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By Jessica Brister On 12 Mar, 2015 At 11:55 PM | Categorized As Mobile Gaming, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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Smartphone and tablet users are constantly hounded by a barrage of gaming apps, most of which are mediocre at best.  These apps pass the time when a person is waiting around at the doctor’s office, but they are usually not that great outside of that.  Sleuth is a bit different; it’s a game that actually makes a person think.  Part trivia, part Wheel of Fortune, and part Pictionary: Sleuth is a creative and addictive game that is a blast to play.

good sleuth logo

Sleuth gives out four pictures and has the player try and determine a particular “mystery.”  A player is initially shown a category, which include people, movies, places, words, history, television, books, and songs.  There are then four tiles that appear on the screen.  Each tile slowly reveals a picture that gives hints to what the mystery item might be.  Above the tiles the answer is given in a Hangman or Wheel of Fortune-type style.  A player must start typing from the beginning of the sequence in order to get the answer correct.  The letter will show up green for correct and red for incorrect.  After awhile, letters will begin to appear in the answer boxes to give the player a bit of a hint.

There is a timer that  counts down, and the quicker a player solves the puzzle, the more points he or she ends up receiving.  When the time goes down, the points fall as well.  Guessing an incorrect letter will also drop points as well as not getting a puzzle at all.  A player’s points carry over, so it’s important to try to solve the mystery as quickly and accurately as possible.  Players may use in-app purchasing to buy hunches that reveal letters.  However, a player can refer a friend and get free hunches.


Players end up competing against each other from around the world because there is a leader-board for the highest scorers.  The top month’s scorer gets a Sleuth t-shirt and the top annual winner will get an iPad.

The game is not one of those apps that someone can “space out” and play.  One must really think to do well.  Puzzles can range in difficulty depending on the player’s trivia skills.  The variety of puzzles also can keep a player on his or her toes, since the categories can range from popular culture to geography.  The pacing and scoring of the game make it addicting, since guessing wrong or not getting a puzzle correct will decrease the score.  It’s easy to go, “Just one more puzzle,” and end up playing for a lot longer.

The best part about Sleuth is its uniqueness and possibilities for play.  It’s different from the typical game app because it relies on a player’s knowledge instead of gaming skill.  It is geared more for adults, but it would actually make an interesting app for older children as it reinforces spelling, visual cognition, and common knowledge.  The game would also be great for parties and gatherings if used on a larger tablet.

Sleuth is developed by SimWave and is available for Android this week and IOS next week.  It is free with ads and $.99 without ads.

Overall, Sleuth is a lot of fun.  It’s different, challenging, and has a lot of potential.  This one is a must-add to your list of game apps.

By Isabel On 11 Nov, 2014 At 02:31 AM | Categorized As Featured, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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This was my first year attending TigerDirect’s Tech Bash which itself isn’t exactly an old established event itself but apparently buddies and staff there last year noticed two major changes from its last run.

  • An increase in attendance.
  • An increase in observers.

What do I mean by observers? Well mostly people who don’t use technology so much, besides your run of the mill smart phone and computer for social networking and whatnot, and only attended to get a show and maybe some free stuff. There were many attendees and yet a lot of the large extravagant gaming setups seemed to go largely ignored by them.

Funny enough there was a huge line for a demo of the Oculus Rift which as you know Zuckerberg picked for its potential outside of gaming despite the project initially getting funded by a largely gamer demographic.

Now you can’t talk about the event without talking about how all the different exhibitors were laid out. The event was hosted at Marlins Park, the baseball stadium for Miami’s team. In the homefield where the actual games are played they set up a temporary show floor to not ruin the grass where the main sponsors were gathered. The areas outside the ring of stadium seat had rows of exhibitors with smaller booths from NVidia to Microsoft. I wish I could show the wide range of booths and setups but unfortunately my PC is not working normally and can’t detect my SD card. I believe I could benefit from buying either from Asus or iBUYPOWER whom had gaming setups in the main exhibit area. In terms of gaming a lot was going on, there were promotions for giveaways, gaming lounges, and Alienware even had a preview of Dying Light.

I have a few suggestions for both the actual event and its exhibitors to make next year even better.

  • Get a convention center. Marlins Stadium is large, but results in a lot of wasted space and more crowding.
  • Make the event slightly longer than 7 PM to 11 PM. It’s a short span of time to network, look around, have fun, find your buddies, etc. Especially when everything moves so slowly. Also observers can take up less of the event’s time.
  • If you’re having giveaways every half hour or so, PLEASE don’t make it a be there or lose deal. Seriously. Ask for a phone number and text the winner to collect their prize at the booth. A raffle of that sort should only be conducted once and have a prize worth the attendance. I’m looking at you Sandisk.
  • I can see Tech Bash is also an opportunity for people in the industry to connect. So please, make the networking event more accessible instead of a secluded area for the employees of event sponsors.

TigerDirect Tech Bash is a promising event with room to grow, but the event will have to grow along with its number of attendees lest they suffer in quality and lose the interest of sponsors and attendees. Miami does have a small but growing technology sector, and we need events like the Tech Bash to present it in a positive light and help foster it.


