​Thanks for Ruining my Birthday, GameStop

Getting old sucks. I’m sorry if that sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. Everyone reaches a point in their lives when they realize that having yet another birthday is not as quaint as it used to be, and that the anniversary of your birth is just a grim reminder that you are one year closer to dying.

When you’re a child birthdays are great for the obvious reasons—you get a party and gifts. As you get older, you then get milestone birthdays. Turning 10 years old is a big deal as you have managed to stay alive for a decade. At thirteen, you’re officially a teenager and get to look forward to awkwardness and raging hormones.

Electra_Awkward_teen

If you’re a girl, and from Latin America, you get a Quinceañera when you turn fifteen and I have no fucking clue what this is nor do I care. American girls meanwhile celebrate a sweet sixteen, probably for the same reason that Latin girls celebrate Quinceañeras. European girls? I have no clue and don’t care.

In most places in America, turning seventeen means you can legally drive, which is a big deal. Also in the states, when one turns eighteen, you’re officially an adult. You can vote and join the military, BUT DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT DRINKING A BEER KIDDO, for that you have to wait until your twenty-one.

Unless of course you’re European, in which case the legal drinking age is five years old, or so I’ve heard.

Unless of course you’re European, in which case the legal drinking age is five years old, or so I’ve heard.

I’m sorry to say, but after one’s twenty-first birthday, birthdays begin to lose their luster and when you hit thirty, they become downright depressing.

Take my latest birthday for example. Last Monday, I turned thirty-six. I have nothing witty or cute to say about that. This was the first birthday where I thought to myself, “Man, I’m feeling old.”

As if feeling old and depressed was enough, everything was exasperated by the fact that leading up to my actual birthday, I had to attend two separate funerals and my daughter came down with strep throat. Thank you god for making this week so special.

God-monty-python

No worries Spieler Dad!

Suffice it to say, traveling back and forth to two funerals in two states while caring for a sick child sucks. And just when I think it cannot get possibly worse, I get reminded that yes, it can indeed get worse.

Happy BD GS

Is it possible that GameStop is offering me a good deal on something? There are games coming out that indeed I want to buy. For a brief moment, I was legitimately excited and started to come out of my funk. That is until I read further and realized this sweet deal was on used games only.

Happy BD GS 01I know that some of you care a great deal about used games, but I personally could care less. I also don’t care in helping GameStop’s bottom line by perpetuating their stranglehold on the used game market.

I especially don’t care in giving GameStop gift cards to other stores, in which they will pay me a fraction of what they are actually worth, because yes, they do that too apparently.

GS 3

In hindsight, I’m actually amazed. The past week I had to deal with death(s), illness, and the fact that I am indeed becoming an old man, and out of all of these things, the worst thing that happened to me is getting this e-mail from GameStop.

Congratulations GameStop. You never cease to amaze me.

5 More Creepy Places That Should Be in Games

Last year, around this time, I posted a blog about five creepy places that would make great settings in video games. That post got front-paged, so like a savvy Hollywood producer, I went back to the well and created a sequel.  Enjoy!

5. Moosham Castle, Unternberg, Austria

moosham

Moosham is a silly name and it’s not scary at all, but that’s okay, because this stately castle also goes by another name. The Witch Castle. The only way to make that sound even more creepy and foreboding is to say it in German, a language that’s perfectly suited for unsettling people. So go ahead and say it out loud Hexe Schloss.

Starting in 1680, the castle was the site of witch trials.  Back then, if the accused just didn’t confess to being a witch outright, you can go ahead and torture a confession out of them.  Go ahead and weigh the accused down with some rocks and toss her in a lake. If the accused survives the attempted drowning, then she’s a witch and you can burn her alive with confidence. If she drowns, then she’s innocent, but it’s totally okay, because now she’s in heaven with Jesus. EVERYBODY WINS!

I’m just kidding, the accused weren’t drowned, they were beheaded. So now, there are a bunch of pissed off headless ghost women roaming the property, who may or may not be witches.

It doesn’t stop there though. In the 1800’s large numbers of eviscerated deer and cattle were found near castle grounds. This was obviously the work of a werewolf. The villagers followed up by doing what they did best. They rounded up a bunch of dudes and tortured confessions out of them before beheading them. Now there’s a bunch of pissed off headless dudes roaming the castle who may or may not be werewolves.

Or Aliens.

Or Aliens.

Moosham Castle would be a great stage in the Wolfenstein series. Let’s assume the Nazis resurrected the witches and werewolves through satanic rituals and BJ Blaskowitz needs to send them back to hell with bullets and face punches.

4. Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada

canada-banff-springs-hotel
Canada? There nothing scary about Canada? They have Mounties, Tim Hortons, and nationalized healthcare. Also, Randy Quaid came back to America, so Canada now has one less crazy person to worry about.


The Banff Springs, situated in the picturesque Canadian Rockies would be a pretty nice place to stay, if it wasn’t ridiculously haunted.

The Banff Springs has covered all off the haunted hotel requisites. It has one room that is more haunted than the others, where an entire family was brutally murdered. It has a ghost bride, who tripped on her own wedding dress while walking down the stairs, causing her to fall and break her neck. It even has a mischievous ghost bellhop.

What makes the Banff Springs unique is the supposed “secret room.” The first iteration of the Banff Springs was a wooden structure that burned down 1926. The hotel was quickly rebuilt into the castle like structure that we know today. However, when the charred remains of the original building were surveyed, a secret room was discovered that had no door, window, or entry point of any kind. Many speculate that this was a simple error from the original builders.

