A Weekend for Gaming!

Labor Day weekend is here, and with it is the PAX Prime convention and lots of free time to game! When I’m not with family and friends for the next few days, I’ll be playing some Saints Row IV. I was all over it last weekend but ran out of time to play after work during the week, so I’m looking forward to jumping back into it.

So far, what I love about Saints Row IV is that its premise allows anything to happen — and if something doesn’t quite make sense, that’s okay too. Because it’s a virtual world. You’re the president of the United States, and you’re forced into a simulation by a group of crazy aliens. And so, in this simulation, you get superhero-like abilities of super speed and super jumps. You can scale a building in dozens of chained leaps, Spider-Man style. And then you can exit the simulation to your Mass Effect-style spaceship. (It even makes fun of the romances, which is awesome.) It’s a ridiculous premise and a ridiculous amount of fun.

It definitely harks back to some of those retro video games that didn’t always make sense, but they were intended to be fun, and that’s it. Video games haven’t always striven for realism; they were originally made so you could have a good time playing. And that’s what Saints Row IV is all about, too.

Saints Row IV

Plus, I got my Dubstep gun. I thought it would let out sounds each time you fired it, but instead you hold to aim and let it charge up as you zoom in — and then as you continue to hold, it lets out its song until its charge depletes. It works better than the way I imagined it, and it’s always my first choice when enemies appear… even when it’s not necessarily the most accurate or damaging.

Other games I’ll be playing this weekend are Fire Emblem: Awakening and potentially some Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, or L.A. Noire. What’s everybody else playing this weekend?

— Ashley

Sisters are doing it for themselves (whether you like how they’re doing it is another story)

ARTPOP promotional photo © Lady Gaga (source)

So everyone’s done talking about the 2013 Video Music Awards? Well that’s good because I don’t want to talk about them either… … though…okay, I have to admit that I didn’t watch them this past Sunday as I was too busy picking my jaw up off the ground over the events of Breaking Bad. But when I went to check my social network feed Monday morning — hooboy, did the VMAs garner some news. Lady Gaga being gaga, N*Sync being back together, Macklemore being awesome, and Miley Cyrus being all twerky. I appropriated some time that morning to watching videos of the performances and my reactions probably fell in line with most. But what stuck with me after the fact were the women’s performances: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Katy Perry. And I could help but see them in the light of Isaac Newtown’s famous quote (paraphrased): If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. While each of these performers instill their own levels of art and creativity (take that however you may) into their music and images, they each, again in their own ways, go against the mainstream’s “standard view” of women musicians.  Lady Gaga has been challenging society’s notion of women, beauty, and roles since she first entered the scene. Cyrus has been acting out in ways that very faintly echo (in action only, not musically or message) Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics when she yelled a big “eff you” to the vision of the demure songstress.  And Katy Perry’s playfulness, confidence, and take-me-as-I-am attitude sits in stark contrast to say, the bygone days of a young Christiana Aguilera, who went from being a genie in a bottle to being dirrty in a matter of months.

Continue reading Sisters are doing it for themselves (whether you like how they’re doing it is another story)

The Chindividual asks: why?

My excuses for this cryptic title, but I want to dedicate this week’s post to a quintessential question about our hobbies:


Okay, I think I have to be somewhat more exact: why do you do what you do? Why are you the geek you are, and why do you keep being the geek you are? Am I the only one who asks himself such existential questions? 

You see, I believe that many of us are destined to be geeky. No matter if it’s our genetics, our environment or a mix of both: in any social group, there will always be deviants. It’s like nature has given some of us this built-in mechanism, which forces us to perceive situations from another perspective. However, in order to see things differently, we have to immerse ourselves into different things than other members of our society. According to this theory, all geeks are actually a safety mechanism for society, reminding the herd of different approaches to old or new problems. We’re like the black sheep, just with a love for videogames and cosplay. 

There’s probably as many reasons for being nerdy and/or geeky as there are people in our wide and interesting subculture, but I’m curious to hear your reasons. What keeps you coming back to those special hobbies of yours? 

At the Buzzer (08/29/13)

Episode 108: It’s Science — The guys return after lightning almost killed the show and talk about explosions at school, studies about Twitter, and Bill Nye the Science Guy in Buzzkill. Also, Chris is finally attacked by the buzzer, Dave learns about the meaning of twerking, and Shaun shares more awful stories from his youth.


Secondary Segment — Buzzkill

  • Bill Nye
  • Easy Bake Oven



  • “Main Theme (Rhythm Thief)” by Tomoya Ohtani
  • “Main Theme (Valkyria Chronicles)” by Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • “With Mila’s Divine Protection” by Noriyuki Iwadare
  • “Arkham City Main Theme” by Nick Arundel
  • “Night at the Octodrag” by Thee Jaguar Sharks

Production Assistance: Tony Robinson, Executive Producer

Announcer: Molly Robinson

More At the Buzzer

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Sam and Sam’s Tekkit Ender Quest Part 54 and 55

Triple sized lava tanks barely deserve a mention in this episode since we’ve got a hundred projects on the go and today we’re experimenting with transmutation tablets and philosopher’s stones!
And the rumor on the SSTEQ grape vine is that Cheeese has started on her secret base…

This episode is full of machines, cats and my awesome, super eloquent explanations. And who doesn’t love all of those things?

Character Customization: Reliving My Dress Up Doll Days Through Video Games

saints row 4 gang
The Saints conquer the White House in Saints Row IV

A few weeks ago, I was playing around with the Saints Row IV: Inauguration Station to prepare for the latest installment of the Saints game. This time the Saints are moving all the way up to the White House where your character is now the President of the United States. If you have ever played any of the Saints games, the level of absurdity knows no bounds which is part of its charm for this series. The game hardly takes itself seriously. It’s meant to be enjoyed and laugh at the craziness this game throws at you.

Continue reading Character Customization: Reliving My Dress Up Doll Days Through Video Games

Will The Elder Scrolls Online subscription fee hinder the game’s success?



I had the awesome chance to play during the Elder Scrolls Online’s last beta stress test and managed to become addicted. It had become a must-have game on its release and I was excited to for more chances to explore through this diverse atmosphere. But when the news of ESO’s subscription fee hit the web, I couldn’t help but become a bit disheartened. I’ll share my own reasons why.

Many people argue that the Elder Scrolls Online can survive beneath a monthly subscription fee, and while $15 a month is not a bad price for such a huge and anticipated game, it will definitely create a bit of indecisiveness for console players like me.

I plan to eventually purchase a PS4 and I’m extremely excited for the chance to enjoy a MMO experience on my television screen. My PC isn’t made for gaming, and while I’ve enjoyed the beta experience on there, it doesn’t look very great, and in a game like Elder Scrolls Online where I can spend hours of my day, graphics are a must. Especially on PC.


Because of this, a cool console experience is a must for me, and while I’m ecstatic over the fact that the PS4 will provide some quality MMO games, the price may repel me. I’ll be spending about $400 for the PS4, $60 for the game itself, the price of PlayStation Plus so I can enjoy my online games, and $15 a month just to continue playing the Elder Scrolls Online. Is anyone else a little bit frustrated by this? I kind of am.

Is there anyone else planning on buying The Elder Scrolls Online at release? If so, what do you think about the subscription fee? Do you think the game will be able to survive on a life of monthly subscriptions, or will it fall to become a free-to-play title like Star Wars: The Old Republic? While I’m not too worried about the game’s life on PC, I wonder how this will affect console players.