Category Archives: Editorials & Opinions

E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

UPDATE:  Watching the Twitch E3 preview with @DJwheat and gang.  In just a few minutes, Microsoft is doing their Day 0 press conference.  There’s a lot of wishing and hoping for Fallout 4 (and a new Gears Of War).  That sounds AWESOME to me but I won’t hold my breath, simply because Bethesda has already shot down that notion and they’ll want to let Elder Scrolls Online marinate a while first.  The next Fallout won’t be for at least another year or two.  What do you guys, think?

In the past week, everyone has been asking me if I am excited about E3.  I don’t know how to answer without sounding like a bitter old man or being a wet towel..  Truth is: I’ve barely given E3 much thought.  Everything I want from gaming is here and now so it was not a big deal to me..  Then, during HorsePLAY! LIVE EP25, TCollins89 asked why E3 is on weekdays. It got me thinking:

E3 is not for the everyday or common gamer.  So what is it really about and does it really matter?

DISCLAIMER:  What you are about to read is an editorial.  This, like anything else on Geeky Antics, is the opinion of me, the author.  I may ruffle some feathers but I am being honest and open here.  Keep an open mind.  I am not trying to belittle anyone.  We can disagree peacefully!

As far as I’m concerned, E3 is a glorified trade show meant to hype up gamers who, somehow, can’t get enough content or want more fuel for the console wars. It is geared towards marketers, suits, developers, and journalists.  Think about this:

How many of the presenters actually PLAY games?  Are they gamers first or marketing/business people first?  I reckon the latter is often the case.

For most, E3 is just an excuse for a change of scenery or time off from work. I would venture to say the only way you are looking forward to E3 is if you want the social experience or are super hardcore about gaming (i.e. you have to play every single major game that is released).  This is wishful thinking but I think I’d care more about console gaming again if the entry points were more appealing, at least for the software itself.

That may sound harsh but I think I have finally converted back to PC for good. There are countless reasons but, for me, it’s simply because all my friends are sharded amongst different games and the PC offers too much bang for your buck to even consider dedicated console gaming. I can’t justify the cost or budget the time for a console right now.  As a family man, it does not help that my kids are growing up and playing games with daddy is no longer cool.  Without the bonding experience, console gaming is ho-hum.  I just don’t have the time or interest to do single-player games.

I love my XBox 360 but, for the first time in around ten years, I have let my XBox LIVE subscription lapse for more than two months. My video game wall of shame beckons yet I do not feel compelled to fire her up. I am satisfied by my options on the PC and I don’t have to worry about the hidden costs or suddenly finding that online support has been shut down.

Granted, I have been mostly playing Hearthstone, League of Legends, and SolForge lately but I have a library of games on the PC that excites me every time I look at it. With my consoles, I have mostly felt depression and regret for the past generation or so. I will eventually get an XBox One to play with friends but I do not feel left out of the water cooler conversations.

Now, I can already hear people saying that E3 is about electronic entertainment (hence the name E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo) as a whole. That is true but it can’t be denied that the expo focuses on the gaming consoles more than anything. With that in mind, consider this fact:

During the transitionary period between console generations, we can’t expect fresh, innovative games. The developers will stick to the console with the greater install base until they figure out how to take advantage of the new framework.

I have nothing against Watch Dogs or Titanfall. I just don’t think they are system sellers for me.  They are the games that are good now because there is nothing else.  Besides, after how Microsoft botched up the original XBox to 360 transition, I think they will play it smart and keep the 360 going for another two to three years.

Glorious PC Master Race - Dirty Console Peasants
[ source: comicvine.com ]
I am no elitist but the future of gaming has been on mobile devices and the PC.. For a while now. $300-500 gets you solid upgrades for your PC and you’re good for a while. With consoles, you have the hidden costs of accessories, DLCs, micro transactions, macro transactions, forced annual releases, preferred server access, season passes, etc. Yeah, I am a smidge jaded and cynical..   But I am also hopeful, especially with so many brilliant small studios and indie developers paving the way (THANK YOU)!

Continue reading E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

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The wonder that is woman

The wonder that is woman

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

 

What is woman?

What does it mean to be a woman in our time? What is her place in the world? What is her situation? What are her problems?

These are the questions which our clumsy and stumbling journey has brought us as we further reflect on the female gamer and geek – here, on the Horseplay podcast and elsewhere. Warning: this is not a flirtation with feminism. Nor is it an introduction to the self-enamors of a boyish circle jerk.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Woman, like Man, is not to be ignored, rejected or exploited – nor should she get an armful of get out of jail cards to play with reckless whim. Woman belongs here just as does Man. She represents a mystery, a wonder and a good which transcends our infantile ambitions to possess and use her for our own (male or female) purposes. When I say, good, I do not mean a commodity, but a boon, a gift and a blessing.
Immaculate Conception
Mary, Mother of Jesus

It does not require great imagination to understand her as a boon, gift and blessing when we consider her as a mother. But motherhood is not the only blessing, she is a treasure as a wife, daughter, sister, saint, hero, etc. – if she pursues her identity with dignity, grace and love.

Thank you

Thank you, women. And thank you who work, who contribute to culture that lifts up the human spirit, and who serve in causes and missions that bring compassion and hope to all of the human family. Thank you, every woman!

