I’m sorry I’m not an uber gamer

While I do play video games on occasion, I feel sometimes that others don’t understand that not everyone has the ambition or time to game 24/7. So it really bugs me when someone comes along and tries to get in my grill about how could I not know about how this or that works or what rotation is the best. I’m sorry I don’t sit on my computer and read all the forums or watch the latest video. I like my casual playing, is that too much to ask that you do your “uber” thing and I do my casual thing? Don’t ruin someone’s experience because I choose to have a life outside my computer.

While I’m at it, I don’t get your whole nerd rage at something that is just a game. I mean really, when I’m in Stormwind I don’t want to see you swearing and cussing because someone is selling the same thing as you cheaper or someone took your piece of equipment. Guess what? It’s a digital image. What happened to enjoying the experience of defeating a baddie with friends? Is it all about what “thing” you get anymore? I guess I play games to enjoy playing them, not to win imaginary things that don’t matter. But don’t worry, while you go into a rage I sit back and giggle at your expense because you just don’t even know how ridiculous you look.

Printers for Dummies

It was lovingly pointed out to me yesterday that my writing thus far has been more advertising than entertainment, and after reading over much of it I have to agree. It is not my intention to try to sell you junk that I find on the internet, so I decided to spend several hours today reading articles about geek news items. I found a few that I will be sharing over the next few weeks, and I hope that my new direction will be more appealing to you all.

On that note, The Pirate Bay has begun to post torrents for physical objects. Ok, breathe, I’ll explain it. Until recently I had no idea that 3D printers could ever exist. As I was watching a documentary about Jeff Dunham, he showed how he used a 3D printer to create the physical form of his dummies from imaging software. Printing a 3D dummy head took about 20 hours. He showed how these printers can even print moving parts, like transmission gearboxes that actually work. All of this is currently done with plastics, and the printers cost around $2,000.

The Pirate Bay has begun posting models for things like Cowboy Hats, Lawn Darts, even the trademark Pirate Ship from Pirate Bay. The goal of the 3D printing industry is to be capable of printing things like car parts, shoes, and books right at home by 2020 with metals and paper products along with their plastics (don’t ask how much the ink cartridges cost). I’m not planning to buy a 3D printer anytime soon, but the idea that I will someday be able to print computer parts is kind of amazing. The list of “Physibles” can be found here.

Happy Geeking!

-Thorngage

iWantOne

When you think of Laser Tag, what comes to mind? (That’s a lazy way of filling your head with visual imagery from my lack of writing skills).  As cool as the concept originally was, it just never evolved into a game where you could dress as Master Chief and blast each other with harmless plasma pulses and throw light grenades. Instead, it seems to have faded into a game where 7th graders can shoot at each other with modified Nintendo gear in a heavily padded basement space with black lights and terrible fluorescent paint on the walls. Well now the Geeks have stepped in to reclaim what was once ours by using modern technology.

Enter the XAPPER Gun. Being released soon on the Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone platforms, this gadget can turn your smartphone into a laser tag device to play with your friends anytime. It also has the option of shooting aliens, and what gamer tech device would be complete without a zombie mode! Using the screen of the phone along with the internal GPS, we could soon see hoards of geeks walking around our shopping malls and parking lots with toy guns shooting at nonexistent creatures that appear on a 2″x4″ screen. The XAPPER Gun can be yours for only $30, which is roughly the cost of a round or two of traditional Laser Tag.

I invite you to grab a couple of these Geek Gadgets and try them out, but be warned that it may lead to black lights and fluorescent paint being added to your basement at home.

Happy Geeking!

-Thorngage

The collector’s prize

Inspired by Dinah’s post (thank ye, Dinah), I’d like to pose the question of, “What is your favorite collectible that you own?”  As in, what is that one piece of memorabilia (or pair of shoes, perhaps) that you would never ever sell for any amount of money, no matter how broke you were?  I’m sure everyone has such a beloved artifact.

For me, it would be a tie between two things:

1) My Sailor Moon first season henshin broach.  It was the very first piece of Sailor Moon anything I ever purchased.

2) My Ariel and Eric Little Mermaid figurines, because they were the very first of my extensive figurine collection.  Figurines became my favorite childhood toy and had a huge role in developing my currently out-of-control imagination.

