Archive for the Technology, Gaming, Etc. Category

Comics and Video Games-My Second Childhood

Posted in Movies & Television, Technology, Gaming, Etc., Trending with tags , , , , , on May 8, 2015 by geniusscribbleink

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The mortgage payment is due, baby needs new shoes and everyone’s money is acting funny. This is pretty much the etched out screenplay depicting the everyday manifest of a common disease called “adulthood”. Whoever said that youth is wasted on the young was correct, as disposable income has becomes a foreign dialect during the maturing and aging process that is life. It is often a challenge to obtain and ascertain the “extras” or the proverbial “entertainment” purchases once Rodeo Bill circles the wagons around your direct deposit and leaves town before sunset. I guess perhaps this is why I have subscribed to the art of couponing and bargain hunting in order to feed the fiendish crave for my video gaming addiction that may require therapy by the time it is all said and done. Yes, nostalgia always trumps inertia, as I will admit that I have the attention span of a five year old at times when boredom arrives in the form of down trodden people whose conversation surround death, taxes and voyeurism into the lives of fake celebrities that are famous for doing absolutely nothing. Spare time, is a rare time, but it is how you use every minute of your day that is vital to your existence. Adulthood is dealt in spades and served with a shot of whoop ass with no chaser. So for me it is important to live out my days with maturity, while corralling the spirit that is the forgotten child that I often assign to the corner when adults are talking. But is this not where misery truly forms? Is it not here where we forget cognizant reasoning and simplicity? I often say that if you want the truth you ask a child, they only lie about homework and they ultimately live by the one creed of selfishness that tends to evade us as we age. Simply put, they want only what satisfies their “now”, while saluting the future with the longest finger on their hands. To be young, ruthless and unapologetic; the glory days. To be full of life and vigor, while sulking in the sweet nectar of a Slurpee while flipping baseball cards and using an unbridled imagination that dreams are made from. How many miss those years? I most certainly do. The wonder years of yesteryears that seem such a long time ago in a faraway galaxy. Hmmm, wait a minute, I thought I just saw a trailer for a movie this weekend saying that. A time when the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno dazzled as the Incredible Hulk. Wait a minute, didn’t I just see that character in the movie that I saw the trailer about the galaxy faraway? Am I confused or engaging in hyperbole? Ok you got me, hyperbole it is and damn excitement as well. In case you missed the title, I am in my second childhood and I am loving every single minute of it without question. I am on Fantasy Island without Mr. Rourke and the little man calling for an aerial vehicle while pointing towards the mystical clouds. To believe that comic books are alive and dare I say motioning on live film and video games are so realistic that they are like watching a movie, is the dream of anyone born circa 1973 and prior. This is the fountain of youth for us “old heads”, knowing that our heroes, Skywalker, Superman, Batman, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Iron Man et al be all, are going to be a living and breathing part of our current entity, puts goosebumps in places we have probably forgotten existed over the past several years. I won’t even get into my video games like Shadows of Mordor that bring to life a mystic world once dreamt about on a Dungeons and Dragons board game. My second childhood is upon me, as well as upon anyone daring to be a child at the ripe age of whatever your current ripeness is. I don’t know about you, but I will stay submerged in this youthful playground as long as I possibly can before the street lights come on and it is time to return home and get prepared for the working life of a new day. Why should the youth have all the fun? Maybe this is our time to revel in happiness while indulging in Pop Rocks and Now and Later candy. #the young & the restless

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Dear Pac-Man: You Suck!

Posted in Technology, Gaming, Etc. with tags , , on February 24, 2015 by geniusscribbleink

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Call it bias or perhaps I am just a prisoner of my generation; but I will still emphatically state that I grew up in the greatest era that any one kid could ask for. I can recall a time when the term “neighborhood” was more “neighbor” and less “hood”, as it was not uncommon to leave your front door unlock while you actually visited your neighbors and could often be found eating at their dinner tables. No, we did not have “ADT Security Systems” nor did we “Seal our homes with Slomins”; strangely enough your house was watched by those same neighbors who were also green lit to dole out punishment if God forbid you were caught behaving unruly in their presence. Yes, my generation; the generation who brought you Hip Hop culture and Saturday morning cartoons. The generation in which punishment was being made to go to your room, as you would stare desperately out of the window yearning to play freeze-tag with your friends outside (foreign concept nowadays). It was a time of imagination and conceptualization that forged a world so vast that the simple placement of an ordinary playing card and clothes pin, could convert your then bicycle into a roaring motorcycle whose horsepower output was contingent upon how you desperately you wanted to keep up with your friend peddling ahead of you. As a friend of mine once stated: “We used up all of the fun, it is why this current generation will never have any”. Such a prolific statement indeed, however I will add one caveat to it by saying that “This generation will never appreciate what it is they have because they have never been without”. We live in an “instant milk” era where you just add a little water and it’s suddenly there, all at the expense of forgetting about the cow and the pasteurization process. So I know you are asking what does a cow, a glass of powder milk and Pac-Man have in common? Well blame it on my generation. It is how we use our “imagination” and “conceptualization” to get our point across. Now here comes the breakdown.

