30 Dec 2013

First Time Playing: Flash Point Fire Rescue

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This is a game that I've heard mentioned in various gaming videos online, so I was really excited to finally get to try it out when my gaming group bought the game recently. In Flash Point Fire Rescue we play as a team of firemen, each with a special ability, who together have to keep a fire in check while going through the house, rescuing the people trapped within it. If we manage to rescue enough people without the house collapsing on top of us, we win the game.

23 Dec 2013

First Time Playing: Legends of Andor

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I need to start this with a warning to any dragon lovers out there. If you intend to play this game, be prepared to get completely and utterly distracted from the other players' attempt to teach you the rules of this game - as you will pretend to fly the dragon figure across the board map, have it land in the pile of golden coins, making Hobbit references the whole time. Legends of Andor is a visually stunning game that makes you want it to be a great playing experience before you as much as glance at the rules. I'm not kidding, it's absolutely gorgeous.

18 Dec 2013

Top 10 Things I Hate in Video Games

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I've realised that since starting this blog, I've barely given any attention to the topic of video games, and the [very few] people who read it must wonder why I list it as one of the three main categories in here if I don't [seem to] care too much about them. And yes, my devotion to video games have most definitely decreased since my childhood and teenage years, but I still love it, even if I don't spend as much time on it as I do on fandoms and table top gaming. I do still frequent the local gaming stores, my default channel choice when I don't know what I want to watch (or I just want some background noise) is Ginx, and my 3DS and my whole game library for it have a permanent place in my purse. So, as an attempt to rectify the severe lack of video gaming entries, I want to list what I personally love and hate in video games.

16 Dec 2013

First Time Playing: Cardcassonne: The Card Game

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So, I'm not entirely sure why this game is named the way it is, as it virtually has no similarities to the original Carcassonne game of drawing tiles and claiming land. Here with Cardcassonne: The Card Game we are laying cards into rows, delicately balancing between playing out cards and claiming a row. Claim a row too soon, and you might be missing out on points - wait too long and someone else might just claim that row before you get to it.

9 Dec 2013

First Time Playing: Firefly: The Game

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This game was a definite yes for my gaming collection the very minute I learned of its development. I'm a huge Firefly fan. I've met most of the cast (and recurring people) from both show and movie, gone crazy in the merchandise department (official and not so official), written fanfiction and made fanvideos. I desperately wanted to join the kickstarter campaign, but unfortunately they weren't taking non-American pledges (big frown). Best I could do was pre-order Firefly: The Game the minute I got the chance, which I did, and I was so excited when it finally arrived in the mail that I instantly wanted to play it - even though my friend, who was with me that day, had no knowledge of the show, whatsoever. You can probably imagine how well that went...

2 Dec 2013

First Time Playing: Bruges

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So, this was the game I voted for on the game night I ended up playing Kemet instead. And thankfully it didn't take long before I got the chance to try it out. In Bruges your goal is to gain status within a town through building houses, canals and hiring different characters to work for you. There are many different ways to score points, both throughout the game and at the end, and you will soon discover that there is no sure fire way to win

26 Nov 2013

Fanvid: See You Again

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First new fan creation from me since I started this blog. It's a Doctor Who video, centred around the relationship of the Doctor and River Song, set to the song "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood. It was a request from the poster SaraBahama on the Doctor/River thread at the Gateworld forum. Enjoy, and leave a comment below if you liked it.

25 Nov 2013

First Time Playing: 7 Wonders

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So, I have briefly heard of 7 Wonders, seen it pop up in various gaming videos, and noticed it on the shelf at my gaming group, it just never came up as a suggestion until now. I didn't feel it was all that well explained to me. And I have mostly avoided looking up further information on this game. Because not every game you are introduced to will be thoroughly explained, and since this column is all about that first time experience, and not specifically a review of the game itself, I think it's just as important to capture and express that confusion as it is to explain the actual game.

23 Nov 2013

Top 10 Reasons I Love Doctor Who

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It's the 23rd of November, a date that many Doctor Who fans have had marked on their calendars for months on end. It's the date of the highly anticipated 50th Anniversary Episode for the series, airing precisely 50 years after the original series premiere aired on television screens all over Britain. I may only have been a whovian for little over a year, but in that year I've been quite the busy beaver, not only covering all of the modern series (and repeatedly re-watching most of it), but also made it halfway through the classics as well, I've been to my first ever full-weekend Doctor Who convention, and even managed to fit in a couple of classic who encounters as well. Now that this day is upon us, I thought it would be fitting to do my top ten reasons why I love this show as much as I do, and essentially why I'm so eagerly looking forward to this bound-to-be-epic episodes.