Of course, these things wouldn’t be worth very much anyway, so I don’t have to worry about the temptation of selling them…

The collector’s personality

So one aspect of geek/gamers I have found I just don’t understand is the collector gamer/geek. You know, the one who has to have that 30th set of dice, the one who has to have the super special box set of something because that one has a blue cover when the one they already have has a red cover. Maybe you already know someone like this, maybe this is you. Well as someone who has seen her fair share of geeks with this mentality I have to wonder, “When is it ever going to be enough?” Now I have been told that since I’m not a huge geek/gamer I just simply wouldn’t understand. Apparently there is something inherently amazing about having more set of die then one could even imagine ever using or even looking at, a comic book collection that can take up almost a whole room or owning every single book of some gaming system. I can’t relate I guess, I find nothing exciting about owning one set of dice and when I read something small like a comic in five minutes I don’t keep it for decades.

Now you may wonder where I go with this rant. Fair enough I say but let me swing something by you then oh geek/gamer…shoes. Now while I may not totally get your need to keep tons of things that are stored in boxes or bags in the back of your office/room that many have never been opened, let alone used, I will not get on your case as long as can agree to not complain that I have far too many shoes (or in my case, clothes). You keep your books, your die sets and I will have my three pairs of black heels and 3 sweaters that look very similar. Let’s agree to our own collective natures without trying to dabble into the deeper reasons behind why we feel the need to keep these certain things.

Well, unless you collect shoes and clothes too. Then you might just have to upgrade your house.

Gaining Levels and Losing Weight

Well, this is my first actual article on this site and I was back and forth on what I wanted to write about.  Now I am sure I will post many different things, but for this first outing I wanted to create something worthwhile, or at least intriguing if nothing else. While I know that all geeks and gamers are unique, I am a semi-stereotypical in some respects.  I definitely have the mindset of “IT MUST BE MINE!!!” when it comes to new merchandise involving my hobbies.  Yet it is one of the “larger” stereotypes that I am sadly a victim of and have been for years.  I am the dreaded Fat Fanboy.  I wasn’t always this way…as a young chap I was a skinny kid but then Middle School hit and I became more sedentary, liking games and TV a tad too much.  Fast-Forward to during High School when after two years as an underclassmen I grew sick of how I looked (at 240lbs) and the jokes here and there and I decided to do something about it.  Then SHAZAM! Through eating better and working my butt off I dropped 60 lbs (down to 180lbs) and joined the Track Team.  It was nuts, life in High School became a lot easier when you weren’t the fat kid and also stopped caring about what other’s thought.

Then college hit and the dreaded Freshman 15 came, and then 15 more and then 15 more and then 15 more and I was back to where I was.  But it didn’t stop there.  After college I had a relatively sedentary job, that was at times stressful and gained another 15 then another 15, then another 15 and another 15 (not quite so regular but you get the point).  I doubled what I lost going backwards.  It was like a critical failure to the gut.  I even gained about another 15 – 30 more, however I did manage to scale that back down over this last year even lost more but then gained it back.  So here I sit, for those of you counting, I am now at about 300 lbs.  While I may not be the heaviest geek you see at a convention, I am still way way way above what I want to be.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to weight loss I talk a good game, but I have shown time and time again over the last few years that I am like the DND campaign that only lasts one session, or even worse never makes it past character creation.  Best of intentions and all that.  So I thought here was a chance to put myself out there for the world to watch, hopefully this way I will be even more encouraged, scared, shamed, ridiculed and lambasted into losing the weight.  After all, the Internet can be a cruel and harsh mistress.

But not only did I want to loose weight and get in better shape, I also want to be a better person, more well rounded, as I became less, well uh, round.  Add to that the fact that this is a geek and gamer site, not just a self help place so how to make it geeky.  Then I thought why not take what I have a passion for, and combine it with what I would like to do.  In all the games I enjoy playing, my character grows more powerful.  What if I wanted to do that?  What if I wanted to be someone who is leveling up in life?

So I decided to connect my changes with a type of game I am fond of, that of DND or Dungeons and Dragons (but really any role playing game would work).  Part of this will be to create my own chart for leveling up.  Now the chart isn’t finalized yet but I believe I will start out with the DND famous Ability Scores as a way to categorize the things I want to change.

Strength (STR):  Self explanatory and pretty standard with the DND version.  I hope to increase my Strength through weight-lifting and working out.

Constitution (CON): I thought for this possibly my long distance endurance through things like running and swimming.

Dexterity (DEX): Flexibility and Balance through stretching and yoga among other things.  I am very not flexible and could use all the help I can get.

Intelligence (INT): Here I thought I should expand my mind and try to take time to study and learn things that will help me in my jobs and hobbies and to learn new skills.

