Category Archives: Games

The Truth About Gamergate

SimAnt_SNES_boxYou might have heard about Gamergate. Its been in the news quite a bit lately, getting a lot of coverage from the mainstream media. But, those articles overlook the history of the term, which actually traces back to 1983, and was used in literature in 1984.

The term “gamergate” didn’t begin with Adam Baldwin’s Tweet about Quinnspiracy two months ago. The term didn’t begin two years ago concerning Rhode Island and 38 Studios either. Actually the term is a scientific term having to do with ants. Yes, ants.

In 1983 geneticist William L. Brown coined the term, and first appeared in scientific literature used by entomologists. The term actual means:

mated, egg-laying worker

The term is derived from the Greek words γάμος (gámos) and ἐργάτης (ergátēs) and means “married worker.” Say what?

Yes, gamergate is a term having to do with female worker ants that are reproductively viable. When an ant colony lacks a queen, what’s a colony to do? Well, this. A gamergate is a female ant that helps as a reproducer for their colony.

It’s about specific types of colonies of ants, some of which are actually queenless. Instead one worker, or a group of them, have active ovaries. Yup, for the colony to survive, the ant colony must rely upon the female ants.

This gamergate also has controversy attached to it. Some feel that the term “worker” should be applied to only ants that are part of the non-reproductive caste, while “queen” should be applied to all reproductively viable female ants.

It’s actually pretty fascinating stuff, and you can learn more here or the many scientific papers on the subject.

What does this have to do with this site? Absolutely nothing, I just learned all this last night, and found it a pretty fascinating look at a matriarchal society.

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Infinite Crisis Champion Profile: Surrender to peace, when Starro debuts!

Get an inside look at Starro, the new champion from Infinite Crisis, the free-to-play MOBA from Turbine based in the DC Universe! On Wednesday, November 5, players can excel at pushing and controlling map lanes when this aggressive controller goes live!

Starro is a Star Conqueror. These nomadic and parasitic creatures roam the cosmos in two forms: motherstars and parasites. Motherstars are sentient, while parasites are extensions of the motherstar’s consciousness. A parasite attaches itself to other sentient creatures, allowing the motherstar to control that creature’s mind. Once controlled, the victims work toward growing more motherstars to go out and bring universal harmony to other planets—by conquering them.

Little did the Star Conqueror who came to be known as Starro know how difficult carrying that plan out on Earth would be!

Starro has little concern for what happens to the individuals it controls. They’re a tiny part of the whole. When Starro speaks to creatures it doesn’t control, it does so telepathically, urging them to join in universal harmony.

Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion Launches November 5

mtg Garruk's RevengeWizards of the Coast has announced Garruk’s Revenge, a brand new expansion for Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers. The expansion brings additional content to Magic 2015 and puts the fate of Garruk Wildspeaker, the deadliest hunter in the Multiverse, in the player’s hands as he seeks his revenge. Garruk’s Revenge will be available on PC via Steam and Android via Google Play starting November 5th. Additional platforms including Xbox One, Xbox 360, Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle will be available shortly thereafter.

Available for $4.99, Garruk’s Revenge will feature a collection of fan-favorite cards from the Alara block, delighting and challenging new and long-time Magic fans alike. With four new campaign levels and an expanded explore level, players will take on the role of Garruk, using his deck to battle their way through challenging foes. With every victory Garruk’s deck improves, and players will unlock cards from Alara to later modify their own deck creations as they hunt their prey across the planes of the Multiverse.

Along with the release of Garruk’s Revenge, all cards in both the original Magic 2015 campaign, Hunt Bigger Game and the Expansion are now entirely earnable through gameplay. With the release of this expansion, players who have unlocked access to the game’s five initial chapters (Innistrad, Theros, Ravnica, Zendikar, and Shandalar) now have the opportunity to earn Battle Boosters (previously called Premium Boosters) by winning multiplayer matches.

Wizkids Announces Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel Dice Masters Avengers Age of UltronWizKids‘ dice game Dice Masters is getting another new set. The company has announced a new set Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers Age of Ultron. The new set will be released on May 6, that’s the week after Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out in theaters.

