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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Sep 232011
 

We are quickly approaching the end of this review.  Just one day left, after today.  Today we get to talk about White.   It seems that White gets the most bang for its buck in Innistraad.    Whit is full of card quality in both the constructed and limited environments.  Since, this is only a small review I will only cover a handful of these cards.

 

Continue reading »

Sep 222011
 

It is day four of my set review.   For those of you who have not read these daily reports yet, here is what I am doing.  I am reviewing each color and sharing with you my top picks.  I am not a pro player by any means, I am just a judge who enjoys writing and playing Magic the Gathering  along with many other games.

 

On to the cards
Bloodcrazed Neonate    1r
Creature – Vampire     Common
Bloodcrazed Neonate attacks each turn if able.

Whenever Bloodcrazed Neonate deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
While elder vampires select their meals with care, the newly sired frenzy at the first whiff.
Illus. Cynthia Sheppard    2/1

This guy is not super, but he gets an honorable mention because he grows and he is common.

 

Curse of Stalked Prey
1r
Enchantment – Aura Curse     Rare
Enchant player
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to enchanted player, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
“Innocent thorns can fill the air with your bloodscent. Don’t stray from the path.”
–Elmut, crossway watcher
Illus. Christopher Moeller #136/264

 

Will this card make it into constructed – yes.  It will Goblins or red deck wins a boost in their speed.  Oh and combine this with Bloodcrazed Neonate and you have a Vampiric nightmare.

Brimstone Volley  2r
Instant     Common
Brimstone Volley deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Morbid – Brimstone Volley deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if a creature died this turn.
Illus. Eytan Zana #132/264

I like Brimstone volley because it will be fairly easy to deal 5 damage.  Why because creatures die in Magic the Gathering.

Pitchburn Devil   4r
Creature – Devil     Common
When Pitchburn Devils dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Illus. Johann Bodin #156/264    3/3

Our friend here is nothing special for a 3/3.  But when he dies he becomes a lightning bolt.  So he has potential.  He might see play in constructed.  I believe you will most certainly see him in limited.  I expect him to be picked as early a the third pick in a draft.  Really tough to say when a card will be pick but this guy brings some serious card quality to the limited format.

 

That is all for now.  tomorrow we move on to White and everything it has in store for us.

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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.

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Sep 212011
 

Introduction: The System

Compared to D&D’s alignment system, the one employed in all Palladium products is seemingly simpler.  It is a single-axis, or linear, alignment system.  So it intertwines both legality and morality into a single spectrum.  From “Good” to “Evil” it reads as follows:

The Good: Principled & Scrupulous;

The Selfish: Unprincipled & Anarchist;

The Evil: Aberrant, Miscreant, & Diabolic.

The Alignments

For those unfamiliar with the system I will try to offer some analogies for each alignment.

Principled: Correlates quite closely to “Lawful-Good” or at least “Neutral-Good” in D&D.  This is the alignment for the goody-two-shoes type.  Honesty, integrity, fairness and justice are held high, as well as respect for authority and a desire to work within the system – be it legal, civil, religious, etc.  Examples include: a Paladin (D&D), Superman (comics), and Obi-Wan Kenobi (prequel trilogy).

Scrupulous: Is your “Neutral-Good” to “Chaotic-Good” alignment.  This character puts “life and freedom above all else.”  Very often a Scrupulous character will live by a moral code, but not as rigidly as the Principled character.  The biggest distinction is in the Scrupulous character’s willingness to work outside the law.  Examples include: Knight (D&D), Spider-Man (comics), Luke Skywalker.

The Palladium systems defines the Selfish category by stating, “Selfish characters (Unprincipled and Anarchist) are not necessarily evil, but they have their own best interests at heart and their opinions in mind above all others.  These are the mercenaries, rogues, vigilantes and anti-heroes of the world.”

Unprincipled: Politically, an Unprincipled character would likely be a Libertarian (which makes the label “Unprincipled” a misnomer).  They are sometimes schemers, but good at heart.  This is closest to “Chaotic-Good” to “Chaotic-Neutral”.  The first distinction being that while a Principled character will work within the law (only going around it when necessary), the Unprincipled character has an inherent distrust and disdain for all forms of authority and institutions, seeing them as intrinsically corrupt.  They can be a team player, but it will always be on their own terms.  Examples include: Rogue or Bard (D&D), Wolverine (comics), Han Solo.

