Monday, 10 October 2016 21:35

Endure Enormous Distractions in Haydee

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Distractions cause most of our failures. Paying attention to the wrong thing will can cause you unnecessary hardship. Take studying as an example: you could be going over the vast amount of reactions for organic chemistry but you keep watching the music video for Melancholy Hill over and over. That wonderful sequence of visual creativity will distract you from memorizing something simple like all your alkyne reactions -- or maybe it’s stereochemistry that awakens your migraines. That’s why staying focused is the key to success. How you decide to measure success is completely your choice, so be reasonable. Do you need an elevator for your car installed in your home to be successful? Yes, sometimes you do. Alas, some distractions are just too hard to ignore and Haydee is my evidence to that claim.

The 2016 Stoned Gamer Season started on 4/20 weekend with back-to-back Qualifying Tournaments held in San Diego for Xtravaganja and in San Bernardino with the High Times Cannabis Cup. Since then, the season has been in full swing and we've seen our fair share of stoned gamers compete (and qualify) in the Stone Gamer Tournament.

Look, I’m not usually the political type. This election has been more entertaining than most -- I'll give it that. The candidates worth voting for are out of the race or won’t win a single state. Both front-running candidates have come out against freedom of information, encryption, and private online communication, and advocated for equally distasteful things, so any skin I had in the game is long gone at this point. I’m still voting, mind you, just not for a winner. Truth be told, I was on the fence about bothering with the whole ordeal until the ADL made Japanese cartoon characters and an image of a frog from an old comic a hate symbol, and college campuses started banning material containing photographs of an infamously slain great ape.

Thursday, 29 September 2016 12:33

Day of Trumplings: The Actual Basket of Deporables

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If you haven’t taken the opportunity to watch Showtime’s 'The Circus,' you’re missing out on a glimpse into the travelling show that is the presidential race. Though I haven’t been through that many, I can’t remember the last time that I felt so disillusioned with a presidential race -- it’s becoming a reality show. Hillary has probably played golf with Donald, who was mindful to keep Bill’s attention away from Ivanka and his daughters. It has to be common knowledge in political circles that William Clinton will always shoot his shot and Trump has probably always known this.

Behold, the first of four Grand Prizes of the 2016 Stoned Gamer Tournament.

Nestled deep in Downtown Los Angeles, California resides a place called Nexus Social Lounge. It's essentially the state's first dedicated cannabis recreational facility -- just imagine your standard Hollywood club, and replace all the alcohol with the finest cannabis and extracts. While you're at it, replace all the skinny jeans you would normally see with jogging pants and basketball shorts, because stoners guffaw at fashion trends.

In the largest draft of the 2016 Stoned Gamer Tournamenr Season, Team Flytlab has emerged and with its creation we see the acqustion of Real Deal Neal (#1 Group A Seed), Crash City Brian (#3 Group A Seed), Danny (#1 Group B Seed), Nick B (#2 Group A Seed), Lokjaw (#1 Group C Seed), Digital Da$h (#15 Group B Seed). Although these players reside within the Team Flytlab banner, The 2016 Stoned Gamer GRAND FINALE is an individual competition, so we may see a few team mates go head-to-head in Stoned Gamer action.

Saturday, 23 July 2016 10:01

The 2016 Stoned Gamer Tournament - Group B Bracket

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Group A of The Grand Finale Stoned Gamer Tournament (being held on December 3rd in Downtown LA) has officially been filled.

Saturday, 23 July 2016 08:20

The 2016 Stoned Gamer Tournament - Group A Bracket

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Group A of The Grand Finale Stoned Gamer Tournament (being held on December 3rd in Downtown LA) has officially been filled.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:00

Reggie Helped Me Beat Super Mario Brothers 2'ish

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Imagine that your friend arrives and he takes out an ounce of reggie from a nacho bag and places it on your coffee table. What do you do? You roll a blunt and smoke it.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 08:50

The 2016 Stoned Gamer Tournament - Group C Bracket

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We're officially 75% complete with the 2016 Stoned Gamer Tournament, which means we only have four Stoned Gamer Qualifying Tournaments left. That's four more chances to get astronomically high and try you hands at Marvel vs. Capcom 2, US edition. We tried using the Japanese version but Anakaris kept glitching. Although who really uses Anakaris anyway -- there hasn't been a single moment in history in which mummys have been cool. Brendan Fraser had a chance in 1999 with The Mummy, but then the franchise turned into The Rock just looking really pissed off and destroying stuff.

