Archives for December 2005

2005 Awards

All the gaming sites have their “Best Of” awards each, as do many blogs. Here I’ll be aggregating the various best-of lists I find in the gaming-sphere. I’m also planning the Buttonmashing awards up after Christmas (you can read my 2004 picks here). Until then, here’s what others think:

Uberblog Guardian Unlimited Gamesblog has listed their Best Games of 2005 here.

Troy has posted takes a look back at 2005’s strategy games and doles out the awards here.

Singe has posted his awards here and here. You can get at them from his Awards Category, too.

Vanhemlock, connoisseur of all things MMO, breaks down 2005 here, month by month, concluding with a report on all his characters.

Jared Rea (a member of the 1Up staff) has a blog at 1Up which I found via GameSetWatch and he also has a couple 2005 lists, the regular awards and the not-so-regular ones.

Mike mentioned in the comments he’d be posting his Top 5 of ’05 lists and he just posted his Top 5 Games. Additionally, you can see his Top 5 for Music, television, movies, and Events. Mike’s got good taste!

Joystiq’s staff has posted their 2005 picks here.

The ever hilarious Geek on Stun has some great picks for 2005, including the Game From 2005 That We Haven’t Gotten Around To Quite Yet, But Will Definitely Make An Effort To Soon. I’ll have to give that one a try, too.

Not to toot my own horn, but you can find my list here.

GameSetWatch has a few links to their 2005 picks. You can find them all here.

MattG from Press the Buttons lists his picks here. Interesting to see that RE4 only made it to #3 in his list.

Mike Nowak’s Top 5 list of games does not include RE4 (gasp!) but is another great list.

Game Girl Advance has the Top 5 Trends of 2005. Another great read. #2 is wireless online gaming, something I’m also a big proponent of.

But sometimes it’s nice to have a system which I can just pull out while on my lunch break and play a quick online match. The portable systems have provided that and blazed a very profitable trail.

And you thought we were done updating this thread. Never! Here are a few more.

Broken Toys has his Top Ten list.

Bill at Dubious Quality hooks us up with his list of the games he enjoyed the most.

Tom at G-pinions gives us the top 2004 games he didn’t play until 2005. I think I’m gonna give Ribbit King a try!

Update: I changed the time stamp so this would rise back to the top as more people’s list are surfacing. My own list is almost finished done.

Update (1/6/06): Added a few more lists to the list.

Buckeye Blogging, et cetera.

A few tidbits leading up to the Fiesta Bowl.

  • Notre Dame has not won a Bowl game in over ten years
  • Bobby Carpenter has been practicing (no contact) with the team but no decision has been made yet. I’d love to see him out there Monday, but not to the detriment of his NFL career. Hopefully he’ll make the right choice.
  • AJ Hawk is dating Brady Quinn’s older sister, Laura. Is Charlie Weis up to something? AJ Hawk is not attractive. Laura Quinn is. How did this happen?
  • OSU has the most All Academic Big Ten football players this year (18) in the conference. This is now the fourth straight year OSU has led the Big Ten. Four years? Jim Tressel started coaching the Buckeyes in 2001. 2002 would have been his freshmen recruiting class. Hmmm…
  • AJ Hawk is the National Defensive Player of the Year. Why did he not win the Butkus award again?

Update: Thanks to BM reader Bryan, I’ve added a link to Laura Quinn’s picture, which currently seems to be what everyone is looking for. I still stand by my assertion, though — compared to A.J., Laura is quite the looker.

Bloglines quirk?

I seem to have an issue with Bloglines and the two Weblogs, Inc. feeds I subscribe to (Joystiq and Engadget). Every item in their feeds is repeated three or four times. Has anyone else who’s subscribed to their feeds notice this? Is it from the ads they insert into th feed? It’s getting a little frustrating. I really enjoy reading both blogs but it’s almost to the point where it’s not worth it.

Is this a Bloglines issue or a feed isssue?

King Kong – WOW

Just got back from the theater. Saw a little movie, you might have heard of it — King Kong. Wow.

Wow, was that movie visceral and intense!

Wow, was the action amazing (once it got started).

Wow, was that movie long.

Wow, was Jack Black out of his league.

Wow, were some of those sequences both breathtaking and heartbreaking.

Wow, was that an excellent movie!

Parenting is good!

I should start a running tally of bad vs. good portrayals of gaming in the media. Sure, the ratio would be 20 to 1 but it sure seems like the good ones are really good ones. The latest to go on the “Good Pile” is from the Washington Post, by Sebastian Mallaby, titled, “My son and I, Game to Learn.” (hat tip to BM reader Bobster).

The article starts off with everything we’ve heard before – studies can’t prove a link between violence and video games (even though they’re trying their darndest!) and all the benefits of playing games – better problem solving, you know the drill. But there’s more to it than that. It gets good when he starts talking about his son’s passion for RuneScape. I’ve never played RuneScape, but after reading this article, I’m intrigued. A little clip:

But the game’s main attraction lies in its business challenge. My son has been buying logs, making longbows and selling them at a profit; he says the margins in the bow business fluctuate around 10 percent. Lately he’s moved into buying magic herbs in bulk and retailing them individually. This is a dicier business, but the risk is balanced by reward. Herb-trading margins can be 100 percent or fatter.

