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Dustin Triplett

What SOPA means for gamers

Don’t have your gamer rights taken from you!

If you haven’t been staying up to date with SOPA, well, you should. Especially if you are a gamer. Or did you forget that all your gaming experiences now require an active internet connection?

If SOPA passes, it’ll be the end of gamer culture as we know it. Uploading a gameplay video to Youtube could be considered “light terrorism” and you could face indefinite detainment thanks to the already passed NDAA. Gaming journalists like myself would be out of a job. If someone at a game company doesn’t like the negative opinions journalists have about their latest release, they could easily have the site taken down. Not just the article, but the entire site. Oh, and lets not forget the ability to sue the bloggers who criticize their games.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This would also mean no more mods, unofficial game guides, or screenshot sharing. The very act of telling your friend how to open a door in a video game could result in you going to prison. Contributing to the “arrow in the knee” meme on Reddit could result in the whole site getting blocked forever. That annoying kid singing a copy-righted Lady Gaga song over Xbox Live would be the very undoing of the service we’ve all grown to love.

The entire point of the internet is to make life easier for people to connect, share, and learn; not to make everyone a potential terrorist. Is this the world you want to live in? One where you can’t talk about a movie online without worrying about losing everything in your life? Of course not.

But what can we do? The answer is simple, really. We fight.

Contact every news station you can, both local and nationwide. Explain the turmoil SOPA would bring to the lives of people everywhere. Appropriately named Reddit user “washURmouthwithSOPA” has constructed a list of a few news stations to help you start.

Here’s a video to further help you understand what SOPA is.

A brief look into the world of gamer entitlement

Spoiler alert: You’re not entitled to jack.

There seems to be this crazy assumption that gamers are entitled to a world of unicorns and rainbows once they pay any amount of money for a video game. Allow me to break the harsh, but very true news to you; you’re not entitled to anything. Consider that life lesson free of charge.

Before Modern Warfare 3 even officially launched gamers took it upon themselves to tarnish the name of the game on review sites across the internet. Why? Well, because some of them felt entitled to more than their future selves got. A 5 hour campaign and more of the award-winning multiplayer wasn’t enough for them, no, they wanted Captain Price to crap Ford Focus’ into their driveways.  

According to Metacritic “reviewer” Dolar, “The most damning aspect is that it is the same game as MW1, MW2, and Black ops. Huge disappointment.” Naturally, he gave it a 0/10.

It seems this “same game” argument is becoming more and more common these days. Some people don’t realize that more of the same is what exactly what most fans of the series want when the previous entires were enjoyable. If you’re looking for the next installment in a modern military FPS to take the franchise in a different direction, then you’re just an idiot.

I understand that the point of a review is to give your honest opinion about the product you purchased. I’m all for honestly in the industry, but a Pepsi soda machine is not enough of a reason to rate a game 1/10. I’ve seen many instances where gamers complained that real world brands and advertisements were included in the game they bought. They felt entitled to an ad-free gaming experience since they paid $60 for the game.

And let’s not forget the great Left 4 Dead 2 boycott of 2009. Some gamers made a Steam group for the boycott, claiming that L4D2 coming out just a year after the original was offensive to fans would be utter tripe. Of course on launch day many of them changed their tune and ended up buying and playing the game after all.

If you’re going to be vocal about your problems, at least handle things like an adult. Rating games poorly just because you don’t agree with something extremely petty reflects badly on the gaming community. This trend needs to end.

The Binding of Isaac Review

Putting the ‘hell’ back in “What the hell did I just play?”

The Binding of Isaac is an interesting game, to say the least. It’s truly the darkest game I’ve had the pleasure of playing this year.

Isaac is the story about a little boy and his mom. They are living a relatively normal faith-based life until God decides to turn Isaac’s life around for the worst. God tells the mom that Isaac should be sacrificed for his sins. Before his mother can stab the sin out of poor little Isaac, he manages to escape into the basement. Unfortunately for Isaac, this is where the real trouble begins.

While the message about religious extremism is very clear, it never comes off as preachy in the slightest. Unless you’re easily offended, I don’t see anyone finding this an actual problem.

Once in the basement you will face off against a large variety of enemies including his demented lost brothers and sisters, his fears, and 20 bosses that’ll surely make quick work out of even the most experienced gamers.

The levels in Isaac take you back to the glory days of the original The Legend of Zelda. The gameplay is delightfully similar as well. Unlike the Zelda of yesteryear, Isaac is a Rouge-like game, meaning death is permanent and the levels are randomly generated. You will never play the same game twice.

Thanks to the perma-death and random levels the game can be extremely hard. While the game is fun and easy to pick up and play, only the most skilled gamers will thoroughly enjoy it thanks to the unforgiving difficulty spikes and repetitiveness.

Despite the difficulty and some other shortcomings not even worth mentioning, The Binding of Isaac is a wonderful and original game that should be enjoyed by everyone. And for only $5 on Steam, there’s truly no excuse why you shouldn’t give it a try.


Nintendo mall program

Demos and your favorite characters are coming to a mall near you.

From Nov. 21 to Dec 18, Nintendo will be hitting malls across the country in full force. You will be able to spend time with all of the upcoming blockbusters for the DS, 3DS, and Wii, as well as some from recent years.

You’ll also have a chance to run into your favorite Nintendo characters. Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Pikachu will be making guest appearances during your holiday shopping trips. Personally, I’m expecting Kirby to suck up a hipster and transform into the trendiest (and sexist) plaid puffball the world has ever seen. Nintendo better keep a leash on that one.

Before the mall program officially kicks off, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be making a 10-day preview appearance at select malls from Nov. 11 to Nov. 20.

It seems the malls were chosen at random and are pretty spread out. Sadly they won’t be coming to Missouri. I’ll have to find some other means of capturing a live Pikachu for my collection of Pokemon memorabilia.

Check out the lists below to see if the Nintendo mall extravaganza is coming to a mall near you and to see what games will be available for demo.


  • Annapolis in Annapolis, Md.
  • Barton Creek Square in Austin, Texas
  • Castleton Square in Indianapolis
  • *Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, Ariz.
  • Danbury Fair in Danbury, Conn.
  • *Dolphin Mall in Miami
  • *Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie, Minn.
  • Fox Valley in Aurora, Ill.
  • Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J.
  • Houston Galleria in Houston
  • King of Prussia in King of Prussia, Pa.
  • Natick Mall in Natick, Mass.
  • Perimeter Mall in Atlanta
  • *San Francisco Centre in San Francisco
  • *Southcenter in Seattle
  • *SouthPark in Strongsville, Ohio
  • *The Parks at Arlington in Arlington, Texas
  • *Topanga in Canoga Park, Calif.
  • *Twelve Oaks in Novi, Mich.
  • Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Calif.
  • Washington Square in Portland, Ore.
  • Wolfchase Galleria in Memphis, Tenn.
  • *Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, N.J.

Malls marked with an asterisk (*) will be participating in  The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword preview program from Nov. 11-20.

DS games:

  • Kirby Mass Attack
  • Fossil Fighters: Champions
  • Professor Layton and the Last Specter
  • Bejeweled 3.

3DS games:

  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Mario Kart 7
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Pokémon Rumble Blast 
  • Star Fox 64 3D 
  • Tetris Axis
  • nintendogs + cats
  • Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure
  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

Wii games:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
Mario Kart Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Wii Play: Motion
Wii Sports Resort
Just Dance 3
Zumba Fitness 2

More information can be found here.