Oct 052011
 

Introduction

Last week I provided an overview of depression. This week I shall take a look at its connection with gaming. I’ve been gaming for fourteen years, and have had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people – folks that I gladly call “friend.” And there is one thing that I have noticed about the gamer population compared to the general population. I believe that the rate of depression in gamers is higher than that of the general population.

Gamers & Depression

Why is that? Are depressed people drawn to gaming? Or does gaming make one more depressed? Or is it simply a coincidence, or faulty observation on my part?

We can eliminate that last question based on the proven fact that I am always right. (Which, by the way, is another source of my depression. It is an incredible burden to be right all the time 😀 .)

The second question seems counter-intuitive: How can something “fun,” like playing games, make you feel depressed? Sure, many of the games we play are competitive, and no one likes to lose; losing can put one in quite a funk. But at the same time we recognize that “it’s just a game,” so the prospect and experience of losing are not that emotionally traumatic. Furthermore, many games, especially RPG’s are cooperative, allowing everybody to “win.”

Therefore I’m brought back to the first question: Are depressed people drawn to gaming? I think that there is some solid evidence to indicate this probability.

First, depression makes it difficult to socialize with other people, but gaming provides a “bridge” to social interaction. It’s easier to address another person through the medium of a game, with its rules and structure, compared to trying to strike up a conversation with someone at “regular” party.

Second, it gives the depressed person something to do. Lack of activity and motivation are the most difficult parts of depression to deal with. Gaming, at the very least, is an activity to focus on and participate in. Thus gaming is the vehicle by which one can combat that lack of motivation and activity.

I’m sure there are other reasons (which a qualified sociologist or psychologist could explain) why gamers seem to have a higher rate of depression than the general population, but these two stand out strongest to me. Continue reading »

Revising Standard the Influence of Innistrad in Standard Part 2

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Oct 042011
 

Two days ago, I wrote about White and how it received some really great new creatures giving White Weenie a fighting chance again.  Today, I am going to focus on Liliana of the Veil.   She is pretty amazing.   Being the other 3 drop planeswalker in the game I expect to see some great things from her.   I was hoping that her +1 ability that forces each player to discard a card would be able to take advantage of Flashback.  It seems that the best card to do that with is Unburial Rites.  Which is not the best idea.  It could work, but it would be difficult to make a good combo with the two in T2.  Here ability to target player sacrifice a creature does have some promise though.   The combination of hand control and and board control is an excellent representation of black and a better combination.   Her last ability “-6: Separate all permanents target player controls into two piles. That player sacrifices all permanents in the pile of his or her choice.”  is going to be used. It kind of reminds me of Fact or Fiction, but only because the player has to chose his pain.

Liliana is pretty wicked good.  There is already a really good BUW control deck built around her and there will be more.  here is a link to that deck list WUB. Since that is a really great deck I will focus on a simpler deck for a thirteen year old player.

4 Dire Graf ghoul

3 Cemetery Reaper

3 Zombie Infestation

2 Grave Titan

 

2 Endless Ranks

3 Liliana of the Veil

4 Doomblade

4 Surgical Extraction

4 Distress

4 Despise

3 Black Sun’s Zenith

24 Swamps

 

My sideboard is yet to be determined

Now that I have built this deck I am thinking it might have too much hand disruption.  What about you?  Do you think it has too much?   Here is what I like about this experiment.  It has good creatures for a themed deck.  It has a descent amount of control. Right from the start.  There are just enough mechanics like , discarding, planeswalkers and Grave titan triggers to make this deck a good teaching deck.  Wouldn’t be great if on the first turn you cast despise and surgical extraction?  While it won’t win a PTQ it is a great deck for my son to have fun with at FNM.

Black has a lot more cards to offer from Innistraad.  We will look at them tomorrow,  along with some red cards.  I am hoping to design a new version of Red Deck wins this week.  Any ideas as to what I should play?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Revising Standard: Influence of Innistrad

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Oct 022011
 

Hey again,  welcome to Revising Standard.   In this set of articles we will always discuss the impact of the most recent set.   The goal is to make this a living document that changes as the format matures.  I will attempt to update each article by using the comments section of the blog.

The first installment of Revising Standard will discuss some of the impact Innistrad has on Magic the Gatherings standard or T2 format.   More specifically we will start discussing how white is being influenced or becoming an influence.

White has long since been known for its one and two drop creatures.  It also has a history of having one or two good reset buttons at any given time.   White is often splashed or used as a support color.  In fact blue and white have become a tradition among the deck archetypes of our day.

