Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Calling all Geeks! Add your star in a monument to Reach



Geek within me, be damned. But after watching the little snipit from the dashboard on my XBox 360 about a virtual monument being built on a website made from the "tagged" stars created by Facebook users, I couldn't help myself.

RememberReach.com takes you to a website that essentially is a fictitious (duh) memorial website dedicated to those brave six spartans that...fell?...in or on or somewhere near the planet Reach. And to pay tribute, visitors to the site can add a star to the memorial by linking their Facebook info to the site and tag a spot on the memorial, which will be added at some point. Not immediately, which I thought was pretty cool. They don't just throw it up there and say "Jolly Good!" They make you wait your turn like a good little geek.


Granted, it's basically just a big data collector if you think about it. But at the same time, a cool one at that and I couldn't help myself; the good little geek within wanted to place a star on a crotch. Any crotch. Which sadly you can't select.


So I settled for a shoulder.


It'll be easier to find my star instead of having to methodically pinpoint myself with the rest of the would-be nut-huggers out there.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Altered Esthetics to host video game art exhibit "Level_13"






I originally posted this on Examiner.com, but thought I would share it over here as well. In fact, you'll probably see more of these kinds of posting. Because I'm a giver.


Video games as an art form? Absolutely!

Beginning September 3rd, Altered Esthetics will be hosting the 4th biennial video game art exhibit, Level_13. This year’s theme: classic video games.

As a celebration of all things retro in video games, Level_13 will be displaying unique works of art inspired by the video games of yester-year.

In previous Level_13 exhibits, artists from all over the Twin Cities and beyond have proudly displayed their creativity and passion for video games through a variety of mediums including: sculpture, paintings, musical performances, and other various styles. It is through this passion the artists have illustrated that the art of video games is not limited strictly to just pixels on a screen.

The opening reception will be held Friday, September 3rd from 7pm to 10pm. The exhibit will run through Thursday, September 23rd. An artist’s discussion is scheduled for Saturday, September 18th from 1pm to 3pm.

Altered Esthetics is a non-profit art gallery located in Northeast Minneapolis in the Q’arma Building. Their community-based art gallery and arts advocacy organization work to support and expand the artistic community through unique and compelling exhibits. Additionally, Altered Esthetics offers multiple internship programs providing a valuable hands-on experience both on and off the gallery floor.

(Artwork courtesy of Nicholas Straight)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

These ultra-editions are killing me!

First of all, just to hopefully avoid all the snarky remarks, I KNOW that I don't have to get them. But the stuff they come with is just too damn cool.

Now that I got that out of the way, onto my subject: the ultra-editions. "The what?" The ultra-editions. You know, Halo 3's Legendary Edition or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Prestige Edition. They are the original instigator's of the next phase in collector's editions for video games. At first, it was just the collector's editions. They came with a small figurine or soundtrack or art book or something, well....collectable. But then one day some genius in a suit thought, "What if we stuck a giant dust-collecting toy in there? You know, something big and gaudy that is gonna really get the geeks soaking their jeans?"

And thus, the Legendary Edition of Halo 3 was born. And geeks "ga-fawed" at it's awesomeness, the potential to see kitten's wearing it, and not to mention it's awesome price: $130! And surprisingly, people paid for this.

As did I.

...Shut up.

Then Activision came about with their Prestige Edition of Modern Warfare 2. Which came with a much cooler toy: night vision goggles. And they weren't some crappy piece of plastic. They were REAL WORKING NIGHT VISION GOGGLES! Admittedly, they seemed of more worth than a plastic display helmet that was too small to wear. Nice move, Microsoft.

So again, I cracked open my wallet and got the goggles. (And to increase the awesomeness of it all, I admit that I have put the goggles on the Master Chief helmet that came with Halo 3).

Again....shut up.

Now we have Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops upon us. And each has its own ubber-edition. Reach gets a 10-pound statue by McFarlane Toys, and Black Ops gets a remote control car. "What's so special about the car?" Well, it has a built-in microphone and video camera that feeds images and sound back to the controller through a tiny screen built into the handle. And as for the statue, well, it's a very nice statue. And the ubber-geek in me has a hard time resisting. It's just a bit too epic.

(I see potential to put little spartans on a remote control car and race them around the house. Curse the geek in me).

And so my wallet gets an itch, again. A $300 itch.

I hate the fall game release season.
video video

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things LearnedFrom Playing: Assassin's Creed 2

Recently I just finished playing through Assassin's Creed 2. If you haven't played it yet, do it. It's great.

Anyway, while playing through it, I learned a few things:

~Leonardo Da Vinci's genious will know doubt inspire a group of rebelious teenage reptiles to fight evil someday, naming their leader after him in honor.

~No matter the height from which you jump, whether it's from the roof of the house or the top of a cathedral, landing in a 6'x8' wagon full of leaves or 5 foot high pile of hay will save you from the fall.


~Just because you can free-run anywhere in the game, does not mean you can free-run anywhere in real life. Two trepassing violations, a spooked old woman, and a sprained ankle are proof.

~Guards were the bullies of the 15th century, passing down their incredible bullying knowledge and skills to all modern-day high-school football jocks.

~And lastly, knives should be an everyday fashion accessory. And the more you wear, the better. Which in turn makes Danny Trejo one sharp lookin' dude.

I'm thinking life in 15th century Italy was more interesting than today. But that's just me.

~James