31 December 2010

2010: A Reflection

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! 2010 has been a great year for gaming but for me, it was a terrific year for personal growth. I hardly ever check my horoscope but for some reason I started the year by seeing what mine had to say:

Year 2010 Overview for Aquarius

Aquarius often gets pegged as being a little too cerebral for its own good. But the truth is, that's where you do your best work. The next year is going to give you the opportunity to use those sharp mental powers to focus on what it is you really want out of life. Two eclipses fall in your Twelfth House, which will bring out your intuitive side, and give you a chance to see your life from a less-strictly-logical (yet no less valid) perspective. The additional information they give you about your life and your position in it will be your big chance to put things in order.

Saturn is also going to be bringing big changes as to your philosophical approach to life. What fundamental approaches to life have worked for you, and what haven't? You may have never stopped to ask that question, or known the benefits of finding the right answer to it. This year, those answers will come, and your life is likely to be a saner, better-adjusted place for it.

Of course, it's impossible to have a well-ordered world around you without having a few other people in it. The middle part of the year will see close friends and partners coming and going in your life, more so than you've seen in a long time. In part, this will be a reflection of the changes going on in your "higher mind." And again, the overall effect should be a positive one. It's your worldview, Aquarius -- make it the best you can!

Now, I have no idea what these eclipses are doing in my Twelfth House, but I made sure to keep a look out and shoo them out the front door should they provide me with any problems. However, I didn't take the last paragraph about how close friends and partners will be coming and going out of my life seriously until it actually (coincidentally enough) happened.

But let me talk about the highlights and what I've learned (or cared to remember) about this year before it goes flying out the window.

23 December 2010

Recap of Candlelight Vigil for Julian Collender on Dec. 22, 2010

A picture is worth 1,000 words
Last night Julian Collender's family organized a candlelight vigil to mark the 6 month anniversary of his death across the street from the Orange County District Attorney's office in downtown Santa Ana, Ca. About 40 of Julian's friends and supporters attended, sending the DA a message of solidarity and that we demand justice and accountability for the unspeakable death of our friend, brother, and son.

A few photojournalists were on hand to cover the event, one being from the Orange County Register. Go here to read the article. I also found a video online, which includes Julian's sister, Michele Collender, speaking on behalf of her family. Click here for the video.

Close to 8,000 signatures were collected on the petition found on justiceforjulian.com. The petition will stay open on the site - please sign if you haven't done so. Together we can help bring justice to Julian and offer peace of mind not just to his family, but to the citizens of this county, state, and country. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!

21 December 2010

Movie Weekend Review

This past weekend was particularly eventful for the 'ryder-'doku household, and a particularly rainy one at that. What perfect way to spend a miserably wet and rainy Southern California weekend than to watch a couple of movies? I shouldn't complain too much; I suppose it's better to be rained on than snowed on (hello to the Midwest!).

This weekend's movies included a newbie (or a sequel to an oldie) and a not-so-oldie-oldie: Tron Legacy and The Lake House.

17 December 2010

Best indie game 2010: LIMBO

Best Indie Game 2010! Image courtesy of Playdead Studios and
Microsoft Game Studios

Is it any surprise that LIMBO keeps getting the recognition it deserves on all sorts of "Best of..." lists? Here are a few accolades this awesome x 3 $10 game has received in the past year or so:
  • Best Indie Game 2010 - Spike Video Game Awards 
  • 6th Best Video Game of 2010 - TIME magazine 
  • 3rd Best Xbox Live Arcade Title - September 2010, IGN 
  • 10th Best Indie Game 2010 - Gamasutra.com 
  • Winner of the "Technical Excellence" and "Excellence in Visual Art" at the Independent Games Festival at the 2010 Game Developers Conference 
  • Winner of GameSpot's Best Downloadable Game - 2010, E3 Conference

Some of you may complain about the lack of a narrative and its relatively short length compared to the price (you can finish this game in a day, I think), but I find this game to be absolutely charming and quietly gory. Playdead Studios presented a visually simple masterpiece that has become a sleeper hit in the gaming community. It's an unexpected winner for 2010 and I can't help but keep singing the praises of this game.

Playdead Studios - congratulations! I'm looking forward to your next game!

16 December 2010

TRON: Legacy

 Hopefully @DavidisALLright, tsudoku, and I will get to watch this come Friday night! Daft Punk, ENCOM, Disney = win. I haven't even looked at the game trailers yet, and I'm usually a bit wary when it comes to games based off of movies...although I haven't been disappointed by Scott Pilgrim yet.

End of line.

[UPDATE 12/17/10 4:15 PM: just bought 3 tickets to see tonight's showing of Tron: Legacy in IMAX 3D! We'll be out in the rain waiting for the nice theatre people to let us inside for the 12:50 AM showing. Come say hi to me - we'll be at the Irvine Spectrum.]

Current Obsession: Me as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

Damn the holidays! Damn it all! Shopping for Christmas presents and cosmetics (for me) has kept me from doing what I love most - writing (and gaming). So here I am once again, on my hands and knees asking every one of you in Denmark, Canadia, Japan, and Alaska if you could ever forgive me for this unintentional hiatus.

Also, do you like me? Circle yes or no.

Ahem. I digress. Before the holidays took ahold of my life, tsudoku and I started playing the awesome side-scroller Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (now available on XBLA for a cheap, cheap price). Let me tell you, it ain't easy, but it sure as hell is FUN! My thumb calluses have returned and I wear these badges of honor with pride, which tells you that I've been playing non-stop AND that I was born during the age of button mashing.

That should be me second from the left. Image courtesy of SpawnKill.com

15 December 2010

Candlelight Vigil for Julian Collender on 12/22/10 3:00 PM PST

Candlelight vigil to be held Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 3:00 PM PST in front of the Orange County District Attorney’s office in Santa Ana for Julian Collender.

We invite you to join the family, friends and fellow supporters of our slain friend, brother, uncle, and son Julian Collender on December 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm in Santa Ana in front of the Orange County District Attorney’s office for a candlelight vigil.

Julian Collender was 25 years old when he was shot and killed by a Brea Police Officer with a high power assault rifle in front of his parents’ home in Yorba Linda, Ca. on June 30, 2010.  Julian was unarmed, had no prior record, and was alone at the time of the incident. The Brea Police Department and the OCDA’s office have released little information regarding the progress of the investigation.

Please attend this peaceful vigil with us. Julian was a son of Orange County – his memory cannot die in vain.

The candlelight vigil will be held at:

Orange County District Attorney’s Office
401 Civic Center Drive
Santa Ana, California 92701

For more information and to sign the petition for a thorough, unbiased investigation into the death of Julian Collender, please visit:

Twitter: justice4julian
Facebook: Justice for Julian

Article on Creative Uses for the Kinect

About a month ago I wrote a post about the Kinect and the many, many different hacks that you creative humans out there have come up with for this awesome piece of machinery. Well, I just stumbled upon a short and sweet article courtesy of the Plugged In blog on Yahoo! Games that showcased a few of their favorite hacks (and non-hacks).

Read on to to learn more about it and for video here.