Friday, December 30, 2016

Backup and Restore your Games on Origin without a new download!

We're coming to the close of the Holiday season and I'm sure a lot of you out there got some new goodies for your game library this year.  So how appropriate that the last article of 2016 concerns managing those 100's of gigabytes of install files from all those hot triple-A titles you found under the tree.

Seems Origin and Ubisoft are the only ones with any good deals these days but Steam still has one thing over them.

Backing up and Restoring your game install files....

Origin has been around for the better part of a decade and they still make reinstalling games a slow and painful process.

That is, unless you know the trick....

The bullet point version is this.

  1. Locate your Origin game install folder ( usually \\programfiles (x86)\Electronic Arts\ * game folder *)
  2. Copy the entire game folder to another place you can get to later.
  3. Boot up Origin on the rig you want to install the game on
  4. Check the Origin game install folder in that location ( they can be different )
  5. Start the regular Game download process
  6. After a few minutes pause the download
  7. Copy your saved game install folder over the folder Origin just made in the install directory
  8. Un-Pause the download process
  9. Install will finish without trying to download the whole game.

Of course there are nuances to the process but that's the basics.  Below I've made a video showing you how to do it and even how to deal with a few hiccups along the way.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Steam Winter Sale is on NOW!

I dunno....
I think Valve has just kinda of given up.
no cute cartoon characters, no fun games, no special holiday themes.


Stuff on sale.
Yeah, you can explore your queue to earn trading cards that eventually make up a badge


Something's missing.
Good thing I spend more time with Uplay these days.  At least they put up a few lights...

Anyway, title says it all.  Go check it out.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry Christmas and God Bless all you Hype-Free gamers out there!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everybody who's stopped by this year and at least given this blog a look.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever you may be celebrating.  This is a labor of love for me and the few minutes you've spent here validates what I do.

So Happy Holidays and the greatest of New Years!

As a little bonus, I've included a live stream capture of me and Shotglass during his visit to my humble lair the weekend before Christmas.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

AMD: A bit too quick to LEGACY

So recently I've been noticing the marketing departments are doing all the talking over at AMD.  Hey, I'm glad that Rizen could finally give Intel some competition.  I'm even glad that newer AMD GPU's are coming into parity with Nvidia on power per watt metrics.

What I'm not cool with is the rush to throw anything that doesn't fit a current marketing plan under the bus.

Case in point.  If you have a GPU that's 3 years old ( Yeah OK that's ancient to anyone under 30) AMD is basically calling your GPU "legacy" even if it supports DX11 and is essentially the same as a currently supported product.  

So When I see this... (from their driver support page)

"AMD Radeon™ R5 235X, Radeon™ R5 235, Radeon™ R5 230, Radeon™ R5 220, Radeon™​ HD 8470, Radeon™ HD 8350, Radeon™ HD 8000 (​D/G variants), Radeon™ HD 7000 Series (HD 7600 and below), Radeon™ HD 6000 Series, and Radeon™ HD 5000 Series Graphics products have been moved to a legacy support model and no additional driver releases are planned. 

This change enables us to dedicate valuable engineering resources to developing new features and enhancements for graphics products based on the​ GCN Architect​ure.........

​For users passionate about gaming, you may wish to consider upgrading to a modern GPU and benefit from exciting new features, improved performance, lower power consumption and broader compatibility with the latest PC games. For information about resellers and product availability, visit:"

I have 2 words for them....


We're talking about cards that in some cases are barely 2 years old.  Keep in mind that AMD launch dates usually have very little to do with shipping dates or calendars for that matter.  

Just like the rest of the hardware industry.  

You may have just picked up that R9 Nano but it's very possible that it's going to hit "legacy" status next year buddy. 

I have to laugh at the slimy sales doublespeak of  "lower power consumption" bit too.   Lower than what? The previous generation of space heaters?

The last 2 generations of AMD cards have only gotten WORSE not BETTER power consumption.  That's not just comparing against Nvidia either, it includes products in their own camp! 

