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Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Just got Burnout Paradise for PS3 yesterday. This is the game I have waited my whole life to play! Anybody want to meet up online, my PSN ID is basskitten. Crash ya later!

Less Talk, More Rokk

Freezepop are the Gametap Artist of the Month. There's some cool video stuff with them playing Rock Band, their clip for Less Talk More Rokk, and so on. Click here. I love Freezepop. I just saw them here in SF a few months ago and it was pretty much the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on. If they come to your town, go see them. And go buy their new album Future Future Future Perfect while you're waiting, it is really great. That is all.

Jeff deserved better

I met Jeff G way back in 1996 when I started working for GameSpot. We never worked in the same department, and we never hung out all that much, but after 10 years you get used to passing someone in the hall, and nodding as if to say "yep, we're still in this thing together." I always read and watched his contributions to the site, and I enjoyed them immensely. Clearly this was a guy who had passion for the product (which is something we always emphasized as paramount - when I was interviewing people I always asked them if they played games, what games they liked, what they liked about them.) I no longer work at CNET, and I don't know any of the facts about what happened. All I do know is this mess of undignified rumor-mongering and press releases does a disservice to a great guy and a unique voice. I'm pretty sure he will bounce back from all of this but in the interim, it still sucks. Jeff, you deserved better.

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 is amazing good fun. Come find me on the Steam community - my handle is basskitten. See you online!

Game Over

As of today I no longer work for GameSpot. It's been an amazing run - 10.5 years, which is crazy in the tech industry, but the time has come to move on to the next challenge. Right now it feels very strange. I've been dealing with GS nonstop for so long that to suddenly not have to think about it at all is quite disorienting. It's like a phantom limb. Even though it's gone I can still feel it. The site's in great hands so don't worry about that at all. I'll still be lurking around as well. Maybe now I can actually start playing games again!

We apologize for the inconvenience

So today was one of those days where you really don't want to get out of bed. Around 2PM all the power in the office went out. That was kinda fun. You hear a bunch of people yell "OH CRAP" and then they emerge, blinking, from staring at their screens to re-engage with the real world. We were wandering out, making dumb jokes, and then the lights came back on. Back to work! My computer did not want to start up again, and my phone was complaining about no DHCP or FTP servers (we have very complex phones at CNET). Eventually I got it up and running, and was struggling with getting email working and then... WHAM. All the power went out again. Everybody gathered out in the main area and started laughing and joking again. A bunch of people whipped out their Nintendo DS and started playing Mario Kart. Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com The lights came back on again. The DS players did not look up. "Fool me once" and all that. I didn't blame them. The lights went out again. OK, maybe we should all just go home and forget about work. Except that by now we'd heard that the power outage was affecting other buildings, maybe more of the city. Few of us drive, and nobody wants to get stuck on a train without power. Finally, lights back on, and it looks like maybe this time it's for real. I get back to my desk. Hm, my phone is going nuts with pages complaining about the sites being down. I get a call. Power went out at the data center and didn't come back. Um, don't we pay them a jillion dollars because they have multiple redundant power systems with diesel generators and batteries and so forth? Yes. Yes we do. So what happened? Nobody knows yet. Power's on in the city but the data center is only getting 50% of their juice. Half our machines aren't starting. The other half are freaking out because they depend on certain machines to function, and those are the ones that are down (of course). The colo is running on generator now and getting back online with the municipal grid. It's getting to the point where there's enough functioning that I can take stock of the situation and see about getting the sites going again. Databases have been corrupted (they don't like it when you pull the plug in the middle of a write), replication is failing, key services which are supposed to auto-restart didn't. What started out as a 15 minute mild diversion in the work day is turning into a major project. Several hours later I've got all the wreckage sorted. I'm tired. Just time to watch one episode of Entourage and go to bed.

3D Logic Cube

Here is another brain mangling puzzle game for you: 3D Logic Cube from Microgames. Starts off really easy but gets very hard around level 15. I'm up to level 18 and my head is pounding like a freshman at his first kegger.

E3 2007 Finish Line In Sight

This is my favorite day of the year, because it is the absolute longest point until the next E3. E3 may be all fun and games for you guys but for me it is a soul crushing week of panic and despair. It's easily the biggest week of the GameSpot year, and in fact, the day with two press conferences is always the biggest day of the year. This year was no exception. We've been planning for E3 2007 since pretty much the day E3 2006 ended. No joke. It starts with post-mortem meetings to go over what we did, what worked, and what didn't. Then we start figuring out how to do it even better. The process continues pretty much up until the day of the first conference. But this is the part I live for - the press conferences are over, everybody's figured out how to get their content posted without incident, and I can just sit back and enjoy the live show (from the comfort of my air-conditioned office at CNET HQ in San Francisco of course!) Didn't that Valve stage demo look hot? Damn! OK, enough fun, now to start drawing up the hardware plan for E3 2008. Kidding!! (But only just...)

Zomg! Bloxorz

Normally I can't stand web flash games. The crude graphics and simplistic gameplay do not interest me. I may get a mild laugh out of the "fling poop at Bin Laden" type games but that only lasts a second. So it is with frank astonishment that I write about Bloxorz. The name doesn't give one much hope but never judge a book etc etc. Everything is pitched perfectly: the sound, graphics, and of course gameplay and level design. Hard to believe some guy did this in his spare time, it could easily be a professional release. Check it out, get addicted, oh and don't say I didn't warn you: it gets really hard really fast.