Aldershot

Check out Aldershot on his YouTube Channel.

The Luckiest T-Shirt

Check out our own Dan Morton and his Magic: the Gathering Podcast.

JermEx Machina

Drop by and see Jermex on his YouTube Channel.

MichaelBtheGameGenie

Go See MichaelBtheGameGenie on YouTube.

The Legend of Digital Zelda

Link chases Ganon through the digital world to rescue princess Zelda. Yes, this seems to be a blatant advertisement for apple products, but its still a lot of fun to watch!

The Battle Rainbow Rockman!

Did you know Megaman was originally going to be called "The Battle Rainbow Rockman"? Learn about this and other obscure Megaman facts in this video:

The Science of Gaming: Is Your Avatar's Height Holding You Back?

This is the first instalment of "The Science of Gaming", a series that will amaze and enlighten you all with scientific studies on the topic of gaming. Warning, this article contains educational content!

According to one scientific study your avatar's height and attractiveness may be linked to success in World of Warcraft. The study by Yee and Bailenson (2007) explores a concept called the Proteus effect. The Proteus effect, named after the shapeshifting Greek god, is the idea that when we use an avatar our behaviour changes to match our avatar.

The Proteus effect is based on self-perception theory, which states that we infer our attitudes from our appearance and behaviour. This may seem counterintuitive, as it seems out attitudes should guide our actions. However, this is backed up by scientific evidence. For example, people view sports teams that wear black uniforms as being more aggressive. When people are themselves asked to wear black uniforms and play a game they will behave more aggressively. The theory is that they look at themselves wearing the black uniform and say, I must be aggressive. They behave more aggressively as a result. The Proteus effect takes this idea but applies it to an avatar in a virtual space. In other words, our avatar is like a uniform that we wear.

The researchers looked at how the appearance of a player's avatar in World of Warcraft related to player success. In general, attractiveness and height are associated with a more outgoing personality. Would playing a taller, more attractive avatar cause a person to play the game in a more outgoing fasion? The results suggest that this may be the case. The researchers found that on average, taller and more attractive avatars tended to be associated with higher character levels than shorter avatars. However, this was not the case for shorter characters such as gnomes and dwarfs. Attractiveness was associated with lower levels on average when an avatar was short. The researchers theorized that this might be because these characters are viewed as being more cute and childlike, rather than more competent.

As you may have guessed there are a few problems with assuming that this effect is totally due to the Proteus effect. One explanation is that people chose avatars based on their own personality. In other words people that are more likely to reach higher levels also prefer taller more attractive characters. A second possibility is that other people will behave more positively toward someone with a tall, attractive avatar. These players might form more positive relationships with other players and gain support from this. As a result they reach a higher level. It is also possible that all of these factors may be contributing to the results observed.

So in the end, what can we say? If you want to do well in World of Warcraft you might be better off picking a tall, attractive avatar. Also, if you want to be short, it's probably better to be ugly, maybe go for a goblin instead of a gnome. It may seem rather superficial and unfair, but I guess World of Warcraft isn't so different from real life is it?

Cheap @#$ Gaming #3

Hey All, it has been a while since I put together one of these posts, which highlight a couple different things to help out the cheap/budget gamer.

The first thing I wanted to show you is a narrative RPG introduced to me by Jason King (Vicaroth on these forums). Anyone who knows Jason has heard of Lady Blackbird.

When I first met him a few weeks back, we sat and played this wonderful game at Coffee & Company. Though I was shy and not quite out of my shell, it was very fun.

Below is a photo of your ship, as well as a copy of the Synopsis which can be found on the Lady Blackbird Site.
Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world of Ilysium to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover: the pirate king Uriah Flint.

HOWEVER, just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, The Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag.

EVEN NOW, Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig, while the Imperial commander runs the smuggler ship’s registry over the wireless. It’s only a matter of time before they discover the outstanding warrants and learn that The Owl is owned by none other than the infamous outcast, Cyrus Vance.

