What Are You Playing This Weekend?

The Gameological Moms

The Gameological Moms, Vol. 2

The staff moms are back again, this time answering questions with a nostalgic bent.

By The Gameological Society Staff • May 10, 2013

In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question (except this time).

In what is now a Gameological tradition, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day by putting our own moms in the spotlight. Instead of opening with our usual Friday interview question, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and see what games our moms liked playing when they were kids. Here’s what they had to say.

Ginny Toal
interviewed by Drew Toal

Ginny, Adam, and Drew Toal

The Gameological Society: What did you play when you were a kid?

Ginny Toal: Well, we didn’t have video games…

Gameological: I know, Mom.

Toal: But we always played things like The Game Of Life or Monopoly. We also played a lot of Parcheesi and tiddlywinks.

Gameological: I wasn’t totally sure tiddlywinks was actually a game until now. Parcheesi either, for that matter.

Toal: Of course they’re real.

Gameological: I guess you had tons of kids to play with, being of the Baby Boomer generation.

Toal: Yeah, I guess so. There were at least 20 kids on my block. We never had to travel far to see our friends.

Gameological: It’s like having a non-Internet human social network!

Toal: I guess so. I remember you liked playing Stratego. That was the game, right? Stratego.

Gameological: I did like that game. And Adam (my brother) liked 13 Dead End Drive.

Toal: We still have that at the house. I won’t let your father throw it away.

Gameological: Really? We should play that next time I’m home! But wait, did you need a VHS to play?

Toal: I’m not sure. I don’t think so. If you do, I’m sure your father has one somewhere.


Jan Smith
interviewed by Ryan Smith

Jan and Ryan Smith

The Gameological Society: What games did you play as a kid?

Jan Smith: I always liked Scrabble because I liked to spell. I liked Uncle Wiggily. I also remember enjoying Clue as a kid, and I played it a little bit with you and your brother growing up. It’s a game that was easy to learn, but there was some thinking involved and there was a little intrigue. Your grandpa and I, we didn’t do much together, but he taught me the card game Pitch, and we had fun with that. When I was a little kid, I used to play jacks a lot. You had a rubber ball and these little metal jacks you had to pick up before the ball bounced. It sounds really simple, but it was a lot of fun. Mousetrap, I forgot about that one. Hopscotch. I also liked to pogo stick and hula hoop, although I’m not sure those are games.

Gameological: So you liked to play outside games just as much as inside?

Smith: Almost all of the games I played were outside rather than inside. There was a vacant lot behind the house growing up, and a lot of us would be out there with the neighbor kids. I think it’s a shame that so many kids are inside so much playing iPads and iPods and video games. Kind of sad, not very healthy either.

Gameological: You know, I’ve played video games since you bought me an Atari when I was like four years old, but I don’t think you ever tried them.

Smith: No, I don’t think so. Never really interested me. It seems like a lot of girls play them nowadays, way more than they used to. I think I just grew up in the old days.


Carol Brydon
interviewed by Adam Volk

Carol Brydon and Adam Volk

The Gameological Society: What games did you play when you were a kid?

Carol Brydon: What games I played when I was a kid? [Pause.] Auntie-I-Over.

Gameological: What’s Auntie-I-Over?

Brydon: We used to throw the ball over the house, and then we’d yell “Auntie-I-Over,” and the other person had to run around, and you’d have to run to the other side before they caught the ball.

Gameological: That sounds like a cruel military drill.

Brydon: We called it Auntie-I-Over. I always liked that. We also played kick the can. You kicked the can and you had to run and get to home base before the person gets the can and runs and touches you.

Gameological: And then you get out if the person touches you?

Mom: Yes. And we played dodgeball.

Gameological: Were you good at dodgeball?

Brydon: No. Probably not.

Gameological: Did you ever smack another kid in the face with a dodgeball?

Brydon: [Ignores the question.] We played baseball scrub.

Gameological: What’s baseball scrub?

Brydon: Scrub is like anybody’s up to bat. You don’t have teams. So you get three people up to bat and when one person goes out, the next person comes up in line. So we’d all play in the field. And one would be the pitcher. And you’d move from one base to the next until someone went out.

Gameological: So it’s baseball for lazy people?

Brydon: Yes. No. It’s not for lazy people! [Laughs.] You had no teams. It was a game for farm kids because there were never enough of us.

Gameological: That makes sense.

Brydon: We played Monopoly. And we played card games on winter days and on Sundays, because we couldn’t do anything else. Sometimes we couldn’t take the school bus. So we played cards. We played rummy for a penny a point, and we played Rummoli for pennies.

Gameological: But back in the day a penny was worth like, a hundred dollars in today’s currency, right?

Brydon: A penny wasn’t worth that much. But you could buy candy.


Geri Gerardi
interviewed by Matt Gerardi

Geri and Matt Gerardi

The Gameological Society: What did you play when you were a kid?

Geri Gerardi: Mostly board games. We didn’t have video games back then. Twister, The Game Of Life, Monopoly, that one dating game.

Gameological: I’ve heard you mention something about getting Twister before.

Gerardi: I broke my arm when I was about eight and, with the cast still on, I got Twister for Christmas. So I couldn’t play it for a long while.

Gameological: That’s awful. You didn’t even try to play?

Gerardi: No. Not at all.

Gameological: Did you have a favorite board game?

Gerardi: Probably The Game Of Life.

Gameological: Why do you think that was your favorite?

Gerardi: It was fun. It was supposed to be getting a career and having a family and buying a car. It was kind of like getting to see what it would be as a grownup.

Gameological: Right. You mentioned that dating game too. What was it? Mystery Date? It’s kind of the same thing. They’re both a window into what it would be like to be a grownup.

Gerardi: Yeah. You know, little girls dreaming about who they’re going to marry. It was the dreamboat or the bum.

Gameological: You can’t say stuff like that anymore. It’s not exactly politically correct.

Gerardi: No no, I know. I’m just saying. That’s how we thought at the time.


Coreen Steinbach
interviewed by Anthony John Agnello

Coreen Steinbach and Anthony John Agnello

The Gameological Society: What games did you play as a kid, Ma?

Coreen Steinbach: On the front of games that we purchased, we played the standard games like Candy Land, jacks, Monopoly, old maid. What other board games did we play? A little later, we started playing things like Operation.

Gameological: Were there any games that made you and your sister fight incessantly?

Steinbach: The Barbie Game. The Barbie board game where you could get your boyfriend and your boyfriend could be Ken. Of course, you wanted the cute, nice boys but then there was the nerdy boys like Poindexter. Nobody wanted Poindexter! So you would cheat to not get Poindexter.

Gameological: I would imagine The Barbie Game was really diverse, too.

Steinbach: Very. I wasn’t a huge game person. My childhood was actually fairly wild. I was set loose in the morning and all I had to do was be home by 6 o’clock. So most of my childhood memories of playing involved things like playing pioneer and having a fort that was my pioneer fort. We were always playing horses, which was either pretending we were horses or tying ropes. It’s a miracle I’m alive. We tied ropes to our handlebars like reins, and the bike was your horse. Then we’d go off jumps like that. We also did all the school games too. Did you guys do Red Light, Green Light?

Gameological: Of course!

Steinbach: We played Red Rover and Simon Says, Mother May I. Hopscotch too. With the chalk and you make the grid.

Gameological: Hopscotch is weird because it’s one of those games that everyone recognizes and sort of knows how to play, but they have no idea how they learned to play it.

Steinbach: I was never 100-percent sure how you added up the points and stuff. Not really. There’s just something universal in kids where they automatically come up with games. An invented thing my sister and I used to do was, we were in this tiny little house with two bedrooms downstairs and this attic with a peaked ceiling. My parents finished the attic when I was in third grade, so we moved up there, and Kathy had one side, and I had the other. On the one end of the room, my mother had used ballerina wallpaper with all kinds of ballerinas. When we’d go to bed, you’d have to think of one of the ballerinas and then the other one would have to guess which one it is. We’d point with our feet, “This one, this one, this one?”


