I could have been the classy 'Snooki', named Fruzsi

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 12:  (L-R) TV Perso...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I tried out for a reality TV show about two weeks ago. No, not Chicago’s version of Jersey Shore … but the World Cyber Games Ultimate Gamer Season 2.

Sadly, I did not make it. Combined with my nerves and limited play time on the console, my Xbox gameplay left much to be desired…and as I found out after the fact, Ultimate Gamer is really “Best Xbox Player” and not the “Best Gamer across all platforms”.  The show shouldn’t call itself “Ultimate Gamer” if it doesn’t include games from all platforms.

I understand why the emphasis  is on the Xbox because this show is created by World Cyber Games…  and in all honesty, I don’t compete in tournaments (just a gaming columnist here) so maybe if I took a spot on the show it would have pissed off some “hardcore gamers”.  I still think I’m a better gamer than some of the girls from last season, though (sans Ciji)!

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Why can't console and PC gamers get along?

Computer Workstation Variables

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There is a popular image up on reddit as I type this, discussing the perceived snobbery PC gamers have towards console gamers. You can find the pros and cons for each gaming system in the comments, and the conversation has been enlightening.

What I believe to be the  biggest reason for all the animosity is the age difference, though no “redditer” has explicitly mentioned this. Console gamers are younger, and more prone to freaking out if they hear a female gamer or a male that sounds gay.  Console gamers are also more likely to shout profanities, behave like bigots or put up porn as their sprays, because, they are after all only 14. Why would someone in their 20’s want to subject themselves to such foolish behavior? My experience with Xbox Live has been brief, and to all the girls that do speak into their mics, I commend you, and don’t know how you do it with out a voice changer.

Reddit user beatnik11 touched on my point:

There is no denying that there are idiots and assholes who are PC gamers, but on a whole its far far far worse on console games. Really, just step into xbox live and play some MW or Halo and before you blink you are going to start hearing little kids act out the worst 4chan has to offer, but instead of being just normal people who are trolling for fun, these kids really are a cancer and are not mature enough to understand the value of respect.

I think being a PC gamer and knowing how to connect more than 4 wires and understanding what is in your machine tends to lead those who are older and more mature and these sorts of people are much more enjoyable to play with. I can go on TF2 [Team Fortress 2] all day long and never have to experience some 14 year old who thinks they are edgy and cool being a racist misogynistic bigot, got on MW2 [Modern Warfare 2] however and its a different story.

Games have been around since the 80’s, so is it really that surprising that the “aging” gaming population spends more time on their PCs? “Grown-ups” already have a computer, so why shell out additional money for a console when you don’t have to?  Every time I got a console, I got it as a gift, and I assume many Xbox Live or PS3 boys and girls also received their systems as gifts.

So, when did it become a crime to play with my age group? 


Explaining Jobbik, the 'Tea Party' of Hungary

w:Treaty of Trianon

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I would like to interrupt my regularly scheduled video game posts to comment on the recent right wing party’s victory in the Hungarian Parliament. Hungary now has a new Prime Minister-in-waiting; Viktor Orbán, and a new ruling party; Fidesz.  Fidesz, the center right party:

made history as the first Hungarian political party to capture a two-thirds majority in the 386-seat parliament since Hungary’s first post-communist elections in 1990.

Fidesz defeated the ruling Socialists who have been  in power for eight years, amid public anger over scandals and the economy.

Sunday’s election results give the ruling Socialists 59 seats and the far-right Jobbik Party, 47 seats

via Business Weeks Hungary’s Center Right Sweep Parliamentary Elections

I couldn’t help but notice how “Jobbik” has been portrayed over the past couple of weeks. Jobbik  voicing “anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy rhetoric“? I don’t claim to be an expert, but when I was in Budapest over Christmas, I encountered people my own age who were very sympathetic to Jobbik. I am talking about people who work in ad agencies, PR firms, TV stations and soon-to-be lawyers. One law student, attending a prestigious law school in Budapest, is being taught by Krisztina Morvai, a fellow leader of the Jobbik party (to note, how can Morvai be anti-semitic when she has had 3 children with a “Jewish” man? Also to wonder, if someone is pro-Palestine, does that make them anti-semitic? ). The Jobbik supporters I met weren’t anti-semitic, and no more anti-gypsy than any one else in Hungary, …or Europe for that matter.  Why would my generation of  college-educated, internet browsing individuals be sympathetic to a party that was “Hitler-esque”?  I don’t want to use the word “slander” to describe the media coverage, as that is what Jobbik is calling all this negative attention, but I have to agree the coverage certainly isn’t balanced.

What really gets me are the media sources, which are almost entirely from “socialist” countries.  It makes sense then that any news reaching the US about Jobbik would  have a negative spin. None of the stories talk about Jobbik’s economic policies, or ideas on agricultural reform, or how to root out corruption in government.  I would like to take this moment and explain a few things about Jobbik:

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Gaming CEO runs for Governor of California

Seal of California

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GamersFirst CEO Joshua Hong is running for Governor this year as Arnold Schwarzenegger is ineligible to run again. The initial reaction on the internet has been skeptical, as many believe this is a PR move designed to get some free advertising. While the nay-sayers do have a point, considering Mr. Hong’s initial campaign pitch (on April 1st) focused on his company and his “Free2Play” idea, I don’t think he should be dismissed so quickly.

Asked if Hong is using a political campaign to simply promote his gaming company, Mukhopadhyay replied, “[The free-to-play business model] is where a lot of the inspiration comes from. It’s what he knows best, and he translates that to what would work best for the government.”

She added, “Yeah, there will probably be people that think ‘Oh, you can’t do that, it’s a gaming company versus a government and that just sounds ridiculous.’ But it’s more about using the experience that he’s acquired and using the inspiration from the GamersFirst company.”

via Gamasutra “GamersFirst CEO’s Political Campaign Is For Real, Says Company Rep

Today’s current video game industry is a multi-billion dollar money-maker… so you cannot deny that any one from the industry would be out of touch, or without influence over the general public.  If you read Mr. Hong’s 3 tenants  for change and innovation in California, you see he is just applying his technological know-how to politics in general. Mr. Hong’s tenants make sense, like improving education, infrastructure, and government transparency by fulling utilizing modern technology.

This reminds me of President Obama asking Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to design a video game to fix the budget deficit:

The co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission is working on a video game to make plain what it would take to eliminate soaring deficits.

Erskine Bowles has discussed with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a new game “that would enable anyone with a computer to take a stab at balancing the budget.”

via The Hill “Obama debt panel co-chair working on deficit reduction video game

And if you are still skeptical about using video games to save the world, I refer you to Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk “Gaming can make a Better World“.


Love me, I quit smoking three months ago…

Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking (See...

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Full disclosure: it will be three months by next week, which means next week I will have hit that 12 week mark where I should be more comfortable with my new lifestyle.

Just this evening, I was jogging home from my local CAPS meeting and I surprised myself. I was able to run 4 blocks to my house and not be out of breath. I didn’t feel tired, or as if I was going to pass out, and I couldn’t hear my heart pounding loudly in my ears.  My mini-run put me in such a good mood that I couldn’t stop smiling for at least an hour.  My smoking cessation hasn’t been all peachy, however. I will admit, I’ve had a couple of incidents.

The first incident:

I don’t know if you can call this a relapse, but a couple weeks ago I was eating lunch with a friend, and I had a drag of her cigarette. I asked for a drag because I wanted to see what it would taste like. I was feeling pretty confident in my abilities; I hadn’t had a craving in a couple of weeks, and I just wanted to try it. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea, maybe I was testing myself, but either way, I hated the drag I had. I actually coughed. I was disgusted. And then I felt proud of myself, for feeling that way. I felt proud of my body for reacting so negatively to the cigarette smoke.

The second incident:

This incident is actually an ongoing process. Lately in my dreams, I am smoking a cigarette. It is not every night that I am smoking a cig, but I would say it has happened at least 5 times in the past 2 weeks. At first the dreams worried me, because I thought I would start smoking again because it was “on my mind”… but now I wonder if it is a warning to myself, and a reminder that I am trying to change, and be a new person, and I can’t relapse now.  It is common knowledge that our brains don’t stop developing until we are 25, so if I spent the last 6 years of my adult life addicted to nicotine, my brain chemistry would have developed with a place for nicotine.  Now that I no longer feed my brain nicotine, is there a chemical hole in my brain? Has my addiction harmed my brain chemistry?

“Brain skills come online with the onset in adolescence,” Caldwell said. “It’s a work in progress. It’s learning every single day.”

As teens learn to bridle their emotions with reasoning skills, Caldwell said, alcohol and drug use can be counterproductive.

