If any of you follow planet Earth and the local environmental happenings in California, then you were probably aware of the seasonal brush fires that seem to turn into roaring blazes overnight, destroying entire communities located in the hills and mountains of the West Coast. Well quite frankly the only solution to not having your house burned down is simply not building a house on a friggin' mountain. Unless you're Aquaman or that dude from Captain Planet, you can't stop the Earth from Earthing. If every house and human was suddenly removed from the planet, that wouldn't be abnormal -- in fact it would be a return to normality.

There's not a insignificant amount of time after any encounter with the more powerful plant teachers, when you’re filled with nervous energy, but the other, more desirable effects have all but left you. Whether you value entheogens for their recreational or spiritual uses, this jarring transition can put a huge damper on the experience. With the amount of thought that goes into set and setting for the beginning of psychedelic experiences, you’d think there would be just as much focus on getting something out of the tail end, as it is an excellent time for reflection. While I find myself more and more attracted to nature during my brushes with the otherworldly, and feel that the potential of most psychedelic substances is wasted on video games when their effects are in full swing, I’m starting to see the value in using games to aid the transition back to reality.

I’m vocally skeptical of anything that gets put into Kickstarter and belched out with successful funding, and especially so with games. For every Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, and Planescape: Torment, it seems like we get ten Ouyas, Mighty No. 9’s or Exploding Kittens. As it happens, a concept doesn’t have to be good or executed well to get funding on the platform, and a lot of projects are there because they could not get funding from venture capitalists (read: people who make it their business to determine what projects are worth the money) or other traditional sources.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of impetuous climate I’ve been dealing with here in Clearlake, Texas. It was like that one Married With Children episode where the English town is in eternal darkness until all the male Bundy’s are slain. Now, I’m not sure who was sacrificed in order to bring the sun back out but as long as I’m able to puff on my blunt out on the terrace -- good riddance. After the rain cleared up, the transformers exploded while we had guests from Spain. While I was quite angry at the sequence of events, I knew it was a higher power reminding our Spaniard friends that it’s dark and hell is hot. Listen to more DMX, Jesus.

Overclocking goes hand in hand with building a PC these days, and a big part of that is verifying that your CPU will run out-of-factory spec properly after doing so. It’ll save you a lot of hassle later on if you properly stress test your PC up front. For me, it feels a bit wasteful to load down my PC with a synthetic load and let it sit there for hours, doing nothing productive, though.

The heat in Los Angeles this Summer has crossed the threshold of whether global warming 'maybe' is happening. Folks, we are in the middle of global warming. It's not going to happen -- it is happening. Put a frog in a pot of boiling hot water and it's going to jump out immediately. However put that frog in a pot of room temperature water and slowly heat it up, it will never know it's being boiled alive. I guess that's the state of everything that's happening in America right now, not just the heatwave. 

Friday, 15 July 2016 15:33

SUPER HIGH SCORE: Stoned Pokemon Episode is Out NOW

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Most of you remember The Art of Getting Stoned And Staying Awake For a 24-Hour Pokemon Tournament in which I got entirely too high and tried to navigate through the social labyrinth of Pokemon and its trainers. Well that article was actually a piece of the second episode of Super High Score with our partners at MERRY JANE.

Friday, 15 July 2016 14:56

Vice's Motherboard Is Making Us All Look Bad

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The opinion that more traditional game journalism is on the way out is a very popular one with YouTube influencers and the younger people involved in the hobby. I can’t say I agree with it for a number of reasons, but I understand the driving sentiment, especially when articles like Motherboard’s recent op-ed, titled “PC Gaming is Still Way too Hard” enjoy widespread circulation on social media. The title isn’t what I have the problem with, so much as the lazily constructed and misleading content.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Rot Gut (8.8)

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420 Character Reviews: Rot Gut (8.8)

Rot Gut makes prohibition violence is the best way to facilitate relaxation between bong hits. Providing a grimy atmosphere to the era known as the Roaring 20s, become an agent out to gun down the gangsters who want to make sure everyone has a good time. This is your opportunity to experience what it’s like to be on the law enforcement side of the drug war and, frankly, it’s quite entertaining. Give me a badge ASAP.

