Casual v. Hardcore Gamers

I know it has been a while since we have had a chance to update the site but things have been crazy this holiday season. Fortunately things are slowing down and I have had a chance to play some games and listen to some podcasts. I also have the chance to vent a little. Ever since I was a young gamer I have heard people talking about what it takes to be considered a hardcore gamer. In the media we are portrayed as Cheeto eating, Mountain Dew drinking nerds who spend their days alone in a dark room only illuminated by our televisions.In the gaming community some think that you have to own every console and play games dating back to the 70s and 80s. I personally think this is crazy.

All gamers should have a some sort of knowledge of gaming history (depending on when they were born) but having a collection of old consoles and games is not be a reality for all people. When I was younger when something new came out I had to trade in my old games because I was broke. Now that I am older I have to trade in old games because I am broke. Money is a major issue for a lot of people out there. Especially those with children. For those who are able to have these massive collection more power to you, but don’t strip away someone’s gamer card because they can’t do the same.

A casual gamer (in my opinion) is someone who really doesn’t play many games outside of a group or social setting. I would compare them to a casual or social drinker. They play games because they are there or because other people are playing at the moment. Real hardcore “Video Game Nerds” would disagree with me. I have heard SOME of these self proclaimed video game aficionados label those who spend most of their time playing Call of  Duty, Halo, or any sport game as a casual gamer. I can’t get jiggy with this. I feel that if a person devotes a certain amount of time and dedication to a single game and all of its mechanics, that is considered hardcore. I have never heard anyone call a world of WarCRACK player a casual gamer and anyone who can snipe me in the face while spinning off of the top of a building is definitely hardcore.

With that being said, I think that there are many different types of hardcore gamers. There are hardcore gamers that only play one game like Street Fighter or Halo. I cannot justify calling someone who makes a living off of only playing Madden or Unreal Tournament a casual gamer, but in the eyes of many that’s what they would be. A hardcore gamer to me is anyone with a genuine love for games. I don’t have a problem with someone sticking to on genre as long as they are playing games.

Of course, everything that I have said is my opinion. I know that there are those out there that won’t agree with what I say and that’s okay. With that being said…..what are your opinions on the subject?


Aaaaahhhhmmm Baaaaaacccckkkkk

Finally was able to fix my Xbox 360 woes, my Xbox has been out of commission for some time now. About two months and it was a very very painful two months. With titles like Fable 3 “if anybody knows me, I love the Fable series” and the new Star Wars game dropping I was really in a bad mood about not having an Xbox. Not to mention the $100 price tag Microsoft tried to make me pay to fix my old console.

$100 and a new Xbox costs $300? So I saved and was able to get the new Xbox “minus kinect” on Friday and i love it. You can’t even hear it while it’s running. This thing is SILENT! Oh, and the built-in wifi is a great touch too! Yep, So…. I was able to get a brand new Xbox right before the highly anticipated release of Call of Duty Black Ops. I’ll be getting Black Ops on release day and I’m ready to get it in!

Add me on XBL. Gamertag Barack Odrama X.

p.s. I’ll also be picking up Fifa 11 “I only play with Inter Milan… Gol! Eto’o!” and maybe NBA2k11 in the near future.

Kinect Review – TV mount not included? no Netflix??

Anything missing from this picture?

Well folks,  its been a little over 18 hours since Kinect was release on the east coast and I still need to catch up on some sleep.  I spent the early morning hours setting up Kinect and marveling at all the things we’ve drooled over watching demonstrations.   Now that the “honeymoon” phase is over  I can get down to reviewing the product.

I like it.  Simply said. But there are things that I’m not happy with. So I’ll start with the cons and then talk about how much I enjoyed it.  😀

The first surprise was to find that the mount attachment for placing Kinect on top of your flat panel TV is NOT INCLUDED….. YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY NOT INCLUDED.   This was a disappointment  especially after seeing video after video and demonstration after demonstration where the Kinect was featured mounted above the television.  Would it have really been so hard to put this little piece of plastic in the box Microsoft?   Imagine my dismay when I saw this….


How much could they possibly sell this for? Anything above 5 bucks would just be robbery.  Look Gates, we’re already buying a NEW version of the Xbox360  and a NEW peripheral, you could at least give us a mount to put it on our LCD/Plasma/LED/….  for $150 bucks I should be able to mount it on my HEAD!

