Category Archives: Real Life

My Thoughts on Joystiq & Massively

With the recent news that Joystiq is merging into Engadget and Massively is on the way out, I’ve had a lot of thoughts cross my mind. Now, let me get some things straight first. I’ve never written for Massively before but I do know a good number of people who have worked for them. I also don’t follow Massively on twitter, I don’t subscribe to their RSS, and to be very blunt and honest it’s because I simply don’t like the articles. They didn’t appeal to me. A small handful did (I loved reading things on Wurm Online and Vanguard:SOH) but for the most part it just wasn’t a site that I had interest in.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for those types of articles. There are. Just because my personal preference doesn’t match up doesn’t mean I suddenly want to see those people without a job. If every single video game site was the same, it would be incredibly boring. There’s an audience for EVERYTHING out there (size of that audience  differs, of course) and I think that in these times especially it’s important to show compassion. These are people. Friends. They work hard. A lot of past employees from these video game sites move on to bigger and better things. I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for my humble beginnings writing for Beckett Massive Online Gamer, and MMORPG (many years ago). Did everyone like my stuff? No of course not, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not nor have I ever been a journalist of any sort. I’m a writer, yes, and sometimes what I say is interesting enough that I get paid for it, and sometimes it’s not.

Anyway. The whole point of this ramble is to say that it’s sad to see others celebrating when sites like these close down. I’m sure people rejoiced when Beckett MOG shut down too, but that was my paycheque, and it hurt. Show a little class.

And Then there were Two

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Chewy is great, the guinea pig I adopted yesterday – but they really should be in pairs for optimal guinea pig happiness. These are herd animals, and they’re used to having one of their own kind to get along with. Then comes along Mog, my second guinea pig. They’re getting along pretty well so far, talking away in their cage together and making all sorts of guinea pig noises (Chewy wasn’t making any sounds at all when I first brought her home) and I assume they’re being happy after listening through some “what sound is this” clips.

On the gaming front, I pre-loaded the Sims 4 and I’m all set and ready to play! I can’t wait. O.K. technically I can wait because I have no other choice, but I’m really dang excited. I can’t help it, the game looks amazing from all of the developer ‘lets play’ videos I have seen so far. I have been contemplating picking up a console system as well, I would probably go with a PS4 but I’m not completely sold on the idea yet, especially with so many PC games coming out that I know I am going to fall in love with. Still, it would be nice. I have also been looking at the Nvidia Shield tablet, which I think would get a lot of use here at my place.

I haven’t been doing a lot of gaming this weekend, but I’ve been thinking about doing a lot of gaming, and I suppose that’s alright too! As always, happy gaming!

Nothing to do with Gaming

photo (6)Every so often I make a post that has nothing at all to do with gaming, and today is one of those days. Sorry!

My condo informed me that because I have new carpets, I wouldn’t be able to get a cat or a dog. This was a pretty big deal to me. I’m a huge animal person and because I work from home and spend a lot of time here, it’s important that I feel comfortable. After some research I decided since I couldn’t have a cat or dog I would look into getting a guinea pig. A friend of mine mentioned that guinea pigs get a bad rap because people tend to buy them for their kids – but they’re actually very nice pets for adults, with distinctive personalities.

Pictured above is Chewbacca, also known as Chewy. She’s the newest little family member and she’s incredibly cute. Right now she’s a bit scared and still getting used to her new home, but she’s in a much better place than she was, and I’m really happy. She has been getting used to the sound of my voice, and I have managed to lure her out with fresh carrots, which she enjoys a HUGE amount. She also managed to find a wooden toy that I put in her cage for gnawing, and while I haven’t actually heard her make any sounds yet besides one chuff, I’m sure she’ll become more vocal with time.

I’ve always grown up with pets around. I had a hamster growing up, cats, dogs, fish, birds, and I really think they add a lot to a household. Today I’m going back to pick up a cage mate for little Chewy, I want her to be as happy and comfortable as possible and I know that guinea pigs are herd animals so this will certainly be in her best interest.

That being said, I did manage to get a bit of gaming done before I went out – and my adventures in MStar Online will be posted some time tomorrow! As always, happy gaming!