 

Continue reading »

Challah Bread is so Wonderful with Video Demonstration

 Cooking, Gaming News  Comments Off on Challah Bread is so Wonderful with Video Demonstration
Oct 022011
 

Challah bread is a traditional Jewish egg bread.  Most of the time it is a braided bread, but you don’t have to braid it.  There are a lot of eggs in this bread,  that provides two things.  First, a fuller richer flavor, and second a longer shelf life.  I have left this bread out for as long as a week.  When I say out, I mean uncovered.   The presence of the eggs also help giving the bread a golden brown color.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading »

Through Gamer Goggles to attend Con on the Cob

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Sep 292011
 

In two weeks time we at Through Gamer goggles will be coming off the web to bring you news From Hudson Ohio.  Why?  To bring you great coverage of Con on the Cob.  CotC is a convention full of games, parties, art, and freaks.  Yes, it is a four day invasion of minds altered by fantasy and science fiction.

What we will be doing is covering the convention.   Our goal is to provide you with as much information as we can possibly bring you.  We hope to interview every guest and post them here within 7 days of the event.  Through Gamer Goggles has also planned a few events.  Not to mention we plan on interviewing fellow gamers about their experiences.

Check back soon for more information like event descriptions.

In two weeks you should swing by and partake in the fun.

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Sep 202011
 

Halloween is so close I can almost feel the eerie excitement.   Every year around this time I wish I had a goood gaming costume.   I mean every year I go to these conventions and think how cool some of these costumes are.  Every year I say next year I will have one.  The problem is to just buy a costume you might spend over a thousand dollars.  Well, next year I won’t  have a cool one but I sure will be off to a good start.

While there is no limit to what you can do with your imagination when it comes to costuming you have to start somewhere.  I have always wanted to make a ranger type of costume.  This is something that I will have to do in baby steps, actually my wife will be doing all the work.  For the start of the project, which will take a year or two to budget all the time for, I have decided on a shirt and a cape.  These items should prove fairly easy to make.  The materiel’s needed should also prove to be inexpensive. Continue reading »

Innistrad Picks Part 1

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Sep 192011
 

With Magic the Gathering’s  Innistrad right around the corner, I have decided to do something I have never done.  I am am going to review a hand full cards from each color.  This will most likely take me 5 days and I will make mistakes.   The only thing left for me to do is select which color is first.  I think I will go Black, Blue, Green, Red, White and anything else.

 

In black I do see some potential for card quality.  My favorite cards in Black are, Blood Gift Demon, Liliana of the Veil, Endless Ranks, Morkhurt Banshee, and Skirsdag Piest.

 

Bloodgift Demon 3bb
Creature – Demon Rare
Flying
At the beginning of your upkeep, target player draws a card and loses 1 life.
He relishes the devotion of his Skirsdag puppets and their belief that it will earn them immortality.
Illus. Peter Mohrbacher #89/264 5/4

All I have to say is a 5/4 flyer for 5 is good.  In the current environment he is not that good, but keep in mind we will be changing things very soon.  But I doubt he will replace any of the current staples in Standard.

Continue reading »

Sep 132011
 

My daughter brought this cook book home from school last year.  One of the recipes in this book was Naan bread.  This bread is so cool.  It is fast and easy to make.  It is easy to pack in lunches.  It is versatile (I will come back to that) and it tastes good.

 

When I first saw the recipe I was intrigued because you broil the bread.   Then I was like we can do this on the fire sweet.

The bread is unique, kind of a cross between fry bread and a pita.  More towards fry bread since the dough rises at different rates.

 

Here is the recipe Makes four individual loaves

3 tablespoons of lukewarm milk

2 teaspoons fresh yeast

1 and 2/3 cup white bread flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 egg beaten

3 tablespoons of plain yogurt

2 tablespoons melted butter

cumin seeds

oil for greasing pans

 

  1. Using your finger mix the milk and the fresh yeast together.  Set it aside until it get a little bubbly (about 10 minutes)
  2. Sift the flour and salt together.
  3. Using a wooden spoon gradually stir the yeast mixture, egg, and yogurt together.  Once blended,gradually stir the flour into the mix.  Stir until you have a soft dough.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface or until it is a smooth elastic dough.  If you have hot hands you will need to flour your hands.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl with oil.  Put the dough in the bowl cover and let rise until it has doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface.  Cut the dough into 4 pieces.  Knead the seeds into each quarter (optional).
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll each quarter into a tear drop shape.  Stretch the dough if needed.
  8. Preheat the baking tray/pan under the broiler.
  9. Brush the butter on both sides of the naans. Place on the tray and broil both sides 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

This bread is great for the kids lunches – which I already mentioned.  It is quick (prep and cook time for a double was 20 minutes).  It is versatile.  Here are some of the ways this bread can be used

  1. for dips and salsa
  2. it is great for salad sandwiches
  3. my kids idea was tacos  – haven’t tried it yet
  4. roll the dough thinner add pastrami and cheese, fold it over and you have a makeshift calizone
  5. You can make cheap desserts with it.  Just add some  pie filling and fold the dough over
  6. You can turn it into a sweet bread just by adding some honey

 

 

 

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Innistrad Mechanic Review

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Sep 132011
 

So the next Magic the Gathering expansion is on the horizon.  It will bring with it 5 mechanics.  Some of these mechanics are making a return, like Flashback and Fight (which is a new keyword).  While others are just knew.  But before you go any further I suggest you read Wizards of The Coast article on Innitsrad mechanics here.  Because this article is going to talk about rules in significant detail.

