Category Archives: HorsePLAY!

All things related to the HorsePLAY! podcast, community playdates, giveaways, upcoming guests, and the like. Don’t forget to join us on the Horseplay Steam community group.

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

HorsePLAY! Marvel Puzzle Quest Strategies With CaptinChaos & Yogizilla

In keeping with the #RetroFriday spirit, EP20 of HorsePLAY! LIVE delved into the simple little games that have us addicted.  Are games like Hearthstone and Marvel Puzzle Quest the real next generation of gaming we’ve been waiting for?  We think so.

Here are some of the highlights of the show before we jump into some Marvel Puzzle Quest strategies.  We did not quite get into Hearthstone as heavily as we wanted in the episode but don’t worry: we’ll be revisiting the game lots..  Yeah, I know: we talk about it lots here at Geeky Antics – we’ll convert you yet!

Obligatory News:

  • ARS Technica Steam game library usage and ownership stats.
  • Microsoft announces XBox Originals Channel.  New video games..  Sure, we’ll have those too..  Eventually.
  • Bungie veteran, Marty O’Donnell fired without cause.
  • Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings a flop so far… or are they?
  • Twitter changes have been rolled out – hello Facebook Junior!

Opinions & Discussions:

  • Dear consoles, please focus on GAMES..  We have enough videos and junk to consume as it is.
  • How Marty discovered Bungie years ago.
  • Remember the precursor to Halo?  Neither do we.
  • Macs have games too!
  • Imagine if Halo was an Apple exclusive..  YUCK.
  • The state of the gaming industry is pretty sad now BUT…
  • Tabletop gaming and indie games are on the rise – YAY!
  • Twitter, if you become craptastic like Facebook, FUCK YOU!

Don’t forget: if you want to join the conversation, perhaps disagree with our points or shed some light on things, leave us voicemail at (206) 415-4987.  Keep it simple and sweet, por favor – we will play them during our shows and discuss!

So, during EP20, we hit upon a lot of key strategies for newbies and players having trouble in Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign.  The idea is to prevent endless grinding and dropping money, which sucks unless you have tons of money and time to throw away.  Here are some of the things Chip Cella (a.k.a. @CaptinChaos)  of The B-Team Podcast, our resident MPQ ninja, suggested to keep the game fun and help you PWN (without making it into a lifestyle game):

  • Save Hero Coins for roster spots.
  • Focus your ISO on maxing your top characters, rather than leveling them all up evenly.
  • Keep “Fishnet” Black Widow or Amazing Spider-Man in your to keep your teammates healed.
  • During PvP events, farm newbies instead of going for difficult targets – use the skip button to avoid needless knock-outs.
  • If you’re just starting out, grind the campaign and AI battles to get easy ISO and Hero Coins..  Farm newbies too.
  • Do not waste Hero Coins on health packs – they regenerate once you go below a five count.
  • Remember: this is not Candy Crush..  MPQ is the match-three puzzle game for strategy lovers and deep thinkers!

Here are some other tips that I have found useful.  I will preface these tips by saying I avoid any scenario where I am playing for several hours at end.  I love this game and want to avoid burning out on it and making it a grind like I did with my previous mobile game of choice, Rage Of Bahamut (a.k.a. Mobage’s relentless money grab).

Original Black Widow (a.k.a. Fishnet)

Fishnet & The Support Crew

Original Black Widow, affectionately called “Fishnet”, is easily one of the Top 5 characters in Marvel Puzzle Quest.  She compliments any team you add her too, especially against teams that need black, purple, and blue matches to activate abilities.  Her abilities can best be described as follows:

Heals and steals.