Sounds fun. As a big fan of crafting, this sounds right up my alley. But the article is more than just the fluctuating markets of RuneScape. It’s about history and Age of Empires 3 and medicine and America’s Army.

All this coming from a confessed non-gamer. Keep the good publicity rolling!

Update: Joystiq has linked buttonmashing.com with this story. Thanks! Even with the wonky feed issue, I still dig the Joystiq crew.

Quick update

I’m still looking for nominations for the Best Gaming Blog. You can nominate your favorite blog here.

Don’t forget the next Carnival stop, at Kill Ten Rats, is fast approaching. Get your submissions in to Ethic soon.

Santa was unable to procure me an Xbox 360, but that’s okay because I’ve got a bunch of other games to play anyway. My DS will keep me busy. I did get a copy of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for the Gamecube and both Mr Driller and Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the DS. Santa also brought me The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, which is absolutely amazing. I love Calvin and Hobbes and I had to have this most excellent collection.

Happy Holidays!

Here’s a Guild Wars wish for a Merry Wintersday. Like most people, I’ll be taking it easy, blogging-wise, for the weekend. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you button mashers out there!

But is that Legal?

Glenn Reynolds, aka The Instapundit, has a great piece on the Clinton/Lieberman/Bayh legislation that would codify the ratings assigned to video games. While IANAL, Reynolds is, so when he says this law would be unconstitutional, I would have to agree. He makes some great points, including the fact that this is blatant posturing by Clinton to position herself with parents for the upcoming 2008 election. A couple choice quotes:

Politicians — and, for that matter, journalists — tend to think thereís a difference, because a lot more of them read books than play computer games. But thatís more a reflection on how behind the times they are

We’ve said something along these lines many times before here, but it bears repeating. It’s the rock-and-roll analogy. Our grandparents didn’t like that our parents were listening to Elvis Presley because it was foreign to them and that made them resist it. This is very similar.

And since itís hard for me to believe that a rating system for books would pass constitutional muster, I have considerable doubt that it will do so here.

This is another point. Where does the rating of the media (and our hobbies/past times) end? Everyone already ignores movie ratings (including the theaters), the Parental Advisor sticker on a CD case is the path to instant success with teenagers, and supposedly no one understands the video game rating system. Rating systems work if they’re actually meaningful, not just empty gestures with “the Children” in mind. So far they all seem to be just that.

Needless to say, go read the whole thing.

I’ve bookmarked the opinion Reynolds references for future referencing. It’s a good read (if you can navigate the legalese) and it seems at least judge Posner “gets it”:

Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low. It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware. To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it.

Maybe video games are different. They are, after all, interactive. But this point is superficial, in fact erroneous. All literature (here broadly defined to include movies, television, and the other photographic media, and popular as well as highbrow literature) is interactive; the better it is, the more interactive. Literature when it is successful draws the reader into the story, makes him identify with the characters, invites him to judge them and quarrel with them, to experience their joys and sufferings as the reader’s own.

Indeed.

(thanks to Bobster for the link)

Best Gaming Blog?

For the past few years in the blogosphere, there have been various “Best of” awards, including The BoB Awards (The Best of Blogs Award) and The Weblog Awards but as I’ve surfed the various categories, I see that Gaming Blogs have been left out in the December cold. I know Spike TV had their “Best Gaming Blog” Category, along with its whopping 3 nominees, which ended in a tie, but come on. I’m not saying the blogs weren’t worthy of their nomination, but there’s more out there than just those three. While I don’t consider Slashdot a “blog” per-se, Kotaku and Joystiq are both commendable blogs. Those three sites are great, but I think there’s more than just those guys.

So I’m thinking about doing a Best of Gaming Blogs poll here. Before we can have a poll, however, we need some nominees. Leave a comment here with a list of your favorite blogs. I’ll take nominations until Monday. If there’s enough interest, I’ll post a poll where the votes will be tallied. If not, I guess gaming blogs will have to wait another year for their own award.

As a courtesy to the Spike TV finalists (whether they’re proud of that distinction or not) I’ll start out with Joystiq, Kotaku, and Slashdot Games as nominees. I’ll also add my nominations: Dubious Quality, Wonderland, Kieron Gillen’s Workblog and 4 Color Rebellion are a few of the many blogs I thoroughly enjoy. (and how could I forget my favorite MMO-blogger, AFK Gamer!)

There’s a lot of good blogs out there, so nominate away!

Update: I also submitted a forum topic at Evil Avatar on this subject, you can read it here.

Feeding time!

I know some buttonmashing.com readers prefer to use an RSS aggregator (I’ve said on more than one occasion the Bloglines is the best). I haven’t done any updating to my feed but I wanted to make available my feed to anyone who uses a feed reader.

If you use My Yahoo as your RSS reader, you can subscribe here:
Add to My Yahoo!

My MSN (isn’t working at the moment. Fixed.)

Newsgator
Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Bloglines
Subscribe with Bloglines

If you use any other service, like to Google Desktop 2.0 sidebar, or Google IG, or Google anything or any number of other feed readers, you can use my Feedburner Feed, which gives me stats to how many people are using my feed and how they’re reading it. You can use this for the feed: