Thursday, May 29, 2014

Innovation in the online media space

I usually like calling out an innovative new business model whenever I see one, but usually I wouldn’t equate World Wrestling Entertainment (or WWE for short) with an innovative new business model that will prove to the the rule rather than the exception.

Anyways, most people think of pro wrestling as a pseudo-sport, and while that is partially true, I feel that the whole idea of entertaining people in an athletic way is something that all the major professional sports leagues are doing anyway, and the WWE (or WWF/World Wrestling Federation as it has been known in the past) has really become known as kind of an innovator in sports being classified more as entertainment than as actual sports.

So, that innovation has become the new WWE Network, where basically you pay just $9.99/month, with a 6 month commitment, to have access to the entire library of WWE pay-per-views, including live WWE pay-per-views, and have something of a nonlinear network structure to boot.

The nonlinear network structure, and the fact that you can actually queue up old programming, or start from the very beginning of a program you want to watch, is a truly innovative idea that, in my opinion, supersedes that of the whole idea of sports-as-entertainment as being the most innovative idea that has sprung from anyone’s mind, ever.  I challenge everyone who isn’t a fan of sports being entertainment to stop for one second and figure out if that is, indeed, what the professional sports leagues are REALLY doing and see that the idea of actually UNDERVALUING their content, and charging a REASONABLE price per month like Vince McMahon is doing is actually really the wave of the future.  

People are going to try to DVR your content anyway, so why do you continue to stick like glue to an antiquated business model that basically the WWE Network has essentially upended?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy 2014! Also, A Wild Focus Shift Appears!

Well well well, didya miss me?

Welcome to my first blog of 2014!  And this is a goodbye of sorts to the way I *was* blogging towards the end of 2013.  You see, I took an entire month and a half off to completely retool how I was to be blogging.  I’ve been noticing how much my focus has been wavering from topics that everyone can be enjoying, and this year, 2014, will be my return.  Specifically, it’s time I tried focusing on one subject as my main blog.  Which, as of February 1st, isn’t going to be this one.  Let me explain:

I’ve been trying to build a relationship with a gaming-focused PR firm, Evolve PR, and one thing I am noticing is how unprofessional it seems to have a blog that isn’t entirely laser-focused on video games.  

So, as of next Monday, February 3rd, 2014, I will be blogging primarily at  That’s just a temporary domain, but that will be exclusively about video games.  

As a result of this, I will be working on the transition to my new gaming blog over the next couple of days (and even a bit on Super Bowl Sunday), so this is going to (hopefully) be temporary and I will hopefully be posting more and more over the next few months.  Right now I have quite a few posts on here that I am going to be gradually transitioning to the new blog, and as a result of preparing posts, I am going to be exceedingly busy the next couple of days.

Also, posting will now be at least every Monday Wednesday and Friday.  I say at least because there may be breaking news like Nintendo Direct broadcasts which I will want to continue my coverage of.  

Also, one significant change is that I am finally going to be retiring my As The Steam/GOG Turns column.  The plan was at least to have a month-end wrapup, but as I continued to retool what I’m going to be doing moving forward, I realized that even that was going to be overwhelming.  As a result, I am going to be covering a great many more GOG releases as a result moving forward.

Also, I am eventually going to be reviewing games that can be found at (many of which are exclusive either permanently or temporarily), because many people don’t actually like Steam as a store, and I totally understand that.  Also GOG was practically winning most weeks that they didn’t have something on a ridiculous sale anyways, so declaring a winner and moving on instead of continuing the soap opera was hugely beneficial for me as a writer and it frees me up a lot more than people will realize.

One final thing: I will be trying to space out posts you’ve already seen, so much so that Flashback Fridays will be a thing.  And after I’ve exhausted all my gaming-related postings, I am going to be using Flashback Fridays as a venue to espouse about retro gaming related topics, something I continue to learn more and more about all the time.  You’re welcome.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Top Picks from Day One of's DRM-Free Holiday Sale

Well, after absurd amounts of requests from folks, I am going to give my top picks from’s DRM-Free Holiday Sale (and Steam’s whenever that happens).