Bonney Teti
interviewed by John Teti

Bonney and John Teti

The Gameological Society: What games did you like to play as a kid?

Bonney Teti: I loved board games like Monopoly, Go To The Head Of The Class—do you know what that is?

Gameological: I recall that banging around even when I was a kid. We had a copy. It’s just a quiz game?

Teti: Yeah. Before “trivia” was a word. [Pause.] I don’t know if that’s true, so—

Gameological: Well, what was it? Grade-school stuff?

Teti: You were a student, and you moved up through the classes. There was a book that had a bunch of different questions in it. None of these games did I own, so I was rabid to play them at other people’s houses.

Gameological: What, you weren’t allowed to have games in the house?

Teti: We just never did. I’m sure because nobody wanted to play with me.

Gameological: Why not?

Teti: You know, too busy. My brother was 10 years older. I had stuff like—what are those plastic things that you put on a board and it sticks?

Gameological: Colorforms?

Teti: Colorforms! I had stuff like that that you played by yourself.

Gameological: Wow, this is a sadder interview than I expected it to be.

Teti: Isn’t this depressing? I’ll be starting therapy soon. [Laughs.] No—and I loved recess games like hopscotch and kickball.

Gameological: Were you good at those?

Teti: I was.

Gameological: What about jacks?

Teti: That’s probably more my mother. Although there was a season for jacks and a season for Chinese jump rope.

Gameological: What is that?

Teti: It was just a string of elastic that was sewn together into a loop, and two girls stood and held it apart. Then you did different steps, like you caught it with your foot and put it to the other side.

Gameological: What made it Chinese?

Teti: Oh, I have no idea. [Pause.] I was very, very competitive then. Unlike now! [Laughs.]


Sharon Kennelty
interviewed by Derrick Sanskrit

Sharon Kennelty and Derrick Sanskrit

The Gameological Society: What games did you like to play as a kid?

Sharon Kennelty: I was an only child with two adult parents, so as a kid I used to play solitary kind of games. I would play dolls and dollhouse kind of things and bouncing ball games, things like pick-up sticks and card solitaire. Most of my time I spent out riding my bike around. I didn’t really play other kinds of games, mostly just with dolls. Not the same type of things as game-games, because I think with games you need to be interacting with other people, and as a kid I couldn’t really do that until I was in college. In college, I played Risk a lot, and other board games like Monopoly.

Gameological: Because suddenly you were surrounded by more people your age?

Kennelty: Yes, and they taught me other card games. I played spades, and I played those kinds of card games. Not poker. Nothing you had to put money down on.

Gameological: Was that a result of your Catholic-school upbringing, that gambling was bad?

Kennelty: Or my very little bit of Scottish blood that doesn’t let me spend money on things, or the fact that I was a poor college student. I’m pretty sure that my great-aunt played card games for pennies, literally pennies, and if they ran out of pennies, they’d play for buttons.

Gameological: Your mother had a very nice collection of buttons. Was that from gambling?

Kennelty: When I was in high school, my mother and I took a course at Nassau Community College on casino gambling. She wanted to learn it, and I said, “What the heck.” It was all statistics. I was 18 the first—and probably the last—time I went to a racetrack. I bet and I won!

Gameological: I think you told me this before. Because you won you had to buy your mother dinner?

Kennelty: No, she was insulted that I didn’t volunteer to do so. It was my birthday! I didn’t buy dinner, and she was pissed. So that’s the concept of gambling I grew up with—that I should have spent it on everyone and not just taken the money. My father, mother, and I went to Puerto Rico when I was maybe 19, and there was a casino. I was cute and dressed nice and sat down with maybe $20 of chips at a roulette table. My mother was mortified that I sat there for an hour, and I kept winning some and losing some, up and down. She was upset that I was taking up the space of other people with “real money,” and she made me leave. Meanwhile, the croupier was perfectly fine with a cute little girl sitting there and guys coming around and losing all their money around me.

Gameological: Absolutely! You were a draw!

Kennelty: Yeah! I realized that, but she didn’t agree. Or she did and didn’t want me to be. Whatever.


Patricia Jones
interviewed by Scott Jones

Pat Jones

The Gameological Society: What games did you play as a kid?

Patricia Jones: I played a lot of Monopoly when I was a girl. I got it for my birthday when I was 12, 13. It was my favorite. We had a big family, so we played it all the time. We played a lot of games together. Baseball. We played that a lot. I also didn’t talk to your Aunt Linda much back then. We weren’t very close; she had different friends than I did.

The Gameological Society: What kind of friends?

Jones: Friends like Uncle Jack, those kinds of people. I was in a secret club with some of the other girls who lived nearby. What the heck name did we have for our club? I can’t think of it now. My cousin from Utica came to stay with us a lot. We were great friends. We played Monopoly together. We also played Pick-Up Sticks, War, Slapjack, all kinds of of card games. We played kick the can.

The Gameological Society: How did that work?

Jones: I don’t know. Look it up on the internet. [Pause.] Your father says to tell you that he played with himself.


Cindy Casciato
interviewed by Cory Casciato

Cindy and Cory Casciato

Gameological: What games did you like to play as a kid?

Cindy Casciato: [Laughs] Boy, I haven’t thought about these in so long. Like Red Rover—I don’t know if that’s what it’s called, but “Red Rover, Red Rover, send so-and-so right over.” Have you ever heard of that one?

Gameological: Sure. I used to play that as a kid too.

Casciato: You know me, I’m not really a game player. I played dolls and school—things like that. I did play a lot with the boys, because I liked to be around the boys, so I tried to play what they liked to play too. We used to play tag. The kind of things we used to play as kids was to go up in the hills and play army, and dig and play in the mud and the dirt. I also played with my dolls and stuff, too. I used to hang out with boys, and I had all brothers, so I used to try to do what they did.

Gameological: When I was growing up, what kind of games did I drag you into playing?

Casciato: Uno? Did we play Uno? I think we did. I know I taught your brother to play gin rummy, but I’m not sure I ever taught you to play. I used to play with your Aunt Judy quite a bit. What is that game with the pegs? The card game with the pegs?

Gameological: Cribbage?

Casciato: Yeah, I used to play that. Did we play cribbage together?

Gameological: No, I don’t think so. Was it you that taught me solitaire? Or was that Grandma?

Casciato: Yeah, Grandma used to play it a lot. So did I. I learned solitaire as a kid. Cribbage I learned later. What else did we play together? You liked games that I didn’t “get.”

Gameological: Yeah, I liked and played so many games a kid. I might have tried to make you play any number of them, I’m not sure. I think by the time I started playing Dungeons & Dragons, I probably stopped trying to make you play games. Although maybe you would have liked it.

Casciato: I know, if I could have understood it maybe! [Laughs.]


Roberta Levin
interviewed by Matt Kodner

Roberta Levin and Matt Kodner

The Gameological Society: What games did you play as a kid?

Roberta Levin: My grandparents lived with us, and they were from Europe. They played a lot of cards, so I learned to play solitaire at a very early age. I often played solitaire with my grandfather. My mom’s dad was quite an expert at it. We would have very rowdy games of double, triple, or even quadruple solitaire.

Gameological: How do you play?

Levin: Each person has their own game, and you start playing as if you’re by yourself, but the aces are shared. Every time you have an ace, you toss it in the middle, and anyone can use any ace. So there could be a lot of competition for those aces because you pull a card from your deck and throw it on to anybody’s ace, which can help you get through your game a lot faster. A typical quadruple game goes very, very quickly.

Gameological: I remember playing double solitaire with you, but I didn’t know that’s something you played growing up.