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When I was first asked to play Conception II I haven’t played an RPG in quite sometime. Going into this game I didn’t expect an extremely fantastic title or anything remotely interesting…mainly because I didn’t know anything about the title or series for that matter. Then I realized that the more of it I play the more intrigued I became. Then the experience became a little more jaded. While the game wasn’t bad it became slightly repetitive and more so cumbersome than anything.


The game takes place in the World of Aterra where they worship the Star God where they prosper through the power of Star Energy. You are known as God’s Gift who trains at an academy for disciples which is a special group of people who are summoned to fight against monsters who come from Dusk Circles. As God’s Gift you and a collective of females perform a ritual for the church known as Classmating to generate Star Children. Why is this important? The Star Children assist you in combat along with you and a female partner and they all have a particular class and several set of set of skills.

Defense Pose Conception II

I’ve never been so confused and befuddled with confusion quite like I have been while playing the game. I’m not so much confused into the depth of the world as I am with why some of these things are especially necessary. For a lack of better words, classmating is essentially having sex to produce children who can fight. It is blatantly obvious considering the underlying tone of everyone and the way each girl presents themselves before and after it occurs. Doing it just makes you feel slightly more dirty. Even more so when you are forced into doing classMANting which while really funny is in a way kind of perverse.


Engaging enemies is where the game gets even more unique. Once you encounter an enemy inside one of the games many labyrinth’s you are forced to choose between normal JRPG actions such as attack, skill and defense. The most interesting aspect is the combat system in which you choose the side to attack your foe. Every enemy has a weak side and the choice of each side benefits you during combat. My only main concern with the battle system is that you are given the option to guard and yet it does nothing. It states that you will take less damage but you still take just as much as if you weren’t defending. I have also noticed that for a JRPG it’s pretty easy. I have played much easier games but I never really felt as if I there was too much going on and the difficulty made matters worse.


Graphically the game is rather impressive as it features fully animated anime style cut scenes and moves at a silky smooth 60 FPS. The in game engine isn’t bad as it looks more like an above average PlayStation 2 title with a few more bells and whistles. The thing I was more impressed with was the music and the character design. These two things were probably my main drive for playing this game as I was more intrigued just to see what the next monster would look like. To be quite honest the designers seem to draw heavily from the Persona series as the music and monsters seem as if they came straight from that source.

Overall the game is like “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” as it doesn’t do anything overall really impressive nor does it do anything really bad. Although it’s themes may not be quite suitable for everyone it’s still interesting enough with it cool soundtrack and character design. The game may not be for everyone but I do feel as if it worth a play through for anyone who is itching for a new RPG to play for their Vita. It hits the mark at being just right.



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With just a few days into April, it looks like we have another time consuming, wallet draining month of video games ahead of us.

April 1
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)
Mercenary Kings (PS4)
MLB 14 The Show (PS3, Vita)
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3, Vita)

April 3
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Devastation DLC (Xbox One, 360)

April 4
Awesomenauts Asssemble! (PS4)
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac)

April 8
Daylight (PS4, PC)
Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One)
Lego The Hobbit (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC)
Strike Suit Zero (Xbox One, PS4)

April 10
Trials Frontier (iOS)

April 14
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)

April 15
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars (3DS, Vita)
Moebius: Empire Rising (PC)
War of the Vikings (PC)
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (PS3, 360)

April 16
Trials Fusion (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

April 22
Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC

April 25
Dark Souls II (PC)
NES Remix 2 (Wii U)

April 29
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC)

April 30
Child of Light (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC)

Personally, I’m most excited about Elder Scrolls Online. I’m a little on the fence about buying it on launch day, but I will probably buy it by the end of the month. I was involved in the last four beta weekends, and I liked what I saw. What are you most excited about this month? Let us know in the comments below!

By Tiffany Marshall On 13 Feb, 2014 At 06:22 PM | Categorized As International News, News, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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If you want to play the Titanfall Beta, now’s your time to turn in your applications.  In order to participate, you must have either a PC or Xbox One.

Those that are selected will know by February 17th at 11:59pm PST.

You can apply for the beta here.

Titanfall will be available on the Xbox One and PC on March 11th in North America, March 13th in Europe and Australia, March 14th in the UK and New Zealand, and on the Xbox 360 on March 25th in North America, and on March 28th in Europe.


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We are back with our “Ultimate Fan” series of contests here at Real Otaku Gamer. This time we are partnering with Nintendo of America to provide the prizes for the contest. These prizes are subject to change based on availability. We will be giving away some of these limited edition musical chests from The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds.

Second prize will be a Nintendo 3DS prize pack with a Nintendo Bag, sticker books and some AR Card temporary tattoos.

Now, let’s get into the rules, just get all of your Legend of Zelda swag together. We mean gather everything from posters, games, toys, soundtracks and other Legend of Zelda related merchandise. Take a picture or two (if you need to) with you in the picture holding a sign with your name or username you want to use.

