Chapter Forty: Bias Vices Towards an Empty Life Crisis

A time capsule is for fans of history that hate books, movies, pictures, and everything else we would put into a time capsule.

“I never asked for a relationship, but if you wanted to fuck someone you hate-liked for a few months, I could be that guy.” – That Guy

If it weren’t for the idea that I had a hand in my destiny, I don’t know how I’d get through life. Thanks to the unemotional, apathetic, and pious existence of random choices in a small micro-cosmos that is my experience on this planet with the chemicals in my brain. Seems fancier when religion explains it, though.

I’ve managed to arrive in the collegiate winner’s circle with no debt to pay, no education to clearly define, and no valid concern with the youth of tomorrow. I’m the atypical stereotype of my indebted generation. Ask me about my work habits.

Learning is the act of failing and being able to live to tell the tale. A lot of people seem to forget that second part when assessing the threat level of their challenge. Always give sharks and bears an additional +7 to judged threat levels, as a tip from my personal experience of watching a bear and shark fight in a jello pool.

Carpet is a fabric that you never touch without a very specific reason. We all know that carpets are filthy with greed, jealousy, and a personification of people that tend to let people take advantage of them.
Carpets: the walking mats of the indoors.

Over the years, we’ve been exposed to a lot of new and exciting technological discoveries. One that has stayed surprisingly untouched is alcohol. How have we, as a society, created marvels like the Snuggie, iPod, and Facebook while simultaneously not be able to come up with a magical drink that costs pennies to produce, tastes like a fountain of flavored orgasms, and won’t leave me wanting to commit suicide from the hangover by drinking more of said product before ten in the morning? And then I realized:
“That’s what wealthy people drink.”

I’ve often found dinner meetings difficult to initiate. One minute, I’m discussing the finer points of my work and social life and the next, I’m being reprimanded for deciding that Krispy Kreme was appropriate for a “Business Setting”. If my manager wanted a proper place to meet with clients and discuss important things, I’d have turned it up a notch and put in a reservation at Matt’s Drive-In Theatre and Hot Dog Stand.

No one’s ever thought to themselves, “Oh shit, I’m dead,” and actually been dead.

As a kid, I thought life could be summed up with games like Monopoly and The Game of LIFE. What I discovered is that you can’t bank on always landing on a board game square because there is no square in life, and asking your manager for a square on will end in being laid-off and a segue into the pornographic debauchery of how business should work, but doesn’t.

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Chapter Thirty-Nine: Short and Annoying Was My M.O.

Every time you see someone wearing a scarf, they could be autoerotique asphyxiating themselves. That’s why it’s okay to talk dirty to people wearing scarves in public.

If you add LSD to your Brownies, you’re roommates won’t eat them. If you add a sign that says you added LSD to your Brownies, you’ll get the same effect minus surprises.

Downtown Virginia Brown was an old friend of mine, though she was not from Virginia, nor was she Brown or from Downtown. She was actually called Uptown Girl and she was a song all along.

When I was a child, my Mother put bells on all of my shoes. Presumably because I really loved annoying people with loud noises.

The epilogue knew what the introduction did not. By that logic, if you think you’re going to die, you weren’t plot-heavy enough to stay in the story.

If my best ideas come to me in the shower, I could understand why politicians take up to hours a day to sit in a sauna.

Chapter Thirty-Eight: Pulling A Rabbit Out Of A Hospital Ward

These infomercials keep asking me to forget things that I know about kitchen utensils and appliances. I just forgot how to be smart.

Keep a bunny with you at all times. Alive, of course. You never know when you might wander into a Children’s Hospital and need to cheer up some dying infants.

Those sad moments you experience in life could always use a flaccid balloon barely afloat, with the words “Get Well Soon” attached to whoever died.

I tend to always want to barter when I’m on the road. Gas stations, truckers, even on the bathroom walls of rest stops.

I feel like America is full of people who are jealous of “Wetbacks” because they have a better time going down water slides.

Science still cannot tell us if sharing is truly caring.

I like being reminded that I’m in a very happy and successful relationship. Finding her hair in my mouth is one of the lesser and more frequent ways I remember.

Christmas is Valentine’s Day on roulette for men in relationships. Do you go for the Lingerie or the book about American Feminism? Quick answer: Just Break Up.

Can I get this Bible thing in the size of a pamphlet handed to me on college campuses that I can discard as easily?

Do not compare sex to desserts. Because desserts can be burnt, taste like black carbon scoring, and act like a cunt all of the fucking time. Just like people.

“Self-worth is not a very valuable currency. That’s why I whore myself to anyone willing to pay me or listen.” – the person that got a job in their field right out of college

The Pitch is both; the passing of an idea or penis. Some accept the pitch and some don’t. The ones that don’t aren’t worth it. The ones that do, are called “Your Sex Bitch”.

Chapter Thirty-Seven: Brightness Has Saved Humanity Some Bickering

I discovered in college that multi-colored Christmas lights make for the perfect lighting. Not because I’m both rebellious and tacky at heart, but because the lights make the perfect glow to hide damn-near anything visually unpleasant. If there’s one thing College taught me, it was: Fake It Till You Make It.

A friend told me I make too many 4th wall jokes. What does that guy know? He’s your imaginary best friend, not mine.

Melissa said that men usually like women with long legs. I corrected her and said I just like my women to have legs. She asked what if she got shorter than she is now. I told her she would still make my minimum requirements of being able to dunk on children.

My favorite gift to give is honesty, because people act like shit often enough that Christmas is year-round.

The reason we haven’t seen jet-packs yet is because if video games are any indication, people would die a lot.

A belly flop will only get cheers if your destination is into a liquid or gas.

Flip a coin to decide two facts, then just lie and say your side one. You only flipped the coin because you’re indecisive.

Clown is actually a Swedish word, which means “Holy Shit That Thing Needs To Die Before I Dream Of It While Having Nightmares.”

Cow have a very stupendous jump. Some would say they are just like dogs. But they are not. Because they cannot be trained to “Shake”. And that is why McDonalds is our hero, children.

“The last time I survived that challenging situation, I said never again. But this time, it’s different.” – the time it wasn’t different at all

When I say I’m rolling the dice, you should always ask how many sides is on it. And be worried.

Brightness was an invention by a man who stayed up nightly and his wife complained about how lit up the room was while she was trying to sleep. Today, humanity dodges that argument regularly.

 

Chapter Thirty-Five: L.O.V.E. Spells Free Without Fee

“Almost” should be thought of as a food seasoning. A sprinkle it on for some doubt or dump a vial of it on for constantly, vague allegory.

You can’t spell Free without Fee. When the Stripper says it’s free, IT IS NOT SPELLED WITHOUT A FEE. My father taught me that when I was seven.

The idea of children playing “House” and not one of them brings up the “Asian Marathon Sex Talk” shows just how innocent they are.

If you dunk on someone in a wheelchair, does that mean you are pro-competition and anti-crippled people?

I used to work at a warehouse where the days without an accident was on a chalk board. I learned quickly that is a common practice of a very dangerous facility.

If you’ve never driven a stick before, the first rule is that this stick isn’t related to the Pogo Stick from your childhood.

“If I fail but learn something in the process, what am I if not just a super-villain in training?” – an Intern at the League Of Villainous Evils

Baby Teeth are the simplest way to argue that the second time around is always the same as the first of anything. Teeth are especially known for coming back, as teeth.

Pyrotechnics are not a way to welcome in Little Billy to his first day at 2nd Grade.

If I would have been the guy that said, “No Mom, I will not help you with your computer problems for free. Not you or anyone else!” I’d have my minions looking around like failed Matrix extras in ties with “Geek” tagged on the side of their Volkswagon too.

Chapter Thirty-Six: What’s Two Sides To Two Worthless Coins, Anyway?

If you take a call on your phone in a car and have the roulette noise from Mario Kart playing in the background, you’ll brighten someone up.

I like to spice things up in my friendships. So, If I take a call from the road, I have the Mario Kart “Item Roulette” noise at the ready.

Do you think the Pope laughs extra hard at people who tell him he’s going to hell? “Glen, I’m at the top of the deity pyramid. I’m the Pope. When God’s there to fart out a prophecy, I’m there. I’m so close that my dick can almost touch his toe. Glen, you can go to Hell.”

The Pope was the first original Comedian. He once had a joke about a Man in the Sky.

If you say that you support White Men Can’t Jump, elaborate further. That White Men Can’t Jump is the story about White Men sitting down instead of jumping. Sitting at computers. In the 90’s. It’s a story about The Man, The Tech Bubble, and then the boorishly unpleasant racial stereotypes.

The “White Men Can’t Jump” script had trouble getting initial traction due to its plot with “White Men” and the fact that jumping dictates nothing about social status.

My girlfriend just read to this exact point in the blog and said that the top of this could be cut. The getting the shit out of your system is good I agree. So I have decided to layer that shit icing with more shit cake and shit truffles that’ll show, in shit calligraphy, that this is still a play on two jokes for the same subject. Until the shit hits gravity.

Gravity is the eternal punchline in the “shit rolling downhill” metaphor. You owe Gravity a nice Sunday Brunch for having your back all the time.

If you ask your date to play Kill-Fuck-Marry, you’re kicking the weird into overdrive because the answer to all three of those could be you.

I feel like the game Kill-Fuck-Marry is for single people. Because most married couples live in a world where the answer to all three is quite obvious, someone I don’t know.

Chapter Thirty-Four: Giving Up Is What Gravity Doesn’t Do

My manager told me that I need to pack up my belongings and get out of the building. The best part about this, being that they never said I couldn’t dance the entire time while doing it.

If you really want to do a Thriller dance re-enactment, do me a favor and remember that you’re 38 and you’ll never be cool in the eyes of your children.

Caffeine is an addictive substance, just like working at 8 am seems to be addictive to people as well. Where’s the health advisory about working too much?

Comfort in a Rape Fantasy is kind of like asking to watch a football game in the South and not meaning the NFL.

Punctuation, Exclamation, and Question are all terms of English class. To be a rebel against The Man, you must know and love your common English weapons.

“I gave up.” – person that no one cared to get to know that worked 40 years in an office while three people remembered their name.

“Always keep a Boomerang handy. Then, if you get caught into a social situation that is uncomfortable, you can throw it and tell everyone to duck for when it comes back. You throw it, and then just run in the opposing direction of the Boomerang. A smoke pellet works too.” – Australian Ninja Training Seminar

I feel like the size of the Christmas Party denotes the success of the business. This is the case of the PhD. If you own a PhD, a Christmas Party will commence in proximity of your brilliance. That says one thing to me: Get a Holiday that doctors like, and milk it for all it’s worth.

“The Path to Hell is paved with Good Intentions”, which makes it the lest boring place to be, right? I’ll live on 823 Hell Path Road, thank you very much.

I live with cats. So, naturally, when I want to go bananas on the toilet paper roll, I frame the cats like the life-sucking additions to chores they are.

Chapter Thirty-Three: Need A Foreign? Call Jackie Chan.

Monks use Sweep Kicks to clean the floors. Either that or a Fuzz-Buster because those temples are quite clean.

“It’s like a Spy movie, but instead of a stereotypical British guy, you want a stereotypical Asian guy? I’ve got someone for that.” – Jackie Chan’s Agent for The Tuxedo

“It’s like a Western movie, but instead of a stereotypical, under-appreciated kid apprentice, you want an Asian guy? I’ve got someone for that.” – Jackie Chan’s Agent for Shanghai Noon

“It’s like a Buddy Cop movie, but instead of a crazed white guy with relationship issues, you want an Asian guy? I’ve got someone for that.” – Jackie Chan’s Agent for Rush Hour

I want to buy a Go Pro and use it all of the time, but I feel like the only footage will be of me gaming or trying to convince my girlfriend to have sex with me. Life cannot be extreme all of the time.

I was driving behind a guy with a bumper sticker that read “I Brake for The Empire.” Naturally, I drove past the moment he stopped because wooo, Rebellion!

Somewhere, there’s a child right now aggressively refusing the delicious food that his parents slaved over a stove for him. And knowing that isn’t mine makes it all the sweeter to ignore.

