Archive for the ‘News’ Category


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October 1
2013

GaymerX2 Goes Bigger in 2014

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With 2,300 attendees this past August, the very first GaymerX got industry-wide attention for being one of the only conventions to openly celebrate gamers from the LGBTQ, female and minority communities. For its second year, the handily renamed GaymerX2 or GX2 is moving up to the swanky InterContinental Hotel in the SoMa (South of Market) district in San Francisco. Running from July 11th through July 13th, attendance is expected to rise to more than 3,500 gaymers and their allies.

The featured speakers – dubbed Bosses of Honor – are also expected to increase. Returning from last year’s program are famed Valve game voice actors Eileen McLain and John Patrick Lawrie, along with webcomic creator Zack Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) and musical guest Aethernaut. They will be joined by industry vet and former International Game Developer’s Association Executive Director Gordon Bellamy, games activist Mattie Brice, writer Jaime Woo, Senior Bioware Writer David Gaider, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and sci-fi author/blogger John Scalzi. New musical guests will include 2Mello and Super Soul Bros.

Those wishing to help out at next year’s convention, or just looking for more info, can contact site@gaymerconnect.com.

Get your badges now at Gaymerconnect.com

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2013

Pokémania Hits NYC!

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If you’re a huge Pokémon fan, then you’re probably super-excited about the worldwide release of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y on October 12. But if you just so happen to be a Pokémon fan in the New York City area, and are dedicated/crazy enough, you might be interested to know that there’s going to be a massive launch event the night before at the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center!

That’s right, on October 11, from 8pm to 1am, there’s going to be a madhouse of Pokéfans surrounding the store. And I do mean surrounding, because that’s where they stretch the line. All the way around the block. Seriously, you should see the video of the line for Pokémon Black and White… oh wait, you can! I took a video of it for you that day!

The game will go on sale at midnight, but during the rest of the hours, there will be kiosks featuring the game (in case you didn’t already know you wanted it, you can demo it, I suppose), a DJ spinning tunes, Pokémon trivia, giveaways, and a costume showcase, so dress up as your favorite Pokécharacters! Naturally, Pikachu himself will be on hand for photo ops.

Of course, this is the same weekend as New York Comic Con, but I have no doubt some Pokémon faithful will already be in line the day before. Especially those without NYCC tickets! As for me, I’m still working out my full schedule for the con, but I should be able to get there before midnight so I’ll have pictures and footage of the chaos to share with you all!

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September 25
2013

Choose Spikes Or Spandex In The PS3 Batman: Arkham Origins

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If you’re like me and own multiple consoles on which you play your games, you might sometimes encounter the occasional multiplatform title where you find yourself wondering which version to get. Sometimes one system will have better graphics, or maybe one has bonus features the other doesn’t. Well, in the case of the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins, Sony has snagged a pretty nifty exclusive bonus.

The PlayStation 3 version of the game will include two additional skins for the Dark Knight: Knightfall Batman and Classic TV Series Batman. The Knightfall Pack also includes three additional Combat Maps and two bonus Predator Maps.

The Knightfall costume is kind of awesome with its ’90s-style spikes and extraneous belt pouches (on the thigh?), but it’s the Classic TV Series Batman that gave me pause. The costume looks amazing, but as you’ll see in the trailer below, it doesn’t exactly fit in the grim and gritty world of the Arkham games. The Knightfall costume doesn’t look nearly as out of place. Although it did set me to dreaming of an awesome Classic TV Series Batman game where everything would be all colorful and pop art with fight scenes full of sound effects bursting out of the screen… Now that’s a Batman game I’d love to play!

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September 19
2013

Try Wii Fit U For Free!

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In an unexpected special Nintendo Direct presentation this week, Nintendo finally announced a release date for Wii Fit U. And instead of burning off your holiday feasting at the end of the year, you’ll be able to start a little earlier than that by working off your Halloween candy. Wii Fit U will be released to the Nintendo eShop on November 1!

