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Older articles
Article
Baron's Blitz: Our greatest fear
Sep 30th 2014
I think one of the most frequent questions posed to me in my time doing Dead Air/Ghost in the Podcast has always been what scares me most. On the show there are always the jokes of my fears of the eight legged spawns of Satan who are not-so-secretly attempting to devour my very soul (All hail Arachnos!), but the thing is in reality I can handle myself somewhat gracefully when dealing with my arch-nemeses. Even as they (deliberately) build their webs at perfect eye level. The reality, however, is that I've never discussed what really scares me on the show. The truth of my deepest fear isn't something as entertaining as spider orbs, their real life brethren, or those tense moments walking down a long hallway in Amnesia as I run dangerously low on kerosene for my lamp. As much as those things scare me, as discussed on the show, there is a difference between 'safe' fear and 'real' fear. What I want to tell you about here is my 'real' fear.
Several years ago I had a dream about my niece and I spending time together at a local mall. She was around six at the time and for most of her childhood she and I were very close. Taking her to the mall or out for ice cream or just out to the park was not an uncommon activity for us in the waking world so of course I thought nothing of what was about to happen in the next several minutes. At one point in the dream I bent down to pick my fork up off the floor and when I came back up she was gone.
I searched the food court, ran through the halls screaming her name, searched every store I came across knocking displays over as my panic built to a crescendo my sleeping mind couldn't take. I awoke in a cold sweat with my face buried in my hands sobbing uncontrollably. I spent the rest of the night lying awake on my niece's floor as she slept blissfully ignorant of my presence. The next morning I was gone before she awoke, and any time I was put into a position to take her somewhere I would have mini panic attacks before leaving the house. To this day I have never experienced a fear as brutal and honest as I did that night while I dreamed. It makes the nights worrying about Freddy, Jason, or the monsters under my bed waiting to pounce look pathetically weak by comparison. I'd take on all he imaginary monsters lurking in the dark if it meant never having to face that fear again.
Article
A Brief Gank Erroneous Electronics Earwig
Jun 21st 2014
Show over, cynicism returning to normal
By Shriggs
Article
A Brief Gank Wildstar
May 30th 2014
Now back to... Doing... Work... ?
By Shriggs
Article
A Brief Gank Patent My Face, OK!
May 24th 2014
Everyone should check out the Cryptozoic Entertainment vs Wizards of the Coast Scuffle, its kind of crazy.
By Shriggs
Article
KTC and it's Tech Crew (A Shawncaster Documentary)
May 24th 2014
So for my advanced broadcasting class I had to make a 15 minute documentary on something involving our school or town, I chose theater again. So what I did was I documented some of the unseen things that happen before and during a show. Take a look at the embedded version over at http://www.shawncaster.grebog.net
(The youtube version didn't meet my expectations)
Feedback is appreciated.
Article
A Brief Gank Derp Souls
May 18th 2014
Get on my level bro.
By Shriggs
Article
Review of Warcraft: War Crimes by Christie Golden
May 6th 2014
War Crimes the newest Warcraft novel by Christie Golden released on May 6th 2014 and we had the pleasure of getting a review copy. As always, thank you to great people at Blizzard for sharing review copies of their books with sites like RCM. The following review has light spoilers. You have been warned.

The Siege of Orgrimmar is over and Garrosh Hellscream is in chains at the Temple of the White Tiger in Pandaria. What follows is a trial unlike any before in Azeroth.
Article
A Brief Gank - We're Back
Apr 27th 2014
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm back, apparently some crazy ish went down while I was away.
By Shriggs
Article
Is Another Crash Inevitable? Hardly.
Mar 20th 2014
We've talked a lot here at RCM about the current state of the gaming industry, especially concerning the balance between art and business and whether or not the console industry is on the verge of another 80s style crash. The PC indie market seems to be in the ascendant, while the AAA publishers and developers that depend on yearly console releases appear to be struggling in terms of their quality control and creativity. It seems that every other month we talk about a bungled launch, a buggy patch, or the latest outrage du jour amongst the gaming public. With few exceptions, major developers seem hesitant to take chances or try to build groundbreaking new IPs. Instead, the industry is afflicted by sequelitis, with a new Call of Duty almost every year, a new Battlefield, a new Assassin's Creed. The newest consoles are selling well, with the PS4 being one of the fastest selling launches of all time, but the launch titles, while also profitable, didn't take any chances. While the indie community takes risks and has become a hotbed of innovation, the mainstream studios continue to fall back on the tried and true formulas that have sold games in the past.
For a few years now, people have been comparing the current situation to the 80's, claiming that a new video game crash is imminent. Some writers and journalists even claim that a new crash would be good for the console industry, a necessary destruction of the current chaotic yet stagnant system that would make way for new ideas and new companies that would pay more attention to the needs and wants of the consumer. This speculation began heating up again in 2013, and those predicting a new crash aren't just whistling in the dark, they have some very compelling arguments. Game budgets are bloated, the industry itself has a reputation for horrible working conditions, and consumer confidence in major gaming companies is at an all-time low due to a perceived disconnect between publishers and consumers. The point has been repeatedly made that major publishers and developers are using a flawed business model, with Fortune 500 CEOs and marketing gurus telling developers how to make their games. Games, once made by teams with a dozen people, are now created using a cast of hundreds. In addition, these major publishers are competing in an industry more cutthroat than almost any other, where many developers are almost constantly just one flop away from bankruptcy. This trend is unsustainable and is driving the impetus that creates a new Call of Duty or other big name title every year. In an industry with all of that going for it, what could possibly go wrong, right? It's very easy to paint a picture of an industry teetering on the brink, reaching a point of market saturation with more and more companies fighting for their slice of a market that is more jaded and distrustful than ever before.
Yet, despite all of this doom and gloom, the industry is bigger than ever, with more titles being released and more money being made each year. Gaming has gone from being stigmatized (to an extent) to something so mainstream that in many ways, it has eclipsed Hollywood. In the 90s, gamers were young and the stereotype held that the gaming nerd was oppressed by the popular jock. Now, the average gamer is in their 30s and Pro Athletes are tweeting about being in betas. The media waves their hands hysterically about violence in video games, but the hype is falling mostly upon deaf ears despite a certain amount of Washington saber rattling. The market for games isn't going anywhere. So, if the market isn't going anywhere, where is the crash going to come from? I suppose it depends on how you define a crash. If by crash you are talking about an 80s style destruction of the entire console industry, which led to a sharp decline in all gaming, then I just don't see it. Teenage girls play games on their smartphones, captains of industry play games on their laptops, athletes play games on their xbox, and yes, teenage boys are still talking about each other's mothers in CoD. If consoles die, it will only happen because they've been replaced by something better. The industry will survive, and even prosper.
Article
A Brief Gank - Not There Yet
Mar 20th 2014
VR is starting to get really popular
Also I would like to take this time to mention that I've been working on a board game. At the moment it is in its bear bones play test phase. I would like any Rivals out there to shoot me an email at jefflonga@gmail.com to join in on testing it. I"ll send you the rules, a pdf to print and cut up for game pieces, and a printable game board.
By Shriggs