All Posts In » 2011 » October

  • 31Oct

    Geeky Pumpkin Carving

    For years, when my kids were small, we lived in a third floor apartment, so we did pretty much no Halloween decorating. We didn’t even hand out candy, because who would walk up all those stairs just on the off chance someone was handing out goodies? One year, I went to a pumpkin-carving party, which was a blast, but then I had to go put the pumpkin on my parents’ porch so that it wasn’t totally wasted. The problem with that was that I didn’t get to see my own creation very much. This turned me off of pumpkin carving for a long time. All that work, and I didn’t even get to enjoy it! Even though I have lived in a house for 3 years now, I haven’t tried it again. Until now. First, I had to go out and find the best patterns. It was easy to find

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  • 31Oct

    Seventeen percent of children ages 5-8 play games everyday

    Common Sense Media’s recently-published “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America” study notes that small children are playing games in droves. Seventeen percent of children between the ages of 5 and 8 play games everyday, while a much larger number — 81 percent — have played games during their lifetimes. Of course, narrow that down to the whole study’s focus, and 51 percent have played a video game at all. Still a sizable amount. Sixty-seven percent of children included in the study have a console at home, with 24 percent having their own handheld and 29 percent with some other “educational gaming device.” Boys’ and girls’ habits differed, as well, with more boys having played console video games (56 percent versus 46 percent, though that is likely not a statistically significant difference), having a video game device in their room and playing games every day.

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  • 29Oct

    New York Comic Con: Final Fantasy XIII-2 Preview

    Square-Enix’s Word to your Moogle Tour ended at New York Comic Con this weekend, and I was lucky enough to be in attendance to try out the sequel to 2009′s Final Fantasy XIII. The playable demo available–the same one gamers first saw at E3, is apparently a dated version of the final product we can expect on January 31st. XIII-2 hopes to flesh out the story of the original game, while addressing issues players had with it’s predecessor. The game opens with Serah, Lightning’s younger sister and our new protagonist, Noel battling a monstrous Titan named Atlas. After an intense, but brief bout with him, which utilizes the Paradigm system again, the party winds up in a city, inhabited with quite a few townsfolk and NPCs. One of my personal largest complaints with XIII was the lack of city exploration that gives the game a more humanistic feel, so it

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  • 28Oct

    Weekly Roundup: BlizzCon 2011 Edition

    It’s the BlizzCon 2011 show! We welcome special guest Steph for talk on all things Blizzard, What They Play’s surprising demise and PlayStation Vita’s “First Edition.” And, as always, we go over what we’ve been playing as well as the usual banter. Download the file here! Please leave us positive feedback on iTunes! You can also leave us a voicemail at (209) 874-6555, and email us at weeklyroundup@gamingangels.com.

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  • 28Oct

    Nintendo’s adding more features to their eShop

    Nintendo hears you, 3DS users! Or at least they hear some of what you’ve got to say. The 3DS’ eShop is changing to make it better to use. First off, developers will be able to add content to their games after its launch. That means updates, bugfixes or whatever else a company wants to add. Demos will also be added to the eShop, and each will have a certain number of plays available. Other improvements are being added — specifically, the ability to download software in sleep mode. Nintendo is also adding the ability to purchase items via PCs and smartphones. At the very beginning of this process, you’ll have to take a photo of a QR code with your 3DS, but eventually, you’ll be able to complete the purchase without using your 3DS at all. What other improvements would you like to see? (Aside from more games. They might

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  • 28Oct

    Hey, now we really are all ‘Michael’

    So, back when the folks over at PlayStation debuted their “To Michael” ad, the one thing I really, really wanted was a women’s version. Or a person of color’s version. Or any version other than “Michael,” really. And now, we get that. Well, we all get that. If you want to see your own version, all you have to do is…well, give PlayStation access to your Facebook account with Kevin Butler’s “Hall of Play.” Install the app, agree to some terms and conditions, say an oath, and you’re in. Apparently they’ll be choosing some gamers to honor more officially starting on October 31, going through to Thanksgiving. To see what your version of the ad would be like, check out the app here. (Don’t be alarmed if your name’s not in there, though. Though there are some fairly simple names that are somehow missing…)

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  • 28Oct

    Facebook’s most popular dog gets a book deal

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Boo fan. I’ve liked him on Facebook for at least a year now. The updates of adorable pictures from the cutest dog on Facebook makes me smile after a rough day. The pictures of Boo are so popular that Chronicle Books published “Boo the life of the world’s cutest dog”. His owner J.H. Lee puts a voice to Boo while the pictures show Boo “lounging around, playing with friends, exploring the whole wide world, and making those famous puppy-dog eyes.” The preview is adorable and there are desktop wallpapers available to download on the official site.

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  • 28Oct

    What Are Your Halloween Costume Plans?

    I am somewhat ambivalent about Halloween costumes for the adult. On the one hand, why do kids get to have all of the fun? On the other hand, costumes are expensive, and I have desire to subvert my childhood memories with the likes of sexy bumblebee costumes. Not that there is anything wrong with sexy costumes for an adult if that is what you want to do; I just hate that is largely the only option for pre-made costumes.I really admire people who are clever enough to create their own costumes, and I have always wanted to do that myself, but I am not very good with the ideas. Luckily, I have the internet to help me out. First, I found the awesome Take Back Halloween!, which bills itself as a costume guide for women with imagination. They have some amazing costumes, with categories like Glamour Grrls, Goddesses and legends, Notable

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  • 28Oct

    Review – PayDay: The Heist

    Rating: M (Mature 17+: Intense Violence) Genre: Shooter Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment Developer: Overkill Software Release Date: October 18, 2011 TRY PayDay: The Heist has been highly anticipated since its announcement, as it allows for co-operative shooter gameplay without the zombies AND it’s on the PlayStation 3. As you can probably gather from the title art to the left, PayDay is all about committing heinous robberies and stealing ginormous sums of cash. A couple of missions vary from this boilerplate, but the overall gameplay is about the same. You can do so either alone with three AI bots or with friends, much like Left 4 Dead. Also like Left 4 Dead, it’s really not that fun to play alone or even with strangers over the PSN. You need friends to go a-heisting. PayDay pits you in some crazy plot devices for your acts of thievery, many of which seem like they’d be better suited in an episode of

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  • 28Oct

    The Female Body in Geek Culture

    Wednesday, October 19, was Love Your Body Day. I wrote about it on my personal blog, but then I got to thinking about the female body in geek culture. Geek culture is traditionally a boys’ club–some would even say, an adolescent boys’ club, in tone, if not in actual age of geeks. Over at Web Urbanist, they describe the mindset this way in their description of themes in retro SF book covers: Teenage boys were one of the main demographics that read pulp science fiction, and the cover art reflects that. A large majority of the covers showcase a gorgeous woman being saved from certain death. How thankful she’ll be when the alien is defeated! Gaming draws from this same geeky subculture, and if anything, gamers are much more willing to voice the opinion that girls just aren’t capable of keeping up. Just this past summer, we covered the powersgaming.com

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