Creepily enough, workers of the hotel have been claiming for years that they hear weird noises and see apparitions in the hotel near the exact location where secret room once existed. So obviously, this secret room was a portal to hell that was opened when the first Banff Springs burned down. SCIENCE!

I think the Banff Springs would be perfect for a Fatal Frame game. I would have the main characters play out the entire game from the get go in their underwear. I WILL NOT BE CENSORED!

3. The Paris Catacombs

paris-catacombs
I have never been to Paris. I’ve been to Vienna, which I’ve been told is like Paris, but better, as there are no Parisians. Visiting Paris is on my bucket list and when I do go, checking out the catacombs will be on my checklist.

In the 18th century, cemeteries in and around Paris were severely overcrowded. A plan was put in place to remove tens of thousands of bodies and re-inter them in the abandoned and haphazard limestone tunnel mines.  It was an elegant solution that killed to birds with one stone.

Oui Oui, this gives us plenty of time to drink wine, eat fromage, smoke, and read Satre.

Oui Oui, this gives us plenty of time to drink wine, eat fromage, smoke, and read Satre.

Many of the bones found in the catacombs are laid out in beautiful, if not morbid arrangements, but don’t get too confortable while down there. There are many stories of angry spirits that haunt the tunnels. Many visitors report seeing apparitions and getting poked or pushed by an angry spirit is apparently not uncommon. Not to mention, some people have become lost and disoriented while down in the catacombs and there are a few unfortunate folks who have gone down and are never seen or heard of again.

I think the Paris Catacombs, or something like it, would be a cool addition to a game series like Elder Scrolls, where you see a lot Skeleton Warriors. Can you imagine all the bones in the Paris Catacombs reanimating to for a massive skeleton army? That would be pants shittingly awesome.

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh-Scotland-Skyline

Scotland must be like Florida for ghosts. They just all go there when they retire from haunting random houses around the world. Not only that, but Edinburgh might as well be themed as the world’s largest haunted house. When someone goes to Edinburg it’s apparently easier to ask the locals what places are NOT haunted as places that do not have malevolent spirits are the true novelties here. It’s probably the reason why the Scots invented quilts, as it’s easier to clean up when you inevitably shit yourself when a ghost startles you.

20060715-115857_Scotland_Edinburgh_Greyfriars_Kirkyard
There’s the Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery where not too long ago, back in 1999, a homeless man decided that breaking open a coffin and sleeping in it was a perfectly fine idea. Very soon after the incident, visitors to the cemetery reported being attacked by unseen forces. Common complaints of the visitors were scratches and even broken fingers. More disconcerting is the fact that over the years, approximately 140 people collapsed while touring the supposed cursed cemetery. It got so bad that the city council closed of the cemetery to all visitors.

THE REAL MARY KING'S CLOSE 28/06/06 PICTURE BY GARY DOAK tel.+44 (0)7836 255 728 garydoak@blueyonder.co.uk
Also in Edinburgh one can visit Mary King’s Close, a subterranean collection of various streets, shops and homes. I suppose you can call this your standard underground labyrinth, with an interesting and dark backstory.  It’s like one big basement that you should totally not go down into when you are home by yourself.

In 1645 the close was abandoned when an outbreak of the plague broke out.  Those who were infected were left behind to fend for themselves, which pretty much means they died alone and afraid while the plague consumed them. Ever since the Close has garnered a reputation of being haunted, going back to the early 1700’s.

Visitors today claim to have seen the ghosts a small child who follows them around, a worried looking old women, seeing stones skip on there own down alleyways, and hearing the sounds of footsteps following them when there is no one behind them.

Edinburgh-Castle1
Lastly, no visit would be complete without a jaunt at Edinburgh Castle. Visitors here have claimed to be touched and pulled by unseen entities as well as seeing various apparitions, like a bagpiper, an old man wearing an apron, and a headless drummer boy.

Of course, no haunted castle would be complete with your standard haunting necessities like unexplained shadowy figures, sudden drops in temperature for no apparent reason, strange manifestations of mist, and of course, having sudden intense feelings of dread, sadness, and despair. However, feelings of dread, sadness, and despair can be explained by the fact that you are in Scotland. ZING!

Scotland would make a good stage or location in the latest Assassin Creed game. Ubisoft can add a haunted Scotland DLC. I also hear that the latest installment takes place in London, which is not far from Scotland.

1. Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico

doll2
Unlike the German language, when something is translated into a romance language, like French, Italian, or in this case, Spanish—things just seem so much more exotic and pleasant.  La Isla de las Muñecas sounds like a place where I can get served a fruity rum-based beverage out of coconut while lounging on the beach, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Legend has it, not too long ago in the 1950’s, a man moved to the island to simply get away and live life alone in isolation. He quickly learned that something is not quite right on his island. He believes that he is being haunted by the ghost of a little girl who drowned on the island years before his arrival.

To appease the ghost, the man would go into town to find dolls and he would tie them onto the trees on his island, like deranged Christmas ornaments. Over time, the man felt that the ghost of the little girl was no longer satisfied with the dolls and she wanted a more permanent companion. The man mentioned this fear to a relative who came to check on him and few days later, when the relative returned, he found the man floating facedown in the what many believe to be the same lagoon that the little girl drowned in.

To this day, visitors to the island have claimed to see the ghosts of the man and the little girl. If that is not freaky enough, many claim that the dolls, which have been hung on the trees by the man and more recent visitors whisper to you when you walk by. (Promptly shits pants.)

When reading about the Island of the Dolls, I can’t help to feel like this would be a real kick ass place in the Far Cry series. Forget cavemen and saber tooth tigers Ubisoft, a super natural Far Cry would be amazing.

Do you know of a creepy place that would make a good setting in a video game? Let me know in the comments.

