Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Something funny

http://games.ign.com/articles/848/848704p1.html

From the people who brought you a review of "Ninjabread Man" comes a feature on some, ah ... interesting game combinations. I think the Monster Trucks vs. Monsters is the one I'd be most likely to buy.
As for my own gaming mash-up?
DDR Fighter: It's On!
"You are Rich Studly, jet-setting millionaire playboy. Take on the world with your unique dance moves/fighting combos and conquer the illegal underground dance fighting scene. Put arch-rival Zerek Doolander and his dojo of model fighters to shame.
Using the DDR pad, unleash combos upon hapless oponents or just plain embarass'em with your flashy footwork. Play against a friend, with up to four-person dance fights, or enter a rumble of up to 30."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

This week's column

Why so serious?

There are very few movies I look forward to like it's a holiday. The next installment of the Batman franchise is one of them.

That's why I became deeply concerned when I heard Heath Ledger, 28, was dead. I imagine it shocked a lot of people. He was a pretty decent actor and you rarely heard anything bad about the guy.

Ledger plays The Joker in the The Dark Knight, the next film in the Batman series. The movie was finished when the actor died, so it looks like it'll stay on track for its July 18 premiere. Judging from the previews (which is always a mistake, by the way) Ledger's performance is dedicated and unique.

But the question for Warner Bros. studio is: Should it keep Ledger in its ad campaign for the movie? The appearance of Ledger's Joker was a key component in the early marketing of the movie. Fans played online games to reveal the first images of him in costume. Early posters for the movie show a cloudy picture of Ledger scrawling "Why so serious" in blood.

Another weighty question is whether director Chris Nolan should write the Joker character into sequels?

My answer to both is: "Please, God, yes."

Look, a dedicated actor like Ledger wouldn't have wanted his death to be a showstopper. And comic book movies are a form of cultural reverence. The Greeks had Zeus. Americans have Superman.

Every decade or so, we get to relive the same old battles against the same old villains. The actors change, but it doesn't matter. There's probably some Carl Jung-related mumbo-jumbo I could throw in here, but you get the idea.

Keeping Ledger in the previews shouldn't offend the fans and neither should a recast of such an iconic character.

'Manhunt 2'

It won't take me long to dispense with this overrated title from Rockstar, developers of the uber-cool "Grand Theft Auto" series.

The Wii version of "Manhunt 2" is a graphically dumbed-down version of an even dumber concept. You wake up in a mental hospital and have to kill all of the guards.

If you enjoy vomiting on people you just whacked with a crowbar, this one's for you. It's controversial and lame at the same time.

Let's give it 21/2 buttons. And lets all enjoy the "Grand Theft Auto IV" trailer, shall we?

'Call of Duty 4' on DS

Not satisfied with my 30-plus hours playing "Call of Duty 4" for the PlayStation 3 every week, I needed a little pick-me-up. "Call of Duty 4" for Nintendo's DS is a surprisingly good shooter with DS-centric controls.

The game play is a bit like getting on a ride at Disney World. It moves the character along, giving him heads-ups about when to shoot. But it's still pretty challenging. The bomb defusing and charging levels require a bit of puzzle solving, in true DS fashion.

Not bad, not bad. It gets 31/2 buttons. It's no substitute for the PS3 version but it works.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Walmart.com bought a Walmart.com Gift Card for you!

I forgot to post about this sooner, but remember when Wal-Mart canceled my pre-order of SSBB?

Well about a week ago I got an email from them again, apologizing for the price error and for sending us incorrect emails. For our trouble, they sent $10 electronic gift cards to our inboxes.

Not too shabby. At least we'll be getting SSBB for $40 instead of $50, slightly better.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All the hype about Zack & Wiki

Well, I'm a sucker for well-reviewed games that do poorly in sales. Probably comes from being a Nintendo fan for all my life.
So, with some time off, I got my hands on Zack & Wiki: Search for Barbaros' Treasure.
It's decidedly different from just about anything else I've played. It's a point-and-click interface that's all about the puzzles. Reflexes, schmeflexes. Get your brain out and prepare to warp it.
I've only played about three levels so far, and I'm going to attack it en masse sometime this weekend, but from the hour I played it yesterday, it looks like a lot of fun. Maybe slightly overrated, but good enough to get away with that.
More to come ...

Stupid amazing fun with WoW

Dan insisted that I should post this. Two friends of mine and I decided to make new characters to level together on WoW.

We thought it would be hilarious to make them almost identical (triplets!) and have similiar names.

