Rant Gaming Round-Up 09/22-09/28

Another busy busy week for me. We moved! Again! And then I had a reading! In LA! With a lot of cool people! Not much time to sleep! Not much time to write! Out of coffee! Gotta keep my fingers moving! Here’s some gaming stuff!

This week’s Not So Old School review wasn’t a review at all. Instead, it was a chin-stroker. That’s what I call an article that makes you stroke your chin and go “Hmm,” which this one definitely does. The topic? Playing with myself. The Problem of Solitaire–A Not So Old School Chin-Stroker.

Part 2 of Dream Lands: A Study in Interactive Dreamscapes is up. If you missed out on part one, you can find it in last week’s Rant Gaming Round-up. This one goes heavy on the JRPGs, so if amnesiac, angsty protagonists with beautiful hair isn’t your style, prepare a barf bag before clicking.

8 Monochrome Games that Make it Cool to be a Panda. Celebrating all things oreo-colored! Go panda!

Go go go! This coming week: more panda stuff (except without the pandas…you’ll get it when you get it), something spooky for October, and the last of the dream series! Awww yeaaaaah!

A Reading And Some Reading

I have two big pieces of news to deliver, and not a whole lot of bandwidth on which to deliver them, having just relocated to a new apartment that is identical to my old apartment from a cleaner, more modern mirror-universe. Therefore, in an effort to respect your time and my own, I will attempt to rein in my usual charms and be succinct, concise, to the point, and avoid redundancy.


Point the First: Seven Archons Press has just released a new anthology, Writings on the Wall, edited by D.G. Sutter and Anthony Laguerre. Writings on the Wall “features twenty gruesome, transgressive tales of loneliness, heartbreak, and self-destruction,” one of which is my gruesome, transgressive short story, “Your Leg Tastes Better.” Better than what? You’ll have to purchase and read the anthology to find out. I’ll give you a hint: it’s definitely not Hot Pockets.

The book is available on Amazon, via this link, and on the Createspace store. There are also a few ways to score a copy on the cheap. One is by nudging me–I might be able to pick one up for you at slightly below the sticker price. Of course, you’ll need to convince me that it’s worth my while. I am, after all, officially “edgy” now. In addition, the book’s editors have mentioned that they might be willing to send out free e-book copies to anybody who writes it up on a personal blog and drop an Amazon review. If you like writing about Hot Pockets and paraphilia, it should be a piece of cake for you.

Did I just say Hot Pockets? Of course I didn’t. Neither did I mention cake. Look, I’m not going to tell you what the leg tastes better than, so just read the damn story. Unless you’re chicken.

No, “chicken” is not the answer.


Point the Second: This date has snuck up on me, but I’ll be doing a reading for Insert Blanc Press, the LA-based small press for which I am interning, TONIGHT. That’s 09/27/2012, folks. Put it on your calendars, then grab your car keys and get out the door, because this reading is going to be a real barn-stormer. Featuring Vanessa Place, Teresa Carmody, Kate Durbin, Harold Abramowitz, Janice Lee, and many more, including my beautiful self, I can confidently assure you that it is going to RAWK. The location is The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA, and the time is 8pm sharpish. If you want the full deets on the reading, such as address and such, you can find it at the press’s website.

Oh, and ‘cuz I’m such a groovy guy, I’ll copypasta that shiz for you right here and now. No clicking required!


Insert Blanc Press at The Last Bookstore
Thursday, September 27 from 8 – 10 p.m.
453 S. Spring St., Downtown Los Angeles

Please join Insert Blanc Press at the Last Bookstore in downtown LA for a September celebration of all things new and forthcoming on the press. The night will include readings and performances from the wide and vibrant variety of Authors, Artists, Printers, Designers, Editors, Interns and Friends of Insert Blanc Press including: Harold Abramowitz, Byron Alexander Campbell, Teresa Carmody, Kate Durbin, Janice Lee, Joseph Mosconi, Vanessa Place, Christopher Russell, & Ben White. The evening will also possibly include the performance of an auction that will actually really be a real auction! This event is free and open to the public, yet a $10 donation to the press for such an evening of wild wonder and beyonsense is much appreciated. Insert Blanc Press will happily introduce the Rabble series and the new Knock-Out Editions with titles such as Stingray Clapping by Andrew Choate as well as new issues of PARROT and and number of titles forthcoming on the press and just generally celebrating all the Authors, Artists, Printers, Designers, Editors, Interns and Friends of Insert Blanc Press. And Yes, that means you too! Have a glass of champagne with us because we will be celebrating all of us together and you. Yes, you!


I will see you there. Yes, you!

