Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Newest paper sculpt project!

Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.

An interview with Adam Harum of Transolar Galactica.

They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!

Doctor Who themed lip balm!

Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.

Minecraft paper sculpt!

My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!

A TARDIS desk lamp!

Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 was good, but 2012 will be even better.

I'll be ringing in the New Year with Link, who has had 
way too much Lon Lon bourbon already.

More likely than not your news feeds are chock full of New Years wrap ups, so please stick around and read just one more :)

When the year started I didn't imagine that this geeky corner of mine would turn into such a big part of my life. Upping the ante to almost daily postings and vlogs was a fantastic decision. They are things that made me nervous to think about, which was what told me they were good ideas. Ultimately they have made me happy.

The vlog aspect has, especially, been a nerve-wracking challenge that has proven to be quite rewarding. After wrapping the pilot, Andrew and I starting bubbling with a multitude of ideas and improvements; I really can't wait to share the next one with you all!

I haven't been able to sleep for the past week because I'm so full of excitement regarding 2012 and everything I have planned for A Bit of Geek. Here are a few things I have in mind; I think there will be a little something for everyone!

-An A Bit of Geek store featuring a variety of handmade wares including:

-- paper crafts/sculpts of the video game persuasion

-- dice bags

-- costume items (?!)

-More geek related photography in my current Etsy shop

-Increased frequency of vlogs

-Further site redesigns

-"Week of" features, such as the comic book week that just happened

Those are the things just off the top of my head! I know that more successful brainstorming sessions are in store.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this year. I appreciate each and every one of you. See you on the other side with plenty more geekery :) Have a lovely new year!


Friday, December 30, 2011

The Last Guardian *not* cancelled, GameStop making weird decisions

A little somethin-somethin' thrown together by Andrew and me.

There has been a lot of back and forth online regarding the status of The Last Guardian, the most recent iteration from the development team that brought us ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. First the gaming world was rocked by the announcement that Fumito Ueda, the game creator, left his position at Sony and was continuing to work on the title as a freelancer.

Many people, myself included, were left wondering what it meant for the future of the highly anticipated game. The news that he would be continuing to work on the title, just as freelance, was comforting yet still worrisome. The Last Guardian has been pushed back many times, and by huge chunks of time. At one point it was due out in April, which would have made a most splendid birthday gift!


Enter an ill-advised move by GameStop: removing The Last Guardian from their computer systems and sending out an automated call to all pre-order customers informing them that the game had been cancelled.

Rumors flew back and forth and Sony released a statement reassuring the masses that the game had not been cancelled. A few days later, GameStop finally addressed the situation.

Since the game doesn't have an official release date, and has been pushed back so many times, the company decided to remove it from their system. They will be adding it back once The Last Guardian has a set release date.

Having worked for the company for years before quitting earlier this year, I find this to be an extremely odd move. Normally they don't care if a game has a set release date. If it's a title that customers are excited about then we (the employees) were happy to have it available to offer to customers.

Color me baffled, but really so long as the game isn't cancelled then it's no skin off my nose.

Next time, please be more careful GameStop.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Web slinging into my heart

This photo is six or seven years old. My love still stands though.

Comic book week (especially reading The New Avengers) has really made me remember how much I love Ultimate Spider-man. He's the only super hero that I've ever been drawn to, and during my senior year of high school a friend offered up Ultimate Spider-man for me to read. He said that it was a reboot of the original story line, but updated to be more relatable for current day. 

He lent me the Ultimate Spider-man Collection and I gobbled it right up. Lucky for me he also bought the volumes that were released, so I was able to keep up with the series for quite some time.

Eighteen/nineteen year old me loving on Spider-man.

I have since fallen out of the universe. I moved and didn't know where to go to buy comics and also couldn't remember where I had left off. I wanted to buy the Collection for myself but didn't have the money. I think it's time though.

There's a great comic shop that Andrew and I go to called Dreamworld. The employees are nice and chatty, and the first time I was in there the guy working gave me a free comic! I drift over to the Spider-man section every time and gaze at the spines. I long to be a part of the world again. It is time.

Of course, I heard about the death of Spider-man, and even saw it in the store and I almost cried. So... I have certain hesitations. Peter how could you leave Mary Jane and me?!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I've been a good little dragon slayer this year.

I have to share the amazing set of dice that Andrew gave to me for Christmas!

Full sized. Brushed steel. They are awesome.

So heavy. So gorgeous. Rollin' like a champ.

I spied these beauties at PAX in August and told Andrew that I absolutely had to have them. Fortunately for me, he remembered!

The best possible news here is that we'll be playing DnD the weekend after New Years! Best gift ever.

Everybody will be jealous. Unless of course they buy their own (you're welcome).


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Favorite Posts of 2011

Nothing quite like Link with a party hat and a horn.

Welcome to 2012! I am really pumped about the coming year, I know a lot of fantastic things are in store. But last year was good too! So, with that in mind, I'd like to share with you all my favorite posts from 2011.

They could be favorites because of the subject matter, because of the photos involved, or because I remember the mood I was in when I originally wrote the posts.

Either way, I hope you'll take a look through some of these.

Happy New Year!