Levin: I did, and the thing about playing it is that you must use four different decks of cards. It’s very important, I should have said that first. [Laughs.] I also loved Candy Land. I had a Candy Land board game that was worn to death.

Gameological: I remember playing Candy Land with Grandma, your mom, and we would always play with “grandma rules” where I could do anything I wanted. Did you ever have that?

Levin: No, I didn’t have grandma rules. I think the thing is your generation, everyone gets a trophy. [Laughs.] But I think grandma rules came about because you wanted to play a certain way, which wasn’t exactly according to the rules, and your grandma, in trying to make sure that you made your way into the world, said something like, “When you’re playing with other people, you must play by the rules, but if you want to play this way with me that’s okay, and we’ll call them ‘grandma rules.’” She taught you a great lesson because she would play that way with you, but she wasn’t going to let you be a cheater in the world. I thought that was an amazing way to handle that. But no, I did not have grandma’s rules. I didn’t really want to cheat. I always wanted to win. I was always afraid of getting caught.

And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately (or what your mom played when she was a kid), and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.

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  • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

    I don’t know that I’ll have time for anything. These are crazy times. Why the hell am I still up?

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      Yeah?  What’s all the craziness?

      • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

        OK, now that I’m less grumpy, I’ll say that my plan this weekend is to play some Mega Man X2 if I find the time. I also plan to bone up on the rulebook for Fiasco, so I can host a game in the near future. 

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          Well, that doesn’t sound too crazy.

  • https://twitter.com/tymcast Tyler Mills

    Probs I’m gonna buy Mega Man 9 and play some-a-that. I’ve played it a little and never beat it or owned it, but this Mega Man 2 day got me in the mood. So yeah. That.

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    “Well, we didn’t have video games…”
    “I know, Mom.”

    Oh, that is adorable.

    Right now, I’m playing this little indie game called Receiver; thanks to djsubversive for their recommendation! It’s very rough, but I love the gun mechanics: instead of reloading automatically from a pool of ammo, you have to manage individual bullets, magazines, the slide, the safety, etc.. So far it’s been a test of my abilities with the keyboard, and I’ve given up on mapping it to a controller with Joy2Key, but after swapping some of the key bindings I can now reload without throwing half-full magazines across the room (most of the time). It’s structured like a roguelike and fairly difficult; I hope to beat at least one run before I put it down.

    Friday night, I’ll probably be playing Eclipse with friends. The friend that owns it picked up the expansion and wants to try it out. I’ve only played twice before and I expect it to take all night to play, but I look forward to giving it another shot.

    • HobbesMkii

       Receiver is fucking great. It’s definitely in my Top Ten shooters ever. It’s always tense and the story is sparse (it might not even run for five and a half minutes) but it’s far more engaging than any other FPS I’ve played in the past five years.

    • DrFlimFlam

       I like the interaction there we’ve all encountered. The, “I know, mom”, the (ignores question)… it’d be annoying and I’m sure it is when it’s your own mother, but it’s just too cute when it’s someone else and THEIR mom.

      In fifteen years, my son will ask his mother that, and she’ll smile and say, “Resident Evil, son. Resident Evil.”

    • boardgameguy

      i’ve not tried ECLIPSE but i’m curious to give it a run sometime. would you recommend it?

      • The_Helmaroc_King

        Eclipse has good things going for it, but I can’t speak for every element of the game. For one, a game for three or four people can easily take three to five hours, and two, I suspect it’s possible for one militaristic player to send everyone into an arms race or risk being crowded out of the game. I’m a little averse to long, conflict-intensive games, though, so that skews my opinion a little. It seems as good as most 4X games, at least.

        To its credit, the exploration, expansion, and research are interesting enough for me to come back to it in spite of a less-than-dignified moment during my second game. In my defense, we forgot to use the proper post-combat rules, which would’ve made it easier for me to rebuild afterwards.

        I hear the expansions adds a lot more focus on the NPC aliens, so there’s more to do without attacking your neighbor, but we have yet to play with it.

    • exant

      Eclipse is pretty fun, but it doesn’t take nearly as long as Twilight Imperium, which is like the insane chaotic American version of Eclipse. If you have the stomach for 8 hours of board games, TI is the king as far as I’m concerned.

      • The_Helmaroc_King

        Eight hours, huh? I don’t think my board game group is cruel enough to foist something like that on me. These are people who played three consecutive games of Through the Ages in one sitting.

        • boardgameguy

          i’m playing THROUGH THE AGES asynchronously with a buddy through a website and am finding the pace of it great. one to three turns a day, all the thinking time one could want. it’s been very fun. 

        • exant

          TI is the game during which you can get drunk, sober, and drunk again

  • PaganPoet

    My mom plays Tetris, Pacman, Words With Friends, Draw Something…anything simple and bite-sized she can get for her tablet. I remember when I was small and we got our first NES, we would have family Mario nights which just as adorqble as it sounds. It didn’t last long, though, as it started to annoy her how much my brother and I fought over video games.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       My mom plays almost exclusively Tetris and Dr. Mario, though she’s taken to playing the version of Scrabble that came on her new(ish) laptop alot, too.

      I’m not sure what her first video game was, but I know she has old, dedicated consoles for Pong and Combat in the basement that were definitely the first ones she owned.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Aside from the universal (hopscotch and jump ropes), mine loved bocce and marbles (which she insists was pretty fancy because kids then would usually just play with pennies and bottle caps). Personal sidenote: Boules-type games are forever the best games to play while drinking.

      She doesn’t really play anymore, but we used to play adventure games together, and later she got really into Tomb Raider. I think she’s the only person I know who hadn’t lost interest by the time 4 came out.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I imagine most moms play Candy Crush Saga nowadays. I know mine does.

    • Citric

      Solitaire and Tetris for my mom. She used to try to play Wario Land, but I don’t think she ever finished a level. One of my nephews tried to teach her how to play Pokemon, he did not succeed.

  • Citric

    My mom’s childhood had a disturbing amount of cow poop as game pieces. Apparently if they were dry they were versatile.

    She even lived in town, I don’t know how this happened.

    Anyway, this weekend I’ll finish Shadow Hearts. I know I said that last weekend but I mean it this time.

    • PaganPoet

      I think I’ll be finishing up Innocent Sin this weekend. I’m enjoying it so much, I might barrel straight on through to Eternal Punishment! Although I have been itching to play P3P again as the female protagonist, so I may do that as well.

      • Citric

        I think whatever follows Shadow Hearts will be in the SMT family of products, but I’m not sure what yet. I’ve got all the PS2 stuff.

      • Sleverin

        I’ve been trying to get back into IS, but I can never figure out the battle system.  Do I get XP and such for making contracts?  If I’ve made contracts, can I just blast away at demons the next time without losing it?  I want to gain enough levels to beat bosses, but I also want my tarot cards and items.

        • PaganPoet

          As far as I can tell, making pacts with demons is for getting Free Cards. After you make a pact with a demon, the next time you encounter them, if you max out their eaeagerness, they will give you Free Cards in addition to cards from their Arcana. Then the painter in The Velvet Room can turn them into cards from any Arcana. it’s very useful and necessary to get some of the more powerful Personas.

    • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

      The only difference between cowpies and frisbies is the weight.

      • Citric

        One of the cow pie games was just flinging them at each other with sticks, apparently.

  • rvb1023

    I finally beat Nocturne, so now I am playing the decidedly average Silent Hill: Homecoming. It is a game.

    • Citric

      I sort of want Homecoming, but I recognize I only want it because it’s a Silent Hill game that I don’t have (it and The Room, and I guess the games with Memories in the title but I don’t care too much about those). 

      I mean, Origins and Travis Jerkface’s Vest of Infinite Televisions was fun!