Women have contributed to human history as much as men. And in every noble endeavor including science, art, and culture.
Marie Curie
Women have made great sacrifices and faced great challenges just as much as men. Humanity is blessed by the presence, excellence and gift of great women.
Rosa Parks
Sadly, history and popular culture does not admit to enough of the evidence of women’s achievements and contributions – but we are not so ignorant nor of limited imagination to deny the unrecorded evidence of culture, progress and hope to which women have made contribution.
..
Edith Stein
Edith Stein

A woman’s dignity derives from these things and much more. It is a dignity, however, that has often been unappreciated, unacknowledged, and, sadly, much abused.
Queen Rania of Jordan
When the woman rises (as Maya Angelou proclaims in her poem), humanity rises. When the woman rises into a daybreak that is wonderously clear, we rise to it together – men, women and children.
Liu Yang

Folly

There remains obstacles to the full integration of virtuous women within social, political and economic activities. There remains inequalities and prejudices that prevent the woman from being freely herself, a boon, a gift and a blessing. There remains injustice, violence against women, and the abuse of women which are perpetuated by human folly – yours and mine.


This folly ends when we honor the dignity of the woman. It ends when all of us allow ourselves to accept, celebrate and praise her dignity in the individual woman. It ends when the individual woman demonstrates her dignity as a woman and she rejects the vulgar, dehumanizing and savage passions which we must all struggle to reject.

Mother Teresa

Men (and boys) must see women who exemplify what a blessing she is as mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, professional, leader, hero, etc. They must see women of great dignity with their own eyes. Otherwise, the ignorance and folly of men shall continue.

Make it so

If the task seems daunting to women (to be virtuous), the burden upon men must be to search for signs of her dignity, honor her when those signs are demonstrated, and defend her dignity against the savage ambitions and behavior of the stupid.

Even in a game.
Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz


Especially in a game. Because contrary to the anti-social perversions of the infantile and undeveloped gamer, geek or otherwise (of which there are too many), the best games are social activities where we learn and exercise good graces, deepen our relationships with others, and truly enjoy each other.
Angela Gheorghiu
Good women can bring much to a game including sensibility, humanity, coherence, loyalty, organization, communication and, last but not least, community skills.

Let go of the pain and anger

The need to hurt, humiliate, offend and/or dominate others (online or offline) is a symptom of a sickness, a disease and all that pain you now bear up in an undignified and demonic manner.


But do not give up hope. Not on you. Not on us. This is not hell and what is broken can often be mended – especially if the patient is pure of heart.

To think and believe otherwise is to be confused, miserable, broken, and deeply maladjusted.

Or do you believe me to be mistaken? Tell me. Comment below, shout out on Facebook or give me a hat tip on Twitter.

Angela Gheorghiu sings the aria “Vissi d’arte” in Puccini’s opera ‘Tosca’
Stan Faryna
6 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

The HONEST Way To Succeed In Twitch.. And Social Media

This is our legacy (read “old”) site.  Comments have been closed here.  Please leave comments on the new site and get to know #TheGANG, our awesome community of gamers, streamers, podcasters, creatives, and geeks! 

Http://geekyantics.net/blog

ATTN: If you’re applying to join our team, please read this first (DMs are fine BUT we are getting tons of them so be prepared for a wait):

http://geekyantics.net/forums/topic/attn-stream-team-apps-affiliatesponsor-opportunities-other-solicitation/

The #1 article on Google SERPs for “succeeding on Twitch” can now be found at http://geekyantics.net/get-more-viewers-and-followers-on-twitch – thank you all for your wonderful support and encouragement!  We’re glad we can help non-partnered streamers level the playing field and find advice that isn’t your typical canned messaging and tech talk.  There’s far more to streaming on Twitch than overlays, technology, and your games of choice, friends – we’ll continue this series over at GeekyAntics.net, too!

If you love what we have to say, please support our Twitch channels and other projects:

  • GeekyAntics – One of the FIRST channels to establish a podcasting stream team and do gaming talk shows. #TheGANG
  • TheWorstRadioShow – Literally THE worst radio show out there..  And we love them for it! #TheGANG
  • GamingDeath – One of the oldest REAL podcasts on Twitch.  Be sure to check them out as they are well-connected in the gaming industry and a hoot to listen to! #TheGANG
  • Yogizilla – People say I’m like Man Vs. Game but more engaging and better at the newb/scrub plays.  I’ve also been told I am one of the friendliest, most authentic streamers around..  That means A LOT to me! #TheGANG
  • Geeky Antics Stream Team – Support these folks because they are awesome, friendly, and engaging.. Yes, even that salty dog ObioneX2 is loveable and fun to hang out with, once you get to know him.

SHOUT-OUTS to some of my favorite streamers out there.  The people that care about other people and do things the right way.  Mnalicious, Maquannas, Poopybuttz, Obezianka, ShannaNina, and everyone else I can’t fit in one blog post (for the sake of brevity).  Keep on keeping on – you guys ROCK!  Tons of love for the collaborative souls out there!

With the impending doom that’s sure to come with the inevitable Google acquisition of Twitch, a lot of us in the Geeky Antics and AllGames communities are looking to step up our game on Twitch.  After all, if we can cement ourselves as Twitch partners and featured channels, why NOT do it on the “ground level”?  Twich streamers, like many social media enthusiasts, are looking for the magic bullet.

The magic bullet does not exist.

DISCLAIMER:  These are my opinions based upon my experience as a NISM-certified social media strategist (I sit on their board of advisors too) and personal observations.  I do not pretend to have all the answers nor is this guide the end-all on your quest for social media success..  but it’s a darn good start!  It’s also worth noting that I am not partnered on Twitch because it has not been the focus on my network BUT having the #1 Twitch marketing/growth article out there should lend some credibility. *smirk*

Sure, there are some shortcuts and tips but it all comes down to the basics.  We’ll get into that but here’s what one streamer recommends after becoming a Twitch partner in about a month’s time (this is very rare, by the way):

This is solid advice.  Obezianka, like many of us in the GANG, really believes in the value of authenticity and engagement.  Sadly, there is more to this puzzle than what is mentioned here because tons of people have high production value and consistency, yet they struggle to break 100 concurrent viewers; heck, some days 10 viewers is a blessing, amirite?

