you want to read reviews before you make your decision, and if that’s the case we encourage you to wait for your favorite reviewers to share their thoughts.”

Good on Bethesda for showing some intestinal fortitude on this. If this continues to be a success for them, expect other publisher to follow suit.

I Played the Hillary 2016 Video Game, Now I Have Even Less Confidence in American Politics

As some of you may have heard, there’s a presidential election in the works here in the U.S. Things are going to get really heated between now and November 8.  The candidates are pulling out all the stops to get the vote, and some of them are going high tech.

This is the most interesting election I have ever encountered and not because we have two upstanding social servants vying for the highest office in the land.  Never in my life have I seen two candidates that are more unlikable and unqualified. On one end, there is the tallest and most aggressive Oompa Loompa the world has ever seen. On the other, there is a corrupt, untrustworthy, career politician, and carpet bagger. It doesn’t matter what happens in November, because the U.S. is doomed.


But enough doom and gloom.  There is a bright side to all this.  Hillary’s campaign just released a video game for mobile devices. Everyone knows millennials love video games, just look at the Pokémon Go phenomenon. So those in Hillary’s campaign took five minutes (probably literally) to create a mobile game.


Like most mobile games today, after downloading the game and launching it for the first time, you’re asked to create an account.


No thanks. I’m good. I’d rather just play. I don’t want to get bombarded by spam.


Then the game gently reminds you that if you want to play, you must create an account…


Christ, you’re a pushy bastard, but if I must…


All that the back and forth about creating an account was well worth it however.  Had I decided to simply decline and delete the game and move on with my life, then I would not have had the opportunity to witness the splendor of a virtual Hillary Clinton 2016 Campaign Office. Also, I used to burner Yahoo e-mail account because I’m not stupid.

Okay. Fake Yahoo e-mail address entered. Let’s get campaigning…. GODDAMMIT!


Looks like I’m finally ready to play this game. Let’s get acquainted with my new campaign office. Just swipe up to turn on the lights. This is actually the first time I get to interact with this game.  This is also the pinnacle of the type of interactivity one can expect with this game.


There’s not a lot going on in here.  I would expect to see more people working. Why am I here all alone? Where is everyone? Am I in some 28 Days Later post-apocalyptic zombie infested wasteland and I’m the last person alive? That sounds sweet!


I’ve been playing for 15 minutes and my campaign office was never attacked by zombies. Perhaps I should find something to do.  How about a game of Trump or False?


That sure was fun. Oh look, a plant needs watering. I can’t take the excitement!


Oh look! There’s a store front.  I can buy some furniture, new walls, and posters for my campaign office. Posters that no one except me will ever see, and chairs that no one will ever sit it, sofas that no one will ever lounge in, and walls that no one will never, erm… be walled in by.


I’m depressed now. I think I’m going to go take a nap.

During my nap I dreamed of a better world. A world that was peaceful and everyone was happy. I’m roused from my slumber by a chime from my phone. Looking at my phone, I noticed that I had a Push Notification from the Clinton 2016 app.  I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and opened the app, curious as to what the news may be.


I’m confused. The app that I downloaded yesterday and have played for 20 minutes (which felt like an eternity) is now telling me to download the app. I’m reading this in the app’s news feed. What kind of Bizzaro World black magic is this?  Is this some kind of elaborate psychological experiment from some secret CIA Black Ops program meant to break my will? What is the ultimate goal of this app?


Well that explains it.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, nor am I ignorant as to what the ultimate goal of this app is.  The issue here is this app is a flaming pile of garbage and it has no redeeming qualities. This app makes the Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood game look like a masterpiece.

Even if you’re a Hillary supporter, I cannot recommend it. That’s why I give this one sad Robin Hood hat wearing Bernie Sanders supporter out of five.


Enjoy the election!

Amazon Thinks I Have a Gaming Addiction

I do a lot of horrible gaming related things for your personal amusement. I mostly play horrible celebrity branded mobile phone games, but this time around, I decided to read a book about gaming addiction. This was not what I would call a pleasant experience.

Thank goodness that this is only a “book” in the most general sense, in that there are words in it, and those words are printed on a page, however there are not a lot actual pages to read. I’d say that this more like a pamphlet—a horribly written piece of garbage pamphlet, which will make you dumber if you actually take the time to read it. Also, this is actually an eBook, but now we’re just getting into semantics.

I happened upon this book a couple of weeks ago, when my company decided to send me away again for business. Luckily, the flight this time around was relatively short, so no need to purchase in-flight Internet access or rent Direct TV to keep me occupied. I can just do a little bit of reading and pound miniature bottles of vodka, just like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack did, when air travel was GLAMOROUS. The only difference being that if I light up a cigarette or slap the “air waitress” on the ass for a job-well-done, the air marshal will crack my skull open with the butt of his Glock.


So with the limited time available to me before my flight, I found a free Wi-Fi hotspot by the gate and went onto Amazon on my iPad to see what I can download cheaply. Since I read a fair amount of gaming and tech related stuff, one of Amazon’s recommendations was Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days, by James Henry. Amazon apparently thinks that I have a problem. Luckily enough, the book was free and with time running out, I went ahead with the download. LET’S GET READING!