How will Lady Blackbird and the others escape the Hand of Sorrow?

What dangers lie in their path?

Will they be able to find the secret lair of the pirate king? if they do, will Uriah Flint accept Lady Blackbird as his bride? By the time they get there, will she want him to?

Go. Play. And find out.

Now something we haven't updated about in a while is videogames. The following game, FORCED, is a kickstarter project by BetaDwarf, which is described as Diablo meets Left 4 Dead - Indie style! The game will be available for the Pc, Mac, Linux, Xbox360, PS3, and is DRM free.



I would suggest checking out their kickstarter here and backing the project if it is something you would be interested in.

Wreck-It Ralph Flash Game

I'm sure many of you have heard of the movie Wreck-It Ralph, but did you know Disney made an actual game based on the fictional game in the movie? The game is Fix-It Felix Jr., with Wreck-It Ralph as the bad guy, and its actually a decent game. Basically, you just move up the tower fixing windows while Wreck-It Ralph throws objects at you. 

You can definitely see that they are parodying the old Donkey Kong arcade game with this one. You have a large ape/ape-like man that destroys buildings, and a carpenter (which Mario was in Donkey Kong) trying to scale the building toward the villain. Not to say the gameplay is identical, but you can definitely see the influence conceptually. 

play the game here.

Find the right online game for you!

Here is a little thing I wanted to share from play-free-online-games.com. I do think some of the options may be a little controversial, but it is a place to start when trying to find your next game.

Humans vs Zombies NL: The Zombie Apocalypse Approaches

To many the word “gamer” conjures up images of people sitting around a table or in front of a tv/computer screen. However, there is another type of gaming that is often forgotten: live-action gaming. Live-action games have players actually act out the actions of their characters. Humans vs Zombies (HvZ) is one example of a live-action roleplaying game, and one that is highly athletic.

The game was invented by two students, Chris Weed and Brad Sappington, at Goucher College in 2005, and was played mainly on campus. With the rise of Facebook, the game spread virally across the internet. In 2011 the infection reached Newfoundland when a MUN student name Ryan Dillon decided to plan his own event on Facebook. Initially, the event was meant to be private but was accidentally made public. The response was overwhelming, with at least 60 people attending the event. With this first event, HvZ NL was born. Although Ryan has since moved on, the group is now run by a dedicated group of committee members. This committee has done a great job of adding their own creative touches to the game.

The rules of HvZ are very similar to tag and should be easy for anyone to learn. I should note that the game rules do vary depending on who is running the game, and that I will be describing the rules used by HvZ NL. To play the game all you need is a foam dart blaster (commonly called Nerf blasters, and must be brightly colored), a bandanna, and “hatred for zombies”. Most players will start the game as a human, with one player being chosen to be the zombie (marked by wearing a bandanna). However, there will soon be many zombies, since when the zombie tags a human they become a zombie. This player must turn in their blaster and wear a bandanna to indicate they are now a zombie. So what chance do the humans have? Well they are still armed with their trusty blasters. Unfortunately, these zombies are not only fast, they are tough. When hit by a foam dart the zombies will go down on one knee for 50 seconds, but then they are back in the game. The odds are against the humans, but even if you do get captured you aren't out of the game. Now you get to be a zombie and chase down more humans. Once most people have been turned into zombies the game ends.

Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Well the HvZ NL committee members have come up with a few twists to keep things interesting. One of those is the addition of missions and storylines to the game. In general, these involve non-player-characters (NPCs) characters played by the committee themselves. In one scenario NPCs were pulled from different points in history to combat the zombie menace. In another the humans had to contend with a organized group of NPCs that had access to a zombie cure, but weren't particularly friendly to the humans or zombies. The potential for advancement was also added in the form of rewards for winning teams. For example, the last team surviving humans might win an extra life ribbon to be worn for the next game (would need to be tagged twice). If you like a story, don't worry, HvZ NL has what you crave.

HvZ NL holds their events every second month, with their final event of 2012 planned for the 24th of November. You can get more details on this event on our events page. You can also learn more about the group on their Facebook page or contact them email.
***Important: This event is for ages 16+***

Like Fallout? How about LARPing?

check out this link to a group of LARPers from Russia, who created and roleplayed a game set in the Fallout universe that was 300 people strong.

American Senate Candidate Harassed for Playing World of Warcraft

I read this post a while ago on GeekNative. It is about an American Senate candidate being harassed for playing World of Warcraft. I'm totally anti-prejudice of any kind, especially when its something as simple as a game you happen to play, so this story has been stuck in my mind.

read more about it here.

Vote for Atlanti-Con!


For those of you that aren't familiar with Atlanti-Con, they are non-profit organization that holds science fiction conventions in Atlantic Canada. In fact, they recently held one in Corner Brook. If Atlanti-Con is successful in the the Aviva Community Fund competition they will receive money to help fund their future events.

Go here to vote on Facebook (Click the Aviva Comminity Fund Box. Click Vote Now). If you don't use facebook you can also vote here.

This is a really easy way to support a great organization. I encourage everyone to stop by and vote.

The Video Game Bucket List

Hey All, I just wanted to share this list i just came across over here and it had a lot of things I would agree on with my personal experience.

Please note I copied the list only and all credit goes to the author from the above link.


 There are scenes, achievements, and spectacles that all gamers should experience in their lives. With technology digging back through gaming’s history to ensure titles once lost are resurrected on modern platforms, there are scant excuses left to not go back and appreciate all of the best moments in video games. After all, at some point you’re going to run out of extra lives and continues. Here’s our video game bucket list: 101 things you absolutely should do in gaming before you die.

