This past Thursday was Thanksgiving in the U.S. when we gather with family and friends in celebration of all the things we are thankful for. For Americans this is a tradition that began in the 1600s when native Indians helped settlers learn to fish and live off the land thus saving them from starvation during the coming winter. It was during my household’s preparation to have our family gather here to consume the sacrificial turkey that it came to me – this week’s Stir will be different. Instead of asking the other writers to take time to contribute, I will showcase some of their past work that I found to be “good reads” and excellent examples of the talent on staff here at Platform Nation.
Without the staff of writers, editors and leadership at Platform Nation, Stir would have never existed. It is their weekly contributions that make Stir what it is – and for that I am thankful. Our writers span the globe with a diversity in sex, culture, race, religion, language and age – yet we function as a family. We are all part of Platform Nation for many of the same reasons you are reading this article right now. We are passionate about gaming and enjoy the community of gaming. We take it one step further by writing about it to keep others informed. None of the staff is paid – it is entirely volunteer driven which makes it very special. No one is at the Nation who does not want to be here and it is this common commitment to each other that makes all the other differences between us melt away – and for this I am also thankful.
Each of the following is an excerpt from an article found elsewhere on Platform Nation. I encourage you to click through to any that interest you – or that you remember reading – and leave a comment for the writer – even if it’s just a simple thanks for writing for you – because at the end of the day, that’s really what we do – we write for you. These are just a few examples of what you can find looking back through the archives here at Platform Nation.
WHAT OUR WRITERS HAD TO SAY
“Now as a father of 3 boys whom all play video games I thought to myself that this would be a great chance to play a game, that is obviously aimed at a younger audience that can get into the whole 3-D gimmick, with all my boys. Thus after our experience I decided to bring you the rest of the review not from my perspective but with the dialogue of our game play experience.” The dialog that follows in this review is absolutely hilarious. Click over and give it a read.
Steven and Scott combined make up the leadership of Platform Nation. Their weekly Lock and Load podcast represents the down to Earth style that makes Platform Nation what it is. In Episode 29 they interview Marcus Stevenson from THQ about Smackdown vs Raw 2011 and make every effort to pry privileged info from him.
“I just couldn’t let her know about this dark secret which was such a big part of me. She was one of those girls a lot of guys wanted, and she was with me. If she happened to catch that cardboard cut-out of Sam Fisher sticking out of my closet – it could be game over. I know this sounds terrible because it goes against every moral from every Disney movie about being yourself and being true to yourself, but this was different. This was real life. And in real life, the Star Wars t-shirt wearing, scrawny pale kid doesn’t get the cheer leader. At least not in my time.” A wonderful and insightful piece about how gaming can fit into your life.
Sarah comments on the various “debates” that persist in the gaming community. “Feuds about video games have been going on since the first game was released. Some of us are so stuck to our guns that we have avoided friends, ticked off relatives and chewed-out people we don’t even know. For example, I will argue to the death that Final Fantasy X is the greatest game ever and there is no one on earth that can change my mind. What other arguements are out there?”
Steven Buccini | PickaNumber123 | Profile | Twitter | What Comic Book Games Can Learn From Batman: Arkham Asylum
Some advice from Steven on how future games based on comic book characters should look to Batman: Arkham Asylum as a template for doing it right. “Last year, one game took everyone by surprise. Rocksteady Studios came out of nowhere (literally; it was their second game they ever made) with Batman: Arkham Asylum. I would go so far as to say that they re-wrote the book on how to make a game based on a comic book. This year, another superhero looks to rise from the video game ashes after several disappointing efforts. Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions will be arriving shortly, so let’s go over pages from the Batman: Arkham Asylum manual that Spiderman:Shattered Dimensions should take from.”
Brian Heitzenrater | FrehleyzComet | Profile | Twitter | Kinect For A Healthier Life – An Experiment In Weight Loss
Follow Brian in his personal quest to get in better shape by using his Kinect. “Every Friday from here on out, I will post an update from the past week of our progress with Kinect and Your Shape (and Dance Central when we get it in the near future). I will give all details about what we played, how long, weights, sizes, and our thoughts on the “exercises”. I want to give the Kinect a real test for it’s money and see if it really will help us get a healthier lifestyle.”