      • Raging Bear

        I rather liked The Room. I [and here you should imagine several pages of swearing compressed into the next three words] did not like Homecoming.

        • rvb1023

           I would say I liked The Room as an idea, but it did not make for the best Silent Hill game.

        • dmikester

          The Room is a highlight of my gaming life because it led to one of the more bizarre experiences of my college days.  In the days before video streaming, and on a campus with no TV access, videogames became pretty central for a lot of the electronic entertainment.  For whatever reason, many of my friends wanted to watch The Room as a sort of horror movie, but not play it because they were too afraid, and didn’t feel like they were good enough to play the game. So for about two or three weeks, I played The Room late at night for a large group of people (we’re talking at least ten) and got super into it while hearing the audience scream whenever Walter showed up.  Overall, I think everyone really, really enjoyed it, including me.

    • Swadian Knight

      Has there even been an above-average Silent Hill since 3?

      • rvb1023

         Shattered Memories if you ask some, though I haven’t played it. The biggest problem with the series is everyone is trying to remake Silent Hill 2 and the trouble they seem to be having adapting to newer control schemes.

        • Swadian Knight

          I like Shattered Memories, but most of that’s because it actually tried to be different. I like the story, but doesn’t have much else going for it. It’s only above average in relation to the rest of the series, though I’d still recommend it.

  • dmikester

    I have a TON of work this weekend (just a minor thing like writing a chapter of a textbook that will be published next year, so y’know, no big) so I may not be able to play games.  But if I do, it will be Sleeping Dogs, which just went free on PS Plus.  

    I decided after this past weekend to give up on Dragon Age for now, which I just wasn’t having fun with and has one of the most glacial paces I’ve ever experienced in a game.  So I went ahead and tried out Sleeping Dogs on Tuesday and couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it.  It might be the most polished open-world game I’ve ever played, with tons of attention to detail, great controls both for driving and fighting, and a so far decent story made better by the cool triad/cop dynamic and excellent voice acting.  The only issue I’ve seen so far is the camera, and even that’s only mildly annoying.  It will definitely be something to look forward to as a nice break from writing, that’s for sure.

    • Enkidum

      Doing a 180 in a car is kind of annoying because the camera goes mad, but yeah, it’s a fucking lovely game. 

      I like the way that weapons are around, but you’re not necessarily using them all the time. Of course when you can pull someone backwards and elbow them in the chest so hard they die, you don’t necessarily need weapons.

      (What? There’s an achievement for it.)

    • Raging Bear

      And here I was thinking I was being canny when I bought it when it was on sale for half off. This is the mixed blessing of PS+; it kind of makes me afraid to ever actually pay for PSN things.

      • Enkidum

        Yeah, me too, but it was worth it.

      • dmikester

        Man, I feel your pain.  The same thing happened to me with Just Cause 2.  I guess at least you truly own it, so if you ever cancel PS Plus you’ll still have it.  But yeah, it is really annoying.  I bought Blood Dragon recently, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes free eventually.

    • NakedSnake

       Agreed on Dragon Age. Like many Bioware games, I enjoy it immensely at first. I’m eager to hear about the world and learn new things, etc. etc. etc. But then, I guess I have an expectation that all the scene setting will pay off in the form of a rapidly accelerating, unencumbered plot (like how a movie would work). Instead, it feels like every time the game gets going, they’re like ‘let’s slow it down a second’ and talk about a bunch of new stuff I’m not interested. More than anything, Dragon Age reminds me of an old-school educational game. You basically wander around a virtual exhibit, talking to people who are strategically placed to educate you about their time and place. And then there are some action sequences to keep you interested.

      Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still a great game, and it’s one of the most glaring unfinished games on my backlog. I just keep pushing it back in favor of inferior games, because, having put it down for a couple of months, I don’t have the energy to get back into it. So it will be Perfect Dark Zero for me.

      • dmikester

        Exactly with the educational game!  My wife, who’s a pretty darn good gamer in her own right, walked in several times while I was playing Dragon Age and couldn’t believe that I was always watching people talking.  I was never able to play it for more than an hour and a half at a time because I just wasn’t having any fun.  I was interested in the lore, but the characters were consistently boring (Alistair and Morrigan were starting to grow on me, but not enough to make me really care about either of them), and the gameplay was OK but unexciting.  Another problem?  Insanely stilted voice acting from way too many characters, especially in Redcliffe, where I stopped.  Sigh…. Maybe I’ll return to it some day, but I doubt anytime soon.

        • NakedSnake

           I’m was about 80% through when I gave it up about a year ago. I’m wondering if I can manage to finish my playthrough by just killing everyone who tries to talk to me (and then also killing everyone who doesn’t try to talk to me, obviously).

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Yes!  My favorite sandbox game so far.  Didn’t get it for free, but $10 on a Steam sale was still pretty good.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    Well this was just adorable.  It is now on par for my Mother’s day sentimental favorites with Weekend Edition signing off on Sunday with the credits listing everyone’s mom.
       My wife wants nothing for mother’s day except to sleep as late as possible, then drink coffee until the local Indian place opens and head over for some pakora and palak dal.
       I’m toward the end of Guacamelee.  I’ve made a good-faith effort to find the six mask pieces, but they require a level of technical acumen that I nether have nor find pleasure in perfecting.
       So I’ll probably just pass it and move on.  It’s a great game with just a phenomenally awful name.   

  • Fluka

    My mother has, to my knowledge, never played a video game.  However, she played a mean game of pinball and skee ball during our childhood trips to the Jersey Shore boardwalk.  And at one point she held the damn high-score in Whack-a-Gator.  (Which is Whack-a-mole, but with gators.)

    An unexpected GoG sale had both me and Mr. Fluka playing Sim City 2000 all last week.  Did you know that if you build your airport too close to your other buildings, your planes will crash and cause the entire city to burn to the ground in ten seconds?  Because I do now.  Now that Classic Maxis Fever is subsiding, however, I should hopefully get back to New Vegas Adventures.

    In a completely different sector of gaming, has anyone else played Howling Dogs?  I finally sat down and worked through it this past week, and it was pretty extraordinary.  It’s really not like any other game, interactive fiction, etc. that I’ve experienced, and it’s sold me on Twine as a legitimate means of storytelling and art.  For those who are interested, linky.  There’s actually a puzzle in there too, believe it or not, which I am going to get around to solving when I can play it in a less-distracted mood.

    • CNightwing

      Replaying SimCity2000 is worth it for the [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GODRkYrFhO0]music[/link] alone. Damn they made good midi back then!

      • Fluka

        One realization that I had when I downloaded was that my family computer never had a soundcard back in 1994.  The music and sounds were all new to me!

        • CNightwing

          Wow, that is quite a treat then. The midis sound different on every machine.. I’ve never found the same Mac PowerPC tunage I remember..

    • Chum Joely

      @Fluka:disqus … if you’re in New Vegas, you should be aware that one of the games in the running for our current edition of the “Game Revue Club” (on the Gameological group on Steam) is Fallout: New Vegas. It’s the front-runner at the moment, in fact. Join the group! Vote for New Vegas on the forum!  JOIN US!!!!!

      • Fluka

        Is it possible to change/obscure one’s Steam account name when doing stuff like joining groups?  Cuz I would, but right now my super-secret human name is all flopped out there for everyone to see.

        • Jackbert

          You can change your Steam name anytime you want, but I believe it shows up the same wherever you are e.g. you couldn’t have a name in one group and a different one in another.

        • The_Helmaroc_King

          You can also see people’s old Steam names if you look at their profile, @Jackbert:disqus, or should I say… xXx*****xXx?

          I don’t know what that’s supposed to be, but apparently Steam decided to censor it!

