Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BootLeG's Year In Review

As you might have guessed it from the date and timestamp from this post, it's almost the end of the year. 2009 had a lot of stuff personally that happened to me and I just felt like I should share some of that to the world. Or at least the world that gives a damn enough to read my blog. BIG THANKS TO THOSE THAT READ MY BLOG (two thumbs up). Just to let you know, I'm not going to just write stuff down in a linear chronological order, just in the most importance for me that I'm willing to disclose. But don't worry, I'll either leave links and/or dates among the things I'm listing. So here to 2009; a blog. (Sorry, it was the only thing that I could come up with at the time).

June 22, 2009 :: Of course I gotta brag about this. The birth of my third son, Logan James. Such a cute little kid when he was born. And now he's growing, and drooling, and eating solid foods, and crapping solid foods, and all the other stuff that's normal for babies to do at 6 months. Yup, he's still cute, until he decides to pee on you while changing his diapers. So much of a mess (in the physical sense of the word), but so much to love. Just like my older 2 boys, Blaine and Skyler, so much to love. And speaking of the 2 boys...

August 2009 :: They started their first days of school (well, non-homeschool) this year; and I am so proud of them and how much they're learning and adapting from homeschooling to organized schooling. It also helps that it's the Christian School that our church provides, so it's free for the most part of any of the bad influences that we didn't want our kids to be exposed to in public school at such a young age; which is one of the most important reasons why the wifie and I wanted to homeschool them to begin with. Not only that, but it's an accelerated learning program and they're learning so much and doing so much, I just can't wait to see what the end of the school year would produce in their efforts.

May 20, 2009 :: I started this blog, BootLeG'd Ramblings. Just a simple rant and rave of things that peaked my interest. And my have that grown. (That would be sarcasm in cased you missed it). But seriously, I think that it went from just some mindless self-indulging rant to bringing up something a little more solid. And I hope that I can continue to grow in 2010 and more so with my blog.

Thanksgiving Weekend :: The wifie and I have been doing ever since we got married when I was in the Marine Corps. We invite a few friends to come over and have some dinner and such because we were both away from our homes at the time. But even so now that we've done it for 7 years now, we still get a kick out of doing it. A lot of turkey, a little football, and a helluva time with some good friends... can't really ask too much more for any weekend, huh?!?

October 19, 2009 :: I get a vasectomy. That's a life-changing decision right there. I mean, to be separated from something so near and dear, all for the benefit of the wifie not to go under the knife and endure surgery getting her tubes tied; that's a noble act if I do say so myself. But it was for the greater good, and I do it again if it was possible. (Thank goodness it's not possible).

So that's what I thought was definitely noteworthy as of this post for the year 2009 in the BootLeG sampler..'s world. Now I'm sure that there's plenty more that I'm forgetting and I'm gonna get flack from it from the wifie (because she always check on my blog, gotta love her), but for now that's what I can think of. So there's to 2009, hope for a helluva time for 2010.

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Confessions of a Tech-whore

I'm in love with technology. I've been in love with it almost my entire life. I personally blame the Mattel Aquarius as the gateway to my obsession with technology and all things nerd and geeky. It was truly my first computer/console/piece of crap thing of technology that I ever had. But as time go by, technology has advanced to new heights and all I can do is just drool over all that is tech.

But I also realize that I'm a broke-ass and can't afford the luxuries that I so desperately want. And as technology advance more and more, the more and more I drool over things that are just out of reach. It's a cruel thing wanting the newest and greatest of things at the moment because in just a short amount of time, it'll be outdated. We all know that, but we're all guilty of it's beacon call. We all wanted the next big thing; whether it's a next-gen videogame console, a high-def TV and Blu-Ray player, the latest smartphone, fastest computer with the fastest internet connection available; everything under the sun and more. And just for the record, I'm not singleing out anyone, hence the title of the post in case you forgotten.

I was always fixated with technology. One of my earliest memories is my dad playing his Atari 2600 with his drinking buddies. It looked like so much fun. Then I played it a little, and I was hooked, like a junkie to the needle. It only grew worse when I got my first console at the ripe young age of 5; my NES was the shit back then, and it's still is now. And for the longest time, I was the freckin' man in my neighborhood cause I had a Nintendo, then... The SNES came out; and I was like "Ahhh, crap!!!" with the new hotness that I didn't have. Eventually I got a Sega Genesis, but that was feeling of being the man again was short lived with the next gen consoles hitting the streets. My best friend had all the consoles at the badass consoles at the time. From the NES to both the SNES and Genesis, and even a Nintendo 64 when it came out. Of course his mom and oldest sister worked at Toys-R-Us and had it held for them during it's release, so they had the hookup. And in turn, I had the hookup.