Ideally, you want to place her alongside a higher-level, tankier (high life/hit points) character(s) with same-colored abilities.   This will prevent her from taking too much damage, which is good since she can be one-hit by certain characters (i.e. Wolverine).  Some good teammates for her include…

  • Storm
  • Moonstone
  • Venom
  • Bullseye

For heavy grinding sessions, I find the combination of Daken, Fishnet, and Moonstone/Thor/Wolverine works really well.  Daken adds stacking damage and tanks incoming damage while the third character provides the burst damage and “bigger body”.  Your preferences may be different depending on how aggressive you want to be.  Admittedly, Daken takes time to build up damage with strike tiles but his self-healing ability makes him great.

Marvel Puzzle Quest - Amazing Spider-Man - Spidey

Fishnet Black Widow is what I would call a support character.  If you don’t have her, there are other options for mitigating damage, whether you are healing or blocking damage.   Amazing Spider-Man is likely your next best bet since he can stun AND heal.  Here are some other solid picks:

  • Modern Black Widow
  • Bullseye
  • Yelena Belova Black Widow
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man Model 35
  • Iron Man Model 45
  • Magneto (ALL)
  • Loki
  • Moonstone

Support roles go beyond healing and stealing.  Characters like Yelena Belova (evil Black Widow), Loki, Magneto,  and Bullseye can create and manipulate special tiles, which can be devastating against opponent teams that rely on them.

Marvel Puzzle Quest: Captain America VS. Moonstone

Between Captain America and Moonstone, I feel Moonstone is the best pick.  Captain America feels like an under-powered Iron Man Model 35.  Here is why he sucks:

  • His powers/abilities take too long to ramp up.
  • His damage output is poop.
  • He is balanced and, by extension, not very good at anything.

Captain America does have more HP than most support characters.  He also has a stun ability plus the ability to cycle abilities but, if the countdown tiles get removed, his effectiveness is negated.  Cap is just not good for aggressive wins and, thus, using him becomes a grindfest…  Meh.

Moonstone, on the other hand, can manipulate the board, do massive burst damage (based upon how many red tiles are in stock), and she can stun opponents.  She is amazing yet she doesn’t get nearly enough love.  I love you Moonstone.

Ms. Marvel..  Or Is That Moonstone?

Continue reading HorsePLAY! Marvel Puzzle Quest Strategies With CaptinChaos & Yogizilla

The Infamous #HorrorFrog & Show Notes/Previews – Leave Us Voicemail – (206) 415-4987

A few of you have suggested that we post our show notes more often here to encourage more voicemail messages and such.  We’ve been doing that for HorsePLAY! LIVE and The Gaming Death Podcast but we welcome any and all kinds of voicemail.  Here are some of the things we’ve been discussing if you want to keep the conversation going:

  • Why Hearthstone is such a big deal
  • Tips and tricks for Marvel Puzzle Quest & Hearthstone
  • Is Hearthstone a pay-to-win game?
  • Greatest games of all time (The GOATs)
  • Our defining moments in gaming
  • What are the most random games you’ve ever played that you think most missed (and should play)?
  • Games that were great because they inspired new concepts
  • Games that are great because they are still fun years later
  • Why are Internet trolls so prevelant?
  • Drunken karaoke (thanks DekardC)
  • XBox Originals Channel – YAY or NAY?
  • Console gaming is dead – it’s all about all-in-one entertainment!
  • How close are we to drones delivering our goods?
  • Marvel Agents Of SHIELD vs. Arrow
  • Objectification of women and biases surrounding geek girls
  • The rise and fall of social games (a.k.a. Facebook SPAM)
  • The cardinal sings of League Of Legends players
  • Have we as consumers become too spoiled or impatient?
  • Broke Wars: Nintendo VS. Sony
  • Sony predicts 1.3 BILLION loss over fiscal year
  • Indie games are the future of gaming!
  • No, we’re tired of indie games.
  • No, we’re tired of big studio regurgitations.
  • We geeks are just jaded all around, amirite?
  • Transistor art style: beautiful or more hipster pandering?
  • Microtransactions VS. Macrotransactions
  • Popular games with the worst virtual economies
  • What defines the value of something?
  • Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare..  Does anyone care?
  • Capcom is bouncing back – Mega Man, PLEASE!
  • Can gardening be considered geeky?
  • Fantasy sports can be geeky..  Sports themselves, not so much.
  • How do you define a geek or nerd?
  • Labels suck..  But they have a purpose!
  • #RetroFriday VOTES for NES, Genesis, arcade, etc.
  • Sports games are games too!