And for those of you who celebrate Halloween, enjoy the festivities.. Dress up, get drunk, and eat candy.

fat-joker-costume

Home Ownership Sucks… But The Game Room is Nice

Nine years ago, my girlfriend and I were renting a small apartment in the upper west side of Manhattan. It was a fourth floor walk up, had one bedroom, a minuscule bathroom, a laughably small kitchen, and barely enough living space for a couch and TV. It was also the best place I ever lived.

Over the years, the girlfriend and I moved into larger apartments, slowly heading further west, over the river into New Jersey and eventually purchasing a house of our own. The girlfriend is now my wife and we have a 3 year-old running around as well as a dog that tests my patience every day.

The moment I started renting, my father would remind me on a regular basis that I was wasting my money and should just buy a place of my own. It would be an investment that would help me create wealth over the years as I slowly built up equity… something like that. Most importantly, I will build a sense of pride knowing that I am part of community homeowners.

Having neighbors is also great!


This January, I will be officially a homeowner for 5 years, and I can tell you with utmost certainty that it is shit. Sometimes, I look back to the time when I was renting and think of all the things that bugged me about being a renter, and how they seem trivial now.

When I was renting, I took for granted how much goes into maintaining a home, mainly because I wasn’t responsible for maintaining anything. If the water heater broke, I’d call the landlord. Saw a mouse in the basement? Call the landlord. Is the thermostat not working? Call the landlord. I wasn’t even responsible for shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. I paid my rent and utilities and that was it. I was happy.

Bleeding walls? Call the landlord.

So why ruin such a good thing and actually buy a house? Over the weekend, my furnace stopped working, for no apparent reason. After spending a Sunday morning and evening trying to fix the problem myself, I capitulated and called the HVAC specialist. Turns out, it was a broken valve on my oil tank, a part that only costs a few dollars. The HVAC tech charged me $125 for twenty minutes of work and now I know how to replace an oil tank safety valve. Please excuse me while I go kick myself in the head.

What I find most annoying is that I do consider myself a handy person. My father is a contractor and I worked with him for years during summer breaks and part time during college. I learned a lot, albeit not enough to be an expert in everything, but enough to become an expert in a few things, and knowledgeable enough in a great many things that fall under the umbrella of home improvement, like Bob Vila.

bob-vila-featured
These skills have been indispensable as a homeowner, because I don’t have bags of money laying around the house that I can give to a contractor when a simple light bulb burns out.

Apparently, I’m in the minority when it comes to being handy. I grew up with a stocked tool chest in the garage and when I bought my first home, getting a set of basic tools and assorted hardware was a priority. Also, having a garage full of tools just looks cool and makes me feel like a REAL MAN. Over the years, I slowly added to my collection–a power tool here and hand tool there. I have now become saddled with the reputation of being handy in the eyes of my in-laws.

Here’s a case and point. A few weeks back I’m at my in-laws when a towel rod in the bathroom breaks and I get called in to fix it. I assess the situation and state that it’s a simple fix and I need an allen key set or a small flat head screw diver. I was given a butter knife, a box of toothpicks, and some paper clips, like I’m motherfucking MacGyver.

macgyver

It doesn’t stop there. As I was inspecting the broken towel rod, trying to repair it with assorted crap from the kitchen junk drawer, it was pretty obvious who installed it. The brackets to which the towel rod was attached to were upside down and the rod was forcefully screwed into the underside of the flat metal bracket. This was clearly the handiwork of my illustrious father-in-law.

My father-in-law is of the belief that he can build and fix anything, because he owns many assorted tools and hammers of various sizes. He can construct just about everything with brute force, hammers, nails, and Krazy Glue.

it-isnt-brain-surgery-drill-head-asian-games-rerun-stupid-human-1295053064
Last time I saw him; I was visiting his home where he proudly showed off to me the new storage closets he built in his garage. These were storage closets in the most general sense of the word, in that they were large boxes, constructed out of wood, some screws, but mostly nails, rudimentary doors, and had an interior in which random stuff could be stored inside.

He then mentioned to me that he now had a project for me though, as his Internet was painfully slow and his frequent calls to the service provider indicates that there is nothing wrong. It was then that I had to tell him that he built his precious closets in front of his wireless router and circuit breaker box and he now has no easy way to access either of them. Later that night, my wife lectured me on how I could have told her father that his closet design was faulty in a more delicate way.

So as you can very well tell, owning home a sucks, as a great many things can and will go wrong, in which you will have to fix yourself, or pay someone handsomely to fix for you. Also, if you show any aptitude on being ‘handy,’ people (the in-laws in my case) will coerce you into fixing shit in their houses for them, FOR FREE!

So you may be asking yourself why would anyone want to buy a house? The only reason I can give you, and this is a damn good reason, is that you can build yourself a killer game setup in the basement, crank up the volume, and scream bloody murder when you die, because no pain in the ass neighbor is going to complain.

If You Need to Ask, Then You Can’t Afford It

When I was a young boy, around the age of 9 or 10, I used to dream of one day being rich and powerful. I wasn’t just going to be your run-of-the-mill wealthy mind you, but obscenely, filthy, Bond villain-esque, Middle Eastern sheikh wealthy.

In a perfect world, I would be a wealthy Middle Eastern Sheikh and professional wrestler.

In a perfect world, I would be a wealthy Middle Eastern Sheikh and professional wrestler.

I actually used to watch The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and think, one day that will be me, but I wasn’t just going to own boring yachts, jets, and private islands, I was going to own a flying yacht that could turn into a private island. Hot supermodel quality guards would also staff my flying, floating, private island paradise, because when 10-year-old boys think of anything, it inevitably devolves into sex… and boobies.

jordan-carver-bad-girl-gir-with-the-gun-big-breasts-boobs-jordan-carver-sexy-nude-jordan-carver-best-porno-images-jordan-carver

…AND GUNS!

