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ken_athomos Blog

New Series: Game Releases (August 2013)

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So if you are one of the people who are pretty much busy due to college, work, or family (like me), then there is a huge chance (or slim chance if you're a lucky bastard) to not get updated on video game news. No news is bad news from what I've seen and experienced as part of the gaming community.

Out of good will (and well to help keep myself updated as well), I'll post blogs on game releases PER MONTH. Content may vary, from re-releases (like Console Games being ported to PC and special edition re-releases), indie games (re-releases or new titles), mobile games (for portable game devices and even for phones), DLC, and new titles.

This blog is a Game Releases blog for the month of August 2013.

*Note: I will not be talking about the game, nor would I even give you an insight or overview of what the game is. That is pretty much your job now. I will also post references on where I got the game releases so that you can see that I didn't just made stuff up.

*Release Dates may be incorrect if searched in different sites and/or maybe changed to a new date. You have been warned.

1
- Cloudberry Kingdom (Wii U) *if you don't own a Wii U, but own other platforms, it's already out since July 30.
- DropChord (Android)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Vengeance DLC (PS3 - NA & EU)

2
- Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear (PS3 - UK)

3
- Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi (3DS)

4
- Pikmin 3 (Wii U - NA)

6
- Disney's Planes (Wii, Wii U, 3DS, NDS)
- Dragon's Crown (PS Vita, PS3)
- Tales of Xillia (PS3 - NA)
- ibb & obb (PS3 - NA)
- Mystic Chronicles (Added to PS Vita Store)
- Little Acorns (PSM)
- Beatbuddy: Tales of Guardians (PC)

7
- Mars: War Logs (PS3) - not sure on this one
- BreakQuest: Extra Evolution (PS Vita - EU)
- Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD (PS Vita - EU)

8
- Spelunky (PC) - already released on Xbox Arcade Live
- Guacamelee (PC) - already released on PS3 and PS Vita

9
- Tales of Xillia (PS3 - EU)

11
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS)

13
- Angry Birds Trilogy (Wii, Wii U)
- DuckTales Remastered (Wii U, PC, PS3)
- Europa Universalis IV (PC)
- Payday 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
- Dishonored The Brigmore Witches DLC (PS3 - NA)
- Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, NDS)
- Rune Factory 4 (3DS) - not sure on this one

14
- Dishonored The Brigmore Witches DLC (PS3 - EU)
- Game of WatchCraft: Spawn of Squishy (iPad)

18
- Disney Infinity (Wii, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, 3DS)

19
- Sir, You Are Being Hunted (PC)

20
- Saints Row IV (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U)
- Battle vs. Chess Premium Edition (PS3 - EU)
- Divekick (PS3, PS Vita)
- The Walking Dead: Season 1 + 400 Days (PS Vita - NA)
- The Walking Dead PlayStation Vita Bundle (PS Vita)

22
- Skullgirls (PC) - already out on PS3 and Xbox Arcade Live last year

25
- New Super Luigi U (Wii U)

27
- Castlevania: Lord of Shadows (PC) - already out on consoles years ago
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, PS3)
- Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F (PS3)
- Killer is Dead (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Lost Planet 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Madden NFL 25 (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Real Boxing (PS Vita - NA)
- Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSP)

28
- Real Boxing (PS Vita - EU)

29
- Pokemon Rumble U (Wii U)
- Rayman Legends (PS3, PS Vita - EU)

30
- Painkiller: Hell and Damnation (PS3, Xbox 360 - NA) - already out on PC
- War for the Overlord (PC)
- Rayman Legends (PS3, PS Vita - UK)
- Port Royale 3: Gold Edition (PS3 - EU)

References
http://www.eurogamer.net/releases.php?platform=&month=8&year=2013 - EuroGamer
http://www.ign.com/games/upcoming?startIndex=75&sortBy=releaseDate&sortOrder=asc - IGN
http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/august-2013-playstation-3-playstation-vita-psp-video-game-release-date-page/ - PlayStation LifeStyle
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/07/05/2013-video-game-release-schedule.aspx - Game Informer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_in_video_gaming - Wikipedia

Don't hesitate to use GameSpot Search.