Hopefully those snippets should provide some good talking points.  There’s a lot of gaming stuff there but anything geeky or random is cool, y0.   Speaking of RANDOM, on Episode 81 of The Gaming Death Podcast, they brought up the horror frog

Horror Frog Breaks It's Own Bones To Form Claws!

Yes, this is a real thing.

According to the NewScientist, the horror frog breaks his own bones to form claws.  WTF?  It’s the real-life Wolverine!  That is pretty darn sick.  I can relate, too, because my home life is often just as masochistic!  LOL..  Sorry, I could not resist!

Personally, I find nature so fascinating.  Here in Georgia we see all sorts of weird critters, like the paper wasp.  These wasps are comparable to hornets and are usually found down South, where creepy crawlers seem to be abundant.  The coolest thing about the paper wasp is that it builds nests out of a paper-like substance.  It creates this substance using harvested materials and it’s own saliva.  Kinda gross yet kinda neat.

Paper Wasp Nest In Yucatan, Mexico
WARNING: Do NOT approach a paper wasp nest.. They are VERY protective.

I had one of these things hang out with me in my house recently.  It was surprisingly friendly but that stinger was scary.  Lately the wasps here in Georgia fly really close to me, especially by my ears or the back of my head..  It makes me feel…. Violated. O_O

Anywho, on future episodes of HorsePLAY! LIVE we’re going to be returning to our roots in League Of Legends and cover more indie games (of course).  We’ll continue Hearthstone talk too since that’s definitely on rotation for years to come.  On EP22 or so, we should be wrapping up the #RetroFriday kicker series.  With that…

Tell us what your favorite moments in gaming are.  What made you a dedicated or hardcore gamer?  What are your G.O.A.T. picks for games, both tabletop and digital?  Are there any games you really love that you think people missed?

While we’ll be ending the #RetroFriday mini-series, we’ll continue to do weekly videos and streams.  Be sure to join our Steam community groups.  Simply look up #YOHTAI, #RetroFriday, and HorsePLAY.  The links are also scattered throughout the site. 8)

Do you have any fun stories or random thoughts to share?  Call us and leave a voicemail at (206) 415-4987 – if you don’t, Stewie will PEW PEW PEW you with his ray gun!  Also, take this poll, por favor.

The Challenges Gamer Girls Face – What Stigmas & Biases Exist?

UPDATE:  We’ve had tremendous response from this post (yet the comments are lacking.. Hmmm…) and I realize that some are still very uncomfortable with T&A, even though it is relevant.  I’d hate for our fellow gamers to miss out on an important discussion over something so trivial.  So I have changed it.

Sorry fellas..  But the show must go on!

Here is a parody video that should lighten the mood for those that find this subject matter a bit touchy.  I’m sure many of you have seen this already (Seth Green, Michelle Boyd, etc.):

The previously featured image of GamerGirl90 (read on) is what some guys imagine (or hope) your average gamer girl would look like.  This is not very realistic, for a few reasons.  The reality is that we gamers come in different shapes and sizes, folks.  Besides, jaded gamers tend to expect the worst in the faceless entities they play with over the interwebz.  Apparently, all us gamers are fat, lazy slobs with acne..  Or at least that’s the stereotype.

