I love getting stuff I don't need

So the holiday season is quickly approaching and I need to start making a gift list for myself.  I love nothing more then to get gifts that I don't need.  Thinkgeek has often been my goto but I was wondering what else is out there?  Any other great online shops that have a bunch of stuff you don't need but really want to have?    Now I am not talking about $500+ gifts, more like items ranging from $10-$300.  What sites do you go to when you have extra cash and just have to have something you don't need?


X-Plays top 10 NES Games

I gotta say, I watched the top 10 NES games on X-Play and I thought they did a great job.  Just watching that made me want to bust out my old games and play them all over again.  Zelda being #1 was a great thing to see because I think it's one of the most iconic games ever.


A Special "Thank You" to the Giantbomb Staff

Dear Giantbomb Staff,

I have been following you guys since Gamespot and fell in love with Gamespot after hearing the Hotspot and seeing On the Spot.  My favorite people on the shows were Rich, Brad, Jeff, and Ryan (sorry Vinny was not on either much).  Once Rich left it was kinda sad because i thought he was the gel that kept everything togather during the shows.  He was very professional in everything he did and he did a great job.  I continued to listen and even though it wasn't the same without Rich, the shows were still really good.

 Then came the fall of Jeff.  Once he was released from Gamespot i really lost interest in the site.  Ryan and Brad were still there but it seemed like the shows were missing something and the person that replaced Jeff at the time just didn't have the same personality which made it all kinda blah.  I found myself checking in to see game reviews but started to look at other sites.  Then Brad, Ryan, and Vinny left Gamespot and that was the end.  I quit going to their site and didn't have any use for the staff there.  Nothing personal, just not the same chemistry.  

I followed Jeff on his blog and listened to the arrow pointing down podcast every time there was a new one.  Jeff and Ryan talked a little about a project that they were working on and I only hoped that it was something video game related.  

Then came the launch of Giantbomb.  I was excited to check it out and loved the idea of user generated content.  I quickly started writing reviews of NES games (still my favorite system ever) and uploaded crazy images of Intellivision game boxes and other items to help populate the site.  Within a week, the site had already took a new look and to be honest, was better then most game sites i had visited.  The content was truthful, and the community all seemed like they wanted to make the site a success.  

Giantbomb has turned into a MASSIVE video game database that no one should take for granted.  The fact that you can easily share your opinion, write a review, upload screen shots, or even talk about what you ate last week without being annoyed bad ads is unbelievable.  The Giantbomb staff has created something that they should be very proud of, and I want to thank them for it.  I have never seen a site (staff) that actually enjoys this much "customer" interaction.  The whole Quest system is genius and it seems like Giantbomb is constantly trying to make things better for us, without asking for any money.  Endurance Runs, Tang, Video Reviews, Quick Looks, Thursday Night Throwdown, the Bombcast, are all things that the staff puts a lot of hard work into and it shows.  They do a terrific job and I only hope they continue the great work they have done.  

 Jeff, Brad, Ryan, and Vinny, although i never met them, they feel like they are all my good friends.  I want nothing more then for them to succeed and am very happy they have created what they did.  




Is 3D gaming the VR of the 90's?

I am a huge fan of technology and always have to at least try out gimmicky hardware and peripherals.  The latest craze of 3D doesn't quite translate to gaming in my mind and i would actually rather not even bother with it.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for pushing technology but if gaming in 3D is just like watching movies in 3D then i just don't see the benefit.   
This morning i just so happened to open an old Gamepro magazine from March of 1994.  Yes, i do keep all my game magazines and look through them once in a while....total nerd i know.  Anyway, I opened it to the Cutting Edge section because its interesting to see what was on the horizon in 90's and if it every ended up becoming anything.  
The article title was "Taking You into the Technology of Tomorrow" and it was all about virtual reality.  Here are some quotes from the article that got me thinking: 
"As far-out as this setup sounds, it may be reality soon."  - referring to the latest VR hardware 
"If RPI's game plan is successful, the company's on-line system will be operational next year.." 
"RPI has three unnamed on-line VR games in development" 
"...game developers such as Electronic Arts, Origin Systems, and Spectrum HoloByte are working on game codes for VR gaming" 
"...some computer games already have VR tracking capability programmed into them..."  
Now after reading through those you would have thought we were all going to have VR in our homes by 2005!  Why did it never become anything more?  Probably because technology wasn't quite there yet, and you have to have clunky hardware to use it, and very few developers were on board.  Sound familiar?  Sure does, sounds like 3D to me. 
Again i am not against innovation in games, without it we wouldn't be playing on-line, using motion controls, or even using dual thumbsticks on controllers but i don't want innovation to become the only concern.  Without keeping focused on whats working today (great games, great graphics, great sound, great stories) i feel like we may see games of lower value because everyone is trying to push something that just isn't ready yet.