Thus, Xxtasy, Xxplicit and Xxtreme were born. (My toon is Xxtreme ... a mage.)



Then we thought it would be even FUNNIER to make a stupid guild to go with our girls.

Oh snap, Booty My Bay! Yeah. We went there.



Our paladin, Xxplicit, will be going to Europe in a week or so though, so we might have to put leveling the girls on hiatus. Or work out some weird hours to play together! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Did Ledger's role as the Joker play a role in his suicide?

There sure is some speculation.


AP- Ledger said in an interview in November that "Dark Knight" and last year's "I'm Not There," took a heavy toll. He said he "stressed out a little too much" during the Dylan film, and had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker, whom he called a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."

"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told The New York Times. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." He said he took two Ambien pills, which only worked for an hour.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blarg! *III#@#*U(*$" Heath Ledger dead


Damnit.

Here's some profoundly sad and depressing news: Heath Ledger, the actor playing the Joker in the upcoming Dark Knight movie is dead, possibly from suicide.

CBS- He was pronounced dead at 3:26 p.m. in an apartment on 421 Broome St. in SoHo. Police say he was scheduled to have a massage in the apartment, and when the masseuse arrived, a housekeeper went to alert him, but instead found him in cardiac arrest and immediately called 911.

Ledger was said to be found naked at the time of his death.

Sources tell CBS 2 HD's Scott Weinberger the actor's death may be drug-related, and that there were pills, possibly a strong sleeping medication, found near his body.

Police do not suspect foul play.


My sympathies to his family, but if I can be guilty for a moment: please, oh please God, don't let this push back the date of the next Batman movie. I was looking forward to Ledger's take on the Joker and the preview looked good.

The Internet Movie Database said the movie was in post-production, which I can only hope means editing and no need to reshoot any of Ledger's scenes. But won't know for a day or two, probably.

Just a sad, sad day. But like the Joker would say,...Why so serious?

"COD 4," "Manhunt 2"

This week's column will be relatively straightforward, dealing with "Manhunt 2" and "COD 4: Modern Warfare" for the DS.

I don't think "Manhunt 2" really deserved all the attention, and "COD 4" for the DS got too little attention.

Last night, I played "COD 4" for the PS3 for a few hours with some members of my Clan. Then Kevin Qualls and I goofed off for awhile, playing headquarters and domination. I got an airstrike on the shipment level- but some of these folks spend hours memorizing these maps. I wish Activision would give out some more downloadable maps to level the playing field.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Red rings of death explained?

Interesting report posted on Joystiq.com

Rumor: Anoymous Microsoft source reveals truth about the Red Ring of Death
185 Commentsby Griffin McElroy Jan 19th 2008 6:45PM
Filed under: Microsoft Xbox 360



We're sure that many of our readers have experienced, or known someone who has experienced, the death of an Xbox 360. If not, you have now -- every member of the Joystiq staff has suffered the bitter taste of the Red Ring of Death or a ruined disc drive. In the midst of this veritable plague of hardware failures, you may find yourself asking questions of your spiritual leaders and community pillars -- questions like: "Why did my 360 stop working? Was the system rushed to release? How do they go about fixing them?"

All of these questions and more are apparently answered in a recent article by Jake Metcalf from 8Bit Joystick (no relation), who interviewed a nameless "inside source" at Microsoft who was involved in the testing and manufacturing of the console. According to the John Doe, the system was rushed to beat Sony to the market, had purposefully cheap heat sinks (which causes most of the RROD problems), and, most disturbingly, there's a chance that Microsoft may run out of systems with which to replace those that suffer hardware failures.


Read more...
here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And the COD4 addiction rages on...

Dan and one of our photographers, Kevin, have been taking turns playing Call of Duty 4 online on Dan's PS3 for a while now.

When Dan logged on to COD4 yesterday, he had a new friend invite in his mailbox. Looks like Kevin gave in to the pull of the PS3 finally :)

Last night, Dan lugged a little TV over to Kevin's house, I brought my MacBook and we all settled in for a cozy gaming session (even though I was playing WoW instead of COD4).

Geeky, fun stuff yo!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Today's column

Game reviews — Be nice or be cut off


For a video-game journalist, access is everything.

Video-game companies give out review copies of their products. They can hook up interviews with the top executives. They're the gatekeepers.

But are video-game journalists being forced to trade objectivity for access?

This week, Dan "Shoe" Hsu, editor of Electronic Gaming Monthly, called out three companies who cut the magazine off after getting negative reviews.