The book starts off with an introduction from the author, the one and only James Henry. My comments added in ALL CAPs.

“Do you find yourself always playing games even when you have important things to do like hand in a project at work or even spend time with your kids? (I PLAY GAMES TO SPECIFICALLY AVOID THESE THINGS) Has your need to play games taken over your life such that you never even find time to do important things like eating and sleeping? (I FORGO GOING TO THE BATHROOM JUST TO PLAY GAMES, DOES THIS COUNT?) Have you wasted a lot of money buying all kinds of games just to get the thrill and adrenaline rush from playing such games? (YES, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS I WASTED ON HOOKERS AND BLOW) If you relate to any or all of these scenarios, then you definitely have a problem that needs to be addressed. The good thing is that all hope is not lost and with the strategies outlined in this book, you will overcome your gaming addiction and live a normal life. (PRAISE JEEZUS!)”


Like any self-help book, the author has to cover his ass, so there is the requisite legalese.

“The information provided herein is stated to be truthful and consistent, in that any liability, in terms of inattention or otherwise, by any usage or abuse of any policies, processes, or directions contained within is the solitary and utter responsibility of the recipient reader. Under no circumstances will any legal responsibility or blame be held against the publisher for any reparation, damages, or monetary loss due to the information herein, either directly or indirectly. (SO THE HOOKERS AND BLOW COSTS ARE ALL ON ME?)”

The author goes onto explain the different types of games available for those who are reading the book on behalf of a loved one. Nothing ground breaking here. He defines single player games, multiplayer games, eSports, and mobile games. All these game types have something in common however, and that they are all HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!

This is all well and good, but you may be saying to yourself, “Surely, I don’t have a gaming problem.” But you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG!

The author goes onto to state that if you have done one or more of the following listed below, then you are officially a GAMEAHOLIC (TM by Spieler Dad, like just now).

*Being interrupted from your normal life pattern such as having to play at night and shifting to sleeping during the day. (VAMPIRA-GAMING, TM SPIELER DAD)

*If, to a certain extent, you risk or actually lose your job or drop out of school to play a digital game or online competition.

*If you require a bigger fix such as having to play for longer periods to enjoy same level of gaming. (OR DECIDE TO PLAY GAMES WITH NIPPLE CLIPS ON)

*If you experience withdrawal problems such as feeling anxious or irritable when you stop or disconnect from your playmates. (I PERSONALLY SCREAM AT THE DOG)

*Constant cravings i.e. a strong desire to play or go online even when far from gaming facilities. (THANK GOD NO ONE HAS INVENTED A WAY TO PLAY A GAME AWAY FROM THE HOME!?! THEY WOULD MAKE MILLIONS!)

So how does one avoid becoming addicted? The answer to that is that they don’t. Games are designed to be addicted.

“There are various causes of gaming addictions but one of the key reasons is that they are fundamentally designed to be addictive. The designers or creators of games are interested in making profit (BASTARDS!) thus they need to make addictive games to continue enjoying profits. Games are often made to be challenging so that you keep on trying without giving up and once you overcome a particular level, you have another level waiting for you. This is why you will keep on playing and since you cannot beat the game, you will be on a continuous journey of trying to beat the game, which is impossible.” (I CHOKED ON MY OWN SALIVA LAUGHING SO HARD ON THIS)

So, you have decided that you are addicted to gaming. What do you do now? Luckily the author gives you some options on how to do so.

Option 1 is to go Cold Turkey. For this to work, he recommends that you do the following:

“For this strategy to work, you have to do these steps almost immediately! Right now, delete all your video games from the computer, Smartphone or console. Do away with every sign of it. Do it now, even if it means throwing away those DVDs or disconnecting the Internet. Destruction of all video software and selling of gaming electronics helps a lot to gain immediate recovery. Later, if you feel like downloading or buying new game, you find it harder as you’d have to start from scratch.”

The second option is to slowly wean yourself off gaming. He recommends getting rid of everything except one console and begin limiting the time you spend on gaming. I say go ahead and pick up a Wii U. You’ll give up gaming in a matter of days. ZING!


The author’s last topic of discussion is a touchy one, as he goes into how games can impact children. However, all the tips he provides are very safe and common sense. He doesn’t provide anything groundbreaking.

His first bit of advice to parents is to restrict their children’s playtime to one hour or less in a day and to keep track on the total amount of time their children spend gaming. Again, this is common sense really, but there are stupid people out there who managed to procreate, so I’ll give him this one.

He also suggests that parents should be present for their children. Not sure what he means by this. Perhaps he’s suggesting to not leave them out in the wild where they can be raised by a pack of wolves?


He ends his advice by suggesting that parents should closely monitor their children’s behavior. He goes onto to state that, “…A number of games have been attributed to causing negative attitude on kids, or other aggressive reactions towards ordinary issues. “ The author however doesn’t cite where he got this information. Did he just make that up?

One can assume that he’s referring to the multitude of studies that state that violent games “may” make children more aggressive. Also, he neglects to state that a parent shouldn’t allow a young child to play violent and mature games in the first place. One would think that should be his first point.

