I’m In Love – Star Wars: Episode IX Teaser Trailer

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I can’t wait to see how this wraps up Rey’s story. After The Last Jedi, the table has been swept clean story-wise. Hoping JJ Abrams uses some of his magic like he did in The Force Awakens.

Roughhousing

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One of my earliest memories of my Grandpa Ayers is of him and I roughhousing. Long before I was old enough to know what Star Wars was, he would tell me that he was Darth Vader and that I was Luke Skywalker. We’d sword fight with yard sticks, up and down the hall in their house, until my Grandma Ayers would tell us to knock it off. I miss those days.

Was listening to The Art of Manliness Podcast today– I have been slowly moving through their backlog–. Today’s episode was on The Art of Roughhousing. I want to encourage you to check it out. The benefits of roughhousing with your kids is huge! Even if you have girls. You can find the show here.

The Old Republic

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Yesterday, the State of Texas celebrated it’s 174th birthday. Happy birthday Texas!

Speaking of other old republics, I started downloading Star Wars: The Old Republic last night. As of this moment, my download is almost done! My plans are to create a Han Solo type character–hey, I’ve always called myself a scoundrel!–. I am really looking forward to playing the game and comparing it to my other BioWare experience, Mass Effect 2.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. The high today, here in East Texas, is 62 degrees. A nice change from the 80 degree weather we have oddly experienced this past week. Until next time.

The Star Wars of Video Games

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Out of the now six Star Wars movies, The Empire Strikes Back remains my most favorite. I love the epic battle of Hoth, main characters parting ways, and the overall darker tone of the film. Life, in the shadow of the Empire, is harsh and cruel for those serving the Rebellion–as it should be!–. The events in this middle film leave you wondering how much worse things can get for Luke Skywalker and his ragtag group.

Lately, I’ve been playing through Mass Effect 2. Like The Empire Strikes Back, Mass Effect 2 is the middle chapter in an epic space trilogy. Currently I’ve played the game for over 18 hours. So far, Mass Effect 2 has largely been about constructing the perfect A-Team. The typical structure of the game has been: 1) Hunt down new team member, 2) Recruit them and take them back to the Normandy, 3) Eventually work through a “personal” mission to gain their loyalty. Wash, rinse, repeat. Yet, somehow, I have been pulled into this world filled with Krogans, Reapers, and a man named Shepherd.

What made The Empire Strikes Back so phenomenal, was that it took characters you had grown emotionally attached to in Star Wars and then took them to the breaking point. In doing so, a deeper emotional attachment occurred, one that would eventually  allow you to be able to sit through The Return of the Jedi. Mass Effect 2, while seemingly built on emotion, often feels false and empty. I can’t quite put my finger on it but something is off. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed my time playing the game. I just think that my disconnect with the characters may have something to do with only playing about 5 hours of the first game before quitting.

The Normandy SR2

I keep waiting for that Empire moment in Mass Effect 2; I keep waiting for that moment when I am more emotionally bonded with the characters, like in a good book. As it stands, if the Normandy blew up again, with the entire crew inside, I don’t think I’d care. I’d slowly put down the controller and wonder why I had wasted so much time.

Connections

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In the hustle and bustle that has become everyday life, I am beginning to wonder how I ever found time to play such games as World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online. I think that when I was playing them, I was using them as a social means to hang out with friends from back in California. With the time difference proving to be too big of a drawback–I’m usually in bed by the time my friends get around to being able to game–, my friends and I all slowly walked away from MMO’s.

While part of me misses the thrills of leveling and exploring the various game worlds, I more so miss being able to hang out with friends in another state. Slaughtering the digital denizens, while shooting the breeze, created good memories for me. As a guy, doing something with other guys is just priceless, even if it is just playing a game online.

I don’t know if it is this way with every gamer, but I have a core group of friends that I have gamed with since high school. Since moving to Texas, I have kept in touch with them by phone, email, and occasional visits. I ultimately don’t want our connection to be lost due to distance. Though we may have walked away from MMO’s for the moment–Bioware’s Star Wars MMO is on the horizon–, we are all still good friends. I am thankful for friendships that evolve and change with time… and distance.

Monday

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Good Monday afternoon everyone!

By now I am sure that most of you are settled into your places of employment and have commenced with the work day. Bosses have already yelled, deadlines have been pushed or postponed, and some random crazy person has disrupted your otherwise “normal” Monday.

Here in the JBG offices, which overlook the beautiful forests of Endor, Monday has proven to be uneventful. Valentines weekend has come and gone, and yours truly enjoyed relaxing with his wife. What did we do? I ended up BBQing and cooking for my woman. Plain and simple.

As a sidenote: Valentine’s Day always seems like the greatest setup for a man, a setup for failure. Expectations always run too high and consumerism is king. Lucky for me my wife realizes these things and decided to keep things simple.

What have I been playing?

Besides the occasional game of Cartoon Wars – Gunner, I haven’t been doing too much on the gaming front. Just haven’t had time. With the Olympics on TV, a son that is growing too quickly, and a life needing to be lived, gaming has certainly taken a backseat lately. Fret not though dear readers, much more is to come on the horizon. Such as?

Goals for JohnnyBGamer:

  • Come up with a working definition, based on the DSM IV, for gaming addiction.
  • Focus articles on gaming addiction and raise level of awareness.
  • Write more reviews!
  • Recruit other writers to write for the site (regardless of belief).
  • And in the far future…
  • Setup a gaming tournament hosted by JBG.

Hopefully Monday is treating everyone well. If it isn’t, there is always tomorrow. So, take a deep breath. The day is almost over.

Spoils of War

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The seas of discount have been churning this holiday season with Steam’s Holiday Sale. So far, the deals have been relentless as has been my spending. I have successfully added the following to my virtual sea chest of games:

  • Knights of the Old Republic ($4.99) – Never could get into it on the Xbox so I thought I’d try again on the good ol’ PC.
  • Indigo Prophecy ($3.88?) – I am enjoying the storyline so far…however weird.
  • Republic Commando ($4.99) – I have always wanted to finish this game.
  • Torchlight ($4.99) – Amazing! Reminds me of late nights of Diablo 1.
  • Prey ($2.25) – Played the demo a long time ago… $2.25 seemed like a steal.
  • BioShock ($4.99) – Have not played yet but thought I was overdue for a decent into madness.

What spoils of war have you managed to obtain this holiday season?