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Emma_UK Blog

Breaking radio silence...

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Hey Gamespotters

Hope you're all doing good. I have a small and painless to ask y'all. One of my very good friends, UK indie developer Paul Taylor from Mode 7 games has started a petition to get his game Determinance released via Valve's Steam.

He's been turned down twice--I don't think he's sure why--and keeps getting asked by fans of the game why he doesn't put it on Steam. It's driving him nuts, so he's started a fun petition to take to their offices. If he gets 10,000 sigs in the next six months, he's promised to deliver it personally dressed as a tomato.

How can you say no???

Thank you all so much in advance! Save the indie games industry, ya?

Check it out here

Other than that, I have absolutely nothing to say about this web site whatsover.

Strange press releases from the UK--Part Two

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I'm not sure that Kevin can beat this....

**************************************

From: xxx
To: xxx
Subject: Understanding Vagina Dentata - A Website that's full of bite!
Date: 17th June 2008

An underground online marketing campaign created for new movie TEETH has sparked frantic discussion amongst bloggers asking the question - could this happen to me? TEETH, which is released in cinemas this Friday by Momentum Pictures, is an ultra dark coming-of-age comedy with a particularly shocking premise based on the myth of vagina dentata (Latin for 'toothed vagina').

The main focus of the campaign is a spoof healthcare site http://www.vagident.co.uk/ which includes a video testimonial from a woman purporting to suffer from the affliction who explains in detail how her life has been affected. The site has enjoyed great success, so far receiving over 60,000 unique users. The primary feature of the site is to house the video Understanding Vagina Dentata, which plays as a straight documentary. Support material on the site, including a look at the myths and facts of Vagina Dentata, and frequently asked questions, helped to create a believable healthcare concern. vagina

The Understanding Vagina Dentata video has received over 130,000 views online so far, with fantastic user responses debating whether Vagina Dentata is a real medical issue, and whether the interviewees in the video are genuine. The campaign has grown via viral portals, networks, blogs, with additional reach through the distributor's student and washroom activity.

Strange press releases from the UK--Part One

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Kevin VanOrd over in the US recently started a series of blog posts called 'Fun With Kevin's Inbox.' Just to show him that people in the UK are just as strange as those in the US, I'm going to be bringing you the best of all the oddness that we receive this side of the Pond.

We're off to a flying start today with this news. Guy said he was so excited he was thinking of live blogging it.

From: *****
Sent: Tue, 13 May 2008 13:54:12 +0200
To: *****
Subject: INVITATION TO GBC's WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT

YOU ARE INVITED TO A WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT! (This is flashing in different colours).

World's Fastest Laminator

When: Monday, June 2nd, 11:00-12:00 hrs

On behalf of GBC, Duomedia has the pleasure to invite you to join in the thrilling countdown as GBC makes an unprecedented Guiness World Record Attempt at officially establishing the WORLD's FASTEST LAMINATOR! At this unique event GBC will unveil the 8500HS Cyclone, a single-sided commercial laminator designed for ultra high-speed professional finishing of book covers, dust jackets, packaging and more. An official representative of the Guiness Book of World Records will be present on the stand to establish the time it takes the GBC 8500HS Cyclone to laminate 100 square meters. A champagne reception will follow the record breaking activity.

Laminator

Come and join us in the thrilling countdown as GBC unveils their 8500HS Cyclone to make an unprecedent attempt at establishing it officially as the WORLD'S FASTEST LAMINATOR! Register now!

My 360 died :(

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Actually not the red rings of death, but just as useless. After spending two weeks in San Francisco working from our US office, I was looking forward to some quality time with my console and some of the games that had come out recently but I hadn't had time to play.

Alas, last night at around 3am (jetlag is a ******) my console decided it wasn't to be, and started freezing everytime I turned it on. Sometimes it would even get as far as loading the game, and enticingly let me play for a couple of seconds before throwing a wobbly. Mainly it would just freeze on the opening logo.

Tried turning it off for a while, unplugging the hard drive, unplugging live, and all those useless things you do to try to prove that there's actually nothing wrong before giving up and calling their support line.

Me: My 360 broke. It keeps freezing.

Helpline guy: What's the serial number, your name, and your address?

I tell him.

Helpline guy: Ok, so you need to get a plain box and package up the 360, no cables or hard drive or anything.

Me: I still have the original box. Can I put it in that?

Helpline guy: No.

Me: Why not? I don't have a plain box.

Helpline guy: Then you'd better buy one. They won't take it in the original box.

Me: Why not?

Helpline guy: Because they won't.

Me: Hmmm.... Ok, so can they pick it up today?

Helpline guy: It'll be two or three working days.

Me: Oh, in that case, can you put down my work address if they come tomorrow or Friday and my home address if they come Saturday?

Helpline guy: No.

Me: Uh, why not? Most people are at work Monday to Friday and at home at weekends, are they not? I don't think that's a particularly strange request.

Helpline guy: There's only room on the system for one address. If they come earlier, just phone them and tell them to come on a Saturday.

Me: And presuming I ever manage to get hold of 'them', when can I expect my console back?

Helpline guy: Two to three weeks.

Me: (heavy sarcasm) That's great, thanks.

Helpline guy: (conspiratorially) Mine died last Friday too, so I'm in the same boat.

Absolutely brilliant.