Thus proving NEW doesn't necessarily mean BETTER.

However, before you go off on some fanbody fueled rant thinking I want a Crimson Driver for a Radeon 8500 stop...

It's not about eternally supporting ancient hardware and I don't expect AMD or any other hardware vendor to support a product for 20 years.  But let's be reasonable here!  

Your buddy's R9-280 may still be supported but your 8970 isn't.  Even though they were launched in the SAME YEAR!

Yeah, OK, new stuff comes out and they want you to buy it.  I get that.  It's a product not a life partner.  But it's not just about selling widgets guys.

One of the worst possible things AMD can do to a customer base is to answer every question with, " Just buy a new one."  That goes double for a company that really is betting the farm on a new architecture.  

They're asking for trust but little things like this erode any gains they may make with a slick presentation and shill blogging.

They pretty much have to win without question or they're done. 

Even the rabid fanboys have had to admit that the only reason they've bought AMD anything in the past 5 years was because the company was willing to engage in almost automatic price wars with Nvidia thus driving down prices on similarly performing cards.  

On the CPU side, they haven't even tried.  If AMD could get within  80% of the performance at the top of their line compared to Intel they called it good and stuck a $150 price tag on it.

Being the "Dollar General" of technology is not exactly a badge of prestige.  Underdogs are great to root for but if they don't win once in awhile they're just losers.

Every time I hear the same BS about "value per.." WHATEVER  massaged metric they're using,  I have this image of a bag lady with a big AMD logo on the side of her cart tidying up a trash dumpster.

That's just how my mind works... but to the point.

Let's not forget that there's an awful lot of embedded IGP/APU systems out there.  Systems that may be brand new but use aging hardware platforms.  Platforms that are woefully supported by the logos stuck on the front of their cases like HP, Lenovo or Dell.  

These days it seems more and more, what may have been great in windows 7 and 8  is something less than ZEN in Windows 10.   ( see how I rhymed there..)  

We all know Microsoft could give a damn less about it's hardware partners.  Every patch brings a new flurry of blue screen searches to Google.

So turning your back on customers that ARE GOING TO HAVE ISSUES with Windows 10 is nothing short of moronic.  Especially when those issues have been corrected in a more current driver release that supports the SAME VINTAGE card!

From the perspective of gaming, let's not forget the ultimate lie. 

That is: requiring current generation hardware to play newer games. 

Yes, DirectX 12 and Vulkan are very nice but when you're literally stopped at a load screen because of a driver string in a registry entry, something rotten's afoot.  

When 1/2 of the current popular titles still only require DirectX 10,  you just can't make a case that your game requires new hardware when the API is BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE!

I actually saw this in Battlefield 1 where the cure for an "unsupported" video card was to simply change a DWORD value.  

I happily played Battlefield 1 Beta for 2 days after that.  WITHOUT ANY ISSUES AT ALL!

So let's just stop the Bullshit OK?  Let's stop pissing off customers by allowing your marketing department to stick their Latte' stained fingers into the support section.  

If your driver model is truly modular it shouldn't be a big deal and if you really value customer loyalty, try showing some yourself.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

More Freebies Attack! Assassin's Creed 3 is Free!

I'll say this for Ubisoft...

Unlike EA, when they give away something it's usually good.  This latest installment of the UBI30 anniversary celebration freebie is no different.

But there's a catch....

For one day only They are giving away the 2012 Game of the Year, Assassin's Creed 3.  All you have to do is claim it on December 8th.

In case you don't know it's a Third-Person stealth title.  Similar to Splinter Cell in gameplay but with the added benefit of parkour style acrobatics to aid in your combat.

I won't get into the story as it jumps around a timeline spread across an open world but the gist of it is that your character's DNA allows him to experience the events of his ancestors in the past to find clues to solve a problem in the present day.

And yes, this is the one with the American Revolution in it and it has multiplayer...

Get yours today, I mean TODAY because it's your only chance to get it free! 