Once submitted, your pictures will be validated by our art team, then they will be judged my a team at Real Otaku Gamer. Once we pick the pictures we want to be considered, then they will be sent to Nintendo of America to be judged.

You can send all photos to This contest is limited to US residents only. Sorry to our International fans. You can send in your photos for consideration for the second prize. Make sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  The contest entries need to be in by January 20th 2014.

Good Luck to you all! Thanks to Nintendo of America for all of their support. Please leave a comment below.



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Now that 2013 has come to an end, it’s a time for lists of what was great.  2013 was an exciting and great year for all gamers! From great game after great game and the introduction of the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony, 2013 did not disappoint. Despite being the busy bee that I am, there’s nothing like relaxing with video games.  For those that may not know, my alias in the gaming world is LadyLoveMonster, hence my title.  Although I spent some time working on a backlog of games that came out before 2013, here are 5 games from 2013 that I enjoyed the most.


Coming in at #5 on my list is Ryse: Son of Rome.  With it’s beautiful visuals and my love of Rome, it’s not hard to wonder why it’s on my list.  Though many have complained of repetitive combat, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in my book watching the combos result in glorious blood and decapitations that enhance a lot of what made Rome, Rome.  Although Ryse is a rather short game, there is potential with the multiplayer.  Ryse also serves as a beautiful show of what the Xbox One can do and what we may see in the future.


At #4, I’m adding The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.  You can’t go wrong with a Zelda game, especially this game.  I enjoyed being able to play this great game on the go.  The graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is fun.  Here’s to hoping for Ocarina of Ages and Ocarina of Seasons remakes.

SC2: Heart Of the Swarm

Whether or not this counts, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is #3 on my list.  Out of all the video games on my list and otherwise, I probably put most of my time for video games in 2013 into this game.  It was a huge improvement from Starcraft 2:  Wings of Liberty, which is saying a lot since I enjoyed that installment quite a bit.  Although the multiplayer aspect of the game is the gem, the campaign was amazing, fun, and had a great story.  There’s nothing like being able to play as Kerrigan and become a part of the swarm.


It is no shocker to anyone that knows me that Pokemon X/Y comes in at #2 on my list.  I have played the Pokemon games since the first generation came out in 1998. What makes Pokemon X/Y so great is this much needed revamp to the video game franchise.  As someone that has been with the video game series since the very beginning, there were different aspects, primarily the visuals and parts of gameplay, that were starting to get stale.  This staleness manifested most for me in Pokemon Black/White and Pokemon Black 2/White 2.  Pokemon X/Y changed that!  The most noticeable upgrade is the visuals!  Pokemon X/Y is the first 3DS game in the series, though reserves the 3D graphics to specific parts of the game like battles.  I personally tend to keep the graphics in the 2D mode, but that doesn’t take away from the game at all.  The story is also improved and I actually found it quite touching when I finished the game. My only complaint at the moment for this game is how easy it can be to get stuck in the GTS waiting for the other player’s decision for what you’re offering in a trade. I’m hoping that improves in time.  In the mean time, I’m also waiting for the Pokemon Bank and PokeTransporter to finally make it’s way to North America at the measly fee of $4.99 per year. Due to issues, it was not released on the intended launch of December 27, 2013 and we have yet to hear word on when it will be launched. Despite these issues, Pokemon is a simple pleasure with plenty of continued play value if you’re into filling up the Pokedex and competitive battle.


Finally, coming in at #1, BioShock Infinite was my favorite game of 2013.  I thoroughly enjoyed the visuals, music, gameplay, and story.  For those that haven’t gotten around to playing this game yet, I highly recommend picking it up.  It’s a great experience all around, especially if you love a good story that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire ride. BioShock Infinite’s story is so rich and engaging entrancing you with a unique take of the time period with an Ayn Rand twist (as the BioShock games do very well with).  If there’s anything that I look for most in games, it’s the story and BioShock Infinite excels.


Some may wonder why other great games that came out in 2013 are not on my list, but the reasons are fairly simple.  For some games, I may not have had the opportunity to get around to playing them. I’m in graduate school so it can get difficult to play as much as I wish I could.  For other games like The Last of Us, which I know many loved, it wasn’t a game I could get through because of those darn clickers.  I prefer to not play horror-esque games that leave me with nightmares.  That does not mean that it wasn’t great or that other games weren’t great.  This list comes down to my personal preferences with the genres I like to dabble in. With the end of 2013, a great year in gaming, there is a lot of anticipation for what’s to come in 2014.  Look for a list of what I’m most excited for in 2014 soon. Let us know what you think of my list below in the comments section. I’d love to hear any and all opinions on your personal top lists of 2013.

By Charles On 16 Oct, 2013 At 11:04 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Featured, Reviews, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Preface: I did not attend NYCC as a member of the press. I did not attend as a speaker, professional, general audience member, marvin, or artist. This editorial review is simply a reflection of my experiences over the weekend, and should be taken as such.

Oh what a difference three years makes.


The Dork Knight Returns!

