Deleting the Fluff; Playing with Passion


I’ll admit it. For awhile there I was really into playing games on my tablet. I had lots of games from which to choose, and that number seemed to grow weekly every time I logged into Google Play. All it took was the re-introduction of Xenoblade Chronicles to make me take a long, hard look at the direction in which my gaming life was going. I covered this journey to redemption (or maybe “redemption”) in the following post for United We Game.

Originally posted on United We Game:

If I was placed under duress to name one amazing aspect of modern gaming, (because there are many) it would be accessibility. Simply put, one need not stray far from common technologies to access video games. They are available through consoles, desktops, laptops, streaming devices (i.e. Roku), tablets, and phones. And perhaps most importantly, a good many available games are FREE. Well…make that “free,” at least in some cases.

When I first got a phone that was capable for playing games, I loaded it to the brim with free fodder like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Same thing happened when I got my first tablet. Only with the tablet, I expanded my game gobbling to include paid titles as well as freemium games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. And I was happy. I was happy to have nothing less than…

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iTunes Diaries, entry #26: “Spiderwebs” and “Hella Good” by No Doubt

I was once a little…um, okay, terribly obsessed with iTunes.  I got my first iPod in 2004 and became immediately entranced by Apple’s seeming infinite lists of music for sale.  Over the years, I spent way too much time on iTunes and spent way too much money on music, some of which was great, and some of which was not.  In 2011, for the sake of my sanity and my bank account, I went cold turkey.  I suspended my iTunes activities and completely stopped visiting site.  With the iTunes Diaries, I take a look back, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly in music that I just had to have in the moment. 


My iPod is a funny thing. Despite the fact that I think I keep it organized, I really don’t. Even though my downloaded songs end up on named playlists, I swear that songs seem to disappear and reappear at whim. So despite my attempts to download songs together that meet particular “themes,” somehow or another, those “themes” never really hold out in the end, and the playlists end up being mish-moshes of this, that, and the other. This usually leads to me forgetting my carefully chosen themes altogether, and ultimately forgetting the very songs I downloaded. Therefore, when the iPod is doing its thing, a very common thought that comes with many a song on it is “I completely forgot that I downloaded {enter song name here}!” And often, a concurrent thought is “why the hell did I download {enter song name here}?!”

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(Vocal Reprise) My Incomplete Journey into the 12th Century

My fourth vocal reprise of the year goes kinda off the rails over some questionable praise I gave a game that I didn’t even finish: Assassin’s Creed. I know what I wrote, and I also know I was excited then. I just wish I’d gone about the whole thing differently. Ah, c‘est la vie.

My Incomplete Journey into the 12th Century, original post from 12/14/2011
Duration: 7:41
Final thought: Some one night stands are not worth bragging about, especially when you don’t finish what you start.

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I Ate This: Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells


If you’ve spent any time in a grocery store, you know that gimmicky food fills aisle after aisle, from bubblegum-flavored yogurt to wasabi-spiced mayonnaise. But every now and again, a gimmick comes along that catches both your attention and taste buds. Case in point: nacho cheese taco shells.

First popularized by Taco Bell and its Doritos Locos Tacos, nacho cheese taco shells are now available to the masses thanks to that grocery store staple of the “ethnic foods” aisle, Old El Paso. If you can get past the lengthy name, Old El Paso’s Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells sound okay, but are they worth their weight in cheesy gold? Check out this review of them I did for 8bit Kitchen to find out!

Originally posted on 8bit Kitchen:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the nacho cheese (a la Doritos) taco shell is a staple at most Taco Bells, yes? I don’t frequent the joint, but after all the fuss that surrounded the introduction of such creations a few years ago, I imagine it became a menu standard. But if it’s not a thing at your Taco Bell, then you might want to head to your grocery store, because there you may be able to pick up this product with a loooong name: Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells.

NEW! and BOLD — what could be wrong with that?

When Taco Hell Bell introduced the Doritos Locos taco, we had to head to the nearest establishment to scoop up a couple. While I did not indulge in them, I was assured by my husband that they were quite delicious. After the…

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Grand Theft Auto V: All That and Boobs in Your Face

I don’t usually judge games on the “for boys” or “for girls” factor. That said, I get that many of games have been and are made with the male gaze in mind. What would boys want to fight, drive, and look at…that sort of thing. It’s not something that racks my brain because I often want to fight, drive, and look at the same thing as boys. Often, but not always. So when I first ventured into the Vanilla Unicorn, Grand Theft Auto V’s sole strip club (as opposed to there being multiple clubs in previous games), I was okay with the fact that there were, and call me crazy here, probably going to be partially nude women (not men, because, question mark) in it. When I walked up to one of the strippers working the room and she inquired about a private dance, I was okay with that too. Sexy time, lap dance, fine, whatever, have at…I was ready. Only I wasn’t, because I was utterly taken aback by happened when the private dance started. Once you arrived in the special lounge, your dancer awaited, naked from the waist up. (Sure.) Upon sitting down, the on-screen view changed from behind the girl to boobs. No face, no legs, just two breasts sauntering round yo’ face.

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What is a Video Game? A Conversation (with Myself)


Earlier this month, the great minds behind United We Game (*wink wink*), asked the following question in their first ever community writing challenge: what is a video game? Well, below is my answer (for now), done all conversation-like because it was the only way I could wrap my head around such an intangible/tangible question.

This challenge is open to anyone in the gaming (or non-gaming) blogosphere who feels up to answering the question. If you heed the call, be sure to tag your post with #whatisagame, so we can share it across social media!

Need more inspiration? Here are links to others’ answers:
The Big Question: What Really is a Video Game? (United We Game)
What is a Video Game? – It’s a Connection (United We Game)
What is a Video Game? #whatisagame (Oh Wow! Hey! Ho!)
What is a Video Game? — Interaction (Hack ‘N’ Slash Gaming)
Discussion Mondays: Just What Is A Game? (Gamer Crash)
What is a videogame – the mystery of Broken Sword (Very Very Gaming)


Originally posted on United We Game:

Image by Flickr user Pure GeekeryImage by Flickr user Pure Geekery (CC)

As I ponder this question, (“What is a video game?“) my mind can’t help but go back and pose it to a teenage me. Me, around 1989, with Atari histories, Nintendo fancies, and PC realities. The conversation goes something like this.

2015: So, me from 1989, what is a video game?

1989: (thinks…stares contently) Any game that’s played on a screen.

2015: Alright, good start. Does it matter if you’re playing on your Nintendo or the computer?

1989: I guess not, though I tend to call games I play on the computer “computer games,” but I guess they’re the same. All played electronically.

2015: Okay. (pauses) So what about that typing tutor program your Mom bought. Is that a video game?

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(Vocal Reprise) Adventures in Albion, Round 1

We’ve made it to vocal reprise number three, and this one covers an early foray into Western RPGs. The game in question is the now-classic Fable, and my experience with it was…well…pretty unforgettable, and that includes the poor, ugly children.

Adventures in Albion, Round 1, original post from 2/14/2012
Duration: 7:53
Final thought: Fable didn’t change THE world, but it did change mine, a little.

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What is a Video Game?


Today I’m thrilled to spread the word about United We Game‘s first ever community writing challenge! The idea is simple: we ask a question (or series of questions) and your write a response on your own blog that includes a particular hashtag so that we can catch it in our feeds and share it with our followers on social media. The challenge is open to anyone, and we mean anyone – whether you’re a full-time blogger or a part-time writer stuck with writer’s block (maybe UWG’s writing challenge will cure that!).

Our first writing challenge focuses on the question, “what is a video game?” Click below for the particulars, and if you feel so inspired, write a answer post of your own. The hashtag to include (in the title, the post, as a tag, etc.) is #whatisagame. If you share the post on Twitter, you can also hit us up @UnitedWeGame, so we’ll be doubly sure to catch the post and pass it along. We look forward to seeing the responses to this challenge, so happy writing!

Originally posted on United We Game:

Image by Flickr user: daveoratox (cc)

What about a video game actually makes a video game? This might have been an easy question to answer back in the glory days of arcades and Atari, but in our modern era of gaming it’s a question that many of would probably rather shy away. Electronic entertainment comes in so many shapes in forms these days that even determining criteria for a definition could arguably be a task unto itself. However, this amorphous state in which gaming currently resides has presented us with a wonderful opportunity! Indeed we have set before a chance to define them ourselves, and not just games in general, but differences between game and interactive movie, where RPG ends and action game begins, or even what differentiates a “casual” game from a “hardcore” game!

There’s so much to cover here, so, from today through the first week of…

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