But finally as I was old enough for a job, I bought my first console (with my own money that is) on it's release day, 9.9.99; the Sega Dreamcast. In my opinion the best damn console ever made giving it's time of inception. (Honestly, the best damn console ever: I just pissed off everyone that owns a PS3 and a 360). But for what it's worth, at the time it had the best controls on its games, the most fluid graphics, and well, IT'S SEGA!!! Ya can't go wrong with Sega. Until... (ugh), the Playstation 2 came out. Then the XBox came out. Next thing you know, The Dreamcast is nothing but a memory and my elite status was shot to hell, yet again.

And the fact of having the best in electronics isn't just on the videogame aspect as well. Although, videogames are a pretty big chunk of that experience. There was plenty of instances where I longed for what I could afford and get the best for what I could get. Everything from cellphones, to camcorders, to computers. It's nothing but a big friggin' rat race. I just stopped trying to compete for the best and now I guess I can call this me being in tech-addict remission. I still want, but I know that I don't need it.

Currently, I'm working on building the computer of my dreams. It will handle normal stuff, but it'll mainly be for music production and other media storage. I want this computer to be a media center for my living room as well as if I wanted to just jam on my bass guitar, play some chords on it and record it for prosperity. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of my music to be put onto the internet for those to enjoy. But that computer is a little ways from being built and all that I can do is just build and collect little by little. But once it's done, it'll be epic. Then I'll work on getting that Playstation 3.

So for now, I'll just sit at home and watch my kids play the Wii then watch House in HD. (yeah, that's not bad if you ask me...)

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Am Gamer (Epilogue)

I almost didn't think I make it to my epilogue with my sanity trying to write this on the fly. Just wanting to give a brief (and I use that term lightly) explanation of various gamers. Sure it was mainly opinionated, but, that's what my blogs are mostly, just me shootin' the shit about whatever comes to my mind at that moment. The hard part was just the gathering of thoughts in a way that someone other than myself could understand it.
So in retrospect, I just wanted to say that there are a plethora of gamers among us. From big time non-stop gamers to those that couldn't care less if their console was collecting dust or not. I just wanted to recognize some of them (or as much as I could think of off the top of my head). Now I know that I missed out on some different variants of gamers even as I'm writing this post such as competitive gamers, videogame journalists, and well, other stuff... (can't ya tell that I'm still writing on the fly here :P...) But gamers are gamers. Even if they don't play but the one time, they're gamers. And I just wanted to created some sort of unity between all types of gamers so that... Ahh, who the hell am I kiddin', I just wanted to bitch about somethin' that's been on my chest for a while in a constructive fashion. And the fact that I got away with it, kudos. I just hope that you all had fun and not get to pissed off at me about bashing gamers and non-gamers.
So to paraphrase AC/DC :: To those about to frag, we salute you...

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...
(Holy crap, a short post for once... :P)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Am Gamer pt IV (The Non-Gamer)