13 Nov 2013

Conventions and Me

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Some of you might have read the guide to conventions that I wrote about two months ago, in which I gave a general explanation of the phenomenon, what to expect, recommendations based on interests and so forth. That was primarily intended for the uninitiated, those who might have an interest for conventions, but just doesn't know it yet - or they know it, and they just don't know where to start. I didn't really talk all that much about my own personal experiences, so that is what I intend to talk about this time. It's been part of my life for nearly a decade, and I hope to continue for many years to come, maybe even introduce new generations to it (I can hope, at least).

11 Nov 2013

First Time Playing: Kemet

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In our gaming group we generally try to decide by majority on what games we want to play, but we also try to make sure there is at least one player in the mix that knows the game and is able to teach it to the rest of the group. Sometimes that can lead to a logistical problem, like when two games hold the majority of votes, and only one member knows both. That happened this week, but since I was in the mood to try out a new game, and the other players were more keen on Kemet than the one I initially voted for, I just went with the flow. And one of the first thoughts that came to mind as the box was opened and I got a good look at the pieces was that this game looked absolutely gorgeous.

4 Nov 2013

First Time Playing: Dixit

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This is a game that made its appearance one game night with some of my friends. I had heard of Dixit before, and had an idea what it was all about, but I had never played it or seen it being played before. It's an association game, where players play cards with beautiful, not to mention colourful illustrations on them, trying to fit whatever theme the 'storyteller' has picked, then attempt to figure out which card they believe was played by the 'storyteller'.

28 Oct 2013

First Time Playing: Discworld: Ankh-Morpork

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Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is a game that caught my eye at my table top group a while ago, and I've wanted to try it out for ages, because with such a crazy world like Discworld, how can a game based on it not be a ton of fun, right? However, it just took forever before the game finally became a suggestion, and even then we got really close to not picking it. Such is life sometimes in a gaming group. But thankfully things went my way in the end, and I was finally given the opportunity to try this game out.

22 Oct 2013

Why Amazon just lost a customer (and should lose more)

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I'll have to admit, the first time I ever heard about the issue of pirated books, I scratched my head in confusion. I didn't understand how that was even a thing, because the way I saw it books have always been a non-restricted medium (no shipping restrictions, no customs charge), and I saw no reason why e-books should be any different - if any, they should only improve the situation as you could read the book instantly after purchase. The only restriction I could foresee was that not all books would make it to the e-book format, but then again, those books wouldn't be available to pirate either - so I saw no issue. Until I had a lovely chat with Kindle Customer Support about why a recently published book was not appearing in my Kindle store...

21 Oct 2013

First Time Playing: "Mascarade" & "Jamaica"

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I got introduced to two games the same evening in my table top group, but since the first one was just a quick one, I've decided to do another double feature (despite the games not really having anything in common). The first game is a quick trickster game, where your agenda is to confuse the other players while also trying to make enough money to win the game. The other game I was introduced to is my first ever introduction to a racing game, which just happens to have fun pirate theme attached to it.

14 Oct 2013

First Time Playing: Space Cadets

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I was introduced to co-operative games some months ago, and I've enjoyed having the occasional game where either everyone wins or no one does. This game definitely gave a twist on the mechanic, for better and for worse. Because Space Cadets is a game where no one can ride along for free. You play as a crew of a space ship, and each crew member have tasks that have to be completed simultaneously. Each part of a given round is timed very specifically with an hourglass. It's not a game for people who get easily stressed, but for those who can handle it, it can actually be a lot of fun.

12 Oct 2013

When the verification process just gets ridiculous

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I get the idea behind account verification, and the idea is good, but can quickly get annoying if you're not being given a choice. Lately, I've been feeling that with Microsoft. Not too long ago they were pestering me to up the security on my e-mail account, which was irritating enough, but I got through it. But the process I had to go through today is nothing short of plain ridiculous...

8 Oct 2013

First Time Playing: Lords of Waterdeep

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Lords of Waterdeep is a game that I've wanted to try out ever since I saw it played on Table Top, and I finally got the chance last weekend. Not because I'm a Dungeons and Dragons fan. To be honest, I have yet to try a single role playing game. But it's a worker placement game, which is a genre that I really, really enjoy, and it looked like a lot of fun. And I can attest to that it is. Each player has a hidden role, which each have different agendas, you summon different type of characters to send them off on quests, and you can also try and sabotage for other players by giving them mandatory low-scoring quests or make them give up resources.

2 Oct 2013

Why I HATE region-locking!

