The Mommy Gamers

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Daniel Napier

    Movie Review: The Nut Job

    nut-jobI would first like to say I’m not normally a movie critic, I’m just a daddy that has a young son. I base my recommendations off  what my son enjoys, and if I can enjoy the movie as well. That being said lets get down to what the movie is described as:

    A comedy in fictional Oakton that follows the story of Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a elaborate scheme of amazing proportions to rob a nut store  and unknowingly find themselves enter-twined in a much more complicated plot.

    the-nut-job-movie-photo-11-thumb-600x337-45170I describe the film as a mediocre animated story about a anti-hero squirrel and his rat companion as they strive at a chance at redemption. The movie relies mostly on slap stick comedy and fart jokes to illicit laughter. Normally this is funny to my five year old… but my son laughed a total of four times. He laughs more at a Phineas and Ferb episode in 30  minutes than he in this 90 minute snooze-fest.

    The voice acting is decent at times and then in other points it is as if the voice just doesn’t match the facial reactions. The only redeeming points in the film happen five minutes before the end of the movie, which I won’t spoil for those intent on watching it. I however would like to say this, do yourself a favor  and spend your money elsewhere.

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    Kids, Movies, Rants
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    Xbox Games With Gold: Get Your Lara Croft On

    Lara-Croft

    If you have a Xbox Live Gold account you can download Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for free until January 31st.

    This is the first ever co-op action-adventure game featuring Lara Croft. You and a friend can play co-op or you can go solo and explore and solve deadly traps, kill off massive groups  of undead enemies and monsters, collect over 60 artifacts and more in this title. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light offers twin stick shooting, and platform gaming shown through an isometric view. Several review sites have given this game 90/100 or 9/10 scores for it’s action, gameplay and amazing visuals. Normally it goes for $14.99… so get it while it’s free!

     

    Why Extra Life?

    extralifeextralifeextra-life_thumbAlthough Extra Life (the 24 hour gaming marathon fund raiser for the Children’s Miracle Network) doesn’t take place until October 25th, eager participants are already signing up and raising funds. Why are thousands of gamers joining already? What is the pull for gamers to do do extraordinary feats to help out with this charity? Well I can’t speak for them, but I can tell you why I Extra Life.

    This past week three of our four man team had the opportunity to tour the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the hospital we support through our Extra-Life gaming fundraising. To put it succinctly, it was amazing, inspiring and humbling all rolled into one.

    Members of Team Pike gaming for Extra Life

    Members of Team Pike gaming for Extra Life

    The first thing the guys noticed was the art… from pieces from local artists to children’s paintings. it made the colder looking white and teal walls (which they all said they are working on changing and renovating) brighter and welcoming to children of all ages. The second thing I noticed was how comfortable the atmosphere was. Not once did I see anyone looking stressed or hurried. Everyone was all smiles and looked like they loved their jobs.

    Now I could go on all day spouting facts off on everything I learned about KCH. The point I’m trying to make is this… I have now seen what a difference these dedicated doctors and nurses, as well as every other staff member, make in every child’s life that they take care of. I have heard countless stories before my tour, and I’m sure I’ll continue meeting people with their own stories, of how well patients are treated at the hospital. These outstanding people deserve our help.

    Team Pike group

    I want these people to never have to worry about a piece of equipment that they need, the only thing I want them to worry about is taking care of our local kids… that is the way it should be. I have a healthy and active five-year-old son that I love with all my heart. I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I know there are plenty of moms and dads that do not have that piece of mind. That is why I do my part in Extra Life.

    Extra Life has given me more than I have ever put into it, I have met friends that I thought I would never see face to face, got to make new ones, and I have met some gaming industry movers and shakers. But most importantly raising money for Extra Life given me a greater sense of what really counts in this world…. the giving of ones self for another human being.

    Age of Zombies launches for PS Vita

    AgeOfZombies_bannerAge of Zombies is a port of a mobile frantic twin-stick shooter from Halfbrick, (makers of Fruit Ninja and  Jetpack Joyride), where players take on the role of Barry Steakfries. Barry is described as “part 80s action hero and part time-travel extraordinaire”

    zombiesThe enemies rage from zombie ninjas, mummies, cavemen and even a undead t-rex while fighting through time periods to halt a zombie apocalypse.

    The story mode takes players through levels filled with various weapons, while the protagonist dispenses funny one-liners in the midst of battling the onslaught of zombie hordes. There is also a survival mode where players can then test their skills, racking up higher scores with bigger kill chains.

