Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My name is David ... and I'm a journalist

There's a lot of little things going on at once, so I'll try to update everyone here as best as I can. Ready? Here we go ...

First off, for those of you out there who have been following the problem I had w/ my arm, things are much better now. I've done the antibiotics for a couple of weeks now, and everything is returning to normal. The only real lingering effect is some minor swelling and some nerve issues. I've got a decent sized area near my shoulder that's completely numb, and the surrounding area is sensetive and tingling all the time. The reason for those problems has to do with pressure that was (and still is to a small extent) pushing against a nerve in my arm. With the swelling going down, the pressure has eased up and circulation is returning to normal ... so the nerves should start getting back to normal after a little bit of healing.

Now, on to the writing ... I've had a couple of things go live over at GameSpy in the past couple of weeks. I'll post links soon, though I'm also waiting for a couple of extra things to go up first. Also, I'll likely be doing a lot of extra writing for Games Radar in the upcoming future. And if you missed my debut entertainment article for the Florida Times-Union, you can find it archived online here.

And in an interesting twist of fate, I got a message from a former editor of mine asking me to come onboard as an editor for an upcoming magazine, with my focus (initially at least) being news and events in the comic industry. The work would also be non-exclusive, so I could do my regular video game, entertainment, etc. writing ... basically my usual freelance gigs ... without any conflict. I'm weighing things out before I commit completely, but I should start working with the editor pretty soon either way.

That about wraps it up for now (plus, I need to head out for a quick bit). I'll post more later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Changes are a-comin'

Well, this should be interesting. I recently tweaked out my Google Account settings and found out that there's a new version of Blogger in the works. So, I've already transferred to the new Blogger beta. We'll all have to wait an see what this means now. For example, some of the features from before aren't yet implemented in the new Blogger, but there are supposedly a lot more features that the old Blogger just didn't have. I guess we'll trudge through the transition together.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Gotta LOVE Weird Al

Just saw Weird Al's newest video and almost pissed my pants laughing. Check it out for yourselves:

And yes ... that IS Donny Osmond

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another round of updates

Well, I'm still waiting on GameSpy to post my review of NASCAR for the PSP ... but in the meantime, there's a lot more updatin' going on. Here we go:

First, over at GameSpy:

Things will be really crazy with my GameSpy work over the next week or so as well, as I've already written up one new DS review (MechAssault: Phantom War), and I got in a package with six more games to review this week. I'll probably be linking more stuff next week (of course).
Next we have a piece I did at All Games:

Yep, I shot out an early post on the Wii details, even before a lot of other game sites had the news up. I'll have more showing up on All Games on a regular basis now, especially once things start to get settled down.

For those of you living in the Jacksonville, FL area, pick up a copy of the Florida Times-Union tomorrow (Friday) to see my first piece for the paper in the Lifestyle section. Here's the kicker ... it's NOT about video games or comics or any of my "usual" pop culture stuff. My debut for the T-U is a write up on the opening of the Pirates of Penzance musical at the Players By The Sea. Expect to see more from me in the coming weeks and months ... and watch me branch out a bit and bring my unique personality into more "mainstream" entertainment coverage.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Obligatory updates and the like ...

Y'know something I hate? I hate when I keep promising to update more often, and then circumstances stop me from KEEPING that promise. Well, for what it's worth, I AM trying to do better. Anway, on the the latest updates ...

First off, it's been a busy week or so for writing. Need proof?


And over at Games Radar:

There's a LOT more coming down the pike too. Everything from Godfather for the 360 to Bomberman on the PSP. I'll post links as soon as they're up.

On to other journalism adventures ...

For starters (and for those keeping track), I did get a call back from Nintendo about a staff position at Nintendo Power. I made it to the final round of consideration, but just missed out on it. Ah well, congrats to the nameless soul who will be starting there shortly. I won't sulk about it though ... I'm starting immediately writing for Scot Rubin and All Games, where I will be providing news and occasionally popping onto the radio show as well.

And on a local front, I'm starting writingnext week for the entertainment section of the Florida Times-Union, The newspaper here in Jacksonville. I'll be covering everything I can on a freelance basis. For my first trick, I'll be writing up a review piece of a musical this coming weekend.

Anyway, so that's a quick update on the current state of affairs at the moment. More to come ...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Games Radar stuff

Just a quick post to link to a couple of new articles I wrote up over at Games Radar. Make sure to let 'em know you really like that new guy writing stuff up for them, and that you would check out the site a LOT more often if they could get him writing more stuff. Heh.

Death of a Trade Show??

So the rumor mill is running rampant today that the Entertainment Software Association is planning announce the cancellation of the E3 trade show as early as tomorrow (Monday). Reports are varying in their reporting, with some places saying the show will be reduced in size and moved to a new venue, while others hint at a total cancellation of the event.

I'm sure we'll find out the truth of things (and the fallout from it) over the next few days, but in the meantime, I want to get your opinions on the matter. Just how important ARE shows like E3 to the entertainment industry? Is it better to have a huge production like that, with everyone in the industry gathered under one roof? Or are smaller, more frequent company specific press junkets the way to go? Is it better to shine the spotlight brightly on the industry once a year? Or should we cast a dimmer light on our world throughout the year?

As someone covering the various industries, I can see good and bad in both ideas. On one hand, it's a lot easier to get a LOT of coverage when everything is together in a central location. Also, with the amount of media coverage garnered by shows like E3, the industry as a whole gets a lot of publicity. Plus, even if they're not necessarily in the same league as the big guns, the smaller production companies/developers/etc. can at least play ball in the same park.