Wisdom (WIS): Chores, because I know it’s not a wise thing to not do my chores.  But in addition to that I will try to be more organized and financially responsible.  This is the toughest to measure but I will try to elaborate in the future.

Charisma (CHA): Now I can actually measure this by weight loss or body measurements, but I was also thinking the old school Perform Skill for DND and incorporate skills I would like to improve such as Music, Art and Writing.

My next thing was how do I level up?  Well I think it would be fair to get 1 Experience (XP) Point for every hour I do something that would fit in one of the categories.  For starters, I believe Level 2 will be at 100 XP and one item of treasure, to be determined (maybe something on the random dice roll chart…).  I may modify this as I go and flesh out the rest of my Gaming for Losing system but I wanted somewhere to start.  If you have any ideas, suggestions, or would like to join in your self please leave a comment.  Maybe eventually I will create some character sheets!

I will try and check back each week for Weigh-In Wednesday’s and let you know how my progress is going.  If you are looking for a more day to day happenstance you can also follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/vanguard1042  and there will soon to be a twitter feed you can follow on this website to keep up with all the Guild 1042 twitter users.

Lastly in order to fully lay it out there and prepare for my next step in this adventure I need to be able to look back as a commoner to see where I have been and where I need to go.  Thus, a picture of my ogre-like physique at Level 1.

 

In the interest of full disclosure these pictures are a little old, but sadly I haven’t really lost any weight since they were taken.  If I get a chance to get some new photographs I may swap them out, but I wanted to get something started on this Wednesday February 1, 2012.  Let the adventure begin…

I’ll have what SHE’S having

In my lifetime, I have been fortunate enough to see the technological explosion that has spawned cell phones that can run your whole house, Tablet PCs, and Wikipedia, which we can all agree is really awesome. I truly believe that in my lifetime I may see the extinction of the telephone pole. On that note, I would like to share an article about a new tech gadget that may actually change everything once again.

A few months ago, a group of geeks decided to build possibly the smallest computer on earth. They built a machine that can fit in a pack of cigarettes, and you can stack them to increase their power. That’s right, our friends over at RaspberryPi have designed something that can be turned into a computer the size of your house. The best part? Each individual computer costs $25-35. Yeah. If you were to buy one each month, you could have an incredible super computer by Christmas.

Now to be fair, I’m not geeky enough to know my way around Linux, which is what this system appears to be running on. But everything is open source, and it seems their mission is to get technology to everyone for a low price. I encourage you to check them out, order one or two, and let me know what you think.

Happy Geeking!

-Thorngage

Star Trek MMO

While I’m a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek, I’ve long been more of a Trekkie.  So I was excited to discover the Star Trek Online banner while surfing around fanfiction.net.  At least I’m not too behind the times–it was released January 17th.  I spent pretty much all day yesterday and overnight to this morning downloading and installing it and hope to have time today to try it out.  Here’s how it’s described at its home site startrekonline.com:

In this free-to-play massively multiplayer online game from Cryptic Studios, players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship. Or they can become a Klingon Warlord and expand the Empire to the far reaches of the galaxy.

Players will have the opportunity to visit iconic locations from the popular Star Trek fiction, reach out to unexplored star systems and make contact with new alien species. With Episode Missions, every moment spent playing Star Trek Online will feel like a new Star Trek episode in which you are the star.

I’m especially interested to see what the combat system is like, because there’s ground and space combat, apparently.  Once I get running, I’ll post my character name, and invite everyone else to do the same!

Big Bang Theory fanfic

I won’t be starting my choose-a-path story yet, as we’re still in construction and don’t have enough members for the voting.  In the meantime, I’ll suggest a fanfiction for you to read.

I tread carefully when it comes to fanfic, because it drives me insane when characters aren’t portrayed geniune to their original selves, or when fans create really bad romantic entanglements.  But I did manage to find one fanfic that I’ve rather enjoyed so far.  It’s a fanfic of the “Big Bang Theory” TV show, written in script form, and it stays true to the characters and the geeky humor of the show well.  A new episode was just posted today, and you can read it all here:  http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2794367/

All in all, this writer has five episodes up.  There is a fan-created character involved, but one that so far integrates well with the original cast of characters.  So if you like the “Big Bang Theory” TV show, check it out!

