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Sand, Part Two
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Chronotheft
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '13 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I was under some misconceptions about what exactly the “International Date Line” was, or what the charges might be, if any. Now, flush with wisdom, I understand that it is a completely ordinary thing and not even a real line. But that is no reason not to enjoy myself at my cohort’s expense, or to deprive you of that same enjoyment.
It’s true, though. Monday does kind of disappear. Or, at any rate, it’s experienced in a suspended Pandemonium Box that refracts time. I used to have a problem where I would go up in a plane and then be convinced of my imminent death for the duration; it’s the kind of thing that really makes you want to stay home. I would have to write my way out of that horror, and the archive is littered with examples of that “genre.” Medicine has more or less tamped that down, but ultimately there was also the realization that being in mid-air is the only time an adult can do nothing and it’s anywhere near okay.
Since I don’t get to Australia very often, it seemed like I should try to bring my family. At any rate, it seemed like I should do that months and months ago when I made the decision. At this particular moment it seems like the height of ambition to bring a three year old and a seven year old… anywhere, really. But perhaps especially on a day-long flight…? Are there any laws in the middle of the ocean? I’m wargaming a few scenarios.
I’m writing this on Saturday to make absolutely certain there is a post for you to read, because despite what I might have said re: my understanding the temporal weave I’m still afraid I don’t. So I’m uploading it now, just in case. Hopefully I’m still alive; I’m not certain this post really brings the gravitas of a proper epitaph.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Chronotheft
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Precipice Was Picked For A “Flash Sale”!
Posted by News Fetcher on July 13 '13 at 08:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I don’t know what sorcery brought this about, but there’s only five hours left on the sale, and here’s what it means. You can get On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 4 - which just came out, mind - for $2.49. Precipice 3 is also 2.49. Here’s where it gets kind of crazy.

You can get both of them, together, for four dollars. No, I don’t know why. Presumably, the manager is “out of town.”

(CW)TB

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My Arcade
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The rest of my Arcade machines arrived this week and I thought I’d give you all an update. I had a lot of people ask where I got them from but until they arrived I wanted to hold off telling you the name of the place. I didn’t want to recommend the website only to have boxes full of broken wood and glass show up at my house. The machines are all beautiful though and worked great so I’m happy to tell you I got them from Arcadesmarket.com. I worked with Jose there and he has no clue who I am or that I’d ever be mentioning his shop. In fact there is a very good chance this link will wreck his site. I contacted a lot of vendors and Jose not only had all the machines I was looking for but he was also the only one willing to give me a great deal for buying so many at once. The cabinets are all gorgeous and most have been upgraded with flat screen monitors and modded boards to add a few extra games to each cab.

They came all the way from Saint Paul Minnesota and arrived at my house after about a week on the road.



Unpacking them and moving them into the garage took a few hours.



Once they were all situated Gabe invited some of his friends over. Watching a bunch of elementary school kids playing classic arcade games really did my heart good. My son took to Dig Dug and I have to say this is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Child’s Play Strip: Privateer Press
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
In a stunning turn of events, we’re getting to one of the Child’s Play Charity Dinner & Auction strips before December. I know! It has to be said: we’re innovators.

We talked to Matt Wilson (who founded Privateer Press) about what he wanted for his strip, and he was freaking out because they were about to run a Kickstarter for a tactics game based on their tabletop wargame, Warmachine. Maybe he wouldn’t like the term “freaking out,” but the deal is that we will make him a strip, not present him as an ultramasculine paragon. He was freaking out, which I understand, having endured two such campaigns myself. But since the Goddamn thing funded in 35 hours, you know, maybe file that away somewhere. Optimally, this might be an opportunity to enjoy life for five seconds. I say that knowing full well that it’s impossible: the man is a verb. I doubt he’s happy unless he’s engaged in the next high-wire act of terrifying creative exposure.
Any individual aspect of it chosen at random would have been sufficient to garner my support, whether it’s the playable figurines, or the electronical tactics game, or the steam-powered pugilism engines with magic brains. Except all of that shit is stewing in the pot at the same time. We’re big fans of Warmachine on the table, though some of us have switched over to Hordes, a compatible system from the same publisher that inverts its resource management. I mean, I could talk about it. It would take a while, it’s like a Yin and Yang thing. In any event: our debt to Privateer Press is paid.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Child’s Play Strip: Privateer Press
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Precipice: Steam Sailin’
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '13 at 01:45 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Precipice 3 is $3, Precipice 4 is $3.74, and you can get 3 AND four for six bucks.