To conclude his guide, Mr. Henry wishes me luck on my journey to conquer gaming addiction. I have decided to deny that I even have a problem in the first place. Also, I can quit gaming anytime, thank you very much, SO DON’T JUDGE ME!

The author requests that I go onto Amazon and rate his book, which I can assure I will do no such thing. Going on Amazon and writing a scathing review on this so-called book would be pointless, like tits on a bull.

Yet, something just didn’t seem right about this book. The writing was too shoddy, the book too short, and the advice overly elementary. Also, who is this James Henry person?

Turns out that James Henry is the pen name for James Gurbutt. According to his profile online, he works in publishing, and enjoys windsurfing and long lunches (WHO DOESN’T?!?)


A search online brings up the following image below where he appears be enjoying himself.


I think he’s the one in the middle.

In the end, James seems to be a good chap, so I’ll leave him alone, even though I feel he is not qualified to give advice on gaming addiction. However, I cannot recommend reading Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days.

When all is said and done, I give Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days 1 out of 5 Creepy Dudes in Vests.


If, for whatever reason, you want to read this book for yourself, you can download it from Amazon here.

I Watched the Gamergate Law & Order Episode, So you Don’t Have To

I’ve never watched an episode of Law & Order from start to finish, but there is a first time for everything. It just so happens that the first episode of Law & Order that I watched was gaming related. I figured it would be mediocre at best to epic train wreck disaster at worst. Turns out, it was something in between.


Law & Order: SVU likes to tout that it “rips” stories from the current headlines. When they say current headlines, they mean headlines from two months ago. The producers believe that this gives the show a sense of relevance, as it attempts to stay with the times on topics that are affecting people in the here and now. Apparently this works most of the time, however when it comes to the topics of video games, I couldn’t help feeling that the writers were a bit out of their depth.


This is not the first time Law & Order had a video game episode. Back in 2005 they had an episode titled “Game” where detectives investigated a murder that was very similar to a scene in video game that had an uncanny resemblance to Grand Theft Auto.

This time around, Law & Order: SVU takes a stab at the Gamergate controversy. The episode is called “Intimidation Game” and Kudos to the writers on such a snazzy title.

Episode starts off with Mariska Hargitay, who’s not unattractive speaking to her therapist about the challenges of raising her young son.



Holy shit her therapist is the clown guy from Sesame Street. Why do I remember this? He’s still very creepy. Get out of my head Bill Irwin, if that’s your real name.

For whatever reason we find three SVU detectives at an e-Sports event and Ice-T is getting embarrassed by a little kid while playing a game called Kill or Be Slaughtered (seriously?).

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 16

Good thing the detectives are at this e-Sports tournament, because it turns out that they have a case on their hands. It just so happens that a couple of gamers threatened and then physically assaults a game representative because she has a vagina and apparently works for a company whose CEO also has vagina. They really have a problem with vagina.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 16

When one of the detectives comes to the representative’s aid, we have our first of many eye wateringly awful game puns, when she states that her attackers “leveled up.” Hahahahahaha, THAT’S HORRIBLE!

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 16

We quickly learn that there is a small, but very vocal group of gamers who don’t want girls in their industry and hobby of choice (because ewwwwwwwwwww). They focus a lot of their anger towards a woman named Raina Punjabi, who releasing a game called Amazonian Warriors, because of course she is. Did I mention that she has a vagina?

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 16

Her detractors state that she has only gotten ahead because she’s a woman, engaged to a millionaire, has a vagina, and essentially slept her way to the top due to the power of her vagina. In the course of the episode we see that she is threatened, swatted during a live interview, doxed, and eventually kidnapped.

Regarding the kidnapping, this actually occurs during a press conference for Raina’s soon to be released game. She has her own security as well as the presence of multiple SVU detectives, and yet, her kidnappers “hack” the system, kill the lights, take control of the AV equipment, make the lights strobe, and make off their victim.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 16

First off, I’m pretty sure that is not how “hacking” works. Secondly, her security and the SVU detectives are useless. Lastly, why was the press conference at the Port Authority Bus Terminal? I’m very familiar with Manhattan and there is no reason why a press conference would be at the Port Authority Bus Terminal unless your attendees are mentally ill, homeless, or all of the above.



I’m not going to spoil the episode if you intend to watch (Don’t), but the SVU team does eventually save Raina in the end and there is a minor twist ending, which is par for the course in Law & Order.

There are few things that I found interesting in this show. Ice-T is portrayed as the resident gaming guru. He’s like a gaming Yoda, dropping knowledge on his fellow non-gaming detectives. He explains to them that an FPS is a “first person shooter,” calling someone a FAL means that they “fail at life,” and explains what “noobs” and campers are.

Ice-T even gets to drops a few gaming related one-liners, my personal favorite, telling someone that, there’s “…no reset button in the real world.” Indeed there is not. You’re so very wise Ice-T.

In the end, I give the Intimidation Game episode of Law & Order: SVU, 2 Ice-Ts menacing a cracked out Chris Rock out of 5.


It’s cringe inducing crap, but worth a few laughs on how clueless the show’s writers are when it comes to video games and the gaming industry.