Your Life = H4XX0R3D

I began reading through a few of the neat little tricks at Lifehacker.com the other day, and was amazed at the ingenuity of some people. If you haven’t checked out their site, it is full of cool ideas on how to change miniscule details about your life by using geek logic. For example, they did an article showing how you can turn a bag of instant oatmeal upside down, cut the bottom off, and fill the pouch with hot water to eat it right out of the bag when there isn’t a bowl handy. Another article shows how using a metal or wooden spoon (be careful, the wood can warp) to place on top of a pot of boiling water to keep it from boiling over when you aren’t watching. Did some prick on Wall Street come up with this idea? NO!  A geek with a see-through computer case, 4 cats, and posters of vampire gargoyles did.

The article I would like to draw attention to today is how to Seal Plastic Bags with Aluminum Foil and an Iron. I have tried this trick, and it really does work. Take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it over the opening of a plastic bag, like egg noodles, brown sugar, even coffee. Then use an iron to heat the foil and melt the plastic together for a tight seal.

Lifehacker has a great variety of subjects to read about, some of which are pretty smart, others are kind of dumb and useless, but all of them entertaining. I definitely encourage you to at least give it a lazy pass by to check it out.

Happy Geeking!

-Thorngage

What have I gotten myself into…

Hey, Dinah here. As far as being a geek or gamer, I guess I’m a part-time gamer. No I don’t know the latest mmo, I don’t know which stats belong with which character (fighters need high charisma right?), I don’t know the difference between all the table top rpg’s (aren’t they all just D&D?) and I definitely don’t follow the writers, artists or such of any geek/gamer related anything on twitter. But what I do know is what it is like to be the other half of a geek/gamer. So while I don’t dive head first into the geek world I can drop some knowledge from someone who sits on the sidelines and maybe even gets in the game those last two minutes of the fourth quarter.(see what I did there? That’s a sports analogy. Much more my thing) Sometimes it’s neat to see the geek/gamer world from a different perspective.

‘Ello

‘Ello, I’m Padma (no, not Padme; Padma means “lotus” and is the name of a Hindu deity, which is way cooler than a prequel princess, thank you).  I’m here for the fiction writing aspect of geekdom.  I’m hoping as we gain more members that we can maybe get some turn-based collaborative writing going.  But my foremost duty is to provide you with something to read and entertain you.  Each week, I will post a new chapter of an ongoing story.  And each week, the end of the chapter will include choices so that you, the members, can vote on what will happen next in the story!  The first story I write will be a fantasy genre, but if this project goes well, I’d also like to do a sci-fi along the line.

So check up on Padma’s Pathway every Monday for a new installment in the story (because Mondays suck, and maybe a choose-your-own-adventure might help it suck less), and you will have until midnight Wednesday to cast your vote for the next installment.

Tools for the Everyday Geek

So recently I was surfing through Thinkgeek.com, a website that my brother turned me on to. The site features all sorts of things for the everyday geek. Most of them are frivolous wastes of money, like the laser light star projector for only $169.99 (cool as it is, nobody NEEDS this). Then I happened to stumble upon an item that I couldn’t come up with a negative response to. For only $5.99 they offer a set of chopsticks that have a fork and knife at the other end. Think of all the times you have tried to show off your chopstick skills while eating sushi or some other Asian inspired food, only to reach the inevitable point of needing a fork when you want to dig into your 2 quarts of something fried rice. Well now you can whip these babies out from your shirt pocket (don’t scratch the cover of your iphone when you do) and impress those who lack the manual dexterity to wield chopsticks, while showing the humility of using real silverware like the lazy American that you are!
Thinkgeek offers a wide variety of geek eating utensils, like Chimpsticks, Titanium Sporks, and Samurai Sword Chopstick sets. If you want to check out this item, or perhaps order and send a few sets to me, you can see them here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/e86a/?pfm=homepage_Featured_8_e86a

Happy Geeking!

-Thorngage

Subliminal Ebb

Salutations and welcome to the craze! As we get settled I just wanted to say hello to all those coming to take a look at the Guild’s site. I am Meridian, I shall be helping to cover a gamer girl’s point of view and focusing more on the things you can do to make your geek lifestyle work for you!

Everything from stargate cupcakes to call of cthulu dice bags for those who can knit. My little corner is going to be everything from my point of view on up and coming games I have tested, short stories and reviews on conventions. I should be attending PAX Prime this year and look forward to covering that for you!

But all in all! Welcome and pull up a chair!

~Meri

Welcome Everyone!

Hello fellow geeks, nerds, techies, and con-artists (As in convention. See what I did there?)! I am Thorngage and I look forward to sharing a few entertaining tidbits, hobbit humor (if you don’t get it, don’t worry. We can have the half-orc explain it to you), and rants and raves about gaming and tech issues. I may even share a few amusing stories from the world of telephone tech support. Stay tuned!