For some background info, check out HorsePLAY! EP18 – the HD video is provided up there.^^^

Over at Be Like Water, they have a Woman Crush Wednesday theme.  We shared the Lady Sif / Jaimie Alexander Woman Crush Wednesday post here because, let’s face it: that’s the sort of stuff that draws people in.  Sure, there are list posts, cute-overload animal photos, silly memes, cheats, and other SEO, traffic-boosting subject matter but those are not particularly evergreen.   The female form is art: timeless, beautiful, and intriguing to most of the world..  I know even some gay guys that find boobies (I’m more of a booty guy myself) appealing..  It must be a guy thing!

GamerGirl90 - A Man's Idea Of A Gamer Girl
GamerGirl90 is just an everyday girl.. And she just happens to play games.. And be easy on the eyes. Just sayin.

Now let’s set the stage further: this is the story of the disappearance of GamerGirl90 and the drama that ensues when geeks as a whole can’t play nice together.  GamerGirl90 used to be a DeviantArt contributor (here is some of GamerGirl90’s DeviantArt work).  Sadly, she was scared away due to trolls and clients who refused to pay her for commissioned work (after she delivered the goods, mind you).  She was a very engaging individual.  Not only is she easy on the eyes but she is quite talented as an artist.  DeviantArt, hell, the geek community has suffered a great loss.

This sort of thing happens all the time..  And it’s a bummer.

Shriek Unveiled By GamerGirl90

Cynical geeks may think that people like GamerGirl90 are attention-starved, inauthentic posers.  The most prevelant stigma dictates that attractive women can’t possibly be “true gamers” or real geeks.  But look at that artwork – the coloring is beautiful..  And that is a rough work.  What people fail to see is that geek culture is so pervasive that we’re no longer the minority.  Heck, jocks and pop culture junkies are more of a minority now.

So let’s look at heard numbers to prove a point.  Wikipedia confirms what a lot of studies have suggested.  Almost half of the gaming populice are women!

In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).” Entertainment Software Association’s 2013 study found that 45% of game players are female, 2% decrease from last year’s figures.

Thank goodness for that because, let’s face it: the screechers are the worst of them all.   Seriously, though, this just goes to show that we should not longer be shocked that we encounter women in our favorite games.  Sadly, biases continue and the assumption is that women only play social or casual games.  The statistics speak for themselves: gamer girls run the full gamut in terms of gaming preferences, appearance, personalities, and more.  There are more differences within sub-groups than gender yet some folks will desperately hold onto their ignorant assumptions…  Why?

GamerGirl90 Flirty (Yet Classy)

Is this sort of thing classy, tacky, or just plain pathetic?  Is this just a mere marketing stunt?

It’s easy to let our biases guide us towards hasty judgments and bitterness.  The general assumption is that women that make themselves known online are attention whores but that is not always the case.  Let’s be honest: if you got it, flaunt it..  More importantly, we all like attention and doting to a degree (hello, social media).  We humans are social creatures, after all.

For the sake of brevity, I will insert a page break here.  Click onwards to read more, where we’ll tackle the core issues.  For those who only came for the eye candy, at least leave a comment and share before leaving..  Thanks! *wink*

Continue reading The Challenges Gamer Girls Face – What Stigmas & Biases Exist?

HorsePLAY! Peterborough Is Great And So Is Hearthstone, Right Matto?

HorsePLAY! LIVE
Episodes 17  – Let’s Move To Canada..  For Hearthstone!

*** Featuring Matt Bradford of VGO & Zombie Cast ***

 

In this episode, HorsePLAY! LIVE becomes The Derailment Extravaganza (or is it Bonanza) once again.  Matt Bradford from Zombie Cast and VGO (Video Game Outsiders) returns to HorsePLAY! to help us stay raw, silly, and off-topic.  Some may know him as @MattoMcFly or “Moto”.  He’s also known as one of the writers for the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition, AllGames, and GamesRadar, amongst other things.  We know him as one of our favorite Canadian geeks! Guinness World Records 2014 - Gamer's Edition - With Matt Bradford!