Let’s dig deep here.  We’ll go through the best practices and the tried-and-true strategies we have uncovered from analyzing top streamers and first-hand experiences alike.  Let’s do this!

Continue reading The HONEST Way To Succeed In Twitch.. And Social Media

What Google One-Billion-Dollar Twitch Acquisition Means For Streamers & eSports

Originally, this article was titled Watch Out YouTube – Someone Is Building A Better Twitch!, which is kinda interesting.  It seems fitting that I drafted this weeks ago and now we know that Google is going after Twitch.  There’s still no confirmation on the details of this deal but we know it’s going to happen inevitably.

Google can afford to buy out Twitch but they can’t afford to ignore them much longer.

In around three years, Twitch started as a dream and has become something of a big deal.  Even if you’re not a gamer, here is why you should pay attention to Twitch developments:

  • Twitch already surpasses Facebook and Amazon in peak usage..  In less than half the life span!
  • Success in Twitch is more about the message, personalities, and engagement thereof, whereas YouTube places more of a focus on production value.
  • There are countless niches and opportunities for partnership within Twitch; by design, Twitch allows even smaller brands to be discovered.
  • Gaming is surpassing the movie industry and Twitch is getting ahead of this curve or paradigm shift.

Twitch is a serious business.. and it’s seriously fun.  There are a lot of casual streamers but everyone has a chance to build residual income or even do what they love full time.  The Google acquisition of Twitch threatens this yet it promises the hope of badly-needed, long-awaited  improvements.

But what about eSports and competing technologies?

First of all, what makes Twitch special is the warmth and diversity of the platform.  Gamers with aspirations to be pro players can watch skilled players do their thang and borrow some moves from their playbooks.  Geeks looking to make new friends can find more engaging, authentic individuals to connect with.  There’s something for everyone.

Monkey In Striped SuitAnalysts with no real connection to the gaming industry beyond PR contacts and monetary interest are touting the purchase as a move for Google to break into the multi-billion-dollar eSports market and blah blah blah.  That’s fine and dandy but that’s not the real news here.  The Verge explains:

Twitch is said to believe that Google can help the company become what it wants to be — the definitive platform for watching and streaming live video gaming. The company raised $20 million from investors in 2013 and is likely to turn a profit this year. But capital isn’t enough to allow Twitch to scale its technology and infrastructure to keep pace with its growth. It had plenty of offers from venture capitalists looking to give it more money, said the source, but what it needs is a partner that can help it handle massive amounts of live and user-generated video on a global scale.

From a business perspective and for the benefit of the gamers, Twitch should be left as-is.  The media coverage leads us to believe it will be and Twitch only seeks to keep pace with it’s rapid growth.  That means we can finally get the features that we have long awaited:

  • Tools for smaller streamers and brands.
  • Commenting and native content engagement beyond chat.
  • Complete social media integration on an opt-in basis.
  • Easier video management, filtering, and showcasing.
  • More optimization for mobile and older computers.
  • Export options for audio and video files.
  • More stable servers – less connections dropped!
  • More consistent video stream quality – YAY!

The last one is the most important thing because, as much as YouTube stinks for the little guys, you ultimately keep your content and can take it wherever you want.  On Twitch, it can sometimes feel like your content is being held ransom and whored out (pardon the expression).  They’re getting better about that but you still have to get creative if you want to extend beyond their ecosystem.

Now that we have all that as a backdrop, let’s talk about the competition and what this all means for eSports.  I would say Twitch is in a class of it’s own.  There is a wide breadth of content, tons of third-party support, many helpful contributors, a receptive booming community, and so much more going for it.  In spite of the massive growth and scope, the community still feels very tightly-knit and everyone has a shot to help it grow and have a stake in the growth.  That’s huge.  YouTube can’t offer that right now.

MLG - Major League Gaming Pro Circuit 2010

So then there’s MLG.  I do not see this as a threat or a direct competitor.   There are lots of reasons for this but suffice to say GameBattles and the MLG have had plenty of questionable events (I’ve experienced this first-hand).  YouTube and Twitch should not merge but they should key off each other.   They should not try to be an alternative to MLG because they’re already something bigger.  We could all agree that Google+ should not be shoe-horned in either.  I feel Twitch has been so successful because of the fact that they balance pro and casual content.

The clueless monkeys in suits are saying that the merger of YouTube and Twitch would be a “synergy nuke”.  Stop it.  There can be a lot of great integration but to make Twitch and YouTube one and the same would kill everything that makes Twitch special.  MLG and countless other platforms can provide the pro-only focus but that should not be what Twitch is all about.

Back to business talk, let’s be honest here: a lot of games and tournaments are becoming more self-sufficient so the need for a dedicated broadcasting platform is not really there.  Twitch should continue to support and churn out new personalities that cannot thrive in any other ecosystem.  That is their sweet spot and their unfair advantage.

Rumors or not, this deal is happening.  Google has to make a move now before Twitch’s value sores any further.  It’s quite interesting that suddenly YouTube export is working properly.  There’s no doubt that this acquisition has been long in the making.  That said, at least it’s Google and not Sony, Microsoft, or any other megacorporation that would make Twitch into a self-serving noise machine.