"Less-than-totally-positive reviews don't sit well with those who are used to those press-release rehashes," Hsu wrote. "Combine that with our candid reviews and you can imagine the consequences that we have to face constantly."

Hsu said readers of EGM can expect little or no coverage of:

• Anything related to "Mortal Kombat."

• Anything from Sony's sports department.

• Anything from publisher Ubisoft.

What Hsu is talking about isn't new.

Early in December, there were rumors that GameSpot Editorial Director Jeff Gerstmann lost his job over a negative review of "Kane and Lynch." GameSpot denies this.

Sony severed ties with game review Web site Kotaku.com for running a story based on "unofficial" (i.e. not Sony PR goons) sources.

Hsu's decision to call out the developers is unusual, according to Joystiq.com.

"Editors are usually reluctant to publicly name names in these situations, for fear of pissing off publishers further," Joystiq.com wrote.

Maybe companies decided long ago they were better off without serious journalism. Look at the sales figures for "Assassin's Creed." According to a report from VGChartz.com, it was one of the top 10 games for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2007, even though it got some mediocre reviews.

Ubisoft's marketing juggernaut carried the day for this overrated title, without help from EGM. Bad for consumers, good for Ubisoft's bottom line.

Can the video-game industry and good journalism co-exist? Yes, but only if the journalists don't lose their spine. EGM's stand is a good start. But as long as there are other outlets ready to rehash publishers' press releases, it won't be enough. And if reviewers can't trust what they read in magazines, that side of the business will suffer.

The industry has a lot to lose, too.

Consumers will eventually tire of shelling out $50 to $60 for bad games. This isn't a trivial sum of money for the average person. Without objective reviews and news, they'll be wary of huge marketing blitzes for games like "Assassin's Creed."

And there are people in this business who are out to make a quick buck, like it or not. When a game like "John Woo Presents Stranglehold" can get a three-page treatment, it doesn't bode well for the cause.

Either we live with the system or buck it. But there is no happy medium. When private companies can dictate what journalists can write, even some of the time, everyone loses.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Bully" about to jump to the top

When Nintendo announced it was getting a ported version of the PS2's well-reviewed hit, I immediately threw it on my "must purchase" list.
Now I read that "Bully" will have a multi-player cooperative mode ... from the game's beginning.
I forsee a significant amount of mayhem coming to that poor little town.
I can't emphasize this strongly enough, but with REAL two-player co-op (not that crap Mario Galaxy tried to pull) "Bully" is set to become my favorite Wii game. At the moment, "Metroid Prime: Corruption" holds that title, but a co-op mode makes up for about 1-2 stars ratings-wise when comparing games. "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" for the Xbox was more addictive than anything has been for the Wii, only because my friend Tyler and I could suit up, make comic book geek jokes and trash-talk the poor schlubs we were beating up endlessley. Honestly, I'll take that kind of experience 9 times out of 10 over playing a masterful game all by my lonesome.
And "Bully" should totally fit the mode. Trust me when I say I will force Dan, Kevin or someone else to put down "Call of Duty 4" to join me in a crusade to torment the jocks, preppies, nerds and townies of Bullworth while making inappropriate comments.
In other news, I'm totally getting my hands on Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 and giving it a whirl, because a certain former intern has told me I must try it. That she beat me to playing it is kinda shameful, cause I loved the first one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I love "The Onion"

From "The Onion" online...

Half Of 26-Year-Old's Memories Nintendo-Related

BROOKLYN, NY—Nearly 50 percent of 26-year-old paralegal Philip Jenkins' encoded long-term memories involve button combinations, game-playing experiences, and spatial-cognitive maps of various levels and worlds from Nintendo's line of video-game consoles, a team of neuroscientists reported Tuesday.

....


"It takes Mr. Jenkins 4.33 milliseconds to retrieve the memory of holding his newborn sister for the first time, but just 1.09 milliseconds to retrieve the memory of knocking Pikachu off the Sector Z platform with Donkey Kong's 'ground pound' maneuver in Super Smash Bros.," McCarroll said. "In fact, the only school-related memory he is able to review as vividly as the underwater-bomb-defusing level of Nintendo Entertainment System's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is his first day of college, which was spent playing multiplayer GoldenEye 007 with his roommates."

According to an fMRI of Jenkins' brain regions during the process of memory recall, his parietal lobe registers the same amount of activity when he hears the word "mother" as it does when he hears the words "Banjo Kazooie."

