#DoctorWho Podcast: Timey-Wimey Tea Time Ep. 2 with @MattoMcfly @yogizilla @faryna

Best Ever DoctorWho Podcast: Timey-Wimey Tea Time Ep. 2 (A SURPRISE Show) with @yogizilla @mattomcfly @faryna

The 12th Doctor is going to rock it or not. If Capaldi doesn’t get the training wheels removed in the next episode, there will be dissent and dismay. But episode two of Season 8 had more than a few surprises beyond a yet limping Capaldi and not least of them, Moffet whipped out the Aristotle and threw down the existential gauntlet.

Tune in Saturday noon ET (9am Los Angeles and 5pm London) for a friendly live chat experience of TWTT 4 on http://www.twitch.tv/geekyantics



Inconceivable! The Doctor Who community has more enthusiasm than any other we know. 1,100 Retweets of our latest Twitter post for Episode 2 of the Time-Wimey Tea Time podcast. We’re feeling the love – big time.

.. [Read more…]

Everything you need to know about #DoctorWho for Season 8

Everything you need to know about #DoctorWho for Season 8

The 12th Doctor stars in the Doctor Who Season 8 kick off on Saturday (23 August) at 7:50 ET on BBC America.

Who cares, right?

Wrong.
Just in time for the long-awaited episode, titled Deep Breath, Yomar Lopez and Stan Faryna chat about Doctor Who on Episode Zero of Timey-Wimely Tea Time.What is Doctor Who?Doctor, who?Yogizilla and Faryna make a fun, sincere and thoughtful romp through the history, hype and awesome of the 50 year old sci-fi tv series. Check it out. If you want Lopez and Faryna to do more Timey-Wimey Tea Time, be generous with the likes and comments on YouTube.
Part 1
Part 2 

Kickstarters Ending Soon & Major Twitch Updates – Time Is Running Out!

Well, folks, I was hoping to share the latest HorsePLAY! LIVE HD video with you guys buuuutttt..  Twitch has been funky.  We’ll get into that but time is of the essence!  Here’s last week’s video instead.  It’s relevant.

We have some HUGE news and time-sensitive items so be sure to read on, gang.. There are critical items for Kickstarter and Twitch users here!

HorsePLAY! EP34 is up on iTunes, Stitcher, and our official GANG podcasts feed.  Here is the embedded MP3 player, for your convenience.  In this episode, a girl joins us. JanelNo5, a rising Twitch superstar, makes this show a non-sausage fest – YAY!

Kickstarter: Fire With Fire PvP Tower Defense Game

First things first, Fire With Fire is close to being funded but we only have a couple of days.  On Sunday, August 10th 2014, this Kickstarter project comes to an end.  Currently, we need around 300 backers if everyone pledges the $6 or more (the minimum is $1).  We can make someone’s dreams come true! #GeeksUnite

Other indie games we are excited about on Kickstarter include Factions and Bacon Man, which end on August 10th and 15th, respectively. Spread the word. It only takes a few minutes to help good content go viral!

Sorry Twitch Store Closed

Major Twitch Changes & What You Need To Know TODAY

Twitch has wasted no time mixing things up now that Google is backing them with their bottomless pit of munnies. Justin.tv closes it’s doors which leads us to believe Twitch will start to compete with Ustream, Playstream, and other streaming platforms. This worries me a bit.

My concern is that the focus will shift from gaming and Twitch will become as noisy as YouTube. This is great for established video personalities but terribad for the rest of us. Let’s not forget that the Twitch brand implies gaming (i.e. twitch gaming like we see in MOBAs and FPS games). Diversifying content would ruin the brand identity. I guess only time will tell!

Hosting is one of the biggest features to come. After months of testing, now everyone can now host their favorite streamers on their own channel. This is a great alternative to simulcasting or Twitch raids, but it will not replace it. There are some key distinctions between hosting and comparable tactics:

  • All followers and views go to the hosted streamer.
  • The host will not generate video archives.
  • Hosting channels will not appear live on the mobile app (yet).

Twitch CEO has announced a new VOD policy on the official Twitch blog. Starting August 27th, past broadcasts will be removed unless there are highlights associated with them. Partnered streamers and Turbo users will have more time to work with their archives but everyone else will have a 3 to 14-day window to work with old videos.

During EP34, I went off on a rant because the changes to how Twitch handles VODs came suddenly. Sure, we saw the writing on the wall but now we have to hustle to make sure all that content we have created over months or years doesn’t go to waste. There are lots of things that need to be in place before Twitch enforces these changes.

