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Optix12

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So I (DJ otherwise known as Optix) have decided to travel to America after hearing so much about the wonderful food and the great tasting energy drinks that are not available to the little island of the United Kingdom. My plan is to travel From London and fly in to Washington D.C. and go straight to Baltimore, then after a few days head to New York City and finally ravel back to Washington D.C. to do the proper touristey things there. These are some of my thoughts compiled from the first day. I figure instead of a daily update to these thoughts I would release them every couple of days along with a couple pictures if I remember to take any. Considering the first day largely involved travelling and would probably produce the most content (along with the return trip maybe) I guess the first day will be its own posting. Below will contain a mostly bullet point style list of my thoughts throughout the trip (I tried to update it on the spot as regularly as I could) so it may not read nicely in the form of paragraphs.

  • Bathroom music at Heathrow is next level elevator music. Their playlist is pure serenity while you excavate your bowels.
  • I am one of those people who has serious pain in their ears if they are not chewing gum, the next flight will be fun as I have no euros to buy any chewing gum.
  • SAS airlines into Copenhagen was super smooth except for one panel on the right engine which had two of its five bolts apparently missing. That was fun to watch for the whole flight.
  • Through said flight during my troubles with my ears a child clearly was having the same problem and it became some eerie sort of happening where it sounded like this kid was crying for his mom through a radio transmission. I still think the panel on the engine was scarier.
  • Geometry Wars 3 is a great plane game but is AWFUL on the Vita, I hate and love that the Vita has two thumb sticks but they may as well be two 8 directional d-pads for the amount of throw distance they have.
  • When they de-pressurise/pressurise the cabin I think they are also pressuring you as some people had some bad gas problems.
  • Copenhagen toilets do not have any music whatsoever, step your game up Copenhagen.
  • There is a hella (thank-you Life Is Strange) long bridge connecting a random island with Denmark. Its so far away they gave up the bridge idea halfway and on a small stretch of land it converts into a tunnel the rest of the way.
  • The Denmark airport workers and security have adult sized scooters for transport, it's really funny to see them scoot past with the biggest grins on their faces.
  • I am not a good flyer, My ears are shot and sometimes I can't even hear out of them, I must remember to take chewing gum on the way back with me.
  • I think I am done with Geometry Wars 3
  • I think I got some sleep on this second flight, or at least my arm did when it became numb.
  • I am still not sure on the rule on leaning your seat back but the guy in front of me did not hesitate to get comfy by leaning back almost instantly after the plane had taken off.
  • I don’t think I will get a window seat again, while it is cool to see outside and stuff, being cramped up in a small zone like that kinda sucks, especially when you feel awkward having to wake the guy up to stretch your legs/go to the toilet.
  • Even though I under packed, All this stuff to carry about has now become a pain in my ass. I think I will never use a laptop bag again after this trip
  • The Washington D.C. Metro line looks dark and brooding but is actually suuuuper quick, almost twice as fast as the London underground. If only their ticketing system were easier to understand. Even their trains were fully AC cooled.
  • Less than a minute outside of the Capitol South station of the metro some horse fly or some ass bug bit me, thanks bug.
  • Walking past the capital it looks really awesome, the architecture of the main buildings looked extremely detailed. More info on this when I return to D.C.
  • WHOA the MARC train (Penn line at least) is a double decker train. Why are Americans or other tourists excited to see the British London double decker bus when America has already surpassed us with quicker mass rapid transport.
  • EVERYWHERE in America has running and working AC. Its hot as hell outside and yet inside anywhere (even the giant Union Station) it was super chilled. It puts my bus to shame with its “AC”
  • I am now 3 hours within America and I have still yet to buy or consume any food, damn having to rush to Baltimore instantly.
  • This MARC train is super nice, even though there were almost double the amount of people normally on my train to London everyone seemingly has a seat. ALSO it's like a third of the price, COME ON NATIONAL RAIL.
  • I think I have this terrible problem with AC which completely dries out my throat and does not help with this cough that I have. This trip is going to be fun.
  • I took my first Uber ride to the AirBnB place and the driver was super cool, his story of being retired and when his wife got too naggy and annoying he could use it as an excuse to leave was pretty hilarious.
  • The guy from AirBnB fell asleep as I arrived at his house so I was stuck outside for half an hour where my body became hanging meat for mosquitos. My legs are now all kinds of itchy.
  • Once the guy woke up he is actually really cool and chilled. He knows a ton about Baltimore as well. Its really interesting to see what he meant by a Racial dividing line which he is slap bang on where it appears more white people congregate to his right while a more black group of people tend to congregate to the left. It is really weird to see that happen in this day and age.
  • The guy knew my gameplan of eating as much America as I could and showed me a Chipotle within walking distance and boy their servings are huge. He got a bowl which was basically double what came in a Burrito and you can see below what my burrito looked like before being eaten (I only asked for half of the available stuff you can jam in it).
  • Chipotle is pretty good, not what I expected it being a burrito joint but still pretty good considering they are so rare in the UK.