        • Jackbert

          @The_Helmaroc_King:disqus : It’s supposed to say Valve. I was goofing in the Gameological Society Steam group (which you should join) chat and changed my name to Efficrates Valversive. Steam censored out the Valve. I tested it to make sure, hence the xXx*****xXx.

        • djsubversive

          @Jackbert:disqus whoa, really? They censor “Valve”? That’s fucked up.

        • http://twitter.com/MikoSquiz Miko the Squiz

          Well, they don’t want people going by Valve Support Staff or similar.

    • HobbesMkii

      I remember that with the planes. If you ringed your airport with arcologies, there were serious problems.

  • Citric

    I also feel like mentioning I’ll probably play Drawception, which is kind of fantastic and kind of awful all at once. Because it’s the internet, there’s an impenetrable wall of memes, anime references and magical horse nonsense. But if you manage to hook onto a good game it’s kind of amazing.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      The real-life version of that was a game night staple of me and my friends in college. It used to get pretty hilarious any time we tried drawing each other.

  • http://twitter.com/vowelsagogo Kilzor

    I’m playing the game Trying to Get Through the Last Three Episodes of Community, and by playing it, I’m automatically losing.  Katie Kouric was right!

    • TaumpyTearrs

      It say everything about this season of Community that I didn’t even realise til now that I have like 4 episodes piled up that I haven’t watched. It went from show that I thought about obsessively and looked forward to every week to “eh, I’ll watch it when I have nothing else I want to watch.”

      • DrFlimFlam

        It used to be a show I would watch twice every week and then savor on DVD. Now I watch Parks first and then get around to it.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      I watched last night’s episode this morning. I had to add, like, three or four ticks to my “audible groan” tally for this season. Ugh. (Oh! There’s another one!)

      • duwease

        Yeah, they had built up a little goodwill over the last 3-4 weeks, but the finale.. ugh.

  • Drew Toal

    I’ve been sucked into Don’t Starve. It’s starve-ariffic.

    • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

      Latest update says they’re putting in Caves which doesn’t make sense to me but neither do weird stilt-bird-cyclops.  Love that game.

    • Effigy_Power

      It has its moments, but I still claim that by constantly adding stuff, they are making it quite impossible to get a good routine down and really ensure successful survival.
      You can overdo it with constant content-upgrades and this is the case, for me.

      • Drew Toal

        Yeah, I feel like every time I learn how something works, it more or less leads to my death. But then I take that knowledge and improve the next game. The idea of caves terrifies me. I guess maybe they’re trying to ensure our unsuccessful survival?

        • Effigy_Power

          Well, they are making it pretty easy to not starve by killing you in a trillion other ways.
          After all, the game isn’t called “Don’t Die”. I have yet to starve in it.

  • Jackbert

    First of all, I became Most Wanted in Need for Speed: Most Wanted last weekend. It was pretty great because towards the end, I mastered the handling of my Audi R8 Spyder. Beat Most Wanted drivers #3-5 on the first try with all of them right in a row. Then I took the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, built it up, and took down #2 and #1 in three tries combined.

    Because of finals, I probably won’t be playing much of anything this weekend. However, both of my last two finals are on Monday and I’ll be playing lots of things to celebrate summer vacation afterwards, so I’m stretching “weekend” to include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

    Because of PlayStation Store sales and PlayStation Plus (and a lack of self-restraint), I have a lot of unplayed options. So I present to you, The Official List of Games Jackbert Could Play, Summer 2013.

    Metal Gear Solid HD Collection – I have Peace Walker on PSP and got stuck really fast, on the second boss. Maybe online co-op could help me get past it.

    The Walking Dead – Apparently, this game will emotionally break me, reducing me into a sobbing wreck. That’s always fun.

    Sleeping Dogs – VIOLENCE. I played the demo for this and liked the fist violence but not the gun violence.

    Stacking – NONVIOLENCE. This game looks pretty cool, despite my moderate fear of Russian nesting dolls.

    Those four are ordered in terms of interest and therefore likelihood of playing. Anyone think I should jumble that list a bit? (I know @merve;disqus will!)

    Finally, my mother has never mentioned playing any sort of game as a child. I will edit this post in the morning upon asking her if her answer reflects differently. She does play a lot of flash Mahjohn though and is freakishly fast at it.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      Well now that you’ve mentioned me by name, I have to give my input. Stacking and Sleeping Dogs are both fantastic, and since the latter is free on PS Plus last I heard, you really have no excuse not to play it.

      I haven’t tried The Walking Dead yet, but it’s sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be played. If you want, you can wait a week before you start it. That way, we can start it at the same time and hijack the comment threads to discuss it like you guys did with Persona and Mass Effect.

      • Jackbert

        GAMEOLOGICAL ROLE PLAYING ADVENTURE GAME HIVE MIND INITIATE!

        Yeah, sure, I’ll wait. It seems like The Walking Dead is a game to be discussed as well as played. And “hijacking” is such a loaded term, the hive mind and I prefer “redirection of discussion.”

        • caspiancomic

           I came as soon as I saw the flare go up!

          *Actually reads thread*

          Ooh! I’ve played this game already! Give me a shout when the hijack redirection begins and I’d be chuffed to discuss it again.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           @caspiancomic:disqus :” I came as soon as I saw the flare go up!”

          I mean, I like the game, too, but I don’t get that excited…

    • Chum Joely

      Jack! You don’t have to PLAY the Game Revue Club game this weekend– it’s not even decided yet– but you are strictly required by Gameological law to vote for it. Hotline Miami is on the list! Go vote!!

    • Enkidum

      Sleeping Dogs and The Walking Dead are both great, but of course the other two are apparently pretty awesome as well. So, yeah, I don’t think you’ll go wrong any way.

    • PaganPoet

      So you’re finally giving in, huh? I recommended Stacking to you months ago, which is when I learned of your irrational phobia of Matryoshka dolls. Face your Shadow, Jack! That’s the only way you’ll earn your Persona!

      • Jackbert

        PaganPoet provides encouragement.

        Your relationship is stronger now!

        !?

        The PaganPoet social link has reached level 8.

        Your power to create Personas of the Emperor arcana has grown!

        -snazzy beats and burbling saxaphones start to play-

        (And I just thought of a really cool looking Russian doll Shadow that I might draw…hope I don’t scare myself.)

        • PaganPoet

          I’m flattered that you remembered my Arcana and all!

    • djsubversive

      I’m curious: what are your dad’s thoughts on Receiver?

    • exant

      Stacking is great. Beware if you are a completionist. There is a lot do on each level.

    • dmikester

      Just wanted to endorse Stacking, which I got utterly obsessed with for a little while.  It’s super original and charming, and there’s a surprising amount of content.  Highly, highly recommended.

  • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

    I believe Chinese jump rope actually is from China, as opposed to other things that have “Chinese” in them like Chinese fire drills, which are called that simply because they’re weird and for the white people using that name weird=Chinese.

    • Enkidum

      It’s fairly awful, but we used to do Chinese downhills when skiing. Which were just skiing, plus a little bit of violence, and whoever got down to the bottom first, by any means necessary, won. (No bones were broken.)

      And yeah… that’s kind of a shitty name for it. Sorry, world.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        When I was a kid, “Chinese torture” was sitting on a dude’s legs and poking him in the stomach repeatedly with alternating fingers. It was a lot friendlier than what actual Chinese torture probably is.

    • OldeFortran77

      “Chinese [whatever]” makes me wonder what “American [whatever]” exist in other countries. In Europe, I once had “beouf americaine”, which was raw hamburger. I suppose they added “americaine” because it was cow meat and they know that American cowboys keep Americans supplied with a steady supply of cow meat.

      • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

        In Japan, “American coffee” is essentially the term for weak, bland coffee.