"Due to sheer repetition in his peak synaptic years for processing new information, every neural strand in Philip's basal ganglia is embedded with the Konami Code: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, select, start," McCarroll said.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tiny soldiers



Received my copy of "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" for the DS a couple of days ago. Broke it out and started playing it this afternoon. And I have to say, it's not bad. It's like the "toy soldiers" edition of "COD"- a small bit battle.

It's pushing my DS's graphics to the limit, I think. The campaign mode is like getting on a ride at Disney world. It pretty much herds you from start to finish, telling you when it's time to have fun.

It gets points for being a pleasant surprise.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Apple presents the world's thinnest laptop


The new MacBook Air was introduced at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco today. It is super-slim, less than an inch thick, and it turns on the moment you open it.

The world's thinnest laptop? Pretty neat :)


I'm still more than happy with my MacBook Pro though! I can't imagine a laptop that thin being able to hold much of a harddrive, but with the way technology moves, ya never know.

New Xbox contributor has "red rings of death" syndrome

Here I thought I'd struck gold- and I have, sort of. Chris Pittman, who works in our online department now, said he'd love to contribute Xbox news and info to the blog....but, his Xbox is in for repairs....


Chris- If you’re like me, coming home to your favorite video game console can be one of the best ways to relieve the stress of a long day at work/school. For many Xbox 360 owners, however, starting up that system only adds to the stress. A console malfunction dubbed the “Red Ring of Death” has taken the life of thousands of Xbox 360 consoles with no end in sight.

Many 360 gamers have experienced the dreaded “Red Ring of Death” while booting Microsoft’s latest console. The problem, which is indicated by three flashing red lights on the system’s “Ring of Light,” is the result of the Xbox 360 unit overheating. At this point the console is essentially dead and must be exchanged at the store of purchase(barring warranty life), or sent off to Microsoft for repairs.

Microsoft initially stated the problem was a rare one, but changed their stance last July by extending the limited warranty on the console to 3 years. This extended warranty applies only to Xbox 360 systems that suffer the “Red Ring of Death.” Microsoft claims that repairing the consoles will cost them over $1 billion.

Many retailers, such as the popular video game store GameStop, will only offer refurbished units in exchange for a faulty Xbox 360 under store warranty. These stores simply cannot afford to replace broken 360 consoles with brand new systems.

The “Red Ring of Death” has become quite the phenomenon in the video game world. YouTube is filled with videos regarding the problem, with the majority featuring a humorous take on an otherwise disappointing situation. One of the more popular videos features a band by the name of Distended Warranty. Their song, “Red Ring of Death,” is a hilarious look at the process of sending the unit to Microsoft.



Successfully starting the Xbox 360 can be a game of its own. Be sure to take a big breath before you press that power button the next time.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Are video game publishers putting the heat on EGM for negative reviews?

Another interesting story relating to ethics in video game journalism from Joystiq.com. Are game publishers punishing Electronic Gaming Monthly for negative reviews?

Joystiq- In his latest editorial, Electronic Gaming Monthly Editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu publicly calls out three companies that are allegedly refusing to work with the magazine due to negative reviews of their games. According to Hsu, the members of Midway's Mortal Kombat team, Sony's sports division and Ubisoft as a whole are refusing to give EGM access to early preview or review builds of their games (in the case of Ubisoft, Hsu specifically says "it seems our coverage of Assassin's Creed was the last straw").


As a result, Hsu says EGM readers will get "little, late, or no coverage" of these companies' games.



Joystiq.com notes while this sort of thing isn't new, an editor of a magazine calling a company out for it is.


Hsu wrote, in part: ...When I took over as editor-in-chief in 2001, I also wanted us to get more real with our previews. I was tired of the press-release rehashes our industry had become accustomed to, so I asked for more sincerity and opinions from our writers and editors.

You can read the full text of that here.

Full article

Got this e-mail from VGChartz.com

Hello Everybody,

I recently wrote a big article on 2007 sales in the USA and Canada, which is the vast majority of what we call the Americas. Within the document, you will find publisher totals, platform sales by month, global hardware sales, and data on where sales from top publishers came from for the fourth quarter, the final six months of 2007, and the entire year. I've also included the top ten titles overall for 2007, as well as top titles for Wii, DS, PS3, PSP, PS2, and Xbox 360. Unfortunately, by dividing the article up to make it fit, no one was able to see it in its full form. Therefore, I am sending it out to all of you to read, and comment on. Whether you agree or disagree with the sentiment in the article, it is provocative, and we want it out there for everyone. Feel free to quote the article directly as a standalone piece, or for your own commentary so long as you cite that I wrote it. Also, make sure to use the links provided in each of the seven sections to show where the item is posted on VGChartz for any direct quotation.