On the other hand, it would be nice to see announcements, coverage, and all sorts of tidbits in the industry spread out over the course of a year. Why wait until May to show off your latest gaming revolution (or "Wii" in Nintendo's case)? It could also be easier to put together a broader coverage of the industry in the scope of that coverage. And then there's the geographic advantages. Market coverage can get a little more saturated when the coverage is spread from the West Coast to the East Coast and everywhere in between. At least as long as the media or publishers are willing to foot the travel expenses. Keep in mind that for a lot of media outlets, travel budgets are already through the roof.

So ... those are a few of MY thoughts ... what about yours?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Where DOES the time go??

Whew ... okay, so I've been slacking on updating the blog, but again, there's a good reason or three. So, enough with the exposition, let's get right into it:

First off, there was Comic-Con last week. I flew out there to produce some segments for Electric Playground and to cover the show for my newest freelancing home, Games Radar. Everything was crazy at the show, but definitely worthwhile. I put together a number of Comic of the Weeks segments for Electric Playground, which included interview pieces with: Paul Jenkins, Jim Palmiotti, Robert Kirkman, C.B. Cebulski, Justin Bleep, Cully Hamner, David Mack, Chris Gossett, Tim Seely, and a bunch of other fine comic folks.

Then there were some of the celebrity interviews. We got the cast of NBC's upcoming show Heroes (DEFINITELY on my "Must Watch" list this fall), Rosario Dawson, Brian Posehn, Rob Corddry, Stan Lee, Brendon Small and Loren Bouchard (creators of Home Movies), Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim from Lost, Billy West, and a whole lot more.

Let's not forget the video games ... Nintendo, Sony, Activision, Konami, Blizzard, Square-Enix, THQ, Warner Bros. Interactive, Vivendi-Universal, Capcom, and 2K Games were just a few of the companies showing off their wares at the show. I saw the latest from Justice League Heroes, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Naruto, The Darkness, Castlevania, Lost Planet, Spyro, and too many other games to list out. It was nuts ...

Oh, and lets not forget the events. There was a Naruto preview party, a Sony Online Block Party, and (one of the biggest events), the Marvel/Hasbro party. Again, just a crazy and chaotic adventure, all of which I'm barely scratching the surface of. There are stories of interesting rumors, chance meetings, production gaffes, and other sordid tales.

So, that obviously kept me busy ... but what else has been going on? Well, in case you missed the update, right after I "officially" started as Managing Editor at the new mag from the guys behind Play, things went into a holding pattern again and I couldn't get started. Long and short of it (and trust me, the long is REALLY long), I'm back at the freelancing grindstone for the time being. I'm actually not complaining though. I've managed to pull a lot of things together and should be getting a LOT more exposure as a result.

First off, I've started writing with the guys at Games Radar. I like the way things are put together there, and I'm hoping to be doing some semi-regular freelance work for them. Also, I've worked out a deal with the guys at All Games to help contribute to the news portion of their programming AND to be a somewhat of a regular on the radio show discussing the comic book industry, as well as the crossover projects between comics, video games, and even film. I'll be sure to let all of you know exactly when I start, but this is something to definitely look forward to.

Moving on, I've been expanding some of my work beyond the scope of writing and journalism. Some of this inculdes me getting involved more in the general entertainment industry. No, don't worry ... I haven't got any sort of acting bug. What I AM doing is trying to work with people within the entertainment industry to help "nudge" things in particular directions and work with some really talented people in the film industry. Yep, David's going multimedia ...

Anyway, so that's just the start of what's happening now. I have no idea where it'll all lead, but I'll be sure to keep everyone here posted.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Independence weekend

Well, I've sufficiently recovered enough from the past few days to update everything Post-4th. Here goes:

Heroes was a great show. Better than I was expecting (at least for me). I spent a some time helping out Randy Green (artist on Witchblade, Tomb Raider, Emma Frost, etc.), and most of my time working the floor, catching up with a few old friends and meeting up with a lot of new ones.

On Saturday, Randy and I joined up with Ed McGuiness, Sanford Greene, Dexter Vines, and a few other folks at the Fox and Hound in Charlotte. Ed and I swapped video game tales, including some WoW war stories. Sanford and Dex shared some Dragon Con horror stories, and fun was had by all.

I also talked to Brandon Peterson and Mark Brooks about picking up some digital coloring techniques. For those of you that have followed the original blog at FanBased Media, you've seen my basic BASIC coloring skills. And if you haven't seen my coloring, a simple example is none other than my Avatar here.

The cliff notes for the rest of the show include setting up at least ten of the twenty five plus Comic of the Week segments to be filmed at San Diego. Meeting up w/ Joe Quesada for a quick Marvel rundown, bullshitting around w/ Paul Jenkins, talking to C.B. Cebulski about games, comics, and entertainment media working together, and other basic schmoozing and networking.

Getting back from the show meant getting ready to the 4th of July ... which ended up being a bit of a bust. The weather where I'm at has been miserable to say the least. Flash flood warnings, heavy wind ... hell, the other day my dad saw a tornado touch down in front of his car while he was at a stoplight. To quote hime, "I turned left and hauled ass. Didn't stop til I hit the house." So, no fireworks of any kind here ... though it did give me an opportunity to try and catch up on some writing work.

Anyway, that's the gist of the past few days for me ... what about all of you?

Friday, June 30, 2006

Comic peeps and Superman

So, I'm in Charlotte now and checked in to the hotel. Randy and I met up with a bunch of other pros at a theatre to see a private showing of Superman Returns. It was cool seeing some of the usual suspects (Mike Wieringo, Cully Hamner, Craig Rousseau) and some of the not quite as usual suspects (Joe Quesada, C.B. Cebulski) ... and even some surprise special guests. In fact, I was lucky enough to sit behind Rosario Dawson and talk with her for a while before the show. It's definitely going to be a huge show ... and a busy one for yours truly.