I’ve never seen a man who had diarrhea that had time to talk about unnecessary details. Live your life like you’ve got diarrhea.

To the girl who thought it was cool to photobomb their grandmother’s funeral: That was such a success that you could put that on your resume. You should keep that going and never stop for anyone alive or dead. Trust me, you’re doing the right thing.

Every third thing that someone tells me comes with a wave of doubt and me asking myself, “Is this a trap?”

If you’ve just recently achieved the highest level in the most popular video game massively multiplayer online game, congratulations! AIDS is still a thing though, so don’t feel too good. There’s still sadness in the world, and some of that is coming from the living quarters in your parent’s basement.

Chapter Thirty-Two: A Six-Sided Cube Or A Five-Sided Box?

I’ve never seen a person wielding a clipboard and the newest earthly protest to a stereotypical barrel fire of refuse that hobos tend to circle around. There must be something to barrel fires.

Headphones are the modern Cloak of Invisibility to the people asking things from you in public.

The last time I was given a cubicle, I was demoted for decorating the ceiling. I told them that a cube has six-sides. They told me that a box only has five.

The fact that you cannot spell “Doom” without DM is not lost on the Dungeon Masters. So, next time you want to sass a nerd with your friends, remember: They Are The Creators Of Doom.

The problem with DVD players is that action figures don’t fit in there. So my Inner Child just shoves melted candy into my tablet screen.

“Acoustic is an Old Norse word for Sissy. Remember, Power is Metal and Gods love Metal.” – Folk Anti-Recruitment tales from Metal Enthusiasts.

The greatest technological advancement is making the Rewind Button a half-assed Cassette expiration joke.

The Hula Hoop is the weapon against children’s natural predator: the knees of oblivious adults.

“I checked CraigsList for “Windowless Vans”, and got a lot of hits. From former sex offenders. They must like the Mystery Machine too!” – The Reason Scooby-Doo Stopped Being Cool

There was a time when dot-com was something you said and it was cool and edgy. Now, Dot-Com is like saying LOL and meaning it.

The Salesperson/Customer relationship is one of the most pathetic Discovery Channel specials on Failures In Predatory Instinct I’ve watched on Netflix.

Chapter Thirty-One: If You Can’t Say It, You Probably Didn’t Buy It

“Count your grenades. Now, count the pins attached to your grenades. Are they the same number?” – Not-So-Famous Last Words

You could do a number on someone, if your species was “Number”.

Oral sex can both a fun and dangerous escapade. The best thing is being blown by your girlfriend, Dorothy. The worst thing is being blown by a mighty gust of wind, like Dorothy.

Tattoo artists rarely get the respect they deserve and also put out. Some of the coolest people you know are tattoo artists. Why? Who else can give the customer exactly what they deserve?

If wanted pickles, and I saw a pickle jar labeled “Purple Pack Of Pickled Pepper Piper’s Pickles” and another labeled “Classic Cut”. I am going with the “Purple Package Of Pickle Pepper’s Piper Pickles”. If I can’t say it right the first time, my roommate surely won’t be able to either.

If someone tells me that I used a “Curveball” on them, I usually cup their genitals. I would then go on to explain that if I did anything “Curveball”, it was because they were in my “Strike Zone”.

When my socially heightened friends go on about how most people are Sheep. I’ll listen, but I doubt that their audience will be making the same comparison about peons and kings when I tell them later that you were arrested for sexing up Sheep.

My friends and I play Cards on Tuesday night, and we play for money. We used to say, “Leave Emotions At The Door”. But after Billy lost his rent check a few times, his car, and his wedding band, now we just say “Billy, you’re a fucking idiot.”

Chapter Thirty: Throwing In The Towel Of Your Towel

Technology has made things better. For example: my automatic, vibrating toothbrush. It helps me with brushing my teeth in the morning and pleasing Rachel in the evening.

A broken bone is not how you want to answer the question, “Are you turned on right now?”

Every time I’m asked my race, I always answer Pacific Islander. I hope to get deported to a vacation someday.

I’ve noticed that modern Pirates forget about the second phrase in that Robin Hood saying.

The moment you finish your Living Will and Testament, you’re just asking for a spooky haunted house murder when you least expect it.

If you shave with Occam’s Razor, you’re asking for the closest, smoothest, and easiest way to make your face to look pretty. Simple answer? Never grow a beard.

Throwing In The Towel is a metaphor that makes it seem like you’re done doing what you’re doing. What if the towel is sweaty and smelly? Needs a wash? Could use a replacement? Where’s the towel metaphor then? Thrown in wherever the towel goes, that’s where.

“If you order a hamburger with anything on the side, be ready to uncover the bun to reveal a nicely segregated request of whatever you didn’t want on the patty anyways.” – Drive-Thru Employee

If you could count how many times you’ve seen something before, you would be living a life that was empty until you were able to make a comment about something you already saw. That or you’re eighty years old.

Heterosexual is a person that likes the opposite sex, Homosexual is a person that likes the same sex, and Hetomosexual is a Japanese Game Show where a person tries to sexually assault an octopus.

If the book was better than the movie, wouldn’t that mean a lot of us would be reading more stuff because it is inherently better?

The Ole Switcheroo: Thoughts on Gone Home

Gaming journalism in the finer points of enjoyment.

Notes From The Conquistadork

Last year, art gamers and story gamers alike were treated to the narrative-heavy gameplay of The Fullbright Company’s interactive mystery Gone Home.  While player reviews seemed heavily mixed at the time of release, critic reviews were largely positive across the board, and after finally getting a chance to sit and play through it myself, I’m able to appreciate what they saw.

Gone Home follows Kaitlin Greenbriar, a young student who has just come back from a year abroad.  She returns to a home she doesn’t really know–a mansion willed to her father by an eccentric uncle.  Her return is celebrated by no one.  But only because, as you quickly find out, the house seems to be abandoned.  Only by making your way through a foreign home and scouring various objects and diary entries can you begin to understand what happened to your family.

The game is fairly short–around two hours–but that…

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Chapter Twenty Nine: Meet George Jettison.

Happenstance: The Party Game where you mime a stance and your teams have to guess what pop culture icon made the stance first. in 2014, from Mattel!

I gave up on the idea of trying to recycle the fads of earlier generations to rake in on nostalgia profits. No one wants those JNCO pants you had to be separately searched in high school for.

What ever happened to Alderaan’s moon?

Home Depot must indirectly support every picket-sign protest, which has to be hard for the poor company. Not being able to choose sides and all.

Jettison is what George changed his last name to after the macabre, season ending of him jettisoning his family out of the open airlock.

A BOOMerang, by the standards and practices of silly 80’s sci-fi action films, should be a bomb attached to a regular boomerang.

No matter your sex, age, race, or nationality, you know that when you vote in America, you’ve given a blind vote to at least one candidate you’ve never heard of or researched. And if you haven’t, then you should get a job and care less about things you have no real merit in.

There’s never been a dispute that begins with, “No way is the comic better than the movie”, that I haven’t won by default of them both being fiction.

The sound of losing hearing in your ears from dying frequencies is also the sound that a man makes when he is ejaculating for the first time inside of a garden hose.

It is not the car that makes the man, but the man that makes the machine that makes the car that then in turn shows how wealthy the man might be.

Chapter Twenty Eight: Stealing Is As Old As The D20 You Rolled

I always found the Snickers bar as a fun corporate gag gone awry. What product would have the balls to be the exact verb that is able to describe anyone that sees you eating one? Snickers, mother-fucker. Man up, with a Snickers.

If my Mother wants to turn the Air Conditioning to 75 degrees, the condition should be that I am partially encased in a block of ice because I crossed paths with Mr. Freeze.

I once was given a pill at a cheesy 90’s rave. I asked what it was. The dealer said it was just aspirin. After 4 hours of non-stop dancing, my headache finally did go away and the dealer and I are now good friends.

Plants do not profit from the natural benefits of laughter, that’s because plants cannot breathe and have never smiled, because they’re older than that time in history when no one smiled but everyone got portraits done in Sepia filters in the 1910’s.

A modern, roundabout traffic circle is the newest way to appreciate the classic, covered wagon sequences in old westerns.

“It is the thought of the foolish man to ignore a closed Magic Shop, because a magic trinket could be anywhere.” – Tabletop Thief Proverb

When it comes to the next best thing, I always find myself with the next best discarded thing. One man’s favorite for a while until it outlived it’s usefulness is another man’s signal to try to low ball him for the thing he wants. If you win best two out of three, that’s when you can finally get your MBA.

I like to think of History as being told by a Pew Pal at the Sunday Morning Mass while trying to hide a bellow of laughter at how the story ends.

Chapter Twenty Seven: That New Candle Puppy Smell

“The keys to a door can’t open a window, idiot.” – Ancient Doubter Proverb

The amount of time you spend sleeping, eating, and lying around the house all day makes you realize you’ve lived a cat’s life on top of your other shitty one.

When holding a presentation about saving the earth, using electricity shows doubt in yourself and your cause.

A public transportation vehicle isn’t complete until it has a What To Do guidebook about Vomit.

When Edison killed the Elephant, it was Tesla who would have the last laugh, as his career and impact on the world was unlike the elephant’s capacity for memory.

If Freedom, Justice, and Salvation had a baby, it would still be just a string of letters and not a fetus that grows up to be a superhero.

A lit candle is like a new puppy, you’re worried that if you leave it alone it will make the room smell different then when it first arrived.

When referring to instructions while building a bed, the worst thing you could read is “Sold Separately”.

The Blood Of Christ get more holy the longer it’s uncorked, similar to the workings of the Confessional.

A premise for the worst game show would somehow include a panel of judges and your previous break-ups indexed by how bad the ending was. “13 contestants, 3 judges, one finalist (because finalist means no one wins).”

The worst response in any situation is always “was that it?”, followed closely by “So…was THAT it?”

If you rationalize Governmental Import/Export of Goods with the Male/Female equivalent of audio/video cables, you can see why America went with Fahrenheit.

Politics, like a kazoo, only blows when someone doesn’t want to make noise.

A gift is always a gift, if you never unwrap it. Just like a ghost is always a ghost, if you don’t enjoy rationalizing fear.

Chapter Twenty Six: The Ol’ Brutus Beard Bush

Always carry a cup filled with cold coffee. You never know when you would need to intentionally spill it on yourself and act like it’s scolding you to get your co-workers to pay attention to your presentation.

While in a long-distance relationship as a male, you may begin to feel more feminine as time goes on. Why else would you care about the battery running out before you can get off?

Showering before bed is about as useful as reading the epilogue of a story first, but with more of you smelling like you didn’t shower the next morning.

If you tell someone you met the person of your dreams and you show them a man or woman, you’re validating that you have very confined dreams. Why not a Centaur?

When Romans accepted the beard as a sign of masculinity, the women also chose to stop shaving. This led to the sexual position “Brutus Beard Bush”.

When someone tells me that something drives them crazy, I try to do it as frequently as possible. Because who doesn’t want to drive?

Transportation in a city is limited to three things: Public Transportation, Personal Vehicle, or running away from the lady in the feathered hat who tried to grab your genitals while saying “Looks like Ahab didn’t fish this Moby out of the water.”

If you run into a glass door because you didn’t see it, you should start attacking the glass until it breaks against your willpower to keep walking forward. Fewer people would laugh, that’s for sure.

A friend told me that sex is a game of inches. For some, the plural is a nice assumption.

Did you trust any of your friends as the banker in Monopoly after playing with them more than once? The answer should be the same for the banks that were bailed out of the American Economy.

Trickle-Down Economics is a daydream that doesn’t exist to some, but a valid point in favor of it working is that if you piss off of a mountain, it’s going to trickle down.

Chapter Twenty Five: First Impressions Are Faux Fun!

When I forget to invite you to a party, there’s always the same reason for it. You vomited in my dog’s mouth.

When I want to impress someone, I like to sit in front of a fire that is behind glass, sip a wine that is non-alcoholic, and talk about things I never did on a ship that never existed.