Thanks.

Jacob Mazel
VGChartz Senior Analyst



Here are some key points from the article-

- Nintendo, even removing Wii Play and Wii Sports, was the top publisher in the Americas this year.
- The top ten publishers in the Americas sold over 159 million pieces of software in 2007 – accounting for over 80% of all software sold.
- DS was the top hardware in the Americas this year, selling over 10 million units. Wii, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, PS3 and GBA followed – each selling between 1 and 8 million units.
- Software on Xbox 360 outsold all other platforms.
- The top ten publishers sold nearly 75 million pieces of software in the fourth quarter (running from October to December).


I'll read this some more and digest it- but it looks interesting.

This week's column

Brothers and sisters, join hands

We grew up in the age of video games. Atari, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega: The systems developed in complexity so fast it's a wonder they didn't sprout legs.

And we, brothers and sisters, were quick to club each other like Stanley Kubrick's apes for the privilege of playing.

The days of jostling each other for space around the television set in the laundry room are gone. But the evolution continues. Now the games that divided us as children are bringing us closer together as adults.

Sort of.

My brother Jacob, who lives in Pensacola, and I are fans (OK, addicts) of "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" for the PlayStation 3. My brother was the one who suggested it to me.

"Once you start playing, kiss your life goodbye," he told me.

He was right. My fiancé, Katrina, has her own guilty pleasure. "World of Warcraft" is her favorite hobby.

But she isn't the only member of her family to get the "WoW" bug. Her brother, Kyle, who lives in Montgomery, plays, too. They team up to complete quests and swap money and items.

When I'm walking into a "Call of Duty" war zone, I know my brother has my back. Playing with your sibling and working together at the same time… if you'd told our parents we'd be doing this 20 years ago they'd say: "Our kids are still playing video games?"

Some things you never outgrow. But the old arguments have fallen by the wayside for the most part.

"This is the sweet life, brother," Jacob said as he capped someone on the other team with a perfect head shot.

Indeed.

I can't say video games have brought us closer together. Time and necessity takes care of that. But now our brothers and sisters feel closer. They aren't hours, sometimes states, away from us.

They're right there, ready to log on. All you need is high-speed Internet and some free time.

Oh and a job, too. That helps.

Victory is mine

I finally got enough stars to beat Bowser and unlock the utterly confusing ending to "Super Mario Galaxy."

Fellow columnist John Dietrich and I are now trying to snag 120 stars, which unlocks Luigi. If you beat the game again with Luigi, it unlocks even more cool stuff.

My favorite world in "Super Mario" is the "Toy Time Galaxy." The hardest one is "Bowser's Dark Matter Plant."

I've posted a video of that one up on my blog — (Thanks for reading it!) Whoever designed it must have a master's degree in psychological torture. It's also one of the harder boss fights you'll face.

Here's a tip: you have to get Bowser to land on the glass parts of the planet to set his tail on fire. Once you get him to land on them, he'll start running away from you. Run toward him going the opposite direction. When he turns away, get close to his tail and swing your Wii-mote to hit it. This will put Bowser on his back and he'll circle the planet again, spinning on his shell.

Chase him down and pop him again. Do it enough times and you'll beat him, picking up a grand star.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wal-Mart's Super Smash Bros. Brawl pre-order too good to be true

Well, Wal-Mart canceled my order ... I figured as much.

So no cheap Super Smash Bros. Brawl for us, booooo!

Custom Miis! Mii wedding cake topper?

Dan and I are gettin' hitched on April 5th and I've been stalking these possible wedding cake toppers for a while.



Totally awesome custom Miis by Paul Pape Designs! He offers the wedding set for $100 for the basic, $150 for the mid (more detailed wedding attire) and then $200 for the deluxe (REALLY detailed wedding attire). I think I like the basic best though.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl for $20??


I was just checking out Joystiq and the most recent post points to this particular Wal-Mart pre-order.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl for 20 bucks? Why, of course I will pre-order!

Granted, this could be a big oopsie on Wal-Mart's part and my order may get canceled, BUT if it doesn't ... then I have saved 30 smackaroos and that's fine and dandy with me. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Bowser's Dark Matter Plant."

This level of "Super Mario Galaxy" was so hard its ridiculous.

Column coming up this week

Pushing Buttons print edition resumes this week with an insight-like take on modern gaming. Brothers and sisters are coming together over the internet to play games like "World of Warcraft" and "Call of Duty 4."