Ironically, soon after our live show, I realized Twitch implemented quick exports and highlighting. Now you can do exports as a two-step process without loading up different pages and tabs. This was desperately needed. Sadly, I am noticing that YouTube is getting overloaded and bouncing back videos during batch jobs. Argh.  BTW, they are aware of the server capacity issues (officially as of August 6th 10:50am PT).

http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/update-changes-to-vods-on-twitch/

Video highlighting is much easier and cleaner now. You can create multiple highlights during one session. Again, brilliant.. And this update actually works properly so YAY! You can also see all highlights associated with a source video at a glance AND export without creating a highlight first. This is far more intuitive so great job, Twitch!

The best part about this policy change is that it will remind Twitch streamers to do what they should be doing already: creating highlights and bookmarks. I can’t tell you how many channels I visit that are barren when they are offline. It’s quite sad.

Now that Google is in the mix, I am hoping for some SEO enhancements. Tagging, social integration, commenting, and enhanced search would rock. I would also love to see differentiation between live and archived content. This would give archived content far more value and give streamers like myself more of an edge by allowing us to create themed content and events.

To our fellow streamers, the best tip we can offer now is to make sure you not only click “Save Forever” on videos but also highlight and export whenever possible. Don’t forget to bookmark, too! It looks really seksy when you have a wide variety of content available on your channel when you’re offline. In some ways, I like the presentation better than what YouTube currently does.. But a little customization wouldn’t hurt here!

Oh wait.. We forgot the biggest update!

Copyrighted music on streams is now a no-no. Google is not enforcing strikes or other stupidity yet but they have gone back and retroactively muted all video segments where music is found.. Unless it is royalty-free or officially licensed (they are not set up for the latter yet, obviously).

We saw this coming but it sucks. We recommend avoiding song requests or background music all together because it will limit the value of your recordings, even if you focus 100% on the live experience. Of course, there is always the option of playing your own music for yourself or only having in-game music but be wary of games like Typing Of The Dead: Overkill, which uses licensed music. I learned the hard way to lower game music just to be safe; otherwise, no YouTube highlights, which sucks!

1.2 Billion Passwords Stolen By Russian Hackers

1.2 Billion Passwords Stolen.. Google Responds

Holds Security of Milwaukee reports that Russian hackers have stolen 1.2 billion passwords to online accounts worldwide. The affected sites and platforms have remained undisclosed but, just to play it safe, you may want to change your passwords. I recommend using unique passwords for your most critical resources like online banking, control panels, and government sites, just to be extra safe.

Google has responded to this news by offering rewards to more secure sites. Using SSL, encrypted passwords, login lockdowns/timeouts, CAPTCHA, and other security methods will increase your search rankings. I wonder if there will be less of a penalty for longer load times since security hardening tends to compromise performance.

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Confirmed After Leak

Ubisoft confirms that Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is coming this year as a Christmas Season 2014 release alongside the highly-anticipated “next gen” Assassin’s Creed: Unity. This news comes after a video was leaked. Now console gamers on both sides of the generation gap will be covered.

We have mixed feelings about this. Personally, I love the AC series (though the original is really hard to go back to now) but I think this overkill. Major franchises like this should not be annualized because quality suffers and discerning consumers are overwhelmed with too many options. Yes, game publishers, not all of us spend $5000 or more on video games each year, no matter how hardcore we may be.

I feel gamers have plenty of content to catch up on and enjoy as it is. This news only frustrates me. I may be in the vocal minority here but what do you guys think? Let us know via voicemail or in the comments below.

HorsePLAY! LIVE  iTunes-Friendly Podcast Cover

HorsePLAY! LIVE Where Geeks Come To Play!

Our First HorsePLAY! LIVE iTunes Review

We usually don’t push for iTunes reviews because we realize people are using other platforms.. And iTunes isn’t very intuitive when it comes to leaving reviews.

That said, we got our very first iTunes review from Normii477 from Zombie Cast and Knuckleballer Radio. Thank you, Normii! Your words really touch our hearts and get us even more fired up to bring you more great content. I agree that what I love most about our show is the chemistry Obi and I have since we contrast and compliment each other so well (some would say we are a married couple LOL). Of course, the live interaction on the GeekyAntics Twitch channel keeps things interesting every week. We love you guys – even the trolls!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/horseplay!-live-where-geeks/id837770294?mt=2

You guys really get what we are about and that’s awesome. We want HorsePLAY! LIVE to be the radio show and interactive platform where geeks can get their fix on a wide variety of discussions, events, and news. Keep the reviews coming, gang!