Yep, it has indeed been three years since I last attended New York Comic Con. Back then, there was still an Anime Festival attached to the annual spectacle that dominates a chunk of Western midtown, and while that population of otaku and cosplayers was segregated from the mass that was NYCC, it was still something. Then 2012 rolled around, the Anime Festival was shelved, and Comic Con transformed itself into a fully immersive (and massive) pop culture extravaganza. Particular emphasis need be laid on the “pop culture” part of this equation, because in the scant years since its inception, NYCC has gone from a comic convention into something closer resembling its San Diego cousin- television culture, video gaming, literature, comics, collectibles and anime, all wrapped into one gigantic package that is literally impossible to navigate, nor experience over the course of a single weekend. Believe me, I’ve tried.

To put things into perspective, the largest event I regularly attend- Baltimore’s Otakon- pulls in around 34,000 people, and packs the halls of the BCC to almost the choke point. The BCC is a rather large space, separated into two buildings and attached hotels, and still manages to hold the growing anime convention each year. New York Comic Con pulls in around 4-5 times as many attendees, into a space not much larger than the BCC, and completely devoid of mass transit access and affordable hotels. Try for a moment, then, to picture the size and scale of such an event, of the masses of people moving along painfully slowly, stopped 20131012_151752up by cosplay photographs and snaking lines on the floor itself, and you get a general idea of what a typical weekend experience is for an NYCC attendee. And, unlike Otakon, those throngs of people are there for the entire weekend- Sunday is just as packed as Thursday, Friday or Saturday, with the line for badge pickup extended out the door.

That’s been one of the main reasons I’ve skipped NYCC for so long. Unlike the other conventions I attend, there is little actual community at the con- most of the weekend is akin to a fight for proverbial survival against the masses. Panels? Not a chance, as I’m not willing to sit in a line for 45 minutes only to be turned away. Autographs? Also slim, since shelling out upwards of $70 for a signed photo offends my “Queens Sensibilities” (not to mention digs into my food budget). What my weekend ultimately boils down to is a few scattered cosplay shots, some chatting with vendors and artists, and catching up with old friends I only see at Comic Con. It’s not that I’m not motivated to do more, it’s just time, space, willpower, and logistics make doing anything beyond “going with the flow” into an impossibility when you have X hours to attempt Y activities. It takes a special sort of masochism to navigate those halls midday, and for this man, the rewards aren’t worth the undertaking.

20131012_192410Now as critical as this sounds, don’t take it to mean that prospective attendees should balk at going. NYCC is a behemoth, one of the few cons that actually thrive from this mass of stimuli and competing events. The size of the con is its greatest asset, since it forces attendees to prioritize, focus on what is truly important to them, and allows plenty of “wiggle room” for those without a clue of what to do. There is something for everyone at NYCC, provided that everyone chooses to dig through a tome of a program guide in search of the exact panels and screenings that everyone wants to see. It teaches humility, as rooms fill and chances at freebies dry up. And it offers the neophyte congoer a glimpse into the wide world of fandom, which can far exceed anyone’s estimates. Comic Con manages through sheer size the same type of fandom convergence that other cons only hint it, placing it on display and offering options for the individual to select from. Every fan should go at least once, just to share in the experience, and question their own place within the fandom community.

As a fandom experience, though, its far from perfect. Every year has its issues, and this year is no exception. Most glaring of these “flaws” was the placement of the Artist Alley: the last time I attended NYCC, the Alley was opposite the show floor, with wide aisles and a good selection of artists. One simply needed to cross past the massive pavilions for comic publishers and media companies to find those die-hard illustrators showcasing wares. This year, the Alley was relocated to Javits North, a still-growing addition to the convention center that more resembles an airplane hangar than a showroom. In its former place was yet another space for shops, small presses, the gigantic Intel Booth, and some artists. Navigating that space was just as brutal as the rest of the floor, but since it was still separated by the media expositions, it could take twice as long to get from one end of the floor to the other. The Alley itself was perfectly solid- professional illustrators and their amateur colleagues shared table space, signed books and prints, and took commissions from enthusiastic attendees. But its location- segregated from the rest of the show- reminded me a bit too much of the 2010 “Anime Ghetto,” where artists and craftspeople of the otaku persuasion were kept away from the “serious artists” (as one of them put it) up stairs. One can only wonder if those same “serious artists” had similar feelings this year…though not likely, given the large foot traffic that was a constant presence in Javits North (took me a full 25 minutes to get there on Saturday Afternoon).


Image taken Sunday…afternoon.

Autographs were also in their own special section, removed from the show floor, though that was undoubtedly for logistical purposes, as the higher profile guests had their own snakes, which would have wreaked havoc upstairs on the show floor, which already had its own line issues when vendors decided to bring in talent to sign at their tables. (One point of dismay on my part- I never once saw a line for professional wrestling legends Sergeant Slaughter or Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. Has this country forgotten those legends of yesteryear?)

