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Meet Kate —
The Game Dame™
photography by Morrey Taylor
If you are a gaming nerd who had to sell your soul to The Man, you know how soul sucking it can be to have to trade in your 1-UP t-shirts for crisp white button downs in order to hide your King Koopa tattoo. And, sadly, you can’t always take your stuffed Mario dolls and invincibility stars with you when you go on business trips. So you’re left with no Bat-Signal to show your true gaming colors beneath all of the corporate threads. UNTIL NOW.
Geek Stuff 4 U is taking pre-orders for their badass business card holder. And you should get one. It’s classy. And one day, it might just help you seal the business deal with another gamer forced to keep his nerd-ocity a secret.
While I definitely still enjoy the occasional round of Mario Kart, my Nintendo Wii spends more time looking cute next to my Xbox 360 than it does actually getting played. A big part of the problem has to do with the fact that most of the new Wii games that come out just seem so happy McSunshine adorable. (And I’m talking about unique, never before created for another console type games. Not stuff like Manhunt or the Resident Evil series which I am well aware were not cute or sunshiney at all.) Well, there’s a new game due out later this year that looks like a good reason to sit back and spend some quality time with my Wii again. It’s called Cursed Mountain – a survival horror game from Deep Silver – and so far, my interest is piqued. Here’s one of my favorite clips of some poor bastards who probably thought they were just volunteering to test out a sweet, friendly Wii game and instead appear to have peed themselves a little bit:
I think the best part is at the end. It happens really quickly, but pay close attention to the dude’s last reaction right as the voiceover guy says “Mountain.” I think the camera caught the precise moment when the guy decided he was going to beat the shit out of whoever recommended he take this game testing gig.
I know, I know. It’s MJ-related. But I couldn’t NOT post it. I hadn’t seen this before and I thought it was hilarious. Special shout out goes to my little bro for sending the video my way. It looks like he has forgiven me for those times when we were little and I convinced him that he was actually in charge of controlling Mario’s jumps with the second player controller while I controlled the direction he moved. TEAMWORK FTW!!!
If you’re the kind of person who has actually taken the time to include a signature line on phone-based text messages that says something along the lines of “Please excuse any misspellings. This was sent from my (insert phone model here) phone.” First of all, please know that even though you are apologizing, receiving misspelled text messages is fucking annoying. If you’re going to take the time to message me, don’t half-ass it. It’s bad enough you’re responding via text and not an actual phone call.
Secondly, if your signature line also includes something about “And I’m probably driving!” Then please allow me to introduce you to a wake up call. The New York Times just published a simple but powerful browser-based game that shows you how much damage you can do by texting and driving. You’re given a very simple task that you’re supposed to complete between reading and responding to text messages. About two seconds after receiving the first text and crashing through three gates (and according to my results a “Gray Lady”) I humbly admit that I cannot be trusted to drive a car and simultaneously text message. Check it out and see how well you do. Here were my results (click to enlarge):
For years I have refused to play any MMO because I knew I would instantly become completely, ridiculously addicted. But I wore down. When I got an invite to play the beta version of Faunasphere and found out that it was actually Mac compatible, I couldn’t resist any longer. And I was kind of banking on the hope that I wasn’t going to like it. Well, that was dumb. This game is awesome. And while you might think it’s typical for a girl to enjoy a game where you create, nurture, and breed creatures with different powers in order to take care of the environment, I have two words for you: Viva Piñata. That game may have been a bit “girly”, but there were plenty of dudes who sheepishly admitted loving it. There’s something to be said for a well-designed game that lets you do whatever the hell you want at your own pace sprinkled with the ability to breed all sorts of totally insane creatures.
I’ll be delving into a little more detail about the game after I’ve spent more time playing it, but I felt compelled to reveal a little behind-the-scenes action. As a beta tester, it’s my job to find any bugs and report them so that the tech team can get them all fixed before the game is officially released. The second weekend I played, I ran into some problems loading the game. The following is my email correspondence with the Faunasphere technical support team:
Customer 07/05/2009 08:44 PM
Heya – I’ve been playing around with the game tonight (fun stuff) and ran into a loading issue. I’m on Mac OS 10.4.11 using Firefox 3.0.11. When I logged in the first time, I got the loading message, but the estimated time to complete kept increasing (this was around 9:40 PM). I refreshed the page and it loaded just fine the second time. Once I was in the game, however, I couldn’t get my fauna to move. I could see my cursor on the screen and could click links within other pages just fine, but not on the playing field. When I refreshed/reloaded a 3rd time, everything worked. (Around 9:43 pm.)
Response (Angela, Seattle) 07/06/2009 04:18 PM
Thank you for your e-mail. I am very sorry for the trouble you experienced. On July 3rd, there was a fire in the basement of the building where all of our major servers are located, as well as flooding due to the emergency sprinkler system that was set off. This immediately terminated all services, and forced our IT department to immediately transfer the servers to a new location and restore all of our data. This is a very time consuming process that took a few days.
We are currently up and running again for the most part, but services are still sketchy at this time and may not be fully restored in some areas such as the Forums. This area of the site may be down as late as Wednesday as there have been some complications with restoring some of the data.
Again, I am very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you. At this time, our wonderful IT department continues to restore all services. They worked very diligently over the holiday weekend, and will continue to do so until everything is running as normal. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
If you have any other questions please reply directly to this email. I am more than happy to help in any way that I can. Have a wonderful day!
JEEZ! That is some serious customer support! You guys can rest assured that – even if there is a freaking fire and a flood – the Faunasphere tech team will drop whatever they’re doing (EVEN ON A HOLIDAY WEEKEND) and put your game first. There’s got to be some sort of IT department award these guys can be given, but for now, the least I can do is give them a shout out on my site.
Remember the first video? Well here’s part two. I’m wondering if this is some kind of brilliant ad campaign for some kind of WoW account backup service or if it’s for real. I also wonder how much karma the calm brother has to burn. Be careful, little man. These vids are funny, but I bet you have a few skeletons in your closet and I can guarantee that “squirrel boy” was up in the tree for four hours figuring out a brilliant plan to expose them all.