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 First Casualty is Also Last Laugh



War games are notoriously one-sided as a general rule, and couple their themes with gameplay that usually boil down to slaughtering mass amounts of your foes, they’d be the last place I’d go to for a nuanced look. Yet a great place to start for my first post here!


With that in mind, I just noticed an upcoming release for PC on Steam just this morning and as both a gamer and a former-historian, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write a bit about it. Simply put, Air Conflicts: Vietnam boasts one of the most incredible store pages I’ve ever seen.  


“Fight for freedom!” calls the video, though the freedom they speak of doesn’t appear to be the freedom from foreign rule that Vietnamese nationalists fought decades for. Maybe they meant it more philosophical, like freedom from the burden of choice. Or perhaps existentially, freedom from this mortal coil.


“As Democracy and Communism collide!” I guess the game makers were not aware that the US directly put a stop to democratic elections in Vietnam because they knew what the outcome would be and didn’t like it. Instead the US championed an unelected regime they installed which adamantly refused to allow a vote based on American insistence. Provincial chiefs were replaced almost entirely with military officers obedient to a man from New Jersey.


“Prepare for mind-blowing flight simulation with exotic landscapes,” that you destroy and leave permanently marred I presume, for that’s what the US did when it dumped chemical weapons on the beautiful landscape of Vietnam and carpet bombed the nation. Speaking of carpet bombing, the video loudly and proudly assures us you will be able to do that.

Beautiful landscapes... for you to destroy!


"The Vietnam War, one of the most explosive and violent wars of all time. You are Joe Thompson, an intrepid and patriotic pilot fighting to uphold the values of his country.” What a line! And what values! No, what values? Keep in mind the US was not in Vietnam to champion democracy, they did everything in their power to prevent democracy. The full weight of the worlds richest and most powerful state was brought to bear upon some Asian peasants to make sure a democratic outcome was not achieved.


Perhaps freedom from colonial rule like the US did in their own War of Independence? No to that too, as the US forced pre-Communist China to hand back over the country to France, whom it then supplied over 80% of the funding to fight the Vietnamese nationalists. That was all before the US stepped in to install its own unelected colonial regime, led by a Catholic out of Jersey to rule over a Buddhist nation.

Uh no, not quite.

You wouldn’t know this from the developers it seems, as their own page declares that the US “decide[s] to support South Vietnam in the fight against the communistic Vietcong troops.” Fair enough on second thought, the US would choose to support it's own puppet regime, right?


I’ve begun to wonder if the whole thing is a joke. Or a bait and switch, and maybe when the game comes out it’ll pull a trick on us all and manage to show a view of history that’s not completely deluded. Maybe the developers will have a bit of a laugh at us come launch day. As of right now the promotional material has set this game up to make all the first-person shooters out there to look incredibly deep and balanced by comparison.


It’s not out for another two weeks so there’s few answers for me to give, yet the promotional material for the game alone is awe inspiring, in the same way an avalanche is: From a distance.


In the academic field of history, even supposedly professional historians are usually heavily predisposed towards their own countries war narrative, yet the Vietnam war lives on as a controversial one in American history. Even American historians have acknowledged that the fight for independence that started with Ho Chi Minh was first and foremost a nationalist one, and not by any stretch of the imagination a vanguard of world communism.


While at the time, US government analyst, Douglas Pike, studied the “communistic” nationalists and concluded that they were not warriors, but simply organizers first, who were teaching autonomy to the villages that were so long ruled from across the world by European powers.

It’d do the game makers of today well to remember that instead of painting them as typical game fodder.

Campaign to Help a Friend of NLGamer, A Must Read

Dear Friends;
                My name is Christopher Higdon and I am writing to you today in regards to something that I feel most important and something not often discussed. What you don’t know about me is that I am a Step-father, a FiancĂ© and believe it or not I am a Trans Identified Male.  I have decided to take my transition to the next step and I am finally taking the steps to become the man I have always dreamt of becoming. A man that my Daughter can be proud to call “her daddy” and my FiancĂ© call “her Husband”.

                I dream of a day that I could wake and be proud of who I am, a day when I could look in a mirror and appreciate what I see. Many people I know can relate to this feeling of inadequacies but how many of you can look in a mirror and see a different gender, a completely different person then who feel you are.  I know this is incomprehensible to many people as they don’t understand how one can be of a different gender then assigned at birth.

This is why many of us hide who we are, we become burdened with a hatred for our own existence and many of us commit suicide. Some of us have learned how to cope with our feelings and were diagnosed with the medical condition called gender dysphoria. We are able to then receive hormone replacement therapy and have learned ways to present ourselves as the person we feel until such time as we have our gender reassignment surgery.

 One of the ways we are able to present ourselves as whom we feel inside is to bind our chest. In doing this we bind our breast tissue tight against our bodies until we achieve a more male look. For some that is much easier than others.  For some, like me, this is extremely difficult as we have larger chests. The result from binding can cause painful medical issues like: constricting your lungs and labored breathing, breast lumps, and even blisters and scars. These are physically painful and yet the emotional pain from being perceived as the wrong gender than how I feel is a much deeper pain and so I choose to continue to bind night and day.

These are just some of the reasons my chest reconstruction is a necessary life altering surgery and I am asking for all your help to raise the approximately 14,000.00 Canadian dollars necessary to complete my transition.  To raise the funds I have opened an Indiegogo campaign called “Chris’ Campaign” This Campaign goes live to accept funds on October 31st, 2013 a date that is important to me as it is my 6 year birthday as Christopher and 5 years on hormones.  You can preview the campaign on https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/5ef70ef7, and once live if you feel inclined you can contribute here http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chris-campaign.

I am also accepting recyclables at Evergreen locations under account number 709-682-1312. I have perks based on contribution and ask that if you cannot donate that you please share this letter so that my story can reach all sides of the globe. Thank you for your continued support and acceptance.

Christopher Higdon


“I wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try, dreams are made possible when people try.” Terry Fox         

7 Days to Die

Thanks to A friend I was just introduced to 7 Days to Die which is described by the developers as
"an open world, voxel-based, sandbox game that is a unique mash up of First Person Shooter, Survival Horror, Tower Defense and Role Playing Games combining combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth."
I personally want to compare it to a combination of Minecraft and DayZ but I don't feel that does it justice.  Although it is essentially true I know thinking of the game this way will have you greatly underestimating how awesome it really is.

Just last night I sat down with JermEx and we played for a short while and we were both fairly impressed with the game.  Although there are some obvious flaws it plays well and seems fairly complete  for an Alpha 1 release.  So guys I suggest checking it out although some might think the $35 is a bit steep for such a game in alpha the developers have said all future updates will come with this deal and I am sure once you play it you will know it is well worth the money.