My god, what an Odysseus-like adventure The World's First Stoned Gaming Tournament was!

Sometimes when planets align, strange occurrences happen in our universe. Perhaps the gravitational pull of a solar system increases, or the magnetic field of an orbiting asteroid belt deteriorates. On October 3-4 at the NOS Events Center inside the XO Gold Cup, the world of cannabis and video games will finally coalesce into the world's first stoned video game tournament, hosted by The Stoned Gamer and our buds at Flytlab.

Part of the grind of playing games is knowing that every fall to brace for the deluge of new releases that are sure to come. Over the past few years it has become easier and easier to predict what will come out each fall; a new Call of Duty, a new Far Cry, a new Assassin’s Creed and so on. Yearly installments have become a tradition, just like ignoring the summer because in the 80’s kids weren’t buying games over the summer break because their parents wanted them to play outside. We as a whole open up our wallets starting in late August and start shelling out for mildly updated games that make big promises but build off of our sense of nostalgia for previous installments to these games. Big sites dole out exemplary ratings for them, we buy them and inevitably love or dislike them, depending on our proclivities to fall on either side of the fence.

Everyone that has ever predicted the end of the world has been wrong up to this point. They’ve come yielding ‘great evidence’ but nothing ever comes that actually wipes us out. And when they’re wrong they just blame it on the Mayans. Sure, blame it on the ancient civilization that can’t defend itself.

One of the greatest ongoing debates in the world of gaming is in regards to DLC and evil, cash-grabbing publishers. In our modern, internet-enabled society the idea of being able to have new, original content for a game that you love delivered right to your home is an idea that if you had told me about twenty years ago I would have been salivating at the very thought of it. Now that our reality involves always-on internet connections, regular patches to help squash out bugs and the ability to purchase and download whatever the hell we please all from the comfort of our couches the game industry has changed. When a new game comes out the asking price is standard at $59.99, but over the past few years the popularity of post-launch DLC and expansions has led to that initial $60 being just the beginning of your wallet’s relationship with your new game. The problem is that most of that content feels like stuff that was withheld from the original game in the first place, not like icing on the cake.

When Destiny was originally announced I’ll admit that I was enthralled. The concept art alone was enough to push me to truly believe that we were all in for something special. Bungie’s Halo series was a landmark for science fiction shooters and while it kind of lost its way when it comes to story, it’s impossible to deny just how important Halo was for gaming. Bungie’s gaming pedigree was a cut above the rest thanks to Halo, which meant that Destiny would, at worst, follow in that tradition. That means that it couldn’t be bad.

I think if we say that we're extremely busy organizing the world's first stoned gaming tournament at the XO Gold Cup on October 3-4 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA -- someone out there is going to shoot all of us in the head with a high-impact NERF gun (again).

Saturday, 12 September 2015 00:00

EA can never kill the spirit of ESPN NFL 2K5

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Last week I played Madden 16 and while it was a good game, I have been engulfed by a sense of shame. It feels as if the spirits of athletic gaming have wrapped me in a blanket made completely of the world’s sadness. No matter what EA does with its Madden series it will never be perfect like ESPN NFL 2K5. You are probably telling yourself that the TECMO Super Bowl games were great and you wouldn’t be wrong. I threw many of my SEGA controllers to the ground and became jubilant over every touchdown in my TECMO days, but even those don’t come close to ESPN NFL 2K5. Not. Even. Close.

Chickens with their heads cut off run around like the staff from The Stoned Gamer.

There are so many things within our biosphere that attempt to kill us for their own survival. This is the reason why people die of disease; the bacteria spreads and multiplies so that they may live. This fact will either frighten you or make you more resilient, and we hope it’s the latter. You will transform into an individual that possess more character and strength than everyone else. Except for those of us at The Stoned Gamer, you can’t be more interesting than us. We fight for the right to freely smoke your marijuana, meet a higher power, and play videogames without the judgmental looks of those who consider themselves ‘morally better.’