As with previous NYCCs, the roving vendors had their own section, which was more clustered around the exhibits, which took up a good deal of floor space right as one entered. And those exhibitors pulled out all the stops to grab attention: Bandai had a veritable museum of new/soon to be released products, from Saiyan scanners to a Comic Con exclusive model from the anime series Valvrave. South Park built a replica of Main Street, complete with crashed alien saucer. had a weekend long viewing party that easily outdrew Funimation, and the Intel booth…well, let’s just say it was one of the few places with open space, owing to its sheer mass and revolving programming. Had I not been a Comic Con veteran, I likely would have gone into overload just staring at the booths and flashing lights.

20131013_114935I didn’t really get to do much over the weekend. Anime panels were thin, and filled up quickly, so I elected to avoid them. As I also have become immune to vendor rooms, I also spent very little money (just at GEN Manga and IFC, on Sunday, when the prices dropped). And since I did not have a press pass for the event, I volunteered my services to a friend’s booth for Saturday and Sunday. I’ve worked as a vendor more than a few times (it’s how I got into NYAF 09), and I’ve found that sitting in that one space is actually one of the better ways to experience the con- you have water, food, a place to sit, and generally get to see the same people as a roving reporter would, just without the claustrophobia. You also get a keen sense of the community at large- what are they spending on, what are they enthusiastic about, who are they cosplaying, et al. This weekend, the “big winners” were Berserk (everyone wanted Gattsu figures), Attack on Titan, soft earmuffs, and Ocarinas, only because I was sitting across from a vendor selling them, and listening to the same 10 songs ALL WEEKEND. And “con babies”- I saw a lot of new parents with costumed children in tow, which made me feel as fuzzy as the scarves I was selling them.

Like I started this review-torial with, I haven’t been to NYCC in three years, so seeing the growth and expansion of this convention into a dominating pop culture event was a point of pride and humility. That said, I also left feeling worn out, exhausted, and a little empty. Some of that was definitely due to working all weekend, but some of that was also the “transient” nature of the con itself- I’ve come to expect a certain amount of community and interaction at conventions I attend. I didn’t find it at NYCC. And that definitely soured some of my experience. But that is coming from a longtime convention veteran, who has already been to 14 other cons this year. For the first-timer, or the inexperienced newb, NYCC likely has a much different feel. Like I said, everyone needs to go at least once to discover where that feeling leads them.

[Gallery] Comic Con After Dark: Images from Sunday night…because not everyone gets to see the con being broken down.






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First appeared on

Nvidia is ambitious. And I like it.

As I made my way around the giant booth, two things really stood out to me. One: Nvidia really gets gamers. They know what we want, they know what’s missing in our lives, and they know how to ‘turn us on,’ so to speak. Second: holy crap, I’m never going to be a functional human being again.

The keyword of the day was mobile, and not just in the sense of a phone or a handheld, but in the sense that, if Nvidia has their way, all your games will truly be mobile. From the handheld SHIELD, to the streaming service they’re building with cable companies, to the connectivity between your computer, big screen TV and your games, they seem to have thought of everything.

The Grid


Imagine cloud gaming that works with your network provider to turn any PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or TV into a gaming console. That’s the future Nvidia imagines.

GRID renders 3D games in cloud servers, encodes each frame instantly, and streams to any device with a wired or wireless broadband connection. This means no digital downloads, no installation, no patches – just streaming.

And this isn’t just a pipe dream. They’re already working on deals with major cable companies to get this show on the road.


A true portable gaming system that is also a full-sized controller, SHIELD utilizes the Tegra 4, touted as the world’s fastest mobile processor. The ultra-fast wireless is to prevent lag when streaming games, and the unit will utilize Android’s Jelly Bean operating system, meaning you can access all of the Android applications and games.

Now here’s where this “me never leaving the game” steps in. I will be able to play my computer games on the SHIELD. I can essentially use it as a controller, or I can get up and go lie on my bed and play using the SHIELD’s screen. Or I can go use the bathroom and take it with me. Or take it on the bus. Or to work. Or to my work bathroom.

nvidia pc-overview

Do you see how dangerous this device is? From the demos, it seems a little bit of a quicker step than the Vita to PS4 step will be, because you’re actually playing the game on your SHIELD, but we’ll be able to compare them more after the PS4 comes out.

Oh, what’s that you say? They will probably only have crappy games? Um…look at this list. Yeah. Yeah that’s a real legit list of games right there, all the kind of games I wouldn’t mind snuggling up in my bed with until 3 A.M., with none of the neck or back strain that sitting up requires. Don’t look at me like that, you’re probably in no better shape.

I hope to tell you much more about the SHIELD when I get one of my very own. So stay tuned!

The World of Tomorrow


Nvidia almost scares me. The GRID, SHIELD, and other technology, if successful, may change the way we game. There’s no need for the console wars if you don’t need a console, and you don’t need to buy handheld versions of your consoles, like the Vita aims to be. In the world of tomorrow, every smart device could become a game console.

And I will never have a life again. I’m sure they were trying not to laugh as I stood there, flabbergasted by the new technology they were explaining. How will I eat? How will I sleep? How will I force myself to have human interaction?


