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My Foray Into Competitive Battling Begins!

Yes, my mind has allowed me to resist no more: I've finally been dragged into the mass of chaos that is competitive Pokemon battling. On second, that description is not right, for it involves much strategy and prediction. For many years I have been content to simply play the Pokemon games the way a normal player would play through the stroyline at my leisure, with nary a thought about Evs, or IVs, or any technical term, beat the Elite 4, complete all sidequests, and then let the games collect dust.

But the magical being known as the internet had other plans for me. It started lightly, with only the occasional visit to GameFaqs, but then it pulled me deeper and deeper, and soon I was looking at guides for entire games, somthing I would never have even dreamed of before. And with this came my discovery of the world of competitive battling. All these terms: IVs, EVs, OU, UU, Wall, Sweeper, Egg Move, Egg Group; they all became burned into memory forever.

My competitive battling adventure started out small, with only the occasional visits to Smogon for movesets to use in the Battle Frontier in Emerald. But now this adventure, this dynasty, seems to have reached its Golden Age, for I finally caved in and downloaded Shoddy Battle. Perhaps this will quench my thirst for a while perhaps not.

Fun With Halo 3

About 1 week after caving into the Halo 3 crave, I've finally played a match with my friends. I did okay at best, but that is excusable considering I've barely played Halo 3 multiplayer and we were playing on custom maps. And who cares about how well we play? It's all fun, right? Anyway, my little group of gamer friends has resolved to beat the campaign on Legendary with co-op, and it's going okay so far, and I hope to see how fun turn out.

Current Co-op Legendary Campaign Level: I don't remember what it's called, but it is the one after T-something Highway.

Guild Leader?

Shortly after logging in to Guild Wars today, I had a surprise in store for me: I was to become my guild's leader. Turns out that the current leader is going to be extremely busy with work throughout the summer, and his son, the co-leader, while be occupied with summer classes in college. That means the responsibilty of managing the guild falls to me, our website manager and the former leader's favorite officer. For some reason, he thought that I was a good officer, but I was just being my normal helpful self. My friends do say that I'm too modest...

As leader, I'll try to get the guild back into it's previously active state, and while I can't promise anything, I will do my best.

Webmaster-ing Away My Time

After being told that I would be the new webmaster for my FRC team, it finally happened today, with me getting full capability to edit the HTML of the site. Of course, I can't take over all webmaster duties, so I can't edit the site's scripts or CSS, and I can't log-in to the servers directly. But I hope it will be a great experience, and soon I hope to go from Assistant Webmaster to the bland-yet-more-powerful Webmaster.

The Do's and Dont's of Convincing Your Parents M-Ratings Aren't Bad

I'm sure there are lots of people out there who have overprotective parents similar to mine. Having just obtained permission to get my second M-Rated game, here are some tips for those in the position I used to be in:

DO:Start off by finding a suitable M-Rated game to show your parents. This should be a game that doesn't have a bad reputation, has minimal blood/gore, no suggestive themes, can instantly be recognized as a sci-fi or fantasy game (sorry, realists) and, of course, something you would want to play. Suggestions: Halo 3, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls IV

DON'T:Whatever you do, don't pick out a game that you know your parents will automatically object to. Infamous games such as Grand Theft Auto IV are not good starting points.

DO:Now it's time for some research. Believe it or not, there are actually websites that do what the ESRB does. Sites such aswww.whatheyplay.comare great places. Try to find statements that punch holes in the ESRB's content descriptors, and quote them.

DON'T:Don't slack off on the research. Make sure every one of the content descriptors looks weak.

DO:Now it's comparison time. Find T of E-rated games similar to your game, and describe how little difference there is between them. Example: For Halo 3, compare it Star Wars: Battlefront II.

DON'T: Don't make a big stretch. Comparing Elder Scrolls IV to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is okay, but not comparing it to something like Pokemon.

DO:Find screenshots of the game, and show your parents how non-bloody the game is. Something like this would work:Example

This is a good example because you can point out several things about the game:

1. The characters don't look like humans,

2. Most of the weapons (such as the one held by the screenshot taker) are unrealistic looking,

3. No blood, even though you are shooting and being shot at.

DON'T: Show your parents screenshots of extremely bloody/gory scenes.

