A 360 Degree Turn!

360013I read a lot of stories this morning on the way to work, but the one that brought the biggest smile to my face had to be What’s Your Tag’s post (which I reblogged) about Microsoft’s reversal of some policies in relation to the new Xbox One.

Let’s be honest here, I still can’t afford to purchase one, well not for the time being anyway.  I just don’t have that kind of money to spend right now, but I am a little less glum about the prospect should my little 6 year old decide to pop it’s clogs mid game with an awesome rendition of the red ring of death.

It’s comforting to note that Microsoft are actually listening to their fan base and attempting to put right some of the issues that made us feel wronged. I do however wonder how much of it was, “I can see their point” as opposed to “Uh oh, they are going to leave”.

Who cares, no matter how you look at it, it’s a result.

I’m wondering if I can hoodwink you all into clicking a nifty little Paypal button and making donations to a “Keep the Geek Gaming Fund”. Only messing, saving is much more fun and I’ll hand myself a healthy serving of satisfaction when I purchase one!

It made you what??

"Juls never got the hang of First Person Shooters"
“Juls never got the hang of First Person Shooters”

No one ever quite believes me when I tell them I cannot play FPS (First Person Shooter) games. More often than not they laugh when I tell them it’s down to suffering from motion sickness. I can see them looking at me like I am clearly not right in the head, and to be fair most of the time that is indeed true, but this time I am being totally serious.

I first noticed it whilst taking Medal of Honor: Frontline for a test drive.

One of my mates had this huge 42 inch TV which in 2002  was a rarity as far as I can remember. He hooked up the PS2, switched everything on and I was in geeky heaven, until the game started.

The first section was called “Your Finest Hour” or something like that, it was my worst hour.

The game starts with you storming onto Omaha Beach. Being a first person shooter you can see the end of the gun as it rises and falls to simulate your movement as you advance. On the huge screen everything was exaggerated and within 5 minutes I had turned green and handed back the controller.

What is Video Game Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness caused by video games, sometimes called simulator sickness, is caused when there is a disconnect between what your eyes are seeing and what your body is feeling. The most common theory (taken from many medical websites) about why you get sick is that your body thinks that you have been poisoned and you are hallucinating the movement that you are seeing but not feeling, so you get nauseous and (if you don’t stop playing right away) vomit in order to flush the toxins from your body.

I was a little miffed at not being able to play, but no big deal I thought, it’ll pass, I was happy enough watching. Nope! Couldn’t do that either, the waves of nausea just kept coming. So we changed the game.

I never was a big lover of war games anyway so the fact that I was unable to play them didn’t really worry me all that much, but then it started happening with other games. I’d have to take a break from Tomb Raider sometimes when I was lost and running around in circles because I was getting as dizzy as Lara was.

There are plenty of games I have played and also plenty more I still have to play, however there are some that I feel I have missed out on that I would at least like to have tried. Oblivion is one, I purchased it but never progressed that far. The BioShock series however,  is one of the ones I am most annoyed about, I like the idea and the look of it, I just can’t play it.

Battlefield 3 strangely enough I was able to play in multiplayer but not in career mode. Now when I say “play” in Multiplayer I mean the sequence of events was as follows, Spawn, stand up, die. Respawn, stand up, die and so it went on.

Grid is another one, I never race in it, but as a group we were all fond of the Demo rooms. I can play for so long and then I start to get nauseous.

Getting motion sickness while playing videogames affects a lot of people, yet it seems almost like a taboo to talk about among gamers because you might not be seen as “hardcore” since you can’t play certain things.

Oh no! I’m not hardcore, ah well sh1t happens!!

Apparently Ginger is meant to be pretty good for counteracting motion sickness so I have my cure sussed! The only way for me to progress is to eat copious amounts of ginger! Life as a non hardcore gamer can be tough sometimes!!

Oh well if I must!
Oh well if I must!

Candy Crush – Sweet Search Terms II

Lots More Candy Crush Craziness!
Lots More Candy Crush Craziness!

I’m still laughing every day at the search terms that bring people to my blog with regards to Candy Crush. The whole world seriously has gone mad!