We need to take this conversation over to HorsePLAY! LIVE and our other shows.  Get your thinking caps on,  geeks and gamers.  These questions still remain:

  • When will the deal be finalized?
  • How will it take shape?

What do you guys think about Google’s plans for Twitch and their 30-billion-dollar shopping spree?  Does it excite you or are you worried?  Sound off  on t poll and comments area!

 

Are You A Geek.. The “New”, Sexy Kind?

What is geek? Or who.

 DISCLAIMER:  The opinions and views here, as always, are those of our contributors and not our organization as a whole.  That said, this editorial is meant to provoke and inspire..  Join the conversation.  Labels are never 100% accurate but they do help us connect and identify with each other, no?

If you don’t understand half of the jokes on The Big Bang Theory, that doesn’t mean you’re not a geek. If you can’t explain why Captain Picard is superior to Captain Kirk – that may be a problem. And it’s a problem because geek can be cool. Geek can rock.

It’s been suggested that the historical usage of the term, geek, refers to 20th Century circus performers that challenged conventional perceptions and experience. The bearded woman. The dwarf. The man or woman who would bite the heads off of live chickens. But the term, geek, came back into currency in the last twenty something years and it came back to mean something else entirely.

On the one hand, geek came to be substituted for nerd – a socially  and emotionally challenged, highly intelligent, obsessively compulsive, introverted, fearful personality type. At least that’s what Dr. Seuss seems to imply. [grin] But the present usage of geek is almost sexy and, almost, cool. Geeks can be desirable and geeks might just save the world. Or, at least, we would like to believe that geeks will save the world.

While nerds tend to barricade themselves in their domain of interests and ignore the challenges of ordinary human experience, geeks want to live and they want to feel alive. Geeks get excited about the things that people get excited about – supercars, intercontinental business class flights, and attractive, exciting lovers. All of which means that the geek wants to own acceptance, approval, praise, celebration and, oh yeah, a whole lotta love.

Both geeks and nerds will overthink things. They are information junkies but that doesn’t mean they know how to effectively use information, filter and sift it, make good decisions or act upon it. The geek, however, makes a better effort to derive some kind of value from the data collection. Their motivation to do so, of course, is money, power and influence. Of course, most of them won’t admit to their ambitions. Because it would look bad. It would look Chatlanian.

Beyond the general distinction between the nerd and the modern geek, there’s several behaviors by which you can recognize the new, sexy geek.  Below are five behaviors that I have observed:

Grooming

The new geek knows how to groom and dress up for the occasion. They don’t have to turn it on all the time but when they do, they do it well. They go for the cut, color and style and you don’t get that at a barbershop or low cost, franchise hair cuttery. Male geeks get manicures and pedicures. They shower daily and know a little something about maintenance cosmetics and fragrance.

 

miss-rohr-and-the-woodsmans-pal

 

Of course, you are likely to find them in a bathrobe, underwear or birthday suit at home where no one sees them.

Relationships

The new geek knows how to relate to people that are interesting to them – colleagues, friends, lovers and successful geeks. They have some understanding of how to respect, cherish, support and savor the people meaningful to them. They try to remember birthdays, they choose and give thoughtful gifts and they expect likewise. They can be devoted friends and lovers but only as long as their friends and lovers are interesting, intense, and live up to their expectations.

 

Pray

 

The 30 something new geek has 3 or more friends, was involved in 3 or more romantic relationships and has more than 100 “friends” across social media. They talk about the bad shit is going on in the Ukraine, Egypt, Nigeria and elsewhere.

Neo-hedonism

Though it might be tempting to suggest the new geek is a neo-epicurean, modesty and, perhaps, virtue is not basic to the new geek think. Like the neo-epicurean, the new geek is a materialist. They love life, the world, and the unrestricted promise (false or otherwise) of happiness and pleasure.  Obviously, the new geek makes a poor missionary, patriot, revolutionary, saint or soldier.

Unlike the neo-epicurean, the new geek seeks self-gratification with a little (or lot of) license and zeal. They gush about the things that give them happy – Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest give them a voice for such material, self-centered self-expression. They make passionate customers., but also fickle if you can’t keep it interesting.

 

birthday lobster

Any kind of spirituality a new geek does always comes with a heavy handed materialism. Not a shallow or ruthless materialism – but an undeniable interest in the physical world and one’s physical well-being. The new geek is very comfortable with the paradox of wanting to save the world without the self-denials that come with a deep spirituality.

Gaming

Geeks love games and not just computer or traditional parlor games. They love to game life, excel, compete, and receive honor for their achievements. Every geek has to know and have played Sid Meier’s Civilization and played God-level and won against near impossible odds. It’s the ultimate litmus test of geek sexual performance. Or I jest.

 

Pandamonium Hearthstone Card Back Faryna

 

Seriously, the new geek games in one way or another. Everquest, World of Warcraft, Poker, casino games, day trading, etc. – two or more of these things should evoke nostalgia, fond memories of glory and comrades, and a shit-eating grin for the new geek. Candy Crush and Farmville do not count.

Higher Consciousness

The new geek is not simply egocentric, but his/her egocentrism expands to the far reaches of the universe, multiverse, life, time and culture. So, yeah, the new geek likes sci-fi, fantasy and/or end of the world content. The new geek knows something about Doctor Who, Mad Max, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Terminator, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Any of which can seem outrageous when such higher consciousness is self-expressed in cosplay or other geeky antics.

But there’s another side to this higher consciousness that is sensible – curiosity, open-mindedness, problem-solving, creativity, empathy, and a deeper connection with the world, with others and with creation. This is often expressed by a desire to do the right thing, save the world, or make a difference.