Matt confessed that any time after 11pm Eastern on a week day, he is essentially brain dead.  As a result, we get the sillier, more random Matt’O.  Somehow, he manages to give spoilers for our own show.  There are the usual wild tangents and shenanigans, but we mainly talk about Hearthstone, The Walking Dead, and freemium games.

We don’t do nearly as much League of Legends talk these days.  Matt groans at the mere thought.  It turns out that he may actually enjoy the game but the toxic community as seen on Reddit and other social media scares him away.  There are plenty of mainstay games we would like to play with our friends and fans – LoL is certainly one of them so give it a try…   Stan Faryna did! #YOHTAI

Show Highlights:

  • Golf is just something for bored richies to show off how much money and land they have.
  • WWF does not make us think about endangered animals.
  • “There’s a lot of cool cats on the AllGames network.”
  • HorsePLAY! LIVE is the perfect show to be brain-dead on!
  • Matt Bradford plays the hand harmonica.
  • Yogi is a very loud Puerto Rican, NOT a Mexican.
  • Sword Art Online is like dot.hack and Photon..  And it’s coming back for Season 2!
  • Apparently, everyone is too young to remember Photon.
  • We all love The Guild.. And Felicia Day.. Wil Wheaton, too.
  • Chris Hardwick is a narcissistic douchebag.
  • “WTF is in the basement??”
  • Twitter is getting rid of #hashtags..  Brilliantly stupid.
  • Third-party Twitter apps are WAY better than the official one.
  • Twitter is going to kill their existing user base.
  • “90% of the population mis-uses hashtags.”
  • Hearthstone iOS app is available only in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand..  Sorta.
  • You can now rejoin Hearthstone matches if disconnected.
  • Fashionably late The Walking Dead S4 finale reactions.
  • When is free-to-play really pay-to-win?
  • Hearthstone is NOT a pay-to-win game..  We explain why.
  • Did we mention we are now part of the AllGames family now??
  • Tons of other geeky antics and train wrecks, as per usual.

Canadian Bacon Vs. REAL Bacon..  An Uncooked Comparison

Matt Bradford has also put the Canadian bacon debate to bed.  This is his official statement, and I am paraphrasing:

Is that even ours?  I don’t think so..  It’s an abomination.  Canadian bacon is ham, NOT bacon.

“Moto”, you are a man above all men.   We love having you on the show and hope to have you join our geeky antics more.  Now, we need more G33k Grrlz and a little less Mancrushes..  It’s starting to be a sausage fest over on HorsePLAY! LIVE..  Where’s the bacon??

In case you missed it, HorsePLAY! is on the AllGames Network Thursdays at 5pm EDT.   HorsePLAY! LIVE (HD) is on Twitch at 11pm EDT.  Come join us on the IRC and Twitch chats!

Realism In Games: How Real Do Shooters/FPS Games Get?

Hey guys thought I would try this and see what happens.  There are hundreds of realism units out there in  several games.  Most of which are in Arma.  Now my question for everyone is…

How real do you get?

Is the realism of a military unit good for young kids in a video game?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  Guys, thanks for the support.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Maybe we can make this and the tangent topics the theme of HorsePLAY! EP16 – what do you guys think?

HorsePLAY! Zombie Talk Series: Two Podcasts Featuring Zombie Cast!

HorsePLAY! LIVE
Episodes 10 & 11 – Zombie Talk Series Featuring Zombie Cast

Pass the brains and smoked paprika – Zombie Talk is here!

In this special two-episode series, Zombie Cast from AllGames.com joins us for our best horseplay yet. In fact, the geeky antics and shenanigans are so good that we get to talking about tons of stuff beyond zombies and even horror. In Part 2 of this Zombie Talk series, we do manage to get Shawn and Matt to behave bit so we could talk about The Walking Dead and zombies in depth.

Gosh, there are too many hilarious moments and great topics to highlight here.. Well, here is a little taste.. zombie bite, if you prefer:

  • Matt does crossword puzzles and plays with his desk toys to distract us.
  • The truth about Canadian bacon is revealed!
  • A cross-eyed crafter’s Stanley Cup replica unveiled.
  • Now you too can have your very own K-9 (snarky remarks database optional).
  • Beth and Daryl might be going the wrong way on the tracks, away from Terminus!
  • What if Daryl is being set up to be killed off??!
  • The military’s real-life Iron Man project.
  • Matt and Shawn share intimate Fun Facts about themselves.
  • Norma rolls wit da homies.
  • The Walking Dead spin-off show details.
  • Why Shane was a real douchebag.
  • Attack of the Flappy Bird!!

Watch HorsePLAY! EP11 “Night of the Zombie Geeks” HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STUsNX70kkk

…And, for your convenience, we’ll even embed the video.  Technology OP.

 

A GANG Manifesto: Horseplay, Origins, and Team Spirit

Riddle me this…

What *is* GANG exactly?

To understand the spirit of the Geeky Antics Network Global (GANG) initiative, it may be worth talking a bit about the origins of HorsePLAY! and how we have evolved.  As we see it, HorsePLAY! is one of many brands and communities we will use to expand the network.  We love teaming up with other podcasters, geeks, and content marketers..

…But, anyway, origins…

 

HorsePLAY! iTunes-Friendly Podcast Cover
HorsePLAY! Where Geeks Come To Play!

When Obi and I first started HorsePLAY!, it was three of us crazy geeks talking video games (we miss ya Soldierism), technology, and whatever else happened to tickle our fancies at the time.  We had a very heavy focus on PC gaming, indie games, and MOBAs (League of Legends in particular).  We’re still a very young podcast but in our few months of doing this together, we’ve evolved quite a bit.  Now, HorsePLAY! is more about digital entertainment as a whole and we certainly have other defining elements in comedy, news, etc.

The beauty of starting any content is that you can run with a very vague idea and build upon it as you go along.; in fact, it’s best to just jump right in and not just over-think things into paralysis.  As we do more HorsePLAY! episodes, our general ideas get more refined.  We like to keep our content as raw and gritty as possible, yet we have a very deliberate direction for HorsePLAY! and GANG alike.

Don’t be afraid to dive in – the GANG is here for you!

It’s hard to describe what HorsePLAY! is in terms of categories (maybe you can help us when conclude this article) and main themes but we certainly know what we want to be in everyone’s minds.  In simple terms, we see HorsePLAY! as a community platform for geeks to collaborate, laugh, and just hang out.  That’s exactly what GANG is being built for as well.

HorsePLAY! LIVE has evolved to become the primary podcast platform  for Geeky Antics.  It is an interactive show focused on cross-promotion and community engagement, just like the rest of the GANG.

Certainly, there are tons of networks out there taking the gaming or geeky angle.  Geek & Sundry, AllGames (one of our unofficial partners), PodGods, and VOG (Voice of Geek) come to mind.  These are all networks we love yet they are missing a few things.  These are the opportunities the major networks miss and we’d like to capitalize on:

  • Creating systems to make it easier for people with great ideas to produce great content.
  • Delivering multi-language content around the world.
  • Building communities that are just as much a part of the creative process as the authors, producers, and hosts.
  • Collaborating with geeks that have the same passion and goals we do here on GANG.
  • Fostering a team spirit while allowing everyone to express themselves freely and authentically.
  • Liberating content marketers so that they can have fun – for the first time or all over again!

The last two items are particularly important to us.  All the big networks do a good job of branding and spreading influence; however, the individual contributors usually get the worst part of the deal.  We want to guide creatives and geeks through the processes of content marketing while allowing as much freedom as possible to our contributors.  We don’t want anyone to feel trapped or restricted while we provide such guidance.

GANG provides the tools, experience, and people to foster an environment of collaboration, fun, and results.  It’s a team effort – for REAL!

All GANG team members and contributors have the option of producing exclusive content or syndicating.  Regardless of the path chosen, we want this network to feel more like a family or, better yet, gathering place for friends and family.  We’re willing to give almost anyone a chance.  The only real rule is this: don’t be an asshat and please check your ego at the door.

Your eCards - Don't Be A Douchebag..  You Asshat

Of course, things get tricky when monetization is involved.  Everyone has bills to pay and nothing is truly free so we have plans for revenue sharing and building capital.   Now, we recognize there is a fine line between sustainability/profit and selling out.  Our hope is that we can stay authentic and have fun doing what we’re passionate, while being profitable.  It’s a tall order but we know it can be done.

Another major pitfall we want to avoid is become elitist or too exclusive.  We’ve found that many outlets refuse to give people a chance yet everyone has to start somewhere.  Whereas most media networks/empires pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create mutually-beneficial scenarios where audiences, creatives, and platforms all win (win-win-win’s, as I like to call them).  Establishing a good balance between being professional and casual will be a challenge in itself.

Whereas most media networks pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create win-win-win scenarios.

If you believe in team spirit and are tired of the politics in major media networks, GANG is the place for you.  We can’t promise that we will never employ ads, microtransactions, or anything of the sort but we can promise that the art comes first.  That said, donations and volunteering will be a big part of our sustainability and growth.  Fundraisers are definitely on the horizon.  Believe me, every contribution (creative, financial, or otherwise) goes a long way for our collective success.

So that there is our GANG manifesto.  We know the specifics will become more clear as we grow our team and release more great content.  Thus far, the response has been amazing.  The support we have been getting has made the process far less daunting so we truly appreciate all the folks volunteering and rallying for us.

Now it’s time to introduce our team so far because a network, or any organization at that, is nothing without the right people supporting it.  First, James Tarr, better known to HorsePLAY! fans as ObioneX2 (or just plain Obi), is a growing personality on Twitch.  These days he is heavily into Arma 2 but he has also been hardcore into League of Legends, War Thunder, Hearthstone, Battlefield 4, Day-Z, and other PC games.  Obi specializes in video production, particularly when it comes to livestreaming, which involves a balance of community engagement, overlay/scene design, and scheduling.  His knowledge in these areas will help us establish the production value and timing necessary to create and build audiences in what are otherwise very crowded spaces.

Now for Mr. Ellis!  Dakota Ellis has gone by many names, including DingleDorf and Asmodeus.  He is a long-time clanmate – GO NOF – and friend.  Kota is pretty new to online marketing but has been involved in forums, Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, mailing lists, and other projects.  He’s also been a moderator and community liaison for small games like ARC/Spark and Babo.  Our hopes are to groom him as a social media specialist so he can help us curate content and sustain our various engagement paths (or marketing channels, if you prefer).

Next up is James Fortengard, known by AllGamers as Yuri or Fort.  James has quite the impressive resume, which boasts the ability to speak many languages and vast knowledge of comics, anime, film, video games, and more.  Like many lesser-known online personalities, Fort never quite got the chance to strut his stuff on an established platform or network.  He’s a tough cookie with strong opinions so we’re excited to see what we he can do once he is given a chance to do his thang.  We already have several concepts for shows/podcasts so expect some new exclusives soon!

Finally, Matt Bradford (@MattoMcFly on Twitter) has confirmed interest in joining GANG.  He’s currently busy with Guiness World Records, VGO (VideoGameOutsiders), AllGames Network, Games Radar, and Zombie Cast so he’ll be a guest host and blog contributor until we can all seduce him to stay for the long haul.  Please show Matt and the rest of the team some love, guys!

So that’s our team so far.  We hope to introduce our new GANGsters as HorsePLAY! guests but, for now, expect some blog contributions here soon enough.  Before we close out this GANG manifesto, I wanted to involve you all in the evolution of HorsePLAY! since it is our flagship show.  Take the poll below and leave some comments.  Let us know what your impressions of HorsePLAY! are so far.  This feedback will help us produce even better content.  Keep it positive and constructive.  We will not feed trolls! *wink*

HorsePLAY! Zombie Talk Series: The Walking Dead Season 4 & Beyond

Greetings horsies, zombies, and GANGsters!

We got a great response from HorsePLAY! EP10 so we are going to continue our unofficial Zombie Talk Series for at least an episode or two more. So far, we have barely scraped the surface wounds so will switch the format up a bit to jump straight into the zombie herd. For tonight’s show, HorsePLAY! LIVE EP11 “Night of the Zombie Geeks”, we will team up with Zombie Cast for a total of five hosts. The focus will be on The Walking Dead but we will try to delve into games, podcasts, books, movies, etc.

NEW!  Did you miss HorsePLAY! EP10?  No worries – here is the HD video, just for you!  We’ll be adding more videos and show highlights so let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see more of!

 

So far in Season 4.5 of The Walking Dead, Episodes 9 through 11, we have seen a rather slow build-up. It looks like the show is still committed to fan fare for followers of the comics yet the introduction of Terminus is taking the story into a whole new direction. We have a lot of speculations and predictions on this aspect of the story arc alone.

Here are some topics we will tackle, straight from our HorsePLAY! LIVE show notes:

  • Has Daryl gone derp like Rick?
  • Wait, Beth is the hopeful one and now Daryl seems to be giving up?  Get it together, Daryl!
  • Babies in the zombie apocalypse: hope or nuisance?
  • Lizzie must be related to The Governor – she’s CRAZY!
  • Will Tara go straight?
  • What if Tyreese finds out about what Carol did?
  • Did any of the Season 4.5 scenes lack tension?  Maggie searching for Glenn on the bus, for example.
  • Will Glen be overwhelmed by guilt and give up?
  • WTF?  Bulletproof Maggie!
  • Wait a minute..  Are Daryl and Beth going the wrong way on the tracks??!  That’s not Terminus!
  • An upcoming Daryl-only episode makes us think someone will die.  Will they be bold and kill Daryl or just dump Beth?
  • Spin-off TWD show coming 2015 alongside Season 5.  Any thoughts or additional info?
  • Keep up the zombie talk! Be sure to visit our friends at The Zombie Blog – http://thezombieblog.net – and Zombie Cast –http://zombiecast.net – guys, any other zombie content you wanna share?

In EP10 we raised one particularly spicy question:

How long does The Walking Dead show have before it runs out of steam?

With the TWD spin-off show set for a 2015 release, how long will this current crew of survivors keep us hooked?  The general consensus by Shawn Freeman and Matt Bradford of Zombie Cast in EP10 was that they have one or two strong seasons left, yet there is a world of things they can still do in this universe.. without the spin-off(s).  We are concerned yet hopeful!

There’s lots to say here but I will save it for the show.  I will say this: TWD EP9 and 11 were rather slow but they are definitely building up to something big.  I think they might redeem what has otherwise been a stale season towards the end.  The key is to keep introducing and building up key characters so we can get invested in the experience once again.

I am curious if Robert Kirkman will be bold enough to kill off Daryl.  He’s clearly a fan favorite and what will all the teeny bopper girls do if the stud is gone??  Regardless of how many badasses they assemble, I would say TWD’s strengths reside in the human elements so they should rely less on the zombie battles.  Of course, we love the epic takedowns but it’ll be better if they space it out and make us anticipate those moments more.

What do you guys think about Season 4.5 of The Walking Dead this far?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Come join us on HorsePLAY! LIVE tonight and every Thursday night at 11pm EST.  We may be rescheduling in a month or so to better accomodate our guests but, for now, we are the Interweb’s midnight crew for all things geeky.  Party with us!

Full HD Streamhttp://twitch.tv/obionex2

Mobile-Friendly Streamhttp://twitch.tv/yogizilla