I have to be truthful and say that of late I have not been playing as much. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • Level 347 is a complete and utter bubbling pile of dung! (Wait, did I just experience a rush of  Candy Crush rage). Normally when you’re stuck or have been stuck on a level for a while you can at least see little flashes of hope. Not on this level, it’s a hope sucker extravaganza. It’s got so bad that I don’t even really want to try any more.
  • Since I started the whole blogging thing I’ve been adding witty, smart, entertaining and educating people to my Blogs I Follow list and they have been amusing me on my journeys to and from work! (Note to Blogs I Follow: Posting your pennings around 8am GMT would be just perfect for me, if you could thrown in a couple around 5.30pm too, better still! )

So here are some more Sweet Search Terms:

  • Candy Crush Rehab – You know I started out way back when thinking this was funny, but now I am starting to think there actually are a few (million) people out there who might indeed need to be collected by men in coloured, candy stripe clothing and taken for some counseling.
  • I have no photographs of my friends on Candy Crush – You’ll probably find that’s because no one will set it down long enough in order to take one.
  • Candy Crush Saga Subliminal Messages – See!! I’m not the only one who thinks this is a world wide conspiracy to fry our brains from the inside out. I don’t know about you lot, but I should be ok. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to fry fresh air!
  • Candy Crush Flu – I’m thinking the symptoms are more anxiety, self loathing related. You’re feeling anxious because you cannot get past a level and you’re full of self loathing because you cannot quite believe something as stupid as a game is making you feel anxious. It’s a vicious circle that is sending you subliminal messages at the same time. Step away!!
  • Why I feel depressed after playing Candy Crush – Because you’ve just realised you have wasted valuable minutes, hours and days of your life and you can’t quite understand why you suddenly have this strange desire to go to McDonald’s for a Bacon & Cheese Burger with extra Gherkins!
  • Telephone number to contact Candy Crush – 0800 H-E-L-P-M-E-P-L-E-A-S-E
  • Do you get aids playing Candy Crush – Even though there is bodily contact, heavy breathing and twiddling of knobs, I am pretty sure the answer is NO!
  • Can I connect Candy Crush to Facebook without anyone knowing – Shame on you! Face your addiction.
  • Why my mouse could not play Candy Crush – I’m not really sure why this was. Did you set the device the right way up in the cage and make sure it was not covered with sawdust? I’m at a bit of a loss, because clearly your mouse is more intelligent than you!
  • Can I play candy crush naked – Two things bother me about this. Why do you feel the need to ask, you complete and utter exhibitionist. If you want to let it all hang out, you work away! Secondly why did it lead you to my blog. I SWEAR I have never played Candy Crush naked, I would never subject poor little Tofette to something like that!

Xbox One vs PS4!

Console Wars
Ding, Ding! Round One!

I have to say I know very little about either console, well apart from what I have read on other peoples blogs. I’m still of the opinion there is no point in  torturing myself if I am not going to be able to afford one in the very near future.

Gaming is getting very expensive!

I think everyone thought that Microsoft had the market sewn up with their all singing, all dancing machine. I personally was put off long before the much anticipated reveal due to the rumours regarding second hand games and the always on camera.

You can never tell if you are actually going to like a game or not. Trailers, just like those for the movies offer a taster of what is to come, and often times are better than the movie / game itself. I got into a routine of hiring a game to try it, and only if the answer was in the affirmative would I purchase it, but even then not brand new. Pre owned games have saved me a fortune over the years. Having this ability removed would seriously hamper my gaming!

The camera thing just baffled me. Never in all the years I have had a computer did I ever want a web cam, so why oh why would I want one on my Xbox! Especially one that is always on.

Always online to play? Not liking that idea much either. From what I can gather, you must sign in at least once in a 24 hour period. Why? No offence Microsoft, but that seems like snooping to me. Because I live in the sticks my internet can be sketchy at times, I don’t want to be penalised for that.

Then along came Sony kicking the ankles clean out from under Microsoft by promising not to do all the things that gamers were griping about, well me anyway. No need to be online to play, no restrictions on second hand games, lending or renting  and a cool $100 off the price tag. However lets not forget the fairly muted announcement about needing a PS Plus account to play online multi player. Ding, ding, round one to Sony in my eyes. Shame on you Microsoft, me being a convert an all!

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft come back with, if anything.

Me, well I’m going to save up and buy a second hand PS2 and perhaps resurrect some of my back catalog. In all honesty it will probably cost me less than one game for either of the two contenders above.

Candy Crush Catastrophe!

img004I’m beginning to think that Candy Crush is a bigger epidemic than bird flu!

The number of hits I have had has been staggering, the wording of search terms amusing.

I have had hits from all over the world all asking the same thing, Candy Crush quests, why am I addicted to Candy Crush, more lives, new sweets…..its never ending! I’m starting to worry for the world as a whole, that we are being sucked into a huge sweetie coated vortex!

What if they start to send out subliminal messages via the game. Unwittingly we will be cast under a blanket spell, at the mercy of the kings at King.com. Candy Crush Zombies will start to appear in multi coloured clothing, chomping their way through everything in sight,  excreting striped, wrapped and spotted candies.

People will re name their houses things like, Chocolate Barn, Caramel Cove and Gingerbread Glade.

