Tag Archives: gamer

Call of Duty: Black Ops Review


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Ali has had Call of Duty: Black Ops in his hot little hands for a while now. He was cool enough to create a screencast for all of you so that you can check out the game before deciding to buy it. This game is the seventh installment of the Call of Duty series. COD is a first-person shooter that has been wildly popular over the years.

The last game in the series has had a lot of haters, including videos of people snapping their discs. There was a lot of high hopes for Black Ops. People wanted a lot of changes, and Ali feels that many of these have been addressed.

Some of the game features include:

  • Wide array of play modes including single player, local multiplayer versus and online co-op and multiplayer
  • Seventh installment of the Call of Duty series, based on the live fire conflicts of the Cold War era
  • Diverse variety of play setting ranging from urban air and ground combat in SE Asia, to snow combat in Soviet region and jungle combat
  • Blending of traditional COD, and new first-person character scenarios designed to both retain the essence of the COD gaming experience and ensure constantly flowing and varied action
  • New arsenal of weapons and vehicles tied to the Cold War era, including the SR-71 Blackbird and sited explosive-tipped crossbows

Have you gotten your hands on the game yet? What are your thoughts so far?

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Halo: Reach Suffers from Disc Errors

Microsoft has now confirmed that some customers are experiencing issues when attempting to play their beloved new game. According to reports, the problem mostly affects the 20GB Xbox 360 Pro, which was on the market from 2005 to 2008. Users have also reported some issues playing Halo Reach with the 120 GB Xbox 360 Elite.

Microsoft representatives have said:

We are aware of a very small number of customers reporting that their copy of Halo Reach is causing a ‘disc read’ error. Those affected should contact Microsoft customer support at 1-800-4MY-XBOX for troubleshooting assistance.

There are now 68 pages of complaints on the Bungie Forums. Many posts suggest that things such as a dirty disc could be to blame. Reasons behind the issue, though, have been vague at best. The thread has been updated to point customers to the toll-free (US only) number to receive support. Bungie released a statement recently, as well:

If you find yourself lumped in with the ‘small number’ of people who find relevance in this portion of the update, you’re probably finding that five letter moniker more than a little frustrating. We feel your pain (we want you to play Reach, too!). If you’re receiving a disc read error with Halo: Reach, or any other title for that matter, Microsoft customer support is your path to resolution.

Have you had issues playing your copy of the game? Have you contacted either Bungie or Microsoft to resolve the problem?

Halo: Reach


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Microsoft and Bungie sent me an advance copy of “Halo: Reach” to play. Given that I’m not that much of a FPS kind of geek, I thought I’d just pop in the disc and let you see what I saw – for the first time, together.

After stopping the recording, i did play it for quite a while longer – as the people in the chat room will tell you. In fact, I might still be playing it right now.

I’ve learned one thing about “Halo: Reach” so far: DON’T LET THE AI PLAYERS DRIVE.

Sadly, there is one thing missing from this game: a n00b mode. The easy mode still is too much for someone like me. I’m not a gamer, by any stretch of the imagination. The game looks and sounds great, though, and that’s all I could ask for.

Apparently, I’m a little trigger happy. I truly didn’t mean to shoot the farmer – honest!

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Web Browser Games


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I consider myself an extreme casual gamer (which is why I spent this weekend at home playing Web games instead of rubbing shoulders with stinky geeks at PAX across town). Not sure if you’d heard of these two in particular, but I’d be surprised if you had – unless you were following me on Twitter and Facebook, then you would have found out about these two and a helluva lot more long before this video was uploaded.

Scrabb.ly was created by a Seattle-area developer in less than twenty-four hours’ time. This is a very cool MMO word-game where you continue to build words on tiles.

Swarmation is another online multi-player game where each pixel is a person from somewhere in the world. The idea is to get everyone to work together to form the specified design within the time period allotted. You have to collaborate to score points.

Both of these games tie back into Node Knockout. The idea of this particular endeavor was to bring developers together to build on Node.JS to build things based on JavaScript. The list is seriously extensive if you scroll through to take a look. There are a ton of games and services.