        • Andrew Moore

          Same in Europe- Café Americano just means ‘shit coffee’

          Usually if you see the words “american style” on any food you know it is going to be a poor quality burger or barbeque.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          I think that must be universal.  In Jordan it’s Turkish and American coffee, American being Nescafe’.
             I tried being a big man by asking for my Turkish coffee without sugar and was soundly punished for my hubris.

        • George_Liquor

          Beer, too. In Germany at least.

        • PaganPoet

          Yeah, but they’re dead ass wrong on the beer thing. American beer is great. The problem is, the only American beer that’s widely available overseas is corporate owned and produced crap. If people think that’s really representative of American beer, that’s their problem, not ours. It would be like me assuming Heineken (which is crap) represents the best The Netherlands has to offer.

          Also, for the record, I live in Denver, and we’re a bit spoiled here in Colorado when it comes to local breweries and good beer. You’re in Denver too, right, @George_Liquor:disqus ?

        • OldeFortran77

          I have a theory that America being a melting pot of cultures is the reason our cuisine is relatively bland. It’s hard to come up with universally acceptable dishes for people of so many varying tastes. Growing up in America, I thought salt and pepper were spices!

        • George_Liquor

          @PaganPoet:disqus Yep, I’m in Denver. We’re definitely spoiled by all the microbreweries & the watering holes that keep their stuff on tap. Too bad InBuschCoors is all that the rest of the world knows about.

          On the other hand, I think Germans take a dim view of most of America’s exports. Beer, cars, unsolicited chancellor back-rubs.

        • Flying_Turtle

          @OldeFortran77:disqus, funny you should mention that. My wife is Indian, and if we visit (and eat, because you will eat, and you will take some home), her family is always worried that the food will be too spicy for me. It’s not, and I enjoy Indian food a lot, but you’d think after a decade, they’d figure it out. They’re trying to be nice, though, and I can’t fault them for that. Still, it’s clear that, to them, American = bland food.

      • Swadian Knight

        Here in Brazil, some restaurants serve a dish called Americano, which is usually comprised of steak, lettuce, sliced tomato, heart of palm, some fried ham and an egg. It’s usually served with bread, and it’s actually delicious.

        I don’t see what’s american about it, though.

        • Jackbert

          We invented meat.

        • neodocT

           I’ve never seen that here in Curitiba, but it seems good. Where in Brazil are you from?

        • Swadian Knight

           @neodocT:disqus

          I’m originally from a small town in the state of São Paulo, and it’s really common there. It might be a regional thing, though, because I haven’t seen it anywhere since I moved to Paraná.

        • neodocT

           @SwadianKnight:disqus Cool, we’re in the same state! I never thought that anyone from Gameological would be so close by.

    • mizerock

      But chinese checkers are really from China, right?

      [wikipedia says: nope]

    • NakedSnake

       My favorite variation on this phenomenon is that the Cuban style of cooking a whole pig is the Chinese Box. Basically, cooking a whole pig is challenging b/c you need to keep the fat off of the fire. So you build a box of bricks around it and then put grills on top for the heat to radiate down. The reason why it’s ‘Chinese’ is because it’s a pretty ingenious technique and the Cubans apparently think anything Chinese is ingenious.

    • J Harris

       In-Out-Side-Side-On-In-Out.  That’s how it went. Then doubles, threeseies, fast, slow. Then it got more complicated.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

    My mom has, to my knowledge, never even touched a video game. But she told me she used to play cricket with the boys when she was a kid. I guess that makes her a badass.

    This weekend, I won’t have much time for gaming, but I’ll probably play some Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon to decompress between working on projects. Despite its awful save system, I’m really enjoying it. After all, any game that has mutant cassowaries can’t be all bad.

    • TaumpyTearrs

      My mom broke most of her fingers and toes playing lacrosse as a girl in England. Apparently they were hardcore back then.

      My favorite laugh in Blood Dragon so far was that hunting mission your pic came from, because it tells you the cassowary is planning a revolt or something insane like that.

    • Sleverin

       Yeah, it really needs a non-auto save option, especially since I play games a lot near when I go to sleep and having to play for an extra 15 minutes just to save is kinda grating.  However, the way they integrated “Winners…don’t use drugs” joke was fucking classic.  I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t, and man was it great.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

        I’m amazed by how many jokes and one-liners have just slayed me seeing as how the game wears its humor on its sleeve so proudly.

        *shoots cyborg with a double-barreled shotgun*

        “He called Shotgun.”

        *die laughing*

        • Sleverin

           i just finished one of the missions with the objective of “Jump the shark”.  It was filled with so many explosions I thought I was watching the Expendables again.  Also, I love the backtalk between Rex and the HUD, it’s pretty funny.

        • neodocT

          “No Rex, ‘FUCK’ stands for ‘Failing to Understand our Capacity for Kindness’”I really loved that one.

    • George_Liquor

      Holy cats, I need to get that game.

  • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle

    Gameological: So it’s baseball for lazy people?

    Isn’t baseball baseball for lazy people?

    • Jackbert

      Hey! I take offense at that! I’m a pitcher and let me tell you, throwing a ball sixty feet every twenty seconds is hard work.

      • Chum Joely

        Whoo-hoo! Young people are still taking up baseball nowadays! I’m thrilled to hear it!

        • Jackbert

          Baseball: When you’re too short for basketball, too thin for football, and too asthmatic for soccer, baseball has your back.

    • Effigy_Power

      Whoa there, Lollipop man. Some of my greatest moments of athletic achievement are Baseball-related, including a sprained shoulder, countless bruises and a bona fide black eye.
      That’s pretty hard to replicate while sitting in a desk chair touching yourself, I’d wager.
      Mind you, I played third base, where the action is. Now pitchers, those lazy bastards don’t do shit.

      • Chum Joely

        Shortstop/second base or GTFO.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        “That’s pretty hard to replicate while sitting in a desk chair touching yourself, I’d wager.”

        You’d be surprised.

      • Jackbert

        Hey, you know third base is my second position! My accomplishments at the position include a bloody nose, a seperated collarbone, and a spot on the league All-Star team.

    • djsubversive

      “Baseball wasn’t boring… oh, so they finally jazzed it up?”

  • Wrong_on_the_Internet

    Mass Effect spoilers coming.

    I will be continuing my playthrough of Mass Effect with my nieces. We just started ME3 last time we met, and I hope to at least get through Palaven today. (They will really love seeing the new EDI)
    Seeing the games through their eyes gives a whole new perspective on it.
    The decision on Virmire, seeing them slowly realize that someone is actually going to die, was an especially interesting moment (and kind of adorable, how they started holding hands with each other as they started worrying)

    It’s also really cute when they argue on which option to take. My role is to play the combat scenes and sometimes translate the English (none of us are native English speakers, and they are 14 and 12), so all decisions Shepard makes are theirs. There was a really fun debate between them when they had to choose between romancing Garrus and Thane in ME2.

    • Jackbert

      Wow, that sounds really fun! I sort of did this with my younger brother during the ship-wandering parts. (He’s 8, so I didn’t want him seeing the combat.) In Mass Effect 2, he was definitely a Garrus supporter. The scenes where Thane remembered past experiences, where the camera zoomed in close and all, freaked him out a bit. We both thought Jacob was lame.

      I’ve being trying to get my mom to try out a playthrough of Mass Effect 2, with me doing combat and her making choices, but she hasn’t been too interested so far. Maybe her curiousity will be piqued if I mention the possibility of debates with my younger brother.

      • TaumpyTearrs

        Even 8 year olds realise Jacob is lame. Poor bastard.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         Entice her with promises of raunchy alien sex. I bet that’ll do the trick!

        • DrFlimFlam

           Raunchy LESBIAN alien sex. Moms love that.

        • Jackbert

          Well, ideally, she’ll be intriqued by the sci-fi themes blah blah blah well-developed characters blah blah games are art blah blah Mom why are you going away?

          Okay, I’ll go for the raunchy alien sex pitch next time.

