Friday, November 20, 2009
If you've been reading your friends Facebook updates or Tweets as of late, you may have noticed some were submitted "via Xbox Live." This is because the nations Xbox's got there biggest update since Micro$oft changed the menu interface. In this update, Xbox Live members can now use streamlined versions of Facebook, Twitter, and Last.FM (similar to Pandora) from their TV's.
I was skeptical about all this at first. Why would anyone use facebook on their Xbox when they can't chat, send private messages, write on peoples wall or play those stupid games? There are a couple of positives in this intergration. The first being you can view all your pictures in a slideshow on your TV which is awesome especially if you're rocking the flat panel. The other major benefit is you can now find your facebook friends who are also on Xbox Live which is great because very few xbox users can admit their friends list is compiled of all their real life friends.
Microsoft has also said users will be able to challenge their friends via facebook and post high scores. Being able to challenge my friend to shoot a 4 on the 5th at Spyglass in Tiger Woods has a lot of cool potential in a Jet Man sort of way.
Unfortunately I don't know if this will work to its fullest potential. I've already gotten some grief for updating my status on my Xbox. Im assuming gamers aren't going to "come out," so to speak, and admit they are avid online gamers. Are girls going to see this and be turned off by that cute kid from their class because he said put his thoughts on last nights "30 Rock" through their Xbox? I hope not as this update is intended to draw the casual social networking crowd to Microsoft's console but there will always be haters. We just have to keep our thumbs down.
- by Tyler Lyon
Xbox Live: Docholliday8706
Monday, November 16, 2009
The patriotic chorus blared through the speakers of literally every single bar I entered on a recent crawl across Iowa City’s finest drinking/dancing establishments—it was inescapable.
But the thing is, I didn’t want to escape it.
I froze in the midst of some serious Cabbage Patching the first time I heard it—since when does Miley Cyrus follow immediately after Akon’s “Sexy Bitch” on a DJ set?
My auditory confusion was settled as I became reassured by the lyrics.
“I put my hands up they’re playin’ song and I know it’s gonna be okay/noddin’ my head like yeah/movin’ my hips like yeah”
I’m an admitted music snob who regularly and unapologetically indulges in (worthy) Top 40 tracks. I love pop music—good pop music (See: Lady GaGa, Devo, Beyonce), though I articulately detest the majority of “musical” slime congesting our radio airwaves (See: Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers).
The first time I heard it I thought, “Well, I suppose this has the potential to fall into the mock-able realm of guilty pleasures” My receptive feelings became more justified the second time around, “I mean, this could definitely be ironic enough to be cool…” And then, in an ephiphanic moment, everything made sense. I put my hands up in the realization that, yea-a-a-a-aa-aaaah—it’s a party in the USA.
By the third or fourth play I was sold, “THIS SONG IS PURELY FUCKIN’ AWESOME!”
Any feelings of guilt melded into pure, unabashed pleasure after that magical night of patriotic partying.
As my newly enlightened life went on, I heard the song blasting from the balconies of frat bros' apartment complexes (more than once), pouring from the speakers at hipster house parties, and in Subway.
I discovered the nationally linking element of Miley Cyrus’ masterpiece: partying and America. If neither of those pastimes rings true, you’re definitely not American, you don’t belong here, and Jay Z hates you.
Check out the (epic) music vid featuring gigantic American flag, swing cage (?), and plenty of “hometown girls”!
-By Bri LaPelusa
Friday, November 13, 2009
Like seemingly every other red-blooded American male, I stood in line to get the newest COD game. When I got home and booted up the campaign to see what the story offered. I was alerted with a message saying that some missions might be offensive and I had the option to skip them.
These types of parental guard are now common place in most "M" Rated (17 and up) games. Assassin's Creed gave gamers and their parents the option to turn of blood. The recent Brutal Legend demo (and I'm guessing the game) gave the option to do the same as well as bleep all F-words. As a 22 year-old I dismissed the menu. Bring it on. Then I ran into this little mission early into the game.
***Spoilers Begin Now BTW***
Anyone who's played the COD series knows each game is about immersion. Breaks between missions only exist to load the next level and any cut scene usually puts the player in someones shoes like in the mind blowing intro to the last game.
The "No Russian" mission in the latest COD game is the best example why violent games use to (and still do to some extent) garner so much controversy. It's all about engulfment - the player taking on the mentality of a character - that scared cable news pundits when the old Grand Theft Auto games came out. No one wants to think their kids have some taboo desire to be a criminal or terrorists but it's fine if they're Allied Soldiers or Athletes.
Game companies always point to their games rating and some of the aforementioned in game options. Popular Chains have now even begun to respect the ratings and the controversy has appeared to die down. However its just like getting booze, all you need is an older friend - sometimes a stranger will do.
If you want to try (and likely succeed) at beating the DI Video Game Guy on Xbox Live Ill be around: Docholliday8706
Playing Now: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony, NHL 10
Wish I Was Playing: Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Oh Don Draper, you clever son of a bitch.
“You could fire us, and we could start our own agency!”
Jesus Christ. Who saw that coming? I know I didn’t. Don Draper again amazed me with his ability to not only surprise everyone, but not really care how much he hurts his friends/family/acquaintances.
The episode starts with Don getting STFU’d by Conrad Hilton, the owner and manager of Hilton Hotels (a multi-million dollar account for Sterling Cooper). I don’t know about others, but since the beginning of Don and Conrad’s relationship, I just *knew* something was going to go wrong. They got way too close, way too fast. Conrad was calling Don his “son” and Don was actually connecting to a human being! That never happens. So, naturally, it had to end sometime. And it did. And it set Don off — on a rampage.
Conrad tells Don that Sterling Cooper is being sold to some other company, which is why Conrad has to pull Hilton Hotels. This is the first Don heard, so he gets super pissed. That leads to their fallout not only in business, but as friends. But, something happens inside of Don at this moment. He recognizes that his life is no longer in control, and he wants to do something about it.
So the episode goes on, and he convinces all the big dogs at Sterling Cooper that they need to secede and create their own agency. And they do that. Honestly, I never thought I would be so enthralled with a show about middle aged men in advertising. The power and magic of television is amazing.
But now instead of continuing to blab about the episode, I want to ask you a question. Is this a good idea?
Immediately, I want to say yes. Now the core group from Sterling Cooper has complete control over all of their creative output. Naturally, you would thing the guys who built a powerhouse agency would know how to do it again, and this time do it better, right? But I don’t know. I think the main issue is Don.
The main catalyst for this new venture was his fallout with Conrad. Now, even though Don might be saying that he “wants to do something” with his life, I still think he’s being moody. Maybe I’m pessimistic, but I just don’t see Don changing his ways. As soon as next season starts, he’s going to want to do something else. Again, he’s using the people in his life, simply for what he wants.
Regardless of all those feelings though — it was pretty badass how the Americans totally screwed the British. Happy Veteran’s Day!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I will always always wonder what ever happened to Saturday night.
The fall brings two of my favorite past times to the fore front: Football and the fall TV season. While many viewers are going to work at a northeast paper company, grabbing a pint at their favorite Philly bar, or singing infectious pop songs with their hip Spanish teacher a select few are putting on their shoulder pads to enjoy the drama under the Friday Night Lights and every night in between.
-by Tyler Lyon