Stranger in a Strange Land – Boys, Girls and Gender Equality

If you have children you may begin to have conversations around the differences between boys and girls. Not physically but with the toys they like, the colors they prefer, the games they tend to play, the clothes they wear, how they act. It is inevitable as a parent to have these conversations as our children try and find their own space in the world and learn what it means to be part of a larger community outside of their immediate family. But what do you do when you hear sexist remarks creep into your preschooler’s mouth?

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What Kind of Gamer Are You?

There has been a lot of chatter on group classifications over the past year and long flame wars over topics like geek vs. nerd or casual vs. non-casual gamer. I participated in a few discussions on this lately and wanted to share at a really high level what I came up with.

For what it is worth – here were my quickly scribbled breakouts. I think these apply to video/pc games and possibly board games and pen/paper games.

Casual or Hardcore?

A Casual Gamer is someone who games infrequently and/or on a limited set of games, spends minimal amount of money purchasing games, may have little to no gaming related news on their radar, and can be very passionate about the few games in their wheelhouse, rarely has much to say about gaming.

A Gamer is someone who is informed about the industry/games they like, pays attention to magazines/websites/twitter, may have multiple machines, skilled enough to pick up most games, has time to game but not enough to usually be an expert or played everything out there, can carry on a gaming conversation.

A Hardcore Gamer is someone who takes their gaming seriously – from their machine(s), time spent on message boards/guides, pays for DLC/subscriptions/guidebooks/memberships, informed about games/industry, passionate around competition/multiplayer, gaming ability may be wide and shallow or narrow and deep, usually has plenty to say about games.

Thoughts? Where do you fall? What would you change here?

Guild Wars 1 – A Retrospective Journey (Part 2) – Wayfarer’s Reverie

The wife and I finished what may possibly be our final, official quest line in Guild Wars 1 tonight. In order to fully complete the quest and receive the reward, a player needed to own the main game and the 3 expansions that were released over the 7 year lifespan of the game.

It took us 4 nights, around 10 hours, and at least 2 nights way past our bedtime to wrap things up. It was a great experience to run through the lands again and we even had a few areas that we’d never even been in before. GW1 did a good job rewarding exploration and GW2 does an already more amazing job. I had never really considered it before but I am heavily considering joining a role playing guild this time around. Not so much so I can speak in old english but as a way to talk about the excitement I experience from exploration and the small hidden stories I come across. As the storyteller that I am I greatly appreciate the love ArenaNet puts into their games so I can have small moments of glee!

If you want to check it out, here is the Wayfarer’s Reverie – Quest Description: http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Wayfarer’s_Reverie

See you all in Guild Wars 2 soon!

Here is a screenshot from the final quest near the tree that will play a more significant role in GW2 (it gives birth to a new race of people known as the Sylvari).

Guild Wars 1 – A Retrospective Journey (Part 1)

Last night the wife and I began our final journey through the realms of Tyria, Cantha, Elona and the Far North in one of our favorite games – Guild Wars!

We were able to log some time in Guild Wars, probably one of the last major times we will do so, before the launch of Guild Wars 2 on 8/28/12. It was a fun reminder of how far we’ve come as a couple and in the game since we started playing in April 2005. We’ve gone from Dating to Married, Condo to Town home, crappy computers to newer slightly better computers (they age over time ya know!), no kids to two kids.

I learned about Guild Wars prior to them launching their open beta and was excited from the beginning to hear of an online role playing game without a monthly fee. At the time, my wife and I were only dating and living 5 hours apart in different states. I had hoped to find something we could play together long distance. The game took its time getting to beta and by then we were engaged and living together – so we were able to play side-by-side. We spent many long nights (and days) playing through the different areas of the world of Tyria. If we were fortunate to have a completely open Saturday, we would partake of some adult beverages and dive into an enormous delivered pizza and game all night long. It was pure heaven and something we can no longer do.