Getting Attached to Video Games, Is it Normal?

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Let's be honest, there are a lot of people who loves video games and gets attached to it. It doesn't even matter if you are a casual or hardcore gamer. In the end, some of us will love games and will enter a time or stage wherein we are willing to know everything about the game.

I remember the first time I got attached to a video game. It was after completing a series of Final Fantasy games. I just loved the characters, the story, and the gameplay so much that I ran to the wikia, and bam! Every trivia, every history, every bit of info that I can learn, I read, and try to remember. After that, there was that attachment to the MegamanX series, SMT (Shin Megami Tensei)series (specifically the Persona series). As of now I'm currently adding the BioShock series and Starcraft series to the list.

Putting my attachment aside, let's get back to the main question. Is it normal? Sometimes some people say a healthy hobby is good for us. Even if turns into an obsession. But the problem is, when is this obsession bad? Now personally, I don't think there is a problem with getting attached to video games. I mean its pretty normal. You can compare it to a teenager liking a certain kind of music and trying to learn that genre of music or a guy who collects a certain type of book and preserve the said book. As long as it doesn't take over your whole life, and distort your whole way of thinking.

It is sad though to see and think that in the other side of our coin lies those who misunderstands our healthy hobby. Those who see our hobby see us as a bunch of either video game addicts, or worse, the stereotyped "Old. Immature, Fat Man who does nothing and sits all day playing Video Games".

But still we can't blame them. Some do go really over the line.

So what do you guys think? Is getting attached to your video games normal? Is it a healthy hobby? Did you ever got attached to a video, and if yes, which and why? Please don't hesitate to leave comments below.

The Project that would make or break me... Mostly break me...

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What is up guys. I haven't made a blog post in... ever I think? So now I come with news.

First, well I am gonna restart my blog, and start posting more. (Mostly post more, and I am challenging the "mysterious, ghostly, and elusive" DeborahSeeley to hunt my blog posts.)

Next, I am gonna start a new project! Now this project is actually game related. Whether it's a game or a game utility program, or a game engine, or a game concept, you will not know yet. But you will in due time.
(TIP: If you want to know what my project is, search one of my status updates in FUSE. A friend of mine asked if I was this and I said yeah I am. It's a vague tip but it'll do.)

Now what is this project of mine? Well it's for the PC (not sure if I'll do consoles), and it'll focus on the glory of PC controls, PC power, PC features, EVERYTHING PC. I am the leader of a 3-man group (we are still currently getting more people) and we are doing this project that I stated earlier. As for what we can do:
1) Me - Programming, Modeling, Video Editing, Audio Editing, Program Optimization, Web Development, and Game Development.
2) Guy 1 - Video Editing, Audio Editing, Web Development, Texturing, Photo Editing (don't worry, he doesn't do those fake photo stuff. He just enhances them, like making it have better lighting and stuff.)
3) Guy 2 - Audio Editing, Web Development, Texturing, Artist/Illustration Editor (basic, this guy is awesome at drawing stuff. If I'm not wrong, he can do a pseudo-realistic drawing.)

Now to be honest, I've planned this project since the year 2011 and I used the extra time to learn everything I need to learn and finished most of my "studies" last year. So now, the project development officially starts this 2013 on April 1. According to my calculations, if all goes well, I have 2 and a half years to do this. Should some inconviniences arrive, then I'll have 3 and a years to do this.

We don't want to rush this project. We want to make this run smoothly and properly (NOT PERFECT). Think of it as a game. A rushed game would have a bland narrative, bugs and glitches, and of course, poor gameplay. But if we were to take our time properly, then we would avoid those.

Anyways, I won't make this blog post lenghty. Expect a weekly blog posts about our (mostly my) progress. Remember, this project would either make me or break (and as stated in the title, mostly break me).

Thanks for reading, and hopefully, I have more updates to come.

Gonna stop for the meantime...

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What is up everyone! This is just a small update. Even though I know some of you really don't read my blog (which is fine by me), I think it would only be respectful to put this small update.