“Addiction is related to experiences of learning, memory, reward and the motivation to go back to the substance, despite consequences,” he said.

via GazetteXtra.com “Alcohol, drugs slow teen development

And while I know the article quoted above is about drugs and alcohol in teens, couldn’t it also apply to nicotine?  Could this explain why I am still so ruled by my emotions? If I had never started smoking, would I have a different personality? Scary thoughts…

You can read about my first 6 days here, and my status update after a month here


Nintendo DS snubs Lindsay Lohan

Mean Girls

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Poor Lindsay Lohan. A game based off the best movie she ever did (Mean Girls) comes out this month, and she is not even on the cover. Writes PopEater:

Lindsay Lohan may have been the star of ‘Mean Girls,’ but she’s curiously missing from the cover for the upcoming Nintendo DS game based on the hit 2004 film. In lieu of Lohan, the cover instead features Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried, who played the trio of super-popular girls known as “the plastics.” The film follows the life of a new student named Cady Heron, played by Lohan.

via Lindsay Lohan Left off ‘Mean Girls’ Game Cover

Uinterview.com speculates Ms. Lohan was left off because her “image was deemed to0 expensive“… but how can that be? I thought Lindsay was  broke to the point where she couldn’t pay rent

I am sure Paramount could afford to pay her something out of the $14.99 price. Beggars can’t be choosers; I have a feeling Lindsay would be happy with just a dime for each sale.

I think PopEaters got it:

Whether this move by 505 Games and Nintendo was intentional, it appears to be part of larger pattern regarding the removal of Lohan from ‘Mean Girls’ promotion altogether. Recent promos for ‘Mean Girls’ airing on television have put the focus on McAdams and her crew, leaving Lohan out of the commercials altogether.

via Lindsay Lohan Left off ‘Mean Girls’ Game Cover

Tsk, tsk Paramount. Not having the main character on the game cover is one thing, but to remove her from all promos is  just cold…. too cold for words.


Woman claims Nintendo Wii made her a sex addict

A woman tries the Wii Fit, Japanese game conso...

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Amanda Flowers, a catering worker in Manchester, needs 10 sex sessions a day – courtesy a fall from her Wii Fit board which turned her into a sex addict.

Even the slightest of vibrations, from mobile phones to food processors, turns her on, reports The Daily Star.

She said: “It began as a twinge down below before surging through my body. Sometimes it built up into a trembling orgasm.”

A doctor diagnosed her with persistent sexual arousal syndrome due to a damaged nerve.

Single Amanda, 24, from Harpurhey, said: “With no cure I just have to try to control my passion by breathing deeply. Hopefully one day I’ll find a superstud who can satisfy me.”

via Yahoo News “Wii Fit Injury Turns Woman into a Sex Addict

This has to be a hoax, from a silly tabloid! If the name Amanda Flowers doesn’t rub you the wrong way, her quote should ring some bells:  “Hopefully one day I’ll find a superstud who can satisfy me”. If this isn’t a hoax, this is a very clever marketing ploy by Nintendo Wii…that happens to be working, because now I want to buy a Wii Fit balance board.

The Huffington Post rehash of the same article links to a 2008 article from Fox News about people injuring themselves on the Wii, and passes it off as if the injuries are related solely to the Wii board. It’s not like those same people would hurt themselves walking down some stairs, or stepping off a curb now, would they? Their clumsiness is all on the Wii.

…And just for shits and giggles, some folks on the internet have begun a “Orgasm Warning Labels for the Wii Balance Board” petition.


Top 10 sexiest male video game characters

The internet is littered with lists of hot female video game characters, I thought it was time I made one for the ladies. For you males about to protest my lack of steroid-using males, I refer you to this picture.

Number 10:

Miguel Caballero Rojo from Tekken 6

Choosing a Tekken character was difficult as the obvious choices are Jin ( “take me for a night ride, Jin!“) and Hwoarang (because he has pretty flowing hair, rides a motorcycle and can rock goggles).  What removed Jin and Hwoarang from this list is: both men weren’t consistantly attractive throughout the series. Hwoarang looks like a Neanderthal in Tekken 4  and Jin’s nipples were too weird in 4 & 5 to the point of distraction. Horns are only attractive on certain males, and Devil Jin is not one of them.

Miguel makes my number 10 because of his outfit, his sexy voice, his nonchalant manner, his swagger, and his need to seek revenge for his sister is somewhat noble and heartwarming. Miguel is only number 10 because he is too manly for me to handle and looks like a newly homeless pimp in his second outfit. Miguel, how is it possible that you can rock a matador outfit but not a long coat?

Number 9:

Ryu and Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series

Ryu and Ken are tied for 9th place because of this video from the animated Street Fighter series (apologies for the song).  Homophobes should not click on the hyperlink, or watch the video below.

If you can’t handle thinking about Ryu and Ken this way (prudes!), I present you with Tenacious D’s song titled Double Team to explain why I listed these two street fighters together.