Steam don't offer up goodies this good.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Attack of the Freebies: Farcry 3 Blood Dragon, Trials Fusion and a little Rainbow 6 Siege

I like free things.  Especially when they're worth something.  In my latest raid of the Ubisoft freebie bin I decided to try something new.  

That translated into a new guilty pleasure and a 10.36GB download that was uninstalled 15 minutes later.

A picture is worth 100 words and if it moves it's worth at least twice as much.

The two games I tried out were: Trials Fustion, a Motocross stunt game and FarCry 3 Blood Dragon, a twist on Farcry 3 set among the action movie ridiculousness of the 80's.  

All of this pales in comparison to my greatest achievement last week, however.  With some advice from fellow gaming buddy Shotglass I finally got through the ASSET Protection mission in Rainbow 6 Siege!

Check out the videos below and HEY!  If you like what you see consider subscribing to my YouTube channel!  I upload at least 2 videos a week with my latest interests being Rainbow 6 Siege and Path of Exile.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

New Stuff: Steep open Beta

Trying out something that popped up in an email from Ubisoft.  It's the Steep open beta.  Steep is an open world winter sports game allowing you to snowboard, ski, base jump or parachute anywhere you want.

That's the short story but the real fun is in the playing.  I've got a very RAW video below for you to watch.  This was my first experience with the game so there's parts I was pleased with and parts I wasn't exactly wild about.  

All of it is here.  Check it out!

Or for the Bite Sized Version....The Highlight Reel

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'll be live streaming Friday November 11th

In honor of Veteran's day November 11th ( in the US ) I'll be live streaming a few hours of Rainbow Six Siege and maybe some Battlefield 3 or 4.  Remember those who have served and thank them for being the few who do so much and ask so little in return. 

You can watch my livestream on YouTube @

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's Halloween again Baby!

It's Halloween again and with it comes special Halloween editions of some of your favorite games. 

The most popular and probably best known is Team Fortress 2.  The game is enjoying its 20th anniversary this year and is offering up all the goodies from previous Scream Fortress events.  

Check out what you're missing in the videos below. 

Then, get over to Steam and download your free copy today and get going!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Gaming on YouTube and the Real Dudz Fryd

You may or may not be aware that this blog has a companion YouTube channel.  I've mentioned it before, put a link in the sidebar and of course the "Dudz Fryd" is there if you missed all of that.

The YouTube channel and this blog are meant to compliment each other and for the most part they do.  Most posts have an associated video and I always link back to the blog from any new YouTube video I post.

Seems like a plan right?

Apparently not....

I promote my blogs and videos in many of the same places but struggle to break 20 views on either one most days.   I'm coming to the realization that nobody really cares about what I have to say about gaming and since my personal fortunes are heading down the crapper I've decided after 5 years to pull back a bit from it.

So does that mean the end of all things DUDZ FRYD???

Hell, no, I was a gamer before this became a part time job and I'll continue to be one so long as I have a computer and an internet connection.

What it does mean is that it's no longer a priority for me to post regular updates to either this blog or the associated YouTube channel.

I'll continue to post articles and videos just not on a regular schedule.

Honestly, I'm just tired of throwing a party nobody comes to.  Thanks to all of you who do drop by but until more of your friends take an interest this we might as well go back to "hobby mode."

The videos below explain the "Hiatus" and a with it a new compilation video I did last night.  

That's a good example of what's happening.  New content will show up periodically but I'm no longer going to lose any sleep if I don't post anything for a few weeks.

We're not dead, we're just on the back burner. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dungeon Keeper is Free...again

About 5 years ago when I started this blog I wrote an article about how adventure themed games were all the same.  You're always the good guy whacking away at waves of bad guys ad nauseum.  You never got to actually BE the one stirring up all the mahem.

What I'd forgotten about is a game that actually let you do just that and now it's available for free on Origin.

It's Dungeon Keeper.  A game that allows you to knock around all those goody 2 shoes hero types not to mention your own army of minions.

It's an RTS/God game meaning there's resources to mine, things to build and populations to manage.  The game launched in 1997 and spawned 2 sequels as well as community mods that elevated the franchise to a cult classic.