I vividly recall drawing extensive diagrams of some of my various yachts, jets, and mansions that I would one day own during my free time at grade school. Of course, as the years went by, I didn’t become insanely wealthy, and this memory started to fade away. That is, until recently.

All these old memories began to bubble back up to the surface again after logging in a lot of hours in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and seeing my Mother Base in the Seychelles expand from one platform into many interconnected structures that stretched out into the horizon in all directions.

MGSV-The-Phantom-Pain-E3-2014-Screen-4

At first, I found this concept to be ridiculous, but as my base grew in size and function, the 9-year-old boy in my subconscious began to take notice. This imaginary base, out in the great blue sea is the stuff that dreams are made of.  Growing this base became not just a small part of this sprawling, complex game, but an obsession.

There is just one small problem. Mother Base in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a bit too industrial and militaristic for my tastes. I’m older now and more experienced. Industrial orange paint and no frills sensibility is fine for Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, and a private mercenary force, but I require something more refined.

That is why I was delighted to find out that building a private floating island like Mother Base was not just possible, but it didn’t have to look like an offshore oil rig. BEHOLD!

1445029554612055075

Migaloo, an Australian company that apparently builds luxury submarines and submersibles for the insanely wealthy will also build for you what they call a Kokomo Ailand, which is a private floating habitat based on semi-submersible platforms. It’s just like Mother Base, but with CLASS!

Go ahead and take a gander at the promotional video below, and do your best to not fuck the first person you see when you hear the sweet sounds of generic porn music that accompanies it.


So what exactly are you getting with you purchase your very own Kokomo Ailand? LUXURY, that’s what! See below:

  • Private owners penthouse 80 M above sea level
  • Jungle deck with palm trees and vertical gardens
  • Beach deck with entertainment pool & barbecue area
  • Garden deck with al-fresco outdoor dining
  • Spa deck with spa and beauty saloons
  • Large pool areas and waterfalls
  • Two beach clubs including beach gym
  • Underwater dining saloon, shark-feeding station (No mention if the sharks have frickin’ laser beams.)
  • Outdoor cinema
  • Helideck
  • Massive storage for tender & toys

Eat your heart out Diamond Dogs. Mother Base sounds like a total shit hole compare to this place.

1445029554698214691

I especially like the last bullet point stating that Kokomo Ailand has massive storage for tender and toys. I’m assuming that the folks are referring to massive stockpiles of cash when they say tender. I’m talking Scrooge McDuck, swimming in massive piles of tender.

scrooge-mcduck-swimming-in-money

It also goes without saying that when you have your own Ailand, pesky laws that regular losers have to follow on the mainland simply do not apply when you’re in international waters. Go ahead and eat an endangered species like a Galapagos sea turtle then do massive amounts of blow of a hooker’s ass. Who’s going to stop you?

sea-turtles-4

All in all, I like how there is no mention on how much it actually costs to purchase your very own Kokomo Ailand on the Migaloo website. Well, as the old saying goes, if you have to ask how much it costs, then you can’t afford it.

Cut from the Same Cloth: Gamers, Geeks and Sport Fanatics

One of the best things about big gaming and comic conventions like PAX, E3, Tokyo Game Show, and Comic Con is seeing all the hardcore fans in cosplay showing off what probably took weeks and possibly months of passionate hard word to create.

Some people take more time creating their costumes than others.

Some people take more time creating their costumes than others.

Many people will say that cosplay is unique to gaming and ‘geek’ culture, a term that I don’t care for personally.

Yes, gamers, as well as those who enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and comic books are a passionate lot, and we get lumped together as being geeks or nerds. We can be very enthusiastic when it comes to our hobby and genres of choice, leading to impassioned conversations, public displays of fandom, and remarkable acts of cosplay.

Non-gamers and non-geeks will casually point out that cosplay, online flame wars, the waiting in line for a midnight launch, and Gamergate as examples of their superiority over the lowly gamer and geek.

Dressing up like idiots, queuing up outside in the cold, having irrational and heating conversations is beneath them. They have too much class for that nerd bullshit.

There is one group in particular, who has a tendency of being very much anti-geek and anti-gamer, and yet, practices the same behavior as many hardcore gamers and nerds, but they would never admit it.

fans

The NFL is the most popular sports league in America and its fans are a passionate and vocal bunch, just like gamers and pop culture enthusiasts.  Dressing up and going to a game looking like a rejected juggalo is okay, because they’re just showing TEAM SPIRIT. They’ll put a block of cheese on their heads and sit in sub-zero temperatures with their fellow fans and enjoy it god damn it. If you have a fucking a problem with that or god forbid, are a fan of the opposing team, you better be prepared to have beer poured on you and being cursed at the entire game.

Or if you’re at a Raiders game, being shanked in the belly with a filed down screwdriver.

Or if you’re at a Raiders game, being shanked in the belly with a filed down screwdriver.

It’s not just American football that has fanatical fan bases.

Random baseball fan.

Random baseball fan.

Random Canadian hockey fans.

Random Canadian hockey fans.

Random Swedish soccer fan.

Random Swedish soccer fan.

There are other parallels as well between gamers and sport fans.  In the case of this blog post however, we’ll stick with football fans, since football season has just started and football fans can be the most obnoxious.

As it was mentioned earlier, gamers and geeks alike can be very vocal online in the comments sections of various blogs, websites, and online forums.  Look at the reactions you see online whenever a highly anticipated game comes out or the game industry is going under some controversy, like Gamergate.

