Category: Video Games

Lighthearted Saturday: Smart Gamers

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As a nerd, I’m sure you’ve had people say that video games are ruining young people and that the world is doomed to eternal damnation because people play video games. I’m not saying that you should eschew everything else and focus solely on video gaming, but I do have a nice picture that may help combat some of the hate.

game changers infographic

Nerds Around The Net

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I don't know what kind of science went into the creation of this Man-Chicken-Squid-Cub's Fan hybrid, but the Mad Scientists Guild would be proud.

I’ve been reading some nerdy stuff on some other sites that I figure I can share here:

Unbeatable FreeCell – Here’s the story of one guy’s quest to prove that the author of the game was wrong when he wrote in the rules of the game that “It is believed (though not proven) that every game is winnable.” And how he attempted to solve all 32,000 hands.

Science: Sun And Wind Probably Did Not Cause Bobby Petrino’s Motorcycle Crash – The guys over at DeadSpin are compiling some “Science” as to why Coach Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident seems fishy (other than Petrino’s date).

Survey: Cubans disappointed in Ozzie – With the most unsurprising results (and story headline) ESPN take a poll of Cubans and their feeling on Ozzie saying that he is a fan of Fidel Castro.

And finally this little piece of the current suckitude of the RedSox. It is near to my heart as I have tickets to Friday’s Opening Day game.

Tickets anyone? – A sad look at the Sox sellout streak and how it may be coming to an end, and why ticket sales are down nearly 3% from last year.

Lighthearted Saturday: Gamers Get the Girls

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It’s the weekend, so here’s a fun infographic I came across this week. I like this for 2 reasons: first it’s quite nerdy — being stats about gamers with an 8-bit theme, and second it really shows how picking and choosing some numbers you can make a case for just about anything.


(via Joystick Division)

Let’s get it (kick) started in here!

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I have a bit of a Kickstarter problem, to the tune of 14 backed projects in the last 7 months. But don’t worry — I can handle it. I can quit any time I want. Until that time comes though, let me tell you of a few interesting finds.

162pixels 2012 Baseball Statographic eBook – These guys are putting together a small ebook full of preseason baseball pretty statistical goodness. In less than a week, we’ll know if they made their tiny $1500 goal. And no, I didn’t go for the level that includes a link to my blog in the book.  🙂 And if you think that $5 for a silly baseball book isn’t worth it, give them the money for the fun Moneyball-style promotion video:

Gridiron Heroes – This one actually just finished funding. But don’t fret, you can still get in line to play some Gridiron heroes by checking out their Facebook page. What are you getting in line to play? A Tecmo Bowl style football simulation MMO game on the Facebook. I’m tired of all the Facebook games being puzzlers or boring farming simulations, so I can’t wait for some footballs up in there. Here’s their gameplay trailer:

BALLCRAPS – Also recently successful in getting their project kickstarted, BALLCRAPS is a mix of craps and football. Basically it’s a felt craps-style board where the betting that happens is about predicting the future plays of the game. I’ve put myself on their mailing list to be the first to know about Baseballcraps when the get around to making that.

That’s kind of all I found for decent sports-related KickStarters, but instead of ending this post now, I’m going to point out a few interesting board gaming ones for the nerds who are into that.

Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack – This is strategy and tactics LEGO-based miniatures game. The designers are Vincent Baker (of Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, The Abductinators, etc.) and Joshua A.C. Newman (of Shock:Social Science Fiction, Shock:Human Contact, and Under the Bed). So it has some decent pedigrees and it’s about fighting LEGO robots — What more do you want?

Bazooka Bot
Bazooka Bot has bazooka that is as tall as himself
Dog Face Robot
Don't You think this Robot has a Dog Face?
Watch out for this bot, it has 5 penises!









Velociraptor! Cannibalism! – “Velociraptor! Cannibalism! is a card game of survival, mutation, and the occasional volcano. Based on a crude understanding of natural selection,Velocipator! Cannibalism! puts you in the role of a young, eager and bright eyed Raptor as they must eat delicious, adorable prey, survive environmental disaster, mutate and steal the body parts of other Raptors.” And if that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps this fancy kitten-eating raptor can change your mind:

Sports Video Games Are Too Real!

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bentdI’ve written about sports video games before, and I do this for a reason. I like sports (hence the blog) and video games (hence the blog) but I am not physically cut out for many of the sports I enjoy. Also, at times I prefer fandom to actually playing — especially those sports where’s I’d likely break bones. But has it come to a point where the games are extremely accurate simulations?

