Op-Ed

Join The Escapist's writers and editors each weekday afternoon for an look at the issues important to you.

Op-Ed

What follows is a roughly chronological retelling of events that may or may not have occured to someone that... exists. Since many of you I'm sure shop at Best Buy - and this is our big retail issue - I feel it's my duty to inform.

Day 1
The individual we're discussing (Let's call him Larry) - Larry decides it's time to buy himself a Christmas (Larry celebrates Christmas) gift. One he's wanted for awhile. It will be a television. A big television. A big, high definition television, aglow with a sexy aura of 'Rock On'. Larry thinks about this all day, and goes to bed dreaming of widescreen movies. Little does he know that fate thinks she's a funny girl.

Op-Ed

88 hours since the 25th. That's an average of 8.8 hours a day people. And I worked most of those days too. I see King Metal Slimes in my sleep. They taunt me with massive potential experience, but then run away as I get close. Brontes, Steropes and I skip through meadows of medicinal herbs and I hum to the sound of the Satyrical Song. But it's not all peaches and cream. I've hit that point in the game. Dead stop.

Op-Ed

We at The Escapist enjoy The Drink. Alex, our Commander-in-Chief, makes a mean martini, and a really mean Long Island Iced Tea (I'll tell you that story when you're older - and my memory finally comes back). As a gift to you on this New Year's Eve Eve, here are a few gaming-themed drinks for you to enjoy, and hopefully share, with your (of age in your particular jurisdiction) friends.

Three drinks after the break!

Op-Ed

This holiday weekend, many people I know were gathered in cozy settings with friends and family, surrounded by the warmth and traditions of the season. Lounging around opened boxes and tattered gift wrap, cups of hot chocolate in hands, these people reminisced about holidays past. Elder eyes rimed with the crowsfeet of limitless merriment grinned onward as the youngest of generations exclaimed gleefully at the magic of the happy moment. All wonderful, homey and warm-fuzzly.

But I hit rank C in the Monster Arena.

Op-Ed

My brother and I were allowed to open one present, each, on Christmas Eve, a little while before going to our Grandparents' house for family festivities. At first, we were just excited to open a package, any package. As a result, I often went for the biggest one with my name on it and my brother usually went for the one with the paper that said, "Open Me" printed all over it in green.

But this was in our young, and na? years. We hadn't yet learned that the big packages usually contain clothes, which are not exciting Christmas presents until the teen years, if even then. Also, we hadn't yet realized the "Open Me" paper was a not-so-subliminal message to open the new scarf and gloves set because it's rapidly becoming cold outside and we don't want the fingers to freeze, now do we?

Op-Ed

I'm so jolly.

For whatever reason, City Of Villains has more charm than the more law-abiding version of the Cryptic Studios game. Darker atmosphere, rockin' music and the cold embrace of rampant naughtiness is much more appealing than the tights and trumpets of City Of Heroes. But that's not to say we villains can't be cheerful. I mean, I did a quest for my Santa hat. Isn't it fetching?

Yessir. I completed Operation: Scrooge, and got a festive stocking cap in exchange for stealing children's presents. Sometimes my friends, it's good to be bad.

Op-Ed

I've always been a dancer. It started when I was really little doing ballet, tap, and jazz. Then I fell in love with video games and discovered DDR. I love playing, it's extremely relaxing and I find that I constantly lose myself while playing. It's sort of that same zone that I get when I'm doing ballet. Nothing really matters but the music and the dancing.

DDR was a God-send. Now, when I wasn't doing ballet, I could lose myself in my own living room. I bought a few of the DDR games for PS2, I received one of the Metal Arcade Pads for my birthday. I was in heaven.

Op-Ed

An issue of grave importance (well, that might be an exaggeration) has come to the forefront in the past few months. I was first aware of this issue a few years ago, at Christmas. You see, I had asked for a full set of the Chronicles of Narnia. These had been some of my favorite books as a child and I had not ever had a complete set.

I opened the package on Christmas Day and discovered that someone, somewhere had decided to change the order of The Chronicles of Narnia. After pondering the package for a few moments, I realized that they were now in chronological order. The issue of order has come up again in my mind because of the release of the movie we've already been talking about here. It appears the creators of the movie have perhaps decided to go with the original canon.

Op-Ed

A lot of people from here in the office are really interested in going to see the new Chronicles of Narnia movie that releases today. Am I the only person not interested in watching it? I read the novels when I was a kid, and I saw the cartoon version of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. They terrified me. I'm not sure what it was, nor will I ever know.

I watched the trailer and tried to pick up the books to see if it would interest me - no desire. Now, I really am starting to think there is something wrong with me because everyone around me apparently loves The Chronicle.

Op-Ed

We've been branching out, as you can tell. The Lounge has given us an opportunity to get a bit more comfortable with you, our readers, and hear what you have to say in regard to the magazine, as well as some issues that would never make it into the weekly. It's been great hearing what you folks have to say about what we're doing, and now, we're asking again for feedback and input for a new venture, which we're happy to debut to you: The Escapist Pod, The Escapist's podcast!

Click here to listen. Then, read more for some additional info, and a request from us to you!

Op-Ed

The new editorial calendar is done. January through June of 2006 are planned ... well almost. You see, the publishing of the new editorial calendar has opened the floodgates for article proposals. Now, I have to take the planning a step further and go, issue by issue, and decide what to put where. This is my absolute favorite and most troubling part of my job.

I love getting all of these brilliant ideas for articles. It's great seeing others come up with, and improving upon, ideas we had while planning the calendar. Talking with writers about their ideas, sometimes molding them into a neat package to complement other articles is exciting.

Op-Ed

I've always been fascinated with browser based games. They're something I could poke at between projects, or tab between when I was supposed to be doing work or listening to a lecture in college. Having an engaging multiplayer game that you could play 5 minutes at a time helped me tide over my gaming addiction when I really didn't have the time to play any game seriously... Or so I thought.

I'm not talking about the casual games that are typically tied to the industry definition of "Casual Gamer". No, these are the soul-sucking, "You only have to do one thing every few hours", "If anything bad happens, you have all day to plot out a strategy" games. Those are the lines my so-called friends fed me when they initially got me to play Hyperiums a few years ago.

I started out with my little planet fiddling around once or twice a day. Before long, I'm involved in grand battles of dozens of players at once. Forming treaties over IRC, writing programs to analyze production numbers, cutting off supply lines, while systematically turning my enemy's planets into black holes. All while screaming about how 3 hours was too quick for a battle to resolve.

And now, they want to make multiplayer RPGs easy to make.

Op-Ed

One of the things I like the most about my work on The Escapist is that I get to read all the articles. It's led to some interesting personal examination on the nature of gaming and what games I like to play, among other things. More recent articles, and Alex's blog posting from a few days back, got me to thinking what the industry and gamer could do to help promote ourselves as a positive force.

Out of left field, an inspiration dropped into my lap.

Op-Ed

I've gotten to play with the 360 quite a bit over the past two weeks, and I'd just like to say that Achievements are a wonderful, maddening, and ingenious addition to the console. In fact, the whole Gamertag concept is beautifully executed.

Some of you will look at the above and have no idea what I'm going on about. Let me clarify.