Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moving to Tumblr

Hi All! Thanks for reading Pretty Gamer! We are going to be migrating over to Tumblr, because the platform will better suite our needs and I think will encourage community involvement better.

You don't have to do anything! will point to the right place, and hopefully so will the RSS feed! Just give us a few days to work out the kinks.

Thanks for all your support and love! I hope this new way of posting will give the site a kick in the butt and provide you with some fun new content. <3

Speaking of content....we'll have this pretty SUBMIT button!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I, for one, welcome our new Google+ overlords.

By now you've *surely* heard about Google+ (G+), the brand new social media effort from Google. Long after the privacy debacle of Google Wave, the big G is back seeking to make a big splash - and has certainly succeeded so far.

You know what the BEST thing is about G+ ? It's the clean slate. The fresh start. Think about it: chances are pretty good that your Facebook is a bloated, annoying mess of a network, filled with people, companies, groups, and communities that you honestly don't give a flying squirrel's ass about any longer. Facebook also consistently made things more difficult for you to change and update on a regular basis, inadvertently (or perhaps deliberately) making social media a burdensome chore instead of the fun, useful tool it's always been.

What I love about G+ is what Facebook took away: the ability to assign my contacts into groups that I could interact and share with as I liked in a seamless, easy to manage way. I can assign my network into Circles and catch up with those cliques individually instead of one "Wall" that's just a jumbled, disorganized mess. For example, if I want to know what my Yelp friends are up to, I can view the circle and see what hotspot we're meeting at for a DYL (Destroy Your Liver) event or catch up on Elite event play-by-plays. If I need to see when my PAXer peeps are heading into town for the biggest party of the year and what the popular hotel is this year - BAM, I'm in the loop and all caught up with a click.

The kicker? It's pretty and FUN. Sleek, clean, and well designed with witty, cheeky humor peppered throughout to help you learn the brave new G+ world we're living in. When you delete a Circle, it drops down and rolls away. When you craft an update, it directs you to choose with whom to share it. Interactive, juuust cute enough without being cloying, easy to use, and no hidden tricks (so far) - it's *definitely*, in the words of my friends, "The Minecraft of social media" and "Facebook for Nerds".

So should you check out Google+ ? Abso-fracking-lutely. As of this writing it's still in beta, so take the interactive tour! If you receive an invite from a fellow G+ user, check back frequently! And lemme know what you love, hate, and love to hate about social media in the comments.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

PG Dispatch: Seattle's best known real-life Superhero, Phoenix Jones (Review)

You've all heard about the real-life superheroes fighting crime on the streets of Seattle, and there's one name that keeps coming up: Phoenix Jones. Keegan Hamilton of the Seattle Weekly not only nabs an interview but tags along a few nights of patrol in "The (Alleged) Adventures of Phoenix Jones".

Be forewarned: this article is looong. And somewhat tedious as the author struggles, meandering between light investigative journalism, skeptical sensationalism, derisive disbelief, and linkbait-worthy sound bites every other paragraph. The entire affair is in desperate need of a story arc and structure, but by the end you realize it’s not his fault - he truly doesn’t have much to work with. Phoenix Jones is a superhero without canon, and Keegan Hamilton tries valiantly to craft what story elements exist into a compelling narrative while separating fact from fiction. Surely writing about fictional superhero characters is much easier.

So what's the verdict? Is Phoenix Jones for real? Too good to be true? A well-meaning, fame-whoring amateur that only makes fools out of the real real-life superheroes trying to protect Seattle's citizens? Personally, I'd like to know more about Ghost and Pitch Black.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Week... Banging My Head Against the Wall

Ladies and gentlemen I've learned an important lesson: I'm a statistic. By this point in the year most people have given up or forgotten their New Year's resolutions. While I haven't given up or forgotten, I haven't been keeping up very well either.

On one hand I did manage one goal, to lose 10 pounds before PAX East. That was achieved mostly through sort of dieting and kind of watching what I ate.

Another lesson I'm learning is it's really hard to start a routine and stick to it. Distractions are everywhere and the next thing you know it's too late in the day.

I'm adding to my goals. I still want to be down to my Army weight of 175 lbs. by PAX Prime, so I'll need to make my workout a routine.

This was so easy when I was in the Army, how I wish it were so now.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PAX BYOC Recap: Minecraft Edition!

Wow, I'm still coming down from my PAX high which has been prolonged due to my Minecraft sculpture ending up on the front page of Penny Arcade!!!111!!!!

Ok, deep breath. Let me start from the beginning.

This year at PAX instead of enforcing like I had been for the past year, I decided to just attend and get myself a seat at BYOC. Now, I was planning to get my zombie killin' on all weekend with some L4D2, but a couple of hours after PAX started on Friday someone made the mistake of telling me there was a sculpture contest going on in the BYOC minecraft creative server. My PAX was doomed from that moment. I spent the remainder of Friday and a bit of Saturday morning crafting the Twisp and Catsby that is so proudly displayed on PA right now. I won first place in that contest for developing a 3D sculpture while pretty much everyone else just made giant 2D images.

After being interviewed by 2 Player Productions for their Minecraft documentary (OMG!!!) I began working on my second project and present masterpiece, a replica of the International Space Station! Below are a few pics of both sculptures and a video of the finished ISS. Enjoy my obsession. =)

Twisp and Catsby

International Space Station

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Patrick Rothfuss is not cool (and we love him for it).

With apologies to Greg Behrendt, Patrick Rothfuss is not cool. He is a big ol' geek, nerd, and total frickin' dork of the highest order, best known as an impossibly talented storyteller - but he's not what we'd traditionally describe as "cool".

And he agrees with me.