    Age of Zombies for PS Vita is being touted as “the definitive version of the Halfbrick classic, remastered and redefined in its first ever truly dual-stick debut.”

    The game is rated T for Teen and retails for US$4.99.

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    Games, Video Games
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    After watching “Morning Joe” I’m switching to decaf…

    morning-joe-poster

    After watching a clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe. (Thanks to the guys at Kotaku“)  I was a little ticked off. Actually I was furious. But before I go off on my rant, here is what  Joe Scarborough said about this young generation…

    [quote] Men in their twenties, who unfortunately I think are weak, and stay at home, and play videogames and are weak, weak, weak and un-marriable! They’re just…there are no good men out there! Other than my son and his friends.[/quote]

    He was referring to the opinion of the apparent shifting of gender roles and women breadwinners. And obviously trying to help his son and his friends get noticed by the ladies. (Thanks for the plug, “Dad”.)

    So let me talk to Mr. Scarborough directly… I know many men out there that are in their twenties that have more physical strength and mental fortitude in their little pinky than you have in your whole body. I of course am talking about the men that protect and serve their country in the armed forces … and most of them enjoy video games. (I know that the women do the same thing in our military and are just as important, but since his statement was about men and not ladies I’m trying to make a point that there are more than just a handful of good men out there)

    I also have a neighbor who is in his early twenties. He works a full time job, goes to college making amazing grades. He also loves to play video games and treats his lady with love and a respect that all women deserve. So where do these people fall in your stereotype?

    Maybe you are just generalizing gamers… not the generation of twenty-somethings. Maybe you didn’t say it, but your tone was almost like you’re implying that anyone that plays video games is weak. Well get your butt out in the real world Joe… you obviously have let fame go to your head.  We are not shut-in’s living in our mom’s and dad’s basements. The gamers I know personally are intelligent passionate and hard working members of society. They are doctors and nurses, coal miners and farmers. True salt of the earth people. I would also like to point out that the average gamer is 36 years old Joe… that’s right thirty six.  Sure, maybe the young men that you see on a day to day basis are weak. But wait a second… How many twenty year olds do you hang out with or know other than your son and his friends and the interns that bring your coffee to you? Don’t try and pigeonhole gamers in a decades old stereotype. Gamers cannot be defined by any other way than their love of games.

    I guess what it all boils down to is something more sad than anything. I imagine it must be hard for you… working in your air conditioned TV studio. I guess working for the media, you really don’t get out much hence the white pasty skin that has to be covered up with a boatload of makeup. You’re fed lines on a teleprompter. So you’re basically told what to say, how to say it… and when to say it. You’re just a puppet on a string for a right wing agenda. Not that I’m saying that is a bad thing… it must be easy for you to accept your fate for the ability to continue to be in the limelight after your career in politics. You did leave politics to help raise your children, right? It’s almost like your teaching your son that mocking something you don’t know anything about makes you look better. Kinda like a bully.

    And we all know what happens to bullies… they always fall from their pedestal.

     

    [box type=”info”] Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, opinion or position of The Mommy Gamers.[/box]

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    Happy Birthday X-Files

    xfilesThis week The X-Files turned 20. I remember watching each episode with bated breath as my two favorite F.B.I. agents would search for the elusive “Truth” that aliens existed, believing that there was a collective group keeping them from exposing the truth to the world. But I also loved what were affectionately called “Monster of the week” episodes. To celebrate the 20th anniversary, IGN.com posted their top ten stand alone episodes. Being the huge fan of the show that I am, I was intrigued on what they had to say. I respect them for their game reviews and most media coverage. However I was a bit upset with their list.

    You can check their article out here. Go on… click the link.
     Read it and come back…I’ll wait

    Mulder scullyNow far be it from me to expect everyone to have the same tastes as myself. But the article in question was written by not one, but five different authors. There shouldn’t be any errors to fall through the cracks, however… they messed up in a few aspects. First off, Pusher is NOT a stand alone episode. There was a sequel in which the villain, Robert Modell, returns. That episode is aptly named Kitsunegari. I’m assuming that this was a screw up because they never mentioned any other two time returning villains anywhere in their list and I’d bet that most fans would consider Victor Tooms or Donnie Pfaster to be way more memorable.