Minecraft and the wolves within - so popular with the wolves, I have about fifteen

Exerting great power at work - wherein I brag about my computer skills

The story that lives - my heartfelt and emotional entry about the end of an era with Harry Potter

D&D, classic gaming and Lord of the Rings: a brief moment of sharing - brief and full of fun things, including photos of Legolas

The incomparable Wil Wheaton - my amazing experience meeting Wil Wheaton at PAX Prime 2011

It is fantasy journey time - adventures in Dungeons and Dragons, magic wand photos and a free downloadable background

Real life versus Fallout: What would I do? - ponderings on moral decisions in the Wastelands

Harvest Moon: Another chance (?) - loving ramblings about my favorite iterations of the Harvest Moon series

It's finally here! - my first ever vlog

Interrupting my troll slaying to bring you this blog - admitting that Skyrim had taken over my life

How do I become special enough to get invited? - the amazing Zelda room at Nintendo in Redwood City, CA

Skyrim internet roundup! - a small collection of my favorite Skyrim related internet creations

I sometimes long for simpler technology - mourning my inability to play with my NES zappers

Retro gaming will be current gaming if I have any sway at all - plans for my future children to start with the NES, just like I did

Hop in that elevator and be sure to put on a belt! - essentially a love letter to Toejam & Earl, the game my sister and I loved the most when we were younger


The New Avengers

The return of Spider-man in my life, what a hunk of man <3

Talk about an intense and awesome comic book injection! 

Andrew was certain I'd enjoy this one since it is most similar to Ultimate Spider-man (and has Spider-man in it!). He was right all five times for my exciting comic book excursion; aside from Hellboy being a little creepy for me, I've thoroughly enjoyed all of them!

I've said this about each comic so far, but I'm pretty sure that Avengers is the one I'll be reading "first". It's so much like Ultimate Spider-man and that makes me really happy! It feels safe and familiar because of how closely related it is to my prior comic book experiences. I was happy to see Brian Michael Bendis' name on the cover because, again, it's something I recognized.

The art is great. It's so sharp, rich and detailed. Currently the faces are weird... I don't know how much I like them, but everything else is top notch in my eyes. The story is, of course, entrapping and exciting.

The dialogue combined with facial expressions/body language illustrate the character personalities so well that even someone unfamiliar with their backgrounds, such as myself, can "know" them right away and understand their MOs. I'm certainly appreciating being able to dive into the story without reading multiple backlogs of comic books. That would be rather off-putting.

It's really fun to see super heroes that I've heard about from friends or seen in movie iterations appear on the pages so I can get exposure to their personalities; it's a taste test of all the big hitters and from there I can decide if I want to delve into their universes on my own.

So! This wraps up my week of comic books! I had a lot of fun and, considering how many comic series there are in the world, it's safe to bet that I'll be doing this again soon. Before that happens though I'd like to get cracking on the five that I was introduced to during this first run-around.

Any suggestions for what I should read next? I know Andrew will have a bunch more, but I'm also interested in hearing what other people prefer/are reading :D


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Y - The Last Man (read it)

Y as in Why, as in a question. Everything you need to know is baked
right into the title. I didn't realize this before I started reading.

Awesome awesome awesome. Definitely read this one. It is my highest recommendation of what I've read so far!

This had me hooked from literally the first page. It is Christmas Eve and there are presents to be opened and all I want to do is hole up in the corner and keep reading this. Brian K. Vaughan opens with one seriously intense narrative hook, and has (so far) ended each issue with some excellent cliff hangers. 

I'm also really enjoying the art on this one. I like Pia Guerra's style a lot. It's accessible but still involving. I was talking with Andrew and he says that in my early comic book adventures I'm showing a definite preference for "generic comic book art". It's not bad by any means, but it's not hyper stylized like Hellboy (which I acknowledge is quite terrific, it's just so creepy and heavy). 

The heavy, dark style of Hellboy makes it difficult for me to follow the story as well as I'd like, and I find myself getting caught up in trying to "understand" what I'm looking at. In these first few frolics, I'm appreciating minimal distractions so I can engulf myself in the stories. 

Besides, even if the art in Y - The Last Man is "generic", I think it has character and just the right amount of creepy for the story line.

This series has an end to it, which makes me even more excited to keep reading! While many comic books have the appeal of constant stories, I find that occasionally having an end is extremely satisfying. And the best part? Andrew has them all. Yay!

Y - The Last Man has an intriguing "apocalypse" root to it, and I find it interesting that the origin of the story appears to be based in facts regarding the highly lopsided male to female ratio in government/military/corporate power positions. 

Get your hands on this and give it a read. It's almost too dark for my preferences, but the story is so interesting that I can't help myself.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

I hope Gamestop doesn't know what they're talking about.

I want to hug him!

Quick post from my phone! Gamestop sent out an automated call to all reserve customers announcing that The Last Guardian has been canceled. Sony says it hasn't been. I hope we get a "real" answer soon!


Via Kotaku


Just like Spider-man, but with fewer sticky substances.

The art is really not doing it for me, which is a shame because I find the story to be intriguing.

High schooler with newfound super powers + alien heritage = Invincible (or, spider-man + superman = invincible). This totally isn't a bad thing. I appreciate the mash up! However, I don't care for the art style or the dialogue. The faces are so... awkward. I was dragging my proverbial feet while reading because I kept stopping to harshly inspect the faces to try and determine what it was about them that I so heavily disliked.

Perhaps it's the placement of lines? I feel that there are unnecessary (and unnatural) features added to the illustrations. It's distracting. 

The artist is Cory Walker, and he has a blog! I took a glance through it and saw some sketches. I feel badly saying I dislike the art so much, so I want to spend time with his work and see if I find something I like.

I want to like Invincible; it's a setting that I enjoy reading about and I think it could go fun places. But with my opinion being that the dialogue is poor on top of not really caring for the art, I don't know that I'll be reading much more of this.

Does anyone particularly enjoy this comic? I put faith in the opinions of my friends, and especially friends that are also comic book readers! If someone out there has some good things to say about Invincible, and has some compelling reasons for why I should give it another try, then I'd like to hear them. (pretty please?!)