I’ve been a fan of trading card games, online or otherwise, from about the time I started reading onward. I played Pokemon competitively as a kid, moved on to MTG and Yu-Gi- Oh! Once I could afford it, and jumped on Hearthstone and online Magic The Gathering as soon as I caught wind of them later on. I’ve also suffered from a lifelong weakness for novelty, participating in the launches of more ill-fated trading card games, like Duelmasters, Android: Netrunner, and even the original Warcraft CCG that predated Hearthstone by nearly a decade. Problem being, satisfying that craving for new gaming experiences can quickly become a dangerously expensive pursuit in the era of the Free-To-Pay-To-Win digital distribution. The vast majority of digital card games I’ve tried have been a combination of cash vampires, thinly disguised slot machine mobile games, and blatant HS and M: TGO rip-offs.

We greatly under appreciate what our phones can do now. You might use your phone to receive and spread local gossip, or, you might pull out your smartphone to take pictures that nobody wants to see. I mean it, I do not want pretend to be enthralled by the selfies you took at some trendy tapas restaurant. They are grossly overcharging you for snacks. Grossly. And I refuse to love you to death, get help today. In all reality, I can’t be judgmental because I use my phone to look up things such as who that sexy lady is from the Liberty Mutual commercial. Her name is Raushanah Simmons, and whoever knows her should tell her to read this article. Hi, Raushanah.

Friday, 08 July 2016 00:00

The Macabre World of Limbo, a Retrospective

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It has been almost six years to the day since the release of the side-scrolling platformer Limbo, the Playdead studios creation that puts players in control of a young boy who works his way through a perilous expanse of puzzles, obstacles, undefined enemies, and death. The latter of which occurs frequently, often in gruesome ways that aren’t matched when it comes to violence inflicted on children in the gaming world. With the release of Playdead’s new adventure, Inside, a look back at the brilliance of Limbo seemed appropriate.

Thursday, 07 July 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Inside (10.0)

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420 Character Reviews: Inside (10.0)

My heart overflowed with emotion as I played as this tiny child who alone travels through a dystopian world. The oppressed people who pay no mind to anything around them, represent our conformity and apathy, while the hero represents our inner god-given desire to be free. Puzzles represent the obstacles that block our life’s goal of reaching liberation. You must decide if the struggles are worth knowing the truth.

After eight intense qualifying tournaments of the 2016 Stoned Gamer Season, we've wrapped up Groups A and B of the Grand Finale Stoned Gamer Tournament which will be held at the end of the year. Now with our ninth qualifying Stoned Gamer Tournament, we've crossed over to the realm of Group C, a favorite among people that love the third letter of the alphabet.

The world of indie gaming is a vast one, and we know that it's easy to get lost in the fray of it all. That's why earlier this year we teamed up with MERRY JANE to bring you the Indie Game Mix Torrent, a series of torrents filled with indie games specifically tailored for stoned gamers.

It seems in recent times that to keep up with consumer demand, more and more derivative works are being shoveled onto the plate of the eager consumer. Theatres are often showcasing more sequels and remakes than original movies at any given time, 'Top 40' pop music hasn’t changed its production and lyrical formulas significantly in nearly a decade, and even user-driven social media seems devoid of original personal content. Facebook, for example, exhibits far less of the self-indulgent narcissism that it attracted and reigned supreme in the early days. That teen angst and lack of self-awareness have long since supplanted by advertisements and the stalest “dank memes” available, as Facebook users have become savvier to the consequences of the former.

Since we've started the trend of bringing you undeniably bad ass things on The Stoned Gamer, there's a chance you already read about Death's Gambit when we discussed it back in February. Since then, Death's Gambit became a PlayStation 4 exclusive and now has the backing of Adult Swim Games. In those few months, the world also lost Prince, Muhammad Ali, Phife Dawg, Kimbo Slice, and Hawk from American Gladiators -- all of those names being equally important. Unrelated? Probably not, stoned gamers. The game is called 'Death's Gambit' for a reason.