This small update aims to simply tell that I won't post any blogs until 30th if December, which means I will post a blog for New Year's Eve. The reason on why I won't be posting a blog is beause I have a lot of side-projects and I'm experimenting here and there, though I aim to make a blog post on one of my side-projects.

Anyways, thanks for reading.

Have a Merry Christmas or the Happiest of Holidays.

Games: League of Legends

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Hey guys, sorry if I wasn't able to do a blog post last week (but you guys aren't really following or checking this so meh) since I literally had blogger's block. I know, its weird.

I was thinking of posting about Indie Game Developers but I don't have the proper info yet (yeah you can expect this in the future). I don't wanna risk talking about a movie (like the one I just recently watched, Silen Hill: Revelations), and I don't want to look mainstream or having no unique ideas if I talk about sexism in games.

Well here is a blog about League of Legends, I hope you can understand, and please, enjoy.

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With IPL 5 still on going, I thought of "talking" with you guys about one of their featured games, which is League of Legends.

Well what is League of Legends to be exact? League of Legends is one of the well-known MOBA games in this time. Usually, when they see LoL (League of Legends, yeah we use LoL much more), people would say, oh look a DotA clone. Well, that's not the case. For starters, there are unique, non-copy paste champions (or heroes if you play DotA), a unique spell mechanic (you don't see "if it targets allies, if it targets enemies" in DotA right XD), a brush hiding spot, and the summoner roleplay (wherein you get summoner spells, runes, and masteries to help you).

Now that I got most of the basic stuff out, it's time to go deeper. LoL has apparently set a new standards in e-Sports, mostly in teamwork and competitive gameplay. DotA might have supplied the base, but apparenly LoL, it funding the remaining top levels. It could be as literal as it could get. I mean look at it. Teams from all over the world are joining. American, European, and Asian countries have their on teams and bets. The community is so big that its almost impossible to count the number of accounts per server. What's more is that the staff are community friendly people and are active around the forums and LoL fansites and such, that's it's impossible to get neglected.

LoL is new-player friendly too! There is no fear of trying this out, even if its just for fun.

There you have it folks, LoL in the most summarize way possible. I apologize if this lacks a lot of information, but I really suggest you try the game out and see it for yourself.

So what do you think? Ever played one of the MOBA games? Ever played DotA before? Are you an LoL playre and which server? Should I stop this inconsistent blog? Again, please feel free to put comments below.

Well thanks guys for reading, now a little bit of self-advertising fro yours truly. If you do play LoL and perhaps would want to queue with me, just add "Ken Athomos" I'm always in the NA server and I play almost every single day if my schedule permits it. If you are, however, considering of trying the game out, please help me get referrals by signing up here. If you sign up from this link, you and I will get the same bonuses, and of course, I would be happy to play a few rounds with you.

By the way, check League of Legends Main Website for more details.

Thanks for your considerations, and please stay tuned for next week's blog all about Indie Game Developers.

Games: Free2Play

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If there is one thing I know in life, we always want free stuff. So why not free games right? Free games usually come in various ways. One could be through giveaways and contests all across the Internet. Others would be from the very very rare event of picking one up or being gifted to you. There is even the occasional "exchange points for cash" think which is really aggreviating depending on the exchange rate of points to money. Thanks to business models though, we where gifted with the acronym of F2P or basically, Free To Play.

Free To Play basically means what it stated. You play for free. And it's basically just it.

The problem is it usually has a catch. Big Files Sizes, different kinds of subscriptions, level caps, halted game features, a 75% chance of a Pay-To-Win Instance, and what everyone wants to avoid, a bad quality game.

Now I'm not saying that F2P games are bad (even though I guess that's what the previous statement was emphasizing). Rather, I'm here to be neutral and discuss this business model.

Let me get started by starting with what people think about the F2P business model.
There are basically 2 sides when talking about this type of games or business model, and it is also basically the Pros, and the Antis.