It's so wonderful that Andrew selected a wide variety of comics for me to read. The three that I've been reading so far have been wildly different from one another. I'm so curious to know what the next two will be about!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fables - Fairy tales come true

Don't read the plot synopsis on the webpage for this. You will get some MAJOR spoilers -_-

I am really enjoying this series.

I knew nothing about this one. Andrew felt confident that I would enjoy it, at least more-so than I did Hellboy. Who would have thought that this was a comic book based on fairy tale characters being in the real world? So awesome! (And right up my alley)

Absolute first impression? The art style looks super old (remember my inexperience with comic books!): muted color palettes and lots of details. I thought I didn't like it, but I actually do. The character's faces are great and easily recognizable. I like the fact that my brain is under the impression that the comic is from the 70s (because of the color palettes and my association with older comics), seeing as I've always wanted to read comics but never have. It's like I'm tricking myself into believing that I'm "starting from the beginning".

So far I've read the first five issues. They encompass a story arc, so it seemed like a good place to stop for now. I read rabidly, very anxious to see where the story went!

I encountered estranged families, romance, mystery and fancy galas! There were suave gentlemen, grizzled detectives and beautiful stern women. The writing style appeals to me; the dialogue doesn't feel terribly forced or fake. I've never heard of Bill Willingham, but he apparently has contributed to a lot of other works. I'd definitely like to look into other things that he's written. I like his way with words!

The idea of having fairy tale/nursery rhyme/folk tale characters living in "secret" in New York City is so brilliant and awesome. I wonder if Enchanted took some inspiration from it? Certainly seems like it!

As characters are introduced, small narrative cues are given to let the reader realize who the character is in well-known fables. The jolts of realization and immediate mental images of long-loved and familiar tales makes for an enjoyable experience. Almost like meeting an old friend after not seeing one another for years, and then realizing that they're now alcoholics who sleep around.

I remain simultaneously amused, betrayed and gleeful by the character transformations from "perfect" role models to "real" people with faults. They've grown up with me, although I've taken a better path <3

At this point, even though I've only read two different comics so far, I feel fairly certain that I'll be reading more of Fables before I continue any other titles!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I had no idea those circles were broken horns. 
I thought they were no-use goggles. Don't judge me.

Don't you hate when someone tells you to read the "first few" volumes of a comic, and you think they mean individual issues but they actually mean the first few trade paperbacks, so you end up not reading enough of the comic story? Yeah, I hate that too. As a huge coincidence, this just happened to me!


I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the art. I think it's just not for me. It's not bad by any means, but it's so very dark. This goes along nicely with the subject matter, so I'm guessing it's intentional. < /joke > My experience with comic book art hovers just barely above zero, so take my opinion with a grain of salt and be sure to let me know your opinions in return!

I find the thin line art to be unusual. Every comic I've read (that I can think of) has had thicker lines. Is this specific to Hellboy, or is it a trait of Mike Mignola? Perhaps I should look into more of his work. Hellboy is also low on color range, comparatively speaking! I think I miss the bright colors of, say, Ultimate Spider-man. 

[Pretend this paragraph has something to do with characters and character development. Know that I'll be reading a lot more for tomorrow!]

The story is certainly intriguing. I read the first two volumes and I know I'll be making time to read more. The subject matter isn't in keeping with my usual foray; I'm not a fan of anything even remotely scary or freaky. I was hesitant to accept the suggestion from Andrew, but I trust him to know my limits :D

If things get too frightening I'll be sure to make a post about it.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Comic book week!

The array of comics that I will be reading this week, courtesy of Andrew.

Who else loves Ultimate Spider-man? I know I do! But it's really the only comic I've ever read (aside from Hush and The Long Halloween, so good). I have decided to fix that and I want to share it with all of you!

Today marks the start of my holiday vacation, so while I'm decking halls, making Christmas and fa-la-la-la-ing with family and friends I will also be reading the first few volumes of the following:

The New Avengers
Y-The Last Man

Join in and hear about how I feel about them! Andrew picked them out for me, so I expect some high class art and story lines heading straight to my eyes and brain. I can't wait!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Hop in that elevator and be sure to put on a belt!

If the title of this blog makes any sense to you, then that would be incredibly awesome! It is in reference to one of my (and my sister's!) favorite games: Toejam & Earl! It was released in 1991 for the Sega, and I'm pretty sure the only reason our mom picked it up was because it was in the sale bin. Luckily for us, it ended up being an amazingly fun game which we still enjoy to this day.

Growing up, we really only had two or three games for each system that we owned. Video game prices were so high that after the initial expense of the system we were simply tapped out. Of course, back then, the systems came with two controllers, a game and a handful of demos, so we really had everything that we needed.

A delightful image made by Andrew! Click to enlarge and feel free to download
as a background :] Toejam is my preferred character, I love him! I used to always
draw little three-legged aliens and I could never play as Earl, that was my
sister's job :)

For our Sega we had a handful of Sonic the Hedgehog titles, Mickey's World of Illusion, Mickey's Castle of Illusion and Toejam & Earl. I'm pretty sure the Sega was our most prolific system until I started buying my own games in my mid-teens. A long-lasting advantage of this is that I am able to play one game over and over again, and I am also capable of making a game last a very long time. Did your first systems have a lot of games? What was your favorite?

My sister and I spent many, many happy hours playing Toejam & Earl. The items used in the game were hidden inside a variety of different looking presents; the player didn't know what was inside until the item was opened, and there were multiples of each gift type spread around the game. Some things were good, like Super High Tops or Icarus Wings; some things were bad, like Total Bummers and Earthlings (the enemies of the game). It was fun and also unnerving to open an unknown gift. Possibly the worst thing to get was a Randomizer; this horrible item would change all of your previously discovered gifts into new items, so you had to learn what they were all over again.