Okay, so at this point of my exploration of different types of gamers, I'm getting to the part where I'm winding down to scrape the last bit of the gamer population in and make some use for them.  I am talking about a non-gamer.  And quite frankly, I don't know what to actually say about them.  It's almost like the feeling that after working on a manure pasture that you come home and step in dog shit in the front yard.  It's almost pointless, and the keyword for that is almost.  We shouldn't alienate them just cause they don't play, or play as regularly as other gamers.  We need to give them credit for at least trying and playing games on their own level.  So I'm gonna try my damndest to find some sort of degree of gaming to those 'non-gamers' and make them feel welcomed to the gaming community; as well as poke fun to them because I'm an asshole like that.
Non-gamers are a unique breed.  They're likely to not play or play extremely rarely just out of curiosity.  And it's not the fact that they don't play, it's just that what they do play aren't really considered videogames.  In fact, it's probably best for me to link the graph here again just for a refresher to show you the differences between a gamer (in general) and a non-gamer.  Now with that brief explanation said and done, let's get a little deeper into this and break down some of the various degrees of separation of non-gamers, and hopefully in the process not piss off more people than from previous attempts...
  • The Gateway Gamer :: They're like the closest to becoming a casual gamer than any other archetype of non-gamer.  Simple videogames such as old school platformers and even the occasional rhythm based game could turn them on to a new addiction.  They could have been an intense gamer until something happened and they might have the urge to fall off their videogame sobriety wagon to get back into gaming.  Another scenario would be that they could quit gaming at any time and not pick up a controller for months at a time prior to getting back in the habit.  And just because I'm an inhibitor of bad habits, they would probably like this read to get them in their gaming fix.
  • The Can't Hold a Controller Worth A Damn Gamer :: These guys are usually those that give up gaming cause they suck.  Sure they might try to pick it up again, but once they get into a button-mashing state and fail miserably, they're the first to throw their Wiimotes to the TV not by accident, but by pure rage.  Their better off playing chess in Central Park against some old blind fart in my opinion that playing a videogame.
  • The Solitaire Player :: We all know this person.  The guy that just bought this super kickass computer with Windows 7 Ultimate-Super-Kamehameha Edition Service Pack 8000 and all they do is play Solitaire or Minesweeper.  ARE YOU FUCKIN' KIDDING ME!?!  SOLITAIRE AND MINESWEEPER!?!  Dammit man, do something, install a piece of shit game from the $5 bin at Staples or run a torrent and download something, anything... Just, just... *MIND EXPOSES FROM EPIC WTF-NESS!!!*  Yeah, I don't get it either...
  • The Flash Gamer :: These people are the ones that either go to Facebook not to network and catch up with friends and family but play their apps; buy an iPhone only for playing their apps; or go onto the various flash game intensive sites to play, well, flash games.  I must note that flash games are not real games.  They're time wasters and commercial producers.  If you game on these exclusively, you're lame.  :P
  • The Too Good for Videogames Gamer ::  This is the guy that has so much on their fuckin' plate as far as work, family, and/or other activities that they can't even be near the presence of a console.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but when you're trying to be a poser and pick up a controller, it can be misleading as you being a closet gamer.  (Damn, I knew I forgot to add something from my prior post.)  But really, it's just them trying to network somehow to whomever they're playing with to hookup some other way in a different activity.  So to put it plain and simply put, they use it as a business meeting or a family reunion tool.  Lame.
  • Amish People ::  Well, duh!?!  (I just pissed off the Amish Community)  But primarily this is in regard to those that has little to do with anything electronics, nonetheless videogames.  They consist of those that might be too busy with other things such as going out and enjoying life, or doing other things in their leisure time such as reading a book or other things you see on probably those arts and crafts shows on PBS.  (BTW, Bob Ross is still the man!)
 And that as they say is that.  It's not that I discriminate on gamers and non-gamers and that everything here is black and white.  It's just that there is a lot of gray area that goes unnoticed.  And I like to expose as much of that as I can while instilling a level of being a smartass into the mix.  Simple, yet complex; much like gaming in general.  So, who's up for a game of Tetris?!?
BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Am Gamer pt III (The Casual Gamer)

So I don't know if you've read my previous two posts in my I Am Gamer synopsis, but here's a quick rundown in cause you were too lazy to click the links.  This series is about the different degrees between gamers.  In my last post of I Am Gamer, I looked at the wide world of hardcore gamers. This time around I'm talking about the casual gamer.
The casual gamer is pretty much in my opinion the general marketed public that most developers try to reach to spend millions of dollars for mostly crap games.  Sure there are some gems out there like Little Big Planet, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Wii Sports Resort, but mostly it's crap.  These gamers aren't nearly as intense in gaming as hardcore gamers and usually tend to stay towards popular franchises such as Madden or Street Fighter when the next big game of that franchise comes out.  Hey I don't blame them, they're the ones that account for practically just as much sales for games as hardcore gamers, it's just that what they show for in games are different.  While the hardcore gamer gets a game cause it's shit-hot or it's a collectible (I still have my original FFVII with case for the PSone as well as the Greatest Hits version and a bootleg copy of it for the PC), they buy games either for the cheap or rent them from Blockbuster or Gamefly.  Just cause someone has a crapload of games to show how much of a gamer they are, doesn't mean that the other guy had spent just as much, if not more on games in their time as well.  We just can't rely on sales to own anymore.  Also, just having a plethora of $60 titles won't keep the business afloat, we need those casual gamers to buy, rent, and also use and abuse the DLC and original titles that can be downloaded to their consoles for a few bucks at a time to keep up the flow of money.  And we as gamers don't want another 1983 again, don't we!?!
But back to the disection of a casual gamer.  Just like last time, there's different degrees of what a casual gamer is and they can be a different mixture of at least the following ::
  • The Glancers :: This kind of gamer that know of a popular title, might have even played a videogame or two, but just enough in the loop to know what other gamers are talking about.  They could hang with those that can post in forums about in-depth gameplay, but once they're asked for their opinion on something about a game, they're just about as lame as a turd in the middle of a manure field.
  • The Wii fanatic :: These are the people that are only into the fad of gaming.  And since Nintendo is indeed the godfather of modern console gaming, everyone knows that this little white box is the shit.  First to come out with motion controllers that are completely functional versus others that I've mentioned in a previous blog, and the novelty of owning the Wii with it being bundled with WiiSports making the game the best selling videogame title, it's not much of a hard sell.  People love the Wii.  Hell, I love my Wii and I'm not afraid to admit it.
  • Old People :: It's pretty strange to see that more and more older adults playing videogams now than before.  Definately the 40+ clique is wanting to break into games, but less than those that are more serious.  Also with old people playing more actively with such sport games for the Wii and various puzzle games for the DS and PSP they're finding a youthfulness in them that has seem to been dormant since the dawn of the first Pong cabinet.  I just find it weird that my 60-something year old father in law is actively playing his DS more than me.  PRETTY FRICKIN' WEIRD I TELLS YA...
  • Nostalgics :: Those are the ones that can't get rid of their consoles of yore.  They are the collectors and the supreme nerd of old school gaming.  They refuse to shop the Virtual Console for titles that they can just get with a little more effort in a cartridge that they have to blow the shit out of to make it work on their NES.
  • The in-the-knows :: Those guys are the ones that read up on everything, might even be able to hang with someone talking about the game, but when it comes to playing, they either epically suck or never touched a controller in their freakin' lives.  They might be labeled as posers and even evolve to some people that claim to be gamers but are not truly gamers as their fans suspect.
I personally like to call myself the middle ground between casual and hardcore gamer.  I rent a lot of the titles I play.  I'm also an old school gamer and try to play the old console titles themselves as much as I can until a suitable remake (not a rehash of the same damn concept of a great game) comes out.  Which is why I practically fell head over heals for Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on XBOX live arcade and the Playstation Network and MegaMan 9 for the Wii Virtual Console (ok, maybe that's a rehash, but it's the exception).  I play other games on occasion only in between breaks of an epic adventure.  This is also in between work, blogging, family time, and song writing.  So, yeah, it's a pretty full plate, but I make time for gaming and that's what sets me into the degree of gamer that I am.
BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Am Gamer, part II (The Hardcore Gamer)