(CW)TB

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Provisions
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '13 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Brenna’s been packing since Sunday for Australia. Most of our personal items are arranged around the house in patterns which I assume have a metaphysical component - perhaps they focus H-waves, like a lens. I used to try and help with this process, until I realized that the best way to help was not to touch nothin’. When I pack, it’s like, I put as many underwears in as I have days, and one pair of pants regardless of the trip’s duration, and as many identical black shirts as are currently clean. I think of my backpack like a diving bell, or something: I’m not trying to live there, wherever it is, it simply furnishes whatever is required to exist wherever I happen to be going.
I tend to operate directly out of that bag. She packs like we are moving to wherever we’re going, and then she unpacks first thing. She tries to make wherever we are home, which is very time consuming but it’s also a really cool thing to do.
Thus far, Gabriel has not packed anything in the typical packing continuum. The Surface continues to pay dividends, in that the lion’s share of what Gabriel is bringing to amuse himself</a> is made up of PC games I demanded that he play weeks or months ago. I should make sure he grabs the 400 Days DLC for his Walking Dead though, because (as a kind of electronic short story compilation) it’s a distillation of the things Telltale did so well in the first season. They couldn’t really end it, but they weren’t in much of a position to; it was advertised as a bridge between seasons, and it certainly does that. It makes you long for (slash deeply dread) more in a way that is rare in games. It happens, but there’s a lot of “look away” moments here that you couldn’t get away with in most other genres, whose “gameplay” constantly demands that you be in active control.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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“Video Games!”
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I actually just grabbed a screenshot of my desktop for the middle panel today. I think I’m as ready as I can be for the 17 hours of flying. Here’s what I’ve got:

Final Fantasy 7: I am ashamed to admit I never played very far into this game. Grabbed it on Steam for the nostalgia.

The Walking Dead: I have managed to avoid playing this game. I tend not to go in for stuff that will press my “Dad” buttons but I just finished Last of Us and really loved it. Maybe I’m ready for the Walking Dead now.

Clash of Heroes: This is an awesome puzzle game that I can play pretty much indefinitely.

Magrunner: I picked this up on Steam the other day after reading a favorable review that compared it to Portal.

Sol Forge: It’s not Duel of Champions but DOC requires internet and I won’t have that on the flight. If I need a card game fix this will be my jam.

The Swapper: I picked this up intending to save it for the flight but I started it and ended up playing for an hour. I had to force myself to stop and save the rest for my trip.

Fairway Solitaire: This is another game that I can pretty much play forever I think.

Where’s My Mickey: I LOVE this game. It adds a bunch of new mechanics to the Where’s My Water formula and gives the entire thing a cool classic disney cartoon vibe.

Super Puzzle Platformer: This is a great game when you want something quick and fun. It’s hard as hell too.

Ittle Dew: This is a top down Zelda style adventure game. I started it already and I was really impressed. It’s got cool art, funny writing and some clever puzzles.

Civ V: Picked up the new expansion but saving it for the flight. I love that they built touch controls into this game so it runs great on the Surface.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Provisions
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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More Sand
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’m still plugging away on Sand and I’m really happy with the way it’s turning out. It should start running on the 15th or the 17th and it will pick up the story immediately after this strip.



-Gabe out

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Near Miss
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '13 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
You have probably heard about Justin Carter in passing, maybe on one of the sites you read, or video channels you watch, but it comes down to the fact that a dumb kid said something dumb and because of the world we live in now this entitles the state to steal eight years of your life.