Not all Earthlings were bad: some would identify presents, some would
sing and get rid of the bad Earthlings, and some left presents! [Source]

The premise for Toejam & Earl is that they're marauding aliens out taking a joyride in their spaceship. Toejam, the level-headed one, has the controls hijacked from him by Earl, the scatter-brained one, and the ship promptly crash lands onto Earth. The duo's singular goal becomes locating all the missing pieces of their spaceship so that they can return home to Funkotron, a positively delightful planet that can be visited in the sequel, Toejam & Earl in: Panic on Funkotron!

It took us well over ten years of playing this game, we were fortunate enough to continue to have access to functioning Sega systems, but at long last we finished it. It was an exhilarating experience, one that I know neither of us will ever forget!

The gameplay is unique in that you travel to different "levels" of Earth via an elevator. Random levels have ship pieces on them, so in theory the game has an incredibly wide variety of completion time.

It was never fun to have a ship piece be on a level full of sand. That stuff
is hard to slough through, plus the hula girls won't stop distracting them!

Naturally, as you progress to higher and higher levels, the game becomes more difficult. The Earthling enemies change from fairly innocuous Devils and Hamsters to the much more belligerent Doctors and Mailboxes, to the completely impossible Ice Cream Truck and the Stampede of Nerds.

It's at this point that my sister and I would yield to the fact that today wouldn't be the day, and instead we'd locate a pair of Rocket Skates. Once this happened, we'd take the time to fall off the edge of the levels aaaall the way to back to the starting point at level one. From here, we would equip the Rocket Skates and fly to the lower left hand part of the map, skimming over the water. This venture would be rewarded by a small patch of land with a hole in it, and jumping down revealed the glory of level zero; commence free presents, hot tubs full of hula babes, and a lemonade stand that gives the player an extra life.

Hubba hubba. [Source]

Much to my delight, Nintendo put Toejam & Earl on the Wii's Virtual Console a while back! Yay! I believe it's between five and ten dollars. Now you too can experience the joy and terror of an Earth full of edges you can drop off, crazy old men smoking cigars while mowing their lawns, and gaggles of chickens hellbent on killing you with a rocket tomato launcher. If you visit be sure to bring a floatation device, the water is full of sharks!

Oh, and if you've played/you're going to play, be sure to let me know what you think!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Child's Play charity and Humble Indie Bundle 4

How many of you have heard of Child's Play, the charity started by the guys from Penny Arcade? I'm going to guess most of you, but just in case please allow me to elaborate!

Child's Play was started in November 2003 by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik as a response to negative press stating that all gamers were bad people and children were being trained to kill by video games. While the stereotype is that gamers tend to be reclusive, and some of them are, the truth is that they (we) are not evil, violent people. The guys of Penny Arcade wanted to take a stand, and so they asked the gaming community to show the world just how generous they were by donating gifts to the Seattle Children's hospital.

Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub at the 2011 Child's Play charity dinner auction.
Original photo borrowed with love from the Flickr stream

The event was a raging success with over $250,000 raised in the first month, and each year it has grown exponentially. As of now, Child's Play donates monetary gifts as well as video games, books and board games to over seventy children's hospitals worldwide. Each December a dinner and auction event is held in the Washington state convention center as a way for gamers to come together for a night of fancy enjoyment for a wonderful cause. This year the auction raised $351,000 in just one night, bringing the grand total of money raised and donated since 2003 to $10,948,564 [source]. Talk about generous!

Child's Play accepts donations year round, but the big pushes happen around the holiday season. It warms my heart to see something so wonderful happening in a community that I love. It would be a dream come true to someday attend the auction and dinner. Maybe next year!

In exciting related news, the newest Humble Indie Bundle has been released! The Humble Indie Bundle started in May 2010 and is a pay-what-you-want business model for a pack of indie games. They usually include five games and the purchaser has the option of sending their payment to a charity, this year Child's Play is an option, to the game developers, or toward the cost of bandwidth for the Humble website. Or, you can split the money between the three of them.

A preview of the games you'll be getting!

It really is a wonderful model, and the majority of purchasers are highly generous. The games can be played on Windows, Mac or Linux machines, and you can even send them to someone as a gift! The newest bundle has made over $1,000,000 already.

The Humble Indie Bundle website has a top contributers section, and it's amazing to see how many people are willing to pay incredible amounts for these five games. When given the option to do what they want, people are far more generous than the news would have us believe.

It's never too late (or too early!) to donate to Child's Play, and if the Indie Bundle piques your interest then it's a great way to get your hands on good games and to donate to charity, too! It seems that there are a few bundles released each year, so be sure to check the website and keep your eyes open for the next pack. If you want to go straight to Child's Play, there are many ways to donate.

I hope you'll all take a look as these fantastic webpages!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Retro gaming will be current gaming if I have any sway at all.

While poking around online and finding articles of interest, I came across this piece on Kotaku about older consoles and younger generations. The author of the entry wonders how he'll approach classic gaming with his own children, and this is something that I've wondered about myself.

Older entries on this blog have mentioned how difficult it was for me to work at GameStop for so long and have to listen to Sony and Microsoft fanboys rip on Nintendo games and graphics. I love Nintendo, they are my favorite, so it's possible that I possess a certain bias. However, there once were days where graphics weren't even a thing. All games were on the same playing field and what set the good ones apart were story lines and gameplay. Soundtracks too, to be sure.