The Pros say that F2P is good and that it could actually be the future of games. They also stress on how good F2P games are and how they are actually like a gift.
I would like to actually to counter some of their statements and comments by saying that some F2P games do suck. There are some out there with no originality or feature that makes it different from other games. Also, I don't think F2P games are a gift. A real gift to me would be having a new PC, or getting 3-10 games for Christmas or my Birthday.

The Antis say or think that F2P is actually bullsh!t, that it's a bad business model, and that we should just continue on the usual formula, which is actually paying to play games (paying around $10-$60 on games or paying a monthly subscription).
I would counter this by saying that not all people are able to pay for games (including myself). Most gamers are in high school, college, or even basically unemployed. There are also risk and factors that contribute to paying for games. Reviews and your location for once. There are also bad or turning bad pay to play games out there. WoW for an example.

Sorry for a not so lengthy blog for today. I basically have nothing else to say.

So what do you think? Are F2P games the future of games? Do you think F2P games suck? Ever tried one and liked it? Does my blog suck? Please don't be afraid to make comments or send the hate in the comment box below.

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Anyways, before I actually end this blog, I think it's worth mentioning that SWTOR (or Star Wars the Old Republic) started to become F2P. So would you guys start playing it? I was suppose to give it a try, but this happened in FUSE:

As always, stay tuned in for next weeks undecided blog.

Games: Scariest of this Generation

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I don't know if I'm late at this post, but to get in the spirit of Halloween, It's time for my blog post, about horror games. By horror games, I meant those which are crazy insane, disturbing, and can actually make you go crazy without proper care. Of course, this are from my own experiences and games I play. This is not taken from any premade lists on the internet. Please note that I'm only listing the games, not ranking them via number.

1) Amnesia: The Dark Descent

I remember back when I played this game. I was really really young and freaking foolish to try this game. At first I played it with full resolution and the lowest brightness setting while wearing headsets. I only got pass the first part, the one where the door instantly opens by itself. After that I was so scarred for life that I played it with my lights on, highest brightness level, lowest graphics settings while in windowed mode, and the sounds off. I wasn't able to sleep for a month with the lights off and I swear that was one of the most humiliating and apparently worst part of my life.

Up to now I have thoughts on replaying the game, but just remembering what happened to me and the side effects made me hesitate to even get it out of the box again.

BTW, I think it's worth mentioning that Amnesia would get a new game. It's called Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. I'm already assuming its jus as scary as the first one, or probably scarrier.

2) Penumbra

To be honest, I played the first episode of Penumbra in the series (Penumbra: Overture) before playing Amnesia so I'm not gonna go into details on how similar the two games are to each other. When I played this game, I was really hooked into it. Of course I was horrified but not as horrified as Amnesia. I really liked the story, and really amazed at the story's protagonist, Phillip, who has to go various obstacles with you.

Like Amnesia, I'm still having thoughts of replaying the game and I possibly will in the near future.

3) Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl

This is probably one of the best FPS-RPG Style game I've ever played in my series of horror games. I'll admit though, it isn't really that scary but there were some parts that actually were scary, and amazingly disturbing as hell. Mutans, fellow human, anomalies, radiation, and rooms with screaming or laughing invsible children would be the ones to hinder your progress in this sandbox world. YES, I said mutants. The game is placed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and if memory and history serves me right, a Nuclear Plant Disaster happened.

This game has a lot of replayability which is possibly one of the best features of this game. Although there are other games like this, it's worth mentioning that this game is unqiue in its own essence.

4) Resident Evil

I'm pertaining to the very first Resi, the one released in 1996. During those times, this was a fresh new idea and possibly the start of an awesome series. We have a few number of people in abandoned mansion (CHECK), people getting killed in the begin cutscene (CHECK), zombies, killer dogs, mutated version of zombies, and other crazy creatures (CHECK), and of course, that great camera angle positioning that would make you scream "GIVE ME THE OTHER HALF OF THE SCREEN BEFORE A ZOMBIE KILLS ME". Ammo was scarce. Health didn't regen (unlike most games of today). You need to save when you can since you were force to save using ink ribbons that can only be used in certain places. You were forced to use your knife and it was really dangerous concerning the fact that zombies can actually get a hold of you. It was a complete horror movie turned to a game.