RAGE!

RAGE!

Sports fans and football fans especially can be just as vocal. Go onto a site like ProFootballTalk.com and read some of the comments and you’ll encounter some of the most amazingly fanboyish trolling since the inception of the Internet. It’s almost like someone just took the comments from the Destructoid forums and did a ‘find and replace’ of all mentions of PS4 with the New England Patriots, and Xbox with Dallas Cowboys

Sports talk radio is also incredibly hilarious.  I was up in Boston recently and had the opportunity to hear Patriot apologists, like long time listener first time caller Peter from Quincy Massachusetts who thinks “AHHH, THE NFL COMMISSIONAHH HAS IT OUT FOR BRADY AND THE PATS BECAUSE WE AHHH WINNAHS AND EVERYONE AHHH LOSAHS. YOU THINK BRADY IS THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRSIT? THANKS! I’LL HANG UP AND LISTEN.”

Tomorrow they'll be back at their jobs as neurosurgeon and attorney.

Tomorrow they’ll be back at their jobs as neurosurgeon and attorney.

Hardcore football fans, like Peter from Quincy are worse than console fanboys. Console fanboys are bad, but hardcore Patriots fans and football fans by extension are delusional and highly paranoid group of people.

I freely admit that I used to be a jock. I played football and soccer, ran track, and was a gym rat. I still enjoy going to the gym, passionate about soccer, watch a fair amount of both baseball and football. There are also teams that I follow closely and I am passionate about. I own a few Yankee caps and soccer shirts, I follow the NFL and root for the Giants, and on occasion, still play a bit of soccer and try not to tear my hamstrings or shred the ligaments in my knees.

Then there is the fantasy aspect of the NFL, something that I partake in every year, because I like to combine watching grown men giving each other brain damage with gambling.

football-head-shot-collision

When I first tried Fantasy Football, the Internet was still in its relative infancy.  A group of my jock friends and I met in one of our parent’s basements, and performed our draft.

We elected someone the commissioner of our league, ran a raffle to setup the draft order, and consulted a book that contained the rules and statistics of every player in the NFL that could be drafted. This was the gamification and nerdification of football in its infancy as far as I’m concerned.

Looking back I see that our early NFL Fantasy Draft was essentially D&D for jocks and frat bros. Our commissioner was our Dungeon Master, the official draft book was our Official D&D Player’s Handbook, and the teams we were creating were our avatars, who would battle every week.

zerocharisma

My group of friends and I were now no different than the nerds we made fun of for playing Magic the Gathering at lunch. The only difference being that the nerds debated the tactics of using a Fire Wizard against an Ice Orc (or some shit like that) and the jocks deliberated whether to start Steve Young against the Dallas defense.

Magic the Gathering Players

Because I was not a pure meat-head like many of my jock friends, as I was into sports, but liked to indulge my nerdy side as well, I was able to see how the two pastimes of fantasy sports and fantasy role-playing had plenty in common. However, the jocks, meat-heads, as well as the nerds would never dare to admit that what they were actually were pretty closely related.

I'm like this guy, who went to a Saints football game dressed as FABULOUS Master Chief.

I’m like this guy, who went to a Saints football game dressed as FABULOUS Master Chief.

Now, fantasy sports have gone online and massively multiplayer with sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, much like video games in general with the proliferation of eSports, Xbox Live, and PSN. On top of all this, there is substantial money that can be made in both fantasy sports and eSports as well. The only difference is that the media and public perception is that fantasy football is cool and manly; while eSports is for geeks and freaks that live out of their parent’s basements and is generally a fringe pastime.

It does look like we’re starting to see a pivot however. ESPN, the self-professed worldwide leader in sports has taken an interest in televising and covering eSports.  This is a substantial shift in my opinion.  Perhaps they see that the demographic is merging, and that there is no longer a clear distinction between the fans of sports, eSports, and gaming. I mean, I like sports and gaming, and the fact that ESPN is now covering both is something that resonates with me personally.

"I too enjoy combining sports and gaming" - FABULOUS Master Chief.

“I too enjoy combining sports and gaming” – FABULOUS Master Chief.

Even DraftKings, purveyor of horrible advertising and weekly Fantasy Football betting is tipping its toe into eSports gambling. Their goal is to tap into eSports Gambling in Asia first and then slowly expand globally.  So our friends in Asia can look forward to being constantly bombarded by shitty ads featuring grinning screaming/morons like the ones below.


So in the end, the sports nut, the gamer, and the sci-fi/fantasy geek have more in common than not.  We’re all kindred spirits who should be united in our fanaticism. We should rid ourselves of juvenile terms coined in the halls of high schools such as nerd, jock, geek, meat-head, and freak. In solidarity, we should wear diary products on our heads like a hat, dress up as Bilbo Baggins, cover our bodies in grease paint while stand out in the cold. We shall continue to berate and verbally assault people online who may disagree with you, whether it’s an obnoxious Pats fan our PC Master Racers.

We are all the same. Except for wrestling fans. Those people are weird.

SmugFan

What Game Maker Would You Go on Vacation With?

Summer is winding down. Soon, we will be heading back to school, half-day Friday’s at the office will be ending, and there will be a nip in the air as autumn approaches.  Of course, if you live in the southern hemisphere, summer is just beginning.

As I sit here writing this, just a few days before Labor Day in the states, which is the unofficial last day of summer for us yanks, I’m thinking back on the recent and the not so recent summer vacations that I’ve been on. Some were good, some were great, and some were utter shit. That got me thinking, what would it be like to go on vacation with a big time gaming personality?

Shigeru Miyamoto – Creator of all things Nintendo.