DO:Offer to let your parents play the game with you if you do get it.

DON'T:Refuse to play with your parents. This will make them think you are hiding something about the game.

DO:And finally, suck up to them. Promise that you know the difference between video games and reality, and promise to not let games take over your life.

DON'T: Don't ask for more M-Rated games for at least a month. Your parents will probably refuse, and lower your chances of getting your next game.

I hope this helps.

Note that these techniques are not guaranteed to work.

We got into IRI!!!

YES!!! (see title if you wondering why I'm excited; those who are still confused, keep reading). Indiana Regional Inivitational is a huge off-season FIRST Robotics Competition event. 60 of the top teams in the world are invited to this prestigious event, where they'll battle it out to be crowned the unofficial king of this year's FRC game! And my team got invited to go!

I won't give out my team number, because that would mean anyone who reads this blog could stalk me (yeah, I'm that paranoid), but I will say that my team did EXTREMELY well at the Chesapeake Regional, and we hope to win (if I posted this in FIRST's offiial forums, I'd would've had to say "do extremely well" instead because of FIRST's philosophy of "gracious professionalism":D).

Now, most people reading this are probably thinking: "WTF is this?". FIRST is an organziation dedicated to spreading the wonders of science, technology. engineering, and math to the kids of the world. But to me it is more than that. I am lucky enough to have an FRC team at my high school, and joining the team has (this sounds extremely cheesy) opened my mind to how fun science and technology can be. Joining the team also gave me a large (about 30) group of friends, whomI otherwise wouldn't have known existed (I am shy and would've been a loner without the team).

Some people may be thinking:"What does this have to do with robots?" Each year in January, FIRST unveils a challenge that changes anually, and teams have to build a robot to meet it. This is an actual robot, costing about $2000 dollars to build (probably more, and I didn't factor in the labor costs of working 5 hours a day for six weeks) and being about 6 feet tall.

For more information about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

Note: Sorry this sounds like an ad for FIRST, but most people don't know FIRST exists, so I had to give some background info.

Finally Joining a Union

Being of an anti-social disposition, I've not joined a union until today. But on a step toward being somewhat more accepted by society, I joined the Pokemon League Union, which I hope will be an enjoyable experience.

Learning HTML

Lol its been a while since I've updated my blog... but nobody reads it anyway so its ok.

Anyway, I'm currently trying to learn HTML. You see, I'm on a FIRST Robotics Team, and we need a new websmaster, because our current one is going to be overloaded with tough classes next school year. I'm thinking about it, and I want to be the webmaster. It means I'd have some influence on the team without dropping dead from exhaustion (I still laugh at my friend, who wants to be the team captain, and thinks it's easy) and I'd wanted to learn HTML anyway. So wish me luck!

Breaching My Parents' M-Game Barrier

Today will go down as a day in my own personal history...

It is the day I bought my first M-rated game. That game is ...

The Orange Box!!!

Well, if you are confused by the above three sentences, you should know that I live in a household with an overprotective mother who doesn't know the meaning of the words "sorry" and "open-minded" and "values the opinions of others". Well I guess this is what caused the divorce of my parents. Anyway, my dad just got me an Xbox 360 for Christmas ( or "the winter holidays" if you want to be politically correct), and I've been begging him since for the possibility of me owning a first-person shooter. My mother, who tries to keep me sheltered ( even though I watch the news, surf the internet, and go to public school) would bite my head off (possibly literally, she seems aggressive like a predatory animal sometimes). But my dad, being more tolerant and always wanting his children happy, conceded and took me to the local game store, where I saw The Orange Box, a game I've been wishing for since its release.

But being a good parent, my dad forced several conditions on me:

1. No voice chating in Team Fortress 2 ( I agree on this one, I don't want to deal with jerks, flamers, and griefers).

2. I can only play the Half-Life 2 games if I get his permission first.

3. I have to keep my grades up (which I would do even if I didn't have the game).

4. Don't confuse the game with real life, and think things in game can happen in reality (I already know this).

Well that's it. Hopefully in some time I'll be able to get my second m-rated game. But it can't be gory like Dead Space or have drugs, sex, and crime like Grand Theft Auto IV. Maybe Halo 3 will go down in price (I doubt it will go down soon, but maybe by next Christmas, I mean, Winter Holidays).