Rant Gaming Round-Up 9/15-9/22

This past week on Rant Gaming (the internet’s hottest hub for gaming news, reviews, rants & blather) was a time for celebration, exploration, excavation, and exsanguination. It was a week of Badlands, Dream Lands, and Bad Dudes. It was the week that I saw a giraffe punting traffic across a virtual rendition of New York City. It was the week that I learned about Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid Twitter app (with camouflage tweeting and stealth type mode). Most of all, it was the week that I learned that there’s something even better than combustion sniper rifles: explosive sniper rifles. It was quite a journey. Unfortunately, I’m preparing for an even bigger journey next week–a record-shattering 100-yard relocation–so I didn’t actually get a chance to write about all of that stuff, until now. However, I did manage to squeeze out a respectable three articles.

I kicked off the week in signature style with my second Not So Old School review. Not So Old School is my weekly rant on the kinds of games that don’t require a memory card, an internet connection, or platinum-plated A/V cables to enjoy. This week’s helping of card gaming goodness was Cutthroat Caverns: A Not So Old School review. Kill stealing? No. Kill helping.

Next, I whetted your appetites for the release of Borderlands 2on Tuesday with a breakdown of some of the things that I, a virgin Borderlands player, learned during my first 10 hours of Borderlands numero uno. Most importantly, I learned that Borderlands isn’t anything but Borderlands (except when it’s Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot). Find out more in My First Steps On Pandora: A Borderlands Retrospective.

My final offering of the week was of a more <monocle>serious, intellectual nature</monocle>. In fact, it extends the research I began in my undergraduate Honor’s thesis. Dream Lands: A Study of Interactive Dreamscapes kicked off with six of the wildest psychological landscapes in gaming, with the next six coming this Monday.

What can you expect from Rant Gaming in the coming week? There’ll definitely be another Not So Old School feature, and I’ve got something special planned for this one. Dream Lands will continue with entries #12-7 of the list. Maybe I’ll finally get around to writing about that Twitter thing. Beyond that, you’ll just have to wait and see where the journey takes you.

Rant Gaming Roundup 9/8-9/14

Ah…the end of another wild week in the wacky, wiry world of gaming. Nintendo’s Reggie “Reginald” Fils-Aime radiated fabulousness long enough to announce a release date and a price point for the Wii U (hint–somebody’s birthday’s coming up, and it’s on December 25th). I published the inaugural review for my new board game weekly feature on Rant Gaming, Not So Old School. And I became briefly, repeatedly hypnotized. Oh, I also got a special package in the mail, but that’s not strictly game-related. What else could go wrong?

First up: What did I just watch? Why I’m still mesmerized by the Super Hexagon trailer, even after the game’s been released.

What do steeplechasing, galactic conquest, mythological creatures, and Pokemon all have in common? Colossal Arena: A Not So Old School review. Inaugurating my weekly rant on board and card games for the video game crowd. Now with 100% more Reiner Knizia!

Watching the Nintendo’s Wii U preview event on Thursday, it came to me: Wii U’s TVii service is just not for Mii. If you haven’t heard about this yet, you have to read the article–especially if you aren’t normally a gamer. This will revolutionize the way you watch television…in the same way Twitter revolutionized the way you ate sandwiches.

Is Wii U’s launch lineup really the greatest in Nintendo’s history? I did some sleuthing–i.e. clicked around on Wikipedia–and came up with this collection of facts. The results may startle you.

Next week is going to be even wilder, woolier, and…wombattier? Walrus. What? I’ve got some big articles lined up, including the next Not So Old School review, my first steps in Pandora, and a trip to Dream Land. It’ll all be hitting you in less than a week, so don’t go anywhere! Especially not to jobs and other important social contracts. Ciao bella!

What’s a kurungabaa?

Words words words.

Some more words.

Some final words.

Rant Gaming Roundup 9/1-9/7

Here’s my latest and greatest from Rant Gaming, in case you missed it the first time. It looks like it was a busy week for me…hope you brought your reading glasses!

First, if you haven’t seen it yet, this Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes trailer from PAX Prime is guaranteed to make you wet. Because there is a lot of rain in it. Also a man made out of beef jerky wearing a pimp hat. It’s Metal Gearrrrrrrreat!

Next up, I put my detective hat on and try to figure out the age-old question: what are we supposed to do with all those old board games in the garage? Why, turn them into new board games, of course! Find out how in Fixing Clue: A Beginner’s Guide To Remixing Board Games.

Also out of PAX Prime, I weigh in with my thoughts on the Unfinished Swan story trailer. My conclusion? It might just be me, but it looks a little…sketchy.

Thanks to Ill Gotten Games and their print-from-home miniatures game Pocket-Tactics, you might finally have an excuse to buy a 3D printer. Is this the first home console for board games?

What does cognitive psychology have to do with difficulty, satisfaction, and immersion in video games? I explain all in Object Permanence: Dumbing Down Dark Souls?

Finally, my response to Namco’s response to Miyazaki’s response to Metro’s question about Dark Souls’ difficulty.

Stay tuned for more gaming news, reviews, and rants next week!