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(Pink) Masks [Game Overview]
Jan 14th, 2010 by Dan

But none of it is pink...

False Advertising

While running errands the other day I saw a girl wearing a blue pair of sweatpants that had the word “Pink” in large white print on the back. It got me thinking about the discrepancies between who we are and who we tell people we are. I can honestly say that I’ve never met a girl in a bar and opened by saying that I play approximately 20 hours of video games a week or that I run this blog. Instead I’d be far more likely to mention the movies that I like, the music I listen to, or the fact that I love baseball. It’s not really a lie, I’m not proclaiming to be pink when I’m clearly blue, but it’s not being totally honest with myself or the things that I spend most of my days doing.

It comes naturally from experience, since almost every girl I’ve ever dated or been interested in just doesn’t care much about the things that I do, which does call into question whether or not they’re suitable for me. I mean, is it really fair that she wants me to listen to the convoluted soap opera going on between her and her friends or that she wants me to take a real interest in her major or profession, but when I even start to talk about engineering, my job, or a video game I’m met with blank stares or a plain “I don’t care”? I’ve got a friend who tells me that she honestly cannot stand to listen to the things that her significant other talks about. Other girls have actually complimented me because I don’t subject them to the same boring conversations that their boyfriends or husbands would subject them to. Is this even healthy?

To a certain degree I think it’s healthy to have these partitions in place. That old stereotype about men talking about football while the women talk about shopping does play out plenty of times in groups that I’ve been a part of and nobody really worries about that. Men and women simply have different interests and tastes, but that’s not quite what I’m talking about here. I feel sometimes that even if the guys were to talk about video games they’d be way more likely to talk about Halo, Call of Duty, or Madden. Thing is, even if I did play those games, I’d still feel reluctant to talk with them about the topic because I have considerably more hardcore knowledge on the subject.

There’s nothing wrong with being familiar with a player’s career and having intimate knowledge of a team’s history. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t find it a little strange that you know Derek Jeter’s batting average for every year he’s been in the majors. I guess it’s a question of intensity. When something that you enjoy ceases to be that and becomes something that defines you, people start to frame their viewpoint about you in a different way. If I were to let my love of videogames or comic books or (back in the day) anime define me, I would always find myself pigeonholed into a certain group. Part of my high school life was spent hanging out with people who let these fringe pursuits completely define them and I found myself unhappy with the restrictive social group I found myself a part of. It turned into an us vs. them thing. They were busy loving football and being tools while we were technically ostracized just for liking things that weren’t in the mainstream.

That’s just not how I operate. When the opportunity came up to associate with and hang out around the Diversity Programs folks at Cornell, I opted not to. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with diversity groups or minority clubs, but it always seemed, to me, that these groups that hung out with each other based on unimportant qualities like ethnicity tended to be very insular and, to quote kindergarten, “not play well with others.” I guess the question I’m trying to ask is: does choosing not to let the things that define my personal life define me mean that I’m lying to the world?

I’d like to think it doesn’t and that I’m more versatile this way. By not forcing myself to hang out exclusively with like-minded individuals, I’m able to broaden my horizons and learn about way more topics than I’d otherwise be able to. Plus, I have got friends who are just as passionate about the things I privately am too, so it’s not like I’m not able to talk about the things I love (except baseball…the only person I know who is as passionate about baseball is kind of a tool). The only downside that I can see is that I end up with friend groups who are polar opposites to each other and who might not get along, but integrating friend groups isn’t really necessary for a healthy, happy life anyway.

Since this post is more emo than what I typically allow on this site, let me close by saying that my research has determined that Pink is a label of clothing by Victoria’s Secret.

I'm glad I don't have anyone to whom I'd have to explain why I was browsing the Victoria's Secret website to. I can see the conversation now: Research for my blog! Honest! Well I had to look at the bras too!

Relevant and necessary graphical explanation or desperate traffic-grab?

Summer of Arcade, 1 G$ in Losses, Twisted Shadows, and More![Game Overview]
Jul 17th, 2009 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

There’s been a lot of news this week, so let’s get right down to it.

The Xbox Live Summer of Arcade schedule has been announced and it looks like there are some great games coming soon.

22 July – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled – A 3D update of the classic arcade and SNES beat-em-up, this game could be fun, but then again, the 3D models just look so uninspired compared to the cartoon and their pixelated counterparts.

29 July – Marvel vs. Capcom 2 – The most famous of the Capcom vs. series, MvC2 was one of the worst kept secrets in video gaming. We’re all excited to see it arrive soon, even if the game makes absolutely no sense and is hectic as hell.

5 August – Splosion Man – Don’t know much about this platformer other than that 1up.com kind of likes it.

12 August – Trials HD – Some motorcycle racing platformer. :yawn:

19 August – Shadow Complex – Epic’s latest project was surprisingly not Gears of War related. This Metroidvania-style game has a lot of promise and a great pedigree. Will it deliver?

English Downloads

The English have figured out something before we did:

Music game downloads are becoming a significant share of music sales.

They’re looking into counting them on the downloads chart to try and track them a little better. I applaud their practical thinking.

My national pride (the 4th wasn’t that long ago) requires me to say, “Hey, at least we figured out dentistry first!” Sorry UK, nothing personal.

Trailer Time!

Some great trailers and videos about Mass Effect 2 and Uncharted 2.

40 Novels?!

While we’re in the vicinity of Bioware coverage, why not mention this alarming statistic about The Old Republic, Bioware’s upcoming (in 201X) MMO.

The good folks at Bioware claim that TOR will be as long as 10 KOTORs. Now, Knights of the Old Republic was a plenty long game, but the scope we’re talking here is, wait for it, forty (40!) novels worth of dialogue that’s ALL SPOKEN. That’s going to be a lot of audio.

L4D2 and Nerds

Has a week gone by since L4D2’s announcement that I haven’t talked about it?

EA and Valve have decided to show off the new game, specifically a campaign called “Swamp Fever,” at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con. This means I may have more news next week to post about. Good on you Valve and EA

Everything Old is New Again

Much has been said of the recent resurgence of the fighting and adventure game genres. The most recent Giant Bomb Bomcast (Downloadable Here) made a joke about how we were back in the 90s with the punchline being something like “All we need is for Starcraft and Diablo to come out again.”

Well Starcraft II is scheduled for a late 2009 launch, but analysts are starting to get skeptical (quite frankly, so am I), especially given statements by Blizzard itself. They want about four to six months to beta test the new game, but we’re already at a point where only five months remain before 2010.

My prediction: mid-2010.

Two Million?! USO!

Dragon Quest IX went and had two million pre-orders set for the game before launch. Guess what, it sold about two million. Lines weren’t as ridiculous as they were in prior years, but it was still something of an event.

I started reading an article on Kotaku about the launch and it didn’t quite feel like it was by Brian Ashcraft as my RSS reader said it was. It sounded more like…well, I watched a video on the story (good read) and pretty much knew by then that it was Tim Rogers. It’s worth reading and it provides a look at what a modern Dragon Quest launch is like in Japan now that players can just pre-order their games at local convenience stores.

UFC…yawn…

UFC president Dana White says “EA doesn’t give a fuck about mixed martial arts.” That makes two of us…

The real point of the story is that White tried to pitch the ridiculously well-selling UFC Undisputed 2009 to EA a few years ago, before MMA was big, and he was turned down. Now he says that if any fighter signs to be in EA’s upcoming MMA title (creatively entitled MMA), they can kiss the UFC goodbye.

This now makes for two (three, counting this one) more paragraphs about UFC than I ever want to see on this blog again, so I will close with Penny Arcade’s accurate rendition of every UFC match ever.

VIDEO GAME BREAK!

SOUR / 日々の音色 (Hibi no Neiro) MV from Magico Nakamura on Vimeo.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Get ready to say “That’s ridiculous.”

Modern Warfare 2, the sequel to Call of Duty 4, has a special edition coming out that includes functioning night vision goggles. The less said about how ridiculous that is, the better.

Club Nintendo Rewards

If you were a Platinum member of Club Nintendo last year, you can earn yourself a Punch-Out Wii download that will allow you to box Doc Louis, your personal trainer. It’s kind of crazy, but also way cool.

1 Beellion Dollars

You know how EA has that pesky monopoly on football games due to an exclusive deal with the NFL?

Well, according to an economist, that deal has cost gamers about $926 million due to lack of competition allowing EA to raise their prices.

EA thinks this is ridiculous and I kind of agree. Guess what, Mr. Economist? If 2K still had access to NFL licenses, they probably would have sold their game for $60 too.

Looks Neat and Shadowy

That dude, Michel Gagne, who’s famous for leaving Disney and making his own cartoons has got a game in the works and it looks beautiful. Watch:

The game is called Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and it looks quite good and retro-tough. All of the footage is in-game, apparently, so it also looks pretty kicking.

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