Browsing articles in "gaming"
Aug 7, 2012

YouTubesday: Portal: No Escape (Live Action Short Film by Dan Trachtenberg)

I’m going to try this new thing where every Tuesday I post a YouTube video I find interesting, funny, or weird (I end up on the weird part of YouTube a lot, OK?).

Today, enjoy “Portal: No Escape (Live Action Short Film by Dan Trachtenberg).”  It’s a fan-made short film based in the universe of the Portal games.  Do yourself a favor and watch in full screen HD.

I think I can safely speak for everyone in saying, this needs to be a movie.

Feb 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day, you awkward souls

Why not use a holiday as an excuse to resurrect from the blog grave? This site is now a zombie, fully animate and ready to partake in some brains.

I was looking for funny geek Valentines to post on my Facebook and just wasn’t finding a good site that had a bunch all in one place. Several blogs had “themes” like Star Wars-, science- or video game-themed Valentines, but I wanted just a bunch of them from all spectrum of nerd in one place. So here I am, solving a problem that probably no one else in the world has.

I gathered these Valentines from all over, and so don’t have any attribution. I can confirm that I did not make any of them! Feel free to print them out and give them to your sweeties today in place of expensive chocolates, jewelry, flowers and Ming vases. I am positive it will go over well.

Continue reading »

Jul 10, 2010

Blizzard backs down on real names, now what?

So this past week, WoW players threw a fit when Blizzard announced that upon release of Starcraft II they would be forcing players to use their real names in the online forums. This news came on the heels of some really innovative things Blizzard has been doing with Similar to Steam‘s model but just for Blizzard games, you’re now able to log into all of your Blizzard games through a single account. You will be able to contact people on your friends list through this account, no matter which game or realm they are on, and you can allow real life friends (or whomever you wish) to see your real name and search for you with RealID.

The logic, Blizzard claimed, behind forcing forum users to use their real names is that it would curb trolling and general forum debauchery like that which occurs on a daily basis on the World of Warcraft Forums. WoW players knew that they would be next and much bawling ensued.

Some arguments were legitimate like workplace discrimination and people applying to jobs not wanting future employers to Google them, find out they play WoW and dismiss their application. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stereotypes surrounding gamers, especially WoW players, so I can understand this stance. Of course there’s also the trolls who will harass you in real life too now with your real name for all to see. The major sentiment was that implementing this system harms the good players and really will do little to deter the trolls. I mean, it’s proven that real names don’t stop a lot of people from making asses of themselves online. Just look at Facebook, real names, photos, personal identifying information and all doesn’t stop people from trolling and generally making uncouth comments.

Blurred to protect the innocent?

Blizzard backs down

As people began threatening account cancellation and more sites picked up the story, Blizzard finally abandoned the real name concept. The CEO posted on the forum yesterday: Continue reading »

Mar 20, 2010

Gettin’ down on the FarmVille

I love FarmVille. The first step is admitting it.

If you don’t know, FarmVille is an application game by Zynga on Facebook. The goal of the game is to manage a virtual farm by planting crops and orchards, raising animals and harvesting/collecting the fruits of your labors. As you play, you gain both gold and experience points. Experience points count toward levels, each new level unlocks new plants/animals/items to purchase and the ability to expand your farm. Gold can be used to purchase seeds for planting, animals and various decorations for your farm. You can also get items and bonuses for unlocking achievements or “ribbons,” usually for doing things like planting a certain number of crops, milking a certain number of cows, etc.

Another large part of the game is interacting with other Facebook friends who play FarmVille. You can add your friends as neighbors. The more friends you have as neighbors, the larger your farm can be. Friends can visit each others’ farms and fertilize crops/feed their chickens giving them bonuses when they harvest. There are a number of free gifts you can send your friends to help them with their farms including trees, animals, decor and building materials. Another bonus to having friends that play are news feed updates. When a friend makes a certain achievement or finds a special item like a lost cat or “lonely bull” they have the option of sharing it on their Facebook feed, leaving the item up for grabs for other FarmVille-playing friends.

There’s the basics. Now I’d like to share some tips/tricks I’ve learned that have aided me in playing the game.

But, Amber, I hate FarmVille. How do I never hear about your stupid chickens laying eggs?

farmvillefeedFirst thing’s first, I understand that not everyone gets or even likes FarmVille. I’ve heard of frustrated people getting bombarded by FarmVille updates in their news feeds “defriending” people. This is completely unnecessary. If you don’t want to see FarmVille updates, or any other updates for that matter, Facebook has the option to hide them.

As you can see in the image at left, I’ve highlighted the “hide” button. It appears when you hover over the right side of a news feed item. Click on it and it will give you the option to hide FarmVille updates or, if you really don’t like your friends, all of their updates.

Got it? Now on to advice for the FarmVillains who still want to play.


My first suggestion is to ditch playing FarmVille through Facebook. Once I collect the free gifts from my friends on Facebook, I head over to Why? There’s several reasons. For me, the game runs much more smoothly on the site and has a really clean interface. The big reason, though, is the “game feed.”

On, there is a convenient game feed (pictured right) below your game window. If you’ve ever been frustrated because you were too late on a game bonus as a result of getting lost in your Facebook news feed, then this will come as a relief. It places all of your friends’ FarmVille updates in one place. I’ve gotten so many more coin bonuses, free animals, gas, flowers and collectibles since I started using the Web site. I’ve also been better able to help friends requesting certain items or looking for help to upgrade their storage/chicken coops.

Another positive side of using the is exclusive gifts to send your friends that can only be found on

Another way I like to play, and this is not limited to, is in full screen mode. It’s especially useful when your farm gets large so you can better see everything. This is done by clicking the button on your tool bar that looks like a little square on a big square next to the “+” and “-” zoom in/out buttons.

It’s a trap!

I’m an impatient person. One thing I can’t stand on FarmVille is when harvesting trees or animals you have to wait on your miniature sprite to walk all across the farm manually picking each cherry and sheering each sheep. You can speed this process up by trapping them. Continue reading »

Feb 11, 2009

Blizzard v. WoWGlider /v. Everyone who breaks a ToS

tuxThe Initial Case
Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the ridiculously popular World of Warcraft MMORPG, are singing praise and patting themselves on the back because of their victory over the creators of WoWGliderBot. WoW Glider was a software that would essentially play your character in the game for you, doing all of the menial tasks like gathering items and killing mobs in order to level.

So Blizzard went on the offensive and, looking for some real life gold, sued the creators of WoWGlider, winning $6 million back in October. However, Blizzard took it a step further and dragged them back to court this last month in a case to determine whether the creators broke the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Judge finds WoWGlider in Violation of DMCA
Somehow, Arizona Judge David G. Campbell ruled that the WoWGlider software violated the DMCA. Meaning that because they violated the Terms of Service/Use put in place by Blizzard they were infringing their copyright. So even though the program is not at all used to extract Blizzard’s copyrighted material, they have been found to be in violation of their copyright. Continue reading »