When all you have are your thoughts to keep you company, it isn’t too hard to wonder why things like Craigslist Missed Connections is a place people hang out.

If the absence of weight is weightlessness, someone put a balloon on the cover of Teen Cosmo and sell those teenage fears and insecurities the right way.

In the early 1900’s, it was customary to have nothing to say to the person sitting next to you in public. With the power of cellular telephones and the internet, we follow that tradition today.

“I remember my first blow-job.” – Blow Dart Enthusiast

If you’re ever in a situation in a fast food restaurant and you need a getaway, just take someone’s order of food and slam it to the ground. The hungry patrons will look down at the mess and the staff will sulk at the thought of remaking that order. A clean getaway formula.

A foodie enjoys food, just like an eight year-old with LEGOs enjoys being an architect.

It’s the people who still use “nigh” that won’t survive the robot apocalypse. Spell Checking Robots will just correct you and then kill you for using a silly word like “nigh”.

“Respecting the laws will always ground you.” – High School Science Teacher talking about Issac Newton’s discovery.

The appropriate response for someone screaming “Woooooo” at a bar is “Owwwwww”, because you should punch them very hard as a response.

Chapter Twenty Four: Don’t Shake The Things That Don’t Work Right

“I find your lack of faith reassuring.” – Darth Vader going through his Outspoken Atheist phase.

I saw a girl with a tattoo that said “Don’t Look Back” on her arm get tackled by the mall cop that was chasing her out of a Yankee Candle. If she didn’t take her own advice, she’d have made out with that pine cone scented candle that fell out of her bra.

When something doesn’t work, I shake it. Don’t give me a shitty child, for both of our sakes.

I once “took my mother to the proctologist,” which is a euphemism. It actually means: I took my mother to the place for butts, and that ruined any moment I could enjoy a candy bar for the rest of that week.

When a coach whips out their playbook, I think they’re showing their players how to hug and kiss in very complex ways.

Retirement for my generation is either developing a start-up business, going to college for fifteen years until the loans double-back, or looking at both options and deciding on the couch of a more stable friend’s living situation.

Peanut Butter and Jelly is just two steps away from being a panini. Just add pretentiousness and a grill.

“There are starving people in the world” means that some people are dieting way better than others at the local buffet.

A phone call can only interrupt an unplanned pregnancy so many times before it becomes annoying.

Chapter Twenty Three: Mad Libs For The Living When You’re Dead

If you’re the kind of person that eats food beyond the five-second rule, then you’re also the kind of person that doesn’t get to touch your mouth on my mouth.

A lapse in judgement is a Mad Lib for your kids or funeral attendees to figure out later in life.

You could get your coffee at a coffee shop, or you could demand it from an underpaid eighteen year-old Mexican bus boy working at the Olive Garden. There is no difference in the eyes of a terrible adult.

A poetry slam is not a move you’d want to use on the basketball court.

Kids, don’t do drugs, cheat on your lovers with others, lie, steal, and make more money than you’re worth. Only politicians should do that.

It is only a matter of time until ESPN advertises Tampons. And men are scared shitless. Take note, women. You have the power of super-absorbent fear and panic.

How To Make A Panini: Make a sandwich. Drop Sandwich in toaster. Curse. Try to finger it out. Burn self. Curse again. Use the tongs you were given three years ago you’ve used only twice. Get sandwich out. Immediately drop sandwich on floor. Curse yet again. Pick up within Five Seconds. Put on plate. Tell yourself that you’ve gone too far to throw it out now. Eat.

If the ingredients in your coffee exceed three to four ingredients, it is not coffee. It is one of your meals because you didn’t look at the calorie intake beforehand and you think the “Non-Fat” option really “slimmed it down”.

A great person once said…something. I wasn’t there, I didn’t hear them say it. Why should I take them at their word if I can’t validate they actually said it? That is why the tattoo’d quote on their body is made all the more fun.

If you took all of the good things out of Christmas, like drinking, sex, and uncertainty, we’d still have the Nativity scene. And that could have been just a cover up for an affair.

When I think science, I think Scientology stole more than we can take back. Like homosexuals with the rainbow and how a certain fabled creature lost the compass to his pot-o-gold.

Chapter Twenty Two: A Spiritual Algebra Teacher Always Solves for X

Did you notice that blemish on the side of your face you dislike? Clearasil did, and now it wants you to work on being a better person before they take your baby and/or boyfriend and/or popularity and/or parents away.

People like to reference the last words of imbeciles as prophetic. “Hey, watch this!” “Yeah, I skimmed the directions.” “Of course I checked the tank.” But it’s the absence of last words which is the scariest. Imagine a lawn mower exploding around a guy just poking it and with no friends to notice or raid his wallet. To that end, dying alone is the dumbest thing you can do. Find friends to watch you die, unless you’re an idiot like Ulysses poking a Cyclops.

If you have a dozen cupcakes and Steve takes four, how many friends to do you have left? Minus one, because Steve didn’t pay for those and they were going to the AIDS Bake Sale.

A birdcage is only modern art if you can answer “never” to the question of ever owning a bird or midget sex slave.

If you have to explain that there is an easier way to do something but you have to teach the more difficult way first because of personal entitlement, you don’t believe in evolution.

A spiritual Algebra teacher makes sense, because you have to believe in imaginary numbers to believe in imaginary things.

Robin Hood didn’t take things for granted. He took them for poor-ed.

The worst place to vandalize with egging would be a Planned Parenthood center. A better place would be a Pro-Life rally, because chickens don’t have a choice.

If Samus didn’t want to be ignorantly labeled as a dude by people who’ve never played a Metroid, maybe she should be carrying a phallic weapon that engulfs her arm and shoots “wave beams” at doors.

Because A is a common Greek Root Prefix meaning “without”, when people tell me to have “A Merry Christmas” I know they only mean I’m going to hell on Jesus’ birthday.

Chapter Twenty One: Old People are Pre-Undead Warriors

When a stranger pulls a knife on you and asks for your wallet/phone/etc., play dead. Then they can take what they want from you, and you might not feel how sharp their (rubber) knife might be.

If I ever make a biological disease to begin the undead uprising, I will stab an old person with it first. People always assume they are just waiting to die anyways.

Given a choice between a Prime and a Pi, the online-retailer Amazon’s subscription service doesn’t come close to a baked good.

Churches and Fast Food restaurants are similar because they all have large parking lots to hold bunches of people using their facilities for the least amount of time necessary.

Honky-honk is a type of music that brings country bars and breast examinations together.

If someone tells you that they are giving you their “all”, understand that you will be getting the bad parts too. All of the bad parts, including their genitals after a 3-day music festival with a shower consisting of the bad acid sweats.

“I once got lost in a large ball pit in a child’s play area. I got so scared that I pissed myself and told no one about it.” – Every kid that wasn’t me in the ball pit

“Poltergeist” couldn’t happen in this day an age, unless the static television channel was replaced by MTV and Carol Anne was a 15 year-old mother-to-be. That would haunt anyone’s life.

I put a Post-It note in a library book with a question to the stranger that would check it out after me. After returning it, I checked out the same book a few weeks later. To my surprise, the note was there with a small answer under it. “No one cares.” 50 Shades of Grey betrayed me once again.

If you lose to a computer, don’t feel bad. The parts that make it work were made in China, assembled in Mexico, shipped to the US, and sold to you by a 25 year-old Trust-Fundie named Chet in a big-box retailer that doesn’t really care about you or your rewards number. If anything, it was made to make fun of you.

Question & Arcade with @ArcadeProfessor #2

1. Do you know when to stop?

1a. That depends on what you are doing. If you are trying to be funny and you’re asking when to stop, it would be around the time that you thought you shouldn’t stop. End on the good note. Either that or when the whiskey shot glasses are passing you by, while you are still on stage. A drunk hits their intended target eventually, so stop before that happens.

If you’re talking about the internet, don’t stop. The internet is a mass of information that is on a conveyor belt that never slows down. To continue is to do. Kick out the jams.

2. If you could make a balloon animal, what would it look like?

2a. Either a stupendous large penis, or the death-end of a Lightsaber. I’d be too worried it would pop in my face to do anything else. Oooh, I could make a Pool Noodle too.

3. You’ve just woken up from being asleep and your castle is under siege, what do you do first?

3a. Tactics in order: Kick off the blankets/ladies that might be on me, call for my mage(s), tell them to cast Chain Lightning from the higher spires (Chain Lightning for a siege is paramount because the invading force is clumped together), get what warriors I could to cover the ledges with arrow fire and have a group of elite solders dress up like commoners while setting up traps through the inner castle and ambushing groups of enemies. The leverage weighs in on how big the opposing force, but I am sure there would be a secret escape my royal family would have made and knew about, so I would be fine regardless.

4. If you could do anything to a bully you had as a kid, what would it be.

4a. Sweep kick where their face would fall into a menthol shaving cream pie in front of their loved ones. Drop the microphone and walk away.

5. What’s it like being colorblind?

5a. It is a feeling of being made fun of on the rare occasion that you dress yourself in purple pants you thought were black or call out a color in front of a classroom of people who underline with laughter the fact that you don’t know what color is.  It’s a very hilarious ailment that benefits your friends and family for humor all around.

6. You aren’t funny. Anything to say for yourself?

6a. Your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather wasn’t too funny either when he was taking advantage of a lady who didn’t care for him in any emotional sense either. And I’m happy he’s dead.

7. Leeches are really gross. Why do they exist?

7a. Because the spice must flow, and they are still used in modern medicine for specific surgery tactics that you may need if you ever get on the wrong end of a violent dog or person with teeth. But yeah, worms with teeth made by a loving god? I will pass on that as a pet, for sure.

8. Why does the Konami Code not use analog sticks?

8a. Because A) this isn’t a typical Street Fighter super move to launch a fireball from your palms, B) this originated before moving in video games branched beyond eight directions, and C) because Hot Topic shirt would need to re-print all of their ironic gaming t-shirts and no one wants more of that happening anytime soon.

9. Hey, I’m in a band and we play shows regularly, but how do I know when I’ve made it to stardom?

9a. If you’re not a pop-star: When you don’t have to pay/ask/suggest/demand/proposition/hint at sex to be an activity at any given moment off stage.
If you’re a pop-star: Fuck you, Adam Levine. You don’t need my help.

10. Don’t you hate it when people cut in front of you?

10a. Who doesn’t? Totally unfair, right? That’s why I have my trusty Line-Cutter Air-Horn that I blow at them if any get near me. You’d be surprised how many times a shouting, semi-deaf cheater-of-life gets put in the back of the Starbucks line. Fuck those people, and whoever gave them life. I sure their parents both cut in line to acquire each other from loving and caring individuals. Like a shitty criss-cross of impatience and entitlement. But with the Line-Cutter Air-Horn, you can at least humble them to never hear anything again for the next few hours, depending on how close you bring the noise.

And you should always bring the noise.

Curious to have questions answered? Send them to @ArcadeProfessor on Twitter and see them end up here!

Chapter Twenty: On A Wave Of Irritation

A fall from grace could be the personal reckoning from pure to tainted, or just you being a drunken blunder on Grace’s porch while trying to show her how to do The Worm.

Take what you know, add 20 years worth of stagnation, a couple of months of heavy Hostess cake usage, and you will discover that what you thought you knew is not worth as much as your college promised it would be.

Airhorns are like guns in that, if you happen to use one near someone’s face it will cause a wave of irritation because you have no sense of self-preservation during the flight check while on a plane.

When did pushing someone into a pool become more severe than pushing someone into combat? It’s just a phone, Steve. Let it go.

Cats hate being tossed into water, fish hate being tossed onto land, but babies love being tossed into the air. I assume they like being in the air because they don’t know about coach seating on airplanes yet.

Investments are for relationships, pedophiles, and bankers. Bonds are for marriages, words, and bankers. Reports are for school children, the military, and bankers. Finance has always confused me.

A sailor knows the way the sea works, but the typhoon of commitment is beyond his sails. That’s why you rarely see a sailor with a sex doll.

A long distance sexual relationship on webcam is similar to a woman to her vibrator. I hope that I can get off before the battery in my device dies.

