Gen_Warbuff / Member

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Gen_Warbuff Blog

Pre-oder war alive and well!

It's good to see the pre-order war is alive and well thanks to the release of COD4. Just incase you missed it, a certain retail chain of stores was given a little reward with this release and was able to sell it to pre-order customers a day early. WOW what a concept!

I know this topic has been fought more times then WWII, but can someone give me a real good reason to not pre-order games? Here is a list of arguments that do not count due to lack of actually having a good point.

1) That store sucks

2) It's a rip off

3) I can walk in to other stores and just buy it (that's fine, then no need to argue, but there were a lot of people that could not get COD4 right away because it was sold out)

4) It's against the law

So tell me what you think. Also tell me, if stores that offered pre-orders something different, like lets say getting the game a day or two early, would that change your mind?

Video games and Social issues? The Story of [KWI]

Some people in this world will have you believe that the invention and video games has led to a generation kids, maybe some who are now adults, that are anti social and can not function in the real world. This may be true in a very few "extreme" cases, but over all do you feel that video games have hampered your social abilities? And have turned you into a "loner"?

I would like to share a story with everyone, I will try and keep it short, but I don't want to make it seem like just some short-term relation ships either. The story is about a group of gamers that met (via the net) almost 10 years ago now, the story of a clan named Killers With Issues, or [KWI] for short.

April 11th, 1999... I know this date well because it was the day before the Chicago Cubs home opener (what would have been my 8th in a row), and I had just moved the weekend before from Chicago to Baltimore. Because of that move, my home opener streak has what all baseball fans know as a ( * ) next to my name when it comes to records. With that little symbol there I can proudly say I have attended 16 Cubs Home Openers in a row... but I digress.

On or around mid June of 1999 I became the leader/boss of a great group of cellular technicians for my company. Out of the initial 50 + employees that I would be in charge of, 8 of them were Regional Managers... One of them was Lt_Wiz.

During a break in our first meeting together, the subject of video gaming (specifically PC gaming) came up and soon Lt_Wiz and I realized that we had been playing the same game over recent months, the game we all became to know and love of Half-Life.

As Wiz and I started to work together more and more we started playing in the same servers, Wiz in Florida and myself in Maryland. Probably some time around our second meeting we discussed how much we had been playing, and how cool some of the people we met on line seemed to be. Well to make a long story short, within minutes during that meetings lunch break we had our name, TGP (Techs Gone Postal) was born! Now all we had to do was recruit more people.

Over the course of a few months we continued to play and play and play.... and seemed to find a home in Severians Torture Chamber. We got to know Sev pretty good during those months, he was very nice to us and let us run the server, giving us access to everything. The Torture Chamber became the home for [TGP].

Probably some time around late 1999 or early 2000 we started playing with all sorts of great people who would visit the Chamber on a regular basis. You can still find our original site here

Moving on......

I'm going to take some wild guesses now when it comes to dates and stuff. But I'm going to say that it was probably around the end of 2001, maybe early 2002 when one of our members got us sucked in to DOD. It did not take us long, probably a few weeks, maybe even just days before we decided this was to be the new path for TGP, or actually just a new branch to the mother clan. KWI was born, and man we had no idea what we were in for!

We were probably in the midst of being really bored with Half-life, and TGP when this new game gave us some new excitement! We had just started meeting Ziggy, Merc, Q_jaxon (was that his name?) Danny, Dead, Dole, Asty and some others when we picked up 1.3. GOD do you remember those blood soaked fights? QOR, the 101st..... GAWD DAMN we had some fun!

Most [TGP] members did not come over to the dark side with us, because "how could that game be fun?" Well, it was so much fun that we found ourselves competing (this was not a friendly game like HL) and becoming bigger and better members of the DOD community. It was not long before Lt_Wiz became an admin for the STA League.

Remember those great days? Remember Glock? Remember WW2.0 the tournament? Where it was the best of the European teams Vs the best of North America? I broadcast that final match, we had almost 5000 people tune to listen and watch via HLTV.

It's been a great 8-9 years now that we have spent together, some of us have branched off into other things, but for the most part we still all hang out at least every once and a while!

Can you see what I am getting at here? Some great, true friendships can be forged on-line. Even though we are still mostly voices on the other end of a internet connection, many of us have met in real life even though we are spread out from coast to coast and even in other countries! We have gone through childbirths, illnesses, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries and have even grown old together, our oldest member is 50 something!