I will restate that I am truly bias about “my generation”, however I have always been fascinated by technology. In the words of Jay-Z “I’m a geek about mine”, especially as it relates to the realm of video games. As much as I embrace the childhood where we played in the streets until the street lights illuminated the pavement, one of my most nostalgic childhood memoirs was when my brother and I received an Atari gaming console for Christmas. Countless hours we would spend trying to outwit one another in Tank War, to the point where our hands would hurt from that unforgiving joystick that seemed cemented in concrete when trying to execute maneuvers. Of course we lived through the coin-op gaming phase that saw countless arcade rooms emerge, thus giving birth to a power-pellet munching, ghost avoiding, yellow sphere with a big mouth named Pac-Man. Back in my generation, one could never theorize anything better than that video game, as it spawned a frenzy that is probably the sole reason why gamers like me exist to this very day. This brings about the point and premise for this blog which is “today” or the “now generation”. I have a vast collection of games for a multitude of gaming consoles from Atari to PS3, however upon purchasing the PS4 gaming console, I would be doing it a disservice by stating anything less than being in awe. In particular the game Tomb Raider-Definitive Edition.

I won’t bother you with the plot/premise of the game, but what I will offer is the fact that I don’t know of too many movies that were done better than the production of this video game. There are times where I am left speechless due to its realism, but also due to the fact that my mother’s premise of “If you live long enough you will see everything”, chimes harmonically into fruition. It is amazing to witness the evolution of home gaming systems, stemming from original inception from the innovative minds of Ralph Baer and Jerry Lawson, to the brilliant work of Crystal Dynamics on the aforementioned Tomb Raider-Definitive Edition. Yes my generation invented Hip Hop music and had a vast imagination and the ability to conceptually fabricate dreams into reality; however it is in this generation that we find reality being fabricated to look like a dream in the form of a CD-ROM. This is not a sales pitch for PS4 or Tomb Raider, however this is a sales pitch for the modern innovators out there tinkering on the cusp of genius. Anything is possible if you have a vision and a plan. Who knows, maybe someone will one day say this blog sucks. I will take that as a compliment, as it’s just visionary writing that hopefully one day can inspire others to seek brilliance instead of indulging on power pellets and running from haunting ghosts. P.S. Pac-Man I still got love for you homie. #Sincerely, The Geek Freak

Humans: You Have Been Terminated!

Posted in News, Technology, Gaming, Etc. with tags , , , , on May 21, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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(Excerpt from Terminator 1984)

Sarah Connor: Reese. Why me? Why does it want me?

Kyle Reese: There was a nuclear war. A few years from now, all this, this whole place, everything, it’s gone. Just gone. There were survivors. Here, there. Nobody even knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.

Sarah Connor: I don’t understand.

Reese: Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.

As previously documented it was 1984 and the world of film would be introduced to an extremely menacing character that would forever become one the most polarizing and iconic figures to ever hit the big screen. It would be in the utterance of one simplistic phrase, that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be forever solidify in annals of infamy: “I’ll Be Back!” This juggernaut of death, funneled into a titanium-like exoskeleton, would go on to wreak unmitigated havoc upon anyone who dared to cross its path in trying to prevent it from completing the job that it was programmed to do. Although we are living in circa 2014 and the world as we once knew is morphing right before our very eyes; the technology that was alluded to in the movie Terminator has not quite visited the public sectors of our every day existence in society. We see certain forms of technology being utilized in the many different facets of life. We have cellphones, ATM cards, navigational systems, along with, traffic cams, satellite mapping and of course the global internet. In essence it is fair to say that due to convenience, we have usurped the task of “doing” by allowing others “tools” to do it for us in the form of innovative technology. It’s undoubtedly official, we live in the computerized era. The marvels of science have jettison us towards an evolution that makes us ponder: “What is next?”; as we are all but scratching the cusp of a new tomorrow as it pertains to innovation. Well of course the future is not now, so we find ourselves living in the state of the present. As we examine the perspective of affairs as it relates from a technological concept, we find ourselves standing amidst the forefront of another nuance. That nuance is the age of robotics.