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I wanted to share a very important article from one of the writers on my personal site, Jess Crosby.  Jess is an awesome girl I met at a Dragon Age event, and eventually talked into writing for Nerdy But Flirty. This is her story:

“Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction, but I have seen the face of time and can tell you they are wrong. Time is like an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am and why I say this. Sit down, and I will tell you a tale like none that you have ever heard.”  ~ Prince

Prince of Persia

Originally, this was supposed a simple a+b=c article, but it ended up being a period of reflection and research into not only autism and gaming but, most importantly, into myself.

Imagine: a tiny, stuttering, unfocused child unable to convey any real emotion. Not in an “I internalize everything” way, but in an “I don’t know how to express what I feel or think” kind of way. It’s like pressing A on your controller in Dead or Alive to kick, but instead you punch. Then you hit X and back to see if it blocks, and instead you do the cupid shuffle. So you feel nothing is going right, as you go left! That’s how I feel, all the time, internally.

My brain wiring is all jacked up. That’s the best I can explain it.

I don’t always have control over myself. I have much more control now than I ever have before, but it took a very long time to get here, and I experienced a lot of painful “training sessions,” so to speak.

Button Masher

But what helped me a lot in my quest was video games.

I realized that if I was going to write an article about an aspect of myself that I’ve worked so hard to keep hidden and controlled, I needed to confront it head on and, for the first time in my life, actually accept it – which started my eight-month journey of writing this article.

A Little About Asperger and Rett Syndromes

I have both Rett Syndrome and Asperger Syndrome.

Rett Syndrome

Let me be clear. My form of Rett Syndrome is very mild, and I’ve had SEVERAL doctors argue about my diagnosis. It was a battle between Rett and another disorder known as Turners. My diagnosis began very late in life compared to when a diagnosis is usually even considered. Rett is a “girls only” form of Autism, affecting the X chromosome, and is normally detected early after birth, usually due to physical markers – for example, the shape of the head. (My head is normal, just for your information. I’ve developed rather well physically, despite my misfortune).

I was fortunate to have developed “severe social anxiety” with very minimal outward symptoms other than the build of my body with occasional muscle spasms. I’m a very unique case, but not unheard of. There is no cure for Rett, but I’m incredibly lucky to be able to say that I require no treatment either. Had I been much younger when I was diagnosed, a treatment for my physical growth could have been offered.

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome attacks my social abilities, and serves as a catch-all for my other “autism-related characteristics.” I mostly have them under control, but occasionally I might let slip and display. Asperger is a highly functional form of Autism. It is diagnosed in people who have difficulty with social interactions, extreme clumsiness, and have repetitive patterns of behavior. I was diagnosed due to my inability to socially interact with the world around me. I’ve struggled most of my life with being obsessive compulsive, germaphobic, and agoraphobic. These were the basis for my diagnosis (but I fit right in with being extremely clumsy, just ask anyone who knows me). There’s no reason yet for why people have “Asperger” so there’s no set treatment, and no “cure.”

My treatment has become my own self-awareness.

Autistic doesn’t mean “retarded.” A lot of people commonly associate those two terms together. Despite being Autistic, I function very well, although it has taken a lot of time and a lot of hard work. It will continue to be both for what I can only assume will be my entire life. So the next time you hear someone call another person “retarded,” I beg of you to stand up and speak against that stereotype. Autism is a difference of mind, and I ask you not to judge us because of that one label.

Life is NOT a realistic rendition of The Sims 3 where you can micromanage EVERY single detail of who you are. There’s no character creation, so you have no say in who are you are when you are born.

Sims 3 Character Creation

Character Creation

Video Games and Autism

Did you know that people who have Autism are more likely to develop an addiction to video games?

My favorite statistic is that “children with Autism play video games on average more than two hours a day, which is double the amount of time their peers spend playing on their computers.” Just because Garrus and I have a good thing goin’ on don’t mean y’all need to get up in my space grill! Geez Tal-louis! Stop watchin’ my clock y’all!

Also, did you know: studies show that people with Autism tend to play more Role Playing Games than First Person Shooters?

I started playing video games obsessively in middle school with Final Fantasy VII. I went through the “I can relate to Aerith” phase, like most girls who play FFVII do. It’s a romantic idea, being Aerith. But what caught my eye with Aerith was what I wanted to learn from her. She was this weak girl, doomed to a horrible ending, but she still took up a staff and stuck it out. She was tough and worked hard. She showed me that delicate didn’t have to mean weak. Weak didn’t have to mean incapable. She was kind and lovable; I wanted to be like her.

Cloud Meets Aeris

Aeris Death

Fact is, with FFVII, I obsessively played the game, and played through EVERY possible line of dialogue, with EVERY character option, and what’s more, I was learning while having a lot of fun!

I was still in my “Press A but get Y” stage of life, but to have the possibilities and outcomes laid out before me in a manner I could control was…sexy. I wanted more of it. I wanted to understand. I hungered to learn.

I played every game I could until I realized I was an RPG gamer rather than a first person shooter player. RPGs offered more of a intimate investment. I had more to learn, more lessons to apply, more opportunities for personal growth, and more stories to invest myself into.