Thursday, 30 June 2016 00:00

4 current problems with VR (and how to easily fix them)

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Remember that time when I took mushrooms and lost my mind at E3 2016 amidst a sea of VR platforms? Well I sure do -- and two weeks later I'm still grasping with the ramifications of it all. Dipping your mind in a universe of imagination created by others is mentally exhausting in itself, but under psilocybe cubensis it's an experience that is unmistakably life changing.

One of the biggest gaming trends of the last few years has been huge, blowout sales that puts players into a blind panic to buy up as much as they possibly can without stopping to think about what they are actually buying. Does anyone really need a third copy of Dishonored? WHO CARES?! IT’S FIVE DOLLARS! At this moment Steam is running their Steam Summer Sale and Sony has had a flash sale on the PSN Store for the past few days with some pretty deep discounts.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Party Hard (9.4)

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420 Character Reviews: Party Hard (9.4)

Sleep deprivation can drive one to do some heinous stuff, or you’re just an asshole. Either way, your neighbors must pay… with their lives. Take the role of a crazed man that can only find peace by stabbing people at parties because they make too much noise. you can’t just go out there and kill without regard -- you’re a gentleman, be stealthy. you only have you knife to rely on. Relieve tension with blood.

Kids, don't try this at home.

I'm not saying don't try psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. By all means try it. In fact, I encourage it. It's surely safer than all the Ritalin and Adderall that gets shoved down your throat. Try mushrooms at home -- but just don't try them at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known simply as E3.

Fresh off a monumentally bizarre trip to the world of E3, The Stoned Gamer crew found themselves in Van Nuys, CA for the start of the eight Stoned Gamer Tournament of the 2016 season held at Compassesh.

I’ll be the first to admit that initially I was excited about Hearts of Stone, then it just kinda fell off for me in a hurry. Technically there was nothing wrong with the Witcher 3 expansion Hearts of Stone, but it just felt like more of the same. I wanted more Witcher 3, but some of the areas felt a bit lacking, never mind that it was just really extending out the map a little bit in one direction and sending you back into familiar places. Blood and Wine, on the other hand, is an entirely new area filled with new kinds of NPCs, a whole new Gwent deck and the Mutagen system is way cooler than the whole rune thing.

I have a theory that humans clandestinely miss working with their hands.

There was an actual moment of worry when I began to contemplate the rise of machines and the downfall of humanity. I assume that this takeover would happen after my body becomes nourishment for Mother Earth but then I reminded myself of President Eden from Fallout 3. Philosophy will destroy the machines. Still, technology rises because we are lazy. We like self-checkout lanes due to the speediness it gives us, but we would rather stores just open more lanes. Why do I want to scan and bag my groceries during a munchie run, Wal-Mart? Humans enjoy being slothful while also maintaining a social life. I am putting full trust in the assumption that our thirst for socializing will be what holds the machines back before philosophy ever becomes a weapon. Not even sex robots stand a chance. Japan, I’m looking at you.

Thursday, 09 June 2016 00:00

Here's What Happens When You Play Bingo Stoned

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If only you guys knew how many times we reshot the scene of me smoking in the car, then you would be sincerely perplexed as to how I'm still alive today. Granted, I could be dead and all of this that I call 'reality' could be a re-imagining of what I believe reality is. I mean to create a site about video games and weed, and then to have a video series with your childhood hero is something that is too improbable to be true. If all this is indeed a farce and I died a long time ago, then let's not let all of this be in vain, stoned gamers.

We will always remember Dab Crown 2 because it was the first time in The Stoned Gamer history in which the cops raided the entire event.

We’ve all seen them. Indie games that seem to pop out of the ether, but every Youtuber seems to have a 'Let's Play' of it. Sure, the content made with the game is entertaining, but it’s usually by virtue of the game being terrible. Games like Five Nights at Freddie’s, Amazing Frog, Trick or Treat, Bear Simulator, and scads of others. They lurk in the dank recesses of Steam’s early access service, and the virtually un-curated underbelly of the Xbox Live Arcade. Sure, it’s a trend that started innocently enough, but it’s getting worse as time goes on.

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Broforce (9.3)

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420 Character Reviews: Broforce (9.3)

my supplier of herbal medicine put me onto this game. Not sure how I missed it, but this right here is exactly what you need when you need a dose of the ultra-violence. Not only are the characters parodies of famous action movie stars, the game actually has substance. Different game modes and characters will keep you glued to this title. If you’re ever going to take advice from a drug dealer, now is the time.

The moment I saw the dead baby was the moment I knew Max Payne was one of the great stories of modern day Americana. It was probably one of the first games that I illegally downloaded during the period of my life that I was digital pirate. Before you start to harshly (and unjustly) judge me, just know that I needed to pirate Max Payne. My parents had saved up money to buy us a Compaq PC; asking for a 50lb Xbox was absolutely not an option. Yes, I know that Max Payne was initially released on PC, but so what? I, purposely, tended to be the person who was drawn to the things that weren’t as popular, hence I decided to play Max Payne instead of GTA III. It was basically a life decision. Nobody was talking about the genesis of the Max Payne story. GTA III was the greatest thing that Rockstar Games created -- at least that’s what everyone thought.

When I glance at my profile in Overwatch something becomes abundantly clear to me; I’ve become a support player. I’m usually not too big on support classes in shooters because, if we are real here, they usually aren’t that useful. Sure, tossing down med packs at choke points in Battlefield is fun because you are gonna get a ton of points, the same with reviving a fallen friend in a place where you know he’s just going to get torn to shreds as soon as he’s up again. It’s not about them, it’s about you. That’s why Overwatch is so different.

I’ve been consistently pondering the way of life people lead. I wonder if anything really matters. We could choose to see ourselves as a bacteria that needs to constantly growing, hence, the things that we do. People found out about medicines with the intent to save more lives so that our population could grow. As diseases and infections start to bury us by the thousands, we find an antibiotic to stop that bacteria from killing us. After that, a new bacteria forms and new medicines are created. We live longer and the population grows. Technology grows with us and it's to the point that it has grown beyond us. Once technology eliminates humans, it could, itself, spawn another lifeform. I get so deep into thoughts that in the end it might not even matter. All this could be nothing. Or it could be something. I don’t know but I’ve decided to remain out of the know.

I have a soft spot in my heart for the classic arena shooters. They got me through my middle and high school computer technology classes. I would bring a case of bootleg CDs (and later USB flash drives) with Quake 3, Unreal 2004, and as many mods as I could find for them for test days and substitute teachers. Broadband wasn’t yet the norm, and many of my friends and classmates only experience with competitive online PC gaming came from these sessions. It got to the point where I and five or six others would work ahead in the curriculum so we could perform this ritual regularly. While I have a measure of respect for DOOM, and the reboot has the best story in an FPS I’ve seen in nearly a decade, I was expecting more from the multiplayer.

420 Character Reviews: Salt and Sanctuary (9.3)

Here we go. A big dose of sodium is coming your way. I was drawn by the artistic style of the game and I stayed for the hearty gameplay. The colors create a certain atmosphere that is dark, yet exciting. You’ll find the combat to be exhilarating. The maps apparently have no limit-- they’re huge. This isn’t the game for you if you’re looking to relax and forget your woes. The challenge will be here when you’re ready.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 00:00

Why Are You Still Playing FIFA?

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FIFA has been corrupt throughout my whole life. It was probably one of the first facts that I learned about this planet, followed by the realizations that breast milk is great and breasts are greater. Later in my life I learned that FIFA was a non-profit organization and my young 13-year-old mind was permanently blown. The idea of FIFA was to have an organization that would facilitate the play and popularity of football throughout the world. It was not meant to go into countries and facilitate the building of stadiums through slave work and death. There are stadiums in Brazil that are abandoned now because they were built without thinking about usage after World Cup.