Luna Moth 3 Faryna May 2014

 

The new geek gives money to causes because that’s how we live out our secret super powers. Batman, Superman and all the X-Men may inspire us, but we can slap down the spare change and make things happen. Five bucks here, 20 bucks there and $100 – more than a few times in a year. They might not have the time to give to the homeless, poor or whatever but they know if they don’t throw money at several causes and fundraisers – they aren’t doing what they can.

Are you the sexy, new kind of geek?

Is there anything else that you would modify or add to this list?    Share them with us in the comments! Because the new geek makes awesome comments.

 

 

Stan Faryna is writing an epic  sci-fi, fantasy, end-of-the-world story that is going to be a multi-week New York Times best-seller and hit HBO TV series. Or so he hopes.

The DocRoe Chronicles: Who Is DocRoe, Online Dating SUCCESS, And NEW! Sunday Show

First of all, I say goodday to you my friends, and let me introduce myself:

I am DocRoe, 25 years old (i think), born in Carlow, Ireland in the wonderful year of 1988,  so you can figure out my exact age every year.  I suck at math.

Carlow is a town you probably never heard of and, well, I don’t blame you.

Here it is, an aerial view of Carlow: Aerial View Of Carlow, Ireland

Traveling agents would say it’s a wonderful little picturesque towny thingy with a lot of character,  my best description is this:

It’s an absolute shithole.

I grew up there until about the age of 5 or 6, and then my parents finally got it in to their dusty little braincells that this place blows,
and moved across the pond to Belgium.   Talking about a shithole, that country isn’t all that better. But that story is maybe for another time.   I lived there practically all my life, from 5/6 until 20.

But then something happened in the boring life of The Doctor.
He met a girl.  Online.

She was the most amazing person he ever talked to, met,                       and had the privilege to hang out with.

And she still is.

One year after meeting her at the age of 20, I decided to just say       “fuck y’all” and leave Belgium to move in with her.  I moved all my stuff by train, and the next stop was Groningen, Netherlands.  That’s where i still live today.  Also, my favorite movie is Boondock Saints.

Now that you know who the hell I am:

HELLO!!!!

I have arrived here at G.A.N.G. to bring you columns and a new web/radio show.   I’m not going to tell you what or how or when. It’s on Sundays.   And that’s all you’re getting from me!!!!

I will co-host this show with my dear friend Obionex2 here in this lovely community.

Wait, Doc, go back.
COLUMNS?!!
Who the hell does that nowadays?!!

Well, me, for starters.  What will my columns be about?  Anything I fucking feel like..   But mostly series, movies, games and music.

Where to find the best games and movies you HAVE to see and which you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT TOUCH!!!  Right here.

(That last part goes for series as well.)

So yeah, here i am, and i’m coming for your soul!
If you guys want me to discuss anything about any subject, just let me know and i probably will, if i feel like it, ok, you win. I will.

And for now: SEE YA NERDS!

P.S.  Maybe next time a schmexy picture of Le Doc? Stay Tuned!

grtz
DocRoe

Gaming Clan Leadership Basics & Understanding Pro Gaming

WOW!

It’s been over 7 years since I posted this piece on gaming clans and the conversation is STILL going over at my personal website, Yomar.me (a.k.a. Y3B)  – clearly, we gamers are on the same wavelength.  Being in a gaming clan is fun and rewarding.  It makes games more immersive or at least replayable..   But it can also be a lot of work so there’s good reason some people stay solo.

This is a conversation I’d love for us to have here at Geeky Antics, where it is a lot more relevant.  Think about all the stuff we as geeks do – podcasts, videos, indie games, gaming clans, or whatever tickles your fancy – how many times do flakey people and drama queens create more work for you?  The eSports scene is booming.  More and more gamers dream of being sponsored, championship winners, or at least winning some free stuff.

The reality is that maybe 1% of all “hardcore” competitive gamers are sponsored AND can make a living off it.  The cost for that may be losing your love for games.  Is it really worth it?  Well, it depends how competitive you are.

For me, being in a gaming clan is more about the social experience, collaborating on stuff beyond games, and getting more out of our video games.  Thing is, do your fellow clan members feel the same way?  If not, do they know just how much work goes into pro gaming?

The tournaments with the biggest prizes are highly-selective.  You’re lucky if they take in 16 players from any given region.  Of course, there are always local tournaments at hobby shops.  Those can be great fun and provide supplemental income..  Or maybe just street cred.  The point is that, no matter how good you are, you always have to consider there is someone with more free time and commitment than you.

Are you willing to pay the price to be a top-tier pro gamer?

Dreamhack Tournament Bracket For Starcraft 2

League Of Legends and Starcraft 2 may be the most competitive games out there today.  There are so many people playing and qualifying for the big tournaments is daunting.  Well, maybe SC2 doesn’t have quite the gameplay hours of LoL but the gap in skill between good players and awesome players is quite significant.  They measure that gap mainly in APM (Actions Per Minute) and, well, if you suck at multitasking and buckle under pressure, playing SC2 professionally could burn you out quickly.

I like the way Dreamhack handles tournaments.  They recently held a Hearthstone tournament with $10,000 in prizes.  This tournament was open to the first 128 registrants but, in other tournaments, there is usually a small buy-in.   This is fair considering there are prizes at every level.  What’s nice about it is that you can very well be the unknown, low-ranked player who pulls some upsets.  That makes for a great narrative.

The barrier to entry is certainly low here.  Now, you could argue it takes $200-300 to build a top-tier competitive deck in Hearthstone but you can reduce that cost by running a Hunter deck or playing more.  Also, compare that to Magic: The Gathering where you’re spending at least $500-700.  Just sayin.