Stitcher is still our preferred mobile podcast app so please use their Facebook integration to leave us comments and give us some thumbs up lovin. Don’t forget to tune into us on AllGames.com every Thursday at around 5pm Eastern. AllGames.com has their own live chat – join the IRC channel and tell them the GANG at HorsePLAY! LIVE sent ya. You’ll get a warm welcome, just like we did when we joined the network! BTW, we’d LOVE more voicemail messages and bumpers at (206) 415-4987 – save our live listeners the torture of having to listen to us rant for two hours or more. *wink-wink*

Play hard and play smart, geeks! *insert heart here*

Pixelated Pints Returns In The Glorious Episode 10 – Featuring The Nose Tampon!

Obligatory Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians is all the talk amongst comic book fans and the non-geek folk alike.  Fred wants everyone to know (including Chip Cella of The B-Team) that he has NOT seen it yet.  I haven’t seen it yet either but it is definitely on the must-watch list.  Sadly, it’s hard for me to go to movie theaters because we have a large family and, well, people are idiots at theaters.

Please turn off your cell phones..  And leave your kids at home.  kthxgg

I am Groot.

Groot Loops Cereal - I Am Groot - You Are Groot - We Are Groot

If you want an in-depth look at Guardians Of The Galaxy over the past several decades, check out Agents Of SHIELDcast.  I’m sure Fred and Heffe will be reporting back with his findings well.  Until then, let’s keep this a spoiler-free zone, friends!

Nose Tampon & Fred’s Recovery

Fred assures us that he is making a speedy recovery and we’re glad to have him back so we can officially-OFFICIALLY welcome Pixelated Pints to the GANG!  That said, try not to give him a hard time about the nasaly sounding voice.  Honestly, I kinda like the Keith Sweat tone to his voice now. *smirk*

Brace Yourself - That Wizard Is Coming

 Destiny Beta Talk..  Again

“That wizard came from the moon!”

Apparently, the wizard is no longer from the moon.  If you don’t know what we’re talking about, check out Fred’s favorite web site (sarcasm) for a little background:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/20/5828892/that-wizard-came-from-the-moon-shirt-destiny-bungie

Fred discusses his feelings on Destiny and why he canceled his pre-order.

If you miss out on the zeitgeist of this game, you will be very lonely.

Heffe likes Destiny.  Fred is not a fan.  His argument (and I am paraphrasing):

What happens if you try to play the Titanfall campaign now?  Disappointment.  Destiny might be different but will the consistent updates be enough.  Still, is Destiny the flavor of the moment.  Will it be relevant in two years?  And WTF is that zeitgeist stuff that keeps coming up on Pixelated Pints Episode 10?

zeitgeist – n. the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

I agree with Fred’s sentiment.  This is actually why I am taking a break from console gaming.  It feels that a lot of games are hot for a week or a few months, then they suck thereafter.  There aren’t many console games I can think of that you can go back to at any time or join late without feeling like you missed out on the full experience.  Destiny has one thing on it’s side: at least it’s not an EA game!

Kickstarter Projects And Explaining “Investment”

Fred has a big problem with Kickstarter.  Heffe sits back while Fred rants a bit.  Fred’s biggest problem is that media outlets refer to Kickstarter backing as “investing”, which is misleading.  Do backers/pledgers really feel that they are entitled to something in return?

Heffe agrees that Kickstarter projects are not investments because there is no profit sharing.  Does material result qualifies as ROI (Return On Investment)?  What do you think?  You can e-mail PP at pixelatedpints@gmail.com or leave us a VM with your thoughts at (206) 415-4987 so we can discuss further.  Don’t be shy – share your thoughts with the GANG!

The infamous Potato Salad Kickstarter project returns.  Fred jokes that the project had a better ROI than most other crowdfunding efforts.  LOL..  Now that may be true indeed!

Here’s a Kickstarter we’d love for you to support: Fire With Fire!  FwF is a PvP TD (Tower Defense) game in the spirit of Tower Wars or Warcraft III customs designed by our pal Theory with music from one of our biggest supporters – Stephen Gibson a.k.a. Esgee!

EA Access: Value Or Rip-Off?

For $30 a year or around $6 a month, you can subscribe to EA Access.  Think Netflix for video games.  While the EA library is very sports-heavy, you can play gems like Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2 FOR FREE for as long as they are available in the library.  It is worth noting that this will be a download service with limited availability.