Here’s the deal, however: Number one, I am NOT, repeat NOT going to go through every single deal.  I am only giving my picks of best value given the non-sale price, no more and no less.

With that little disclaimer out of the way, here we go:

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream $2.99 (50% off): If you are a Harlan Ellison fan, this is almost too absurd a deal to pass up.

Papers, Please $6.66 (33% off): While the price might not technically be good, the game is apparently superb.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings $9.99 (50% off): This is almost a criminal price tag.  The original game RETAILS for $9.99, so this one is not one to pass up.

Trine 2: The Complete Story $3.99 (80% off): This may very well be my Deal of the Day from a pure value perspective.  This game looked FABULOUS when I saw TotalBiscuit and the Yogscast play it.  Seeing it at $3.99 for the entire story?  Well what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nastybad Doomsayer Things and the Idea of Loyalty in a Digital Age

The LivingSocial outage last week brought on some real doomsayers, including those at, calling Groupon the "undisputed winner" and predicting LivingSocial's demise.


Unfortunately, what these doomsayers fail to grasp is the idea of loyalty in the digital age: If you do not earn loyalty, you are truly doomed. Nintendo is slowly but surely winning me back on the loyalty front, while companies like Hyperkin and Apple have my utmost loyalty at this point.


Now, loyalty in this case does NOT mean blind devotion against all else. Unlike, say, Fandroids (aka Android fans) who force the Android mobile operating system down your throat at every given opportunity, the loyalty I am talking about is the kind that matters: Someone (especially a digital store) that you trust with your money. I trust Amazon only so far with my money. Same with PayPal. Same with Humble Bundle.


But something like GOG? I can trust them implicitly with money and any "major purchases" that I make on my GOG account, I trust GOG to not screw me over, or add stupid hoops I have to jump through, I trust GOG to hold my data, not use it for ill purposes, and in general give me a lot of value for my dollar. That is true digital loyalty, ladies and gentlemen.


As far as "loyalty" goes among digital deal websites, I go where the deals are. Now whether those deals are on Groupon, or LivingSocial, or AmazonLocal, or some weird deal site associated with a magazine or other website, I care not. If there is a deal I'm interested in, I get that deal regardless of the site it's on. But now LivingSocial has my loyalty. They noticed a security issue, and they fixed it. That's a big deal, and I'll be checking LivingSocial first from here on out, because I'm not sure yet if I can trust Groupon with my money.  So, all you nastybad doomsayer things can go find something else to crow about.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wrapping Up Nintendo #5: The Final Frontier

Space… the final frontier...

No, it’s universal accounts and Miiverse for 3DS as far as Nintendo fans are concerned.  And last week, that very announcement happened.  Along with a few other things.

This time on Wrapping Up Nintendo, I’m trying a new format.  This time, it’s a new format that I call The Good, The Bad, and The Meh.

The Good:

  • UNIVERSAL eShop ACCOUNTS!  FINALLY!  Well, baby steps towards that goal at the very least, unfortunately Bill Trinen was not at all clear about this and from what he said, it just was about creating a combined balance between the Wii U and 3DS eShop accounts using a single Nintendo Network ID.  Unfortunately, it does NOT appear we will be getting “Cross Buy” functionality or “re-download all digital games regardless of device” functionality with this update (which they very easily could do if they merged the NNIDs with your Club Nintendo account, but oh well, what can you do?).
  • 3DS Miverse looks quite interesting.
  • The new Link Between Worlds trailer along with the new Zelda 3DS XL bundle… holy moley… That’s all I have to say.  Love it, love it, love it. Can’t wait to play it!
  • Bravely Default looks FABULOUS. February 7th cannot come soon enough.
  • New Pikmin 3 DLC!  SCORE!  For anyone who doesn’t have a Wii U and Pikmin 3 yet (*cough* me *cough*), this is really good news that Pikmin 3 will have even more value for money.