As far as the movie goes ... it's hard for me to really gauge right now. There were some parts I liked a lot and some parts I couldn't stand. There were obvious cuts in the final version (one character who shows in the TV spots was cut completely), and some stuff just didn't make a lick of sense. If I had to give it a GameSpy-like score, I'd give it a 3 out of 5. Worth seeing for fans of the original movies. Comic fans may have some issues with it, but will still at least enjoy it in parts.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another day, another adventure

So, it's now 2:00am and I'm basking in the glow of my laptop in Martinsville, VA.

"What's in Martinsville, VA David?", you ask inquisitively.

"Not a damned thing." I'd reply.

So why am I here? Well, it's not because of the NASCAR track, that's for sure. Actually, I decided to take some time to visit w/ my dad and also get some work done nearby in Greensboro with a few of my comic contacts. I'm also heading into Charlotte tomorrow to attend the Heroes Convention. While I'm there, I'll be working on a bunch of different projects and trying to pull a few rabid rabbits out of my proverbial hat.

Depending on the availability of a decent network connection, I'll update ye old blog as much as possible.

A Call to Arms ...

As many of you know, I was recently offered the position of Managing Editor for a new mag that was/is meant to cover the comic and anime industries, along with some occasional crossover stuff. Unfortunately, due to a number of communication miscues and the like, I've decided that things will likely be better for me to not take on the position after all. There are a lot of different factors in my decision, but I believe it's in my best interest, and in the best interest of the industries I serve, to utilize my talents elsewhere.

Having said all of that, I'm now in an interesting position. I've always been continuing with my freelance work, though now it looks as if my schedule will be freeing up to handle a larger workload (obviously). Plus, I'll be working on a number of other projects, including more production work in television, radio, print, and online formats.

For those of you wondering where I've been "hiding" lately, now you know. I've been working, but having to stay under the radar, so to speak. With this recent turn of events, I'll be a lot more active and visible around the industry, and I'll actually be even more involved in the video game and comic fields with the new projects than I was with the other magazine ... and I'm still going to need your input and your help.

Here's the lowdown:

I'm currently working on the development of a television show which will focus on the news and information happening within the worlds of comics and video games. I'm also developing a radio show and a new online presence covering the same industries. This is where you guys come in. I need to know two big things ...

First, I need to know if you guys believe enough in our "fanbased media" (I really do love that description) to support some major projects like this. By support, I mean would you be up for doing interviews, or being commissioned for art, or discussing your latest projects on the air and in print. I'm willing to put my ass on the line and my neck in the noose to show the world just how amazing our industry is ... but there's no way I can do it alone. If you're simply willing to put forth an effort to support what we do, I promise to to as much as I can to keep our fans interested and stoked and itching for more of what we do. I started this group with the statement that we all, in our chosen fields, live and die by the support of our fans. Well, this is my contribution to guarantee that the lifeblood continues to flow. More so than that, I want us to not simply survive, but to thrive, to grow, and to evolve into something more than we've ever been.

Finally, I need your input. Video games, comics, movies, television ... all of our fields are linked by the fans. But more interesting than that, we ARE a part of our own target audience. We ARE fans!! Better than that, since we all have our own insights into the industry, we should have a better understanding of what makes things tick. So, now is the time to speak up. What are you looking for in a show? In a magazine? In a game? In a comic? What would grab YOUR interest, take hold, and never let go. For example, these projects I'm working on ... what do you think is missing in the coverage of our industry, as both fans and as professionals?

And hell, this line of thought should apply to ALL of our projects. To all my comic pros here, what kinds of games get your creative juices flowing? To my media people, what kinds of comics could give you the same feeling as a major summer blockbuster? And to my game developers, what sort of television or motion pictures inspire you to cinematic excellence?

Now's the time for all of us to rally together and make a difference in what we do. Don't just sit back and hope for things to change ... let's work together and MAKE things change. We live and die by the fans ... so damnit, let's make sure they LOVE us!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Catching up ... somewhat

Wow ... okay, okay. So it's been a while. There's been a lot of wild and wacky stuff going on. First off was E3. Lots of stuff there. If you look below this at the two previous posts, they're actually reposted entries I did over at MySpace. From the second day on though, things went crazy, leaving me barely enough time to collect myself. So here's a quick rundown ... though in no particular order.

First, I've "officially" started as Managing Editor from a new magazine coming out later this year from the guys responsible for Play Magazine. As a result, I've been making plans to hit a number of different shows, including the Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC and (naturally) Comic-Con in San Diego. I've also been working on doing some extra writing for GameSpy and for GamesRadar, as well as Play, on the video game side of world.

Due to some other crazy situations, I've also moved ... twice ... with a third move pending soon. For those of you keeping track on the hadny dandy WldCard Radar, I'm still in Jacksonville ... just been bouncing around. And the office info (address, phone, etc) is still the same and always will be.

I'm working on a blueprint for doing a regular podcast, which will most likely be distributed here on my main blog, or through the Visionary Ink website. I'm still trying to find time to get some stuff done to get the site up and running, but the forums are at least functional over there. I'll try to post a link shortly.

Continuing on ... I've managed to pick up (by sheer luck), not one, but TWO Sega Nomad devices. In case you need a refresher course, the Sega Nomad was released back in 1995 and was Sega's second major handheld game console after the Game Gear. The whole thing started as something called the Mega Jet in Japan. It was a portable Genesis system that was renter out to passengers on Japan Airlines. The device lacked its own screen, but could connect to a small armrest monitor to play any of the Mega Drive games on the market. Sega took the Mega Jet, added a few features, most notable of which is of course the backlit 3.25 inch color screen, and voila ... the Sega Nomad was born. One of the coolest things about the Nomad was its ability to plug into a television and add a second, standard Genesis controller to become, in essence, a replacement for the home version of the Genesis console. Although it was the size of a brick and went through batteries faster than sushi through a sumo, it was a great system that simply seemed ahead of its time. And now, I've ended up with TWO of 'em. WOO HOO!!