If all men gave 50% of the excitement they have for sports and put that towards bedroom activities, I’d still be shitty at sex and caring about sports.

A fence with a new coat of paint is still a fence with a penis and testicles painted on it.

An electric guitar is for the confident, an acoustic guitar is for the experienced, and a percussion triangle is for the celibate.

Question & Arcade with @ArcadeProfessor #1

1. How do you save money on cleaning products?

1a. I use water to dilute the products I already have or use vodka. That way, the liquor store owner gets to know you by name when you want to clean your insides after a heavy break up or your unpopular Christmas Party.

2. When do parents stop asking who you’re currently in a relationship with?

2a. The time between them getting Alzheimer’s, your standards improving, and your college loans being paid off or sent to collections.

 3. How do you know when a relationship is over?

3a. When you smell your personal effects on fire.

4. Why do Prime numbers exist?

4a. Prime numbers are the pretentious douchebags of mathematics, because they are only divisible by themselves and one. They became the entitled heirs of uniqueness. This is what’s known as the “Hipster Dilemma” and everyday we are trying to find ways to divide them. Don’t worry, we’ll get them into the masses somehow.

5. I have a friend and they just found out that their last partner gave them Crabs. How should they approach their most recent partner about this discovery?

5a. This is a delicate situation and if they don’t know, then your friend has the element of surprise.  Ask them is their last partner was awful at sex/being a person? This matters and here’s why:

– If they were good at sex/being a good person: They should be up front and assume they had no idea. Suggest “The Shampoo” all pharmacies carry for those things. Take a shower together and use it together. Maybe sex with happen again if they’re lucky.
– If they were awful at sex/being a good person: Time to visit Cruel Town. Purchase a King Crab from the local fishery, ask to meet up with them, then slam the crab down on the nearest table to them and say they have something like this in their pants and they spread it to you. Have no shame, you’ve already got it. Then get “The Shampoo” and shower alone. Masturbate afterwards to bounce back.

6. What animal shouldn’t be locked up for public amusement?

6a. Dinosaurs.

7. I’ve not been on a date in several months. How do I make more women interested in my dating profile?

7a. Be more interesting by doing one of the following:

– Increase your displayed salary by a multiple of ten.
– Say that you’re “Great with kids, but cannot legally be around them”.
– Infer that you have a beard that rivals that of chinese martial artists with their own outdoor dojos, but only show your eyes in your profile picture.
– State plainly that you are looking for someone to “take away your material possessions”.
– Brag about a massive collection you have amassed, but don’t mention what it is.
– Talk about how you love to “party” with “people” during “work hours”.
– Link your false LinkedIn profile that states you are Leader of the Free World.

8. Why are you so dumb?

8a. Because it took years of learning how to fake being intelligent to come to realize that I love paint chips and UFC.

9. Do you have any tips for entering the Business World?

9a. I do but they are all founded on the idea that business is layered the same as society. If you have to ask, you’re in the lowest tier. If it’s given, you’re in higher tiers. From my perspective, if you do your work with minimal fuss and have a sense of rebellion with ideas to mix up the current established standards then people see that as work ethic. High ideals for lower tiers are dreams, but high ideals for higher tiers are goals. Know your role.

Also, depending on circumstances…a Petrol Bomb or running through the plate-glass front window works well for getting into a business. Getting out in this example will be much easier, as security will be more than helpful with letting you discover the exit.

10. How do you feel about offensive material?

10a. I think that offensive material, like art or beauty, is seen through the eye of the beholder.  With that being the case, I try to find the humor in offensive jokes and shoot it out however I’m able. If people find it offensive, that’s their feelings at stake. Is it that I don’t care about them? Not at all. It is that they aren’t onboard with this particular joke or subject for some reason or another.

That being said, I have material that I don’t do because I am sensitive about it. But that doesn’t mean that I’m against jokes made about it. Most of the time, I welcome the jokes that I would never do. It feels good to laugh at something I’m too scared to handle or poke fun at myself.

Also, fuck you for making me answer this.

Curious to have questions answered? Send them to @ArcadeProfessor on Twitter and see them end up here!

Chapter Nineteen: Qualms Through Colloquialisms

The phrase “Oh God” has been uttered more times in the face of orgasmic climax than it has the face of God. Thoughts like that help me sleep after I’ve just watched internet pornography.

A “Gentle Shove” is on par with a “Loving Disgrace”. neither are necessary and both are incited by calling someone less useful than their dead pets.

You can’t spell Gratification without Fiction and because of that, Teen Novellas will always be popular.

Setting foliage on fire and building boats are what many people do daily but while on the highs of drugs, some people could interpret things differently.

I like trying to fix cars. I don’t let my friends know I tried until they leave my house. So far no fatalities, but they’ve been impressed how I got grape jelly to squirt out of their windshield wipers.

When someone takes a picture of you, act as if they’re stealing your soul. If you believe in ghosts that is. And if I catch you doing that, the picture I was taking and our friendship is over.

I once dated a girl for a short while when I was seventeen. Then, she dumped me. No big deal. But a week after, she slept with three different men within that time and when asked why she responded: “You’re only sixteen once.” I pick winners, sometimes.

You can find Qualms in a single Colloquialism and that, in itself, is fucking ridiculous.

Never have a Temp serve you food in the On-Site Cafeteria at your place of work. I say this because I asked where the soup was, a cook told me, and I began to use the ladle as my own person spoon in a vat of Veggie Beef. I was fired that next Friday for what I did with the Ice Cream Machine.

What the Needle Says to the Monitor

The pressures of the analog will forgo to solar-age space.
Where we can record and document the daily blurb.
At any moment, remove a piece of life and save it for later.
Accessed by all minds and devices for the interested to be submerged.

Perhaps even drown in the weight of it all.

Winds will change from pale to pronounced, making monarchs out of ant hills.
Colors won’t blend and will forge sharp divides between shades of Neon.
People will be their own populist ensemble from looking to watching to being.
A location will be a place, a moment will become a time.

Perhaps even end the last monument of monotony.

A time will begin when people know one another by discovery rather than proxy.
Privacy becomes a padlock and dark blankets once again, instead of simple living.
Relationships murmur the old titles but fill spinning roulette slots of information.
All at the request of the willing through dropped menus and minimized windows of fear.

Perhaps even show us how we’ve wanted to be.

Script will stagnate as strobe lights and whirring buzzers indicate what’s wrong with us.
The list of our ailments will be on ink, on paper, on scans, on the computer.
Solutions will be given as downloaded prostitutions to the factious, emotional triggers.
The professional morphs casual as assessments flip from physical to remedial.

Perhaps even to fix what’s wrong with us.

And through the waves of corporate promotion,
And within the events of promotional placement,
And illuminating the contrast from empty and white,
And adjusting the feeling one wrong at a time,

Said the Needle to the Monitor, “This sounds good enough to replace what’s already alright.”

Waking up and Sleeping Once A Year

What’s there to say that hasn’t been said before?
From here to family photos, there’s a dying light of carnival shows.
Where games of chance are played for future sight.
Stock in the idea that whatever we’re doing is right,
That we’re succeeding.

Adults sometimes act like the wayward children we make to raise.
They continue the cycles of circles under those worn eyes.
And with streamers and lights, we celebrate every year at a time.
A day that signals childhood, then adulthood, and finally
Until we catch a coffin-worthy illness.

The time is now where someone falls prey.
A victim to the loss of sight, of sound, of the hierarchy of every other day.
We call overtime “surviving”, to stick around being the opposite of dying.
So far, no one’s made it worth the time to take alarm when it ends,
We should laugh in our death-bed.

The constant beeps and pumps make this life worth living.
Lying in a puddle of what you’ve made, surrounding us when we start fading.
With compliments concurrent in our fantasy of disillusionment.
Don’t speak and listen to how we’ve been the house standardized establishment.
Everyone’s house ends like Usher’s home.

Chapter Eighteen: The Drinker, The Drunker, and The Quitter

The ability to make a change in your life is great, but the greatness fades if that change is moving from Coca-Cola to Coke Zero.

I prefer my Sleep Apena pillow; if I’d have to choose either a pillow or the concrete floor in the gutter.

Violence is never the answer, unless you’re in a Self-Defense class.

Research is for the well-informed, the scientists, and the people who want to be corrected when assuming their kids aren’t bullied about the crap they got for Christmas. They are and it’s your fault because you got them the cheap sneakers without karate lessons.

Oliver never got any respect in grade school. But as Oliver grew up, he went to college, graduated with honors, and got a job as a high school teacher. Oliver still never got any respect in grade school.

Comparing apples to oranges seems unnecessary, unless you’re a blind and deaf quadriplegic.

When I was growing up, my uncle showed me that men drink whiskey. As I grew older, my aunt showed me that ladies drink gin. As an adult, my dog showed me that quitters drink anti-freeze.

Hump Day is better appreciated as a verb.

It was the hope that all of God’s children came to the Kingdom of Heaven. It was the hope of all of God’s children to understand what Heaven was. Neither came to an agreement, so we ended up with Faith, Science, and the Reuben sandwich.

The only time when time is not against you is when you’re having too much fun to care what time it is. That, and if you’re dead. The dead have a terrible sense of timing.

When someone tells me how delicious what their eating is, I want to slap it out of their hands, look them in the eyes, and say, “Now you know loss.” People need to know what it feels like to be dumped once in a while.

Have you ever went down on your significant other, only to realize that they broke up with you a week ago and your face is not inside of a potato chips bag inside of the trash can beside your bed? One person’s trash is another person’s drunken stupor of discovery in the waste bin.

Chapter Seventeen: Suffocation Through Stagnation and Sexualized Initiation

In what business is there still a booming market for professionals of their industry to have upwards of a 40% error margin? Where almost half of the time they are wrong. Fast Food? Taxi Cabs? Palm Readings? No, it is actually the Medical profession. Have fun with that Gastric Bypass situation that could evolve into a supposed Liver Failure.

A jellyfish is nature’s blend of fruit jam and needles coated in shitty fruit jam.

When you mention vacation at your job, someone always says they love the beach. Don’t let them lie to you. They love remembering the times they were a decade younger and the opposite sex found them enticing. All they get now is sandy-butt and two-for-one faux-crab specials. And that isn’t a vacation, that’s one step away from a retirement home with a seasonal allusion to dying in the title.

I find myself breathing loudly when I sit down for lengths at a time. Either I am so exhausted being in a stagnant position that my body makes me work for each pathetic breath, or I have swollen glands in my throat. The best part being either answer could kill me before next Boss Appreciation Day.

A cubicle is a seating arrangement that harkens back to the days of grade school. Instead of facing a teacher, you face each another so you get minimal direction and no one gets ahead in life.

The term “Santa Clause” is defined as a saintly document that lists children being naughty; usually carried by predators and B&E enthusiasts.

If a cluttered desk represents a cluttered mind, an empty desk represents a mind without substantial tumors in it.

When Mary isn’t getting her nails done, shopping for clothes, gossiping with other women, or taking care of the kids she is breaking the stereotypes I mentioned previously in this sentence by beating you at life. Because Mary doesn’t need a reason to school you at life.

Relevance is relative to the rationality of relationships held between the speaker and the spoken to. Notice how you liked the rhyme but it wasn’t at all in 4/4 time? If you did, you’re a music snob. Get out.

The fast track is the road that many people took before you showed up that leads to a supposedly, quick success. You wouldn’t enjoy the company of a sexual partner that spent the past length of time entertaining countless suitors for currency before you unless this was you’re first experience at life. If it is, then yeah…sure…go to college and be somebody!

Chapter Sixteen: Awkward is a Decision After the Action

Awkward is when the girl says, at the end of a 20-man gang bang, that she just found Jesus, is now Pro-Life, and wants to start a family because she wasn’t on contraceptives.

I’ve never understood people who commit suicide, just like I’ve never understood the people who shave their heads.

I’ve felt jaded about some of my ex-girlfriends recently.  But the joke’s on them because they thought I was being honest when I told them that I got tested.  I lied right to their faces, I never took the SAT.