If you have browsed the list at Node Knockout and have found something I might like that wasn’t reviewed in this video, leave me a link in the comments section. I’d hate to miss out on something else I can get addicted to.

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Do Women Game More Than Men?


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It’s true: The New York Times reported on Sunday that Women are starting to outpace men in online time with social networking, instant messaging, and other communications. The most shocking one is online gaming! Will we see women take over gaming in the next few years? Lamarr chose to do his weekly video about this topic, and is curious to see what your thoughts are.

It wasn’t much of a surprise to learn that women are more social than men. Hello! We already knew this. Women spend about 1/3 of their time online socializing, while men only spend about 1/4 of their time. What’s even more interesting is that women over the age of 45 had the largest growth recorded in the areas of photo sharing, shopping online, using social networking sites and talking to others via instant messenger applications.

The shock comes in when you read on and find out that women over the age of 55 spent the most time gaming online over every other age group (and gender!) – by far. Remember that we’re not talking about playing the Xbox or PlayStation, folks. We are looking only at online gaming – and older women are way ahead of younger male and female counterparts in this area.

It’s interesting to see in the article that nearly as many women as men visit online gambling platforms. The story also claims that about half of men visit adult-themed websites – but nearly 1/3 of women do, as well! Upcoming Gnomedex speaker Violet Blue will be proud to see that.

Overall, there are more men who play games. But – women tend to spend more time playing. Do you respect women gamers, or do you feel that they cannot compete with men? Did Lamarr just light a fuse?

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How Do You Overcome a Gaming Addiction?


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I saw a question on Lockergnome the other day where Luke admitted he has a gaming addiction. He reached out to the community for help in overcoming it. He managed to stop playing all day long, but finds himself not caring about other activities. He feels a strong pull towards his game(s), and doesn’t know how to get past that. The first thing to remember that it IS an addiction, just like with a gambler or drug addict. An addiction is in your mind, and it’s not an easy thing to overcome. It takes a lot of strength and willpower just to admit you need help in that area, and I commend Luke for reaching out for advice.

Thankfully, I was never addicted to gaming. A gaming addiction can be quite a tremendous hurdle to overcome. Telltale signs of addiction are things like not showering, not participating in other activities, forgetting your friend and family and allowing your plants to die even.

You could quit cold turkey – but that honestly isn’t recommended. It’s very difficult to do, much as it is for a smoker to do. Take your knowledge of the game(s) you understand well, and translate that into wisdom. Share it with others online. Do screencasts and videos full of tips and tricks. Use your passion in other ways that are related to the game but don’t actually involve playing it. Heck, sketch some art.

I am not a doctor or counselor. I am more of a Geek coach. I am simply trying to give some suggestions to Luke. If you have any, be sure to leave him some comments and give him the support he needs.

Remember, if you or someone you know is a gaming addict, you should seek help to overcome it if you feel you cannot do it on your own. There are many documented cases of people losing jobs, relationships and families due to becoming so addicted to a game that they forget the rest of their life. Don’t let this happen to you.

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Top 5 Tips for Game Developers

David is an active community member who goes by the handle Paru-Sama in our chat room. He is a budding game developer, and has some tips to pass along to those of you who are thinking of getting into the same field.