If you haven’t taken a course in physics, or even attempted a physics problem, then you have absolutely starved yourself of the realization that math is everything. Your chair, toothbrush, bong -- it's all math! Mathematics are even so intricate that they don’t apply everywhere. For instance; the laws of physics don’t apply in space. You’d have to learn completely new types of equations in order to get stuff done outside of our atmosphere. You better be grateful that Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz were not eternal beings because I assure you that they would have invented new math courses for you to take during college.

Thursday, 27 August 2015 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Madden 16 (9.0)

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420 Character Reviews: Madden 16 (9.0)

I don’t even like american football but I know when a videogame does the padded sport well. Madden continues it’s juggernaut status in the pigskin sports arena by being the sole creator of football games but by also not becoming complacent with their dominance. NFL 16 gives us fantastic detail to the players I don’t know and has them moving with elegance. Look, everyone else will have this game so just go buy it.

I have been an avid fan of The Simpsons since the moment I could understand what the television was conveying to me. The recent seasons haven’t peaked my interest but seasons 1-12 are animation gold. It’s great to rewatch old episodes and catch jokes that were absolutely meant for adults and not 5-year-olds. The Simpsons produced magic through their shows but a lot of their video games have been very poor. It’s almost as if they were just trying to cash in on the Simpsons name without concern to actual quality of product.

Earlier this week, a beautiful sunny day was quickly disturbed by instant winds; the gusts were so powerful that they launched my garbage pail down the street. Neighbors came out of their homes and all of us stood in the streets completely perplexed with our clothes flapping in the presence of some invisible force. Nobody knew what was going on so all we could assume is that it was a tornado coming. This lasted for about 10 minutes and then it just stopped. Calmness returned. Then the rain came; hard rain pelted the concrete and dirt. The power went out, again. It was the second time in 2 weeks that I spent a day without power. All this went unreported. Nobody cares about little towns in Texas.

Last year I managed to peel myself off my sofa in California to reapply my body to my parent's sofa in Texas for the Christmas holidays. Nothing really changed, aside from the size of the television that was affixed in my frontal vision. The pillows felt a little different, and whenever I opened the refrigerator, there was actually edible food inside instead of condiments that have an entire third-world village of bacteria living on the surface.

420 Character Reviews: Big Journey to Home (8.4)

Remember when you were a kid and the floor would suddenly turn to lava? This reality applies here. A turn-based game, BJH is all about teaching you how oversized roaches can get in the way of your fate. It isn’t a necessity to suffer on your own as you can co-op with a friend while you argue about ways to solve a puzzle. It’s gaming 101. seriously simplistic, creative, and fun, BJH will make you analyze every move.

I was sitting in my homeroom when my friend pulled out a handful of small blue pills and asked me if I wanted to try some. The fear of overdosing from mystery pills was overshadowed by my curiosity of what it was actually like to do drugs. I managed to swallow two without water and sat in my chair waiting for some euphoria to hit me, but it didn’t come. Honestly, I waited probably five minutes before asking him for three more pills and took those with water. Little to my knowledge, I had just taken 5 pills of Adderall and once it went through the process of dissolving and running through my organism I became Buddha incarnate. Seriously, I was walking down the halls of Sam Rayburn High School telling all of my friends that life gets better, things that cause us great pain are a part of life, and that true enlightenment is never reached. I even thought about going by Siddhartha Gautama -- after this experience I started to smoke weed. I’d like to ask my old D.A.R.E. officers -- what is the real gateway drug?

One of my most precious memories of my MMA fandom was the night I stayed up to watch Mirko CroCop Fillipovic fight two murderers in one night. Cro Cop knocked out an Axe Murderer then beat the tar out of a Babyfaced Man. It was probably 4:00 am as I watched the Croatian Sensation win the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Tournament. Confetti rained from the rafters while Mirko and his team celebrated a lifetime full of hard work that was finally culminated in this one moment -- this was MMA for me; the golden age. It was a moment that could not and cannot be described with mere words, and that is what Pride FC was. An idea manifested as an organization of sheer manliness, skill, and spectacle.

420 Character Reviews: This War of Mine (PERFECT 10.0)

Inspired by the Siege of Sarajevo, This War of Mine gets to your soul by providing you with civilian experiences during times of war. you try to survive the war with your group by scavenging for food and supplies while also keeping an eye out for suicidal mood swings. Venture out too far and a sniper will add you to his death count. It’s brutal that you will open you to the realities of war. you NEED to play this.

420 Character Reviews: Blues and Bullets: Episode 1 (9.5)

20 years after taking down Capone, Eliot Ness opened up a diner to escape his past yet found solace in alcoholism. the recently paroled Capone needs Ness’ help to find his daughter who was kidnapped by violent cult that has a fascination with mutilating and slaughtering children. Blues and Bullets will grip your attention with an innovative story and even better game play. live, kill, and die in black and white.

Let’s be honest, Scarface is a long boring ride that concludes with an insanely entertaining finally. Nothing else. You better throw away all your Scarface memorabilia; it just makes you look like a fool. Yes, even that shirt with the words “The World Is Yours” printed on it. And yes, you should be ashamed. Go detox your brain with Miller’s Crossing, Carlito’s Way, and, of course, The Godfather series. Even Godfather 3 -- nobody likes it but you choose this for yourself. Once you are up to your ears with constant Mafia violence, you can go ahead and play Mafia I (PC) and Mafia II.

Friday, 07 August 2015 00:00

Inside will help you break from your cage

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I was the type of guy to make absolutely no noise. If a waiter got my order wrong I would think it was my fault for not speaking clearly. You could say I was a wallflower -- a hard working one -- but still a wallflower. Until this one time that a manager approached me and praised me for not making any noise like my co-workers and sticking to completing all my tasks. She highlighted my trait of going the extra mile but not looking for extra money or recognition. To this day, I am not sure if she straight dissed me to my face and my character of docility just ignored it. I was decomposing inside and I didn’t know it. It wasn’t sudden, but I began to slowly break away from the worker bee mentality. I became enlightened to the fact that this was the only chance I have at making a beautiful mess.

Friday, 07 August 2015 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Outlast (9.5)

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420 Character Reviews: Outlast (9.5)

Outlast has you as a reporter that has sneaked into an abandoned insane asylum and who possesses no weapons, only the ability to run and hide. Unless you consider your camera a weapon--you shouldn’t. This births an experience that is terrifying beyond your imagination. It’s the aura of being around psychos and you knowing you can’t properly defend yourself that makes Outlast great. Go ahead, hide under a bed.

Nobody ever tells you that you need some chaos sprinkled in between tranquility to really live. Take Vincent van Gogh as an example, he painted some of the most famous paintings in human history. One day he either decided to cut off his ear to show his passion for a woman who he could have easily painted a masterpiece for and won her over -- or he lost his ear during a fight. Regardless, he lost it in the chaos of love and/or anger. You may be into reading poetry while you annoyingly tell people how sensitive you are, but if you are not going up to attractive people and asking them out on dates, getting into altercations, and reading Bukowski while you smoke you your whole stash then you are not really living. This is truth.

One thing that has always fascinated me about the USA’s short history is the strange disappearance of settlers of the failed Roanoke Island colony. Imagine you are an Englishman named John White who is tasked with going back to check on the progress of a new settlement to find nothing when you get there. Absolutely nothing. No person remains in the colony; there are no signs of a panic, bodies, or any indications of a struggle. Everything is calm and it seems as if everyone just up and left. In your search you only see the word CROATOAN carved into a fence post. That is almost 100 people, your wife and child included, who have vanished and your continued search for them yields no results. It is almost like -- everybody’s gone to the rapture…

420 Character Reviews:God of War III Remastered (8.7)

I’ve thought about naming my first born Kratos but I know many of you have, too. So I’ve abandoned the idea for the sake of being truly unique and interesting. God Of War III Remastered is only unique with its new graphics and pace. You get to see that amazing intro all over again in 60 frames per second! Does it warrant its $40 price tag? not for me or ps3 hipsters but some of you highrollers might be interested.

In lieu of ESL's announcement that they will be drug testing competitors due to players admitting they were hopped up on Adderall in a recent Counterstrike tournament, The Stoned Gamer is announcing the world's first stoned gaming tournament going down October 3-4 at the XO Gold Cup in San Bernadino, California! It's finally happening!

The downside of creating an absolute masterpiece is the very real curse of never making something that matches it. This is exactly what has happened to the WWE after they released WWF No Mercy. Yes, there was a time when it was called WWF instead of WWE (Get the F OUT!). I had some fantastic matches on this thing; everything about it was perfect which has raised the bar way too high for every wrestling game after. Really, why do you continue to throw money on new WWE games when the best is already available?

Since the beginning of time, humans have been obsessed with their final swan song; aspiring to live a life that would grant them the chance to bid a proper adieu to the only world that they knew. Well, if you ever wanted to die in a horrific way then here is your chance! The Flock is not your normal horror survival game where you could resume your life after you've been mauled by a scientific mutation. NO, in this game if you die, that's it. No more game for you. Seriously, you can never play The Flock again, there will come the time that the game itself will cease to exist and it is a very intriguing concept.

420 Character Reviews: Her Story (8.7)

Be prepared to have your steady mind tested with the sorrowful introduction of Ori and The Blind Forest. This is the type of game that opens you to the beauty of colors and the vibrancy of perseverance. Learning new skills is essential for Ori and everything learned adds to the pulsing life of this game; everything is in a symbiotic relationship. It might look like a child’s game but it is so much more. It’s beauty.

Monday, 13 July 2015 00:00

LISA has shown me the end of humanity

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I have been in an uncontrollable vortex of despair, hopelessness and ideals since the moment I first played LISA: Painful RPG. Living in a cozy world where my only real interaction with true human darkness is through the numerous news networks has made me weak. Day by day I live a luxurious life where I get to pick when I eat and who I befriend. Hell, making a cup of coffee and eating it with your favorite bagel with your choice of spread, is a luxury that the majority takes for granted. At any moment, our reality could surrender into something darker and macabre. What would happen if everything went away and we were placed in a wasteland with little to no hope, peace, or order? Lisa has the answers.

Friday, 10 July 2015 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Her Story (8.7)

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420 Character Reviews: Her Story (8.7)

Let’s take a trip back in time with this fantastic FMV videogame! I did not expect much from Her Story, but wow. You play as an investigator who is trying to piece together the tale told by this woman who is accused of murder. As she reveals her story, you pay attention to her body movements, her tone, and her words. It’s terrifying how she says some things with the calmness and apathy of killer. but is she guilty?

I am a hip-hop snob. This is a burden I've carried for many years. I try not to be so critical of popular music now, but I just want everyone to know that I listen to your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Sometimes I like to sit and think about the type of video games that would complement each rap group's style. For example, A Tribe Called Quest would have a game where Q-tip must drive around Southern California in a journey to find his wallet. The real question is what type of game would harness the ultra-aggressive and depressive energy that is Jedi Mind Tricks.

Where the Wild Things Are is a children’s book whose message is lost in those too young to understand it, a lot like psychedelics. Maurice Sendak used a simple narrative and memorable illustrations to make the public aware of the power found in imagination. On a more immature level, it taught you to say “Let the wild rumpus start!” before inhaling a bowl of marijuana or before coitus, ruining the mood of the latter. Maurice Sendak might have been called to travel outside of our realm but his works continue to motivate freethinkers around the globe in all languages.