Thats most of my thoughts about day 1, the transporting phase. The next post will probably cover a couple of days all in one where hopefully I have more photos of great food.

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I figure I may as well update the Jpop thread with new Suiyoubi No Campanella

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I cant't help but love all the work that they produce and this video is no similar feat with a lot of main vocals and a very interesting video theme in the background to cover it all.

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Girls Day just posted their opening salvo into the ill fated "Battle Of Kpop Summer 2015" called Ring My Bell.

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While It has a great chorus and some interesting moments, personally I feel it does not beat Sistars Shake It and it comes close to Hurt Locker by 9Muses.

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@sladeakakevin KCON looks awesome, I dont think anything that size happens over here in the UK/europe.

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#6  Edited By Optix12

From my previous post (yes I will post again)

That Sistar song called Shake It I feel marks summer bangers being here if Bestie didn't already.

It also features the same actor guy from that Bestie song in there as well, I wonder if he will appear in any more this summer.

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And to add a few more songs from the recent updates AOA have produced a new song called Heart Attack

And BTS have a new song called Dope, normally I dont like the boyband style but for some reason this song has really hooked me

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#7  Edited By Optix12

Yea sadly there is no new real kpop from my end that I can really contribute properly with. I think they are all gearing up for summer (saying that I bet the Sistar post will become live as I post this) I guess the best I can do is show a song from the Dream concert which i choose to favourite like Ah yeah:

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or even more importantly my favourite collaboration at the minute MFBTY at DREAM (their two songs were off the hook at this festival/concert thing)

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So this is my first foray into writing a potential review/thought piece and I hope that I can cover what I want to say in detail within the topic that I want to focus on. That focus is directed on what is arguably considered to be a simple flash browser game. The title? “Town Of Salem”.

Now I may have lost a large portion of the audience already when I wrote that this game is a browser game, but please read on as this is much more than a browser game - some may argue a social experiment of trust between 15 people in a single game.

Town of Salem is a free browser game located here or available for $4.99/£3.99 on steam. The game comprises of a town of 15 real life people matched up within a server with an assigned role; ranging from friendly units such as a town lookout to a town mayor and enemy units like a serial killer to even supernatural roles such as werewolves, witches let alone the dreaded mafia.

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The core gameplay is segmented into a day/night cycle where people are allowed to talk to each other through the daytime, and the detective roles (your wish of wanting to be a Magnum PI being granted) out there attempt to find out who is friend or foe, while the enemies of the town try to remain hidden by using their own knowledge of the game and wit, or simply by being silent to grant them their victory conditions. The game is very simple in its construct, but allows for a far-reaching level of social discourse with people acting erratically to be hung as quickly as possible (the jester role wins in this condition), while silent types may either be waiting to gather more information, or want to pose as a neutral role. These neutral roles, such as sheriffs or investigators, don't want to out themselves too early or the evil roles will know who they are, leading to a quick demise. While neutral evil roles don't want to put themselves in the limelight, lest they become found out and are summarily executed by the townsfolk.

What I like about the game is that each player has a unique role within the town, whether it be good or bad, and they must work with whoever may be a friend (or foe to confuse them) to achieve their goal. Most importantly, as each player is a real life person, it becomes a unique experience each time. Through playing this game, what became apparent to me is that many of the players hypothesise that a specific role called the “medium” is almost always the first target of the evil roles within the game, and will appear in the always mounting death list first. The medium role’s main ability is that through the night they are able to talk to the dead, so the idea behind this most likely comes from that as they are allowed to do this, they will become a part of this group very, very soon.

This “medium’s curse” intrigued me through all my playthroughs and I wondered, what if this is a legitimate thing? So in my research I aimed to play at least 25 games of Town of Salem “All Random” (every town player is a random role) and 50 rounds of the standard game type (which guarantees a medium in the town list). Below you can find the resultant data from each of these formats:

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As you can see, the results kind of show a reverse bell curve where early round deaths AND late round/no deaths for the medium actually occurred for the standard format. With the “All Random” format it's a mixed bag, with a strong direction leading to no medium at all (it is all random after all). These results, while limited, show that this so called “medium’s curse” is just a trend within the game’s player base. So I figured, are there any other thematic topics within the history of video games that hold this tradition of hearsay, which we as a player blindly accept?