While we're on the subject of recently aquired systems, I got myself a Game Boy Micro again. I saw a deal I couldn't pass up at a used game store and managed to get the $80-$90 device for $30 out of pocket. Ahh ... the Micro. It's such a sexy little beast of a machine. The funny thing is, the person who traded in the system traded in the faceplates of one version with the actual system from the other. So, I've got a slick little GBM in solid silver. I also went ahead and ordered the GBM Wireless Adapter and the Famicom faceplate from Nintendo's online store, so I could get a little more out of the device.

I also decided to bite the bullet and pick up a DS Lite. I managed to supress the urge to spend the extra $70 to import a color other than white and just get the US release of the handheld. I'll admit that I was wondering if the DS Lite could really be different enough to warrant abandoning my DS Phat. In the end though, I'm glad I did. The Lite is slicker, more stylish, and the screen is bright enough to make a blind man see. The system has four brightness settings: "Bright", "Brighter", "Brightest", and "GOOD LORD!! MY CORNEA IS BURNING!!". Hell, if nothing else, you can cut out a piece of paper, tape it to the screen, and taunt planes flying overhead with your own private Bat Signal.

Some people have bitched slightly about the Lite's GBA port leaving GBA carts sticking out of the system somewhat. Actually, this isn't a big deal at all, and in fact is a HUGE advantage over the DS Phat. "Why's that?", you ask? .... Go on ... ask ... I'll TELL ya why. It's a little guilty pleasure known as the e-Card Reader. Remember that oddball peripheral for the GBA? Well, the due to the pass through port for the GBA link cable, the e-Card Reader couldn't fit into a GB Micro or DS Phat without some major modifications. And the pass through port ALMOST made the device impossible to use on the GBA SP ... though it did just barely manage to fit there. Since the carts stick out of the DS Lite, I decided to see if there was enough room to allow for the pass through port ... and there IS!! So now I get to swipe my cards and go old school with Excitebike, Clu Clu Land, and Donkey Kong on my new DS Lite. The only down side is hat since the DS system has no port for a GBA link cable, there's no way to use the Lite to transfer items to the NGC version of Animal Crossing with the e-Card Reader. Ah well ...

Oh, and since I admittedly FORGOT that I could transfer my wireless info from one DS to another, I need anyone out there who passed along their Nintendo WiFi Friend Codes to me to do so again. And when you do, I'll shoot you over my updated info as well.

I still plan on adding a few extras to the blog here, including a semi-regular "Hot Deals" posting for the gamer on a budget. Also, I'll probably be adding some extra content involving the comic book industry, keeping things in line with my work. Oh, and for those of you out there on MySpace, you can catch me there at And if you're into the oddball collectibles like those in the infamous Swag Bag, I've started up a group over there for people to show off and swap out their own swag from the game on comic industry. It's over at Join up if you want.

Okay, I guess that's good enough for an initial update. I'll do more later.

The E3 Adventure - Day One (repost from May 8)

Well, not too much to report today. Got into L.A. and got checked in to the Westwood on Wilshire. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the Sony event, though I did catch a live feed of the event. Lots of stuff to report from there:

  • The Sony PS3 will come out around November 17th in two forms ... one with a 20 gig hard drive and one with a 60 gig hard drive. The 20 gig version will retail for $499, while the 60 gig will run gamers a whopping $599.

  • It looks like the PS3 controller HAS been redesigned after all. Gone is the much criticized "boomerang" controller shown off at last year's show. Now, the controller looks like a clone of the current Dual Shock controller, though this time around the controller will supposedly sport an internal motion sensor. Can you say "Wii"?

  • The PSP will be getting a new series of firmware updates to add support for video RSS feeds, GPS capabilities (in conjunction with the upcoming GPS receiver), and most interestingly, Voice Over IP (VoIP) support. So, gamers may be start using their PSPs as phones soon. Plus, with the earlier announcement of an Eye Toy styled camera attatchment, video conferencing can't be far behind.

  • The PSP will be getting its own line of Greatest Hits titles. The new line will start w/ five games: Ape Escape: On The Loose, ATV Offroad Fury, Twisted Metal Head On, Wipeout Pure, and Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee. From then on, titles will be added as long as they have had 250,000 or more copies sold and been on the shelf for at least nine months,

  • Sony announced a continued commitment to the PS2, and announced that there are still 216 games planned for release on the PS2 by year's end.

I'll post more later, though my net connection in the hotel is a bit "wonky".



Okay, okay ... I'm up early on Tuesday and felt the need to add something to the blog entry to clarify something. This is mainly due to Juan's comment about the $500 PS3 being the "tard pack".

Based on Sony's press conference, the ONLY difference between the $500 and $600 systems is the size of the hard drive. You're paying $100 for 3x the drive space. That's it. As far as the rest of the system goes, the released specs (to date) are:

  • CPU Cell Processor


  • Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-based processing)

  • Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM

  • HDD 2.5" Serial ATA (20GB or 60GB)

  • I/O USB 2.0 (x4)

  • MemoryStick /SD/CompactFlash support

  • Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g wireless support

  • Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

  • Wireless controller (Bluetooth)

  • AV Output:

    • Screen size 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

    • HDMI OUT (HDMI NextGen)

    • AV MULTI OUT (x1)


  • BD/DVD/CD Drive:

    • (Read Only) Maximum Read Speed BD 2x (BD-ROM)

    • DVD 8x (DVD-ROM)

    • CD 24x (CD-ROM)

    • SACD 2x

  • Dimensions Approximately 325mm (W) x 98mm (H) x 274mm (D)

  • Weight Approximately 5 kg

Hope that helps with a little clarification.