     

    Also, there is an episode on the list that was all about the possibility that Mulder’s sister was murdered and not abducted. Mulder’s sister Samantha was a huge story arch in the  the show. In my humble opinion it shouldn’t be considered a stand alone episode. Some could say that is debatable since Wikipedia had stated that it wasn’t relevant to the overall mythology. Of course Wikipedia has never had any entries be wrong before…. right? Ahem..

    out thereI would also wager that most people that followed the show more closely than IGN’s panel of pundits would remove the episodes Drive and Darkness Falls from the list as “most memorable” and would replace them as well… but obviously, the list is going to be different from every ones interpretation of what is memorable and all.

    Now I don’t disagree with the whole list, half of it I can agree on with a possible change of a sixth one with plenty to back up my case on why it is more memorable. However let me give you what I feel are some of the best stand alone episodes of the X-Files with a few extra tidbits of information that you may not have known about the show.

    In no particular order… I give you the top ten of Monster of the Week episodes

    ICEIce: This episode had Mulder and Scully sent to Alaska to investigate the deaths of an Alaskan research team that were studying ice cores. This may have had some of the worst special effects of the show’s history. But it is the story of “who can you trust” is what makes this one of the best. My favorite line is when Mulder and the other men have to inspect each others bodies for a parasite like worm. ” Before anyone passes judgment, may I remind you, we are in the Arctic.”

    the hostThe Host: Mulder and Scully after being reassigned to different departments in the beginning of the second season, investigate a body found in sewage. This results in the discovery of a bizarre fluke-man. This product of the Chernobyl accident goes on a murderous spree in the sewers of New Jersey. One side note. The person in the fluke-man costume was Darin Morgan. He would become the person behind four more of the most memorable episodes on this list.

    Small Potatoes: A small town is “blessed” by babies being born with tails. Mulder and Scully arrive only to encounter a suspect, Eddie Van Blundht, played by Darin Morgan, as the biological father, but how he was able to get these women pregnant is the real surprise. This was one of the many episodes written by Vince Gilligan creator of Breaking Bad.

     

    beyond the seaBeyond the Sea: After the sudden death of her father Scully is placed back on with Mulder to investigate a kidnapping of a young couple and a death row inmate claiming that he has a psychic link to the crime. The inmate says and will assist in the rescue of the victims if he is given a commuted sentence. This had Mulder and Scully reversing their usual roles of “believer” and “skeptic” for the first time in the series.  The story is very much like Silence of the Lambs… but with a paranormal twist.

    humbugHumbug: This story was written by Darin Morgan aka. fluke-man. It involves the murder of a circus performer and some of the casting of this show were actual sideshow performers including Jim Rose and The Enigma (his name before he had it legally changed was Paul… true story…). This was a witty and somewhat disturbing episode, but it is undeniably memorable. The music and lighthearted nature of the characters made this stand out amongst the nine seasons of the show.

    SyzygySyzygy: Mulder and Scully investigate the murders of high school students in a small town where everyone is acting strangely. Eventually discover that two teens are responsible, due to a rare planetary alignment that gives them the ability to manipulate the world around them. This one had a great exchange between the main characters since they too seemed to be affected by the strange alignment of the planets. Mulder: “You don’t suppose she’s a virgin, do you?” Scully: “I don’t even think she’s a blonde.”

    TSDXFIL FE003Home: This one was the first time I ever saw a parental warning before the show aired… The episode was filled with diabolical booby traps, inbred villains, and had a Texas chainsaw massacre feel. The only thing that broke the intense scenes were the fact that the sheriff’s name was Andy Taylor and his deputy was named Barney.

     

    Clyde Bruckmans Final ReposeClyde Bruckman’s Final Repose: Yet another episode penned by the talented Darin Morgan. This one involved Mulder and Scully investigate murders of fortune tellers. The two are assisted by a reluctant and strange fellow who possesses the ability to envision how people are going to die. This was a very heartwarming tale that won two Emmys one for the writing and one for Peter Boyle’s performance as Clyde Bruckman.

     

    outer spaceJose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’:  Mulder and Scully investigate, a story about an alien abduction of two teenagers. Each character provides a different version of the same facts with hilarious results on screen. Within the episode, writer, Jose Chung, writes a book about the incident. This one had everything from Charles Nelson Reilly as Jose Chung and Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek as Men in Black. An instant classic.

    War of the CoprophagesWar of the Coprophages: the last one that has any dealings with the writer Darin Morgan. This stand alone episode was all about the possibility of robotic alien bugs and mass histeria add on a sexy entomologist named Bambi and you have a highly entertaining episode.