R2D2, C3PO and The Robot (Lost In Space) by way of entertainment, introduced the entire world to the concept of androids and their abilities to assist/enhance the everyday productivity of routine life. They (androids) would acquiesce to the ever-changing and forever demanding needs of their human owners by offering highly, intelligent quick resolutions; thus alleviating the room for error and the proverbial wasting of time. Let’s face facts, if you ever watched an episode of the animation series The Jetsons at any point in life, you found intrigue with the idea of pressing one button to receive a hot meal or having your entire wardrobe ironed and pressed by Rosie The Robot just by the sound of your voice. As I often allude to in casual conversation from time to time, we live in what I deem as an “Instant Milk” society that thrives on adding a little bit of water in order to bypass the process of pasteurization. Now I don’t want to give off the impression that I thumb my nose up at technology etc., because I am guilty as charged for not surrendering my IPAD unless it is from the clutches of my cold dead hands, but even then I would probably try to find an “App” that would prevent that from happening as well. I guess the real question in all of this is whether or not there is balance between that of the human element versus that of the android element in the working/functioning structures of society as a whole. Have we become too depended on androids while lessening the need for the human presence within the inner-workings of common labor? The University of California at Berkley, has already created a robot that can do laundry and fold towels and t-shirts. At MIT, they have designed “management robot” that is learning to manage a factory while delegating orders to artificial co-workers. MIT also has what is deemed as a “BakeBot”, who is able to read recipes, whip together flour, sugar and butter, as well as, place the cookie mixture into the oven. General Electric (GE) has designed spider-like robots to climb up wind turbines in order to perform routine maintenance on them. One may ask how has automation such as this effected or impacted the working environment? Well between the years of 2010-2012, there has been a 38% increase in the purchase of android assistance amongst companies in an effort to cut cost and stay competitive. Since 2001, the Gross Domestic Product has risen to 20%, however, the numbers of hours being worked by humans has only risen 2.8% during this time, with only 1.9% increase in job opportunities. The once known “blue-collar” worker is becoming extinct, as the demand for its rival competitor (android) is on a Herculean rise. A trend that for the most part that is going vastly unreported that deserves to be brought to the forefront of America’s front page. Are we “raging against the machines”? Has our need for comfort and convenience come at the price of our fellow-man/woman? Are we all the next Sarah Conner, who find ourselves fearing for not our physical lives, but that of our lifestyles or livelihoods? The machines are obviously turned on and by the looks of things, they will not be unplugged anytime soon. Perhaps the grave issue in all of this is the fact that humans may have become unplugged as well. The process of innovative thinking has gone from a routine of rigorous reading and retention, to that of tapping a touch screen and getting instantaneous results. I too marvel at the scientific advancements with utter amazement, that is until I talk to the youth of today and see a generation that is so far removed from the prevalence of reality. This is the birth of a new nation, too bad we are aborting the life function during the delivery of this regeneration. What is next? Where are we heading? Inquiring minds use to want to know the answers to these types ponders. This may validate the need for more Morpheus like free thinkers in the world to unplug us from the grid of the Matrix. What will you decide? #blue pill or red pill #choose one