It was developed by Bullfrog who also did the popular Syndicate games.  As such the game continued the trend of game features and experience that were ahead of their time.

Now it's your turn.  If you fancy a bit of Classic PC gaming nostalgia and want to embrace your darker side the price has never been better.

Pick it up on Origin while you still can.

AND! look for an upcoming gameplay video on my companion YouTube channel.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Everything old is new to me... Splinter Cell

There's something to be said about the good old days.  What was good was good and what was bad we tend to forget in a cloud of nostalgia.  Who could blame us?  It's far easier to forgive quirky interfaces and bizarre controls compared to endless matchmaking lobbies, always on Internet edicts and the constant drumbeat of DLC.

Splinter Cell is one of those games that I've just discovered.  I don't remember how I came into possession of it, I just know it's been sitting in my Ubisoft Uplay client library for a few months.  

I haven't touched GTA 5 in a month and have only recently become interested in Path o fExile again and then only when playing with a friend.  So I was kind of in a game rut.  Looking to expand my horizons I deceded to take Ubisoft up on their 30th anniversary freebies which is how I ended up with Rainbow 6 Siege and The Crew.  

I've been playing a lot of Rainbow 6 lately.  The sneakiness of the gameplay appeals to me.  I'm more of a tactical FPS player than Battlefield or Call of Duty will allow.  So when I find a game that lets me indulge my devious machinations to eradicate the competition I'm going to spend some quality time with it.  Which I have but I was curious about the roots of this genre of FPS.  Luckily I had an opportunity to study the topic with an unassuming title languishing in my Uplay library.  The original Splinter Cell.

In a way, Rainbow 6 was the gateway drug to Splinter cell.  

Although reality needs to pop up here because the 2 games are literally from different generations.  Rainbow 6 came out around 2014, Splinter Cell 2002.  As such there's a bit of culture shock when you jump that far back in game history.

The graphics were good for their time but if we're honest not much better than Half Life.  The low resolution and screen control was wreaking havoc in Windows 10 for awhile but eventually settled down.  The control layout is bizarre and something I'm still working on but I can excuse all of that as artifacts of it's age.  

Let's be honest here.  When this game came out Windows XP was still brand new and most PC gamers were still on some version of Windows 9'ty something.

Nonetheless, this is a thinking game.  A puzzler with sniper scopes and surprise take-downs a mandatory ingredient.

This was the game that pretty much started them all.  The birth of the stealth shooter wrapped in intrigue and espionage. It's right out of a Tom Clancy novel, literally!  It's Clancy's namesake that's driven development of both the Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6 series for decades.  There's even books based on the games designed to fill in the backstory of this shadowy world of sneak.

So far it's a fun romp and for me a deferred right of passage.  Can anyone truly say they've played every type of FPS without playing Splinter Cell or Rainbow 6 at least once in their life?  

At least I can now say that I have...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Why Current Gen Video Games Suck: Bad Multiplayer lobby design!

I'm sick and tired of not being able to play a game with a friend in the same room!  I'm tired of having to plod through layers of unnecessarily complex game user interfaces just to accomplish simple tasks.  I'm tired of basic settings being hidden and I'm especially tired of unreasonable player requirements designed for the benefit of the game publisher rather than the player.

In short I'm tired of the Bullshit.

All I want to do is play a game without having to attend a college course first or go through the digital equivalent of boot camp!

Check this...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Latest Freebies and what I've been up to.

The question isn't, " Have you played anything new since the Battlefield 1 Beta" Rather you should be asking yourself if I've been doing anything interesting since then.  Remember not everything that's new is interesting nor is everything with a price tag worth playing.

BTW, No i'm not doing a pre-order on ANYTHING including Battlefield 1.  The Beta was fun but I know the release will be garbage just like Battlefront, Hardline and BF4 before it.

So what to do...

It's mid-September meaning we're in that dead time between the summer announcements and the fall releases.  A time where the pickings are pretty slim and the action is pretty tame.