FIFA soccer (the video game) has a World Cup event. I wonder if players from the same countries dominate every time like the real World Cup?

Madden doesn’t just suck at announcing in video game form, he sucks at the real thing too:

In a recent playoff game, Mr. Madden said the New York Giants, who faced a third down with 10 yards to go, had not performed well in those situations. Seconds later, Mr. Madden’s NBC booth partner, Al Michaels, called his attention to a graphic on the screen which noted that the Giants were tops in the NFL in third-and-long situations.

Find more examples from that article in the Wall Street Journal and wonderful comments section of The Big Lead. So it seems that EA has definatly got one thing right. What about the realism of the game?

For that I turn to a monolith of Nerd on Sport — Mark Cuban. Yup, the now owner of the Dallas Mavericks who made a good chunk of his early money from selling a website to Yahoo. He wrote on his blog

NBA Live 09 is becoming a management tool in the NBA.

That’s right – good enough to be used by the real NBA, live. And it sounds like a good plan to me. What better way to try out how some differing strategies might play out against a certain team.

So what I’m getting at, is that maybe these games have gotten to real. Is that possible — I mean it is “just a game.” Either way, if Cuban is looking for a new hire to run his NBA Live division – I enjoy Dallas, and the AA Center is very nice.

[Business Day One] Level 99


Some of my favorite memories of my childhood involve laying on my bedroom floor, with my head and shoulders against a bean bag chair, and playing Final Fantasy VI.  For hours on end after my homework was done, I’d lead my party into a desert or a field somewhere and just level up.  For those unfamiliar with the process, let me give you a run down.  A lot of role-playing games from that era (the mid-90s) followed a fairly straight-forward story arc.  Your main character would get a team together, go on a journey, battle villains along the way, learn some lessons and eventually confront the Main Bad Guy in an epic final battle.  The fine folks that programmed these games made assumptions about how strong your team would be (i.e. what level they were at) at any given point in the game and adjusted the relative difficulty of the villains accordingly.  So, at the beginning of the game, you’d come across angry slime piles that would pose a challenge to a Level 5 team.  At the halfway point, there’d be roving bandits that would threaten a Level 30 team.  By the end, you’re throwing down with stone golems that’d give a Level 55 team the business.  What I used to do is spend hours battling in minor skirmishes to built up my team’s level far beyond where the programmers figured I’d be at each step.  So I’d be slaying those slime piles with all my heroes at Level 10, dispatching bandits at Level 45 and crushing golems effortlessly at level 70.  I loved to be one step ahead of the game.  I loved it to the point where I’d spent 15 or 20 hours over the course of my week walking back and forth in a forest fighting tree elves to level up.  There’s just something about utter dominance over an enemy force that is so darned fun.

I suppose that’s why I am gleeful over the Patriots season.  It’s like they spent an entire weekend outside of Figaro Castle before their Week 1 game and have just been riding since then at a level unforseen by the programmers. Read More

Video Game Fantasy Draft, Round 2 and the Rest


10 Link – Bobby

“As a multi-tool player, he’s got all the versatility I need. He’s a swimmer, comfortable in ice or heat environments and he’s a veteran that just keeps getting better with time.” – Bobby

Plus, his victory poses – done whenever he extends his lifespan, defeats a boss, or finds some ratty old leather pouch – can not be topped in its grandiosity. You don’t see me humming those memorable bars whenever I “discover” my lunch at work. Not since I had to switch jobs for…some reason, anyway.

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Video Game Fantasy Draft


With the next professional sports drafts many months away, Nerds On Sports is more than happy to satiate your needs for pointless ranking and and serpentine pick orders. An intrepid band of nine Internet brothers thoughtfully and methodically, and certainly not arbitrarily, chose characters and figures from the wide-ranging world of video games in order to form a team that would…um…I’m not sure. Most of my requests to clarify this issue were ignored. It was moot in the end anyway, as we weren’t even able to complete three rounds before the thread was abandoned and certain members tried to spread memes about Full House slash instead. Anyway, here’s the Round 1 analysis:

Snake? Snake. SNAAAAKKE!1 Solid Snake – Brett

“Why Snake:
He has a mullet.
He routinely takes on Hind D helicopters with nothing but a gun. (any MGS game)
He runs around high security military base in a cardboard box. (any MG game)
He can ride a skateboard as well as Tony Hawk. (see MGS3: Subsistence)” – Brett

Can’t fault Brett for this pick, especially since I want a cardboard box like that. It would be handy for, like, stealing t-shirts from a shopping mall kiosk, or getting adolescents into R rated movies. Can’t think of what else it would be good for.
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