E3 .. The Saga Begins (repost from May 8th)

So ... it's 3:45a and here I am double and triple checking my luggage and the like in preperation for yet another trip to sunny CA. This time, I'll be out there all week covering E3, the biggest show around for the video game industry. My schedule is all over the place at the moment, with very little actually finalized. Thus is the journalist's curse at E3. Ah well, it's these moments that keep things interesting, right?

Anyway, I'll be keeping everyone up to date here as much as humanly possible. Luckily, the laptop has been fixed, revamped, and ready to make its return to the halls of E3 ... meaning that I have a lot more in the way of opportunity to update my various blogs and such. Plus, you'll likely still see me online throught the duration of the show.

Well, I'm off now ... got to get to the airport and get myself ready for another 8 hours of travel time in the air. Take it easy, look for me, say hey when you see me, and keep in touch. I'll do my best to do the same for all of you.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Here "Wii" Go Again ...

Time for more potshots at the new moniker for Nintendo's next-gen console:
  • The number of calls to Nintendo Tech Support is expected to drop dramatically ... as no man wants to admit his "Wii" is broken.
  • BREAKING NEWS: Nintendo has announced that Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy have agreed to be the new spokespeople for the Nintendo "Wii" system.
  • Addressing early problems with the system's online component, technicians admit that "What Wii have here is a failure to communicate."
  • After discovering the jokes being made at its expense, Nintendo decrees that "Wii are not amused"
  • Once the system runs its course, shipping of the consoles will not stop. Inventories will be "Wiined" down instead of simply being jacked off the shelves.
  • Much like the Xbox 360 did on MTV, Nintendo's new system will debut on ABC's The View, prompting Barbara Walters to call the console "Wiily wiily interesting."
  • MORE BREAKING NEWS: Ron Jeremy has asked to be let out of his spokesman contract with Nintendo, stating that he can't associate himself with a "Wii" anything.
  • As a part of a marketing deal with General Mills, Nintendo's new system will mark the first time a console has appeared on a box of "Wiities"
  • Online porn gets an unintentional boost when gamers search the internet for the latest footage of someone playing with their "Wii"
  • Nintendo has just announced that the Wii controller will be called the Personal Universal System Interface (spell it out people).
  • Marketing pros at Nintendo decided to use the Wii moniker after deciding that calling the system the Nintendo Phallus was just plain silly.
  • Sales on the new system are expected to decline quickly once it's discovered that adolescent males are actually going blind by playing with their Wii too much.
  • Word has leaked out that Nintendo and Microsoft will be hopping into bed with one another in a deal that will allow gamers to plug their Wii directly into a friend's Xbox. If all goes well, the two companies plan to announce the birth of a new handheld within nine months' time.

Think I'm done yet? Not by a long shot people ... we've got a ways to go before the launch, and I'm just getting warmed up.

The Death of a Revolution

It's official. Nintendo has decided to dump the "Revolution" moniker for its upcoming next-gen console. The new name, and no I'm not kidding here folks, is "Wii" (pronounced "we"). That's right ... Nintendo wants you to play with its Wii. Oh trust me, it gets worse from here. I've decided to compile a list of Wii jokes/puns/etc. here. Add your own as you see fit.
  • Nintendo should get a licensing deal with Queen. Every commercial will feature the group singing 'Wii Will Rock You' or 'Wii Are the Champions'.
  • Nintendo could instead go another route, spending its entire marketing budget to bring together various musical stars from around the world to record a theme for the new system titled, 'Wii Are The World'.
  • Watch for the following line in the upcoming instruction manual: "Plug your Wii into the nearest outlet"
  • Also from the instruction manual, regarding the motion sensitive controls: "Quickly move your hands to fire your Wii at the screen"
  • If the system launches before its planned street date, expect female gamers to be disappointed that Nintendo's Wii came prematurely.
  • Nintendo execs proudly proclaim "No one will be able to beat our Wii!!"
  • Soon after the system hits, look for Nintendo to announce a redesign with a smaller form factor, dubbed the "Wee Wii".
  • Commenting on the size of its Wii, Nintendo goes on record saying "It's not the size that matters. It's how you use it."
  • "I can't leave just yet. I'm busy playing with my Wii."
  • Trade-ins on the new system pour in, forcing retailers to limit the number of Wiis taken by employees each day.
  • Child Protection Services is suddenly overwhelmed with reports of parents touching their children's Wii.
  • Riots break out as Nintendo fanboys fight over whether they will now be known as Wii Folk or Wii-ners.
  • Nintendo has decided to launch the Wii in two colors, Yellow and Neon Orange.
  • Nintendo teams up with Merv Griffin on a new game show titled "Wiil of Fortune"
  • Local vice squads shut down Nintendo's in-store displays, which invite gamers to "Touch our Wii here"
  • The packaging for the new system will be designed to that it's easy to slip the Wii into and out of the box at any time.

Okay, okay ... I have a LOT more "Wii" jokes, but I need to take off for a bit. Add your own jokes to the list in the meantime. And before I go, I leave you with one parting thought ... if "Wii" was the best name the marketing minds at Nintendo could come up with, what in the heck do you think they REJECTED?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Reviews and more

It's been a while since I've update. Just been swamped with trying to set up some new stuff. I have been doing some reviews for GameSpy in the meantime though. Here's the latest:

Moving right along, I finally got my taxes out ... just under the deadline. Yeah, it's not just the blog that was lagging behind due to work. Besides working on trying to set up the new magazine, I'm still pulling together some other projects and keeping up with my freelancing. I've also been setting up appointments and such for E3 and Comic-Con. With E3 just a few weeks away, it's the obvious priority.

Oh yeah ... and since the last blog entry, I've hit another milestone in life. On April 1st, I celebrated 30 years of existence. Yep ... on April Fools Day, I hit the big Three Oh. Unfortunately, the day turned out to be less than spectacular for a few different reasons (and due to a few different people). Even so, I made the most of it. Besides, in the end it's just another day ... and it just means I lived to see the Earth revolve around the sun one more time.

