Category Archives: Video Games


How Video Games Helped Me To Better Appreciate Military Service

Many years ago, my friend Ray (30 years my senior) and I were at a social gathering. Ray heard me make a statement about the latest war game, Call of Duty 2, a first-person game based on World War II. Ray heard me say, embarrassingly, that playing the game “felt like I was in the war”. This was an unfortunate statement for me to make. I was foolish to say that playing a war game, even a simulation, could somehow equate to the experience of being in armed conflict. My comment was even more regrettable¬†because Ray has brothers-in-arms who served in the Vietnam War.

I apologized to Ray and all who were in attendance at the time of my foot-in-mouth experience. But in light of Veteran’s Day,I wanted to clarify my viewpoint. After all, I actually meant well. ūüôā Continue reading

Solitaire Marathon Challenge Achievement

Update: Marathon screwed me I hate this achievement and regret the amount of time I spent trying to conquer this piece of crap so much that I can’t punctuate correctly

Marathon achievement

Windows 10 officially launched July 29th, 2015. It comes with some great new features, but the one that has me the most enthralled is the Microsoft Solitaire Collection. I don’t know why these simple card games are so appealing, but since Windows 3.1, we have been fascinated with Solitaire, am I right?

The Microsoft Solitaire Collection has something for every Solitaire fan. From the classic Klondike Solitaire, to TriPeaks, to Spider, FreeCell, and Pyramid, there is plenty here to feed your Solitaire addiction.

And for the rest of the month of August, I pledge to be addicted to Solitaire for Windows 10. Why? Because of this stupid Achievement, “Marathon”. For those of you that don’t know, Achievements are little digital “badges of honor” that you unlock for doing various tasks in a game or app. They are programmed in by the developers of said games. Sometimes, Achievements are unlocked for something simple like trying a new mode, or beating a level. Other times, Achievements are used to mark doing a great amount of something, like the Blizzard of Bliss achievement in Microsoft Solitaire Collection.

Still, other achievements are both quantity and time-based. This is where this cursed Marathon achievement comes in. The description for is particular achievement reads “Come back each day of an entire month and complete at least one Daily Challenge“. So not only do I have to do a minimum of 31 daily challenges, I have to do them consecutively. And not only consecutively, but in the same calendar month. This is ridiculous! If I miss a daily challenge, then I have to wait until the next month to try again!! Madness.

Yet for some reason, I am going to attempt to dedicate a few minutes of each day until August 31st to beating a daily challenge just to get that virtual pat on the back.

Update: So, it’s August 31st and I faithfully completed a daily challenge every day of the month in hopes of completing the Marathon Challenge and getting the STUPID achievement for my troubles.

After completing the INANE challenge, I received no achievement, so I went to check my challenge progress and saw this miserable visual.

Screenshot (15)

Yes that says I have 30/31 daily challenges completed. Oh really Stupid Solitaire game? Is that right? Then what do you say to this?

Every dumb day of august

That says I did at least a daily challenge for every day. And my anger should tell you that I did them on the day they were assigned, because I set my stupid calendar to remind me to do the dumb daily challenges.

So, to literal heck with you Microsoft Solitaire. Apparently you thought I skipped a day somewhere in that 31 day month. But you probably got paid for every ad video I watched through that 31 day month just to get to the daily challenges!

Last night a pretty cool thing happened.

When news broke of game developer Mike Maulbeck venting that he wanted to kill Valve founder Gabe Newell, I though, “This is a song for Yes.Mustache!”¬† Yes.Mustache is my music project dedicated to video games and gaming culture.¬† This story was definitely about gaming culture.¬† After work I wrote the song and recorded it.¬† I was up until 2 in the morning. :/¬† After uploading it to YouTube I noticed that a writer for a very popular video-game-website was echoing the sentiments that I had written in the song, namely ‘Don’t threaten to kill people, it’s bad form’.

The writer responded and asked if he could embed my video at the end of the week for a post on the website.  I consented (I was thrilled).  Below is the post.

I have long been an admirer of Joystiq and to be featured on their site was a great honor and encouragement.  In a matter of hours, my lifetime total views have doubled, all because a huge site picked up my little song.  That was pretty cool.

New silly song Console Wars for you gamer geeks out there.

Yesterday, it struck me to make some music.  Being an avid gamer, the topic that inspired me was the Console Wars, which anyone who follows video game news can attest is an ugly rivalry between the major players in console hardware.  It used to be Nintendo and Sega, then Sony entered the picture.  Now, years later, the big three are Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

I wrote this to comment on how gamers seem to miss that their hobby involves “playing games”.¬† Sure, we play to win, but we play for fun.¬† Why all the fighting?

This tune is my take on it all.