1. Jump off the Agency Tower in Crackdown, but make sure you land in the water.
2. Execute a Fatality in a Mortal Kombat game. For a bonus, make it Liu Kang’s Dragon one.
3. Collect all 7 chaos emeralds in Sonic 2, activate Super Sonic and kick some ass.
4. In Fallout 3, step out into the Capitol Wasteland for the first time. Bring sunglasses.
5. Get to Area 5 in Rez, sit back, and prepare to have your mind blown.
6. Get to World 1 in Braid, and prepare to have whatever’s left of your mind blown.
7. Perform the Rainbow Road shortcut in Mario Kart 64, preferably against a noob.
8. Get a M-M-M-M-M-MONSTER KILL in Unreal Tournament.
9. Pucker up and go over the rainbow in Bully: Scholarship Edition.
10. Think pleasant thoughts as you serenely drift through Flower.
11. Play the ‘Stars game’ in Grand Theft Auto III. If you get 6 stars, declare yourself king.
12. Trash a car in Street Fighter II, and I mean really trash it.
13. Play Desert Bus, and maybe turn your marathon drive into a charity event.
14. Dig feet into the ground and ready chainsaw guns in Gears of War 2’s Horde mode.
15. Don the mighty Nintendo Power Glove – but please, not like this.
16. Watch yourself through the portal you’re jumping through in Portal – confused?
17. Trap your Sim inside a room with no toilet in The Sims, and revel in your evil.
18. Take in the view from the roof of the Shangri La Hotel in Uncharted 2. Then go for a dip.
19. Get 120 stars and meet Yoshi in Super Mario 64.
20. Choose between Tifa and Aeris in Final Fantasy VII – don’t get too attached.
21. Keep up with Through the Fire and Flames on Guitar Hero 3. Don’t try too hard, though.
22. Get to Dr Wily’s Castle in Mega Man 2 and enjoy the best piece of 8-bit music ever.
23. No-scope snipe someone in Halo, then brag relentlessly about it.
24. Fling yourself down the hill and over the trams to make some crazy money in Crazy Taxi.
25. Get the good ending in Bubble Bobble, and bask in your own glory.
26. While you’re at it, get to the sixth world in Rainbow Islands and bask in Arkanoid’s glory.
27. Play a ‘Jesus shot’ in PGA Tour ’08. If you’re lucky, you might get noticed.
28. Descend upon the eerie beauty of Rapture in BioShock’s opening moments.
29. Hold a boozy Wii Sports Resort party. Just make sure you let your boss win.
30. Get your ass whooped by Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out on the NES.
31. Make a Pac-Baby in Ms. Pac-Man. Beware, cartoon adventures may ensue.
32. Play as Oddjob in a round of License to Kill with pistols only in Goldeneye: 007.
33. Offend your sensibilities with GTA III: San Andreas’ infamous Hot Coffee mod.
34. Ditch your party and make a reckless lone run for the chopper and freedom in Left 4 Dead.
35. Do the same in World of Warcraft as your party lines up a boss, screaming “LEEROY JENKINS!”
36. Stick to your guns and reject the G-man’s offer at the end of Half-Life.
37. Then go G-man spotting in Half-Life 2 – he gets around, that G-man.
38. Find out what Snake’s codec intel is on the whole cast of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
39. Take down a colossus in Shadow of the Colossus – and breathe.
40. Let Psycho Mantis read your mind and shake your world in Metal Gear Solid.
41. Play Animal Crossing on your birthday. For bonus points, see in the new year with it.
42. Keep your head on your shoulders through the village assault in Resident Evil 4.
43. Light-gun the galaxy to safety, one terribly acted scene at a time in Space Pirates.
44. Play a 10 vs 10 online game of FIFA 10 and score a last-minute winner.
45. Find and shoot John Romero’s head on a stick in Doom II. Make him scream.
46. Take out a line of utterly hapless victims with Quake III’s railgun.
47. Clear 4 rows with a vertical block in Tetris while listening to this music.
48. Head to the arcade for some Dance Dance Revolution, and play it like you mean it.
49. While you’re there, take on Daytona USA with seven other players.
50. Rescue the late, great Space Michael in Space Channel 5.
51. Snowboard your way down from the top of Peak 3 to the bottom of Peak 1 in SSX 3.
52. Games can do whatever movies can; complete the Death Star trench run in Rogue Squadron II.