We had limited time and have a toddler who still wakes up 1-2 times before midnight so we knew that we were on borrowed time (as we always are now with kids). Thankfully we were able to play uninterrupted for a little bit. Hopefully we’re able to squeeze in a little more time over the coming weeks prior to the launch.

The newly added quests serve as a swan song to Guild Wars 1 and takes players across all the realms to popular, picturesque destinations. The last quest we finished was a visit to a beautiful, Kodak-picture spot called “The Falls” in the Magumma Jungle.

We should have visited these falls over 7 years ago but apparently have no memory of it. So even while the game was attempting to help us relive moments that we should have previously experienced, we visited at least 2 destinations tonight that we both failed to remember. Amazing how something that they were able to create a world so rich with detail and expansive with exploration that we were able to possibly miss something – and were able to experience it again (for the first time) tonight. We should all be so fortunate to have just a little bit of this wonder from time to time.

Our small office prominently features 2 maps that came with the games:

And we even managed to secure some “Coming Soon” posters from our local Gamestop. Not quite sure where to put those! They’re huge!

For those GW fans, more info about the new fun quests can be found here:
http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Feedback:Game_updates/20120817

Game Review – 10000000 – A Twitch-Play Tile Matching Dungeon Crawler

iPhone Game Review for 10000000

Game: 10000000
Developer: EightyEight Games LTD
Platform: iPhone
Launched: July 25, 2012
Price: $1.99
Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/10000000/id544385071?mt=8

I just escaped from the dungeon in my latest iPhone time waster – 10000000 (that is seven zero’s!)

The game has very simple mechanics similar to Bejeweled or Puzzle Quest with a very, very light RPG element to the game. As you match 3, 4, or 5 tiles on the playing field, your adventurer moves deeper and deeper into the dungeon. Along the way your character encounters treasure chests, locked doors, and multiple different types of monsters that impede your progress. Match tiles before the timer runs down or your adventurer will be squashed! Depending on the tiles that you match on the playing field, your adventurer does different things in the dungeon animation along the top of the screen (open chests, unlock doors, battle monsters).


Between levels you are able to use earned gold, wood, stone, and magic points to increase the effectiveness of your adventurer as he pushes deeper and deeper into the dungeon. Once your character reaches 10000000 you are able to escape, free of the shackles of the addictive nature of this simple game. But what happens once you are free?


I just won the game tonight and it took me a little over seven hours! I have no idea how I got so sucked into this game but I found myself addicted and playing it constantly and at any opportunity. I found that within a few minutes of gameplay I was capable of getting just enough stuff to level up an item or two, which allowed me to venture just a little further into the dungeon, and earn more stuff, and then go buy more and venture further…you get the point.

At $1.99 it is one of the more expensive apps that I have bought for gaming but I clearly got plenty of play time out of it!

It is fun, addictive, if not somewhat repetitive and unclear as to how your leveling is truly affecting your progress, but an easy time waster with little need to think too hard.

Venture forth and see if you can free yourself from the dungeon!


Download the 1,000,000 from iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/10000000/id544385071?mt=8

LEGO Lord of the Rings :: Game and Toys

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Did you hear that there are LEGO Lord of the Rings toys (http://thelordoftherings.lego.com/en-us/default.aspx)

There is also a LEGO Lord of the Rings game coming out soon as well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkSd3caCYJQ&feature=player_embedded)

The LEGO game looks great and I’m really excited about it. They appear to be using audio from the movies which will really help round out the LOTR experience. Another reason I love these LEGO games so much is that a wider range of people can play them and I get to do some side-by-side sofa sitting with my wife as we traverse all the levels over and over again.

Check both out!

Back in the Swing of Things…on Monday

As you might have noticed, I have been out of town and relatively quiet all of last week. Spending tonight getting caught up while watching the Closing Ceremonies (via DVR, to avoid the commercials).

I plan to have a new post for ya’ll on Monday!

We’ve added a few more LIKES to our Facebook page, a bunch more on Twitter, and shared a whole ton of pictures, topics and thoughts for you to ponder over.

Thanks for your patience.