Anyway, there's a lot more to update on, and I WILL be making the attempt to be more frequent in those updates. In the meantime, hopefully this will whet your appetite.

Friday, March 17, 2006

More news at GameSpy

I've been keeping pretty busy over at GameSpy keeping the site updated on its news stories. Here's the latest:
  • Sony Breaks Its Silence on the PS3
    Less than twenty four hours after Japanese newspapers broke the news that the PS3 would miss its intended spring launch, Sony is making headlines again. This time though, it's not about what the upcoming console won't do, but rather promises about what it will.
    More ...

  • Sony Reveals Future PSP Plans
    Although most of today's spotlight seems to squarely on Sony's big announcements regarding the PS3 console, the company didn't forget to focus some attention on its portable console. In a press release put out today, Sony Computer Entertainment outlined some new plans for its popular handheld system.
    More ...

  • New 360 Tech Give MS Its 5,000th Patent
    'Patent No. 6,999,083' may not have some cool-sounding marketing name yet, but it's already generating some nice buzz for Microsoft. That patent marks the 5,000th granted to the company since it was founded back in 1975. It's the actual technology contained within the patent, though, that will be of particular interest to gamers.
    More ...

  • BioWare Expands in a Massive (Multiplayer) Way
    While the opening of a new BioWare studio isn't too surprising, the new studio's first project may be. According to the press release, BioWare Austin has already begun work on a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game (MMORPG) title, a first for BioWare.
    More ...

  • 2K Games Announces New Dungeon Siege Titles
    Proving that even Uwe Boll can't kill a game franchise, Take-Two Interactive announced on Wednesday that it has picked up the publishing rights to Gas Powered Games' popular Dungeon Siege series. The first two titles to come from the new deal include an expansion pack for Dungeon Siege II on the PC, and a brand new Dungeon Siege entry for the PSP.
    More ...

  • Viva Piñata Takes a Swing at Gamers
    Microsoft Game Studios and 4Kids Entertainment announced on Wednesday that the two have officially partnered up to introduce the entertainment industry to the unique world of Viva Piñata. Originally created by Rare Ltd., Viva Piñata takes place on an island (conveniently called "Piñata Island") where the candy-filled party toys favored by sadistic children around the world actually come to life. As a result of this new deal, it won't be long before the general public becomes saturated with products featuring the unusual property.
    More ...
I've also been assigned the review of Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble for the PSP. As soon as I get the game in and get the review published, I'll post the link per usual.

Well, I WAS leaving ...

As I said earlier, I was set to leave and head to California for an meeting with the folks over at GameSpy about the News Editor position. As the song says, all my bags were packs and I was ready to go ... but occasionally, The Powers That Be decide that it would be funny to give you a swift kick in the ass. For this particular case, The Powers That Be recruited the "fine" folks at Delta to get a good laugh in.

Before I go into what happened and why, I need to rewind a bit for one piece of information. The Game Developers Conference is taking place next week in sunny San Jose ... as a result, most video game media outlets will be busy trying to get as much coverage as possible. This means that GameSpy was itching to get me out for the meeting before the end of the week. After all, if we couldn't it by then, GDC would throw everything off and I wouldn't be able to meet up with them until the week after. It may not seem like much, just an extra 7-10 days ... but it's a big deal. So, GameSpy went ahead and bought the plane ticket to fly me out this morning. Well, I'm NOT in Cali right now, so it's a safe bet that something went ... wrong.

I printed out my ticket, I was at the airport in plenty of time, and I was all set to go ... until the fateful moment that I hit the check-in kiosk. I scan in the ticket, and the screen pops up a message asking me to "Insert Credit Card Used To Purchase This Ticket". Apparently, Delta has a policy in place where if you buy a plane ticket with a credit card within five days of departure, you have to PRESENT the credit card at check-in. You see where this is going yet?

So, I'm trying to figure out HOW I'm going to make this work and get out to Cali today. The Delta rep at the desk offered me one solitary solution: She would cancel the ticket I had in hand, and then have me repurchase the SAME TICKET on my credit card for a higher price of $900. The higher price was because the ticket was technically a same day purchase. So, to clarify, Delta wanted me to CANCEL the lower priced ticket which had already been paid for so that they could sell me the SAME TICKET for a few hundred more. And all because *I* didn't have the credit card that the company paid for the ticket with. Yeah ... that wasn't happening.

I tried calling the Delta customer service number and didn't fare much better. By the time we actually got around to working out a new solution ... something involving me paying an extra $100 fee tacked on to the pre-paid ticket ... so much time had passed in the various misadventures of checking in that there was no way for me to get to an onsite service rep, get the ticket, get through security, and get on the plane. And so, the trip has to be rescheduled for the week after GDC.

So, your Public Service Announcement of the Day?

Delta sucks ...

As a side note ... I picked up Mega Man Powered Up on the PSP to give me something to do on the trip. If you own a PSP, you HAVE to get this game. So far, it's the best game I've seen on Sony's handheld ... though I haven't picked up Daxter just yet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Leavin' on a jet plane

It's going to be a hectic time leading to the big Three Oh on April 1st (translation: yes, I turn 30 on April Fool's Day). I'm flying out to CA on Thursday to interview at GameSpy for a position as news editor. Then, the week after GDC (and just two days removed from my birthday), I fly BACK out to CA for a business meeting to discuss me taking on the role of Editorial Director at the new magazine spinning off from Play. And in between all of that, I'm supposed to talk with the producers at All Games about doing news for them, help Vic come up with some pieces to film for Electric Playground while they're at Wizard World LA, and write up about 30 scripts for some gaming segments. Oh, AND I'm trying to get MySpace to fix a problem witha new group I put together ... the damned thing won't post forum topics.