Farewell River

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Yesterday a bunch of us video game bloggers and twitter friends and G+ families heard that we lost one of our own. Christopher “River” Cavelle passed away. He was young, and he wasn’t someone I would say I typically got along with – but that doesn’t matter, I followed his posts and opinions anyway because I think a difference in opinion is a good thing, and River was always very vocal with his. I remember one of his final tweets (though I doubt he knew it would be his final) mentioned that he was going to be “streaming his pee” later that evening. A joke about video game streaming. It still makes me giggle. I marked it as a favorite it at the time.

There has been an enormous outpouring of support from friends and family, both in blog posts dedicated to River, and in a facebook remembrance page set up in his honor.  I never got to know him in person, but I read through all of the comments and pictures others shared, and you can just tell that he was an amazing person.

You will be missed.

Farewell River.

5th Annual Gamers Secret Santa Registration Has Started!

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It’s that time of year again! Time for the 5th annual gamers secret santa! Have no idea what that is? Well. I’ve been running it for a while now. There was the 2012 one from last year, 2011, 2010, and 2009. It has grown each year, and while it’s not the largest celebration out there, it is one I really take a lot of pleasure from. Geeky gifts are sent out all over the world, and if you would like to participate or are interested in what it is all about please read further!

What it is: Those who want to participate are more than welcome to. You can be a gamer, blogger, a member of the game industry, whatever. As long as games are some how a part of your life. I will take names / addresses, and assign everyone a ‘secret’ person to buy a small less than $20 gift for, as well as give them the address required. Send out your gift and wait for one to head your way, and that’s it. Ok, let me explain it a bit better.

What is “Secret Santa?” here’s the definition!

How:

1. Send your full name and mailing address to me at stargrace@mmoquests.com, make sure it comes from a valid email address. If you happen to run a fansite or a blog, please mention which blog you write for (if you want, you don’t have to). It doesn’t matter who you are or how involved in the gaming community you are, anyone can participate. If you’re worried that I have not gotten your email, please contact me on twitter: @stargrace. I will email you back, so make sure to check your trash folders.

2. On December 2nd I will email you back with someone else’ address.

3. The price limit is $20, don’t spend any more than that. Be creative, make something, have it be unique to your culture or your life, if you need suggestions then please don’t hesitate to let me know. Try to keep in mind that we’re all gamers, no matter where we come from.

4. Keep your person a secret! Don’t tell anyone who else you have. If you DO happen to run a fansite or blog, then when you receive your gift write about it and let everyone know.

5. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know below in comments, or email me.

ALTERNATE METHOD: 

If you live in a location where mail is not very practical and you’re worried about it getting lost, I WILL offer a digital gift exchange method for those who request it. If you choose to participate this way here is what I need from you:

Send your full name and the following: The email associated with your steam account, your steam handle, your raptr handle, the email you would like any digital gift sent to.

More Details: I understand that you may not be comfortable with me or one other person having your mailing address, so if you’re not please don’t feel pressured to participate. The idea is to share with one another and realize what a fantastic community we have, not make you feel on edge that you’re going to potentially run into issues.

If you’d like to participate but simply can not afford to no matter what, send me an email and let me know, I will do my best to help you out. I want anyone who’s interested to be able to participate in this event. I think sometimes we forget that these people we all talk to online are not just random pixels, but are actual people on the other end of those computers.

Please keep in mind that only myself, and ONE other person will have your address. It won’t become a mailing list or anything like that. If you’re only comfortable with me having it and no one else then let me know, and I’ll have your gift sent to me and then I’ll send it out to you. Anything to make sure people are comfortable and still able to participate.

YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 2nd TO EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS – please take your time to think about whether or not this is something you really want to do. If it is, get me your address by December 2nd so that I can give people some time to get their shopping done. If it’s a little late (the gift, not the address) that’s alright.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas but still want to participate that’s alright too! This isn’t a religious thing. There are some amazing gamers I have met from all over the world, and I think that we have a lot to share with one another.

I think that’s about it. If you can think of something I’ve missed then please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. I just wanted to share some of the Christmas joy that’s going to be flying around before too long and figured this would be a fantastic idea for people to experience it with one another.