What's left then?  For me it's simple.  I look for the best deals I can get ( meaning Free ) from places you may not expect.

For example, This month found the "Free" release of Ubisoft's Need For Speed World clone, The Crew: Wild Run. Which remains free to everybody until October 14th.  It's supposedly in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ubisoft.  I don't care so long as it's "Free" when I installed it and remains so 3 months later when I look at it again.

It's currently a Free to Play racer that only recently entered the category.  That being "Free"  Of course there are limits like equipment, cars, etc that are only available with a "Season Pass" but as I don't intend to get too involved with it I'm perfectly happy to just run around and annoy other players who are taking this thing way too seriously.

I found it while downloading an update for Rainbow 6: Siege.  Yet another game that I've let languish as I've found more interesting things to do like play the Battlefield 1 Beta or Act 4 of Path of Exile.

Another hidden gem was the giveaway last week of the Government Simulation game Tropico 4 from the Humble Bundle folks.  They offered the Steam special edition of the game for free if you were wise enough to take advantage within the few days it was offered.

I've never been a big fan of "Sims" type games but this one has intrigued me.  Maybe it's the Caribbean settings, the muted tones of Latin rhythms in the background or the humor of little details like the screams of peasants when you drop a new government building on top of their shanty's....

Maybe I'm saying too much there.....


Without going into a long winded tome about how I've happily filled those down hours till something interesting happens in the next few months I can at least say that I've managed to keep myself reasonably entertained.  Check out what I've been up to below...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Battlefield 1 Open Beta

I'll be honest, I'm not that excited about Battlefield 1.

I still think it's an unimaginative and uninspired addition to the series and so far I'm not seeing anything that's going to change that opinion.

That said, it's not a bad game, even in Beta.  It plays well, seems to have better game balance than any of its predecessors and it's visually appealing.

Of course I felt much the same way about most of the Battlefield Betas including Hardline and Battlefront.  BTW  Yes, I consider Battlefront part of the family and looking at Battlefield 1 that position is justified.

If you're good at Battlefront you'll be good at Battlefield 1 mostly because Battlefield 1 looks and plays like a re-skinned Battlefront from the combat, weapons, and vehicles to the leveling system.

That's not necessarily a bad thing and it was kind of cool to ride a horse but it seemed more like a gimmick than a new combat dynamic.  It's really not that different from riding a motorcycle aside from the rhythmic bouncing of the screen and even that can be cured by switching to third person view.

I wouldn't do a pre-order.  I don't see anything here worth the $60 buy in and definitely not any more than that.

Maybe someday I'll pick it up but not at full price.  Even in the Beta players are already figuring out how to glitch the game to their advantage and finding favorite camping spots.  In fact the map used in the Beta, Sinai Desert seemed tailor made for campers.

The nice thing about this Beta is that you have an opportunity to try out everything.  Hand to hand, Air and ground vehicle combat ( including the horse ) offer a good sampling of what to expect on release.

As for the system requirements....

Technically my rig isn't supposed to be able to play this game but as the video below shows, it's possible.  I've got an old Core I7 860 with 8GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon 6970.  I had to do a registry hack to fool the launcher into thinking I had a newer version of the AMD driver than I was actually able to install.  The game wants the AMD Crimson 16.20 or above but the 6970 tops out at the 15.7 driver.

I had no issues with gameplay or framerate either.  The video may seem to contradict that but it was the fault of my streaming setup not the game.  During play everything was smooth and I experienced no crashes.

Which pretty much disproves that new games demand new video hardware.  In my case the limitation was artificial.  Yet another example of how marketing ruins gaming.

So that's it.  Check out the video below and try to ignore the freeze-frame spots.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Grand Theft Auto 5: Adventures with the Stunt Editor

Playing games is fun.  Playing GTA 5 can be fun.  So what could make it even more fun?  Making up your own games within GTA 5!

This is nothing new and there are literally thousands of custom games available at any one time on GTA 5 Online.  

I was always curious as to how these custom game maps came into being so I decided to give a go to the GTA 5 Creator.