 

Transform

Of the the mechanics being introduced in Innistrad this has to be the most complicated one.

  • It will have a tournament legal proxy.
  • There is no Magic back on the card.
  • The face up side is marked with a sun.
  • The transformations are triggers.
  • Both faces are the same card.  That means counters, tokens etc stay on the card if it transforms.
  • Transforming is different from flipping.
  • Always enters the battlefield face up.
  • Copy effects only copy the current “face” of the card.

What does all of that mean for a player and for the judge?

 

Judge Perspective

While double faced cards are going to bring to the game a potential for new levels of card quality it is going to be a messy mechanic at first.  I suspect that early on players are going to miss the transform triggers left and right.  I can just see it know some random player draft 10 double faced cards and put 7 in his deck.  Can you imagine having 4 of them in play at the same time?  You might have different faces face up.  In other words the players might have four different triggers to remember on top of normal game play.  The good news is that this is most likely to happen at the casual level of play for some time – practice.   In the end I think it will force both players and judges to improve their game.

 

Player Perspective

As a player I am looking forward to the card quality that thes might bring us.  And I do believe there will be enough good double faced cards that a handful of them will see play.  Otherwise, WotC is waisting their time with this mechanic.

 

Morbid

Judge Perspective

There is not a thing that is so unique about this mechanic that we have anything to worry about.

 

Player Perspective

The trigger is going to be easy enough to pull off that you will definitely see it played.   I kind of like Skirsdag High Priest.  I used this  spoiler for information.  I kind of like putting 5/5 flying demons in play.

Continue reading »

Why Every Gamer Should Eat Healthy

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Sep 102011
 

I judge a lot of Magic the Gathering tournaments, and I mean a lot.  As a result I get to observe people.  One of the things I notice is players and judges ignore their bodies, especially when it comes to hydration.  It is important for you and for the players around you that you take care of yourself.  Yeah right, why should I care.  Well, there are only a handful of reasons, but they can be summed up like this; good health makes for a better game. It is really that simple.   Dehydration can have some serious effects on your game, and your body.   While not eating foods that supply nourishment can effect you body in many ways (anything from headaches to poor digestion).  the rest of this article will talk about recognizing the symptoms of things like dehydration and lack of nourishment.

 

Dehydration happens when you don’t consume enough liquid (water is the best).  Symptoms of dehydration are

  • head rushes
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • headaches
  • nausea

 

While I realize at a tournament there are a lot of other factors that can come into play dehydration is always a first in my mind because it is easy to ignore.  So here are some rules of thumb to prevent dehydration.   if your game is a light game that does not involve a lot of standing or though consume a cup of water for every hour.  If it is more intense consume closer to twenty ounces of water every hour.  That might sound like too much, but it’s not.  When you game you actually do burn a lot of energy thinking.

 

Eating improperly can cause all kinds of problems for you.  In fact, there are so many I won’t even attempt to cover them.  We should all know the common symptoms of not eating right (headaches, fatigue, light headed,).  Instead I will share what I have had great success with at events of this nature.

  • Protein shakes
  • nuts
  • protein bars
  • granola bars
  • trail mix
  • mixed fruit
  • Have even taken various canned goods

 

You might say that is a bit much, but the one thing I have learned as a judge is you just never know what is in store for you.  I have worked events where where the closest food was a twenty minute walk, and if you are understaffed it just doesn’t work.  It is about the same for you as a player.  It is better to be prepared.   I also go heavy on the grains to combat the potential irratablity from various digestive problems, besides they are a good snack.

 

If you are wondering why this article is here.  This is why.  Not too long ago I worked an event where a player did not eat foo.  His reasoning was it was too far away to get to it.  He was also alone, and had no one to go get the food for him.  As a result of not eating, he got a headache.  He made this publicly known, and that he believed it was from a lack of food.  The player eventually blacked out from fatigue and ended up not finishing the event.  I realize that the example above is extreme, but who wants to play with a headache or worse. It really doesn’t take much effort to plan for this, and in the end you will be happier.

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