Context is, as they say, important; part of that context must almost certainly be derived from who happens to be participating in the conversation, what it concerns, and where it is taking place. And even if - taking all of this into account - even if you still feel a compulsion to determine whether a young man in Texas is the next Osama Bin Laden, get a warrant to watch him or turn his house upside down. Don’t throw him in jail for months. Don’t throw him in jail for month, singular. Don’t set bail at a half-mil. Is there something we don’t know? Something on his computer? The mind reels. I want there to be a reason. Some reason.
I’m not exaggerating very much in the second panel of the strip, or the third for that msatter. I’ve talked about it before. It took me a very long time to figure my shit out, most of it at any rate, and you’ve had a front row seat to the rest. If you want to know why people are making big to-do about this that they are, it’s because they know full well that they’d be in there with him. We used to understand that young people said things they didn’t mean, that people leveraged abstraction to expel demons. Euphemism. We aren’t safer since we’ve adopted this “be terrified of young men” stance. Demonstrably.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Near Miss
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Tell Me What Sounds Best
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 07:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Write me back, and tell which option they would find more horrifying. On the docket now we’ve got my “famous” Texas Tofu Skewers, or something from our Jail Dining series like “Hot Potato” (sounds euphemistic, is actually literal) or Snarfs, which is whatever they wouldn’t eat last night with microwaved with ketchup.

(CW)TB

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Confidential to Tycho
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I made a delicious chicken parmesan last night and both my kids turned their noses up at it. I think I might send them up to your house for a dinner so they can see how good they have it here. Can you let me know the next time you’re making bok choy and white rice?

-Gabe out

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D&D
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
A little while ago Tycho and I sat down with Scott and Kris to play D&D:chronicles of Mystara for Capcom. It’s a re-release of a game that I actually loved playing in the arcade and then eventually imported for my Saturn. We streemed the play session live but you might have missed it. Capcom has gone ahead and posted the entire thing to the YouTubes now. We’ve been asked to do a few of these recently where we just sit and play a videogame while someone records it. Tycho tells me this is actually a genre called “Let’s Play” and I’m sure he’s right. Personally I call it the greatest job ever.



-Gabe Out

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Metamofo
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The notion of a penalty box or “sin bin” is well understood - games occasionally come with their own purgatories. But these vile aggressors are typically not made to play another game while the first one is going on, churning in their own abusive stew. Halo offered up something like this, but if this OXM article is to be believed Microsoft wants to leverage that service-wide. It makes a lot of sense to me. Like other forms of prohibition, telling people to follow rules is great and all, works for some people, but ultimately you need a lever you can throw at some point and start working to minimize harm.

I’m sure it will be fine.
There are a lot of reasons people engage in this kind of behavior; “dick” really isn’t sufficient as a class descriptor. There are people for whom competition and cowing people are synonymous: they aren’t two separate things, asserting one’s coordinate in the hierarchy is the ur-motivator which contains both acts. There are people who are completely fine until they come into contact with one of these hierarchy people, and then they hit back twice as hard. There’s the people who take the relative anonymity they have in that context and use it to say things they can’t say ordinarily without physical harm or social exile. People also have shitty days on occasion.
The concern Microsoft has about their own system - one elucidated in the article - is that people use Parties to evade the community, which fragments the experience they’ve designed.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Metamofo
Posted by News Fetcher on July 04 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Arcadia, Part Two
Posted by News Fetcher on July 02 '13 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Craigslist is just the weirdest, weirdest site. I’m almost fifty-fifty between experiences where people “gratefully, even tearfully pay me for things I don’t even want anymore” and those who “come back to my fucking house uninvited, wild of eye, as though under the brainsong of a psychotropic worm.”

As I suggested before, vendors of arcade equipment (“cultural artifacts”) run in two distinct bands: people selling and people getting rid of, and you’ll see both on the prowl at Craigslist. The asking price is usually enough to calibrate the instrument. In Gabriel’s case, he was only doing spot checks for specific machines he couldn’t find elsewhere, and he found a guy who was used to being screwed the other way around, which I’d never even heard of. People will apparently arrange a time for him to deliver something - in this case, a super ungainly four player cabinet - and then when he finally hauls this thing out someplace, it isn’t an actual place and there’s nobody there. Then he has to drive all the way home again and unload it. Oh man, these humans! I can’t get enough, they’re great.
Ultimately, Gabriel found another dude who was willing to let a handful of his top picks go for a single, strangely low price. I wholly expect him to be in receipt of a trailer full of birdcages or topiary frames or some shit.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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