In the videos below you'll see the process and the result of my first effort.  It wasn't easy but it wasn't impossible either.  Come along with me as I explore my own creativity in GTA 5.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Last EA Freebie for BF4... China Rising DLC

The final Free Battlefield 4 DLC has just dropped.  If your BF4 Information page in Origin doesn't have all the DLC packages lit up then here's your opportunity to fix that....

China Rising is now "On the House" so get it while you can!

Check your Origin Client today, go to "Store" and choose "On the House" and you'll see the free BF4 DLC.

For many like myself who bought the Limited edition of BF4 when it launched we already had this DLC but for those who didn't or only bought the game recently this is your big chance to get the last true freebie for the game.

Ironic that China Rising,  the first DLC for BF4, is the last one offered up as EA draws the curtain to focus on Battlefield 1.

Anyway, Download it today so you can get out there on Silk Road or Dragon Pass and show the enemy what victory looks like!

BTW, I know there's been free DLC for Battlefield Hardline as well but at this point, who cares.

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gaming Addiction ( and the Internet is just part of the reason )


Bumped into any trees lately in search of your next PokeMon?

Yeah, me either but it's brought the topic of technology addiction or for our purposes video game addiction back to the forefront.

You can't call yourself a "Real" gamer unless you've obsessed, at least once, over a video game.  It doesn't matter if it was Sonic the Hedgehog on Genesis or Skyrim on the PC.  Every die-hard gamer has at least one story of a lost weekend whose ingredients included a lack of sleep, poor personal hygiene and angry loved ones.

But what happens when it goes too far.  When the lost weekend becomes a lost week, month or worse.

What if your entire world view is framed in the context of your game.  

Good guys, bad guys.  Noobs and gods.  Nothing else matters.

Video games, especially today, offer a level of immersion and potential power unimaginable in the real world.  So is it any wonder that some are addicted to them?

Even if you aren't an "addict" dedicated players often get life confused with the context of the game they play.  They tend to distill everyone down to skills and abilities with little regard for those that don't share their passion.

It's a self-absorbed cycle of isolation.  

One that's fed by developers giving achievements for kills, time iplayed and skills used.  All of those take time.  A lot of it....

The hype machine incessantly urges the player on toward their virtual glory to the exclusion of all else.  

It's a certainty that nobody with 2000 hours in Star Wars Battlefront has much of a social life outside the chat menu.

Games have always gone after the ego.  Rewarding for doing well, Damning for your failure.  But something is different.

Mix in Augmented Reality and even the real world becomes just another "Map."  

It's an incessant push to be better than the other guy.  That requires commitment with the appropriate Pavlovian treats along the way to keep you coming back for more.

Yes, I'm a gamer but I'm other things too.  I'm a friend, Car nut, Computer guy and a host of other things.  I enjoy games but I know when to push away from the keyboard.  

There's a time to play and a time to pay.  

That's the other dangling carrot.  The so-called Pro-gamer.  The vindication for all those wasted hours spent climbing the leader boards.  Gaming can be an occupation now.  Which to me is ridiculous.  

But I'm "old" as they say.  I don't get it I suppose.

Except I do, which is why I'm so concerned.  

I worry that people are taking gaming way too seriously to get any real benefit out of it.  Call me an alarmist but if gaming becomes a profession then what's the point of playing for the rest of us?

Gaming is supposed to be a release, fun, escapism.  But when we build our lives around such a shallow premise we give up more than we know.

Which is why I blame game developers at least in part for the addiction.  They tug at the ego demanding more and more.  Buy the DLC, Get the Pre-order or be ostracized.  

You loser with the base game....

It commands the environment and offers empty promises.  

Sure, if you're good maybe you can get a successful YouTube channel going.  If it gets big enough your "fans" will shower you with money on your Patreon page.  Soon you'll be bitch-slapping those naysayers who told you that you were wasting your time playing games!

Well, that's the dream at least.  One held by you and a million others of like mind.  

Back in the day video games were either crude console affairs hooked up to an old fuzzy TV or something in an arcade.  