Dreamhack is one of the biggest players in the pro gaming circuit.  These guys are based out of Sweden yet they are known throughout the world.  You may not play Starcraft 2, DotA 2, LoL, WoW, or even Hearthstone..  but chances are you’ve heard of Dreamhack.

Dreamhack Valencia 2012 - VLC 2013

Just look at the scene in the photo above.  Dreamhack really puts on a show.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this experience?  Dreamhack events double as massive LAN parties too.  By most standards, this is the biggest digital festival out there.

That’s great but how does this relate to gaming clans?

Well, I wanted to pain a picture about how competitive pro gaming really is.  Some people throw on a tag and think they magically become pro gamers.  There is a lot to it.  To me, there are not many gaming clans out there because loyalties lean towards the personal gains rather than the fellowship.   Most clans are what I would call competitive or scenario squads.

To be fair, it’s easier to manage smaller groups when competition is the main focus.  You need a personality fit above all because you can’t train that.  Skills can be improved but chemistry you usually either have or you don’t.

In any successful organization, there is unity under a single-minded purpose.  This is critical.  You can’t mix together casual gamers with uber-competitive ones.  If that situation develops, split the clan into sub-groups or divisions to keep things civil.  I mean, some gamers think that we all focus on one game for months or years at a time.  That’s just not realistic but those are the expectations at times.

Lord Of The Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy

LOTR (Lord Of The Rings, for the unitiatied) is a great example of  the power of having a single purpose or goal.  This is the vision that binds us within a thriving organization.  In LOTR, lots of things happened but, ultimately, it was all about destroying the darn ring.  They succeeded because they had laser focus.

The frustration for people in gaming clans usually takes two forms:

  • You guys expect too much from me – I don’t have that sort of desire  or time/money to commit!
  • You guys are not serious enough – I’m tired of losing!

Often in coaching/mastermind sessions with clients and collaborators, I’ll talk about the importance of managing expectations.   It’s easy to join a clan but working together as a cohesive unit is a whole different matter.  As we hinted earlier, some people avoid clans all together because they feel they’re all about work and drama.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

NoF - Absolut Nipply
N-o-F.com – Since 1999 (Well, officially, at least.)

When we recruit people for NoF, we simply look for folks that are active and friendly.  If everyone gets along and we have fun together, what else really matters, amirite?  We’re not looking to be the next Team Solo Mid, Team Liquid, Gambit, or whatever..  We just want to have fun and meet new people.  It’s great that we can travel just about anywhere, online and offline, and meet local Nips for some debauchery, good conversation, and gaming fun.  Of course, if we detect someone is purely about winning and being “pro”, we kindly let go because we know the cost for that would sacrifice who we are at heart..  And gaming would become a chore.  Eff that!

How about sore losers?  Are they worth recruiting if they are skilled enough?

Well, you can’t play League Of Legends without running into trolls (see the featured image).  Sore losers LOVE to blame their teammates and fail to see they become part of the fail sauce due to their poor sportsmanship.  Avoid these types of players.  They are a plague to gaming clans and squads, especially once you stop winning most of your match-ups.  People will leave and, eventually, they will too so there’s no point catering to them unless they are truly willing to conform and compromise for the sake of the team.

We can go on and on about what makes a sustainable gaming clan thrive, not just survive.  Here are some of the things we discussed in the linked article and the comments thereof:

  • Leaders inspire, managers merely bark orders.
  • The servant-teacher is a type of leader that remains humble, learning as much from others as he teaches others.
  • The best leaders listen more than than they speak.
  • Squads and clans function for different purposes, though they share similarities.
  • Finding a gaming squad/clan is much like job hunting: all parties should make sure it is a right fit.

Go ahead and read the full article over at Y3B.  I’d love to see what you all think.  After reading the article, let’s bring the conversation back over to the Geeky Antics community.  Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • What is the biggest stumbling block for gaming clans or squads?
  • Does recruiting women add to the stability or instability?
  • What is the average shelf life for gaming groups of any kind?
  • Is there a sweet spot for the max size of a clan?

Leave us a VM at (206) 415-4987 and drop some comments in the spiffy area below.  This is a great discussion and I love hearing the stories everyone is experiencing in gaming spaces all over the place.

Don’t be shy..  Gather around the fire (hey, at least I did not say hearth) and join the conversation.

Yogizilla's Blankity Blank-Blank (Y3B)

*** NEW! You can find an updated article on the essence, importance, and benefits of social gaming clans by clicking here! ***

“Hey, look at all those nifty acronyms people have attached to their handles and screen names. That’s really cool – I want one too!” That is exactly what I think runs through the heads of many people that join or create a clan. People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than them. It’s just human nature.

With the next-gen gaming consoles tapping into an online gaming market that has existed for many, many years on the PC front, gaming squads are arguably more popular than ever. For most, it’s just about hanging out with some people or being part of the most kick-ass team and getting some big wins under the belt. Whatever way you chop it up, people are in these…

View original post 1,735 more words

Ye Olde #Hearthstone Tavern and Inn #YOHTAI Issue No. 2

Greetings friend!

This is Sparta!

 

THIS IS, err, YOHTAI – Ye Olde Hearthstone Tavern and Inn. 

YOHTAI is where we can add friends, connect, share, brag, bitch and whine about Blizzard’s game Hearthstone and other things. We also conversate and participate in live and recorded podcasts including HorsePLAY! LIVE and others. And, ok, we do some tips, cheats, and strategies…

If you haven’t read it, check out the YOHTAI Issue No. 1 here:

https://geekyantics.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/ye-olde-hearthstone-tavern-and-inn-16-april-2014-issue-no-1

I’m ready! I’m not ready!