     

     

     

    Die Hand Die VerletztDie Hand Die Verletzt: Last but not least, this episode Mulder and Scully are called to a small town after a teenager dies in an incident with strange occult-like undertones . At the same time, the town seemingly conservative teachers are in fact devil worshipers attempting to hide their tracks because they apparently have no involvement in the murder. During the investigation, the devil visits the town in the guise of a substitute teacher.

    The X-Files has expanded from the television to the big screen to video games, comic books, collectible cards and toys. There is rumors of a possible third movie as well as a new series of comics to pick up where the last movie left off… but time will tell. Until then… Trust No One

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    Five Predictions for GTA V

    GTAV

    September seventeenth is quickly approaching and with that date comes the new game from Rockstar that will be on the lips of many gamers… Grand Theft Auto V. With the big hype surrounding this last installment of the series for this console generation, I thought I’d try to see how many predictions I could get right about the game and the media surrounding the game. So without any further ado….

    gtav scuba1. Grand Theft Auto V will break day one and first week sales records. This honestly shouldn’t need to be said. Every time there is a new iteration of GTA it seems like the gaming community at large and some gaming reporters are surprised that this happens. Do we really need to feign surprise? The Rockstar PR and marketing departments know how to sell a game before launch. These departments slowly drizzle the sweet glaze of information on their delectable cake of a game, enticing people to just look at it… to see how yummy it is… Showing the public the idea of how wonderful it will be when they take that first bite into the game. That is their job and they do it well.

    2. The game will receive high, (if not perfect), scores from almost all game review sites and magazines. Again this should be a no brainer. Except in a few instances, Rockstar has always redefined what gaming can and should be. (I’m looking at you State of Emergency.) This sequel will be no exception. Rockstar has consistently improved their core game mechanics, added more and more variety, and seem to go above and beyond the call when it comes to polish. I’m not saying it will be a perfect game and not have it’s share of glitches. But most reviewers will be singing praises rather than screams of dissatisfaction. I’m going say it will have a Metacritic score of 95 to 97%.

    Grand-Theft-Auto-V-violence3. Controversy will ensue on non-gaming media outlets. I really wish I’m wrong on this, but history shows this is an inevitability. This game, (by early reports), has more “F” bombs than a 13 year old playing Call of Duty on a Friday night. This game will have more than it’s share of gritty violence, sexual themes, drug use, and the opportunity for a gamer to perform many atrocities to virtual human beings if they choose to do so. There are video clips of one of the characters trying to get rid of a severed leg in a toilet, another character walking out of a medicinal marijuana store putting a product in his pocket, and another shot of a character in a strip bar. I have even read reports that in GTA Online players will be able to go over to each others apartments and partake of virtual bong hits. The mainstream media will have a heyday with this game. However, will it be bad thing? Nope… any publicity is good publicity. If anything… the negative response will boost sales, and get the word out there.

    To go off on a small tangent… If you see a fellow parent getting ready to buy their seven or eight year old child this game, please start some friendly dialogue with that parent to make sure they know what they are buying without sounding like your passing judgment.  Believe it or not there are still many parents that do not understand the ESRB ratings on games… and sadly these are the parents that then blame the game companies for making games geared toward an adult audience.

    gta v tennis4. The online component of GTA V will change how we as a gaming community expect multiplayer components to be in future games. As I said before, Rockstar has proven in the past to push the gaming world to new heights and what we should demand out of our games. The company has shown that they care for their multiplayer fans and remain very active playing and communicating with their online community. The only difference is GTA V will be bigger. From heists to tennis, racing to parachuting, to golf and scuba diving… the possibilities are practically endless. With just the variety of things to do with GTA Online, this game will be in the top five multiplayer leaderboards for a very long time.

    5. At least one reference to a sasquatch and possible video confirmation of one in this game. My last and possibly the biggest shot in the dark… but I have a feeling this will happen for the following reason.  When GTA San Andreas came out, there were a few people that kept posting about seeing a bigfoot type of creature in the wooded areas of the game. There were even some instances of video clips of said sightings, but they were debunked as clever pc mods of the game. In Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare they gave a nod to the sasquatch rumors by allowing you to hunt down the entire species if you so desired. However, I believe we have not heard the last from our dear furry friend.

    So there you have it. Five educated predictions…. well maybe four educated ones and a hope for the fifth. I would like to make something very clear. Being part of this website has not given me any exclusive sneak peek to the game. These are completely my own predictions based off of my research and reasonable assumptions of human nature and the trends of Rockstar Games.