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It's all around us, this artificial blockage of entertainment. We have region-specific releases. There's region-locking on game discs and cartridges, DVD's and blu-rays. While friends of mine in other countries may purchase episodes of television shows through their iTunes, mine only allows me to purchase apps and music. I pay around twice as much for my Netflix account than my American friends, yet I only receive a fraction of the shows and movies that they do. I actually consider myself lucky if a television show I follow is only four months behind the American schedule. It's an out-dated, artificially created system, and it's downright pissing me off.

30 Sep 2013

First Time Playing: "La Città" & "Quicksand"

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Aside from my (near) weekly attendance at my table top group (whenever my work schedule doesn't prevent me), I will from time to time attend separate game nights with friends. Usually I don't get introduced to new games this way (because it tends to be at my place with my games), but this time I did. Two games, in fact. They have virtually nothing in common, but I've chosen to combine my two first time experiences into one post simply because it's convenient. If it's something I will continue with in the future remains to be seen.

23 Sep 2013

First Time Playing: Eclipse

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Another week with my table top group, another game to dive into. This week there were a couple of options that I hadn't played before, but this one was without a doubt the game that looked and sounded the most interesting (when your options are either a sports theme or a space theme, it's pretty easy to decide). In Eclipse you have the options to play as either humans or an alien race of some kind (some which look and sound pretty cool, others which, well... look like shrubbery... no, I mean actual shrubbery) and you're exploring space, earning resources, building and upgrading ships, and fighting over territory.

12 Sep 2013

First Time Playing: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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This week I brought my own game to my table top group. It's one that I've had for many years, just never had the opportunity to actually play it, for the very simple reason that it's a licensed game for the television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And because I hadn't really discovered the world of table top gaming back then, I didn't really make much of an effort to convince anyone either, as I had pretty much bought it for the merchandise aspect rather than the actual intention to play it. But a few days ago I just thought enough was enough, and if I was going to hang onto a game, it had to be with the intention of actually playing it. So, I finally sat myself down with the rule book and discovered that it actually sounded like a lot of fun.

10 Sep 2013

Anti-shipping: when ignoring it just doesn't do it

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I've already covered a lot of important things regarding "shipping" in a previous blog, but there is one aspect I didn't cover, because I think it just needs to have its own entry altogether, and that is the concept of "anti-shipping". Before I get into what that actually is, I want to clear up a very common misconception about shipping - and that is that shippers either hate on their competition, or they are supposed to. Now, I can certainly understand why some might think so, especially with all of the shipper wars that go on in various fandoms, but that simply isn't true.

8 Sep 2013

First Time Playing: Battlestar Galactica

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Because I had parents visiting, there was no table top group this week, however, last weekend I had a game night with some of my friends and got introduced to a new game there, namely Battlestar Galactica - The Board Game. Basically it's mostly a co-operative game with us playing as the crew of Galactica working to escape the cylon fleet without depleting any of the ship's slowly decreasing resources. However, some of the players will play as cylons, looking to sabotage the ship from within the crew. Now, the game might heavily base itself on the television show, but there really is no need to be up to date or even familiar with it in order to enjoy this game.

5 Sep 2013

Growing up Gaming

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Video gaming has been part of my life since I was very, very young and still remains one of my interests to this day. I personally feel I lucked out in terms of the time period I grew up in, at least gaming-wise. I was just in the right age group when home video game consoles really started hitting the market, and have had the privilege to follow the developments of gaming from that period and onwards, and boy have things changed since I was a kid.

31 Aug 2013

Shipping: The Doctor and River Song

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A huge warning to anyone not yet caught up with Doctor Who, or anyone who haven't watched the show, but are considering it, or have even the slightest inkling they might want to watch it at some point. There are going to be spoilers, and speaking as a Whovian, if there is one storyline you do not want to be spoiled for, it's River Song. Ask anyone else who's watched the show, and it'll be the one thing they do not want to reveal to you. As the woman herself put it; "It's a long story, cannot be told, has to be lived..."

Because part of the fun with River Song's storyline is trying to piece together in your mind who she is, why she expects the Doctor to know her, only to be heartbroken to learn he is merely meeting her for the first time. Every time we meet her in the show, she's at a very different point in her own timeline, and the more we learn about her story, the more questions we have, the more theories we have. So, if you read ahead of this paragraph and get spoiled, don't say I didn't warn you.

29 Aug 2013

Why I Keep Winning at Bandu

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Since there were no new games for me to try out this time at my table top group, I'm afraid there won't be any first time playing this week. Instead, I'm going to let myself be inspired by what happened when one of the other players decided to challenge me for a rematch in the stacking game, Bandu. I was introduced to the game within the last couple of months and have only played it a handful of times. I tend to win it, not because the other players aren't great stackers - in fact, I would say they are quite impressive in their ability to make the most insane combinations of blocks fit, probably even better than me. Still, I win in the end, not for my stacking abilities (which are pretty decent, don't get me wrong), but because of my very specific strategy. You see, I play the game like an asshole. 