Now Resi became an action game instead of sticking to the formula that made it awesome and unique in the first place. It was really a shame to see it happen especially since it got into a very good start.

It's worth mentioning that Resident Evil 2 was also one hell of an entry in the series, and was also horrifyingly good.

5) Silent Hill

Thick fog. Darkness. Flashlight as the only light source. Weird demon like enemies. Blood in the darkest places. This is what made Silent Hill really freaking disturbing. What's worse, is that your main character, Harry Mason, is an everyman. He has no powers. He ain't a military trained soldier. He ain't a guns master. He is just your ordinary father looking for his missing daughter in an eerie town named Silent Hill. What makes this game different is the involvement of cults and rituals and by god, Konami made those topics in this game, as disturbing as hell.

I can't say much more about this game. I suggest you play the first one.

6) Killing Floor

Trying to cleanse good 'ol London, England with a few people with you is no big deal. But play this alone, in singleplayer mode, and you are already asking for a death wish. Killing Floor was meant to be a team-based/squad based game. Playing this alone and you are already shouting "SWARM ME" and literally they will swarm you. Mutants everywhere, in different shapes and sizes. Let's not forget the very disturbing patriarch who can kill you in few shots. Even with many weapons at your disposal, there are still enough number of muntants to swarm you and kill you.

7) Fatal Frame

Okay, we have a female protagonist alone with a camera for a weapon in some place. What's wromng with that? Well a LOT! You are Miku Hinasaki in a haunted (and possibly abandoned) mansion. Your enemies are ghost that CAN PASS THROUGH WALLS. They aren't the usual mutants or zombies of our generation. The camera needs ammunition in the form of films. Different kinds too. This is what makes Fatal Frame unique, scary, and deadly. You won't find other games like this in my honest opinion.

There you have it folks. My scariest game list. Let me remnind you guys that these are from my personal experience. If you think this list lacks a lot of games, then let me agree with you because I haven't really played much games on the horror genre.

So what do you think? Are these games scary in your opinion? Have you played these games? Any memories on them? Did I missed some games that are much more worth mentioning? Do you think my blog sucks? Please don't be afraid to put some commets below.

Well that is it for this week. Please wait for next week's undecided blog.

Games: Genres

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Since video games are actually increasing number, we were forced to classify them. Well okay not really forced, but there was a need for games to be classified. Gameplay, storyline, features, and all of the other stuff affects how we labeled a game. We have to classify them in genres.

In the dictionary, when you say genre, its a category. But if its associated with games, a bunch of words spread out. Nowadays, genres even have sub-genres, and by god are there quite a lot of them.

Im just going to put the list of common and significant game genres, and Ill put a few of those sub genres as some examples.

1. Action this is said to be the most basic genre since the game mostly contains combat mechanics and a few seconds for a breather. This genre usually contains fighting games, beat em ups and hack and slash. Some of the most well-known action games are Assassins Creed, Torchlight, Diablo, and Max Payne.

2. Adventure this genre is said to be one of the earliest created because of those text adventure games, wherein they say whats going on and what are your choices, and you have to encode it in to advance. This genre has actually evolved through the years from basic text, to full 3D Rendering. Some of the known games of this genre are Myst, Penumbra, Amnesia, and Dreamfall.

3. RPG also known as Role Playing Game, is basically this: you control your character, you travel, you level up, you get more skills, and then you finish the game. This genre also evolved from the text based games up to full 3D Rendering. Some of the notable games of this genre are Dungeons and Dragons, Ultima, The Elder Scrolls, and Final Fantasy.

4. Strategy to be honest, I call this the thinking games. I mean both literally and metaphorically since this games include some amount of careful thinking and planning, to get your execution in a good spot. According to Andrew Rollings, "The origin of strategy games is rooted in their close cousins, board games." which means this genre must have started from video game versions of their board game counterparts. This is also by far, one of the genres that have a lot of sub-genres with a total of 6. Some of the notable Strategy games are on the PC such as Civilization, Starcraft, Command and Conquer, and the Total: War franchise.

