True Hallucinations

After a somewhat misspent youth experimenting with drugs, my biggest disappointment was that I didn’t see a pink elephant. Or blurry demon. Or a talking hot dog. The time I tried acid was mellow: I felt like I was in a sound bubble moving through the Florida night. And, truth be told, I was inside a pick up truck with Aphex Twin on the stereo. The best thing I can come up with was the time we were in an after-hours club by our house, high on ecstasy. It was well into the morning, so we kept our trip rolling

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Nintendo Should…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have real things to worry about) you know that the venerable game maker Nintendo has been having trouble making money lately. Now, I’m not a financial analyst. And I’m not really an expert on the Japanese game development or hardware business either. In fact, I’m not even that huge of a Nintendo fan any more. I kinda don’t like those Super Mario Galaxy games. BUT! I did beat Super Mario Brothers 3 back in the day (and I have a column due) so I’m pretty sure that makes me qualified to opine

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Bats Are Assholes

If I was a bat – like a real live, nocturnal, flying mammal who navigates the sky with the help of sonar – I’d have real problems with the way my species was portrayed in videogames. I mean, movies already give bats a bad name. You’d think all bats do is fly noisily out of caves, like a cloud of vermin sending the womenfolk into a tizzy. Never mind the vital ecological contributions of plant pollination and seed dispersal that bats do every day with nary a “thank you.”

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A Communique from République

I can’t quite remember when I started following Paul Alexander on Twitter - probably some time during the early development of République, the newly launched stealth game by Camouflaj, the independent studio formed by Metal Gear vet Ryan Payton. I probably pressed follow and forgot, but over the last year or so, I’ve found myself to be somewhat simpatico, for lack of a better word, with the young designer. So when Alexander queried me about an interview (wait, is that how it’s supposed to work?) I didn’t think twice. I knew he’d be somebody I enjoyed talking to about games, art and ambitions. I hope you enjoy reading our chat and are inspired to

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Gaming While the Baby isn’t Looking

Last week, the Los Angeles Times informed me that I am weird. This, I already knew, but it is nice to see the confirmation in print. It turns out that only 1% of married couples with children of a certain age include a stay-at-home dad. Since this March (more or less), I have been one of that particular one percent. I wrote a little bit about what it’s like to be my particular flavor of new parent before. It involved much moaning and wailing about finding time to play videogames. I can report that a couple of months on, things

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Pretension +1: On Your Dumb-Ass Reasons for Not Liking Things

I don’t care about your dumb-ass reasons why you don’t like something. Before I explain why, here’s an anecdote about quesadillas.

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Pretension +1: Indie Gaming Console Launches to Minimal Fanfare

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – A loose-knit collection of programmers, anarchists and baristas launched an indie gaming console to little or no fanfare Thursday. The collective chose not to give the gaming device a name, a standard set of specifications or even a price point. “We’re trying to avoid the whole gaming hype train,” said hacker/forestry science major Arturo Gutierrez. “I mean, when I think of a brand, I think of cowboys searing the flesh of innocent cows. This isn’t about cattle capitalism.”

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Pretension +1: Come Through

Last weekend we buried my friend Carlos Batts on the side of a hill in Glendale. It was the magic hour, so the sun and smog conspired to give mourners a Tony Scott panorama of downtown Los Angeles while we pondered the loss of a friend gone too soon. In attendance were the bent and burnt of Hollywood. I counted more than a few pornographers in black, models with tattoos spilling from dress sleeves too. One dude looked like a East L.A. biker. More than a few bore the cultivated look of art collectors and gallery owners – pricey-looking clothes

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