53. Take a trip to Monkey Island to engage in some good ol’-fashioned insult swordfighting.
54. Think you’ve lost your grip on sanity in the midst of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.
55. Switch between the dark and light worlds for the first time in Zelda: A Link to the Past.
56. Enter the inverted castle in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
57. Experience nuclear devastation up close in Call of Duty 4’s standout moment.
58. Use Midnight Bliss against Street Fighter characters in Capcom Fighting Evolution.
59. Don your cheerleader’s uniform and take on Ouendan’s Ready Steady Go in Insane Mode.
60. Stretch those arms and make that final leap of faith in Ico’s closing stages.
61. Hold back the tears as Tidus and Yuna have their first kiss in Final Fantasy X.
62. Master how to trap your cornered friends in a 10-player game of Saturn Bomberman.
63. Run like crazy to escape from Zebes and then take in Metroid’s final revelation.
64. Build up your metropolis in SimCity 2000, then lay waste to it with a firestorm.
65. Get told how disgustingly fat you are by something you paid money for, thanks to Wii Fit.
66. Get the ‘dog ending’ in Silent Hill 2, and wonder what the hell just happened.
67. If you fancy something a bit more disturbing, make a date with destiny in F.E.A.R. 2
68. Spend an inordinate amount of money so that you can play all five SEGA CD 32X games.
69. Create a LittleBigPlanet level that’s a love letter to your favorite game.
70. Finally finish the fight for Master Chief in Halo 3 – is it really the end?
71. Speaking of great endings, take down Zeus in the name of Sparta in God of War 2.
72. Cross paths with yourself in your second play-through of Resident Evil 2.
73. Beat Contra on the NES without using the Konami code.
74. Complete Turtles in Time in under an extremely radical time of 23 minutes.
75. Mourn your fallen men as you view their graves in Cannon Fodder.
76. Make love to an alien in Mass Effect and see if you end up on the news.
77. Swarm your opponent’s hospital with vomiting patients in Theme Hospital’s multiplayer.
78. Take on the Chicago Bulls with Bill and Hilary Clinton (in happier times) in NBA Jam.
79. Get all your bandmates together to play Portal’s Still Alive in Rock Band 2.
80. Take on Wipeout HD’s Zone Mode to the backdrop of DJ Fresh’s X-Project.
81. Go all fuzzy when you press the cuddle button in A Boy and His Blob on the Wii.
82. Compose your favorite piece of gaming music in Mario Paint – or least part of it.
83. Take to the skies in Call of Duty 4 and deal out some death from above.
84. While you’re up there, hop on a gryphon and take in World of Warcraft’s Azeroth.
85. Purchase a Virtual Boy and play the only good game on the system, Wario Land.
86. Execute an utterly satisfying, literal backstabbing in Counter-Strike.
87, See the sun burst out of the gap between the trees in Gran Turismo 3’s Trial Mountain.
88. Successfully dock your Cobra MK II at a space station in Elite.
89. Score a goal from the kick-off in Kick-Off! – because it just has to be done.
90. Get your fission mailed to you first-class in Metal Gear Solid 2.
91. Use a Master Ball on Mewtwo to catch all 151 of the original Pokémon.
92. Find 4 GBAs, 3 Game Link Cables, and 4 Game Paks of Four Swords – multiplayer Zelda!
93. Microwave a hamster in Maniac Mansion – and only in Maniac Mansion.
94. Roll your first school kid in Katamari Damacy – and only in Katamari Damacy.
95. Whisper sweet nothings to a Merc before offing him in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.
96. Convince the inhabitants of Oblivion’s Border Watch that it’s Judgement Day – woof!
97. Visit Minus World in Super Mario Bros. Keep playing the level until you complete it.
98. Get your amorous girlfriend from New York to Los Angeles in Turbo Outrun.
99. Die repeatedly as you try to rescue the scantily-clad Princess Daphne in Dragon’s Lair.
100. Celebrate Xmas the right way with 25 nights of Xmas NiGHTS, like this guy did.
101. And finally, swim with the dolphins… in Endless Ocean – bit less pricey than the real thing.

