Speculation of a Magic the Gathering Movie from Hollywood

 Gaming News, Magic The Gathering, The RL  Comments Off on Speculation of a Magic the Gathering Movie from Hollywood
Oct 112011
 
The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

Wow, I just saw this article written by Joelcool7 at gamrConnect.  Basically, the article states Hollywood is going after board game licenses for movies.  One of the games he mentions is Magic the Gathering.  I didn’t like that fact that Joel lumped MtG into the board game genre, but he didn’t really speak about MtG either.  He just mentioned that there is a possible movie out there.

Joel’s article talks about how board games lack plot.  Well, That is actually a good thing.  A good story isn’t about plot alone.  In fact, a good story is really told by the characters.  If a writer doesn’t develop the characters the plot will fail.  Stories are far more about a balance between plot and character with character carrying the weight.

Lets look at a couple of movies and see if I can get my point across.  The Expendables was an intense action packed movie with a lot of characters. Who were played by some really big names (Jet  Li, Sylvester Stallone, Mickey O Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, and Jason Statham).  I liked it.  It would have been a lot better if it was 45 minutes longer and all the characters had a chance to develop.  Better yet, start with 3 characters and introduce the rest in a sequel.  In the Expendables the plot was there but there was just not enough time to develop the characters.

The Silence of the Lambs is probably the best plot verse character success I can think of.  The characters DR. Lecter and Clarice played by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster have plenty of time to develop.   As a watcher you really get to know them and you want to feel what at least one of them feels.   Understanding a characters feeling in a story gives the viewer a more enjoyable experience.

 

In the world of Magic the Gathering the characters already have so much detail it’s a no brainer to turn this IP into a movie.   The only question is with so much story development already done, where would you start the movie?  I would love to see the Brothers War saga turned into a movie or three.   It would be far more realistic for WotC and oh we will say Paramount (first to pop in my mind) to start with some of the more recent planeswalkers.  The Shards block storyline would make a good storyline.  Who would play Nicol Bolas?

I am pretty excited about this.  And it is not all speculation as this article from MTV’s Movie Blog seems to indicate.

 

It looks like we are in for some really cool promos at the theaters in the future.

 

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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 »

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

 Gaming News, The RL  Comments Off on Through Gamer Goggles to attend Con on the Cob
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 282011
 

Introduction

Well that sounds like a fun topic!  I understand that most folks are uncomfortable discussing depression, it can be, well, depressing.  So why bring it up at all?  And what is depression’s relationship to gaming?  First of all, I have depression.  Second, I am a gamer and there is a clear correlation between my gaming and my particular level of depression.  Third, knowing the symptoms of depression – both personally and professionally – and being familiar with many gamers, I have observed that many gamers may suffer from depression as well; perhaps at a higher percentage than the general population.

What Is “Depression”?

So, just what is depression?  It is more than just temporary sadness.  In fact, sometimes it is not even expressed or felt as “sadness.”  The biggest expression is a feeling of “lack” – a lack of ambition, lack of desire, lack of appetite, lack of worth, lack of hope, lack of focus, lack of energy.  We are all too aware of the tragic consequences of prolonged, untreated depression.

How do you know the difference between normal sadness and clinical depression?  The key is the prolonged nature of depression.  Sadness comes and goes, caused by particular events – from a tear-jerker movie to the loss of a loved one.  Depression is always there – sometimes less pronounced, sometimes more so.

What Causes Depression?

What causes depression?  The most recent research reveals a strong genetic, biological component.  Social influences and particular experiences can exacerbate the underlying tendencies towards negative thoughts and feelings.

Is It Just Weakness?

Isn’t depression just laziness or being weak?  No.  Is someone with heart disease, cerebral palsy, allergies, acid reflux, or fibromyalgia lazy or weak?  No.  Can a person with acid reflux simply “will himself” to not feel pain when he eats jalapeño peppers?  Can a person with heart disease simply “will” her heart to beat properly?  So can we expect someone with depression to simply “will himself” to feel better, to be motivated, to love life?  No.

How Do You Fix It?

So what do you do about it?  Like so many diseases and disorders, depression is treatable though not curable.  Like so many diseases and disorders, treating depression requires a combination of medication and therapy – cognitive, emotional and physical.

To Be Continued . . .