The game will be available in physical retail copies at stores beginning on December 13, but from November 1 through January 31, you’ll be able to purchase it from the Nintendo eShop for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. That’s right, just like a gym membership, Nintendo is offering up a month-long trial period for Wii Fit U to get you hooked! As long as you already have a Balance Board and a broadband internet connection, you’ll be able to download the full game to your Wii U and get started burning calories with 77 different activities, including 19 new training activities. And I can tell you from personal experience that this game can make a difference.

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2013

Dating Phoenix Wright!

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Handsome (if imaginary) ace attorney Phoenix Wright is very dateable. Meaning that Capcom has dated the release of the new Nintendo 3DS title Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies! It will be available as a digital download from the Nintendo eShop in North America and Europe on October 24!

Not sure exactly what the reasoning is behind the digital-only release, but if it’s concern that a physical game wouldn’t sell enough to justify the production costs, that’s fine. At least they’re releasing it somehow! And it’s only going to cost $29.99 (or 24.99 Euro), so that’s nice. (Digital releases should always be cheaper than the physical ones, in my opinion, but they rarely do…)

Plus, as a bonus, Capcom has also revealed that the Western release of Dual Destinies will also receive the costume pack and additional episode “Turnabout Return” which is currently available for the Japanese release. More details on the DLC are coming soon. Now I just have to figure out what I’m supposed to do since Pokémon X and Y are coming out not even two weeks before this! The 3DS has two screens, but can only play one game at a time!

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September 12
2013

GaymerConnect and GayGamer Join With Extra Life

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When Rebecca Wilson of the Children’s Miracle Network handed me a tiny blood pressure strap I nearly broke down right then and there, in a hospital hallway. Small enough to wrap around my pinkie, this strap is one of many keys to saving the lives of premature babies (or preemies, as they are affectionately called) that most facilities don’t keep in regular stock.

The Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland has been using specially designed equipment like this for nearly 100 years as one of the country’s most renowned childcare-centric hospitals. The humble campus is the only hospital of its kind in its entire region, with young patients literally being flown in via helicopter to receive the kinds of care they can’t receive anywhere else. (Side note: the hospital’s helipad is awesome.)

Children’s, the first dedicated ‘baby hospital’ in the West, was founded on the ideal that no child would ever be turned away. This ideal has not been lost in the better part of a century that the hospital has been operating. From cancer to sickle cell disease all the way to AIDS/HIV, Children’s lives up to its founders’ dreams. In fact the very first case of AIDS/HIV found in a child was treated here.

The hospital boasts one of the single highest retention rates staff, despite being a 100% not for profit organization. Rebecca shared with me a story of a young girl who was told by one hospital that following an accident her foot needed to be amputated, but at Children’s the doctor took the risk to actually treat this patient and attempt reconstruction despite the challenges and cost involved.  Again, no child is turned away, even for a lack of funds or insurance coverage. Treatment before profit. Health before business.

Last week I had the privilege of joining GaymerConnect on a tour of this amazing place as part of our joint support for it via an event known as Extra Life.

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September 11
2013

Blinded By the Child Of Light

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I was seeing some buzz for a game called Child of Light on Twitter, so I clicked the link to watch the trailer. I was immediately drawn in by the utterly breathtaking art style, but then wary as it initially appeared to be a platformer. But then as a battle began and it looked like an RPG, I was sold.

Developed by a small team at Ubisoft Montreal, Child of Light uses the UbiArt Framework, which is a graphics engine that allows the programmers and artists to insert unedited concept art into the game and bring it to life. Which explains the gorgeous hand-drawn graphics. The effect is stunning.

“Ubisoft’s strengths include its diversity and the freedom it gives its creative teams,” said Patrick Plourde, Creative Director, Ubisoft. “We want Child of Light to be like a playable poem, a love letter to art and video games.”

Child of Light is meant to be a re-imagining of classic fairytales, where you will control Aurora, a child stolen from her home who explores the magical painted world of Lemuria in order to bring back the sun, moon and stars all held captive by the Queen of the Night. It will be released in 2014 for all current and next-gen consoles as well as PC. Crazily, the game is from the creative director of Far Cry 3! But watch this trailer and tell me you’re not completely intrigued…