My mother is slightly racist. So when I told her that my new relationship was with a black person, she expressed her dislike of the situation.  “Now Tyler, you know that the family would approve you dating a Black Girl.”  I was completely blown away.  In 2013, why would she even think to say it was a girl?

When someone first said to “Fight Fire With Fire”, it is safe to assume they died when they took their own advice.

A novel that’s yet to be written is an Idea, a novel that’s partially complete is a sandwich without substance, and a novel that’s finished is just another book on someone’s shelf.  The point here is to keep going before you stop and think what your ideas mean to anyone.

People come to me with complaints of Feminism, and I listen but still say ladies get away with a better deal sometimes.  What do I mean?  Well, in Chess the Queen is the most versatile and volatile piece on the board.  As the King, all I do is sulk around one square at a time and hope the opposing Queen doesn’t put me in a corner.  Because she’s obviously a crazy bitch and she knows how much less she makes than I do.

I once told a friend that I was tubby. They said they didn’t think so. They thought tubby was when the stomach pushed out farther than their boobs or moobs by a large margin. And here I thought I was tubby in the way a medical professional would regale about my weight to a co-worker in the way that promotes shame and healthy living.

Chapter Fifteen: Confetti On Confusion

Maturity is like age. As you get older, you come to terms with the fact that the world is a place that you can still piss on as long as you don’t look too fucked up and no police are around.

Having a pet is like having a female roommate, give them enough tequila shots and eventually you can leave them tied up in the backyard.

Candles could be the personification of high school athletes if they don’t get into professional sports, if athletes smelled better.

Passion is over-rated, but I cannot get enough of Passionfruit. How can you pass up the taste of love and eventual disappointment?

What’s black and white with red all over? The Mime I shared needles with behind the Wal-Mart.  The joke falls flat if I tell you what I gave him, so just think of it as a present that, if beaten, will change his life forever.  Spoiler, it was a child.

I ran a marathon once. Well, I say marathon. You might say it was, “away from the police.”

I have a head that is shaped like a box. By the logic of my childhood toys, if someone hits me in the face, things like coins and fungi come out. So if you see me being punched in the head, just know that the attacker really needs coins or mushrooms.

I once called a white girl dumb for spilling soda all over herself. Some people laughed, but her black boyfriend did not. Neither did his two friends. So the boyfriend punched me, I went down, and the three of them began to kick me while I lied on the ground. And in that moment I thought, “Racism, abolished!”

Motral Kombat had to take a page from the book of the Grand Wizard. My guess? The spelling page.

A handful of multi-colored confetti can make a lot of things better.  Marriage proposals, failed marriage proposals, and the eventual suicide note you hide in one of your two hands while the other has the confetti.  Which one holds the happy sprinkles? Who knows!

Halloween is a holiday based on the dead. To Women, it’s the death of rational clothing options and for Men it’s the death of their limited sexual options. 

Cancer is a deadly disease that affects millions of people who smoke tobacco, are obese, lack a physical diet or exercising regimen, drink alcohol, have sex without protection, and breathe air pollution. Preventive measures for Cancer? Stop doing the fun stuff.

Chapter Fourteen: Adhesive Bandages are High-Fives for Injuries

LLC stands for “Look Left and Cough”. Why else would a medical practitioner have it anywhere in their business practice?

If you want to apprehend a thief that stole something, say “STOP!” That always works.

Playing a guitar means one of two things. Either you lost something or you’re trying to find something. If you’re playing a country song, it could be your wife or tractor. Depending on which has been around longer.

You can always feel triumphant in knowing that water runs away from the top of a mountain. Because no one but you knows you’re up there.

Amplification matters when people could careless, but if they’re careless watch out. They could ruin your amplification equipment with a spilled drink.

The idea of sexting came about when the great philosopher Plato said “Women, if a penis is seen as a shadow…does that mean it exists on the body or in the mind? Also, isn’t this the biggest shadow you’ve ever seen?”

A destroyer of worlds is only thinking three-dimensionally.

If a girl sends you a picture of her pet, tell her that a picture says a thousand words. And unfortunately those words are bets as to when the pet will eventually die.

Music permeates life in many ways. Minors are smaller notes and underaged people. Majors are bold notes that are also titles attached to adults with college educations. And business is deaf to both notes unless they can use them to play their songs.

When you cut yourself and ask for an adhesive bandage, expect someone to spit in their hand and high-five that open wound.

Watching reality television and watching reality on television is the subtle difference of turning off the television to see the reflection.

Chapter Thirteen: Random Is The Worst DJ

It’s when you put the music on random that you find all of the music that you never knew you had that you never wanted to listen to. Random is the worst DJ.

A New Year’s kiss is supposed to symbolize well-wishes for the coming year. They never specify if it needs to be your same species, sex, or even something that breathes. That’s why I kissed the bottle rocket before I lit it and threw it forward to watch it explode when the stick fell off and the cylinder exploded nearby a wayward friend.

Sam likes to remind me that he has a PhD. I like to remind him that being a doctor for college freshman is a very crowning achievement in capitalism and democratic progression.

A butterfly is the creation of when something that causes you little strife becomes something that you avoid contact with in flight like a cat would avoid bath water.

Norman is the name of my cat and, like any Norman, has a life that seems to always reflect on eating, sleeping, minimal exercise, and not being able to achieve the dreams he has for himself.

You hear about man being the most dangerous game to hunt. I don’t buy it. All you have to do is let him think that he’s the winner, then make him the loser. That’s a free hunting tip for anything on the planet.

Keeping your head above water and drowning are what people like to say in regards to their woes. Swimming in the deep-end takes strength but drowning can happen in the kiddie pool.

When you send someone a fax, you’re telling them that you don’t trust them enough to send an e-mail and not have them print it out and yell that they have something of potential value. They can just do that with receiving a fax.

Chapter Twelve: Explosions Always Warrant Profanity

When someone says “I’ll take whatever you can give me”, you can only hope they weren’t saying it to a pile of ham at a buffet line. 

The first time some made the idiom to “Screw the Pooch” had to have been a wild night in the farm-house, frat house, or a house that had an unfortunately named child.

When you have to make an omelette, they don’t tell you that you first have to buy, then transport, then refrigerate, then timely abort dead animals into your sizzling pan filled with butter and grease. Had I known that, I would have listened to Finnish Death Metal first.

Most building demolitions are carefully designed, well thought out, expertly executed, and followed with a harmonizing “fuck yeah” from someone with authority.

Living is described in uncertain terms as: experiencing things to the fullest, understanding what you are to someone at someplace that matters, and never pulling out.

Does a sailor tell a hooker how many fathoms he’s inside her?

A person watches something that doesn’t care about their existence with every move it makes and every sway of its body. If I didn’t point out that I was describing bird-watching, I’m sure you would have secretly felt guilty about something you’ve done. That’s because you should.

Planning is for professionals and brainstorming is for idealists while pilfering is for school children and plotting is for super-villains.

When I see a kite, two things come to form.  The first is that I wonder who is still trying to find electricity and the second is who is the adult that is playing with this kite.

A grease fire is the first draft of a flavor layer.

Chapter Eleven: When Adjectives Become Emoticons

A “Vagabond” always made me think of a pussy that relates to a banknote that you can’t cash out right away.  To my surprise, that exists but isn’t referred to by the same name.  They call those “prudes”.

A clock always says the same thing to those staring at it.  “Hey, you’re dead inside.”

Adjectives are the emoticons of a dialogue that you never cared to have in the first place.

At the moment that you find yourself awake and asleep is the same point that most fast-food workers ask, “How may I help you?”

My parents always told me that if I don’t do good in school that I’d be asking “Would you like fries with that?”  The joke’s on them, because if I had worked for five years in the same restaurant instead of going to college, I’d be in the same place I am now.

Some people say that they get irritable if they don’t get their coffee in the morning.  I explain to them that there are more ways to feel better than to cremate something, get something hot and black in return, then sprinkle a bunch of white dots and white fluid in it before then putting it inside them.

When people ask me how I am doing at work on a daily basis, I like to use words that I doubt they would relate with.  Such words like: Bad, Awful, Homicidal, and Suicidal.

Being let go in an office setting is a nice way of the company asking you if you can, “just be friends” after they wiped the sex sweat from another partner on your Science Fair ribbons from middle school.

I’m commonly asked by friends and family if I’m homeless because I have a very un-groomed beard.  I just tell them the truth.  “No, but with a small robbery of someone close to me…I could be.”

When you are born, you start out with no gear, no money, and at level one.  Even Link had a man in a cave that gave him a wooden sword when he began his adventure.  Parents, I’m looking at you for guidance here.

Chapter Ten: You Can Take Me For My Word…Or Kidnap Me

If good things come to those who wait, then they are the idiots that smarter people dance around when they pick up all of the good stuff and the idiots keep waiting around.

I would take you for your word if you spoke in goods or services.

I recently discovered that every chicken has a wishbone. I have thrown so many wishes in the garbage, it’s by happenstance I’ve managed to live this long.

It takes a village to raise crops, but it also takes a village to raise a child. One of those you can eat. The other, you can sell.

A lost thought is one that you never cared for in the first place. Just like the puppy Stan had as a kid, only the dog tangled itself in electric chicken wire. The point is to remember the things that matter.

Salty tears taste like the ocean, meaning if you want to help contribute you should just drown yourself in your problems in the ocean. You first problem will be living. Good luck.

People keep telling me to simply take the good with the bad. Well. Would you take the sex with the AIDS?

I would like to know that when gold and silver are in a rise or decline that they be referred to as “Bling”. We can all become more cultured that way.

You shouldn’t freak out around Bees, they can smell your fear and will get more angry because of it. They also rub their butts on everything and anyone.  That’s something you should avoid as well.

I like to write the endings of movies in public bathrooms so when they read them and let out an audible noise of disappointment, everyone else thinks something unfortunate happened to them while on the toilet.

Seeing an obese man in a business suit is always a delight for me because I just imagine that they got into a regularly sized one and ate a tub of ice-cream to stretch out the fabric.

I Knew What I Must Become: Review for Tomb Raider

WHAT TOMB RAIDER HAS BECOME IN 2013

            In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should point out that I never played any of the original Tomb Raider titles.  I admit that this is odd, particularly when you realize that the first incarnation of this iconic series was made just as the drunken mechanical bull of puberty began body slamming me mercilessly into the hay-filled mattress of life.  But 1996 was a very strange time for all of us: Romeo was shooting Tybalt in the face, Atlanta was hosting the Olympics, and Tupac was speaking to us from the grave (or something).  It was like 1997 but with half of the good stuff.  So you can understand if I missed the first Tomb Raider

            I’d love to say that I was too mature for what Tomb Raider seemed to represent on the surface: an Indiana Jones-esque premise betrayed horribly by the questionable need to slap superfluous sexuality on everything (read: pixelated titties).  But that just wasn’t the case.  I would have experimented with the sexual design of postage stamps applied creatively if someone had even implied that it would feel pleasurable.  Also, remember: mine was a generation that invented an urban legend that involved seeing the two-inch tall sprite of Princess Peach naked—a task which would necessitate TV screens the size of which had not yet been invented.

            So no: remarkably early sexual maturity was not within my grasp.  I was fourteen: dignity wasn’t even within my grasp.  So it wasn’t a conscious decision I made.  Tomb Raider, like a high school cheerleader, just passed me up entirely.  And by the time I was aware of this game and its many sequels, I was old enough to pretend that I found it offensive and reprehensible as a symbol of femininity (read: I was trying to get laid). 

            Now I’m older, and things are different.  I actually do find the original Lara Croft to be about as accurate to femininity as a three-foot bong with blown glass breasts welded to the front.  We’re doing our best to ignore Baz Luhrmann, Atlanta is back to being a mediocre metropolis with delusions of grandeur, and Tupac is unequivocally dead.  We still play games, but those horndog teens have been replaced by… well… horndog adults.  But adults nonetheless.  And Crystal Dynamics and their thoughtful re-engineering of this iconic heroine is proof positive that, if so inclined, it is possible to paper mache a Botticelli angel out of back issues of Playboy.