You played the game, had your fun then found something else to do.  It was an amusement not a lifestyle.  

Everybody loved the old video game arcades but nobody wanted to live there.  It was like going to movies or hanging out with friends.  A pastime.  No more than that.

Today we're so connected that we've never been more alone.  Anonymous voices shouting unwanted diatribe.  The world is in the palm of our hands but we really don't care.  Facebook, Twitter,
Game lobbies.  They're all built on the superficial.  Popularity comes from conformity.   Worse, as a gamer you're pigeonholed into an even smaller sandbox.  Your Gamer Tag may be obnoxious but the ground you're walking is well worn.  Don't fool yourself, you're no anti-hero regardless of the hype.

Aha! you say, but here, here is a place where we can be kings!

But we're not kings, we're pretenders to the throne.  Achieving nothing but the mad scratches on a condemned prisoners wall as he counts the days to his end.  We're just consumers of a product.  That's all it is regardless of how open the world or how challenging the AI.

I don't deny that video games are so much more than they used to be.  They tell wonderful tales and let us experience fantastical worlds but at some point we have to put down the controller.

Developers need to stop feeding the beast.  Make your games but don't pretend that they're anything but an amusement.  That's all they are.  Packaged, Promoted, Product.

Stop trapping us in fake social contexts with people we don't know. 

Stop creating a hostile environment that breeds racism, sexism and narcissism.  Games are supposed to enrich not denigrate and you...YOU are responsible EA, Activision, Ubisoft...All of YOU!

Addiction is profitable to the pusher.  Drug cartels count on repeat business and what you've done is apply that model to a susceptible population. It's a business model that trades on mental illness and I have a problem with that.  

That's why I rant and rave. 

Sometimes to the point where I'm literally assaulted with the query, " Why do you even play games? "  

It's the saddest question anyone could ask me because most don't understand the answer.

"I just want to have some fun for a little while...."

They look at me strangely.  I shrug and feel the world grow a bit colder.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Latest EA Freebie: Battlefield 4 Naval Strike!

I've been waiting for this...

The last Free BF4 DLC has just dropped.

Naval Strike is now "On the House" so get it while you can!

Check your Origin Client today, go to "Store" and choose "On the House" and you'll see the free BF4

This free DLC will finally get you into all those servers that have been blocked because you didn't have this last piece of DLC.

Why Dice blocks players from an entire server instead of just kicking them out seems stupid to me but if you've been paying attention, that won't be a problem.

Of course there's always this... now you can go try to find the Megladon!

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

GTA 5: Cunning Stunts are making this game interesting

Grand Theft Auto 5 is intriguing.  Still one of the most popular games of its genre, whatever that is, thousands crowd its servers everyday to partake in virtual debauchery.  

Which makes things a little dangerous at times when some 12 year old with a mod decides to take out the entire map.  

Rockstar tries to head off that kind of thing but unlike other games they tread softly on the ban hammer.  

This is a world built on crime and petty vanity after all.  The argument could even be made that it's all part of the realism.

If things didn't change much to distract all those murderous pre-teens and frustrated millennials the game would have died years ago.  

Which is why DLC is released on a regular basis.  Which brings me to this latest batch: Cunning Stunts.

Stunts have been a relatively minor element in the main game (and one I still haven't quite figured out) but there's a strong following for it.  Spawning Rockstar and fan created events, it's a game mode that changes the online experience.

Cunning Stunts introduces a mode of play that still allows your online competition to act like complete asses but makes it difficult for anyone to dominate.  

The tracks are well designed, entertaining to play and remind me of  one of my favorite video game experiences from a decade ago.  That being the stunts in the BugBear classics, Flatout and Flatout2.

What made Flatout stunts so much fun is the same thing that makes Cunning Stunts so satisfying.  That being well designed tracks, beautiful scenery and challenging races.

I've been playing through a few of the new tracks over the past weekend and recorded a few to give you a taste of what it's like to play this new DLC.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Steam 2 factor Authentication: No, it's not good, you guys are missing the premise here....

