Videos for the Nostalgic PC Gamer

A little trivia: without clicking through to YouTube, can you identify the following video before its end? Click through for the answer. YouTube user MetallicO1985 has posted the whole series of these videos and do they ever bring back memories. They’re relics of the days when live video was the next big thing in games, but they retain a character that all new sequences. This Shakespearean one in particular. Additionally, there’s also the following compilation: They’re amusing now, but I…

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Run Button

Eight years ago when I was looking for a domain and dedicated web host for my fledgling weblog, I came across WestHost.com. It offered a lot for a very fair, and student friendly, price. I registered the-inbetween.com through them for the full $70/2 year price tag that domains had back then. The package had unlimited bandwidth (remember those days?), a capacity of 15 MB and full PHP3 support. It was good for the time. In those years that account has…

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Szomorú Vasárnap

The ubiquity of YouTube is a wonderful thing. For every one four million view video on the site there’s another forty thousand videos with a hundred views each. This, as Alex Juhasz [1]calls it, “niche-tube” exists below the radar of YouTube’s popularity and is often a treasure trove of weird and specific videos that only appeal to small subset of people. Some of it is prime research material. Take “Gloomy Sunday” for example. The so called “Hungarian Suicide Song”, which…

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Two Piece Rock Band

Well, I finally jumped on the Rock Band tourbus. Partly because I’m just about done with Burnout Paradise and partly because it was overdue and partly because the disc (not the complete package) can be had for cheap and partly because the latest downloadable content releases were “March of the Pigs” and “Perfect Drug” by NIN (in time for the new digitally distrubuted album release). I am enjoying it — so much more than Guitar Hero 3 — but I…

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Burnout’s Battle for your Eyes

One of the main tasks in Burnout Paradise is seeking out, and driving through, the 120 “Burnout Billboards” scattered around the city. It’s standard collect-a-thon game design, much like the orbs in Crackdown. However, where as the orbs in Crackdown were these floating nonsensical game-ish items, the billboards in Paradise make contextual sense and are nicely integrated into the city. As I was driving around the city looking for my last three or four billboards, carefully going through every street…

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The Value of Rez

Video game collectors are strange creatures. They buy up all sorts of merchandise for all sorts of reasons — scarcity, nostalgia, perceived value and completion — except the collectible’s original purpose. In the case of sports cards, this is fine. Unless the collector has an unusual craving for hard, twenty year old bubble gum there’s no purpose to sports cards beyond collecting them. That’s all they’re there for. Toys and video games are different. They are meant to be played…

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Auteurs and Brainbenders

By way of Simon comes an announcement for a new DS game. It’s a game that features a real-world Doctor as its front-and-centre personality and it’s a game that features the word “Brainbenders” in its title. Normally this would be enough to dismiss it outright as yet another clone of the successful “Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training” series. In this case, though, my interest has been piqued simply because of who the title’s Doctor is: Reiner Knizia. If you play modern…

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Tumblr

With my growing ambition to extend myself to every corner of the internet, I have created a tumble log. I’ve been aware of Tumblr since it launched but never really considered it useful at the time. I already had a weblog. I already used del.icio.us. What did Tumblr do that I already didn’t have done? Then I had a revelation. Tumblr fills that little tiny niche that exists between a so-called “proper” weblog and a linklog like del.icio.us. It’s great…

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Burnout Paradise Review

Playing Burnout Paradise reminds me a lot of Sundays in the winter outdoors with friends when I was ten. Three friends would go out on a snowy Sunday and we’d spend hours outside — around the block, in the woods, by the sports fields, at the plaza — doing nothing and everything. We’d pick up snowballs and throw them at signs, seeing who could hit it dead on from the farthest distance. We’d get a toboggan and challenge each other…

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Interface Trap

One of my biggest user interface peeves is the use of loading interstitials that don’t leave the user a means of escape. This is prevalent in a lot of Flash and AJAX sites that tend to load a lot of external data. You click on a button or link, everything deactivates while the word “loading”, or some equivalent, is shown on the screen and once the application loads what it needs it reactivates the buttons and does its thing. The…

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Comparing Matchmaking on XBox Live

As it relates to Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3. I’ve spent a day with Call of Duty 4‘s online multiplayer. Literally. My total multiplayer time has surpassed 24 hours (over 35 now). That’s a hell of a lot of time. Enough to say that I’m experienced enough to opine about its online nuances. Details, having little to do with the actual gameplay, that influence how I feel about this game. The more I play it the more I…

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Legion of Rock Stars

YouTube is a treasure trove of cover artists, remixers, parodies, mash-ups and everything else. On occasion you might hit the jack-pot and find a hidden gem amidst all the usual quality content. Something that transcends bad. Legion of rock stars, as can be found in fibbocs video channel, is one such stand-out. It’s a “cover band” that does such lousy job with the source material that it becomes oddly hilarious. And it’s a mother lode: there’s 178 of these videos.…

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Best Picture Nominees

Before the Christmas break I resolved to see all the Golden Globe nominees for “Best Dramatic Picture” so that, for once in my life, I can be fully qualified to judge. It doesn’t matter that the Golden Globes ceremony isn’t going to happen. It’s better that way. I like the awards but not the self-congratulatory bullshit and overwrought speeches. Those are not needed to celebrate what has been a good year in film. I notched the last of the nominees,…

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