            Tomb Raider is exciting.

            Everything about it screams excitement.  The jumps, the falls, the gun-fighting and the stealth are all designed to get your heart pumping and your brain glittering and shiny with endorphins and dopamine.  And it wastes no time roping you into that thrill ride. The first ten minutes of Tomb Raider is as adrenalin-pumping as being chased by a 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger and a 2011 Jesse “The Body” Ventura.  It is sheer terror coupled with the whoops and shouts of a much younger gamer than myself.  By the time Lara has crawled out onto a cliff overlooking the island of Yamatai, you have completed a tutorial that smashes the teeth of scores of entire games released in years past. 

            This is derived, largely, from the unceasing nature of these sections of the game: just as you leap from a falling bridge, the forest explodes with fire.  As soon as you put out the fire, you’re ambushed by an army of cultists.  As soon as the last cultist dies, you get a cramp in your big toe and a quick time event is initiated to massage it out (not really, but I wouldn’t be surprised).  There is always something to do and some place to be in this island’s forest.  And what a forest it is: for infinitely gorgeous scenery, Tomb Raider can compete with any game on the market.  Lara herself is one of the most beautifully designed and implemented characters yet made.  And her beauty isn’t just in the traditional sense (though, let’s be honest: damn, girl).  Each wound is etched into the lines of her face.  Mud, water, and blood splatters, cakes, and dries.  Her cries of pain, cautious breaths, and self-conscious soliloquies are flawlessly voiced by Camilla Luddington.  In fact, the entire cast is outstanding, if a little standard for the course (an Indian survivalist, a grumpy Scotsman, and a take-no-guff black woman are just some of the usual suspects the storyline employs).  I can count on one hand the number of times the camera became problematic: indeed, most of the time I was marveling at how the angles of vision seemed to be chosen with the specific intention of giving you the most enjoyable panic attack you’ve ever had in your life.  The cinematics and cutscenes feel so effortlessly executed that you often don’t realize that they’re over and gameplay has begun.

            The gameplay is engaging without being too easy.  This is actually a good rule of thumb for everything that came with playing Tomb Raider on the default difficulty.  The ambush sequences were challenging without being frustratingly hard.  The puzzles were simple, but not insultingly so.  Everything about the game suggested that the designers wanted to keep you from being stuck for any serious length of time without it being a boring “push-button-to-win” endeavor.  I appreciated this aspect especially.  I don’t want to have victory handed to me.  If I wanted the experience of watching a character defeat every obstacle in his path with or without my involvement, I’ll watch an episode of 24.  But I also don’t enjoy games that are arbitrarily arduous (see: Catherine). Collectibles are plentiful, but seeking them out doesn’t feel like a chore you ought to be paid for (see: Assassin’s Creed, GTA).  I stormed the jungles and mountains of Yamatai treated as neither an infant nor Stephen Hawking, and I was satisfied.

            During these puzzles and shootouts, Lara gains confidence and an abundance of skills and abilities.  These skills, linked to one of three trees (hunter, survivor, and brawler), are lots of fun to experiment with, and enrich the gameplay at a pace that matches the storyline perfectly.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much customizing to be done here, as you’ll have maxed out each tree by the end of the storyline.  While this makes sense for what sort of heroine the storyline is shaping Lara up to be by its conclusion (a survivor—a savant of the wild places), it leaves no room for variation or different play styles.  To be fair, in this age of paragons, renegades, and customization, it’s easy to forget that a character or game style isn’t necessarily supposed to fit itself to your notion of how a game should work.  That said, a new tree or two would have been very welcome. The weapon system and its customization is a great consolation prize, though.

            A lack of heavy customization doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t have different “modes” to speak of.  Between platforming, puzzles and gunfights, there are moments of intense unease that made me nostalgic, though I couldn’t at first put my finger on what exactly I was feeling wistful for.  It came in moments alone in a chamber of ritual sacrifice, or climbing through the rotting timbers of a bridge, hoping the unsuspecting cultists above you won’t hear the soft sound of your breath beneath them.    And then I remembered: I was feeling the same wariness and fear that the early installments of theResident Evil series used to bring out in me.  Not so much regarding the supernatural or horrific flavor of it (though there are smatterings of both, to be sure), but the survivoraspect of it.  Tomb Raider has not exactly revived the (regretfully) dead genre of survival horror, but it’s certainly got fifty percent of the equation well in hand.  It wasn’t a massive part of the game itself, but it was something significant that I noticed and hope they expand upon in future sequels.

            These gameplay features are perfectly woven into an engaging, sometimes blistering coming-of-age story.  Lara Croft goes from a frightened young student of archaeology to a warrior-goddess.  This reboot Tomb Raider was no different from its earlier incarnations in the sense that it received its share of controversy early on. Cinematic sequences of Lara bound and beaten was just another handful of dried leaves tossed on the flames of the bonfire that a year of rape jokes built.  Having seen the finished product, these misgivings seem unfounded.  Don’t get me wrong here: throughout the course of Tomb Raider, Lara absolutely gets the tar whipped out of her.  She falls from cliff faces, hitting every available surface on the way to the hard, hard ground.  Tree branches, rock outcroppings, crumbling ruins, your kitchen sink, my kitchen sink—these are all smashed into your protagonist’s body at every available opportunity.  But if she survives it, Lara Croft stands back up.  Early in the storyline, she is terrified, but she is always infinitely strong and capable.  Later in the storyline, she is Artemis with her bow. She bellows calls to war faces down scores of enemies.  In short: she is a badass.

            I didn’t spend a lot of time with the multiplayer, but the time I did seemed unnecessary.  While it had its charming points (the trap system comes to mind), multiplayer felt like the last thing this game needed.  It has become a sore spot with me when games add-on completely arbitrary multiplayer modes just to make a half-hearted attempt at attracting new blood to their game (see: Bioshock 2).  It is completely fair to point out here that I have never had much use for multiplayer games and/or multiplayer modes in single player games.  Ten year olds calling me slurs they could barely pronounce was bad enough in elementary school—I don’t need that crap in my life now that I’m 30.  It might be an older gamer thing to complain about, and I understand if you don’t agree.  But in my defense: you multiplayer whipper-snappers wouldn’t know a good single player campaign from a hole in the ground.  Now pass the Funions and get the hell off’a my lawn.

            I had so much fun playing Tomb Raider that I sincerely doubt that my lack of experience with any of its previous titles could have made me enjoy it any more.  And I think that is at the heart of what makes this reboot such a solid game.  The designers didn’t set out to create the next Tomb Raider game—they set out to create a great game.  The fact that it’s an existing franchise is incidental to the game’s genius.  At no point did they sacrifice playability to wink at the audience.  There are no significant “nudge, nudge” moments.  And most importantly, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on a thing.  Nothing from the past of Tomb Raider has passed me by.  If anything, I feel like I’ve found a shiny new toy.  Okay: an archaeological artifact covered in mud, but still.

 Phil Keeling

Phil Keeling is a comedian and writer from Savannah, GA.  His first album “Conquistadork” can be purchased on Amazon, iTunes, and philkeeling.com. Follow him on Twitter @ElConquistadork.

Review for Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light is a story-driven FPS taking place after Metro 2033, in the nuclear-ridden wasteland of Moscow and the nightmare-fueled tunnels of the subway metro system under the city. Artyom, the protagonist, is given a mission to make contact with a creature seen on the surface that is not of their world. The story and characterization progress well as Artyom is flung into a primal world of beasts, burdens, and fear. The mechanics of the game work fluidly with the combat that seems to take the front seat while most of the suspense from the first title is also along for the ride.

Read the full piece at VideoGameWriters.com!

A look at the ‘Sunset Overdrive’ trailer with director David Chontos

Sunset Overdrive is an exclusive new IP for the Xbox One being developed by Insomniac Games, makers of the Ratchet and Clank and the Resistance series. The trailer shows off what looks to be an expansive world that the main character interacts with in parkour-style fluid motion. He catches thrown weapons and slides on lunch trays while jamming to music, in a video that looks more like a comic book come to life than a realistic-shooter, like most announced next-generation titles. We recently talked to David Chontos, the creative director of Psyop, who worked with Microsoft to help create the trailer, and ask him a few questions about the development of Sunset Overdrive and their involvement.

Read the full piece at VideoGameWriters.com!

Some Ointment On The Burns: Microsoft Lifting DRM Restrictions On Xbox One

The internet has recently been fluttering with confirmation that Microsoft will be redacting their previous stance on DRM and internet connectivity. This comes after the shockwaves of E3, where Microsoft was badly bruised at the announcement during the Sony Conference that PlayStation 4 will not be following the Xbox One DRM mantra. Sony stated very plainly and very aggressively that PlayStation 4 would support used titles, trading games with friends (or businesses), and that you wouldn’t have to “check-in” with their servers to play the console.  Those statements alone garnered a cheering applause, one that was very sharply honed at making Xbox look like the idiots holding the bottle-rocket from the wrong end.

Read the full piece at VideoGameWriters.com!

Deus Ex Hype Machina: Are Zombies Dead Yet?

Zombies are one of the most iconic images of current pop-culture to date as they stand next to fleeting upset-faced animals and a need to do dances originating from internet videos.  The way you make a zombie is to simply make a stencil of a person, take out some unnecessary pieces, add some bite marks with some red ink streaks, and boom: you’ve got a zombie. It is that relatable icon of primal and shambling (or running if you’re a fan of “new” zombies) destruction that has spawned dozens of films, comic books, board games, and video games.  Some of those things are a delight to have and some are about as good as I am sure a decaying  zombie smells in the humidity of southern swamplands.

Do we need a saturation of Zom-Pop (Zombie Popularity) so intense that I can find a cornucopia of zombie apps pertaining to photo manipulation, running, and gaming for my phone worth $0.99 with $20/10/5/3/1 in-game purchases?

Read the full piece at VideoGameWriters.com!

How To Win A Race You Don’t Have To Run: Third-Party Developers for E3 2013

With Ubisoft bringing titles like Tom Clancy’s The Division and Watch_Dogs and EA bringing us a new Star Wars Battlefront as well as new IP’s from classic franchises like Plants versus Zombies: Garden Warfare, it isn’t a stretch to assume that third-party developers are winning a lot of hearts and pre-orders at E3 this year.  The titles that seem to hit all the right buttons of the next-gen market are going to be released for almost everything under the sun, including current -gen platforms.  The third-party teams and companies win this year at E3 because no matter the hype, they only have to keep up with the software of competitors.  Being that EA and Ubisoft are the larger titans of the production industry in gaming, they bet on all of the slots, all of the cards, and will strike gold in different segments of consoles, but strike gold nonetheless. 

Not to mention that bevy of Indie game titles that have hit the public eye, mostly in PS4’s corner.  As a developer of software, the risks to deliver still are daunting but the rate of success to continue on is lesser than that of hardware for a console or add-on device.  And while Sony and Microsoft will be fighting like two kids in the back seat of a car, third-party developers can take solace in knowing that no matter who comes out on top, they have some of the more appealing titles coming out this holiday season.  We just have to watch and wait for Sony or Microsoft to prove otherwise during the rest of E3.

Did The Console War Already Come To A Close?

It was the most beautiful thing I had witnessed in a long time.  Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, walked out on stage and said the magic words.  “Playstation 4 will allow used games with NO restrictions.  Trade in games at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.  Disc based games will never have to be online to play.  Playstation 4 will never have to check-in every 24 hours or stop working,” and almost as an afterthought with a smirk on his face he said, “oh and the Playstation 4 will be available this holiday for 399 dollars, 399 euros, and 349 pounds sterling!”

It was a shot heard around the gaming community.  Like Muhammad Ali knocking out Joe Frazier, that was the blow that could have just ended the console war between Microsoft and Sony.  The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) has just kicked off with what is sure to be an amazing week of games and things to come.  Microsoft came out at their press conference and stuck to their guns about their new policies by not mentioning any of them and avoiding questions in interviews.  They tried to pass it by with showing a lot of new titles coming to the Xbox One like Ryse, Killer Instinct, Halo, and Titanfall.  However, the elephant in the room was still the aggressive DRM policies on the Xbox One that you will have to have an always-on internet connection that can validate connectivity every 24 hours.  If you don’t have that your shiny, new game console locks you out.  This and the always-on Kinect have been a major sticking point for a lot of gamers with privacy concerns, which I am also behind.