          But Garrus’ romance is implied and awkward and very sweet.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      Holy crap that sounds like the most fun way to play those games!

      Out of curiosity – just to paint this adorable mental picture in a bit more detail – what’s your guys’ first language?

      • Wrong_on_the_Internet

        Hebrew, we live in Israel.

    • Effigy_Power

      That is great. My oldest niece is turning 12, so maybe I need to get her to play ME2 with me. She’s in the sex-question phase, which is making my brother super-uncomfortable and makes me laugh, so ME2 might answer a lot of questions.

      • Chum Joely

        Really? You think? She’ll end up thinking that when two people really work together and occasionally talk together after difficult projects, they remove part of their clothing and become inexplicably soft-focused for 30 seconds…

        AND THAT’S WHERE BABIES COME FROM

        • Effigy_Power

          Story of my life, sans the babies.

        • PaganPoet

          That’s not how it works? No wonder I haven’t been laid in a while…

      • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

        Mordin could certainly answer all your niece’s questions about xeno-sexuality.  

        • Effigy_Power

          She was into frogs for a while. Not sure how far that went.

    • Fluka

      I wish I could like this more than once.  You are a good aunt/uncle!

      My twelve year old self would have loved to have played Mass Effect.  Particularly given that my twelve year old self was obsessed with Deep Space 9, its long morally grey story arcs, shipping its characters, etc.  (God, I haven’t changed in the past decade and a half.)

      And the answer is always Garrus.

      • Effigy_Power

        Deep Space Nine? Eww… I spit upon your fandom with my badly animated Babylon 5 ships.

        • Fluka

          *Narrows eyes, hisses.*

          (I need to finally watch B5 one of these days.  Wonder if it’s available to stream somewhere…)

      • Wrong_on_the_Internet

        Our answer was actually Thane. And I have to admit, I was the tie-breaker on that one, for two reasons.

        I think that the tragic ending of this romance makes for a better story, and the bigger reason is that I was imagining the reaction of my older niece (who is very much a shipper) to the scene near the end of ME3 where Garrus and Tali get together. I foresee squeeing.

        (Oh, and I’m an uncle)

    • George_Liquor

      That sounds like a lot of fun. I have a couple of nephews who I hope will be into playing video games like that when they get older. One of them already gets as geeked-up about classic gaming as I do.

    • Wrong_on_the_Internet

      So, we did manage to recruit Javik and finish Palaven today.

      I was especially happy that we managed to just squeeze in the introduction of the new EDI, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to see Joker’s reaction to seeing her for the first time. They will love that part, considering that Joker is their favorite character. 

      He became their favorite once I pointed out that he’s Oz. Introducing them to Buffy is something I’m also very proud of.

  • http://mathmanmustdie.blogspot.com/ Mr. Glitch

    Mama Glitch died around Mother’s Day, 2002. I haven’t been much of a fan of the holiday since.

    • caspiancomic

       My condolences, mate. Sorry to hear that.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Sorry, Glitch. Puts what I have in stark relief.

    • Effigy_Power

      My best friend’s mom died on my friend’s birthday, so I can see how that feels. -pats shoulder-

    • SamPlays

      *Depressing stuff lurks here – BEWARE*

      My mother’s sister was murdered on April Fool’s Day. It hasn’t been much of a fun day for well over 30 years. The imposition of these “holidays” is completely arbitrary (and often motivated by $$$). I totally understand what it feels like for you so ignore what everyone else is doing and focus on remembering loved ones.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      Having lost my mother to a disease that literally had her waste away.  I empathize with you.  Mother’s Day can be a very bitter day for me as well.  I hope you have some way of coping/ignoring that day @Mr_Glitch:disqus .

  • Flying_Turtle

    First of all, oh crap, I haven’t thought about Uncle Wiggily or Go to the Head of the Class in ages. My aunt had both of those games, and sometimes we’d play when we were over there.

    My mother is usually playing something on Facebook or some version of Bejeweled. We also always have a Scrabble game going on Facebook, and we usually exchange a few moves a day, depending on how busy I am at my jobs.

    My mother would occasionally pick up the NES when I was young, and she would play mostly Tetris, Super Mario Bros., and Marble Madness. Sometimes, she would have Mario jump, and he wasn’t quite going to make it, and she would move the controller through the air trying to get Mario where she wanted. She’d sometimes flail about quite a bit, and it really was fun to watch her play. I’ll have Nintendo know that my mother invented motion control in the mid 80s, so there.

    Finally, I work both days this weekend, but if I have the time, I’m going to take @Girard:disqus’s recommendation to try Mega Man 2 or 3 that he gave me in this week’s Q&A, and I’ve got some Nintendo points laying around just waiting to be used. Hopefully, I’ll do some more of the 1000 Club in Forza Horizon also.

  • ferrarimanf355

    I’d say that I’d get back to Bioshock Infinite already, but my Pinball Arcade addiction is in full swing.

    Must… break 350 million… in Twilight Zone…

    • DrFlimFlam

       Actually had a real good game of Arabian nights on iPad and now I think I prefer that version to the Xbox;  it’s easier for me to track the ball. Now to get my Kickstarter tables so I can Twilight and Star Trek.

  • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

    My folks were early adopters in home electronic entertainment… they probably still have their Atari Video Pinball machine in the garage, alongside the Colecovision which was my first console.  River Raid, Congo Bongo, Donkey Kong, Centipede.  Those were my first games.

    When it came time, we got an NES, though around that time, mom was busy with being a mom, but dad would still play.  Tetris and Wrecking Crew, those were his games.

    Years later, I left my PSX at home when I went off to college, PS2 in tow.  I found out mom was making good progress in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, now that the nest was empty again.  They have a Wii now, but who knows how much they use it.  They definitely are of the Facebook game clan, though.  Mom’s SimCity Social city was so much better than mine.  Now they’re busy on Candy Crush Saga, and have gotten my 92 year-old grandpa hooked on Slotomania.

    As for me, this weekend?  I am totally going to finish Virtue’s Last Reward.  Ain’t no way it’s not gonna be my first platinum trophy on the Vita.  Damn, that game is weird, and the narrative structure is so complicated.  What starts out as a deathtrap pitting 9 seemingly random people against each other in a game of trust and betrayal has since spun off into all sorts of heady science fantasy concepts, from time travel, divergent timelines, transhumanism, the nature of the self, cloning, viral pandemics, artificial intelligence, etc… but at the core, all the drama is down to basic human interactions, power plays, politics, alliances, backstabbing… all that wrapped up in a high-gloss anime visual novel sheen.

    • caspiancomic

       Ooooooh, GOD I want to play Virtue’s Last Reward so badly! It’s one of my big motivators to pick up a current gen handheld device, although I’m still having trouble deciding between the two (as I understand, it’s both a Vita and a 3DS title, right?) I finished 999 earlier this year and it was pretty unlike anything else I’d played before.

      • duwease

        Ditto.. I *really* can’t justify another hand-held gaming device now that I don’t travel much, but I want to play this game SO badly.

      • http://gameological.com/author/derricksanskrit/ Derrick Sanskrit

        Yup, it’s for both and is completely the same between the two. Because the 3D characters are largely pre-rendered, there’s not even much of a fidelity difference between the Vita and 3DS versions. Only noteworthy differences are that the 3DSs dual-screens make it easier to refer to your own handwritten notes during puzzles and the Vita has trophies. 3DS does have that infamous file-deleting bug, but the trick that worked for me was to always save outside of puzzle rooms, not inside.

        Playing 999 first is not mandatory, but ooh boy, will you get a whole lot more out of the story if you know those characters and that story. Really pumped for the third game in the series (do not read any of the interviews about that until after you’ve finished both games, though).