Like I said ... busy times ahead. Drop me a line though and, if nothing else, wish me luck. I'll need the extra moral support ... 'cause I'm lacking in morals myself (heh).

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's a new(s) start to the week

It's been a while, but it looks like (among my many other projects), I'm back to contributing news articles over at GameSpy. Here's my latest contributions:
  • E3 is Officially a "Sell-Out"
    "Word has come out today from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) that this year's E3 trade event has officially sold every inch of its more than 540,000 net square feet of exhibit space, covering all five halls at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Always considered to be the premiere event for the video game industry, this year's event will play host to more than 400 different exhibitors."

  • Family Guy Video Games Hitting Consoles This Fall
    "Take-Two Interactive and Twentieth Century Fox today announced an exclusive licensing agreement to produce a series of video games based on Fox's hit animated series Family Guy. The games will be released under Take-Two's 2K Games publishing label, working closely with series creator Seth McFarlane."

  • 2K Games Sheds Some Light On The Darkness
    "Comic book fans were sent for a loop late last year when Majesco announced that it had sold off all rights to two upcoming comic-based video game titles. Games based on Top Cow's supernatural hitman The Darkness and Marvel Comics' flaming motorcyclist Ghost Rider were both sold to an unnamed publisher to the tune of $8 million. Speculation as to the identity of the publisher officially ended on Friday when Take-Two announced that it will be bringing The Darkness to next-gen consoles sometime next winter."

As always, I'll post what information I can about the latest happenings here. Keep your eyes peeled for some big announcements too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's a start

Things have been crazy lately, but I haven't forgotten about FanBased. In fact, I'm in the process of adding forums so that all of you can have a soapbox of your very own. The forums are live as we speak, though I'm still working on the overall design and such. Eventually, you'll see everything come together into one cohesive experience ... the blogs, forums, news, print, podcasts, and everything else. For now though, since this is still a one-man operation, you'll have to deal with bits and pieces at a time.

Anyway, if you need a direct link to the forums, you can find them at Go on over an register to get ahead of the curve.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Gaming News

Time for another round of video game news. Here we go:
  • E3 Cracking Down on Booth Babes?

    The Entertainment Software Association, those fine folks responsible for putting together the E3 expo every year, recently sent word that it will be putting harsher penalties in place for exhibitors who violate the event's long standing but often ignored dress code.

    According to the ESA, "Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the Show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the Show." Exhibitors in violation of this will be given one verbal warning, followed by a fine of $5000 to be paid on-site and a refusal to allow the models back on the floor until they comply with the dress code.

    Only time will tell if attendees will continue to see as much eye candy on the E3 floor as they do on the screens, or if this announcement actually marks the beginning of the end of the booth babe era.

  • Nintendo to Re"DS"ign the DS

    Nintendo, the reigning king of the handheld market, officially unveiled the latest plan continue its dominance … the DS Lite.  Without much fanfare, the company's Japanese website announced a slimmer, trimmer version of its best-selling DS hardware is scheduled to hit store shelves on March 2nd of this year. The redesigned version of the DS hardware is about 43 percent smaller and 21 percent lighter than the current model. Aside from compact size, the biggest change in the DS Lite is the addition of a brightness control for the system's dual screens. So, how much will this Weight Watchers inspired system set back gamers? Right now, the price for the new system is set at 16,800 yen or about $145 US … slightly higher that the price of the current plus sized model.

  • Siren Lures in a Movie Deal

    Despite mixed results at the box office, Hollywood still can't seem to get enough of the video game industry. According to an article on Variety earlier this week, Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures has picked up the motion picture rights to Sony's creepy survival horror game, Siren. Although there's currently no director or cast attached to the project, the Variety piece does credit writer Michael Gordon with putting together the screenplay. Gordon does have some experience at adapting other properties to the big screen. His previous writing credits include the upcoming Warner Bros., 300, which based on the Frank Miller graphic novel.

    Early details of the movie's plot center on an American medical student searching for her missing sister in Japan. Eventually, she finds her way to the village of Hanuda, where supernatural forces have taken over. Principal filming is expected to begin on Siren later this year.

  • Phantom Lapboard Comes Up With Some Real Cash

    File this under the "They're Still Around?" category. It's been three years since Infinium Labs first announced its plans to get into the gaming industry with the Phantom video game console. And while the console itself seems no closer to being released, the company has announced plans to release the system's uniquely designed wireless keyboard and mouse combo to PC gamers. Of course, it takes money to release a new product. And money is something that Infinium Labs has been struggling with in recent months. Now comes the announcement that private equity firm Golden Gate Investors is coming to the rescue to the tune of $5 million. With the new funding, Infinium hopes to be able to move forward with its plans to release the Phantom Lapboard later this year.

  • Sony "Zips" Up SOCOM Developer

    Hot on the heels of its acquisition of Killzone developer, Guerrila Games, Sony has announced that it has also snatched up Zipper Interactive, the studio responsible for its top selling SOCOM franchise. As a part of the deal, Zipper will become a part of Sony's ever-growing SCE Worldwide studio. The day to day operations of Zipper will be handled by the current management and execs from SCE Worldwide's Foster City studio. Financial details of the purchase haven't been released, but it’s a safe bet that Sony paid a pretty penny for the studio responsible for one of the company's biggest selling franchises.

More interesting developments on the job front as well. If you're interested in news tidbits like these, expect to see and hear much more in the near future. I hate having to be clandestine here, but there are a couple of projects about to start which will guarantee that you'll be seeing a lot more of my name around the video game and comic industries shortly. Got your curiousity piqued yet? Then keep tuning in here and see where things are going.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Peeking in the Swag Bag

I've been sorting through a few of the various items in the Swag Bag. I figured I'd put together a list of a few of the things so that people can get an idea of some of the fun, unique, and sometimes warped collectibles that accumulate in my line of work. Also, it's an opportunity for people to try hitting me up for some of the stuff (heh).