Ok, I admit it.  Nobody does online retail gaming better than Steam.  

You may hate the Steam client but like or not they must be doing something right because the likes of EA and Ubisoft have copied it.  

Over the years it's matured from a simple retail gaming portal to a thriving online community where developers and gamers alike regularly interact.  It was the incubator for the fledgling Indy Game movement even if Valve got a bit greedy while it was doing it.

Sales, Promotions, a marketplace for gaming related items not to mention hundreds of active forums and even a mode designed for those big TV screens just like consoles have.

There's a lot that's right about Steam but there's also those times when they manage to shoot themselves in the foot.

Over and over and over again...

One of those times has to do with the aforementioned Steam Marketplace.  

Best described at the gaming equivalent of a Mashup between penny stocks and Ebay the Marketplace primarily trades in gaming related kitsch generated by Valve and developers.  

C'mon now!  

What red blooded, self-absorbed, button masher wouldn't want a special hat for fragging in Team Fortress 2 or the opportunity to get that elusive virtual trading card that will let you finally show off that badge for Euro Truck Simulator 2016 in your Steam Profile page...

But in the past few years Steam has had some security issues.  Most recently an admission that an average of 77000 accounts get hacked every month depriving players of their hard earned goodies and along with it the cash balance in their Steam accounts.

The response, mandatory 2 factor authentication for the Steam Marketplace.  The same solution used by Google, Microsoft and touted by security gurus as the best way to secure your online information.  

If you care at all about privacy and the Steam Marketplace you should be at odds with this "mandate."

To be fair, It's a "soft Mandate" but failure to comply effectively cripples your marketplace transactions.  But I'm not going to play Steam apologist here...

2 problems are glaring at me and they are specifically aimed at what Steam is doing.

1.  Steam accounts are hacked primarily to steal marketplace items and account balances.  All of which are traded in REAL MONEY!

2. I have a problem with the whole premise.  If Steam has effectively thrown up its hands in securing user information then IT SHOULDN'T HAVE THE INFORMATION IN THE FIRST PLACE!

If you buy a game on Steam, chances are you're going to be paying with either a credit card or PayPal.  It's an entirely separate process from the marketplace and subject to PCI rules governing monetary transactions via electronic means.

Yep, just like and Target, there's rules for anything that involves REAL MONEY.

The Steam Marketplace, however, is an entirely separate process.  In fact if you want to add money to your Marketplace account you actually have to do it via a separate secured process.  In effect you're buying a token that has cash value.


Why are we using something of actual value in a sand-boxed marketplace. Nothing for sale there, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is worth anything outside of the Steam ecosystem.  So why the hell is real money involved?  Why not use a point value system or jumping joysticks or whatever but NOT A PROCESS THAT INVOLVES CASH!  Why are we exposing that much information for a site that sells VIDEO GAMES!?

Steam's answer to its security problem?  2 factor authentication....

They now want a phone number, preferably on a Smartphone, and an app to secure your account if you want to participate in the marketplace.  


Who came up with this?  My GOD, they're selling games not mutual funds!

Worse, they've already proven they can't adequately secure your private information much of which they really don't need anyway.  So WHY THE HELL WOULD I GIVE THEM EVEN MORE!

Oh, and by the way....

Their Steam Authenticator app is buggy, slow and has literally locked people out of their own accounts.

Oh yeah, this too... Even if you don't bother with the marketplace, they'll still harass you about it every few weeks when you log in....

Folks, you really need to wake up.  E-commerce is here to stay but there's absolutely NO REASON that any vendor should have enough information on you to construct an entire identity.  

They're selling you games not a mortgage.  What you're buying is less important than a roll of toilet paper and nobody at the grocery store is going to demand my phone number to pay for it!

We need to get personal information out of the hands of retailers.  It's obvious they're not good at securing it and frankly companies like Valve don't have a good reason to demand it even if they cloak it in the name of "security."

I did this video a few days ago which illustrates the problem.  Take a watch and actually see what I'm talking about here.

I'm out...