What I found was interesting to say the least. First I will present the most obvious (and most argued) culprit in this format which is the system of holding the arrow “down and B” to affect the catachability of Pokemon in the various games that have been released. Some people argue holding “A” works, while there are firm believers that aim to prove this method is a legitimate strategy. Whatever the case may be, it still seems to fall down to pure luck. Similar stories of this hearsay type of tale however seem to have been disproved such as the ability to revive Aerith in Final Fantasy 7, if you were able to collect enough coins within Super Mario 64 you were able to play as Luigi, or even the sultry fabled Tomb Raider Nude Code.

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All these so called playground gossip tales would reach one of us with our designated game when we were in those appropriate years (I fondly remember the Aerith revival story), however I feel this is a dying breed, what with the large surge of internet information available to a large portion of the world's population within their pocket or through a simple google search. These mysteries arguably allow for games to shine with people who wish to seek out every nook and cranny in the geometry allowed for the character to walk through. This so called “medium’s curse” could be one of the last calls of playground tales within our videogames that we wish to seek to be a thing, but is actually just a random act of other users.

However, all is not lost as we still have the mystery of whether holding a button improves our pokemon catchability, we still have our questions regarding new games such as whether walls count in splatoon matches, we still have incredibly realised large open world games such as Witcher 3 and the newly announced Fallout 4 to discover, explore and exploit to create our own myths and legends that can, in time, become their own internet fables. These new theories and current trend of more realised worlds in video games give me hope that maybe the simple “medium’s curse” really may exist.

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As for Town of Salem itself? The games are somewhat quick and are always defined by the players that you are matched with. Most of the time the game is very enjoyable, especially if you can collect a large portion of friends together as before you enter the game you can add a completely random name (meaning a mini game ensues where you try and figure out who your friends may be). One word of warning is if you attempt to play 50+ games in a row as fast as possible you may get worn out so treat this game more in kind to one of the Jackbox types of games.

If you liked this writeup then hopefully myself and others will be creating more in the future on the RomsOverBaghdad.Wordpress.com website and pasted here. Also any and all feedback on this is welcome as I would love to enhance my writing experience casually through here, or if you can remember other past "playground stories" as I called them that I may have missed please do share as they are always great to hear about.

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#9  Edited By Optix12

Hey hi, This is a little post about a podcast that I do with a couple of friends from the site and I hope you guys can help gives us constructive criticism or feedback. Its called ROMs Over Baghdad and we are usually focused on video games and general news about said video games. Sometimes we talk about anime too, sorry. The ROMscast is a personality driven podcast with myself (Optix12),Thouddin, InternetPizza, and DannyHibiki. We try to rotate a new friend/guest every week if we can to keep it fresh and interesting. You may have heard about us on the Big Live Live Show Live Premium Stream from a Mr. Jeff Gerstmann and a Mr. John T. Drake or maybe this is the first time you have heard of us. We are using this moment in the spotlight to get some feedback on our podcast so if you have heard any of our work (like the dreaded anime podcast) or are new to us, please don't hesitate to give us some good criticism.

As an aside, if you have any info about how we set this up to be completely free to post to the internet then do @myself (optix12) in your post and I can share what I did and how we run this podcast.

As for the shilling side here are a bunch of links for our podcast:

Website: https://romsoverbaghdad.wordpress.com/

Podomatic: http://romsoverbaghdad.podomatic.com/

We originally used Podomatic as our source but it also allows for custom thumbnails per episode and only has the latest 4-6 episodes due to free account size limits)

You can catch us on iTunes.

You can hit us up on our twitter.

Also we answer questions on the podcast so toss us your hot questions to our email.

As of this post our latest recording is episode 13: Just Commit Sudoku Konami

One thing I was thinking of was to include the podcast on youtube but I have never thought about how to do that/thought it was weird to just have one image constantly on someones screen for around 2 hours or so, but again your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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I feel like Joker from Dalshabet is the new wiggle wiggle. I also like Ah Yeah even though its not as good as up & down in terms of audible performance I like the style they are going for with it.

Continuing on from MFBTY they also released a pretty interesting and fun song called Bang Diddy Bang Bang.

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Moving completely away from the stellar rap perfomances of Bucku Bucku, this song fills the void with a nice bhangra theme of music, a funner upbeat tone and (an even called out) addictive bass line.

Following the various artists from that Bucku Bucku song I noticed Rap Monster released his first solo mixtape with a few standout songs (one songs backing track uses Chase & Status Hypest hype which I thought was funny).

The one song I will highlight is called Do You which has an infectious sort of beat and some pretty good flow.

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