The new set will feature brand new characters never released before such as Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, and Kang. It’ll also include new versions of characters such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Thor.

The Starter set comes with 44 dice, 38 cards, two dice bags and a rulebook. The Starter set retails for $19.99. There’s also be a 90-Ct Gravity Feed which will feature 30 new characters and retail for $0.99 a pack.

This is the third Dice Masters set based on Marvel properties. The first had a rocky start with shortages that are only being rectified now. A new set, Uncanny X-Men, was set to be released soon, but shipping delays have resulted the product to be delayed a few weeks.

The game will also see two other franchises adapted, DC Comics and Dungeons & Dragons.

WizKids and Perfect World Team for Neverwinter in-game content!

WizKids Games is partnering with Perfect World Entertainment, Inc. to offer free in-game content to players of Perfect World’s free-to-play action MMORPG, Neverwinter, set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe from Wizards of the Coast.  Starting this fall, WizKids will include a variety of unlock-codes for Neverwinter digital items inside the packaging for its various D&D product lines, beginning with the D&D Attack Wing Organized Play Month One event. These codes can be redeemed by players for an array of digital in-game items in the Neverwinter MMORPG. Likewise, Perfect World will begin offering promo items from the WizKids D&D-themed products to Neverwinter players in the coming months.

To launch this promotion, WizKids is offering unlock- codes to fans who take part in its upcoming D&D Attack Wing OP Month One event starting November 12. Players who take part in the first OP event at retail stores will automatically receive a Vanguard Starter Pack for the Neverwinter MMORPG, while winners of the First, Judge and Fellowship Prizes will also receive a Fey Wolf Mount.

wizkids

Game Review: Legendary Guardians of the Galaxy Expansion

2014-Upper-Deck-Marvel-Legendary-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Deck-Building-Game-ExpansionThe Guardians of the Galaxy for the Legendary Deck Building Game is the sixth release in this series, and the fourth expansion for the core game. This is the first expansion released in what is presumably trying to tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this expansion adds in new mechanics to the game while adding the core characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy – Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Drax and Rocket Racoon. Along with the new characters come new kinds of cards, infinity gems and artifacts. The game does play out pretty well, particularly focusing on what is to date the most powerful of the line’s villains in Thanos. The new scenarios also add to the overall challenge of the game, which has a tendency to be a little easy for most of the typical scenarios in a lot of the cases. In this sense this expansion is the best since the release of the Fantastic Four expansion which had introduced some harder scenarios and more challenging villains. Having only played this version as a standalone with the base rules, a player that was after a more challenging game could throw in the Heralds of Galactus into the villain deck for a near impossible challenge.

There are a few drawbacks to this game. Perhaps the most obvious is the natural evolutuion of deck building games. Most eventually come to resemble one another, and in so doing this expansion takes on aspects of other popular deck building games such as Dominion and the DC Deck Building Game. As well, this expansion had been rumored to include a sixth character, which is absent, but it feels as though the developers could have thrown another in there – Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel or Nova – just to expand the game a little as well. Another problem is that with the introduction of artifacts, that fans are going to wonder why this was not include earlier as artifacts are essentially just equipment, and fans of the comics are likely to want to see a lot of artefact tie-ins in the future, be them web-shooters, Captain America’s shield or even Wolverine’s claws.

On the whole though, this is a good expansion and keeps the core of the game relevant while adding a bit of new mechanics to make the game just a little different. That this was released to closely tie into the movie is also hopefully not a coincidence, and is rather an attempt by Upper Deck to tie into all Marvel movies a lot more closely which means that we will see a steady progression in this series to include most of the Marvel Universe.

Score: 8.3

Wizards of the Coast Announces a Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game

MTG Board GameWizards of the Coast have announced the Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game. Believe it or not this is the first-ever Magic board game featuring epic spellcasting and tactical movement-based combat.

As a Planeswalker, you summon armies and cast game-changing spells to outmaneuver your foes. As you complete arena objectives to establish board control, you position yourself to launch your final strike.