Going on a vacation with Shigeru Miyamoto would probably be nice if not amazing.  I imagine a wholesome, family friendly, and highly organized affair to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

I’d like to think that he would have customized tee shirts made that everyone had to wear. Embroidered on the shirts, along with your name would be “Miyamoto Dream Vacation 2015.”

Miyamoto with Family

Sure, the cool kids at the beginning of the trip thought this vacation was totally lame, but end up having the best vacation ever! Even grumpy uncle Frank who poo poo’d the trip in the beginning has a blast and learns a valuable lesson of love and forgiveness at the end. THANKS SHIGGY!

Peter Molyneux – Creator of Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Fable, and broken promises.

Going on vacation with Peter Molyneux wouldn’t be bad, but it would probably fall short of initial expectations.

1388203-peter_molyneux_ego_super

Have you ever been looking forward to a vacation to someplace new and exciting only to show up and realize that the place is okay, but not quite what you were expecting? Maybe the brochure was using a fancy camera angle with fish eye lens. Maybe you decided to go during hurricane season. Or maybe the pictures you saw were from thirty years ago and the place now looks run down and is in desperate need of a new coat of paint.

moly on beach

The Hotel looked bigger on the pictures we saw online.

The vacation wouldn’t be bad per se, and you may end up having an okay time, but you just can’t help feeling a bit disappointed.

Cliff Bleszinski – Creator of many games with muscular space marines.

Going on vacation with Cliff Bleszinski would probably be, no pun intended, FUCKING EPIC!

Who’s ready to party?

Who’s ready to party?

There is something about Bleszinski that screams debauched vacation aficionado. Maybe it’s the fact that he used to go by the nom du guerre “Cliffy B” or he used to have an awesome Pornstache (see above).

He looks like the type of person who would rent a party boat on Lake Havasu while flying a giant banner from the mast (party boats have masts right?) that says “SHOW US YOUR TITS!”

Cliff Lake Havasu

Natty Ice would flow freely. Jell-O shots would be eaten off the tummies of co-eds, whip cream licked off the chests of frat bros and everyone will have horrible hangovers the next day. WONDERFUL!

This actually sounds horrible to me now, but when I was a younger man, this would have been awesome. Also, Cliff has grown up a bit the past few years. He may not be down for doing a line of coke off an Arizona State sorority sister’s tramp stamp anymore either.

Hideo Kojima – Creator of Metal Gear, Snatcher, and other things… probably.

Remember that Swedish dad who took his kids to the Gaza Strip to teach them how war was not a game when they asked for a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts?

Kojima Vaca
It will be like that, but much worse.

Sid Meier – Creator of Civilization (the game not literal civilization).

Sid Meier reminds me of a cool history teacher that I had in high school. He’s just a nerdy looking guy who takes things that should be dull and boring, and he makes them fun and interesting.

I imagine that a vacation with Meier would be educational but fun, perhaps to someplace historically significant, like Rome or London. He’ll probably be leading a large group, holding up an umbrella so that he doesn’t lose anyone while pointing out interesting things that can be easily missed and regaling us with fascinating facts.

Sid Tour-guide-w-umbrella copy
Richard Garriott – Creator of Ultima, Tabula Rasa and other things that will not help you get laid.

Garriott will probably be the exact opposite of Meier in terms of a fun yet educational vacation. There is just something about the man, that makes me believe that he will just take things a bit too far.

garriottttt
I see Garriott creating meticulous and accurate costumes for each family member, piling them into the station wagon and driving to a distant Renaissance Fair out in the middle of nowhere.

Lord British New-Jersey-Renaissance-Faire
He’s going to force you to stay in character the entire time and if you don’t, well it’s off to stocks for you. People are going to throw rotten vegetables and it’s going to be horrible and psychologically scarring.

Alexey Pajitnov – Creator of Tetris, Tetris, and Tetris.

alexey-pajitnov
Pajitnov is Russian. Every Russian person I know likes to drink excessively on vacation. I’m completely okay with this way of vacationing. People who do not do this on vacation should be looked at with suspicion and contempt.

ap on vaca

Is there some other game maker you think would be fun or horrible on vacation? Let’s hear in the comments.

The Silly World of Gaming Related Stock Photography

As someone who has been gaming for nearly 30 years, I’ve seen the medium go from children’s pastime to mainstream entertainment.  However, there is one thing that has not changed much, and it’s that many advertising agencies don’t understand gaming for shit.

This is coming from someone who has actually worked in and collaborates with ad agencies to this day, so I do have real world knowledge of this.  I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt that the vast majority of them simply do not understand the core concepts of video games.

Even fancy ones with giant face chairs and shit.

Even the fancy agencies with giant face chairs are clueless when it comes to games.

Now, there are exceptions.  There are (probably) plenty of agencies out there that specialize or have experience in video game marketing and advertising. These are the companies contracted by game makers directly. Many publishers develop their advertising internally, because who knows the product better than the ones who are creating it, right? RIGHT?!?

We’re not here to talk about those types of ads.  These are good ads from competent companies, for the most part.  We’re here to poke fun at the ads and stock photos of agencies that have no fucking clue what they’re talking about, because making fun of ignorant people is fun.

"This copy is good, but let's add some more stereotypical dialogue like EXTREME and RADICAL!"

“This copy is good, but let’s add some more stereotypical dialogue like EXTREME and RADICAL!”

Let’s take a relatively recent ad for the delicious and colon exploding savory confections known as Hot Pockets.


This commercial goes off the rails mainly because this is not how gaming works in the real world. Gaming will probably never work like this. However, in the minds of ad executives who probably never picked up a game pad in their lives, this is EXACTLY how games work.