I saw a great analogy today that I think sums up the PS4 vs Xbox One in a nutshell.  It said, “Playstation feels like that girl-next-door you always had a crush on, but then you chased the high school cheerleader instead, the pretty Xbox.  Years later, Xbox started nagging you non-stop, demanding to know where you are, what you are doing, who you are seeing, and trying to keep her eye on you all the time.  Sure, she had her great moments, but more and more it became apparent she wanted to own you in your mutual relationship.  Plus, she has very expensive tastes and your wallet is constantly drained. Then you bump into your old high-school sweetheart, and she’s prettier than you remember, and still very single.  Turns out, she’s also practical, smart, and flexible, and you just hit it off again, dumping Xbox to cry after you about how unfair it is that you don’t check-in with her every 24 hours.”

Sony let the gamers of the world know loud and clear today that they have been listening, have heard us, and agree with us.  I’ve been seeing many comments about people who have cancelled their Xbox One pre-orders and have since placed Playstation 4 pre-orders in their wake.  Unless Microsoft does a complete 180 degree spin on their platform policies, the console war of the next-generation is over before it could ever really begin.

 

-Patrick Freeman, ECMMOGamers.com

Injustice Lives Up To Its Name For Fans Of The DC Universe

Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Scorpion, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl.  One of the things in the previous list is not like the others; do you know what it is?  Correct, Scorpion is not a member of the Justice League, nor is he even a DC character, so why is he being included in Injustice: Gods Among Us as a DLC character you ask?  My thoughts are that it’s purely promotional because Ed Boon (head of NetherRealm Studios) is worried people will forget about his beloved franchise, Mortal Kombat, which shares similarities in the game engine and combat that many people have come to know quite well.

Ed Boon created the Mortal Kombat franchise in 1992 and has had several incarnations in the years since including 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.  The most well-known characters from MK‘s saga are Scorpion and Sub-Zero, who are playable characters that are locked in an eternal battle within their own gaming universe.  NetherRealm Studios is the developer of Injustice, so it seems that they are throwing in their IP just because they can or to bring old-founded popularity to the newer title.  Scorpion has been “re-imagined” by DC artist Jim Lee to have a more comic feel to the character as opposed to his stark video game predecessors and parallel the universe he will be interrupting.

This, to me, is a slap in the face of anyone who purchased this game hoping for a true DC fighting game.  One of the major reasons I purchased this game was the promise of playing some of my favorite characters such as: Raven, Solomon Grundy, Deathstroke, & Green Arrow.  A lot of these characters have never been playable in games before, there are a lot of characters in the DC universe that I still want to see added to this game that I would pay for as DLC.  Give me J’onn J’onzz (The Martian Manhunter), give me Darkseid, give me Starfire, or so many other options that there is no reason to have to go outside the DC universe to pull people in.

The first two characters of the “Season One” DLC, as it’s been titled, have been phenomenal and I’ve purchased both Lobo and Batgirl.  The last two, it would appear, are going to be Scorpion and General Zod (if the rumors are true).  I am thankful that Zod comes from the DC universe and I’ll probably purchase him once he’s been released.  There’s talk of a “Season Two” DLC that will include The Martian Manhunter, The Red Hood, Sub-Zero, and a yet to be named character.  We may have another non-DC character because if you bring in Scorpion, you might as well bring in his nemesis.

While I’m a fan of the Mortal Kombat games, hoping for a purely DC-based title was too much to ask for.  I won’t be looking to purchase Scorpion right away, as I have with the previous two DLC characters based on how he is simply injected into the Injustice title.  I hope the rumors of the “Season Two” DLC ring true, as I would love to partake in the fights as J’onn J’onzz against the characters already in the game.  Only time will tell and in the Injustice universe, time is the only difference between victory and defeat.

-Patrick Freeman, ECMMOGamers.com

Do We Need A New Gotham? Batman: Arkham Origins Trailer Revealed

Go ahead and watch the trailer.

Finished?  Good.  That was a fun-filled ride with cinematics that rival World of Warcraft intros, am I right?  But what did that tell us about the game itself?  Not a lot we didn’t already know.  And yes that seems a bit presumptuous to think that a CG trailer could delve into mysterious things that we would want to ask about.  But when a game doesn’t drop the good to the public, people should be getting worried.  Because perhaps that thing that people paid for before isn’t the same as the iteration that is coming out now.  Something to think about.

You have Batman dealing with the regular baddies and then coming to a halt with a true foe, that being Deathstroke.  This is a puff piece or at the very least, a nice show of what we will be dealing with as an overall and overarching theme.  I get that people are hunting Batman.  I get that foes in the Batman universe are making the face time.  But I will say that Black Mask, Deadshot, or Deathstroke don’t make me jump for the rooftops.  The fact that a lot has been announced about the possibility of the origin stories of many of the Batman rogue gallery was a thing interests me more (Red Hood, anyone?).

But even then, it’s simply a CG movie that shows us nothing but hints to the game that we want to be as good as Arkham Asylum or City.  Some want that too, but some also want a larger portion to be built on the franchise that was made by RockSteady (the original developers of the first two IPs).  Some things you wish for and then get around Christmas time.  It will be a while until we see if that is what the people get with their holiday socks or not, but one thing is for sure…Batman will be in our minds and hearts around the Hallow’s Eve.  I am banking on a Long Halloween, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Are Pre-Orders A Dated Ideal: The Ebb And Flow Of Gaming Future

“Hey you.  Picking up (insert game title here)?  Right on!  You know (insert random title from the same genre from previous title being purchased) is coming out soon, and you should put a pre-order on it!  Why?  You can reserve your copy to guarantee you get one the day it releases.  Oh, and you also get (insert random item, skin, Chinese-crafted thing to go along with the title) JUST for pre-ordering your copy today!  So, go ahead and put some money down on it.  Why not?”

Chances are that you’ve heard something like that uttered from a store clerk if you’ve walked into a retailer that has any kind of focus on video games within the past three years.  The reason being?  Pre-orders are you saying “Yes, I will promise to buy this game from you”.  You may not see it that way, but when did you put money down on something that you never picked up?  Those of you that are already screaming about those times you actually didn’t pick up something you had money on, your cries of defiance are heard loud and clear.  But when I make a rhetorical question like that, I am obviously referring to the people who kept up with the games they put down five bucks on that either loved the title they reserved or were wary but bought the godforsaken thing anyways.

This pertains to them.

Dear “Them”,

Could you have bought that title a week later and felt just as good about it?

That is a cold question out of nowhere.  I know, a very cheap shot if you’re a rational individual that was roped into a purchase by a cunning 18-25 year old that you wouldn’t admit to getting the best of you.  It has happened to the best of us.  Relax.

Now, the second cold question:

Was the game you bought worth it the day you bought it or ever in the life of your purchase?

That question is geared more to some of the flops of the recent ending of the gaming generation upon us.  I’m not here to say that someone shit the bed before they decided to move on to next-gen pastures.  But, I am here to say that over the past twelve months, in gaming, some people were left holding the flaming bag of shit that was supposed to entail a fun time.   And surprise, they are upset.  Those people, as you may have guessed, are the consumers.

Now, this is the part where you get hostile and say things like:

“But Tyler, this past year has been critically successful for many different franchises.  Who are you to dictate what ‘The People’ want or deserve?”
“You are suck a fucking tool.  Since when did you make anything for people to enjoy?”
“stfu n00b, you dont kno sh1t b0ut sh1t so go bak 2 ur basement and fuk ur 7 cats. rofl”

First off, I don’t own cats.  I own a pocket pussy and that is what I fuck, ever so gently.  Second, that first statement about the pocket pussy was a lie for the shock and awe of people knowing my online purchase history.  Third, I think we need to talk about the current trenches we face as gamers in an industry that looks at us as income and not people who enjoy their titles.  And yes, I know we are that to many people and companies.  I am talking about pre-orders here.  The idea of reserving something that, by many standards, is compensated by making 1.8 copies for every 1 gamer. 

Many times a pre-order is offered to us, there’s incentive to do it.  Be it with a discount (mostly found in Steam or some titles over-the-counter), with a small add-on that would be meaningless otherwise, or an insignificant (or sometimes crazy/awesome) trinket associated with the game.  Why do we need these?  To coax over what could be a lump in your throat when you get past four hours of the title screen and all possibility of story and plot fall to the wayward tides?  I hope not, folks.

When we get into the idea of a copy being reserved “just for you”, ask yourself if they ever ran out of titles of Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii.  Or Call of Duty in any iteration for more than a few days after the release day.  Maybe the recent release of a sports title you enjoy that’s popular in American culture (sorry NHL, FIFA, and other sports).  I can’t think of a time when there were rations that needed to be parsed between gamers, unless we are talking about either a planned shortage to boost brand focus or hardware that wasn’t made to keep up with demand (see the first reason).

But for you, I say do what you like.  If I see you pre-ordering a title I may give you some shit, like I gave myself shit about not finishing this article until after pre-ordering four copies of Starbound, and with that shame maybe you will learn to think about why you are purchasing before something comes out.  Because as games become more integrated with online capabilities and consoles begin to require you to be online once a day to play your games, there will be fewer times when you can regret a purchase that you would have traded for a punch in the chest and a sweep kick into a nest of spiders.  And I promise you, with how games are developed in the world of today, developers see the user base not just as dollar signs but as beta users.  Name me a title that doesn’t patch on day one anymore.  If you can, expect a hug from me, because you beat the system and deserve to be remembered for doing so.

– Tyler Meier,
You can find me on Twitter at @ArcadeProfessor or on my new gaming podcast “The Arcadium Podcast”

Why Does The Prince Keep Going?

When royalty is mentioned in a lot of popular circles, you have to wonder what kind of classy person is being mentioned.  In this case, he would most likely be the smallest prince in any kind of royalty with some of the biggest shoes to fill (in the entire cosmos, quite literally).  But it isn’t just being obedient that makes us wonder why this guy keeps the ball rolling, but why would he do it multiple times.  He has to know that his efforts could be in vain if another unabashed drinking/forgetfulness/black-out party happens with his father running into everything around him and undoing everything we’ve known about our surroundings.

A boy looking to live up to his father’s fever dreams.
A prince looking to uphold his kingdom’s crown.
A kid willing to make something from almost nothing.

The Prince in the Katamari games is a boy with a plan, but that plan seems to always be related to some cataclysm caused by his clumsy father, The King of All Cosmos.  Surely a King cares about his kingdom, you would think.  Well, readers.  You’re quite wrong.  The King of All Cosmos is very much haphazard to his rule, his carefulness in upkeep, and consciousness of his ever-enlarging bulge in his galaxian-sized pants.  Beyond the glamor shots of flying through space, the King seems to belittle his son’s achievements that have, literally, recreated space as we know it.

So why would someone who gets ignored as often as hippies talk about not showering want to keep up the stigma of being the “Cosmos Savior”?

  • He’s got daddy issues

Usually this ailment or mindset befalls females and, although you can play as a lady relation to the Prince, the focus is found in the bond of father and son.  And just like the bond between some fathers and sons, one has to take care of the other when they begin to ruin their living space.  The Prince rolls up his blue-collar sleeves and pushes a ball around that seems to be the same consistency that makes up the stuff that makes dreadlocks.  The ball clings to everything.  Cars.  Clouds.  Rainbows.  And even cats.  Then, the Prince presents his achievement to his father to either be rejected outright or dismissively throws the ball into space to make something the King broke.  Seems like he wants his father’s approval, doesn’t it?  Maybe he should drink some beers and TP his principal’s house, get caught, and then have mace applied to his face.  That could get his father’s attention too.  Maybe.