Technology Review: XBox One

Posted in Technology, Gaming, Etc. with tags , , , , on December 4, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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I’m an avid gamer to say the least, albeit I’m not one of those classic geeks that marinate for hours on end in front of a television to the point where the ottoman becomes jealous. No I am the casual gamer, who is probably living out my deprived childhood when home gaming consoles were the equivalence to asking your parents for a Mercedes Benz is nowadays. Yes I was part of the “coin-op” generation that wasted countless quarters in the hopes of getting Frogger across the street before getting splattered on the road or trying to rescue Mario’s often kidnapped girlfriend Pauline from the evil clutches of an ape gone wild in the classic game Donkey Kong. Yes, I grew up with the Atari and recalled thinking that when the Nintendo NES came out, that nothing could get much better then Super Mario Brothers. Well of course as I play Uncharted 2 (extraordinary game by the way) I realize just how far the home gaming consoles have come. I am fortunate enough to own both a Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360 (told you I was a deprived child) and I have a pretty extensive list of games for them both. I will admit that I utilize my PS3 more, as I find that the graphics are better for the most part and of course there is no additional fee for online play. So when hearing about the new release of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, I was more interested in seeing what the Xbox One had to offer more so then the Playstation 4, because I’m pretty satisfied and content with the PS3 for the most part. I had an opportunity to get some insight from an XBox representative over the weekend at the XBox One display at Best Buy. I had a chance to play the racing game Forza, which is a game tailor made for the Xbox One console. Now let me explain what I mean by tailor made for a moment. The Xbox representative informed me that certain games were tailored to fit the Xbox One by the utilization of special technology that adheres to the nuances of the new system. This is what creates the outstanding graphics and processing engine that makes the game come alive, however, not all games for the console are made using this special technology. Some of the available games were basically sewn together to become compatible with the console based on old technology that has been merged to become applicable on the new system (same applies to PS4 by the way) for play. This is where you will find that certain games appear less vibrant and look less appealing then others. The XBox One is not a grandfathered system that will allow you to play Xbox 360 games, so you will have to start up a new library of game titles as well. The system cost is $499.00, which is a pretty lofty price to say the least. I don’t see a significant amount of difference that would warrant my pursuit of this, unless this was my first ever gaming system purchase. Even then I would pause on the purchase, because the PS3 is extremely affordable now on Amazon used, with bundle packages that include four games at a cost of $200.00 plus. Same applies to those seeking PS4s. If Xbox One is a must have and you can justify the purchase price, then please proceed, but for the cautious consumer, be $200.00 wise instead of $500.00 foolish and get the PS3. And remember “Dont hate the player just beat the game”.

In Review: NBA 2K14

Posted in Technology, Gaming, Etc. with tags , , on October 3, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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From One on One: Dr. J vs Larry Bird to Double Dribble to Bulls vs Blazers to NBA Live and NBA 2K, the evolution of basketball video games has greatly transcended from an assortment of pixel dots resembling the outline of an NBA persona to that of the modern day motion capturing technology and facial mapping software that literally puts a virtual hologram of a player at your fingertips. I was always an NBA Live fan for many years, that is until the debacle of NBA Elite 11 that would result in the shelving of the series for two years and is set for relaunch in November. So, being that I routinely buy basketball video games each year and due to the NBA Live hiatus, I ended up switching to the NBA 2K series for the past three years. At first I was reluctant to try a new series, however, the pros of the NBA 2K series far out weigh the cons. There are really no major hitches in the game, as you feel like you are in or at an actual live game when playing it. The graphics and the soundtracks stimulate your senses while the controller configuration is less complex than a television remote. It’s a no brainer for me now, when hearing of this latest release of NBA 2K14 (Lebron James on the cover), to go out and purchase it without hesitation; however, it does come with a bit of disappointment. The disappointment for me, is that the only thing that appears to have changed since NBA 2K13 is the cover. The new “Path To Greatness” mode lends a new depth to the gaming experience, but the graphics appear to be the same graphics from the prior edition. For $59.99, NBA 2K14 should be on its own “path to greatness” instead of borrowing from “past greatness”. I expected more from this flourishing franchise and received less. This may be the opening NBA Live wanted and needed, as Lebron may carry the Miami Heat to a championship on his broad shoulders, however, his face on the cover is not helping to satisfy the elevated expectations of an avid basketball video game fan like myself. It’s not worth the full price of admission and if you can hold out, perhaps NBA Live could inject new life into the basketball gaming world. NBA 2K14: Purchase with caution. I rate this 3 out of 5 Remote Controllers. Happy gaming folks. “Don’t Hate The Player, Just Beat The Game”

In Review: Injustice-Gods Among Us

Posted in Technology, Gaming, Etc. on June 22, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

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If you are a DC Comic fan, then this game will definitely peak your interest as you impatiently await the highly anticipated Justice League movie. It is easy to compare this game to Mortal Kombat (Finish Him!), however it’s all that and a bag of chips, Skittles, Slurpee, Milky Way and every other Convenient Store wallet zapper (apparently my hunger has taken over my writing). Needless to say, Injustice is a “gamer’s paradise” (sorry Coolio) that has everything from great graphics to an intriguing selection of heroes and villains with awesome combat moves. You can spend countless hours playing as your favorite DC Comic character. My only knock is that I wish one of the characters came with a “kryptonite kick” because Superman can be one tough Son Of Jor-El to beat. This game I will give 4 out of 5 Remote Controls to. It’s worth the money and if you don’t have the $59.99 to spend, do yourself a favor and check out Amazon for great deals on used versions of this game for your console. To all my gaming geeks: “Don’t Hate The Player, Just Beat The Game”