I’ve learned a LOT of lessons from video games that I have never learned in my “reality.” I don’t see it as pathetic, just fact. The idea of having my communication options set up for me and a story planned out was incredibly attractive.

How Gaming Helped

So what did the story lines help prepare me for? Well, let’s see….

I learned about what’s respectable and what’s disrespectful in conversations. And also what would likely get me killed. Conversations don’t have a dialogue wheel that shows patterns of Paragon and Renegade conversational choices.

Dialogue Wheel Example

These conversations have taught me that I want to go the paragon route in my actual life. And not just because I’d look like a creepy satanic human bull if I went renegade, but because even in video games I prefer to be a kinder person who hopes for the best.

Good and Evil

I also know I don’t want to be Princess Peach. I don’t want to be saved all the time. Setting aside the Stockholm Syndrome I truly believe Peach has developed for Bowser, I want to be my own source of strength. I want to be brave, battle my demons, and save myself. I love having my husband come to my rescue, but even he understands the value of letting me work through my own battles in life.

I have learned that life is not a competition, nor is it a solo campaign. I need to socialize, and no matter how difficult it may be for me at times, not only do I NEED to do it, but I can do it!

In the few instances where I left my safe “I game alone” bubble, I dabbled in the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) world. I spent my fair share of time playing Diablo III and Guild Wars 2 (never got into World of Warcraft, but you should look up The Guild on YouTube or Netflix. It’s an incredible web series based on individuals playing in a Guild and what happens when the team meets in real life). MMOs taught me how to co-operate with others, a very difficult challenge for me.

With Asperger, my brain-to-mouth filter sometimes disappears. Long before I realize it, I say what I’m thinking. I don’t mean any harm, but my brain is busy and my thoughts are unclear even to myself. It’s a difficult process to focus on what I’m thinking.

An example I can try to use is: I’m trying to read through a book at the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog, and my mouth is verbalizing at the speed of Tails. It’s automatic. This tends to make me the socially awkward one of the group.

Sonic and Tails

MMOs taught me the basics of doing group tasks and working with multiple people. It comes down to not being prideful and being willing to share your knowledge and strengths with the group. Owning your weaknesses, so another may benefit the group in the gray area if you can’t. It’s about teamwork – the good of the whole unit.

MMOs have also given me the chance to refine and work on my people skills before putting them to use in the “no save point available” reality. My social skills are better because of MMOs.

Most importantly, I learned that my life does not have a save, reload, or reset option.

No! You can't!

Every decision I make has a repercussion, and I have only one chance to make the decision that I will not regret making. It’s this lesson, and this lesson alone, that has inspired me to fight my fears, to push myself, and to try again when things maybe don’t go as well as I’d hoped or prepared for.

When I was seventeen years old, I found myself admitted into a mental institute. It was the first time in my life that I was tested for Autism, and the first time I had ever been treated as such. Sure, most of my close friends know that my life is anything but “functional.” I spent a lot of my energy on a daily basis struggling with my own inner self-control, battling germ phobias and OCD behaviors…oh yes, I was a regular Adrian Monk (only female).

Monk, cleaning your screen.

Stereotypically, an Autistic person is someone who is stunted in their growth, short-like, who has speech impediments, is a little heavier, and has a more difficult time with school and social settings. You would be the average person in this assumption. But, if you look at me, you would think that I’m awkward, clumsy, forgetful, and at times I’ve had the word “ugly” thrown at me, but in the end, I’m still Autistic.

Jessica Crosby 1

I’ve thought to myself, “Am I really like them?!” I’ve met a lot of Autistic people in my quest for acceptance of myself, and I’ve done the comparison.

I’ve had my share of cruel thoughts, and I’ve passed inappropriate judgements that left me feeling ashamed of myself. But thankfully, I got off my “I’m better than thou” high horse, let myself get to know my peers, listened to their advice, and grew from it.

It wasn’t until I was twenty-three that I was officially confirmed as “Autistic.” It was…not as much of a surprise as I probably thought it was. I was different. I didn’t know why, but I always knew that I was not like the people around me.

Acceptance and Growth

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune,” said author William James.

Acceptance, there’s a powerful concept. I’ve never been very accepting of myself. Change doesn’t come easy to me. In the time I’ve spent trying to write this article, I’ve made it a point to work on accepting who I am. I realize I’m always telling people, “I like you just the way you are!” and “You’re great just as you are!” I wish I spent more time telling that to myself. But, I got there.

Jessica Crosby 3

My husband, Eric, asked, “When did you become Aerith? Going from who you were, the small scared girl, to being who you are right now?”

I wish I could tell you the moment I decided, “This is it, I’ve had enough, things need to change. I need to accept all this nonsense and move on!” The truth is, I don’t know when the moment happened. It happened so gradually and so slowly that it kind of snuck up on me.

It was partially because of you, Eric. Those two years we spent online chatting before we finally met in person, you didn’t let me make excuses. You awakened something in me that made me determined to see in myself what you saw in me. It was the first time in my life where I was challenged to do things for my own gain.

