The Most Significant 2018 Super Bowl Ads

February 9, 2018

Last year I took some time to review the advertisements in the Super Bowl.  We saw that after a particularly divisive election many of the advertisements took on a particularly political tone.  Would the same happen this year in the wake of #metoo?  Or would advertisers tone down the social commentary and aim more for brand building and light humor?  Weirdly enough I mentioned 2004’s “wardrobe malfunction” in my introduction…


The Best NFL Playoff Games

NFL Playoffs Logo
January 22, 2018

The playoffs for any sporting league are a special time of year.  Fans of the teams that made it are able to keep their dreams alive, and even fans of the teams eliminated are prepared to enjoy the spectacle.  Playoffs famously attract attention even from casual fans and non-fans of the game, increasing viewership and excitement. Why is this?  If we were to assume an equal distribution of fans, and…


Dead Exit First Impressions Review

November 8, 2017

I had an opportunity to play Dead Exit a few days before its launch on the Xbox One platform. Dead Exit is a zombie-themed card game that feels very much like it could have been printed as a more traditional “board game” style of game with significant card mechanics. In Dead Exit, every card has two sides: the zombie side and the regular side. The regular side can be a…


The Gun Cult-ure

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition artwork from the 1942 song by Kay Kyser for Famous Music.
October 12, 2017

Knowing that I would be writing a piece on gun control in America after recent events, I started this blog with a working title of “The Gun Culture” and my fingers slipped as I typed, a common enough occurrence.  But the typo resulted in the word “culture” being mangled, highlighting the “cult” portion of the word.  I was never intending to take a trip down the rabbit hole of the…


Is Freedom What the Doctorow Ordered?

August 31, 2017

I have been aware of Cory Doctorow for a very long time.  In 2005 I  read his debut novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which was published in 2003.  And even before then, I was aware of Mr. Doctorow as an agent provocateur of the intellectually anti-copyright fighters, though that is an unfair characterization.  Doctorow was never anti-copyright; he was, however, against the concept of copyright as it…


Trump Farted

Bill and Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush entertained by David Blaine
March 7, 2017

When I took a couple of journalists to task last year, shortly before the election, I didn’t expect it to become a theme.  Neither did I expect to find myself with any common ground with Donald Trump regarding the media.  While he accuses them of being liars, dishonest, and purveyors of fake news in his repetitious fashion, I like to think that I’m more civilized and understanding of their task….


Standards of Review

February 23, 2017

“Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. is crap” – Theodore Sturgeon (Sturgeon’s Revelation) This is commonly revised to “Ninety percent of everything is crap,” and simply called Sturgeon’s Law.  Sturgeon was an author and a critic of horror and science fiction and saw that the genres had their faults, but…


The Most Significant 2017 Super Bowl Ads

February 9, 2017

The Super Bowl is an annual spectacle of brute force, finesse, strategy and, of course, marketing.  For many Americans, the actual game of gridiron is second fiddle to the extravaganzas at the periphery.  Since at least 2004, when we had the infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” the Super Bowl halftime show has been as big a deal as the game itself.  For even longer, the Super Bowl has been precious advertising time….


A Journalistic Crisis

October 12, 2016

I drive around listening to NPR, like the good little brainwashed semi-millennial/semi-Gen-X college grad that I am.  On a recent trip, I was listening to the Diane Rehm show.  For those unfamiliar, Diane Rehm is the godmother of talk radio, particularly in the Washington, D.C. area.  She’s been the host of her show—a roundtable panel discussion on the radio, which she moderates with an iron fist—for decades, and it is…


Hi, My Name is Andrew

October 6, 2016

I’m the gamer. I say that like it defines me, but that’s fitting since we do it with games too.   Is this game a AAA game or an indie game?  Is it a shooter or a strategy game?  We use these definitions to help put games, and people, into boxes that we can understand without getting to know what they’re really about.  Sometimes this works as short-hand jargon.  It’s…