Sony must have seen this as a conflict of interest since they have their stinker of a streaming service, Playstation NOw.  Sony turned EA Access and now it will be an XBox One exclusive.  Even if you are not interested in the free offerings and yesteryear’s hits, the biggest benefit of the service will be early access granting you a 5-day headstart on new releases.

Fortengard in the “chat” says EA Access will be a paywall within paywall..  And EA is notorious for nickel-and-diming consumers.  As much as I dislike EA, I see the value for your buck.

For some reason, everyone picks on EA.

Fred and Heffe urge gamers to stop complaining about the free stuff we’re getting now with, say, XBox LIVE Games With Gold.  Console gaming is really trying to drive value for gamers.

To put things into perspective, SNK is charging $9 for their Neo-Geo renting services, when you can own the games for that much.  What??  Now, who would be better-suited to do a streaming or rental type subsciption service?  Activision, Ubisoft, Square-Enix, Deep Silver..   What library would get us excited about getting freebies?

Defining Value In Preorders/Retail

One of the recurring themes we have here at GANG is the matter of preorders and retail pricing.  With that, there’s stuff like early access games and Steam Greenlight.

Are preorders and early access good for the consumer?

I’m not a fan of pricing on the console.  When you consider the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for console gaming, you’re easily spending thousands upon thousands of dollars in a two to five-year span..  Even if you are a “casual” gamer.  PC offers an investment that will last you longer.  The initial entry point can be rough but, after that, there is value around every corner.

Preorders I feel are losing their appeal.  The bonus content rarely warrants the initial buy-in.  For most of us, waiting for a sale makes more sense, unless we are worried about missing out on the zeitgeist for the particular game.  Essentially, we’re paying for the water-cooler conversations and the bragging rights that come with being early adopters.

Fred notes that PC pricing will always be more competitive than console pricing because they have abandoned the retail model long ago.  Consoles also subsidize the hardware cost through attachments, which keeps the initial cost lower than comparable gaming PCs.  Fred goes on to say that early access is a great idea but it needs to be quarantined from the completed games because a lot of these games never quite get “finished”.

Here’s my argument: early access games are often no different than a lot of full retail offerings..  Except you’re paying less for them.  There is less risk with PC gaming.  You get more value for your buck on the PC front, whereas console games are removing value from initial releases more and more.  Just look at how many iterations of Street Fighter IV there are!  And let’s not even get started on the DLCs and locked on-disc content…  Meh.

Unfocused Focus Groups..  And The Decline In US Education

Focus groups still have a place but do gaming companies and their research/marketing partners have any clue what they are doing?  Fred will tell you the answer is a resounding NO!  To illustrate this, he shares a story of a highly-educated woman who suggest a game with Kratos in a World War II setting.  Yup, because WW2 hasn’t been the theme of any game before.

Are focus groups too unfocused to accomplish anything of value?  Value..  There’s that dirty word again.  Furthermore, is US education getting that bad?  Come on, we must have better ideas than that Kratos crap!

Is Minecraft Is Over-Rated?

MOE-JANG pops up into the discussion.  Is Notch a total douche?  What is he doing with the tons of money that Minecraft has made him?

The PP crew agrees that Minecraft is an over-rated POS.  What do you think?  If you ask this guy, Scrolls is the real Mojang game of note.

For more rants and drunken gaming goodness, visit the PP crew at http://pixelatedpints.com/ and PixelatedPints on Google+/YouTube!

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 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?

[Read more…]

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*

[Read more…]

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!

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 G.A.N.G. Manifesto: Horseplay, Origins, and Team Spirit

Riddle me this…

What *is* G.A.N.G. exactly?  Who is “The GANG”?

To understand the spirit of the Geeky Antics Network Global (G.A.N.G.) 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! LIVE, 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!

Then there’s Matt Bradford (@MattoMcFly on Twitter), who has confirmed interest in joining GANG but is super-duper busy (we understand, buddy).  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!

Finally, there’s Andy Fewtrell a.k.a. Spathizilla, who works tirelessly to make sure servers are secure and up around the clock.  He’s one of my oldest friends and one of the few people I can truly say I trust completely and consider a brother.  I mean, that’s not to diminish everyone else’s efforts but this guy puts in the time and money, whereas most will just make promises and never follow through.  He’s a guy that you can count on..  And it helps that he’s from England and has the awesome accent!  Really, he needs to lend that to our podcasts (one day, we hope)!

But wait – there’s MORE!  The GANG is the entire community over at GeekyAntics..  That includes YOU!  Yes, all you awesome folks who donate, share, comment, listen, view, chat, etc.  There is no us with you soooo..  Thanks for being YOU!

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*