Beautiful, crisp, 8-bit graphics. Eating coins and time in arcades
across America. [Source]

I can certainly appreciate gorgeous graphics. A game whose developers put in the dedication and time to create immersive, beautiful environments and character designs are fine by me! And a great game with less than perfect graphics is still worthy in my book, so long as it has gameplay and story going for it, but I was frequently alone in that stance while at work.

If my future, unknown children end up picking up video games as a hobby (and I imagine they will), I'd prefer that they not be graphic snobs. I want them to appreciate video games for more than aesthetic reasons. I didn't start out on the Atari, but I played enough old arcade games and my first system was an NES. Pong and Pac-man are addictive, fun games but they are hardly graphically enticing.

You know you could play this for hours. [Source]

I am fortunate enough to have been born at just the right time to experience the golden age of gaming. I was surrounded by NES, Gameboy and Sega by the time I was four, and I continued to grow into the next consoles as they were released. Those magical consoles, the SNES, Dreamcast and even the Sega Saturn paved the way to a broad spectrum of video game appreciation. I was able to understand where the games started and grasp the value of the increased graphical capabilities. 

The experience was so incredibly valuable! I see children and teens now and their first systems are Wiis, PS3s, 360s! Of course I understand the facts of the situation; those are the systems that are currently available. If I were born fifteen years later then they'd be my first systems too. It's enough of a challenge to get ones hands on classic consoles that I'm sure the majority of people don't see the value. I have a feeling though that as more and more people my age start having children, the more the youth will be reintroduced to the most amazing video game experiences ever.

Oh Penny Arcade, you're always able to so perfectly demonstrate my thoughts.

Something very similar to the above Penny Arcade comic strip happened to me while still at GameStop. I was helping a mother find some GBA games for her young daughter; I would estimate her age to have been around six. As I pulled an array of games from the shelves, I was met with questions as to the game's contents and play styles. 

The games didn't come with boxes, so for a lot of them I was unable to give any information past the game's title and the ESRB rating. I ended up pulling a few of the various Mario games for the GBA: ports from the Nintendo and Super Nintendo.

I began to list the titles and to describe the gameplay styles. The mother wasn't much older than me, so I said, "These are ports from the Nintendo and Super Nintendo, so if you're familiar with those titles then they're the same game." 

Before the mother could respond, the daughter said, "What's a Super Nintendo?"

"How do you not know what this is?!" my brain screamed in agony.

For a moment I stared blankly, completely taken aback seeing as I had never encountered that question before. After finally recovering, I smiled and laughed and said, "It's a video game system that was made a few years ago."

I'm pretty sure I'll never forget that moment, and I know for sure that I want any children of mine to know the older consoles and be raised on the same games that I was. With time they'll move onto the newer systems, but my heart breaks at the thought of my imaginary children turning their noses up to the classic games that I love so very much.

What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Community - We all need one [TV show]

How many of you out there are watching Community? It rapidly became one of my favorite shows while I was in Ireland and I watched the first two seasons back to back. I was heavily saddened when I realized I had already engulfed both seasons, and I waited very impatiently for September to roll around so season three would begin.

I wasn't prepared to live without these girls for five whole months.

Andrew and I watch the newest episodes on Hulu the following Friday or Saturday that the episodes air. It takes a lot of effort for us to wait and watch it together; he could watch it at work and I could watch it at home, but we have a lot of fun sharing the hilarious experiences together.

Community is such a fantastic show. It is brilliantly written and I am able to find something I love and dislike in each character. They are so realistic that even though they irritate me at times, I love them for their honesty, flaws and humanity.

It's interesting how much the show has changed since the first season. I know nothing about script writing and I've never been able to carry a story from start to finish, so I have no idea how writers plan for the eventual change-of-direction for their shows. Season one saw immense character development and a story that was heading in a foreseeable direction. Currently, it is all over the place but my enjoyment has not waned.

Just as arrogant and socially inept as they've always been.

Last month the internet was brought to rageface by the announcement that Community was not present in NBCs mid-season lineup. The show has been put on indefinite hiatus, I guess? It will return "at some point". That language is too vague for my liking.

Even though the whole TV rating thing has been explained to me, I still do not get it. The Nielsen Rating system seems so off balance. Only some TVs have a transmitter to gather data, TVs that are tuned into shows can still produce a zilch 'rating' because of the calculation used, and the numbers are taken based off of commercial viewing and not actual show viewing? What?

They're making Annie cry, and that's just not OK with me.

A lot of information that I glean on the subject points to the fact that DVRs, Hulu, Netflix and other post-air viewing sources are completely mucking up the ratings. For instance, Andrew and I have a television, but we don't have "TV"; we don't have cable. We watch TV shows on DVD, Hulu or Netflix. That is our only avenue. This anecdote dovetails nicely with this quote from Joel McHale:

"Our fans don't watch TV the way others do," he says. "I did a stand-up show at the University of Arizona and there were 30 kids who ran the event. I said, 'How many of you watch Community?' and they all raised their hands, which was great. I asked, 'How many watch it Thursdays at 8pm?' Zero hands. I asked, 'How many of you have TVs?' Four hands. I asked, 'How many of you watch on computers?' All hands went up. That may be an excuse, but our audience skews young. But with something like this, they vote. That's how rabid they are, so that's great." - November 29th, 2011

That is us (as I stated) and almost everyone else that we know. TV is a wonderful luxury, and I can freely admit that it is a luxury, and in this modern age it doesn't seem crazy to want the option of watching when I have the time. Ultimately it's unfortunate that the actors, writers and everyone else involved in the shows have to suffer the loss of a role/job because of a faulty rating system.

I suppose the bit that makes me the saddest is everything always boiling down to money. In what world does it make sense to remove something clever and interesting only to replace it with something inane and trite?