The Bad:

  • No mention of the new Yoshi game nor of the new Kirby game. Guess there’s another Nintendo Direct by the end of the year?  No other explanation I guess.
  • Still not backtracking on the Animal Crossing Plaza Miiverse thingie ending in 2014, eh Nintendo?
  • The indie games sizzle reel didn’t include The Pinball Arcade.  Unforgivable at this point, as that was one of the launch window games.
  • Mario 3D World’s neat little “10 things” video looked great, but hoo boy that spoiler warning was totally needed because of thing #10.  Which I won’t go into at all, but I didn’t need to know that going into maybe playing it this holiday season. Thanks Nintendo.

The Meh:

  • Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy.  I am not a fan of them and I know a LOT of you are, but I just never got into them.  Remember this is from my burnout period and frankly I need to go back and discover these games for the first time before I play this one.  Sorry.
  • The Nintendo Zone thing was kinda boring and repetitious.
  • YouTube on 3DS / Wii U YouTube app upgrade.  Too bad they didn’t have their stuff together a year or two ago on this one when people actually cared about this.

So, how’d you like this new format?  Comment either here or on Google+ on whether you like this format.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reclaiming The Fun #1: Rediscovering What I Love

Today’s installment of Reclaiming The Fun is all about rediscovery.  After all, rediscovery of my love for the game of pinball prompted this whole crazy mission.

While I was on vacation, I had lots of fun going on various excursions, including a food tour, a walk on the beach on Assateague Island along with viewing a few of the famed Assateague ponies up close, as well as playing a game of real life pinball (which was a tad lower than I’d like… I may take that issue up with the Stern Pinball folks as soon as possible) and rediscovering places that sold the things I love dearly from the beach, such as salt water taffy and fudge.

Another major rediscovery of note is I rediscovered just how much I loved the beach.  It made me realize that I might need a beach fix much more often than once every 2-3 years or thereabouts, and I hope I can get that moving on as soon as I can.

But that isn’t all.  I am rediscovering my love for photography, and my love for reading, and my love for quite a lot of different things.  Which is to say, I think I am going to start rediscovering games I may have burned out on and games I even missed out on for one reason or the other.  So, hopefully I can start that mission as soon as possible.  In the meantime though, have fun, play fair, and I’ll see you next time.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reclaiming The Fun #0: Intro and Why The Fun Had To Be Reclaimed

As I start packing to go on vacation starting tomorrow I wanted to talk a little bit about gaming, because I haven’t done so in awhile.

I have been playing The Pinball Arcade since its Steam release on Monday, and yesterday (Wednesday) was the first time I’d really sunk my teeth into the game with an actual controller in my hands, and I love playing this game with a controller!  It feels right and I think it works wonderfully.  The optimization process for my particular setup is still going to be an ongoing process but it seems to be running at a decent, smooth framerate right now and I couldn’t be happier about that.

But, as I was going through and trying to hit all the high score achievements (or at least 1 out of 3 achievements for every Season 1 table), I came to an abrupt realization: For the first time in awhile, I was having fun playing a video game!  That sense of fun had long since evaporated and transformed itself into becoming a huge chore.  I think the last game I fully enjoyed without thinking of it as a chore was the original Pokemon Gold & Silver.  Maybe Super Smash Bros. Melee on the console side of the fence, but that was about it.

So, why is it that I was no longer having any fun doing something I thoroughly enjoyed as a child?  Frankly, I don’t know, but it’s high time I start reclaiming that sense of fun that I had as a young child.  I’ve just now started getting back into the pen-&-paper RPG hobby and now I am deciding to go on a mission of fun reclamation that involve the video games from my childhood.

I usually can find an arcade where I am headed on vacation, so I might be able to stop in one of the arcades and play something that I remember from my childhood.  And as a result of my fun reclamation mission, I will eventually start writing a little bit about games I decided to revisit (or visit for the very first time in some instances) on my mission of fun reclamation, and I hope I can continue to write a little bit more as I go along.

One of the key pieces of my fun reclamation mission won’t be out for another month but I’ll start reclaiming my fun right away.  I am so excited.

Now, there is one more huge piece of this: While I am on my mission of fun reclamation, I am finally going to stop playing games that have stopped being fun for me, and that includes any games, including games on my iPhone.  So, I should have an update on what I did to reclaim the fun after my return from vacation.  I cannot guarantee that I will update the blog while I’m on vacation, so after tomorrow’s (much delayed) post, I will see you after my return.