[EDIT--I've had my 360 just over 2 months.]

You Animals!

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Here's a selection of animal pics. I don't think David Attenborough needs to worry, somehow.

oh deer

penguin 1

penguin 2

llama

llama 2

goats

no ideeer

flamingo

stag

sheep 1

sheep 2

bird

the cat

cocks

squirrel 1

squirrel 3

squirrel 2

More Tokyo pics

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These were mainly taken in Koenji, the area where my friend lives, one from Shinjuku, and a couple from around the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku.

shinjuku at night

creepy hut

booze

signs

lanterns

second hand shop

shutters

fish

prayers

powerlines

Tokyo Shopping Guide for Gamers

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This was originally published on October 3, 2007. If you're reading this much later than that, stuff might well have changed. Tokyo doesn't stand still for long.

I lived in Tokyo for about two years, and here are a few of my favourite shops for buying games--second hand, new, and English language. It's notoriously difficult to find anywhere in Tokyo, so I've included a crap map.

Not surprisingly, the biggest concentration of video game shops is in Den Den Electric Town, otherwise known as Akihabara.

Akihabara area (JR Akihabara station)

super potato

Super Potato
This is like a video game graveyard--where old game consoles and games go when they're not quite ready to die. Over three floors, and filled with retro games including the Virtual Boy, SNES, all the way to the still very much alive and kicking PlayStation 2. The top floor is a small retro arcade, where you can sit and play favourite old games. Prices are reasonable.

Address: 3F Kitanayashi Bldg, 1-11-2 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-5289-9933
Open: Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm
Web site: www.superpotato.com

DVD Trader

Game and DVD Trader
Traders is a second hand DVD and video game chain, with several branches across Tokyo. There's also one on the Chuo-Dori. This is the biggest one I've ever been in, and has stacks of Nintendo DS and PlayStation games on the ground floor, along with some 'questionable' PC games.

Address : Sotokanda 1-4-9 Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-3255-0777
Open: Mon, Tues, Wed 11am-8pm, Fri and Sat 10am-8.30pm, Thu, Sun, Holidays 10am-8pm
Web site: http://www.e-trader.jp/

yodobashi akiba

Yodobashi Camera Akiba
Touted as the biggest electronics store in the world when it opened, I'm not sure how we can substantiate that, but it's certainly big. Very big. Games are on the seventh floor, along with toys, and it has probably the biggest selection in one place in all of Akihabara. However, titles are also a little more expensive than in some of the smaller outlets. Games sometimes get taken off the shelves faster than they can be restacked, so it's worth asking at the till if you can't find something. Taking the showa-dori exit from JR Akihabara station will bring you out right beside one of the entrances.

Address: 1-1 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-5209-1010
Open daily 9:30am-10pm
Web site: http://www.yodobashi.com/

Game Hollywood

Game Hollywood
Game Hollywood stocks import American games in all formats, which is handy if you live in Japan, love gaming, and don't speak Japanese. There's a wide selection of titles here, and new ones tend to show up fairly fast. You can also check on the handy Web site to see if what you want is in stock or not before you head out.

Address: 5th Floor, Uchida Building, Sotokanda 1-9-9 Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-5297-3281
Open: Daily 11am to 8pm
Web site: http://www.gmh.jp/

Messe Sanoh

Messe Sanoh Chaos
Moved to handily right next to Game Hollywood from its previous location up a dodgy staircase on the Chuo-Dori, Messe Sanoh is cheaper than Game Hollywood, and has a bigger PC foreign game section. It's worth trying here first, and if they don't have what you want, popping next door to Game Hollywood.

Address: 1st Floor Kankou Building, Sotokanda 1-9-11 Chiyoda-ku
Open: Mon, Tues, Wed 10.30am-8pm Thur, Sat 10am-8pm Fri 10am-8.30 Sun, Holidays 10am-7.30pm
Web site: http://www.messe.gr.jp/

Harajuku area (JR Harajuku)

book off

Book Off
This hilariously named chain of second hand book shops also stock a wide range of used video games and consoles in all the current formats. They also have sister stores called Hard Off that sell second hand hardware, if you hadn't finishedlaughing. This branch is the most centrally located, but it's worth venturing out into the suburbs for real bargains--for example the Ogikubo branch (just across the big crossing from the JR Ogikubo main exit) has a whole two bookshelves of games under 1,000 yen on all formats.

Address: 1-8-8 Jinguumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo (On the Meiji-Dori towards Shinjuku, just past the New Balance store.)
Open: daily 10am-9pm
Web site: http://bookoff.co.jp/index.html

Shibuya area (JR Shibuya)

mandarke

Mandarake
This chain has apparently been around for a while, but I guess I never noticed it. Primarily a manga comic store, it's crammed full of manga comics, including rare and special editions, and also figures, posters, and cosplay costumes. They also have a game section, selling all the usual formats, plus a few retro bits and pieces.

Address: Shibuya Beam B2, 31-2 Udagawacho, Shibuya-Ku
Tel: 03-3477-0777
Open: Daily from 12noon-8pm
Web site: http://www.mandarake.co.jp/english/shop/sby.html (English map on the Web site)

TheCrap Map of Akihabara

crap map

KEY Where 1-Super Potato 2-Game Hollywood 3-Messe Sanoh 4-Game and DVDTrader 5-Yodobashi Camera Akiba. More or less.

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