Yes the Internet can sometimes be a dangerous place, but it can also be a place to meet like-minded people that will be friends for life. I know, 100% that I would not have met any of my current online friends in real life if it were not for the social aspect of gaming.

Who else out here has had similar experiences? Do you feel online games create social issues?

If you would like to stop by and say hello, and maybe make some new friends please visit

Time travel made possible by The Orange Box

Yes I know this is like the re-release of HL2, but I just needed to address it.

It's been about a week now since I picked up my copy of The Orange Box for both the PC and the x-box 360, and I would like to say that I have safely returned from my trip back to 1998.

1998 what a time to be alive and living the good life of travel, friends and video games. Today I picked up this new release called Half-Life. While walking through my local Best Buy, the bright orange box caught my attention. Hmm, I wonder what this is all about? After reading the back of the box, it sounded interesting so I held on to it and went to check out.

"Oh man, have you played this yet?" asked the check out clerk. Wanting to answer with a quick "no you dumb ass, that is why I am buying it" I reframed and let the employee ramble on about how his friends love it. How little did I know that I was truly about to have only a "half life" left after starting this game.

Now why do I say that I traveled back to 1998? Because upon unpacking The Orange Box, and loading HL2 into my 360, it immediately brought me back to the first days of playing the original HL. Here were all the familiar people, Gordon, Barney the G-Man! And also included are some very familiar aliens that I thought I was supposed to be shooting at! Did I mention the dreaded Head Crabs?

I soon found myself immersed once again in the world of Black Mesa, or this time, City 17. The old familiar feeling of being watched, and having to be careful around every corner came rushing back, thank god I have my handy little crow bar to help get me out of tight spots.

I know that others will surly bash and flame me, but FOR IT'S TIME, and maybe even past it's time, HL was the KING OF ALL GAMES, not only breaking every sales record out there, but also redesigning the way FPS games would be for the rest of time. To this day, if you go back and look at even the most popular FPS that have come out after HL, they all have some part of HL in them.

I have gone on enough, thank you Valve for another box of goodies! Time for me to return back to the future.

Quick, someone punch me in the face!

Quick, someone punch me in the face! I am SO sick and TIRED of the never ending, grossly over talked about topic of PRE ORDERS!

Why is it that people just have to keep spewing crap out of their mouths like "you pre order ... there for you suck!" or "I went into a store today, how dare they ask if I want to pre order something" I think I am going to start selling a rubber stamp that simply says "I don't pre order so don't ask" People can then feel free to stamp that right on their forehead.

Seriously, why do people that don't preorder feel the need to lash out at those of us who do? Let me think about this... hmmmm, ummm maybe because they think they are better than everybody else? That, they did not get RIPPED off? Get over yourselves! Great, you got a hot title without a preorder, you win, now SHUT UP!

I apologize for my outburst, I guess I am just sick of seeing this topic on EVERY board I go to.

I want the rest of my TV back!

Now that HDTV is becoming more affordable for the average person, more and more households have at least one, if not multiple HDTV sets. It was only a little more than 1 year ago that I bought my first HDTV, and now I have 3... one for each viewing area in the house.

Even with the most inexpensive sets, the HD picture is just AWSEOME! I am sure that I am not the only one who now will watch things that I never would have even given a second look at before, just because they are so beautiful to see. I am not just talking about girls volleyball, or tennis, I am also talking about HD Discovery Channel, or HD National Geographic, or The History Channel. Not to mention what it's like to watch a HD movie with a new HD DVD player of your choice.

I will be honest, I mainly got my first HDTV for nothing more than playing my X-Box 360 on. I also wanted to watch my favorite sports teams in crystal clear HD. And this is where my issues come into play.

I am a HUGE MLB fan, and a pretty big NFL fan. The two teams I follow the most are the Chicago Cubs, and the Baltimore Ravens. Every Sunday for the football games I can be found in front of our 50" Samsung HDTV screaming at what ever bone head play just occurred. I love it, you can see so much detail it's almost like being at the game. However! Now with all the different stat trackers, and news tickers running up and down, left and right on the screen, my viewing area has decreased down to about 30" of the original 50 that I paid for! And on top of that, most broadcast channels now have POP UP ADDS for their network shows! I guess since there is now away to avoid the pop up adds on the internet, they had to find a new home on our TV's.