Its enough to make your parents weep at your good behavior.

Stay tuned for more news. I also may have a lead on a regular Xbox contributor- that's the rumor, anyway.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

You won't believe this ...

Was on IGN.com and stumbled upon this review for what could be one of the worst games created, although the concept had me giggling for a solid minute.

http://wii.ign.com/articles/844/844327p1.html

In other news, I picked up the final two stars last night and have been playing as Luigi for a little bit now. He's faster and jumps higher than Mario, but if you pick up any steam running, you'll stop as though you're on ice. Also, he has no neck, which is creepy.

And lastly, I'm incredibly excited that "Bully" is coming to the Wii. Though there's a slight chance it'll suffer from Wii-centrism, so long as it's not Wii's version of "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" it's going to be awesome. I understand the deal with trademark characters, but I hate it when games I want to play aren't released on Nintendo (i.e. Bully, good RPGs, the Grand Theft Auto series, Kingdom Hearts, etc.). But that's the price one pays for brand loyalty. Or not being able to afford three video games systems.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two stars away

One of my biggest gripes with the "Mario" franchise is that you rarely get to play as Luigi ... or anyone aside from Mario. Granted, namesakes usually DO dominate the playing time (save for poor Zelda), but think how much fun several of the Mario games would have been with a second playthough as the Eternal Understudy, Luigi himself.
Well, from browsing cheats after I beat "Mario Galaxy" (yes, I waited until I had beaten it, not a moment before) I learned that capturing all 120 stars let you play the whole game as Luigi.
It's taken about a month or more to finish collecting the last 59 stars — thanks in no small part to this job thing and a trip to Dallas — but I'm two stars away (both in the Gusty Garden Galaxy) from completion. Then, I shall unleash carnage the likes of which Luigi fans have only dreamed of.

Author, expert predicts sex with robots

Meant to post this article from the Houston Chronicle the other day.

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
Programmed for love

Author sees hard-wired sex in the future - and apparently it's all good - especially if you like robots
By FRITZ LANHAM
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle


If you're younger than 35, you'll probably live long enough to put David Levy's prediction to the test. Levy says that by 2050 we'll be creating robots so lifelike, so imbued with human-seeming intelligence and emotions, as to be nearly indistinguishable from real people. And we'll have sex with these robots. Some of us will even marry them. And it will all be good.

Levy lays out his vision of a Brave New Carnal World in Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, which, despite its extended riffs on sex toys through the ages, is a snigger-free book.


I am so leaving this one alone....

Monday, January 7, 2008

LSU players use special video game for training


If they win tonight it will be interesting to see how much this type of training helped.

AP- LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton has used a custom-made video game to help his quarterbacks learn to read defenses.

XOS Technologies, a company that specializes in gearing technology to the needs of coaches, worked with EA Sports to produce the PlayAction Simulator that LSU has used this season.

"What they've done is they put our plays into the video game and then they put in our opponents' defenses," said Crowton, the Tigers' first-year offensive coordinator.

The game looks and plays just like the popular Madden NFL and NCAA football games, though all the goofy stuff such as player celebrations, cheering crowds, mascots and bands have been removed.

LSU and Tennessee were the first schools to use it this season and it went well enough that XOS expects to make it available to all its clients this year. The company provides technology to most Division I schools.


At the risk of letting my football affiliation(s) slip before the big game, I just have to say:

GEAUX TIGERS!

Edit:

Also- be sure to vote in my online poll- on the right side of the blog.

Dan

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Finally

I beat "Super Mario Galaxy" this morning. Beat Bowser using one life. I am the man.

Now to collect the other 59 stars...........

Kevin tells me the "COD" servers have been down. Just as well, since I needed to play some "Lego Star Wars" anyway.

Off to hide a geo-cache.....

Friday, January 4, 2008

Before Guitar Hero ...

... there was Mr. Fastfinger:

www.guitarshredshow.com


Great time killer!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

MSNBC reports "Call of Duty 4" is video game of 2007

This really shouldn't shock anyone:


By Kristin Kalning
Games editor
MSNBC


The readers have spoken, and you’ve told us that you really, really like shooting things.

Your favorite new video game? “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.” The super-realistic military shooter developed by Infinity Ward garnered 33 percent of the over 17,000 votes we tallied in our Game of the Year vote between Dec. 19 and Dec 27.



But the real question is, are these voters playing anything else BUT "Call of Duty 4" ?

If a video game is published, and everyone is still playing "COD" does anyone care?