If this video game thing doesn’t work out, I’ve figured out my new gig: helping Halloween web sites escape from 1994. Have you tried looking at a haunted house web site? Oh my god.
I’m headed to a haunted house for the first time in possibly a decade tomorrow night. For whatever reason, San Francisco had zero options in the city, and you need to travel a decent distance for anything that’s not the respectable but remarkably tame Six Flags.
In any case, as October rolls to an end, it’s hard to avoid looking ahead towards November, which brings two new hardware launches. My invitation to attend Sony’s PlayStation 4 launch party in New York City arrived, though lord knows if I’ll actually be hopping on a plane. I’m not sure why Sony is asking folks to fly to New York for this event. They have boxes to ship stuff in, you know.
While the money stickler within me isn’t that psyched for either machine, I can’t help but get caught up in the hype. And while it’s even better that I won’t be standing in line for anything on either launch day, I’ll probably drive around and see what the lines are like. Standing in line was so much fun, man! I stood in line for a PlayStation 2 (didn’t get one, Circuit City ran out), GameCube, Wii, and Xbox 360. I didn’t end up purchasing a PlayStation 3 until a year into its life.
The Wii line was probably the most fun, albeit less so for anyone who wasn’t me and my friends. Only half of the people in line were even waiting to purchase a Wii, everyone else was just hanging out and getting drunk in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Upon coming home in the wee hours of the morning, I spent an hour getting upset that my component cable hadn’t yet showed up, since it meant Twilight Princess looked like crap.
For Xbox 360, though, I spent my morning hanging out outside of a Costco. Places with a membership tend to get fewer allocations of hardware, but it also means there are fewer people showing up. I remember having to purchase a bundle with Kameo: Elements of Power and being pretty bummed out. I actually liked Kameo!
I can’t remember anything memorable about the PS2 line, except high-fiving my mom for allowing me to skip a few morning classes to give the purchase a shot. I still had to go to school for the rest of the day.
You guys have any good line stories?
Hey, You Should Play This
And You Should Read These, Too
Video games are just like any other hobby. Interest can become passion, and passion can turn into obsession. John DeVore has thoughtfully written about growing up with a father who loved video games, seemingly at the expense of having the kind of relationship his son wanted with him. Games allow us to escape, and we can use it as a coping mechanism sometimes. When the real world hurts, why not seek comfort in a virtual one? While that’s not the reason DeVore’s father seemed to spend countless hours staring at a television screen, the reasons we play games are not always about the pursuit of entertainment.
“I remember when he brought home our first videogame system. He carried the box in his arms as if he had snatched it out of a basket floating in the Nile. I remember thinking how many trips to the amusement park one could buy with the funds he invested in a toy I never asked for. If he had asked me if I wanted an expensive toy, I would have happily told him that what I truly required was a Castle Grayskull Playset. It was stunning to see that he had used me. His son. I was his excuse to buy a videogame system for himself. When he first powered it up, he clapped a slow clap; his football clap. The clap he had spent his life perfecting. A slow, satisfied clap that said ‘Good. Effing. Job.’”
I don’t know if it’s possible to give a link a higher recommendation than the one above these words right now. There are not many funny video games, and there aren’t many funny people writing about video games. But god damn, Jon Bois is one hell of a humorist. I’ve never heard of Bois “Breaking Madden” column, in which he regularly breaks Electronic Arts’ annualized franchise, but I’ll be reading it religiously from now on. You don’t have to care about sports to enjoy what Bois has put together, in which he takes the current troubles facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their logical conclusion.
“Heading into Thursday night's game against the Panthers, Schiano's Bucs are 0-6, and his job is likely in some jeopardy. Something must be done, but it must be a something that holds true to Mr. Schiano's game philosophy. Schiano has a special term for players who fit his mold: "Schiano men." I imagine that he knows more about coaching than I do, and that if the Bucs are failing, it's because their men are inadequately Schiano. I released every single real-world member of the Buccaneers from the team, and replaced them with 44 identical copies of Greg Schiano.”
If You Click It, It Will Play
Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away
- Between Me and the Night explores the idea of your nightmares invading the real-world.
- Remember that horrifying Oculus Rift game called Alone? It's trying to expand.
- The Vanamo Online Game Museum wants to help archive gaming history. (We're bad at that.)
- I played Sentris back at PAX Prime, and it's a rad little music game.
Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"
makes me glad when I hear about people with anxiety problems who get a little bit of peace from playing Drop7— Frank Lantz (@flantz) October 24, 2013
doesn't seem okay to release domesticated animals back into the wild just because you don't want them, POKÉMON— pumpkin spice maré (@mareodomo) October 25, 2013
I read this out to people last night, and thought I'd share it. Still the best Antichamber email I ever received: http://t.co/qYxHGvnCQQ— Alexander Bruce (@Demruth) October 25, 2013
Here Are Some Retro City Rampage Steam Codes
Oh, And This Other Stuff
- The Stanley Parable has been a huge success, but that's it's own set of pressures.
- Simon Parkin looks back at Eurogamer's games of the generation, including Portal.
- Darius Kazemi helps break down how Spelunky levels are constructed.
- What happens when someone plays Grand Theft Auto V completely by accident.
- A wonderful profile of the upcoming Below by Mathew Kumar.
- This person's account of playing Super Metroid for the first time is the greatest thing ever.
- If Warner Bros. won't make Mortal Kombat HD, the community will just do it for them.
- Brendan Sinclair looks at the (troubling? strange?) trend of games writers going into PR.
- Chris Pruett and Thomas Grip have recommendations for what NOT to do when making a horror game.
- How The Chinese Room struggled to please everyone when designing Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.
- A developer responds to Total Biscuit's copyright woes. It's not a good argument. Sorry.
- The main character in Eldritch isn't a white dude. Why? The developer explains.