Who do I complain to about this? How do I get the rest of my TV back? Should the networks give us a rebate on the investments we made on our TV's? I WANT ANSWERS!!!! And the rest of my TV back :)

To pre-order or not, this is the question.....

To pre-order or not, this is the question.....

How many times have you been surfing around the forums and come across the argument between gamers about weather or not people should preorder games? I have seen it almost as much as people wondering if a new release will be in stores on Tuesday (the release/ship date) or on Wednesday. Here is my opinion......

What is the big deal about preordering? Is it worth the name calling that takes place when asked if you preordered a hot title? Personally, I have the choice of 5 places within 5 miles of my house on where to buy games. 2 EB Games, 1 Game Stop a BestBuy and a Target Store.

Game Stop is my place of choice, it is 3 blocks from me and is easy to get in and out of, unlike Target and BestBuy where traffic and in store lines can make the trip take for ever even though they are both very close.

When I go into a Game Stop, or any other retail type environment I go in already not expecting "world class service" these are entry-level jobs, and most employees are right out of high school or still in some kind of school. The other thing is I expect to be asked if I want to "pre-order" anything. Why? Because, that is their JOB. But I'm sure all that complain about this have never worked for a living and have never done anything that their job requires of them right?

Next, what are you really out if you pre-order? $5? You are going to get that $5 off the game when you come in to pick it up so what's the deal? Oh, you have been burned before by not receiving your preorder when you went to pick it up? How long did you wait? They tell you upfront to make sure you pick it up within like 3 days, if it's not there then get your $5 back..... hmm

You say that they should just have tons of copies to make sure people can just walk in and buy one right? Well that really is not a very good business model. It might work for some places, on some titles, but knowing what kind of demand there is up front truly helps keep cost down. Sure BestBuy can put out 400 copies of what ever title is out, but have you ever seen how many get returned to suppliers after the initial demand is gone? Hmmm, more expenses in shipping and labor to pack it up and ship it. When profit margins are low like they are on "new releases" and "new games" every penny saved is well worth it.

Good for you if you have a place that always has what you want. The first time they don't I bet you will be singing a different tune. And if you don't like to pre-order then don't. But at the same time don't rip on people that do, it's their choice.

Also, I wonder how many of you non-preorders are going to preorder Halo 3 if you have not done so already.

What happens next?

Ever since a little known Television Engineer named Ralph Baer brought Pong into the world back in 1972, the gaming world has evolved, reinvented itself and changed in more ways than anybody can count. From full size stand-alone machines, to pocket sized entertainment, gone are the days of kids walking to the local arcade with a pocket full of quarters.

But obviously it's not only the hardware that has changed, the types of games, or genre of games has changed as well. When once we used to be happy, or downright excited to play the latest and greatest side scroller, now that same kind of game is just plain archaic, even though there are still a few old timers out there that still enjoy the classics. But put that same classic such as Defender in front of a 13 year old today and see how long it is played.

With that said, I often wonder where this whole gaming world is going, can it survive once all genres are discovered or made? Even today it seems that as new games come out, they are all just more of the same. How many FPS come out a year, or how many MMORPG's can come out before they all feel exactly the same? I guess it all started for me a few years ago when I first put Halo in the x-box. Even though I enjoyed Halo as I was playing though it, it did not take long before I realized I was just playing a newer version of an all time great, Half-Life. Shortly after that I began to wonder if the gaming future might not be what everybody is hoping it might be.

Before we know where this is all going, maybe we should look where we have been, a history line of sorts I guess. This is nowhere near complete, just a snap shot

  • 1971 - The first arcade style game, Computer Space, is put in bars
  • 1972 - Magnavox releases the first home gaming system, know as Odyssey
  • 1975 - The first home version of Pong is released by ATARI
  • 1976 - The game Death Race becomes the fist game based on a movie of the same name. Also, it becomes the first game to raise concern about violence in games. It's about this same time that the Side Scrolling genre is born
  • 1977 - The Atari 2600 is released
  • 1980 - Puck Man comes to the United States with a name change. Pac Man hits the arcades
  • 1981 - Mario is introduced in the game Donkey Kong. Kong is also the first game with 4 levels.
  • 1986 - The NES is released, bringing better graphics and faster game play home
  • 1989 -- SIM City is released, introducing a new genre to the ranks
  • 1992 - Mortal combat becomes the first game to use digitalized images of real people as characters in a game.
  • 1992 - Wolfenstein 3D becomes the first FPS
  • 1993 - Doom revolutionizes the FPS game

Since 1993 what has really changed besides the power of systems, the introduction of online games and the portability of handhelds and consoles? If you go back and look your self, you will see that there really have been very few new genres introduced in the last 10 years or so. Let's take a look at what is out there shall we.