In the comments below, flaunt your OP internet and social game skillz – tell us your Hearthstone ID (Battle Tag), your in game name, your real name (if you dare), your city, connection points, and share your thoughts on Hearthstone with us.

Hearthstone News

Ranked Play Season 1: Pandamonium is almost over

Season 1 is coming to a close at the end of the month, and with it your chances of acquiring the Pandaria card back for your collection.

Pandaria Card Back

Pandamonium Hearthstone Card Back Faryna

 

Fireside Gatherings FLOP

The Fireside Gathering is on. If you can log in three devices on the same router, you can get the Fireside Gathering card back. Blizzard’s big idea, however, was a big flop with hardly any HFG parties anywhere. Blizzard’s lack of commitment and investment in this social event leaves us with some questions about their community skills.

Sometimes, I forget things…

Our genius suggestion: A plushy Hearthstone Pillow awarded to the first 300 Fireside Gathering leaders signed up for the Cinco de Mayo slash This is Sparta bash. What Cinco de Mayo Bash?! Exactly.

Hearthstone Fireside Gathering Card Back Faryna

 

Hearthstone Gear

Show off your Hearthstone gear. Send us a pic of you and your gear and we’ll feature it in YOHTAI. Send the pic to me (Stan) at stan.faryna@gmail.com

Below, the Hearthstone Pillow.

Hearthstone Throw Pillow

TOSH.0

TOSH.0 still don’t got love for the Hearthstone. Whazzup with that? He know internets? Obviously not. Because Hearthstone is one of the hottest iPad app downloads going on. It’s averaging 4.5 stars, got 7086 ratings overnight, and Hearthstone is at the top of the app download list.

Get in there and fight, Maggot!

Tweet Tosh and tell him what’s up: http://twitter.com/danieltosh

 Get in there and fight, maggot!   cc  

The queue sucks!

Get more servers, Blizzard!

Hearthstone Que Sucks Says Faryna

 

Hearthstone Cheats

Some of us are casual gamers – playing less than 10 hours per week. But if you can log in for 30 minutes, you can collect the 40 gold daily quest reward with a little help from you friends at YOHTAI. Log-in, let your friends know you need a “little gold” in the chat and then take turns winning and losing to get that quest reward.

Tip No. 13

No one likes losing most of the time.
If you can’t survive to round 10 in most fights, whip out your credit card and throw down $20 on some cards. But not until you can survive until round 9. Because you need some tested and true ideas about how to play the game before new cards can help.
YOHTAI Groups and Beyond
YOHTAI is on Steam and Facebook!

Hearthstone School

If you’re new to Hearthstone, there may be some confusion about Rankings. We know there’s 25 rankings including Legend. But after you get to rank 20, you proceed (or not) to rank 19. This is not a bug.

Hearthstone Level 18 or 23? Faryna

#YOHTAI Issue No. 3 is here.
Job’s done!

 

Cake VS. Pie – Who Is The Winner? (Please Take The Poll Too!)

Today we are here to continue an ongoing debate.  This will be a culinary battle mixed in with a batter of vlogging, a yearning for good eats (and wimminz), and a call to action for YOU: join the GANG and have your geeky goodness shared with our growing community..  There might even be cake or pie in it for you, whichever you prefer.  Now onto the tasty business…

Cake versus pie…  Which is better?

I’ve been wrestling with this debate for a long time.  If you’ve followed me on the “social medias” long enough you know that I share food-related stuff quite a bit on Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.  I am a foodie.

We as geeks tend to have a stable of snacks, quick meals, and comfort foods.  Nothing beats marathon gaming sessions with your favorite snacks and adult beverages (if you are of age, of course).  I love my sweets but this decision is still tough.  Cake or pie?  Hmmm…  Maybe you can help me!

I talk about a lot of stuff that’s NOT food related in this vlog but one issue I encounter is particularly discerning: whether flan is a cake or a pie.  This here is the tie breaker.  The interwebz provide some useful knowledge.  Wikipedia, which never has false information, says the following on flan:

Not to be confused with crème caramel, also known as flan or flan de leche.  Flan is an open pastry or sponge cake containing a sweet or savoury filling.

Taste Of Home: Flan - Look At Dat Slice!
[ source: Taste of Home ]

Flan is my favorite.  It’s creamy and melts in your mouth..  Hey, stop that smirking.  It’s not just texture.  The flavor is satisfying in ways that only putting it in your mouth can explain..  Except maybe for when idgets make it very eggy (like a terribad egg salad).  Great flan is something to write home about, I promise!  Now that we know flan is categorized as cake, that tips the scales A LOT.

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake - By Chef Dennis Littley
[ Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake Masterpiece by Chef Dennis Littley ]

Cheesecake is a close second to flan.  These tasty cakes come in many varieties.  Some are topped with marsipan (essentially edible, sugar-rich modeling clay), others have fruity toppers, graham crusts, or cookie crumbs.  The variety in the cheesecake world makes it a clear winner and a great boon for the cake cause.

If you’re ever in NYC, be sure to try some Junior’s cheesecake.  It’s not by any means the best of it’s kind but it rarely disappoints.  Last I checked, there are Junior’s locations opening up everywhere, including one in Grand Central Station that serves sandwiches, beverages, and many varieties of cheesecake.  Ah-nomnomnom!