    One last disclaimer:  I have never received any money, free games, or gifts from Rockstar games other than when I tweeted them long ago before I ever wrote for this site and sent them my personal address. They sent me a set stickers with their logo in several colors. They don’t know me from Adam… or George for that matter.

    Anyways…  Do you have any predictions? Are you picking up this game? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Sarcasm isn’t safe anymore…

    facebook-logoI have been mulling over a topic over the internet for the past few days all centered around a nineteen year old that got into an argument with a friend on Facebook back in February. It concerns his interpretation of humor and sarcasm and how it was perceived by others including authorities. This is the story of Justin Carter…

    “Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’ to which he replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.,” said Jack Carter (Justin’s father).

    A unidentified Canadian woman saw the post and took it as a threat. She looked up Justin’s address, found out he lived very close to an elementary school and then called police in Texas. Justin is still in jail at the time of this writing. The charges he is facing is eight years for terroristic threatening.

    Justin’s statment was two months after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. “Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper. He didn’t watch television. He wasn’t aware of current events. These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t understand the implications. They don’t understand public space,” said Jack Carter.

    According to the reports I have read online there were no weapons were found in his home. There is no prior record of violence. There is no history of psychiatric problems. Nor is there anything negative being said by friends of Justin Carter. The only thing removed from the home was Justin’s computer.

    There are so many tangents I can go on about. So please bear with me as I do so…

    First off, the statement that Justin Carter made was insensitive, scary and downright timely considering that the Sandy Hook shooting happened TWO MONTHS before. So I don’t buy the whole “he wasn’t aware of current events” garbage. The kid had a Facebook account, of course he knew about the school shootings. Just yesterday my Facebook was all afire about how Justin Bieber urinated in a mop bucket in a kitchen and how the new Grand Theft Auto V trailer looked amazing… I believe a mass shooting at a school just might have come across his page just a few times.

    Another thing… How come no one closer to Justin didn’t report his Facebook status to police? Let me reitterate this: A WOMAN FROM CANADA reported it. Doesn’t it seem odd that no one close to him thought this could possibly a threat? Probably not…

    League-of-Legends-Game-LogoPlease understand that expressing yourself with the written word can be very difficult. Things like “LOL” and “JK” are not part of the whole world’s venacular. Many people can take things out of context and sometimes people say and write things that they really don’t mean. Especially when engaging in smack talk on an online game like League of Legends. (The game Justin was playing prior to the incident.)

    If everyone did exactly what they said they did online, then my mother should be rolling on a mattress made of money from all of the two dollars she was paid for services rendered for illegally selling her body to each of the adolecent teens that apparently also like to play Call of Duty and Halo. I should also really ask my parents to submit my birth certificate for testing to prove I was in fact concieved and born after they were actually married, that is… if my father is truly my father.

    In my humble opinion this whole Justin Carter case screams a huge misunderstanding. Yes, he made a threat… he should be questioned and given a psychiatric evaluation of his mental status. But if he is mentally ok and not considered a threat, then what? Well in Texas he is going to be put on trial for his remark. Let me write that again in a different way… He will go to trial for a sarcastic comment to a friend. When this does go to trial what will this mean for the rest of us if he is convicted?

    If he really is disturbed, he needs help and be removed from the public for the safety of all until which time he is reformed. However, if he messed up trying to convey sarcasm to a public audience…. then what?

    Does the judge send him to jail for eight years for making an empty sarcastic threat to save face so the people that voted this judge in feel that he didn’t waste the court’s time and  taxpayer money on keeping the kid locked up? Or does he make the kid do a crap ton of community service educating the high school and college kids that sarcasm has no place on Facebook. I’m glad that I’m not that judge… I am also very glad that it is not me sitting in jail. Which reminds me….

    *NOTE* The author of this article did convey sarcasm when writing about his mother. His mother has never been, to his knowlege, a “lady of the night”. Nor has his mother ever had sex with any underage child. The author is also pretty sure that his father is in fact, his father. Also… the author would like to renounce to anyone that he has ever played online that he did not pay have sex with their mother… the ladies he has had sex with gave themselves willingly, without compensation and always with protection… And lastly, even if he impied it every 2 minutes… The author is not “Your Daddy”. Thank you.

    So how do you feel about your posts? Do you always say what you mean? Let me know in the comments below. But be careful, there is always someone watching. Like the title states… Sarcasm isn’t safe anymore…

     

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