First off let's start with the ever popular FPS. As I mentioned before, is there really anything new that can be added to these? How many times do we have to run around foreign planets, or defend ourselves from invasion.... or fight WWII for GOSH SAKE!

RPG's: Thankfully it looks like the turn based RPG might be going bye bye, but come on, do we need more WOW clones, which is really just a clone itself?

SIMS: Are our normal lives sooooo boring that we have to create our own little wannabe selves in a game to see just how much we can get away with, or be the person maybe we truly want to be? I am not talking strictly about the game SIMS, just the genre in general. WWII rages online everyday since 2001 thanks to WWII online, or what is now been renamed to Battlefield Europe, with a ½ scale model of Western Europe. Do we really need or desire to relive those horrendous moments in history? For once a game maker did the right thing when Microsoft took out the ability to crash planes into buildings in its ever popular flight sim. Thank who ever you pray to for that, I know that NOBODY should ever have to relive those moments. The only question I have is, when will someone create a game that sims a sim? Seems to be the only thing left for this game type.

Puzzle Games..... I think there might be 4 or 6 in the entire world.

RTS: Holy cow! how did I almost forget this genre? When was the last time ANYTHING was truly innovative with these games? Personally I have to go all the way back to the first Command & Conquer back in 1995, 12 years ago! To see when this game style got anything new. Sure there have been some great RTS games since then, but don't they all just feel like reworked, repainted shells of what we first played? And yes, I did LOVE Star Craft.

Sports Games : What can I say about this? Nothing. We keep buying new games every year, when something signifigant only changes in them about every three. Will they every get to the point where every option is in the game and the only thing we we well have to pay for every year are roster updates?

Action Adventure : Hmm... exactly how many clones of GTA are out there anyway?

The Future?

Where exctly does the indurstry go from here? What happened to all those "virtual reality" games that I heard about 5 or 10 years ago? Are they out there? Will we soon be sitting in a chair wearing a helmet and body sensors? What other types of genres can be created? Anything new, or will we be playing newer shinyer versions of 20 year old games?

Please don't get me worng, I LOVE many of the games out there right now, I just wonder if someday soon our beloved hobby that keeps us inside, away from human contact will come to a screatching hault leaving us nothing better to do then go out and talk to other people...........

Pavlovian Gamers, Any Given Tuesday......

DING! It's Tuesday morning, your eyes snap open and the first thought that comes to your mind is " hey, the newest, greatest game comes out today!"   So, with the excitement of a 5 year old on Christmas morning you jump out of bed and head off into your day. Then, lets say maybe around 11:00am it hits you, that feeling of wonder, and you think to yourself  "when will the store where I pre-ordered this game get their shipment, when does UPS or FedEx show up? In an almost blind panic you grab the nearest phone and dial the stores number that you memorized weeks, months or years ago.

The phone rings a few times before being answered by the garage band drop out, he informs you that their shipments usually get in around 1pm, but the game only ships today and will be in stores on Wednesday. "WEDNESDAY!" You scream to the phone as you slam it down, but they told me it was RELEASED on today's date! Something has to be wrong here.

Now with a mix of rage and panic you rush to your computer to log into the games forums. Upon entering the forums you notice one thing, others have posted with the exact question you were about to ask.... "Has anybody got their copy yet?"

Sound familiar? I'm sure if you are honest with yourself you will notice right away that the above scenario could be taken from any given Tuesday from your life since you started gaming.  Just like the dog used in Pavlov's Classical Conditioning expermint that would start to salivate at the sound of a bell because it knew it was about to be fed, we start to salivate early Tuesday morning knowing that new games are releasd and there is a slight chance that we might get the game that day!

Don't believe me? Just go check out any of the biggest games forums and look for the posts, you know the ones, the ones that say "My EB told me..." or " Walmart said....."  or " I just talked to the manager at GameStop"  they go on and on and on. What drives us to this extreme? What makes us ask people to post screen shots to prove they got the game? I don't know the answer to that, the only thing I know is that it's not Pavlov, he died back in 1936 and I never met him.


See you all on September 25th!