Tofette will become the most popular girls name ever.

Seriously people, it’s a game! Admittedly it is a very amusing and addictive one, but it is a game none the less.

People have racked up huge bills buying lives, boarding tickets and other candy crunching accessories. If you have Facebook you DO NOT have to pay for anything, you just need to have patience. One of the charms on my app costs £27.99. I was so horrified I removed my details from Play just in case I would accidentally hit the button and purchase one, I certainly would never intentionally pay that amount of money, I couldn’t afford to pay that amount of money!

It’s also made us very antisocial. We don’t sit around and talk anymore. We tap, sigh, point and poke away the hours. I’ve known couples to converse via text or even worse via Facebook.

Am I a Candy Crush addict? I’d say no, but isn’t that what all addicts say. I like to play to pass time, but not to waste time. My removal of mysself from Facebook and subsquetly out of my CC family has not caused  me any anxiety or extra grey hairs. I play my 5 lives and am quite content to wait until they refresh. I do however refuse to pay to board the mode of transport required to take me to the next level, for that I may indeed have to swallow my pride and return to Facebook.

My point, I don’t want to be a Candy Crush Zombie, I can take it or leave it, can you say the same?

Candy Crush – Sweet Search Terms!

Candy Crush

I just love checking out the Search Engine Terms on my Stats Page. Some of them are hilarious, but none more so that the Candy Crush ones, so my sweet addicted pals, here is my take on your searches:

  • Candy Crush – Do you really have to wait 24 hours between quests? : No you don’t! You initially get 5 lives, you lose one every time you fail a level. You gain a new life every 30 minutes (on my app anyways), however if you are connected to Facebook you can hound your friends until they eventually send you one just to shut you up.
  • Candy Crush for Xbox? – Not out yet as far as I know. Not even sure if it ever will be. Please don’t release it on another platform or I’ll be a total lost cause!
  • Candy Crush 7 Windows Firewall Setting? – Say wha?! is there something I am missing here, can it be played somewhere else on a PC bar Facebook?
  • Candy Crush Mistakes – The biggest mistake of all is ever starting to play the damn game!
  • Candy Crushing Equipment – Usually your teeth are the best weapon, however your dentist is going to be none to happy! With regards to the game, I have noticed additional tools are not available on the Apps, however when the game is played via the PC you can get various Candy Crushing aids to help you on your quest, one, funnily enough being a set of teeth!
  • Candy Crush Depression – I’m suffering it at the minute for two reasons. The first is I am again stuck, level 323 this time, it’s a total nightmare. It makes me want to jump up and down, curse, scream and bounce my shiny Google Nexus against a wall. The second reason is, when I reach the end of this pathway there is a Spanner. I can go no further. No more Candy Crush. FFS. Well not until they build the next levels anyway.
  • I think Candy Crush may be taking over my life – If you’re worried enough to Google it then you are probably correct. But admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Welcome to the fold!
  • Tickets to Candy Crush – Ask your friends or buy them. Remember though buying things can be VERY costly. It might not seem like much at the time but it all adds up. I personally pester people on Bakebook.
  •  Addicted to candy crush saga, wanna learn how to make a candy crush cake – So am I! I don’t wanna learn how to make a cake though, sorry, but I’ll certainly help you eat that bad boy!
  • Goodbye Candy Crush. Before it’s to late. Uninstalled – This one has to be the winner! It’s so dramatic. Wonder how long they lasted.

Keep them coming, I love having a giggle at the things people search for which ultimately leads them to my Blog!

Picture Credit – Ian Hughes (click the picture for his link)

Reveal Reaction!

So the big reveal has been and gone. They hype is over, well pretty much, there is still a huge “The Xbox One Revealed” on my Dashbord, the Xbox one that is.

I have to say, in the end I was mildly curious, no scrub that, I was nosey. I didn’t want to be the last person on the planet to find out what was going on, mind you I wasn’t perched precariously on the end of my seat either.

I read blogs from people far more knowledgeable than myself, like the guys over at “What’s Your Tag“. I relied on them to deliver the information to me in terms I could actually understand as opposed to jargon that just jangled my brain cells. I was not disappointed. Sterling job as usual guys!

I did try to watch some of the online video’s but the constant buffering was a little more than my stress levels could handle.

I checked my mail. Pre Order your Xbox One it said. Pre Order price of 399.99 pounds sterling guarenteed it said. Feck that I said. My interest waned.

Of course I’d like one, but the sad simple truth is I can’t afford one, so whats the point of torturing myself. What’s the point of going all gooey eyed over the stats and statistics, the sleek look, the new controller and the fact it will recognise my voice.

If you don’t have the money, you just don’t have the money, it doesn’t get much simpler than that!