The world of money and business, apparently.

As a final note, shortly after Community was unceremoniously ripped from the NBC schedule, an article surfaced announcing the show was awarded TV Guide's Fan Favorite 2011. It beat out a lot of other great shows, too.

Collectable covers and everything! [Source]

Is it ironic? Funny? A faceplam moment? Or simply proof that what the fans and people want does not lineup with what the ratings and executives want. Of course there is far more proof than just this, but the timing of it all is so wonderfully tasty and ridiculous to me.

This article from Business Insider has an eloquent and poignant list of why NBC needs to keep Community on their lineup. They do, of course, comment on the fact that a fan favorite isn't necessarily a money maker to NBC, and I've already stated how I feel about that kind of thinking -_- In an attempt to find at least one proactive thing to do I located an online petition to save Community. I suppose it doesn't hurt to try!

I have my fingers crossed for myself, my fellow fans, and the cast/crew/writers of the show that before too long we will receive the fantastic news that Community will be back on the air in no time.

Do you watch Community?


Monday, December 12, 2011

Skyrim beat Skyward Sword and I'm not surprised.

Apparently the VGAs were were a few days ago. All of my TV watching happens after the fact via Hulu or something similar, so I've been reading recaps for what happened and watching a few videos. I don't feel that I missed very much; it doesn't sound like a lot of people are particularly happy with how the award show goes anyway. I don't believe that I've ever watched them before, but I sure would have liked to see Felicia Day on the stage! She's so great! She also looked super wonderful in her fancy dress.

My only real curiosity rested in how well Skyward Sword was going to fare! It didn't walk away with the Game of the Year award, but I'm not particularly surprised. Zelda is my favorite, the gaming love of my life. But I knew it wouldn't stand a chance against Skyrim (which did win, by the way). I've been playing both for the past few weeks and they are worlds apart. Skyward Sword did win Best Motion Game though!

I'm glad they included some log training, because the specific
angles take some serious getting used to! [Source]

While Skyward Sword has many amazing qualities and features (and I am enjoying it immensely) it is not the immersive, expansive, ever-unfolding experience that Skyrim presents to the player. I expect Game of the Year to go to a more mature title. And let me be clear that when I say mature, I do not mean violent. The Game of the Year has to be all encompassing. Skyward Sword is a highly accessible game for all ages, and while Skyrim is a mature rated title, it still has so much to offer to an incredibly wide range of gamers.

I feel myself becoming fearful of typing with complete honesty, so I'm just going to plunge on in.

I truly believe that Skyrim is the better game. I wish I could fully put my finger on why. They both have something to offer everyone, but they're simply in different classes!

As much as I love Zelda, the games have never presented me with
something quite this epic, awesome and challenging. Dragons rock..

Something tells me I'm going to begin talking myself in circles before too long, so I'm going to stop right now. I love Skyward Sword and you should all play it. I also love Skyrim and you should all play it! Congratulations to The Legend of Zelda for being inducted into the VGA Hall of Fame, and for Skyrim winning Game of the Year!

Miyamoto's grin is so superb! [Source]

The general opinion of award shows does little to sway how I feel about games or movies that are close to my heart anyway. In whatever surreal universe out there that would have any Zelda game at the bottom of the gaming list and everyone else hated it, that wouldn't affect how I feel. It's a lovely place to be. My sister and I really enjoy the movie The Pest, and it is one of the lowest rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes.

I am aware that it's nothing spectacular, but I still absolutely enjoy it and it makes me laugh everytime. My enjoyment is what matters!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Miyamoto stays for now and has my full support!

Over the past few days the internet has been abuzz with news that Shigeru Miyamoto, grandfather of gaming and magical man responsible for some of the most beloved gaming franchises in the world, is retiring his position at Nintendo of Japan and is stepping aside to focus his efforts on training new recruits. The articles state that his goals are to train senior employees to work without him (for the eventual days where he will no longer be a part of the Nintendo machine) and also to get his hands on smaller projects with fresh employees.

This caused quite the hullabaloo in the gaming world and fears for the direction of the company surfaced. Apparently the stocks for Nintendo dropped. Many more articles have emerged stating that Wired, the webpage that originally broke the story, mis-translated Miyamoto and that he's not retiring after all.

So many things I love in one photo! [Source]

There's so much back and forth going on that it's making my head spin. I believe that if Miyamoto were "leaving" the company in any real and official fashion, that there'd be a large press event and some sort of rockin' good-bye party. There's simply no way that he'd slip out the door quietly! At the very least I'd hope that his beloved company would want to give him more pomp and circumstance than that.

In the same way that one can piece together the facts from hearing two sides of the story, my take on the situation is this: eventually Miyamoto will retire (duh) but that day is not today. He wants to work on smaller projects that don't take five plus years to make. He wants the senior employees to know what it's like to work without him so close by, and he wants younger, newer employees to have his guiding hand on a closer level so that they'll learn the ropes to create the kinds of games that will be loved for years to come.

Miyamoto has a legacy, and it's important to him that it lasts even after he parts ways with Nintendo. Someone will be taking his place one day, and the sooner he gets to training them the better!

Personally I'm excited to see what happens to the company from here on out. I know Miyamoto will still be there guiding everyone in the directions of fun, exciting and new. The franchises that I love will continue to flourish with creative minds working hard, while smaller titles will be given attention by Miyamoto himself.

Just imagine how many more amazing Nintendo titles there will be? We may end up with some new IPs!

You have my full support Miyamoto-san!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sometimes I long for simpler technology.

The holiday spirit is in full swing at my house; my Pandora station is always playing Christmas music and I have strung paper chains all over the main rooms. I have a few decorative projects that are waiting to be completed and today I'll be making a bunch of peppermint bark! The holidays fill me with so much cheer!

Over the past few days my fantastic friend Jacki was in town. She's a fan of Christmas decorations too, and gladly joined me in drinking hot cocoa while stringing red and green paper together.

Jacki's a pretty smart lady, so she suggested that we put on The Nightmare Before Christmas to help set the mood. I happily obliged and proceeded to jovially sing, "What's This?!" in unison with her.

Best part of the movie. [Source]

While standing in the living room watching, I took notice of the video quality. It just looked so... not sharp. We were watching a DVD on a PS3 with a hi-def cable connection. (Something else to know is that the "tv" is a projection onto a seventeen foot screen. So, the picture is just a tiny bit huge) I pondered for a moment, then commented on the fact that Andrew makes sure everything we watch is HD.

It occurred to me that I wasn't sure when I had last watched something not in HD, and I shared these thoughts with Jacki. I have been positively spoiled by technology! There I was, watching a movie that I loved and instead of simply enjoying it I was focusing on how terrible the video quality was!

I then wondered how terrible the video quality would be if we hooked up a VHS player and watched a tape. I don't even have any tapes. Such a strange notion seeing as I grew up surrounded by every Disney tape that was available.

Thinking about video tapes got me thinking about older consoles, and I remembered that I wouldn't be able to play Duck Hunt on a projection screen. I felt sad for a moment, and thought about the fact that Duck Hunt doesn't even work on some newer TVs.

I don't want to lose my beloved, outdated video games! I have two NES zappers!

Note this silly photo of me taken seven years ago.

It would be a dream come true if someday I had a room full of televisions, each with one of my consoles hooked up. The room would be decorated to the nines in video game paraphernalia, comfy chairs everywhere, and myself and my guests could kick back and play games in their original presentation.

Wouldn't that be lovely? 


The Last Guardian game creator goes freelance?

It's Wednesday! That doesn't really mean anything in particular, I'm just struggling with an opening line for this entry. So with that out of the way, I have some interesting Team Ico information for you. Let's get going!

The Last Guardian. I can't wait to get to know this face. [Source]

I hope that most of you have heard of The Last Guardian! This is the third title brought to you by Team Ico, the people responsible for such amazing games as ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. They are creators of amazing games full of emotion and drive. The environments are gorgeous and immersive, the gameplay unlike anything I've ever experienced. ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are truly gems for the PS2, and if you have not yet played them then I urge you to do so. If you have a PS3 then you have the very easy option of picking up the ICO and Shadow of the Colossus collection. You lucky duck!

Last week news started circulating around that the game creator has left Sony and is now working on the project as a freelancer. I was pretty sad and confused when I read this article. Sad because I immediately thought that meant he wasn't working on the project (seeing as I hadn't finished the article yet) and then confused once I read he was sticking around as freelance. What does that mean for his involvement? Will he have less influence since he's not a Sony employee anymore? I just have so many questions! The article states that he'll be pursuing personal projects once Guardian is finished, but why didn't he stay with Sony until the project was over? 

I'm just so excited for this game (scheduled "TBA 2012") and I don't want anything to further delay its delivery into my anxiously waiting hands.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Definite steps to prevent Skyward Sword glitch!

The Moblins know how to block! Source

Today I found an important update regarding the Skyward Sword glitch that I mentioned last week! According to Zelda Informer, they know exactly what causes the glitch and how to avoid it. Nintendo has addressed the issue and is going to be fixing it for future disc printing, which is good.

The article lists the sequence of events that WILL cause a game breaking glitch. It's hardly a spoiler, so PLEASE read it and protect your save file from crashing!

It sounds like the events are close to the end of the game, and if your file glitches out your only option is to start a new file. I don't even want to think about doing that.

Moving onto happier Skyward Sword news though! I just finished the Skyview Temple and I had a really fun time. So far I am so incredibly pleased with the game. I love the graphics and the character designs. The Kikwis are so cute! The puzzles are a real challenge and I think they're very well done. 

The whole game feels so new and fresh, and yet there's just enough of a hint of familiarity of Zelda games past. Nintendo did such a splendid job!

So far the only issue I'm having is with the motion plus controls. This is the first game I've had that has used it and I am very much treading on unfamiliar territory. The boss fight for the temple had me incredibly frustrated as I jumped around and swung the wiimote wildly in front of my TV. Trying to hit at precise angles is a huge challenge, and my rough attempted hits cause the calibration to get all out of whack. Ugh.

I suppose after all of that it makes the sweet taste of victory even sweeter. I was so relieved for the battle to be over.

How is everyone else doing with their files? Has anyone beaten it yet? I'm going through it fairly slowly and I am enjoying every minute of it!


Monday, December 5, 2011

For the good geeks in your life.

Happy Monday! I thought I'd kick off this week with something fun, entertaining and seasonally relevant. So, with that in mind, I've made some Etsy Treasuries for you to look through. Who knows, maybe you'll find something for yourself (if you've been good) or for a special someone in your life for the holidays :)

I took great care and time on these lists and in the process found way too many things that I'd like to have for myself! So I'm asking you to please appreciate the torture I put myself through to provide these great lists ;)

::: For the good little Zelda fans in your life

A portion of the treasury.

A diverse collection of items ranging from jewelry, pillows and art. Some of the items may tend to sway to the "girlie" side, but what can I say? I like barrettes.

::: Something Mario for everyone

Insanely wide variety.

I could probably make ten treasuries for all of the kickass Mario stuff that exists on Etsy. I think this collection is fairly middle of the road. I'm feeling super inspired by those quilts!

One of each, please.

OK, I'm thinking that since this one is entirely necklaces, then most of these stand firmly in the "girl" category, and for that I apologize to any and all male readers. Although, necklaces with black threading are quite unisex, in my opinion! Either way, I'd like that Minecraft one asap, and I would love very much to split the Pokeball with my P2.

The lie/lay conundrum is ever present in my life.

My living room would become the coziest in all the land if I had the money to deck it out with these awesome wares. I'm especially fond of the Scrabble tile pillows. I love Scrabble!

So there you have it! Some lists to drool over and maybe a few items to mark off of your shopping list for this year. Are there any items that you particularly enjoy? If you could have any one of them, which would you choose? I think I'd go with an art print, but gahh... I can't decide!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Super exciting news!

I am gleeful to finally reveal another of my exciting and secret projects: a new blog design! *confetti*

This endeavor was started literally months ago and I've been dragging my feet and over-complicating it. A few things have happened that finally gave me the kick to finish it (one of those things being Andrew's help. hehe)

With the successful launch of my vlog, my transition to daily posting AND having an advertising spot on another blog, I started to really feel the pressure to give my internet corner a makeover.

So, last night Andrew and I sat down and put this all together and I added a few finishing touches this morning. What does everyone think? :D I'm really happy with it. I searched for a long time before I found a layout that I liked, and I know I'll continue to make small tweaks in the near future.

Here's the button he made for me. Isn't is great?!

Please be sure to visit Cameron+Whitney's blog! He's the kind soul who offered free advertising for the month of December. I am pumped at the thought of more visitors and really honored to be on his blog! I love his paper sculpts, they're amazing!

Be sure to read my post about SOPA/Protect-IP. It's very important!


SOPA/Protect-IP - A very bad idea.

This post will be in a more serious vein than my usual ones. It's super important so I hope you'll take the time to read!

Have you all heard of SOPA and Protect-IP? They are bad news for the internet and the masses. Imagine being sent to jail for up to five years for posting a video to youtube of you and your friends singing a popular song. Sounds ridiculous, right?

"This legislation will stifle free speech and innovation, and even threaten popular web services like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook." -

Please take the time to watch this video and then fill out the form on this page. The form takes care of all the details for you and sends a message to the congress members in your voting district.

Here is another site to easily contact senators to have your opinions heard.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

(This is the same video only with an article attached to it. I encourage you to take a look!)

Everything mentioned in this video is scary on a whole new level.

A committee vote is scheduled for December 15th, so we have only two weeks to let our voices be heard to our state representatives. Please let them know that this is a bad idea.

For your convenience, I've gathered a few articles to try and bring as much information into one spot as I can.

-I don't know about you, but I love seeing speed runs of video games and I'm planning on including my own gameplay videos in upcoming vlog entries. Imagine an internet where those aren't allowed.

-Senator Ron Wyden strongly opposes SOPA and Protect-IP and wants to have your name to read aloud in his "epic filibuster" to block the bills.

-The New York Times gives an explanation of the very real dangers to free speech that SOPA and Protect-IP would create.

-Wikipedia for a straightforward run-down.

-Here's an article from CNET about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's stance on SOPA (they are supporters).

-A post from Game Politics about political blog's DailyKOS opposing SOPA and Protect-IP.

-This article from states that, from a legal standpoint, SOPA is not censorship. After reading though, I don't agree. The closing statement argues that the Powers that Be have, "confidence in the structure of our court system" and therefore claim that they would remain fair and not "manipulate" the situations. How is it not censorship if websites are blocked from being accessed?

The whole situation is quite chilling. I've already contacted my senators to let them know that this bill should not and cannot be passed. Thank you for reading and I sincerely hope that you'll use one of the options presented in this entry to contact your congress people/senators to let them know that you oppose the proposed destruction of the internet.

Of course, if you don't oppose the SOPA and Protect-IP acts I'd be very curious to hear your points of view! Everyone feel free to share your thoughts either for or against the bills.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Skyrim internet round-up! (updated. hold off on 1.2 patch?)

I know I already did a Skyrim post, but the internet overfloweth with exceedingly entertaining content! Andrew keeps sharing it with me and I've been keeping the tabs open in my browser, for some reason not bringing myself to close them.

It occurred to me suddenly that I should share these things on my blog! Perhaps you've already seen them, perhaps not, but I have nothing to lose by making sure to feed entertainment back into the world!


Maybe consider holding off on the 1.2 patch. It's apparently causing more problems than it's worth.


::: First up is this amazing video. When watching I went from ? to :O to :D!

::: Second is this incredible photo. So. many. weapons.

I don't know the original source, sorry!

::: Thirdly is this awesome and beautiful story, The Life and Death of Skyrim's Lydia. The writer so eloquently and hilariously describes his relationship with one of the many in-game companions. Here's a brief excerpt:

"She’d turn up. I wandered about, looked in the area for exciting discoveries, waiting to hear that familiar clatter of things being knocked over and traps being sprung. But none came. So I turned to fast travel – the ingenious technique that sees horses and companions magically appear next to you. But there was no Lydia.

I went back to Whiterun, to my house and to her room, but there was no Lydia. I went back to Dragonsreach, to the dining hall, where she’d often have sat before I could afford a home. But there was no Lydia. An empty seat. It was looking bad." - John Walker, November 21, 2011
Truly, you must go and read the article.

:::Finally, this spot-on (as usual) Zero Punctuation video. Anyone familiar with his work will not be disappointed!

The Escapist : Zero Punctuation : The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Who else is playing Skyrim? I know a lot of you are! What's everyone playing as?


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