It’s 2016, we’re getting closer to singularity every day. Deal with it.

Wednesday, 07 September 2016 20:49

The Stoned Gamer GRAND FINALE - December 3rd - Downtown LA

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The time is finally here, stoned gamers. The 2016 Stoned Gamer GRAND FINALE will be held on December 3rd in Downtown LA.

Wednesday, 07 September 2016 13:37

420 Character Reviews: Beeftacular 420 (8.7)

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420 Character Reviews: Beeftacular 420 (8.7)

Experience a vegan’s nightmare. A fast-paced platformer, Beeftacular can be as difficult as it is entertaining. You control a chunk of beef who is trying to clean up all of the rotten meat with melee or ranged attacks. Playing with your friends can become quite the bloodbath. Each level is timed so it is imperative that you plan and move fast. Yeah, it’s like Super Meat Boy but it’s still fun in its own unique way.

Wednesday, 07 September 2016 12:43

420 Character Reviews: The Tribe (9.5)

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420 Character Reviews: The Tribe (9.5)

The Tribe is a simple game that manages to make you feel like a worthless shaman. The goal of the game is to guide your tribe through the landscape without any pauses. Fighting, dodging, thinking, and maneuvering is even more daunting when you can’t stop running. It’s like your tribe just found a stash of cocaine and they’re running nonstop until they find more. Every decision matters and every death is your fault.

The Stoned Gamer Tournament took a month-long hiatus back in August solely for our crew to enjoy a little bit of California sunshine during the Summer. Of course, we all just ended up playing Rocket League and taking a nearly limitless amount of dabs. We also built better Magic The Gathering decks -- can't forget about that burst of productivity.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to live in states that deal with marijuana with a measured approach – the state I live in has a tax stamp scheme in place that effectively doubles the sentence attached to drug use. Naturally, many in these locales have looked into private, convenient ways to source quality cannabis products and more exotic fare. The answer for some time now has been the Darknet, and I don’t think I have to explain to you the role of Bitcoin in using those markets. Bitcoin has other uses, though: it has outperformed gold and stocks as a long-term investment, it helps many in impoverished countries acquire, retain, and transact wealth despite hyperinflation and dismal economics in their countries, and, more recently, has been integrated into mobile gaming as a less scummy way of monetizing a casual entertainment experience. This is, of course, of great interest to me, and it should be to any of the more casual Stoned Gamers that enjoy our content. Blockchain mobile gaming is still pretty new, and the games I’ll be showcasing are in very early beta, but given time to develop, you might just be able to pay for your next sesh by playing them.

Monday, 22 August 2016 23:07

Learn How To Conform In We Happy Few

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Somebody shouting obscenities in public probably isn’t as offensive in the UK like it is in the USA. I’m not saying the UK is better at saying words than the US -- I just really want to be able to say ‘bloke’ without coming off like I’m trying too hard. That doesn’t mean the British should have inflated egos, or hubris, because of their accents. It's appealing because we’ve all wanted to talk like British gangsters.

There are certain genres that are plagued with endless derivative variations on a theme –- I can’t remember the last time I saw a “roguelike” title that felt or looked new. A lot of times, this phenomenon is driven by solid core gameplay elements that make a genre what it is, without strong defining story or stylistic traits. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bullet hell or twin stick shooter that doesn’t innovate significantly, but there’s really no point in purchasing more than a few titles with these genres in common when the only differentiating factors are art style, and occasionally execution. In the past I’ve found myself wanting a game that takes one of these gameplay focused genres, strips away any pretense of flavor or uniqueness, and leans in hard on the mechanical elements to provide a fun experience. That’s exactly what I got from a little indie bullet hell called Flat Shot.

I’ve long been awaiting the release of Furi since I first saw its stunning announcement trailer back in 2015. While admittedly stoned, its lights, colors, and pieces of music were right up my alley. My issue, as we all know, is that cinematic trailers that blow your mind are rarely what we actually get to play (looking at you Catherine); thankfully this is not the case with Furi.

The more casual followers of gaming news may think it’s a bad time for shooters. It certainly is for AAA titles, whether it’s the backlash from EA’s “DLC-ifying” the entirety of Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront, or the massive outcry on the launch of the latest Call of Duty, from fans and detractors alike. It seems the mass market is finally experiencing some fatigue from the generic, semi-simulationist militiary FPS. Titles like Bethesda’s DOOM reboot, Epic’s Unreal Tournament 4, and Blizzard’s Overwatch have stormed the stage of the collective conscious to fill in the gaps left by these mass-produced franchises, and we’re only seeing more innovation in the FPS sub-genre. This certainly wasn’t the case even two years ago, though, and there were many titles that seem to have been left behind in the scramble for the next brown, grind-driven twitchfest. Didn’t matter how innovative or well-executed a shooter was, it just wouldn’t sell if it was not this type of shooter.

420 Character Reviews: I Get This Call Every Day (9.4)

This game has done a great job of capturing the nature of a mundane cubicle job and its impact on your spirit. Working in a call center, you try to guide the caller through security questions to verify the account in question. An email from the boss means you’re fired so pick responses wisely. Replayability is high, as you give it try after try to salvage your job. A profound message is delivered to you via MS­paint.

Thursday, 04 August 2016 23:13

SUPER HIGH SCORE: 'Mushrooms on E3' is Out NOW

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Kids don't try this at home -- unless you have an undying urge to lose your mind at the world's largest video game convention.

It’s August, and Halloween is ever so close. We need to take Halloween back to the old days when mothers and fathers would hide their children in the attic to shield them from the demons roaming through the village. Currently, October 31st it’s all about high sugar levels and uninspired costumes. Adults are forced into celebrating Halloween two weeks before the actual day at their office party, or some club dancing instead of scaring kids in the streets. Certain things shouldn’t be frowned upon. Where’s the fear? Still, every year I get excited about All Hollow’s Eve, and this year I want to sprinkle some Norwegian fear into your lives.

Our cat's name is Bobbi Grey because we got her around the time that Bobbi Kristina Brown died and we decided to make a sort of mock in memoriam. Her made sure her last name was Grey instead of Brown because she is a grey cat and not brown cat.

Dwarf Fortress is one of the most ambitious and non-traditional games being developed in the modern era. It’s essentially the closest you can get to a 'free will' simulator when interacting with a computer. On the surface, it looks like a bunch of ASCII characters flashing rapidly around a screen with a few menus; charmingly dated visual nonsense at best. To the initiated, those colored characters mean so much more. Behind the primitive art-style and somewhat dated controls, the most detailed simulation of a fantasy world ever conceived is pulsating with life. Everything from your dwarves' moods and relationships to the mineral properties of the soil, temperature and fluid dynamics enjoy as faithful a simulation as is possible in ASCII graphics in Bay 12’s genre and trope-defying title. Minutiae as small as musculoskeletal interaction of combatants during fights, the density of the material your hammer is made from, and the interaction of the mucous tissues in eyelids on eyeballs enjoy mechanical consideration in the Dwarf Fortress universe.

420 Character Reviews: Human: Fall Flat (9.3)

Grab physics by its complicated hand and guide yourself to solve the puzzles found only in your dreams. Human: Fall Flat is an amusing game with puzzles that aren’t too hard and it still manages to maintain a great level of fun. The controls do take a bit to get used to but who expects easy controls in a game about physics. There are many ways to solve a puzzle or you can give up and just explore the environment.

We were gifted a trash bag full of books when I was around 9 years old by some nice people who had no clue of the value in books. In it there was a Spanish book of ghost stories. I used to be terrified of this book but I loved reading it. Truly enjoyed it. Anyway, my mom reads the book for some reason and quickly proclaims the book to be that of satan. Even at that age, my brother and I thought “Mama, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me…” You have to understand that at the time my mom had a room full of statues and pictures depicting the ‘Virgin’ Mary. Yes, they were the type of parents who used to rub an egg on our bodies to cure us from everything. They’re not like that anymore, but, man, it was so much fun egging them on.

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.