So what does all of this have to do with gaming?  I will explore just that in the next part.  Depression is a part of my life, and so is gaming.  And I believe that gaming can both help, and hinder, one’s experience with depression.  Furthermore, I believe that depression is not a death-sentence.  Sure, sometimes it sucks; but there is hope, even fun.  Join me next time and I promise fun will be had.

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Why We Make our Children’s Lunches

 Cooking, The RL  Comments Off on Why We Make our Children’s Lunches
Sep 222011
 

I find the school lunch program to be overpriced for what it is.  Often school lunches give you child too much freedom over their diet.   A child of preteen, or teen  years should not be plagued with choices they are not mature enough to make or understand.   The simple fact is that most school lunch plans allow children to eat off the standard menu.  Even though this menu has a seemingly balanced meal plan, the portions are out whack.  My children almost always cam home hungry.  But that is not the big problem.  The big problem are the choice you child has if they don’t pick a menu option.  Many, schools offer an a la carte line of foods.  This often includes choices like pizza, donuts, milkshakes, burgers, chips and ice cream.  While some of these items are OK for your body once in a while they should not  be entrees.  Further, children who really do not know any better shouldn’t be put in a position to make a choice that forms their eating habits without supervision.

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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Why Every Gamer Should Eat Healthy

 Gaming News, Magic The Gathering, Miniatures, The RL  Comments Off on Why Every Gamer Should Eat Healthy
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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The Origins of Game

 Gaming News, The RL  Comments Off on The Origins of Game
Sep 082011
 

A short time ago I was involved in a conversation about the “mentality” of gamers.  The basic perception that these people had about gamers is that they are “freaks” .  To be more precise they kind of thought gamers were a bunch of depressed anti-social people who could not follow the norms of society.  This is so far from the truth.  I mean the perception they had makes us outcasts, which is really the opposite of what we are as a whole.  You might be wondering why this is important.  With any luck I will cover that in the next few paragraphs.

 

Let us start with the meaning of the word game, more precisely its origins.  According to Dictionary .com we have this little bit of history

“game

O.E. gamen “joy, fun, amusement,” common Gmc. (cf. O.Fris. game, O.N. gaman, O.H.G. gaman “joy, glee”), regarded as identical with Goth. gaman “participation, communion,” from P.Gmc. *ga- collective prefix + *mann “person,” giving a sense of “people together.” Meaning “contest played according to rules”
is first attested c.1300. Sense of “wild animals caught for sport” is late 13c.; hence fair game (1825), also gamey “having the flavor of game” (1863). Adjective sense of “brave, spirited” is 1725, from the noun, especially in game-cock “bird for fighting.” Game plan is 1941, from U.S. football; game show first attested 1961″
So the very nature of the word game tells us we are social beings.  In some cases our group might be  smaller, or we might even be a part of more than one group.  In fact it is hard for us to be a gamer with out being social.  It doesn’t matter what game you play they are you’re community, or if you are like me your communities.  I also found it it interesting that that before the meaning of game became a “contest according to the rules” it meant “people together”.

Magic the Gathering Grand Prix Pittsburgh 2011

 Gaming News, Magic The Gathering, The RL  Comments Off on Magic the Gathering Grand Prix Pittsburgh 2011
Aug 242011
 

Well, I really wish I had a lot more time to hype this Magic the Gathering event up – I don’t.  Here is the run down.  I am Leaving early Friday (Augus26th 2011) morning, after sending the children off to school, to judge at the Grand Prix in Pittsburgh (standard).  Between now and then I have to maintain my Dad’s Kitchen image for the kids, study more, shop for food (I always take some healthy foods just in case), and pack.  They are a very fun, and educating experience.  If you are a judge, Grand Prix’s are an awesome avenue for learning.  There are so many players and judges there that you will something new at every event, and most likely each day.   Since you are broken down into teams it is an excellent time to set a goal for yourself, like learning layering.  OOPS!  I’m rambling.  This event is going to be extremely busy.   There will be about 50 judges to handle about 1500 players.  That is going to be a lot of work.  I am looking forward to it though.

 

The artists attending are RK Post and Christopher Moeller.  I always look forward to getting some cards signed and buying at least one print.

 

Well enough about the Grand Prix for now.  I will Try and have a GP report up by Tuesday August 30th.

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