Pecan pie Is OP..  When made right!Now  in the pie’s corner we have a Georgia favorite: pecan pie.  Thing is, GOOD pecan pie is hard to come by.  The problem with pie of any variety is that people tend to burn the top..  Or they make the filling TOO rich (or too bland).  I have a sweet tooth but, HOLY MOLY, I want to taste the distinct flavors, not go into a coma.

On the flip side, you have to be a special kind of nincompoop to mess up cake.  You bake it in layers and then you add your little touches afterwards.  Let the egg timer be your guide, young padawan!

Supernatural - Dean Says, "PIE!"

In short, I have rarely been disappointed by cake whereas pies often leave much to be desired.  I know that on the show Supernatural, Dean acts like pie is OP.  His love for pie is a bit contagious.  He is very adament about having Sam bring him pie..  And it got me thinking a bit.  Really, he made me question my belief but I think this issue is settled..  At least for me.

…And the winner is…

(You’ll have to skip to the end if you want my final verdict.)

During the“Cake Vs. Pie” Geektastic Vlog two-part series I talk about the need for more women.  We’ll be revisiting that as well as the deep discussion about the good and bad of gamer girls.  As we often do, we provide all sides of the debate to encourage you all to chime in.  Perhaps there is no right or wrong…  But I still choose cake.

…Now it’s your turn!

Leave some comments  explaining why you choose one or the other.  The best part about this debate is that everyone has an opinion and there really is no right or wrong answer..  Except maybe for vegans, unless they cheat on their diets.  For that, I am sorry.

Feel free to share your thoughts on anything else I have covered on my vlog.  I talk about all sorts of random things in my Geektastic Vlog including why I chose XBox over Playstation, the stupidity of pet fees/rent, and my #BirthdayBash on Twitch.  There’s also a Mega Man OST and some more Hearthstone talk (#YOHTAI)!  You can leave us comments below and/or VM at (206) 415-4987.

Thanks to those who encouraged me to share my crappy videos here on GANGnet.  We hope you will do the same (these are our current G.A.N.G. projects and openings)!

Essential Albums of the 80s and 90s: NWA – Straight Outta Compton

NWA – Straight Outta Compton

Year of Release: 1988

Essential Tracks:

  • “Straight Outta Compton”
  • “F*ck The Police”
  • “Gangsta Gangsta”
  • “Express Yourself”

Okay. Here we go. I am going to start this with a disclaimer. I am a white male who did not grow up in the “hood” and am in no way a racist individual. Got it? Good. Here we go.

Time to go back to the 80s. Look around the streets and listen. Boomboxes were everywhere. Rap was everywhere! And there came a time when a small cross-section of the rap genre reared its ugly head- Gangster Rap! Who was on the forefront of this controversial musical movement? A lot of groups were but leading the charge was a formation of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, DJ Yella and Eazy E (Eazy Muthafuckin’ E R.I.P.).

I am, of course, talking about NWA! That’s right. Ni**az With Attitudes! What a storm this group caused! The media flipped out because of the violent and explicit language they used. Parents lost their minds and kids loved it because “they said bad words.” (Admit it. You did. I did. We all did.)

In 1988, this group hit big after some lesser known stuff and really caused the world to pee its pants with the album “Straight Outta Compton.”

The album opens with a punch in the face in the form of the title track after a warning to prepare yourself. “You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.” And here we go! Verses are traded between Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Eazy E. They all get to show off their style of rap here and this continues through the rest of the album.

Track two is the one that most people are familiar with and the one I am sure everyone is waiting for me to talk about. Here it comes. “Fuck The Police.” Let’s set the scene. NWA is holding court in a case against the police department with Dr. Dre presiding as judge. Ice Cube, Ren and Eazy E are all giving testimony against ignorant police officers. Violent? Yes. Unnecessarily explicit? Maybe. Hilarious? Yes! After all the testimonies are given via traded verses between the “prosecuting attorneys,” Judge Dre gives his verdict. Guilty! And then you hear the cop being dragged out of the courtroom. All through the song, you get the chant of “Fuck the police… Fuck, fuck, fuck the police” as a hook in the chorus all over 80s beats and 70s funk. Catchy? You bet!!

Most tracks on the album tell a story of street life and the trials of “gangsta life.” This is continued in “Gangsta, Gangsta.” More funky music and a great hook: “I’m the type of ni**a that’s built to last. If you fuck with me, I’ll put a foot in yo’ ass. I don’t give a fuck ’cause I keep bailin’, What the fuck are they yellin’? GANGSTA GANGSTA!” This is followed by a line from the legendary KRS One (look him up, kids): “It’s not about salary. It’s all about reality.”

The funk, flow and anger continues. There is a great self-referential track about how bad the lyrics are (“Parental Discretion Iz Advised.”) There is another single to follow up “Straight Outta Compton” which could be considered a slow jam, cover, and sample-heavy groove: “Express Yourself” which takes directly from Charles Wright’s R&B song of the same name and allows Dre to take a solo role. There are remixes of tracks that they released before this debut (“8 Ball,” “Compton’s In The House,” “Dopeman.”) And it all comes to a close with Dre and Yella producing a track that could easily be the soundtrack to a group of urban teens breakdancing in the streets (“Something 2 Dance 2,”)

All in all, this album, while controversial enough to cause Tipper Gore to go on a rampage (look it up), is a great slice of history when it comes to rap. You like the stuff from today? This is where some of it started. You don’t like rap? Do yourself a favor and at least listen to this album which has a permanent place in my list of essential albums from the 80s and 90s that you must own or listen to before you die. Little 9 year old Jake approves and current mid 30s Jake continues to approve.

Now at http://GeekyAntics.net – register and unlock Achievements!