That’s a recurring problem with many ads that have video games. The act of gaming is either extremely out dated or severely detached on how it actually works.

This isn’t just a problem with video games mind you. Agency folks have told me point blank that they tweak many things in order to make a point or capture the essence of an activity due to time constraints in the ad or to make something look more interesting.  However, there are many instances when the agencies and creative folk simply don’t give a fuck.

Take this image, for example:

XBox-720-Concept-Controller
I first came across this image approximately 3 years ago while working at a large global consumer goods company.

I was walking to my desk, which just so happened to be near the design “gurus” when I noticed this image was posted on a very large poster with other Xbox branded items.  There were mock-ups of the Xbox Live dashboard, sample banner ads touting my company’s products, images of people enjoying our product, images of people gaming, various charts and graphs, and that fucking monstrosity above.

I went to one of the designers and asked what the poster was about. The designer, who was bearded, wearing a flannel shirt, and donning very expensive designer eyeglasses said that they were pitching Microsoft on a marketing partnership and that was part of their presentation.

Horrified, I told the “lumber sexual” designer that he couldn’t use that image of the controller. I explained to him that this controller does not exist, will never exist, is clearly a joke, and if they show that to Microsoft, they will get laughed out of the fucking room.

The designer, who was clearly trying to channel a myopic Paul Bunyan, annoyingly peered at me above the rims of his designer eyeglasses, sighed and stated that he wouldn’t know, because he never played a video game in his life (highly doubtful) and he thought that the image was fine, but he will chat with his boss about it.

Lumbersexual

I was a fan of not playing video games before it was cool.

I don’t know if they ever changed the image, but I do know that my former company never formed a marketing partnership with Microsoft, at least, not at that time.

What’s even sadder is that this image was seared into my mind’s eye after all these years. When I decided to write this post I starting Googling images of controllers and after a short while, found it. It came from a PS4 fan site and is a knock on Microsoft. That would have gone over great with the folks at Microsoft.

Clearly, this was a dumb move on my former company’s part, but the truth is that even proper stock photography and video houses have tons of crappy gaming related images and video that they are selling to ad agencies and internal marketing departments of corporations who simply don’t know any better.

Here are just a few examples.

Generic Console

Stupid Hardware

These first two images are examples of stupid hardware.  Consider the first image and how ridiculously generic it is.  I realize that you cannot use the actual hardware with the Playstation of Xbox logos , but you can cover that shit up. These two images are just plain lazy.

Generic FamilyWhat a beautiful family. Look how close they are, huddled up together.  They must really love each other.  Too bad 3 out of 4 them appear to have never held an actual controller before.

This time with grandmaHey, let’s invite grandpa and grandma too.  By the way, why are the kids facing away from the TV, which is also not on? Is that how video games work? WHO CARES!

Close GamersI don’t know about you, but when I’m gaming with my buddies, this is exactly how we look. Practically on top of each other and we may or may not be wearing any pants.

For the ladiesGirls play games too you know.  Also, thanks to the Wii, people think that motion controls are now an integral part of every game ever made. The PS2 had motion control right?

Swaying in the WindWhy are they sitting on a table? Why are they swaying back and forth? Why are they yelling?

Now, you may be thinking that I combed through stock photo site after stock photo site looking for the worst of the worst and you would be wrong. First of all, I’m incredibly lazy, so I would never do that, these images were easy to find and secondly, they are all from reputable stock photography companies. You may have also noticed that these images are not cheap either.

It’s not just photography though. Stock video is just as bad if not worse.

Bask in the green glow of video games and technology. It’s so alien and possibly dangerous. Also, what is up with the girl in the back?


Overly expressive gesticulation. Also, do people still pass the controller back and forth like a joint?


Look at grandma and grandpa, play the Xbox Three Six Wii. This is a great example of using hardware incorrectly or in a way that does not makes sense to an actual gamer. Also, there is a very good chance that this video can be used for Cialis, Viagra, or any other pill that makes your dick hard when the time is juuuuust right.



This is wrong on many levels. It appears that at any moment they are going to swap partners and start eating each others genitals.


This girl is having a whirlwind of emotions. She may need to go on mood altering medication.


Lastly, you can cut the sexual tension here with a knife. These kids are clearly going to have unprotected sex any second here. Gaming is a gateway to sexual deviancy and children being born out of wedlock, everyone knows that.

Also, Shaggy McBeardy over there clearly has never picked up a controller before and this is turning his girlfriend on.

The people who created these stock images and videos are ignorant on so many levels its laughable. The concept of video games at this point is nothing novel, and yet people in the advertising world are still relatively clueless about how gaming actually works.

That brings me to a question for you. Has there ever been an ad that portrayed gaming so poorly, whether it was for a game related product or something completely unrelated that rubbed you the wrong way? Would this keep you from purchasing said product?  Let me know in the comments.

One for the road.

One for the road.

World of “Bat” Tanks

The late great comedian Rodney Dangerfield once said “I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.” I can relate. I once bought a game about Batman, and I was completely ready to play a game about being Batman, it just turns out that it’s a game about tanks.

No respect.

No respect.

There’s nothing wrong with tank combat in video games by the way. I wrote a blog post about my favorite game related tanks that was front-paged a little while back. Fighting in a tank against other tanks in a video game is a jolly good time and I highly recommend that everyone try it at least once.

There is just one issue though. I like to specifically engage with games where tank combat makes sense. A game like Call of Duty is going to have a tank level, guaranteed. The Battlefield series would be strange without a tank level. I would be remiss if I did not have the opportunity to play in a Scorpion in Halo. Tanks in these games make sense.