I started making little strides from there. I’ve seen and lived the crippling effects Autism can have on a person, and I want to be Aerith. I want to be brave, optimistic, and full of a love for life. She may be fictional, but she’s always a constant reminder of the woman I aim to be: kind, caring, capable, brave. I used to not be able to see those characteristics in myself, but in reflection, I feel like I do now. :)

My Life To-Do List

My to-do list in life is short. I didn’t want a lot of things, and somehow, at the young age of twenty-five, I have achieved ALL of them:

1. Accept who I am.
2. Leave the United States.
3. Overcome my Agoraphobia?.
4. Meet my role model in person.

That was it. And I have.

1. I am Jessica Crosby. I’m Autistic, and video games have been a big source of guidance and experience along with valuable life lessons that I have had the honor and privilege of playing and learning. I have two baby teeth and a gap in my smile. I love my red hair and freckles, and all the taunting I endured as a child no longer bothers me. I was a young violinist who lost her way but have discovered a new love for the film and photography industry. I am married to an incredible man who I met on the internet (no lie!). I am a geek, a girl who enjoys video games, and although I’m not the brightest light bulb in the pack, I’m learning to stand out, in a good way. I’m confident, and I know who I am and who I want to be. I’m not a pessimist. I am a realist. I love who I have become, and where I plan to go in life. I accept who I am.

I love my life and who I am!

2. So, remember when I told you I met my husband on the internet? Well, he was stationed in Japan for the Navy, and I was at the time still residing in Maryland. When I FINALLY left the country, it was so that I could go to Japan. It was meant to be a vacation; I would clear my head, work some things out, go home. I fell in love though. You can’t say no to a man who has done as much as he did and continues to do for me. I am in large part where I am because of him. And just for the record, Japan is amazing. You should all go and experience their culture. And their sushi. It’s totally awesome!


3. As far as my Agoraphobia goes, I still get nervous around large crowds, but I leave my house and don’t hide from them. In fact, THIS past San Diego Comic Con, I braved the crowded streets and experienced what the outside of the convention center had to offer. And not ONCE did I break down. I’m still very introverted, and I don’t see that changing, but I am not crippled to the point of staying inside of my home. :) Did I mention that I was dressed up as Aerith at Comic Con?! See adorable picture below!

Aerith Cosplay

(PS – I’m still looking for Optimus Prime, does anyone know who he is?!).

Sarah, Optimus and Aerith

4. I met Felicia Day. For maybe two minutes, and I think all I managed to clearly say was “May I hug you?” But I did it. I waited in line, nearly had a panic attack, and ran out of the building, but I did it!

I was introduced to The Guild, starring Felicia Day, by my husband during a time in my life when I was learning that it’s okay to be a girl who likes to play video games. Felicia was slaughtering the stereotypes of females in the gaming industry. I followed her progress, and she gave me a sense of hope, pride, and acceptance of myself. It didn’t hurt that she has red hair (I have red hair), she plays violin (I play violin)…small things that made me feel like we had some common ground. She’s been an inspiration in my journey of acceptance of my geek self, which in turn has helped me accept other parts of myself that I had not accepted – like being Autistic.


Overcoming Fear

I worried for some time about what might happen if I wrote this article. “What if people find out my secret?” “What if this gets back to my place of employment?” “What if this? What if that?”

The fact that I’m standing where I stand, having achieved the achievements I have, is a testament to my dedication, determination, and the pay off of my hard work and continuous efforts is proof to myself and to the world. If it isn’t, nothing I do ever will be.

I’ve spent a lot of time these last couple months trying to find my voice. I’m still fresh out of the “This is who I am, deal with it or get lost” closet, and I just want to say how grateful I am to everyone who has supported my growth and learning.

My life lately, feels peaceful. I feel like the noble dwarf warden from Dragon Age who, after defeating the Blight, married Alistair, and all my companions have survived, despite my putting them through very difficult battles against deadly foes on a suicide mission to slay an Archdemon! Now, for just a little while, I get to sit back and enjoy the calm. And cake! Oh…wait…

The Cake is a LIE! Dragon Age :)

Today, I work in the professional broadcasting industry. I’m a writer for Nerdy But Flirty, a website about being a gamer and a geek. I live in California with my husband and our two cats. I have friends who accept me, awkwardness and all!

Sarah the Rebel and Jess!

Five years ago, I couldn’t see any of this for myself. Five years ago, I thought I was doomed to hide in a basement, left alone and stuck in fear of anything and everything outside my front door. Five years ago, I had no plan for my future, no goals, and no aspirations. So to say that I’ve changed is an understatement.

Aerith meets Steampunk

Reality has become my game of choice. The characters are of my own choosing. The dialogue, a reflection of my own choices (nothing predetermined). Punch has become A. B has become kick. X has become block, and Y still doesn’t do shit. You know what, some things makes sense now. Finally I’m somewhere I can focus, allowing for growth, and I’m learning everyday.

“Hope is what makes us strong. It is why we are here. It is what we fight with when all else is lost.”
– Pandora, God of War III

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