  • Play Video games. – You can’t go for a game developing career if you don’t have any idea what a game is or how the player plays it without experiencing it for your self. Game play and originality are the key factors of designing a game
  • Learn Scripting and Calculus. – The video game developing career involves A LOT of math along with the complications of scripting/coding. C++ is a powerful programming language, but I don’t recommend it as your first. It is very difficult to learn so I recommend learning easier programing languages that are made for beginners, such as Visual Basic.
  • Enroll in a Digital arts and Graphic Design or Multi Media course if you’re planning on being a Graphical Art Designer. – This is (In my opinion) the most enjoyable part of being a game developer as it employs your visual creativity and originality. 3Dmax and Maya are two of the tools used in this course. There is also a program called “zBrush” which is a 3d sculpting program. This uses your dexterity instead of your calculating abilities to build 3D models. There are also other graphical programs used in this course such as Photoshop from Adobe.
  • Try out open source software developing kits. – There are game developers that allow the community to twinkle with their games by giving them tools to make maps, mods or whole games . One popular game developer that does this as a strategy is Valve. If you buy a game from them, they will allow you to download the “Source SDK.” This is a software developing kit based on their game engine (called “the source engine”) which will allow you to map for a game that they already created – or make a game of your own.
  • Apply to be a video game beta tester. – This job is what the names says. You can get paid to play games in their early state as long as you give the developers some feedback about their games. This isn’t like you play a demo game and they pay you for it. It requires you to have a sharp eye and ears to spot some bugs and glitches. It also requires an ability to criticize the game. The feedback you give will help them improve the game’s gameplay.

If you’re a game designer, what other tips do you have for the Geeks in our community who plan to enter this field?

Eyefinity is Perfect for PC Gaming


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Yes, I like to drive a big truck with the pedal to the metal. Eighteen wheels will be rolling until the break of dawn. I decided to try my hands at playing the Rig’n’Roll game on my sweet ATI Eyefinity setup. Running in 5760×1080 resolution is just… beautiful. I know I use that word a lot, but it seriously applies here.

Eyefinity isn’t just a multi-monitor setup. It’s considered to be a single large surface (SLS). In order to get the full experience for this game (and others) with the Eyefinity technology, I asked Logitech to send along the G27 Racing Wheel. This has a four-speed steering wheel, and flippers that allow me to change gears. There’s up to six gear settings on the gear shift. There are other controls that can be mapped to different views, in conjunction with your Eyefinity setup.

Yes, there are three screens hooked up to this computer. However, the important thing is that the operating system sees it as ONE screen. Eyefinity won’t only work with this particular game. It can make your experience with any game about a hundred times better.

I have to thank the team at AMD for hooking me up so that I can experience the beauty that is Eyefinity in my own home. Playing the game with perfect resolution across three screens this way is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s nearly impossible to translate to you via a video or text. You just have to try it for yourself.

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Play With a Kinect Demo in Microsoft Stores

The Microsoft Store announced via their Twitter account earlier today that the Kinect demo is ready to play with in their stores. Sadly, there are only four Microsoft stores in this country. If you don’t live close to one of them, you’re out of luck.

Kinect is a system that does away with controllers entirely, instead using technology to scan players, detecting motions as subtle as a smile or a frown. This is impressive, but the slight delay between movements and onscreen effect is something to be concerned about.

Are you looking forward to Kinect’s launch? Do you think this is a device that could change gaming forever?

When Gamers Give Back, it Makes a Difference

Mario Marathon is an event that takes place once a year to help raise money for Child’s Play Charity. Child’s Play is an organization that sends books, toys and supplies to young patients of hospitals worldwide. Beginning June 25th 2010 at 11:00 Eastern, you can tune in to watch the guys scramble to save countless princesses.

The goal is to raise as much money as possible throughout the event for the charity. None of the donations go through the players – it all goes directly to Child’s Play. The more money raised, the longer these guys have to play Mario. There are over 800 levels across the nine Mario games chosen for the Mario Marathon 3. Your donations determine how many of those levels the team will complete.

In Lafayette, Indiana, Brian, John and Chris take turns sleeping and playing the games throughout the weekend. They use a video capture card to show what’s on the TV game-wise, as well as a camera to view them in the living room. The live streaming event is hosted by Ustream.TV. While the event is going on, they will have several contests for the viewers to participate in for a chance at prizes. These events will be spread out during the event where you could win by tweeting, skyping in, or just being a viewer.

If you want to help out with the event, promote it as much as possible. Tweet out the information, blog about it, and get your friends interested on Facebook. The more people who know, the more viewers and possible donations Child’s Play can receive. Remember, the more you donate, the more time they spend cracking down on the controller to entertain you and give back to the community.

When gamers give back it makes a difference!