I was, however, not ready to engage in tank combat as Batman and this is something that you do a lot in Batman: Arkham Knight.

You better get used to this view.

You better get used to this view.

Now, I’ll be totally transparent and say that the tank combat in Arkham Knight is very competent and certainly fun. The problem is, being a Batman fan, there was never an instance when I said, and “You know what Batman needs MORE FUCKING TANKS!”

When I think of Batman, I see a haunted man, who uses his wealth and wits to become the ultimate detective who then beats the living shit out of bad guys with his bare hands. Sure, he has incredible gadgets, weapons, and vehicles, but a Batmobile that can turn into a tank on the fly?

I can suspend disbelief to an extent, this is a comic book character after all, but I feel like the whole Bat Tank function is bit contrived. My Bat senses tell me that developer Rocksteady depends on this functionality way too much in the game for my liking. It feels like a crutch—a way to pad out the game, or maybe force it into new directions, adding a new dimension to the gameplay and it is wholly unnecessary. There are far too many instances where the Dark Knight is piloting his stupid tank.

SPOILER ALERT BELOW

Spoiler Squirrel is looking out for you.

Spoiler Squirrel is looking out for you.

The fact that the storyline has to explicitly state that the tanks Batman battles against are unmanned drones, so he can blow them to smithereens with his 60-millimeter cannon is a bit of stretch. He can blow them the fuck up because he’s not killing anyone, which would be against his bat code. Isn’t it great how that works out in such a nice and tidy fashion? It’s also fortunate that the city is entirely abandoned by all civilians, so Batman doesn’t run anyone over accidentally or blow them up by his tank’s 60-millimeter cannon or the machine gun, because collateral damage is a bitch.

All in all, I’m enjoying Arkham Knight for what it is, and that’s fun video game. It just doesn’t seem to be a true Batman game. It’s too much of a departure, even if the mechanic it’s self is well done and well executed.

I mean, what will they think of next? A Bat motorcycle with sidecar?

bcycleShit.

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.

1950-Frank-Sinatra

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!

51kIo2v+BgL._AA324_PIkin4,BottomRight,-58,22_AA300_SH20_OU35_

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!)”

4b1a88be20a5f9b7b89141973c23b915

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!

Wii-U_pack_black_EUB-Kopie

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?

698279_3456_625x1000

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?!?)

windsurfing

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

happy

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.

creepy

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

Why do we still care about Backwards Compatibility?

E3 2015 has come and gone. The big corporations had their pressers, the unwashed masses got to try out the latest wares, and the Los Angeles area is free of game industry marketing reps and journalists, to concentrate on more important things, like not dying of thirst.

Out of all the big press events, Microsoft won, in my humble opinion, by a nose,  by slightly edging out Sony. So congratulations Microsoft, you win the Spieler Dad’s Sicilian Donkey Cart for Best E3 Presser – 2015!

donkey cart
To all the Sony fanatics out there, put your pitchforks and torches down. Sony had the thing won, up into the very end, when Andrew House starting talking about the Playstation Vue and Spotify of all fucking things. That’s an automatic disqualification.

Also, if Andrew House was to get a PhD, he can be called Dr. House, which would be neat.


dr_house

Microsoft had shown so many great things at their press event. Plenty of good looking games, cool looking exclusives titles, a new FANCY controller, and HoloLens, to name just a few. However, the thing that got everyone excited the most was the announcement that the Xbox One will now be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360.

Yay?

Yay?

For reasons that escape me, people deeply about backwards compatibility. On the surface, I can understand why this is a feature that would make sense—games are expensive and it would be nice to continue playing your older titles when a new generation comes around. Personally speaking however, I could care less.  I’ve always been about the new hotness. When a new console is released, I go all in. Sorry last generation, time to take you behind the shed and introduce you to Mr. Shotgun.


oldyeller

I thought we were finally passed the whole backwards compatibility debate. Microsoft released the Xbox One without backwards compatibility while Sony hitched it’s wagon to game streaming, by purchasing Gaikai for $380 million so one can pay through the nose and poorly stream PS3 games on the PS4.

Deep down inside, I can’t help but feel that the Microsoft’s plan to make the Xbox One backwards compatible is an elaborate form of corporate trolling.

...We then light the bag of shit on fire, ring the doorbell, and run.

…We then light the bag of shit on fire, ring the doorbell, and run.

In short, if you bought digital games on the 360, you’ll be able to download them again to your Xbox One, if they’re added to the compatibility list.  The same will apply to disc-based games that are added to the catalog. You just need to insert the disc and download the game. And the best part is that this is all free.

In one fell swoop, Microsoft made Sony’s Playstation Now streaming service look like a $380 million turd. This is quite remarkable, as Microsoft had dug themselves quite the hole after the initial Xbox One launch, but they are slowly starting to pull themselves out.

I doubt that Microsoft will be able to fully recover though, but it sure is fun watching them try. They also did something that I thought no one would be able to do, and that’s make me excited about backwards compatibility.

The one caveat is that not every title released for the Xbox 360 will be backwards compatible. It’s safe to say that many of the hits will be, but what about the niche titles? What about the crap titles?

Microsoft has stated that they are listening to their consumers and have created a site where people can vote on which titles get added in future updates. Not surprisingly, the list currently shows last gen AAA mainstays, with Red Dead Redemption rising to the top.

That’s why I propose that we have a little fun at Microsoft’s expense. I went ahead and did a little research on what is the worst Xbox 360 title ever released and propose that we all vote to have Ride to Hell: Retribution added to the backwards compatibility list.


RtH

Let’s ensure that future generations have the opportunity to play one of the shittiest games ever made. Together, we can do it.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE