Archive for the 'Video Games' Category

embarrassingly late review of the original nexus 7

I’ve been promising to write up my thoughts on the original Google Nexus 7 tablet since it was released last July, but it always took a backseat to blogging about other things. With the Nexus 7 Mark II coming out this week, this post is as outdated as it could be, but I like to finish what I start (this post has been in draft form for at least six months). And if you’re considering getting the new Nexus 7, some of this may still be relevant.

The Nexus… From Star Trek VII

So when the original Nexus 7 was announced, I had been considering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 as a birthday present to myself, primarily for use as a non-proprietary eReader. The prices and specifications were roughly equal for a picky but not-obsessive media consumer like me, but the Nexus 7 had a few other things going for it:

  • It was a Google device running the latest version of Google’s Android OS, with the promise of superior support and not needing to wait long for future updates.
  • The Nexus 7 was designed in partnership with Asus, which had produced my very first netbook (and perhaps the first true netbook), the Asus 7, which I was very happy with. I think I wrote a couple of novels on little Zim. (What? Don’t you name your devices?)
  • The Nexus 7 uses a standard micro-USB port for charging and connecting to a computer vs. a proprietary port for the Samsung.
  • The Nexus 7 had a slightly higher screen resolution, which was important since I intended to read on it.

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heading to princeton

Part of Quantum Coin is set in Princeton, N.J., so I’m looking forward to bringing the book there this Friday for an event called Buzz Pop: Connecting Teens with Books, Pop Culture, and Young Adult Authors.

liblogo2This program series at the West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library System is described as an informal discussion with teens and YA authors about books, music, movies, and TV shows — with snacks! I approve of all of these.

I’ll be joined by several other authors: Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist), Alissa Grosso (Shallow PondFerocity SummerPopular), and Evan Roskos (Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets). Books will be for sale! We will happily sign our names on things! Fun will be had!

I hope many teens in the area will be there. The event is free, but you should register here now to make sure there are enough snacks.

West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library
333 North Post Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

Friday, July 19, 2013
3–4:30 p.m.

Many thanks to YA librarian Carolyn Aversano and the Friends of the West Windsor Library for inviting us! And thanks to K.M. Walton for connecting us. I’m looking forward to it!

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PAX update

I ended up enjoying PAX East quite a lot, mostly because I was in great company. As usual, the Q&A with Mike and Jerry, the warped geniuses behind Penny Arcade, was entertaining and I loved the “Make a Strip” session, where the audience watched–and participated–while Jerry wrote the script and Mike drew a brilliant and bloody comic. With a superfluous pony as an added bonus! I could watch Mike draw all day, really.

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my gaming weekend

Right now I’m at PAX East in beautiful Boston, MA. I’m not sure why I’m here. I attended last year, which was a mixed bag. It was the first time they did the event on the east coast, so long lines and crowded rooms were the theme of the weekend. On the other hand, I got terrific seats for an awesome concert. But this year they’ve moved it to a bigger convention center and hopefully the kinks have been worked out (except for whatever kinks people enjoy, of course), so I’m tentatively hoping for a better experience all around.

The thing is, I haven’t been gaming lately. Not since the summer really, since all our game systems were packed up and in storage, and I didn’t have my own TV in my sublet, and I just had plenty of other things to do–mostly writing and hanging out with friends. Though I’ve had access to our Xbox 360, Wii, and NES for weeks now in our new apartment, I haven’t had a chance to play yet. And there’s certainly no excuse for not touching the DS since the summer; I’m even in the middle of an enjoyable game of Scribblenauts!

Since college, gaming for me goes in cycles. I play constantly for a while and then go months without picking up a controller, which is one of the reasons I find RPGs hard to get into, since I soon lose track of where I was in the game. I’ve dabbled a bit in some PC games though. I have Portal, Super Meat Boy, Plants vs. Zombies, and Sims 3 installed, but I’ve been careful not to get too addicted. I finally started Knights of the Old Republic some months ago. It’s awesome, but it seems like a time investment I haven’t been able to justify yet. I almost feel like I have to schedule time to play games–and read or watch DVDs–the way I do my writing sessions. It shouldn’t be work, something I think I have to do, right?

I’ve also dabbled a bit in online gaming. Left 4 Dead 2 has been fun with friends on Steam, once we figured out how to do voice chat properly (through Skype, of all things), and I’ve been sampling D.C. Universe Online, which I kind of love, with one of my best friends. That’s my character up there, if you couldn’t guess. “The Krypton Kid” was taken, so I went with “The Smallville Wonder.” Yeah, I know. :P (If he doesn’t do it for you, I also created Iphigenia, on the right. What? Don’t judge me.)

Why I’m really at PAX East is to hang out with some friends I don’t get to see too often, and maybe to reignite some of my love for gaming–and Penny Arcade. For a while after last year’s con I was a big fan of the comic again and followed it avidly for months, but I haven’t been checking the weekly comics and web videos as often lately. Too busy, too many priorities, too little time on the internet. But I don’t want to forget to have fun once in a while!

If you game, do you play cyclically like I do, or is it more of a priority in your free time? What are you playing now?

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