News: Steam for Linux Beta Released

"The Valve Linux team is proud to announce the launch of a limited access beta for its new Steam for Linux client.
The Steam for Linux Beta client supports the free-to-play game Team Fortress 2. Approximately two dozen additional Steam titles are now also available for play on Ubuntu.
Additionally, the Steam for Linux Beta client includes Big Picture, the mode of Steam designed for use with a TV and controller, also currently in beta."

Download here (read notes below before running)

Notes (using Linux Mint Maya (MATE Edition))
*You will get a message saying it is a closed beta if you try to run the program normally. Type this into the terminal to run: steam steam://open/games
*Clicking "Big Picture" may cause the program to become unresponsive
*You can't actually download the Team Fortress 2. From what I have read this is because you need a legitimate beta account. (Edit: Turns out you can't play any Valve games using the hack above)

Games that Give Back

“We're not good people, we just do good things,” the words of David Maher, one of three Goodwill Gaming members who NL Gamer had the privilege to interview last Wednesday. At its core, the statement gets down to what makes the non-profit organization so inspiring and so radical. Whether or not David, Jeff Smyth, John Michael Bennett, or any of GG's many other dedicated volunteers consider themselves good people, what they do represent are ordinary people who do amazing things.

For those who've never encountered the organization before (of which I was one), Goodwill Gaming is an officially recognized non-profit organization that raises money for children in need. They were founded in 2010 by John Michael Bennett, Donald Reid and Scott Whelan, who saw an opportunity to turn their passion for gaming into something practical, useful and moving. Since its founding, the organization has managed to raise thousands of dollars to support community efforts and underprivileged kids, has been interviewed by the CBC, and now looks to the future to expand what has already been an ambitious and work-heavy project.

All this and more you can find out on their own website at http://www.goodwillgaming.org , which includes a more detailed history of the organization, as well as volunteer bios and additional information about specific events.

Most intriguing to me was their mission statement of clearing the name 'gamer', which tends to evoke images of lazy slobs and insular homebodies in the minds of the general public. Increasingly the media harps on the ill effects of gaming (and video gaming in particular); its abuse; and its creation of obsessiveness, and perpetual bachelorhood in its defenders. To counter that, GG wanted to show Newfoundland that gamers could give back, that one's gaming talents could be helpful, and that gaming does have the power to create a sense of community and inclusiveness that has long been ignored. If you've spent any amount of time chatting with the staff at NL Gamer, you'll probably recognize some similarities in our desire to achieve that same sense of community.

How does it all work? According to John, Jeff, and David, friendship has been key in keeping the organization functional. Not only does a good relationship with each other help diffuse potential conflicts, but it also allows the team a detailed knowledge of each other's gaming specialities, as well as which tasks suit which team members best. Even better, the pool of friends is growing, as it isn't very hard to find new volunteers. It would seem, given the organization's success, that it's not just a small percentage of gamers who'd like to show the world we aren't the stereotypes they think us. Indeed, GG has even drawn national and international attention, with shout-outs on Montréal radio, and gamers visiting their forums all the way from Sweden and Australia.

The road wasn't all peaches and cream, with a few early naysayers and occasional technical issues that needed to be worked out on the fly, but the team was quick to express thanks at the enormous generosity and support they've received from family and friends since the beginning, as well as the attitude changes that took place once their detractors realized their crazy scheme was actually doing something. David glibly jokes that his mom still asks pointed, practical questions: “You're going to be able to put this on your resumé though, right? But you're getting a real job, right?”, but overall there has been an outpouring of understanding and enthusiasm.

Of course, when dealing with gaming marathons, tiredness is another problem that comes up (GG's record for staying up the longest goes to Sarah Boyd, who clocked in a whopping forty-five hours of game-time!). Not only are efforts on the job exhausting, but there's a lot of preparation that goes into GG's marathons, including playing hours of one's chosen game to make sure one can see it through to the end. For the members of GG, there is such thing as a “work-game” and a “game-game.”


Though the team would ultimately like to expand their efforts, they're realistic about taking it slowly and don't want to overextend themselves. Right now, GG is focused on gaining an office, as well as being able to offer paid positions. Relatively new is their involvement in helping kids from lower-income families afford self-improvement classes and activities, such as dance and baseball. This latest endeavour is called the R.E.A.L. Program, and seeks to support families in need by providing hobbies and entertainment for their children. If any organization sees the value in hobbies and the good they can do, it's GG, whose members' faces light up every time they discuss the results of what their doing, as well as the life-changing effects it can have on the children they're there to help.

If you'd like to take part in GG's events but are worried about fitting in, or your skill level at certain games, the team stressed they have a policy of openness and inclusiveness. All skill levels are welcome; and friendly, unscheduled tournaments often spring up alongside planned ones. Additionally, though their focus tends to be on console gaming, popular card games and boardgames have also found homes at GG events, with low-pressure Magic games taking place at their last marathon.

The next planned event is a game carnival scheduled for November 9th. The entry fee is $5, and proceeds go towards buying new equipment and other maintenance costs. Prizes will be awarded for tournaments, and GG promises that the experience will be “ten hours of fun!”. For more about the event, check out: http://www.goodwillgaming.org/event-listings.html