5. Simulation well there isnt that much to say about this genre really. What it does is to generally simulate aspects of a real or fictional reality into the virtual world. Most of the games here tackle business simulation or vehicle simulation. The best examples would be The Sims, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator, SimCity, and Football Manager.

6. FPS also known as First Person Shooter, emphasize shooting and combat, mostly with a gun, and other military equipment, while in the First Person Perspective. You could say that this is aligned with the Action Genre, but due to its rise of fame and noticeability, it kind of got labeled as an independent genre. Most notable games for this are Counter Strike, Tribes, Unreal Tournament, Battlefield, and Call of Duty.

7. Sports this genre emulates or puts our sports which play and watch in reality, onto our virtual world to play. Most admirable sports games would be NBA, FIFA, Virtua Tennis, and Major League Baseball.

8. Racing last but not the least. This genre includes 3 basic concepts from my perspective: cars, a route or map, and beating them to the finish line or being the last driver remaining. Most renowned racing games are F1 (Formula 1), Need for Speed, Dirt, and Blur.

With all of these genres, theres no questioning why people choose a certain genre to focus on or choose certain games for each genre.

But lets face it some genres have too much games in it with the same repetitive formulas and features, which bores some of the gamers while others are either dominating, or getting unrecognized.

So what do you guys think? Is it okay to have genres? Are there some genres dominating the gaming industry or basically your gaming life? Do you think some genres are getting too repetitive? Do you think my blog sucks? Please put your comments below, and thanks for reading.

Games: The Community

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Hello there everyone. This is ken_athomos (or kendouken, if you used to know me) and I'm gonna start my new blog entitled "Games: insertsubtitlehere". I'm gonna post a blog weekly (every Saturday in PH Time). This week , I'm gonna start with the Gaming Community. I'm also gonna dedicate this to "dannyowdwyer" who succeded in raising $8000 for the hospital in Dublin (please help me get this blog to reach him). Anyways, enjoy.

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The Gaming Community is actually a huge topic for gamers and developers alike. Gamers think about the archtypes of people they'll play with and would they blend with this archtypes. Developers would use the Gaming Community as an audience, critics, and of course, basis of what there new or next game would be.

The Gaming Community like other communities, started small, and possibly talked about the first games, like a video game version of Chess, or Pong. Then single player games became a trend, where friends who have friends who have friends that are gamers, would share experiences or how they finished the games with their choices. Chances are they'll just have the same choices but with slight differences as delays in approach, as games way way way back then were pretty much linear.

The World Wide Web was then born thanks to a certain Tim-Berners Lee, who and which actually help the gaming communities for dozens of years to come. Multiplayer was introduced which actually change our gaming lives forever, especially to that one genre (FPS). Next thing you know, there were servers filled with game room and lobbies, modders who worked hard to make your native game a little or really different. Gaming Websites like forums, review sites, online game stores, news sites and of course all-around gaming sites like Gamespot emerged from the scene. Thanks to the Internet, being a gamer was better or as awesome as it could get.

Fast forward to 2012, and lets check the community today. Well, gamers are still here (with the occasional trashtalking children who spawn out racists comments on you), game developers (who for some reason are milking the hell out of their series that actually started to suck), modders (who are somewhat quitting), and online stores (who might be killing the retail industry or something like thay). Let's not forget how people think that the community is full of old men who are immature, and lesbian (if they do exist) and that gender inequality which I really don't want to talk about.

Okay enough of the negativity, or the sarcasm (or possibly even the annoyance). There are good sides of today's gaming community. The gaming community just became world-wide, making people from other countries communicate with people from other countries. The community grew into massive numbers. There are more female gamers than usual, and they are actually better than their male counterparts. There are indie games, and developers who actually know what they are doing.

So what do you think? Should the community actually get together and stop the misunderstanding? Should we proudly scream that we are gamers? Should we gawk at the chat box when a person says she's a female? Please feel free to say what you want on the comment box below even the "this blog sucks balls, please discontinue it".

Tune in for next week's blog.