  • He always has to be liked

Who is the person that takes out the garbage and refuse of the homeless, repairs the homes of their neighbors, and treats everyone with the utmost respect?  Many of you would say “a good person”.  Others would blurt out “a kiss-ass”.  Few would mutter “someone with a secret”.  Sadly, you are all incorrect.  A person that does that finds the spotlight of adoration and appreciating as necessary as some people who require skin-darkening devices to think they look more exotic.  Two things.  The first; exotic doesn’t mean you must have a color similar to my natural leather Doc Martins.  The second; appreciation is a false idol to worship because if you cannot find love in what you do than you shouldn’t be doing it.  Unless you work at a coffee-house or fast-food restaurant, because no matter what some people may say, others love you more than you could even fathom.  I promise, balding barista that serves me a latte every Thursday evening.  We like you.

  • He thinks it’s what his father wants

Growing up into royalty, I would imagine, is a very mirrored lifestyle.  You have to live up to the majesty of your parents, what they did, to whom, and look the part with a crown and everything.  But what if your parents want you to be…different?  Or even be number one in anything you do compared to the “peons” that you rule?  The Prince thinks his father wants him to roll his ball around the Earth, collecting specific things or just everything.  But if The King of All Cosmos really wanted that, do you think he would care a little bit more?  Me either.  The King is all wrapped up in the glory that is himself, and the Prince doesn’t really understand that.  Royalty is all about feeling good about yourself because you are better than almost everyone else.  The Prince thinks that he should help his common people and fix what his father destroys when, in another light, the King could be pushing his son to just reject his ideals all along.  But the Prince is too dim to catch that he should stop being so obedient.  Besides, lady princesses dig bad boy princes.  If anything, the King could be trying to get his son into the dating game.  But, again, the Prince?  Dim and willing to do anything.  Like a cheap whore.

It isn’t that the Prince is going dastardly things or ruining the people around him, his father does an amazing job of that on his own.  But, being the good and trustworthy kid is never an exciting moment.  The King of All Cosmos could be doing all of this just to get his child out into the world, to experience his kingdom, to get on his hands and knees and take in the universe.

That, or the King really is a dick and gets the Prince to clean up his messes.

Either way, the Prince has some issues in his family that he should talk about rather than being a mute slave to his father.  Nothing ever came from obeying the law except depression, angst, and eventual revolution.  No one wants the Prince to revolt, but it would be worth the play-through.  So, the Prince seems to let us make his father’s wishes come true by proxy of guilt and lack of omission.  The Prince has yet to ruin the galaxy and that is a good thing for almost everyone, until you realize how fabulous it could be to control the King of All Cosmos while making Katamari-things.

– Tyler Meier,
You can find me on Twitter at @ArcadeProfessor or on my new gaming podcast “The Arcadium Podcast”

Dreaming In Freemium: The Life and Death of Mobile Gaming

When I tell you that I am giving you something for free, you would be valid to wonder why.  Nothing in this world is free except for oxygen, water, and love.  And only one of those has bad results.  But the Freemium model of gaming today leads me into a zombified state with constant finger swipes through endless fields of “FREE” titles for my mobile device. 

But they aren’t free, are they?

No, they are not if you plan to progress within the game.  Freemium games are a model built on offering a product for free, with purchases that are involved within the game client for content that could help or enhance the game.  If you are playing a Simulation game, you could buy more unique resources for a dollar or two.  While playing an RPG, you could buy new classes for a few bucks a piece that are better than your initial ones.  A game could even allow you to restart your progress after death unless you purchased something that would negate all the hard work you’ve done hunched over the toilet for in in-game purchase of $4.99.  That is the Freemium model, and it is the lifeblood of Mobile gaming. 

Now, granted, some titles in the Mobile gaming circuit are honestly a purchase worth the price of admission and don’t need the extended income that the Freemium model banks on.  Games like 10000000, Game Dev Story, Grand Theft Auto III, among others allow a single purchase for the title and then allow you to enjoy the full game without hurdles that can only be surpassed easily by a price worthy of a fast food taco.  But others don’t follow that model because at some point, people will stop playing or finish the title.  Then, where does the money come from?  It sure as hell won’t come from donations and requests for DLC.  This is the mobile market of smart phone gaming.  Watch your back, devs. 

I have long since thought that Mobile gaming was many steps behind the console or handheld markets of video games and I say that with a tear in my eye.  Not really with a tear in my eye, because I don’t ever cry but when I do it is at Adventure Time episodes.  With many titles devoted to the brief payoff rather than an involved and lasting experience, Mobile gaming tries to specialize in markets of mass appeal with minimal interaction.  Words With Friends, Draw Something, Angry Birds, and Farmville clones pull in massive amounts of constant or fair-weather users because a person could finish their interaction with a game in the time it would take you to read this entire article.  So, unless you have difficult time reading or are very articulate at throwing birds in a slingshot, it would be a very short game in contrast to playing a 6-player game of Civilization V.  But that is where the Mobile universe shines and shadows.  As a gamer, I respect the brief and the entertaining.  The last app I’ve downloaded was a button that makes the “Sad Trombone” noise.  Best investment ever.  But I also want my phone to play some of my favorite albums at length as well.  Brief and lengthy enjoyment.

But when you see a model that works for a product, few things sway opinions than a dollar.

And I do enjoy some of the mobile games I have played, don’t get me wrong.  But do I enjoy the titles that make progression nearly impossible without hours upon hours of dullard activities?  Nope.  Maybe Freemium isn’t for me, maybe paying a dollar or two for ease of use is something I won’t pay for, and maybe I will play games and then uninstall them after a pop-up shows me that I could spend $4.99 to unlock what would take me 80 hours of playtime.  I like playtime in many forms.  Mobile gaming playtime is on the lower rungs of the playtime ladder because most of the time, it is the game selling you piecemeal what should be provided already with a $2 price tag for the title.

But then again, I don’t play Farmville and I once played Simpsons: Tapped Out.  I had fun for a bit, but after the clicking and quotes ran dry and I would wait hours to be able to do something that could be completed with a small fee, I knew that Mobile gaming was going in the opposite direction of quality versus the price of quantity.  And for a lot of my friends, who are admittedly more into gaming than most 16-45 year old Flash-game fanatics, gaming on mobile devices are a silly joke we play with.  I am not asking to be placated to because if I felt the need, I would pay for the emulators and jailbreaks necessary to get some classic games on my phone.  But I have a hard time taking a genre of games seriously when they ask for more money to do things they should to begin with.  Just like I would have a hard time paying for delicious sauces to douse tacos in when I already bought a taco form a fast food place. 

Mobile gaming is both, for everyone and also not for everyone.  The markets are available everywhere there’s a phone call and most people with recent smartphones have the accessibility to download and play new and interesting titles.  The wall will come when the farms, birds, words, and illustrations seem to dry up from ad revenue and, like big business developers against indie teams in the emerging consoles, mobile developers will go against a new form of indie development that doesn’t include a price tag to unlocking a new chicken outfit.  Microtransactions might have been the future to the gaming enterprise, but at some point we won’t want what’s being sold.  But then again, I could be wrong and people will want to buy all of the special carrots and ad-generated add-ons to their cities and farms that bring in an additional 2.5% experience boost.  Because Carol’s gaming footprint is way better than yours and you should try to show her up, right?

– Tyler Meier,
You can find me on Twitter at @ArcadeProfessor or on my new gaming podcast “The Arcadium Podcast”

Watch Us Play (Like Bullies): Nintendo’s YouTube War

Recently, Nintendo has launched an attack against content creators on YouTube claiming ownership of game play videos.  This has come as a surprise to a lot of content creators who put out instructional or even educational videos like Machinima.com who actually have licenses to use the footage.  This is, however, not the first time in YouTube history that a game company has gone after user’s of their products.  In 2012, Sega forced users to remove videos relating to the game ‘Shining Force III’; but why the sudden barrage from Nintendo?

If we look at some of the titles being targeted, you could assume that they are trying to protect game play of newer games like Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, or New Super Mario Bros. U.  However, our friends over at GameMarx have also been targeted by Nintendo for their ‘Daddy Made us Play’ series of videos featuring the original Legend of Zelda game from 1986.  Nintendo is attacking content creators through YouTube’s content ID system which allows them to file a claim stating the content is copy written.  These videos are either being used through the “Fair Use” law already or have been changed to include commentary of the game, which is a “Fair Use” practice.  I could understand Nintendo claiming copywrite infringement if these users were recreating a playable game using parts of the titles in question, but these are instructional videos and therefore are not interacting in any way with the title other than watching and listening to the user’s comments.

Mike from GameMarx actually challenged the DMCA takedown notice from Nintendo through YouTube and Nintendo forfeited its claims on the video allowing the videos to be restored to his channel.  The attacks from Nintendo force YouTube to place ads at the beginning, ending, or during the Let’s Play videos and if you challenge them, Google will punish you by making your channel unavailable for a short period of time.  Once Nintendo drops their claim, YouTube restores your channel and all rights to your videos to you.

Does Nintendo feel that by watching people play these games on YouTube that the people watching wouldn’t need to go out and purchase these games?   In a statement mentioned on Destructoid, a Nintendo rep explains that as part of its push into social media, the company registered copyrighted content in the YouTube database.  They state that “for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips.  We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.”

It sounds like Nintendo wants users to continue sharing content through YouTube, so why this sudden barrage of takedown notices?  It’s possible we may find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop before Nintendo gives a valid reason, the world may just never know!

If you are interested in viewing the content mentioned in this article please use the following links:

GameMarx
ZackScottGames

One Step Back for Two Steps Forward: EA Discontinues Online Passes

Today is a day that I honestly thought would never come.  As of today, EA has said in interviews that their Online Pass system is officially going to be removed from their upcoming titles.  This is seen as a win for both consumers and second-hand gaming for many of the larger titles that EA distributes, such as Battlefield, Madden, and others.  And although I thought this would be followed with cheering in local gaming stores through my city, I see that no one really cares.  And this is because either EA is going in another direction for primary profit streams or that it truly never mattered to a lot of the mainstream gamers.

Let’s face it, few of the hardcore gamers that are splitting up their time between an imported Japanese RPG with no English subtitles or voicing and Mario Paint remixes are too relieved that EA is taking less money from them.  It is for the mainstream that EA has made this move.

Head Spokesman, Jeff Brown told Kotaku today, “We’re not talking about that layer of people who complain about a lot of stuff like paying for games and all that stuff, god bless them. It became pretty clear that mainstream consumers didn’t like them.”  It wasn’t for the hardcore.  It was for sweet, little Billy playing the team-oriented sports title or deathmatch shooter with his friends that benefited from this change in multiplayer profits.  But I would feel like less of a man if I didn’t question as to why they stopped, or better yet delayed, this particular business model.

I, personally, am one of the people who Jeff is talking about here.  The layer of people who complain about a lot of stuff, including paying for video games.  Unfortunately, Jeff may have caught wind that EA games aren’t often worth paying for.  But that is my left-fisted jab at the gut-punch Mr. Brown hit the community that turned EA into a monster (or at the very worst, their second-tier evolution).  But when I heard this, I immediately thought to the business model that Microsoft is shifting to with one of the most profitable softwares to date, Microsoft Office.

For those that don’t know what I am referring to, Microsoft is trying to jump-start a software client that is always-online, is stored in “the cloud”, and requires a monthly subscription to have.  Sound a bit familiar?  It should.  It is how a lot of MMO’s work to be both profitable and current to players around the world.

“But Tyler, why does that even relate to EA?  It’s not like EA is trying to sell me a slide show presentation tool…”

You’re right, readers.  But what Microsoft is learning with this business model is that people are willing to adapt if the product is worth the transition.  Right now, I would imagine that EA is not only looking at this as a positive PR move, but that they are a company that is built to make profits (just like all businesses, folks).

So, color me happy that EA make a move towards the consumers that hate paying for games.  Way to go.  But I also wonder if we will be seeing a unified banner of titles like Madden, Battlefield, or FIFA.  Because, if this was a step back for EA, you can bet that soon there will come a time where they take two steps forward.

– Tyler Meier,
You can find me on Twitter at @ArcadeProfessor or on my new gaming podcast “The Arcadium Podcast”