The miniatures games is being co-developed by WotC and Hasbro’s “team responsible for Risk Legacy and Heroscape.” The game is meant for 2-5 players and take between 25-45 minutes. While it doesn’t use the collectible cards themselves, it does incorporate mechanics from it such as “deathtouch, “flying,” and “first strike.”

Taking place in the world of Shandalar and players take the role of an iconic Planeswalker. You then design the battlefield with a map, terrain, and power glyphs. Miniatures are then moved around the board, and spells cast to battle opponents.

The game will be out in Fall of 2015. Be the last Planeswalker standing!

Stern Pinball Releases Custom Accessories For The Walking Dead

Stern Pinball, Inc. has announced the availability of four licensed and custom-developed pinball accessories for its latest release, AMC’s The Walking Dead.

In response to market demand, Stern is now offering unique, game-specific accessories that further enhance the appeal of its pinball machines and enable pinball fans to customize their games to suit their personal tastes.

The Walking Dead accessories include:

  • A fish tank topper full of three fully detailed zombie heads designed and sculpted by Greg Nicotero, Executive Producer of The Walking Dead. The topper is accompanied by game-integrated lighting that attracts players and adds zombie ambiance to any room
  • An authentic zombie head shooter knob that adds tactile art to a player’s first interaction with the game
  • Custom-designed, artistic inside-panels that add dimension to the pinball playfield area
  • Blood splattered side-armor that further enhances The Walking Deadpinball experience

Retail Pricing and Availability:

The Walking Dead Pinball Backbox Topper: $399.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead Pinball Zombie Shooter Knob: $79.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead Pinball Playfield Side Art Panels: $79.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead Pinball Side Armor Trim: $499.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead accessories will be available in November 2014, initially through the Stern Store and select authorized Stern distributors and dealers.

Twd Accesories image

New York Comic Con: CCP Gands and Dark Horse Comics Enlist Brian Wood for Eve: Valkyrie

As announced on Dark Horse’s Powered By Creators panel at New York Comic Con, Brian Wood will be penning a brand-new miniseries based on EVE: Valkyrie, the video game in development by CCP Games.

With art by Eduardo Francisco, this tale will tell the origin story of pilot Rán and the rise of the Valkyrie.

In development at CCP’s Newcastle studio, EVE: Valkyrie is a multiplayer dogfighting shooter set in the EVE universe that uses virtual reality to give players the sense of being real pilots in EVE Online spaceships. It is based on the EVE-VR tech demo that won several major awards at E3 2013.

CCP Games, a leading independent developer of massively multiplayer games and creators of EVE Online, has partnered with Dark Horse Comics to deliver amazing books as epic as the online universe from which they are spawned: EVE: True Stories, EVE: Source, and EVE Universe: The Art of New Eden.

EVE Online is a captivating science-fiction game in which hundreds of thousands of players compete for riches, power, glory, and adventure in a single universe.

Eve: Valkyrie #1 is on sale June 3, 2015.

EVE Valkyrie

Upper Deck Releases a Guaradians of the Galaxy Legendary Expansion

2014-Upper-Deck-Marvel-Legendary-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Deck-Building-Game-ExpansionUpper Deck’s Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game has become the company’s top gaming property with two core sets (Legendary & Villains) and three expansion sets (Dark City, Fantastic Four & Paint the Town Red) in the market. Now Upper Deck brings Marvel fans even more excitement with the fourth expansion in the series. With content dedicated exclusively to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy cast of characters, comic fans have enjoyed over the years and that Marvel movie fans have come to know and love as well. Legendary fans are going to be thrilled to add their favorite Guardians of the Galaxy characters to their decks as this expansion will include 100 all new playable cards featuring original artwork.

This expansion will feature the five key heroes from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Raccoon) as they get help from Nova to do battle with one of the evil masterminds; The Kree Supreme Intelligence. New game mechanics, schemes and tactics will add to the gameplay and these new cards will all be playable with cards from the previously released sets!

Gamers can play with or against each other in Upper Deck’s latest Legendary expansion for Guardians of the Galaxy when it releases on October 15, 2014.

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