Number 8:

Tidus from the Final Fantasy series

Despite their feminine features, Final Fantasy males have normal, attractive bodies (compared to say, the men of Gears of War). Squall Lionheart was my initial choice because brunettes are better than blondes, but Squall’s style and scar aren’t enough to overlook his character flaws. The same applies to Cloud Strife.  Why exactly does Cloud have that large of a weapon? His sword size makes me think he is compensating for something…  while Tidus is honest, speaks his mind, and has one of the best personalities of the main Final Fantasy characters. Cloud requires some warming up, while you  instantly like Tidus.  Tidus and Yuna also have a romantic underwater kissing scene. Tidus is only number 7 because of his clothing attire (inspired by fishermen? really?) and because of his age in Final Fantasy X: 17 is jail bait in some states.

Number 7

Fox McCloud from the Star Fox series

Fox McCloud is so foxy. Can you imagine cuddling with him? And his nice bushy tail? Sometimes I wish I was Krystal

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Number 6:

Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Series

Even though Solid Snake is based off a variety of action movie heroes (but also Christopher Walken!), he is troubled and complicated.  I wanted to be his stay-at-home wife, and be his shoulder to cry on when he came home. From having to kill his twin brother, to constantly being pulled out of retirement, to killing his old mentor, to insane premature aging, to his multiple suicide attempts, Solid Snake had some issues to work out (and I am not even scratching the surface here).  I don’t think there is another video game character out there that I want to hold and comfort as much as I want to hold Solid Snake. Despite all his hardships, Solid Snake always maintains a level and calm head, is dependable,  and possesses MacGyver-esque capabilities (to be expected with his high IQ).  Solid Snake is only at number 6 (he could easily be number 3) because watching tribute videos of Solid Snake make me cry like no other video game tributes ever could. To add a touch of humor to an otherwise tragic choice, Solid Snake makes a great porn star name.

Number 5:

Dante from the Devil May Cry series

He has silver hair, is seeking revenge for his dead mother, has super powers, a great sense of style (notice the zipper over his crotch, and his trenchcoat), is generally witty,  and is demon spawn. I crushed on him so hard when I was a teenager…

Number 4:

David King from the Resident Evil Outbreak series

A man of few words, David is sexy as all hell, a badass, fires his gun with one hand in a nonchalant manner, has a great voice and is the true Macgyver on this list. Never in a million years would I think a plumber was sexy, but David King is the exception.  Yeah, the whole mysterious “rarely talk about my past or myself” is enchanting at first, but it gets old really quickly. The internetz say he had a short temper, but I don’t remember any of that… or perhaps I overlooked it because his ability to craft weapons from anything outshone his anger problem.

Number 3:

The Prince from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

From the Prince’s poofy pants (very Aladdin-like!), facial hair, haircut and voice actor Nolan North, the Prince has earned the number 3 spot easily. The Prince is so acrobatic and graceful, thereby so fun to watch move… and despite the critics, I think the Prince looked great in Warrior Within and the subsequent versions, even if he stopped wearing the white poofy pants and became all doom and gloom.

Number 2:

Leon from the Resident Evil series

Oh Leon… he is such a gentleman. He’ll even take a bullet for you. If there was ever a zombie invasion, Leon is your man. Having been exposed to both zombie viruses (and a parasite), he knows the drill. When you first meet Leon, he is late for an assignment because he overslept- something I can relate to-  but by the end of the series, Leon has become a trusted Secret Service agent.  Besides his hair and voice, Leon has a great sense of style (even looks great in a mobster outfit) and is a friend to animals.

And while I know he is not related to the Kennedy’s, taking him home to my immigrant mom would win me some brownie points.

Number 1:

Desmond Miles from the Assassins Creed series

Yes, Desmond Miles is not the “assassin”, but you know by the third installment Mr. Miles will have all assassin  capabilities because of the “bleeding effect”. Desmond Miles has a sexy voice (Nolan North again), and moves like a panther ( I can gush about his swagger all day long), eagle, and ballet dancer all rolled into one. How many males can get away with that sideways cape, or those knee-high leather boots? No one but Mr. Miles. And you know under all those layers he has a fantastic body. The fact that I cannot see it makes him all the more attractive – there is much left to the imagination…

But most importantly, Desmond Miles looks like a normal dude, someone I can actually have a relationship with. His personal issues only make him more intriguing…what can I say, damaged guys have their appeal?

Honorable mentions include: Yoshi (all about the tongue), Max Payne, Dr. Gordon Freeman (his glasses and his field of study), and the demoman from Team Fortress 2 (his accent and eye patch).


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