27 Aug 2013

Why You Should Watch: The 4400

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Choosing a lesser known show for my second recommendation. The way I started watching it was actually pretty random. I found the first season at a second hand store for next to nothing and recalled vaguely at the back of my head that someone had mentioned in passing that this was a great show. I bought it, took it home and quickly fell in love with it. Sadly it became one of the shows that fell victim to the timing of the 2008 Writers' strike, and was cancelled before its time. A real shame, considering the show kept getting better as the seasons progressed.

26 Aug 2013

What I'd Love to See in a Fourth Fable Game

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If you know me, you'll know that Fable is one of my two very favourite gaming franchises of all time, I might even be pressed to say it is my very favourite - just slightly ahead of Legend of Zelda (I realize fellow Zelda fans are going to kick me for that comment). Just a few days ago Lionhead Studios released a trailer for their upcoming game Fable Legends, which is meant to be a prequel in their Fable franchise. Naturally the announcement of a new game in the franchise will always be a welcome one (even if it is on the X-box One, which have been taking a lot of flack from fans since the initial reveal), especially when the announcement is for a proper game, and not just another attempt at making the kinnect 'cool'.

I do, however, have slightly mixed feelings as Legends seems to be making a lot of changes (at least that is my initial impression of the trailer below and the official statement from Lionhead about it).

25 Aug 2013

Jailbreaking my Kindle: Simplifying the Process

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Now, I'm extremely grateful to the tech-geeks, who manage to figure this stuff out and is so generous to share their findings and solutions with the rest of us, but holy hell, sometimes you just end up tearing your hair out in frustration trying to find that one solution that actually works for you...

This was the case when I decided I wanted to jailbreak my Kindle for the sake of changing the screensaver images from those provided by Amazon to those of my own choosing. It seemed simple and straightforward enough; download the install-bundle, find the one applying to the specific firmware version my Kindle was running (which you find by going to the Settings page on the device). Except the specific install I needed wasn't included in the main bundle.

24 Aug 2013

How to become a Doctor Who fan

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This is completely unrelated to my regular column 'why you should watch' for the mere reason that I want to focus that column on shows of the past rather than current ones. And it's not as much that I don't have the patience to wait until Doctor Who is completed before I write it an entry in that column, rather than that I think that history has already proven Doctor Who will never truly ever be over. Even if the current show reaches an end, there will be more in some way shape or form, it's a continuous franchise not likely to ever truly die out.

23 Aug 2013

First Time Playing: Havana

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So, at table-top night this week there were several new games I could sink my teeth into, three to be precise, but Havana seemed the most promising out of the three, and it won the vote. The game is not all too hard to get into for a first timer. You have a set of cards in your colour (every player has the exact same deck of cards, just in different colours). Each card represent a type of action you could do. Some cards help you get money (from supply, from the table, from other players), some cards help you get resources (from the bag, from the table or from other players), some cards help you get workers, some cards help you in other ways (guard you from theft, reclaim already played cards, discard buildings) and some cards allow you to sabotage for the other players (remove resources).

22 Aug 2013

Why You Should Watch: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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So, my first recommendations in my new featured column is no other than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the television show version of the movie with the same title which flopped back in 1992 (man that movie sucked). The show aired from 1997 to 2003, resulting in a total of 144 episodes, divided into 7 seasons. It also got a spin-off series, Angel, which ran parallel to it from season 4 onwards. 

Granted, it's a predictable choice, and I bet a lot of people will see it as unnecessary as it already is seen as a very popular, critically acclaimed and influential show (after all there are specialized college studies that focuses on this show). But, there will always still be people out there that haven't seen it. Some might have meant to at some point, but just never got around to it. Others might have written it off because of the (purposively) silly title or the vampire theme (which has definitely been getting flack lately with Twilight becoming a phenomenon) or some other unknown reason.

21 Aug 2013

Fandom: "Why You Should Watch"

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If anyone were to ask me what my favorite medium is, it would have to be television shows. That's where I have most of my fandoms. There's just something about being able to follow the characters season after season that really speaks to me. But with the vast amount of shows being made each year, I don't always discover my favourite fandoms right away. Discovering a show after its completion can both be a good thing and a bad. The good is that you don't really have to wait for another episode, you can binge-watch to your heart's content. The bad is that what you see is what you get. You know exactly how many episodes will be left until it's all over.