So, here goes:
  • An Xbox version of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, signed by the developers over at Radical Entertainment
  • Three retail games for the Nokia N-Gage: High Seize, One, and X-Men Legends II
  • Darkwatch T-Shirt (XL) and comic book
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory hoodie (S)
  • Art of Guild Wars hardback book
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas embroidered socks (yes, I said "socks")
  • Fable metal die, sides read: Choose Good, Choose Evil, Follow Your Heart, Trust Your Instincts, Yes Absolutely, and No Definitely Not
  • War of the Monsters foam rock
  • Destroy All Humans! ray gun (shoots smoke rings)
  • A set of the limited edition City of Villains HeroClix initially available only in the CoV Collector's Edition
  • Set of Hot Shots Golf Fore! golfballs
  • Metal Gear Solid Cold War Camouflage Snake Kubrick figure
  • Mortal Kombat Deception Skull Head Scorpion action figure
  • Mortal Kombat Deception Cold Snap Sub-Zero action figure
  • E3 2005 exclusive DS card featuring theLegend of Zelda: Twilight Princess trailer
  • Zero Hour exclusive Xbox 360 faceplate
  • Red vs. Blue Season 1, 2, and 3 DVDs signed by the guys at Rooster Teeth
  • Doom theatrical one sheet poster
  • Gizmondo handheld device (Smart Adds version) w/ 3 games
  • Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction Xbox demo, signed by writer Paul Jenkins
  • Wristband embroidered with the SEGA logo
  • Wristband embroidered with the Dead or Alive 4 logo
  • Plastic fan from Tokyo Game Show promoting Viewtiful Joe and MegaMan (aka Rockman)
  • Final Fantasy XI Online Atlas, sealed w/ exclusive Yoshitaka Amano book jacket

I've got more stuff in the bag, but this list is just for starters. So ... anyone got any unique ideas for dishing stuff out? Or are you just going to try calling dibs on the different things? For the record ... that last option probably won't work on me ... unless you get REAL creative when calling dibs. (heh)


Friday, January 20, 2006

An explanation on opinions

Y'know, one of the drawbacks to writing reviews and editorials is that, while I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinion, everyone seems to expect me to agree with theirs. Earlier in the blog, I posted a piece titled "Getting Desensetized" discussing the my thoughts about a study on the supposed effects of violent video games. Today, someone decided to comment on it. A few people told me they thought I should just delete it and forget about it ... but I decided instead that maybe this would be a perfect time to try and explain what is important to me about opinions. Here's the original comment that got it started, as well as my response:
Anonymous said...

this artical sucks dude can't u come up with a better sack of crap than this.

Friday, January 20, 2006 12:12:00 PM

WldCard said...

This "artical" wasn't an article. It was simply me talking about why this study bugged me. People can twist any data around to fit their means, and on the surface this seems like more of the same.

It's an opinion ... like the top of the page says: "Come on in and check out what I'm thinking, what I'm working on, what's happening in the industry, and whatever other unique adventures happen along the way."

A couple of people saw this comment and thought I should just delete it and forget about it. And for just a split second, I considered it. But the thing is, I always tell people that my reviews are simply my opinions, and that I don't expect anyone to necessarily agree or disagree with me.

Well, my "editorials" like this are the same type of thing. It's just me voicing my opinion ... much like you decided to do in your comment. The different is, in my piece I gave REASONS for my thoughts. I tried to explain WHY exactly I felt the way I did about the study. Just like in the reviews, I always explain WHY I like or dislike a game/book/etc. I may not expect you to agree with me, but I try my best to put forth my reasoning for my way of thinking.

So, maybe you really do believe that the blog entry was a "sack of crap". Hell, I'm sure there are plenty of people who agree with you. I'm also sure that there are people who disagree with you. It's your opinion and you are welcome to it. That is your right and your prerogative, and no one should deny that to you ... just as I'd expect no one to deny it to me. The difference is, when I expressed my opinion, I gave my reasoning for it and left it open for discussion.

Your comment, on the other hand, brought nothing to the table. No reasoning. No point of interest. Nothing. So, to wrap things up in your own words, "dude can't u come up with a better sack of crap than this"?

Friday, January 20, 2006 12:51:40 PM

Now, for the record, this blog is a hodgepodge of things. There are going to be news stories, editorials, career updates, as well as some trivial stuff I just happen to feel like writing about at any given time. Some stuff will be serious, some stuff won't. Some stuff will be informative, and ... well ... some stuff may be more on the pointless side. Either way though, it's always going to be entertaining.

Having said all of that, now it's time for you to express YOUR opinion.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New name, new look, and a new beginning

So ... some of you out there have been wondering when I was going to get around to updating Stacking the Deck. How's this for an update?

Here's the deal. It's a new year, and things are already progressing at a crazy rate. I'm still writing regularly for GameSpy. I'm also doing a lot more work for Electric Playground and Play Magazine. In fact, I'm currently working on a feature for Play. As usual, I'll let all of you know when it gets published.

Now, besides the usual chaos of my writing gigs, I'm also finally getting some other projects of mine off the ground. I'm working on developing a few intellectual properties for various outlets (tv, games, comics, etc.). I'm also planning to put together a podcast covering different areas of fandom. I'm basically sticking my finger into a host of different pies. An even better food metaphor is throwing a bunch of spaghetti agains the wall and see what sticks.

Since I still own the name "FanBased Media", I figured that the new year was a great time to put it to use. And so, after a lot of redesign, trial and error, and numerous pots of coffee ... here we are.

Let me know what you think, and keep checking back to see what's in store.