So as I continue to explore the rather expansive pallet of gamers that are playing, I came across these articles about this dude from Taiwan practically beating WoW.  Pretty much the icing on the cake for what I'm blogging about for this feature of I Am Gamer.  I'm talking about those that are so into games that it practically engulfs their lives.  Not that there's anything wrong with that but you just have to say 'Damn, that's hardcore.'
And of course there's plenty of those out there, I mean those that are serious about gaming could only wish for that kind of determination.  Not to say that's a bad thing, hell I personally wish I had more time to play, but there are those hardcore gamers that are just so epically into all thing of such to practically be a jedi master about it.  The key to being a hardcore gamer would probably be how intense and active you are to one or a few games.  We all probably know of the type of games or at least the individual game titles that hardcore gamers play.  From a broad range of first person shooters such as the Call of Duty and Gears of War series, to sandbox games such as Assassins Creed and the Grand Theft Auto series, to MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft and Everquest.  (Yes, I still have friends that play Evercrack).  The ideal hardcore gamer is to master one or two great videogame titles at a time before moving onto a different game or set of games.  Of course like I said from my previous post, there's no set rule to that.  It depends on the degree of the gamer themselves.
There's multiple types of hardcore gamers, and they can be and combination of but not limited to the following::  (and these are my own interpretations, nothing real scientific, unless having a masters in smartassology is real).
  • The Nerd :: This guy does nothing but play games and try to become the master of that game.  Usually talking smack online to other players if playing something like Gears or organizing guilds for WoW.  Pretty much any and all social interaction with any form of carbon based life is via the internet, school, or their job.  This is the classic general example of a hardcore gamer.
  • The Convention-goers :: This is maximum extreme of a hardcore gamer.  These are the guys that goes the fan-based gaming conventions such as BizzCon, E for All, and others.  These dedicated lackeys show up in avant garde with drooling smiles on the next best thing; everything from the next next-gen console to an overpriced piece of shit expansion pack.  Some even go as far as cosplaying and making more of an ass of themselves than normal.  The only exception to this is that you have to be at least this hot to not make an ass of yourself.
  • The Brute :: This is the minimal extreme of a hardcore gamer.  These are the guys more playing the FPS and sandbox games, while trying to create an auspice of being cool and socially adept.  Typically they can be real douchebags when it comes to games where being cheap and waiting for a target to show up and snipe it down like a 12-point buck, or just some jackoff that just want to give you hell and a potty mouth of smack over XBox Live.
  • The Collins College graduate that plays games for a living :: I personally call this guy the jack-hole cause their living the dream.  Fuck you, fuck you so very very much.
And like I said from before, there's intermediate levels of gamerness within those categories. Of course like I said it's not an exact science, but it's one helluva platform to start off on.  Especially if you truly think about it, every gamer can fit into such categories from time to time, bouncing back and forth.  But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, these are what hardcore gamers are made of.

So that's my quick synopsis on the hardcore gamer.  Swift, dirty, and straight to the point.  Like most gamers want their gaming experience every chance they get to play.  Next time, I look at the various degrees of casual gamer..  But until then...

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...