On the evening of March 1st, I had the privilege of attending the first stop of Patrick's tour to support his highly anticipated second novel, "Wise Man's Fear" at the University of Washington Bookstore in Seattle, WA. Upon entering, Pat marveled at the massive crowd and immediately launched into an endearingly self-deprecating anecdote where he explained how he wants so badly to "be cool" about the success of the book, the dedication of his fans, and the fun of it all - but just can't: he wants to geek out and be excited like the rest of us. It was the manliest Silent *Squee* I've ever witnessed, and we all immediately became best friends.

Sweet, funny, genuine, and exceedingly gracious, Pat answered questions, read from "Wise Man's Fear", and shared some of his poetry. With the bookstore filled to the rafters (with many standing in the nearby stacks, on the stairs, and around the foyer), he acknowledged those who kept in touch with him through his blog and Facebook, talked about world-building, and confirmed he really does want to help Nathan Fillion buy the rights to Firefly. He introduced us to Nathan Taylor (at left in photo), the artist who brought the world maps and The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle to life. It was one big hangout, like old friends catching up after years apart, and long after I said my goodbyes just after 10pm, Pat was still smiling, laughing, and signing books for the 100 or so people who continued to wait patiently.

But he's not cool.

I promise.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Playing games makes us more awesome

While pursuing my various library blogs (and yes, I read a lot of them :P) I was turned on to this clip of Jane McConigal promoting her new book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World on the Colbert Report.

More Fun with Minecraft

Minecraft is still inspiring all kinds of digital works from nerds around the world with too much time on their hands.  Last October, I wrote an article about some of the incredible things that minecrafters have done with the early Alpha release of the game.  Minecraft has slowly creeped its way into Beta, and now features new craft-able items, sealife, wool dyes, and, most intriguingly: blocks that can make sounds.

You may have seen this already (it's a whole TWO WEEKS old!), but it's worth watching over and over again for it's intricacy and astounding ending, featuring another new Minecraft development:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dialoguing on Dickwolves and the Philosophy of Polarization

Those of you breathing your sigh of relief that the war is over, those of you hoping to get back into your PAX routine, those of you hoping to never have to hear about this again, those of you who are still frustrated and angry, all of us, let’s sit down a moment and talk.  Calmly, please.  Here we go.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Week 1 the ReBoot

OK, it's time.  My knee feels fine and I'm ready to give this another shot.  This time I will commit to working out, losing weight and not push myself into injury.  I will try to eat better, more home cooked meals and less drive through.

I even have some black jeans I can't wear right now waiting for me.  My plan is to try to fit into them by PAX East.  Since this might be too sort of a time frame, I WILL fit into them for PAX Prime and I WILL wear them at Prime.

So will I loose a total of 40 lbs by PAX Prime by exercising with the Kinect?  Can I keep on track?  If I don't make it?........well we are not going there.  I'm just going to think positive.  Today I start after work when I get home.
40 lbs or bust!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Game Review: Majicka (PC)

Majicka is a game with a fantastic concept. You play a wizard on your typical quest to save the world, rescue villages and kill scary monsters and bosses along the way. The entire game from achievements to dialogue to character names is made up of geek jokes. And I mean the entire game. You can't take more than a few steps without either laughing or shaking your head in disgust at the awfulness of it.

Review: Thunderstone

Thunderstone is a fantasy-themed deck building card game from Alderac Entertainment Group. It is for 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, and the average game takes about an hour. That's right - this game has solo rules.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gaming Nostalgia, Part II: Arcanum

You begin your journey as the sole survivor of a tragic and unthinkable act of terrorism.  Your peaceful journey to new lands in the passenger section of a large zeppelin is suddenly and violently interrupted by fighter jets swooping across the skies, firing at your defenseless mode of transportation.  

Welcome to the World

You awaken in the land of Arcanum, destined to follow a mysterious path that may lead you to the end(s) of the world, with only the skills you acquire along the way to protect you.  You must choose to engineer your path by educating yourself in the ways of industry and technology, or to learn to harness the subtle art of magic. Magic and Technology cannot coexist easily, so choose carefully!  In this world, every decision you make will effect your course.  

GottaCon 2011

GottaCon 2011 is almost here! Running from 5pm Friday February 4th nonstop until 7pm Sunday February 6th, GottaCon is an amazing gaming convention held at Pearkes Recreation Center in Victoria BC. This year they have even more floor space, which means even more awesome gaming!

There will be trading card games, board games, roleplaying games, video games, miniatures games, vendor booths, tournaments, miniature painting contest, costume contest, gamer silent auction, a concession area... so much awesomeness!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gaming Nostalgia, Part I: Gabriel Knight

I don't play many computer games any more, for the simple reason that I just don't believe they will measure up to the games I used to play long ago.  There are some amazing, classic (read:old) computer games out there and thanks to sites like they are incredibly simple to play.  I've spent countless hours trying to figure out how to play my old (usually DOS) games without disks, and being heartbroken when they boot up without sound, or with a flickering cursor, or, just don't open at all.

But I've found all of my old favorites on GOG (I could be their spokesperson!  They do definitely need a better marketing director....).  But if you don't have a computer that will easily boot up a CD-ROM with software from the '90s, or if you don't, in some cases, still have a floppy drive (5 1/4, anyone?), then you might have been out of luck without sites like GOG or software like DosBox

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Deaf in WoW

Well here is a bit of a sad story with a happy ending.

Seems a gent who goes by the tag "Unwelcome" in World of Warcraft recently  lost his hearing permanently.  After learning that his real life friends were a bit less friendly now that he "had become inconvenient," he turned to WoW in hopes of finding some solace in a game he knew and loved with his guild of 4 years.  Well things didn't go as well as he thought they would: