Category Archives: Games

Fish & Games

I find myself in the arcade quite often as you might have guessed. Arcade games can be about anything and everything, even fish. Competitive as I am, I want to excel when I indulge. Maybe a digital fish finder will do the job for the particular game I have in mind. The real ones work quite well for catching actual fish I am told. Why not go digital. Just what is this device anyway? I went online and saw a few of these odd high-tech gadgets that look like a cross between a smart phone (the screen part) and a mini TV. Wow, some are really expensive! Well over a thousand bucks. They talk about sonar imaging and chart plotting and scaling technology. I am impressed. Now how to use a computer fish finder is the pertinent question if there is such an animal.

This is maybe more a joke than reality, but I am amusing myself with the concept as I stand before one game that adds up points for various types of exotic fish caught. The rare ones, of course, earn the most. Surely I can develop an edge with a little help from my friend. Maybe it will activate a magical magnet that acts like a lure. I will set it on certain fish images and it won’t be cheating at all! Just a skill enhancer of sorts. When the desired one appears, zap. It is mine! The finder will always reveal what is under the digital water.

I am starting to enter that creative area where my mind wanders off into another realm. I am zoning out. I am imaging the perfect finder that I design myself. No more joke. I will make them for different arcade games and will even customize them for an ample price. I am not limited to fish. I see a lucrative new industry emerging with my name on it. It will revolutionize the whole field. You will need skill, and thus it will continue the fair functioning of traditional arcade games. Users will have to learn all the options and adjustments. They could be computerized finders or hand-held items. There could even be an app installed on a smart phone. I am not sure yet of the exact nature of this thing I have in mind. I need to consult with an electronics expert who will keep it a secret or become an ally. I will buy a cheap fish finder for now and study it to death. Its inner workings will become a template with a new purpose. I am getting quite agitated and excited. I hope you are still with me.

I suppose I will need seed money for capital before I begin. I plan to contact the Shark Tank show on TV. They will go for it and hopefully fund the whole process. It’s a money maker! That’s all they care about. For me, it is about pushing arcade games into the future and it is long overdue.

Dress Code Gamer – Tech & gamer fashion clothes

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You can usually spot a gamer by the clothes that they wear, which is usually jeans and a t-shirt with their favorite game of choice on it, or a witty sci-fi reference of some sort. At least, that’s what the mainstream would have you think. We don’t all dress like that. In fact, a lot of gamers can have some pretty creative outfits to wear and we blend in just like everyone else.

Accessories have become a new way for gamers to express their love of the genre. Jewelry has become a popular way for gamers to express their fashion flair with Zelda Spiritual Stone rings, Steampunk cog necklaces and accessories, awesome Assassins Creed jackets…the list goes on.

There are some styles that can be a bit out there as well, such as dressing up like a superhero. I don’t mean wearing an Iron Man shirt and matching cap. You can now get T-shirts with capes attached for example.

Do gamers actually have a certain dress code though? It generally seems to be casual wear, the afore mentioned jeans and T-shirts with a hoodie thrown in. Clothing is usually black and shirts generally have what some would call geeky pop culture quotes. And don’t forget your slouch beanie!

I think a lot of it depends on what genre of games you like too. Some are influenced by a favorite character or game genre, like anime, and will dress accordingly. A lot of the styles worn now used to be considered geeky not too long ago. But geeky is the new black these days and I’m grateful for that because it means I don’t need to hide or buy a new wardrobe.

Gamer fashion has grown by leaps and bounds and has become part of the mainstream. We get to be as creative as we want these days and many of the fashions and accessories are really cool. I especially love the hoodies they are coming out with for WoW and Assassins Creed (which has that peaked hood).

What’s really interesting these days are the tech fashions coming out; glowing shirts with led lights, color changing clothes that are timed with the beat of the music you are listening to, and dresses that show your Tweets are just a few of the amazing things they are coming out with. I think where tech meats fashion, it’s all about functionality. Look at the new Google Glass for example. A wearable computer that can use voice commands to surf the web for you. Who knows how technology with infuse the gaming lifestyle with fashion in the future. I can guarantee it will be pretty interesting though.

There isn’t really a specific dress code for gamers to adapt to. Clothes are geared towards comfort and showcasing your favorite genre, game, or quotes. Add some of the fantastic accessories they have out there for gamers and you are set to go….gaming.

Winning Prizes

At county fairs you can have a lot of fun throwing darts or hitting a hammer and dunking a poor sap sitting above a tub of water. At the circus, too, you can go for prizes like giant stuffed animals for tossing balls into tiny cups. You might like shooting galleries or other games of skill. The gifts are paltry but amusement is high.

I was at an arcade at a large regional expo one summer. It was upscale event and the crowd was decked out in finery. By that I mean expensive watches and pricey Italian leather shoes. That’s how you tell the in crowd from the riff raff. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to see a game of chance that had an array of prizes that included various kitchen top-tier appliances. I am not talking about a budget mixer or a no-frills toaster like you get at bank give-a-ways for opening a new account. I am referring to really high-end top-of-the-line stuff.

Some gorgeous machines were sitting in a row above the arcade game opening, one after another as if beckoning to me. They were daring me to try my hand at a fast round of pitch ball. You had to aim well to make the target, which was pretty small. It was a hole painted with concentric brightly-colored circles. You couldn’t miss seeing it, but not many were able to get the ball in, or even get close. I guess it was just an investment in appliance PR – a come-on for the game. They were all still there glistening in the sun hours later.

If you made two in a row you could choose the one you wanted. I had my eye on the Cuisinart. This is one of the best hand mixers on the market and included all the necessary gadgets and attachments. (You have to want one even if you rarely cook.) I watched visitor after visitor try their unsteady hands.

A young man was standing near me. I think he had been there a while. He saw me drooling over the assortment of fine culinary treasures. He smiled and slowly grasped an idle ball. With a flick of the wrist, he had done the impossible. He slowly reached for a second. Luck was on his side. A brand new Cuisinart was now in his capable hands bedecked with a giant blue ribbon—a symbol of his success.

More startled than before, I took it from his outstretched arms. Was this romance, or even love? Was this kindness in disguise? “Don’t worry,” he said. “I am in the service and can’t take it with me.” I nodded with understanding. “I am an ace sharpshooter and also play darts for fun. I probably do it at least once a day.”

I would never have prevailed, not even once, not to mention twice. He had read my thoughts and stares. I thanked him profusely and promised to email soon. I trotted off in a daze of happiness and surprise.

Who Are You? – Gamer and Gaming Culture

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You have probably heard the terms “gamer” and “gaming culture” being thrown around before. When someone refers to a person as a gamer, what comes to your mind? A person who lives in the basement and plays video games all day and night? Did you know that gamers are so much more than playing video games? They have helped develop some of the best games we now have out there and are amongst the most creative individuals I have ever met.

I’m a gamer myself and have found that there are many levels of gamers out there. I have played everything from Dungeon’s and Dragons to Dark Souls 2. Some gamers prefer PC gaming and others prefer consoles like PS4. A friend of mine plays the more non-stressful games on the market, brain challenging adventures and such. But hard core gamers, the ones who have to try every game out there, would not consider her to be a true gamer. Gamer is a broad classification that is used for anyone who has an interest in gaming that goes above the “norm”. I came up with a list of gamer categories that I have come across through the years:

  • Casual gamer  to me this is someone who plays games on their mobile phone or plays things like Minecraft and has a console but only uses it for sports games or those crazy sing along and dancing games.
  • Core Gamer  this is a person who has a console and tends to play every majorly released game that hits the market.
  • Hardcore Gamer – here we have a person who has owned just about every console out there along with a high tech gaming PC that runs Steam. They play, or have played, almost every mainstream game out there.
  • Competitive Gamer – some competitive gamers scare me. I mean they really get into the game! They tend to play the multiplayer online games and thrive on the competition of beating quests, other players, and levelling up.
  • Sports Gamer  this would be a person who is uber enthusiastic about sports related games.
  • MMO Gamer  This is your World of Warcraft type group. They tend to play these games religiously…for many hours straight…everyday.

What about the video game culture? Simply put, it is a media culture which has been highly influenced by video games. But it becomes something more than this when you are part of it. It’s a community, a way of life. The gaming culture has spawned new fads and has had a huge influence on mainstream culture today. You can see its impact today in movies, music, TV shows and even politics. Video games are believed to have a hand in how we grow and thrive to some degree. Some will say this is a negative thing where others will feel it’s something positive because it’s brought out creativity in people who may not have had an outlet otherwise. It’s also given people a way to connect with others, to learn to work together as a team in some respect.

Yes there are pro’s and con’s to being a gamer and immersing oneself in the whole gaming culture. But I, for one, am proud to say that I am a Gamer.

Around the World in 8 Gamer Cons

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As a gamer I love going to all of those gaming/sci-fi conventions that run throughout the year. I can remember when gamer conventions were these low key gatherings that many looked upon as just a group of geeks drooling over video games. Well those days are over and gaming conventions can now be found all over the world and are pretty major events! Here are some of the best gamer conventions to visit from around the world:

Dragon Con – this is one of the largest multimedia conventions to be found in the USA and they have been running since 1987. They have everything; sci-fi and fantasy, the newest games coming out, pop culture, comics, and lots of role players! The convention runs for a weekend, usually the last one in August, in Atlanta Georgia. It’s so big that it runs in five different hotels in downtown Atlanta. The gaming section of the Dragon Con isn’t just about video games. They cater to your traditional RPG dice rolling games, tabletop games, a full LAN gaming section for when you are having gamer withdrawals, and you can even talk with some of the best gaming programmers out there if you have the drive to create your own games.

Comic-Con International – This is another huge event that runs over a four day period in San Diego, California. They have some really nice open game areas and run tournaments for all of you competitive gamers out there. They also cover a large variety of gaming genres and have an awesome masquerade for those who really want to get into character and show them what you’ve got.

MCM London Comic con – Across the pond we go, to England, where over 100,000 fans gather together to join the fun that is gaming. It caters to everything from Steampunk to Anime and hosts some of the best actors and special guests. Last year I got to meet some of the cast of Warehouse 13 and Game of Thrones. You can find many gaming sections scattered throughout the site with a large Game Expo featuring popular and independent game developers.

Insomnia Gaming Festival – Insomnia is another UK based gaming convention that focuses solely on..you got it ..gaming! The festival hosts your favorite YouTube gaming stars, LAN gaming halls, and a great exhibition hall where you can buy unique gaming paraphernalia.

Warpcon – This is Ireland’s very own, biggest gaming convention and it is a student run event. It has been going on since 1991 and runs every January. It started out as a small event for students but has really taken off. It’s more of a role playing convention but it gives gamers who love WoW, Warhammer, and other RPG video games to be part of the action themselves.

EB Games Expo – Australia has its own huge video game event that usually runs the first weekend of October. They host a lot of entertainment that is suited for families as well but there are areas where you need to prove your age because the events are listed as MA 15+ and R18+. They feature just about every game, developer and gaming system out there for you to test out and get your game on!

PAX – PAX is in Seattle Washington and hosted by Penny Arcade. They wanted a convention that focused solely on the culture and community of gaming. They have an exhibition hall, a lounge for using handheld games, a console free play area, and the Omegathon challenge where players enter to beat each other in various games, some of which have not been seen before. Kind of helps level the playing field.

MGCCon – The Malaysian Games & Comics Convention host a great, well balanced mix of the gaming community and industry. It caters to games, comics, and your own creativity! Guest stars include many comic artists from companies like Marvel, and the top Cosplay figures out there.
Gaming conventions have come a long way and these days you can find something to please every aspect of the gaming community and industry. These are but a few of the conventions and expos that run worldwide throughout the year and I hope to be able to visit many more.