Moving on…

“XBOX PLAY…………NETFLIX PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!………………….XBOX STOP……….um NETFLIX STOP??……………….uh  HELLO??????????????????????

So after a little two sided tape and a WOOOO-SAH, I jumped into the dashboard to find another disappointment. Remember the product vision,  all the families having a great time watching Netflix together?  Yeah? Me too, well it turns out that the Netflix application is not yet “Kinect Ready”  I was unable to find anyway to control the Netflix application with the Kinect sensor.  Furthermore don’t get excited about navigating ANY of the regular menus with Kinect.  As far as the dashboard goes  you have to enter the ‘Kinect Hub’ somewhat of a sub menu to the actual dashboard.   I wonder why this was  still needed after the huge overhaul the dashboard took for the fall update???  Personally I would prefer to be able to control any and every part of the 360 dashboard with the Kinect Sensor… but that’s just me I guess.   *SHRUG*

One other tidbit on the CONs side is the distance requirement.  The Kinect expects that you be at least 6 feet away from  the Kinect sensor.   Is that average? Go check out your living room now and measure the space between the TV and the couch.. I’ll wait




Is your living room tall enough to go on this ride???  Chances are, it isn’t.  Kinect Adventures actually suggests that you move furniture if you can.  While I can get over this and calibrate the sensor to adjust for the small play space, this isn’t something their telling you before you buy.  Mom’s and Dads beware,  before your kids turn your family room into a gymnasium.  😀

Don’t misread me guys, I don’t HATE the Kinect, I think like many I was pulled into the hype and expected a perfect product. Lets hope some software patches fix some things ( ahem.. Netflix) and we can all move forward amicably.

Now for the good stuff.  Kinect does live up to its reputation in many other ways. Its really fun moving around in the ‘Minority Report’ style we all have been waiting for.  The responsiveness is extremely smooth and surprisingly accurate. People will want to call this a ‘Wii Killer’ but its simply a new animal, completely set aside from the Wii. It has some of the same quirks we saw with the Wii launched and the same basic functionality games at launch.   We’ve all seen how the Wii has continued to give developers a chance to be creative, so I’m excited about future titles for Kinect.  ‘The Micheal Jackson Experience anyone????’   Pardon the nerd moment but I think we’ve all danced like the King of Pop in our living room at some point, now we’ll have an excuse.  Sources say it wont be released until March of 2011.  I think its worth the wait.

Somewhere between being able to navigate the Zune and ESPN apps with a wave of my hand or  Telling the XBOX to pause when the phone is ringing and a video is playing, I was impressed!!!   The sensor does a great job of recognizing your voice, unlike many of the other voice recognition technologies that mistake  “Play Next Track” for “Disable Bluetooth”   😐

The games are fun, it ties in the more casual gamer, and to add a tag line that everyone seems to love nowadays,  ‘This changes everything, again’

I’ll be reviewing  ‘Your Shape: Fitness Evolved’ on my next post, stay tuned!!

Star Clipper Day

Star Clipper is a comic book store in St. Louis’ U City Loop. Today they are celebrating their sixth anniversary in the Loop location. They will be having Caricature drawings, Trivia, Costume Contest (sponsored by Kid Robot), and a live dj. If you get a chance today stop by.

Star Clipper is located at:
6392 Delmar Blvd. in the Loop!
St. Louis, MO 63130

Store Hours:
Sun-Thu 11:00 – 8:00
Fri-Sat 11:00 – 10:00


Resident Evil: Afterlife

Yesterday I decided to go see Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D which is the newest installment in the Resident Evil series. While watching the commercials for the movie I saw that Wesker made an appearance in this installment. This made me curious to see how this character was going to be portrayed and made this a must see for me. In the first few minutes of the film you can tell that his character is rather corny and not as cool as they make him the the Resident Evil games. He is rather dry and reminds me of a character from a SyFi channel original.  Anywho…… Wesker aside I enjoyed the movie. Since the beginning of the series we see that the movies don’t really follow the games.  They introduce characters and likenesses but it’s just not the same.  They have some returning characters from previous films and some new faces are being introduced to the series.  I have seen all the movies in the series and I enjoyed them all despite the fact that it doesn’t truly follow the canon of the original story.  Sometimes you have to take yourself away from the source material to enjoy something.  I may have a totally different view than many Resident Evil fans (purist even).  If you are a fan of Resident Evil in any way I suggest seeing this movie. It is at the lease entertaining.


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