William shares his observations from watching how his younger siblings play – and what we should all learn from watching how kids play. “Right now, I am watching my little brother Carter and his friend Samuel get mauled by a mountain lion. In Red Dead Redemption. A game that I personally find a bit boring, they are enjoying the hell out of it. As I type this, they have been chased by bulls, tried to kick chickens, and gunned down a few way side riders trying to get accustomed to the controls, and came across a random NPC urinating in the back of a barn. Cue the hysterical laughter, because when playing by myself, I wouldn’t have really cared much, but watching them play I cant help but laugh out loud with them…”
Tym gives us a retrospective and his thoughts on the future of used game sales. “Anyone familiar with gaming is familiar with the methods of acquiring games today, but to get people up to speed on how it used to be done, indulge me a moment. It’s 2 decades ago; you enter a game store and scan aisle after aisle of empty game boxes trying to determine whether a certain game is going to be worth your time based solely on the cover art and description on the back of the box. This usually was a difficult process, as there are people hired by the gaming companies to make that box as visually appealing as possible to make you pick their game.”
This is a perfect example of the diversity we have here at Platform Nation and the good nature in which we sometimes disagree. Stewart gives us his well thought-out and wonderfully articulated opinions on violence in video games. “Recently Nathan Hardisty (Bananahs) posted an article here on Platform Nation called The Big Problem (I recommend you read this in full before continuing with this article. I will highlight some points, but in order to get the whole picture please read his article) In it he talks about the common theme running through many games and how that may all change on November 2 when the Supreme Court makes its ruling. As we encourage different opinions and viewpoints here at Platform Nation I felt that it was appropriate to offer a rebuttal.”
Nothing gets past Mike in the Indie game market. If you want to check out some great games for little coin – Mike can hook you up with some of th4e best games to fly under the mainstream radar. “Shoot 1Up – Hands down my favorite title on this list. Shoot 1Up is not only an excellent bullet hell shooter for the Indie games section, it’s an excellent bullet hell shooter PERIOD. The art design, the play mechanics, everything about this game works in harmony to provide a fun experience. And the best part? It’s only 80 MSP. Go get it.”
Amidst Platform Nations BatWeek, Rane took the opportunity to confess his super-hero sins. “I’ve been slowly coming to grips with something about myself. It’s not something I’m proud to admit. It’s not something that goes with my character or even makes me that happy as a self-professed comic book geek. In fact, admitting this is a lot like admitting to gamers that you never played Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Unfortunately, it’s something that I feel compelled to bring forth into the light, if only to cleanse myself of the guilt and shame. I don’t like Batman.”
I like this piece by Jordan because his passion for the limited edition pack-ins leaks through between the lines. “Back in 2008, Bungie broke new ground by releasing a “Legendary Edition” of Halo 3 for $130. The move seemed nuts at the time, but die-hard Halo fanboys (myself included) picked up the things in droves. What made this version so pricey? A shiny, plastic cat helmet.”
MY FINAL STIR
Every once in a while it’s good to just have some fun – and that’s exactly what I did with this piece. Enjoy. “While many games are fantastic experiences all by themselves, making use of these recently declassified gaming secrets will give your character or vehicle an advantage previously unavailable to the general public. Kept in secret files inside underground government run gaming labs, these secrets have kept gamers in the dark for years. Through Freedom of Information Act requests and many hours of sifting through redacted documents, I have compiled the following tips that all gamers should find useful.”
The rules for Stir are simple. I pick a topic and ask the Platform Nation writers, editors and staff to send me their opinions. Thanks go out to all the Platform Nation writers who contributed to Stir this week. They are all part of the best writing team in the industry and I couldn’t do this without them. The best thing about these rules is that they are my rules – and I can occasionally break them – like this week.
Now, drop down into the comment box below and show our writers some love.
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