Anarchist: Very self-centered, indulgent and impulsive.  His motivations are entirely personal.  Again, to quote Palladium, “The Anarchist is continually teetering between good and evil, rebelling against and bending the law to fit his needs.”  Clearly “Chaotic” in regards to law, and “Neutral” in morality.  Examples include: Rogue or Bard, The Punisher (on a good day), Lando Calrisian.

Aberrant: The first of the “Evil” alignments.  Here the motivation is power.  Aberrant has a lot in common with Anarchist, the difference is in the cruelty towards one’s enemies.  Honor is important, though this is often corrupted in some way.  The other value is loyalty – at least loyalty from his underlings.  Perhaps “True Neutral” to “Lawful Evil” is the closest correlation to D&D.  But if you’d prefer examples: a Devil (D&D), Magneto (comics), Darth Vader.

Miscreant: Here, we take another step up on the selfishness and megalomania scale.  Personal pleasure, power, and wealth are the motives.  “This character is a savage misanthrope out for himself” (Palladium).  This character would fall somewhere in the “Neutral-Evil” to “Chaotic-Evil” range.  My examples would be: King Kaius I (D&D Eberron), Lex Luthor (comics), Jabba the Hutt.

Diabolic: Finally, the lowest-of-the-low.  This is as bad as it gets.  Not necessarily random and crazy (but don’t exclude that either); they are just twisted.  Any of the “Evil” alignments in D&D will work, so long as you put a “Very” in front of “Evil.”  Examples: Orcus (D&D), Dr. Doom, Darkseid (comics), Emperor Palpatine.

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Sep 212011
 

While looking at green I have concluded that green is just kind of blah.  Now, I don’t mean that in a negative way.  Green in Innistrad is just so similar from card to card that only a few cards stand out.  We will get to those in a moment.  Green has a couple of recurring themes that happen too frequently.  They are +X/+X where X is number of creatures in your graveyard and werewolves.   They both happen so much that it waters them down.  I do not  really like the fact that Green is full of transforming cards, and I even dislike the trigger for them more.

On to the cards.

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Sep 202011
 

Yesterday  I discussed the cards from Black cards from Innistrad that I thought might have some merit.  Today we will waste no time moving to blue.   As a whole I am not overly impressed with Blue.  It just does not seem to have the punch that some of the other colors are bringing to the environment.

 

My First pick is

Back from the Brink 4uu
Enchantment     Rare
Exile a creature card from your graveyard and pay its mana cost: Put a token onto the battlefield that’s a copy of that card. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
Illus. Anthony Palumbo #44/264

 

While I don’t think this will see a lot of play in constructed I think it will be a great card in limited.  I like all creatures having flashback.

 

Second

Ludevic’s Test Subject // Ludevic’s Abominatio  1u
Creature – Lizard // Creature – Lizard Horror     Rare
Defender
1{U}: Put a hatchling counter on Ludevic’s Test Subject. Then if there are five or more hatchling counters on it, remove all of them and transform it.
////////////
Trample
////////////
After several failed experiments, the visionary Ludevic realised he needed to create a monster that fed on torch-wielding mobs.
Illus. Nils Hamm #64/264    0/3 // 13/13

 

Ludevic will most likely not turn up in constructed.  In limited he is far to similar to  Figure of destiny to pass up.

 

Third

Curse of the Bloody Tome 2u
Enchantment – Aura Curse     Common
Enchant player
At the beginning of enchanted player’s upkeep, that player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
After seeing his life’s work drip away, the mage decided it was a good time to go crazy.
Illus. Jaime Jones #50/264

 

I like this card not because of it potential, but because of its casual feel.  I think that balancing the set with both casual cards and competitve cards.   Besides I miss Millstone, and I want to build a deck with it.

 

like i said before I think blue is weak in this set.  Those are my three favorite cards.  tomorrow we will pick on Green.

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 »