20 Aug 2013

I'm not modest or self-deprecating, alright?

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One of my main hobbies, both within fandom and out is writing fan fiction and making fan videos. And a natural process of this is to share it with friends and other fans. A part of this hobby is to receive and respond to feedback, and I'm not going to lie, like any other self-respecting writer and vidder, I love getting feedback, especially praise (although I do also appreciate criticism as it really does help me learn to get better at my craft). However, some people just take it that one step further.

19 Aug 2013

The Concept of "Shipping"

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Shipping has got to be one of the most polarized aspects of fandom, regardless of fandom. Beloved and embraced by many, it can be the source for a lot of devotion and passion. On the flip side it can also potentially be a huge source for conflict, like shipper-wars (competing shippers antagonizing each other, especially on online communities and forums), and also a thorn in the side for a lot of non-shippers tired of relationship elements taking over a fandom (like characters starting out as colleagues, friends, or even enemies eventually getting involved romantically or showing clear signs of having romantic feelings for one another).

18 Aug 2013

A Basic Guide to Conventions

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A convention is a kind of gathering where fans of a particular movie franchise, television show, etc. get the opportunity to meet some of the people responsible for making their fandom a reality (like actors, writers, behind the scenes people, etc). It's been around for decades, but has become more popular in more recent years. Seeing as conventions are one of my biggest passions (plus I've received a lot of questions about my pictures, how I met those people, etc), it just makes sense to try to convert as many of you to the idea as humanly possible. So with that in mind, I've written a guide for the uninitiated to help them understand this phenomenon and perhaps even help them get started themselves.

17 Aug 2013

First Time Playing: Terra Mystica

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Wednesday night is table-top night for me. This is when my table top club has its game night, and I try to make it every time. The club has a collection of games that we use, but people are also welcome to bring any of their own, which happens quite often. The way we decide what games to play is through bringing forth suggestions and voting. We vote on the two games we would most want to play and whichever games get the most votes, those are the ones we end up playing. 

This Wednesday, one of the games winning out was Terra Mystica, a game that most of us hadn't played before. From the sheer number of different pieces, tiles, resources, scales and the like, I could tell this game would require some time to familiarize myself with. And I was right.

16 Aug 2013

The Geeky Influence In My Life

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Everyone comes into geekhood at different times and in so many different ways. Some are raised geeks from birth, some encounter their geeky influences later in life. Some are introduced to it through other people, others have more of a solitary discovery of it. But what I think every geek have in common is that one defining factor, that one moment, experience, fandom or whatever that got the ball rolling. For me that factor was a person.

15 Aug 2013

First Time Playing: Carcassonne

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This Sunday I decided to do a pretty strange thing - I entered a tournament for the game Carcassonne. The reason this could be considered strange is that I had never played or even seen the game before, I literally learned the game ten minutes before the tournament actually started. One of the other contestants taught me the game through playing a practice session with me, the whole time explaining her moves, the rules behind every tile she placed, what scoring options they gave her, and advised me on my moves. I fully recommend every newcomer to learn this game this way as it's a very quick and efficient way to familiarize yourself with the moves you have available and you can more quickly develop a strategy for your game play.

14 Aug 2013

People I do not get

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So, the one thing all geeks can relate to, regardless our passion or fandom of choice, is how often we have to hear from non-geeks just much they simply don't 'get us'. We hear it from family members, to classmates, to colleagues, to random strangers... we simply cannot get away from it. We're told how we 'have no life', how our interests are 'just a phase’, we have to defend and/or explain all kinds of aspects of our interests pretty much on a regular basis. Yet, we are always expected to see the non-geeks' point of view. I think pretty much every geek in the world is aware that not everyone shares or understand their passion and interests, but it doesn't seem like non-geeks realize that their interests can be just as baffling to us as ours are to them. So, with that in mind, I'm going to make a list of people/interests that I simply do not get...

Greetings geeks and nerdcurious

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Ta-da! New and shiny blog to completely neglect and forget about once the novelty wears out... again. Why? Because some part of me clearly loves beating a dead horse, and I'm too lazy to fully resurrect my old blog, as it belongs under a different e-mail log-in than my youtube account, and I hate having to log out of one just so I can log into the other (rinse and repeat). Thank you, google, for making our lives so much easier (read: harder) with your insistence to gather everything under your banner!

Not gonna make any grand presentation of myself, as I think the two key words in my blog title pretty much sums up the most important aspects of myself. If you're into that - cool, enjoy your stay. If you're not, but you're curious - ask away, and I'll see if I can win you over to our side (we have cookies). If you're neither, then why did you click this link in the first place?