  • Zach_Annon

    I will probably be playing a fair amount of Skyrim this weekend, as I’m once again on the “fantasy” end of my pendulum-style gaming crave (the other end is “SPACESHIPS!”).  I’ve got 3 characters that I’m actively working on; an orc warrior-mage (2 handed weapons, illusion, and alteration, no armor) is my most recent creation, with an Argonian dual-wielder and a
    Khajiit poisoner rounding out the mix.  I’ve already beaten the main quests as a wood elf summoner, and without motivation like saving the world from vampires/dragons, I feel little need to putz around with that toon until I cave and buy the Dragonborn expansion.  Instead, I’ve got my Argonian, who’s currently heading to Blackreach to get an Elder Scroll and the Oghma Infinium as my most recent save.  She’s also harbinger of the companions and a werewolf, though I think I bugged out the totem quests by curing myself of lycanthropy before I decided that was a bad choice and re-afflicting myself, and TBH I find her the least conceptually interesting of the 3 toons I’m working on right now.  My orc Mazoga is the newest character of mine, and I’m kind of digging the idea of wielding Volendrung while wearing nothing but mage robes, because that’s how much of a badass she is.  She’s not yet level 20, so haven’t spent too much time playing as her, but I’ve already discovered that for the Companions, the only way to continue to get their side quests is to advance in the main quest.  I might have her join the thieves’ guild just to guarantee a source of income, since I don’t think that Winterhold offers any repeatable quests besides covering for Tolfdir’s senility.

    My favorite character right now, though, is my Khajiit.  He’s near the end of both the Thieves’ Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests, has begun working for the vampire lords of Dawnguard, and is more or less ignoring the main quest right now in favor of murder and mayhem.  One day, I think I’ll have him turn Vampire Lord in the middle of Whiterun and just murder the whole town, but my biggest annoyance with this game is how killing professionals (like the town blacksmith) means that the city will never have anyone doing that job again, which makes no sense to me.  I mean really, just because an entire city was slaughtered by an unholy minion of darkness, nobody’s gonna come in and set up shop ever again?  Where am I gonna sell all these clothes now, Solitude?  Bitch please. 

    Also, I might play more of the Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes beta, but they just released a new patch on Steam before I was able to win my most recent game, and my compulsion to start a new game after a patch to prevent any weird compatibility issues is at odds with my desire to beat my current game now that everything I knew about FE has changed, and I was just getting into the groove of LH.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Hey, I like Solitude. It makes me feel better than everyone else.

      • djsubversive

        To be fair, though, you can replace “Solitude” with literally any other place in Skyrim and that would still work.

        Skyrim is assholes all the way down.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3W2WZOQW6X6BGV2R2GPZCIEPFU wally

    Ahh, the clackety-clack of lucite mah-jongg tiles as four pairs of hands shuffle them across a card table – that’s the sound of my childhood.  My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles would play all night, the rest of us kids left to forage for entertainment.  Funnily enough, this need to kill time at family gatherings led me to my cousins’ collections of Nintendo carts and Sierra point’n'clicks that I didn’t normally have access to – which of course led to me making friends with people with games at school, then finding nerdy friends, then putting together D&D groups, et cetera…It’s interesting: now that I’m nearing my parents’ age when I was a kid, I find myself much more into tabletop games as my interest in video games wanes.
    (And also: Li’l Cory looks a lot like a young Walter Kovacs.)

  • http://gameological.com/author/jasonreich/ Jason Reich

    I just downloaded Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy on my iPad and I’m hooked. It’s an iOS implementation of the board game of the same name, which apparently has been tearing up the Board Game Geek charts since it came out in 2011. The game itself is easy to learn but very deep, and the app is terrific. I’ve never played the physical version but if you like strategy board games I recommend the app highly – could use more online players.

    • HobbesMkii

      I gotta get one of these…what do you call it, “iPads?” All the good board games are on them, and the good board games always cost me $60 and up.

  • Electric Dragon

    I’m hoping to finish Crysis 3 this weekend. Either that or abandon it, because I’ve not been that enthused by the game (but it was free so I can’t complain too much). If so, Bioshock Infinite is up next.

  • Bakken Hood

    Monaco finally hits XBL sometime tomorrow (technically today, I guess).  Them’s my weekend plans.  That and some writing.

  • Enkidum

    I’m playing Brutal Legend, which I like a lot. The gameplay is weird and different enough from what I’m used to, or at least combining stuff I am used to in interesting ways. And, you know, Lemmy and Ozzy and metal and stuff. And, uh, sort of RTS-y stuff and open world Rockstar kind of stuff with driving and an rpg kind of skill tree and general Double Fine silliness.

    The squad based combat still feels a little random, but I haven’t tried playing against real people yet. Have got through the big fucking wall fortress thing that Lionwhite (hee hee hee) hides behind, assume there’s still a chunk of the game left. S’fun.

    • duwease

      Yeah it’s a big shift to the RTS stuff, that I don’t think they did too well.  It’s one of the few times I’ve ever thought there wasn’t *enough* hand holding.. there’s a lot of unique aspects to the RTS combat they just kinda gloss over.  Once you figure out certain things (protip: ALWAYS be doing a team-up attack, it’s an order of magnitude more powerful than anything else you can be doing) it’s a real blast.

      I wonder if anyone plays online anymore?  I enjoyed it, although RTS’s are kinda nerve-wracking for me.

    • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

      I just bought this in the current Humble Bundle, so I’ve gotta try it out.

    • Sleverin

       Yeah I just recently bought this, since I’ve been dying for a PC release for years.  I used to say that this was the only reason for me to ever buy a PS3/XBOX, and now I don’t have to!  I do admit, the gameplay is a bit odd and it feels like it needed some fleshing out, but it’s really, really hard for me to hate a game with Jack Black screaming “DRUID PLOW” as Girlschool starts blasting through my speakers.  That is fantastic every time.

      • Enkidum

        Yeah. After one of the solos he keeps saying “That never gets old!” and so far, it doesn’t. 

  • Chum Joely

    Man, I have a huge backlog of games that I’ve started but haven’t had time to proceed with before getting distracted by the next shiny thing: Spec Ops: The Line, Bioshock 1 and Infinite (I’ll get #2 in there at some point too), Antichamber, and I just got the urge the other day to tear around a bit in Driver: SF… oh, and I bought Far Cry: Blood Dragon but haven’t even cracked the tutorial yet.

    segue!

    And now it looks like I’ll be adding to the list with the next edition of the Game Revue Club on the Gameological Steam group. Voting ends tonight, so get on that Steam forum and vote! The thread is called “VOTE FOR THE SECOND GAME REVUE”.

    The nominees are:
    Alpha Protocol
    Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy
    Fallout: New Vegas
    Hotline Miami
    Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords
    Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness III
    Portal 2 (user content “best of”)

    New Vegas is the current front-runner, with Alpha Protocol close behind and most of the other games still within reach of catching up… but they need your help!

    • HobbesMkii

      Oh man, I’m sorry I haven’t been paying more attention to this. I hope New Vegas wins. I’ll totally contribute to that dissection.

      EDIT: …maybe. I mean, now that I’ve written it in the granite of the Internet, it must come true, mustn’t it?

      • Chum Joely

        If you feel that strongly about it, GO VOTE!

        • HobbesMkii

          …I’m at work…

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion guys.  Hotline Miami!

      • Chum Joely

        If you feel that strongly about it, GO VOTE!

        • Kyle O’Reilly

          Oh I will… After I get home, because I hate when Steam won’t let me log in from work without emailing me a code first.  But I’ll vote, oh I’ll vote… Assuming I don’t forget.

    • Effigy_Power

      They shall get nothing. Having been coaxed into playing 29 minutes of Analogue, I still hate the collective lot of you. ^_^

      • Chum Joely

        Damn, you sure know how to hold a grudge, Eff. Pretty sure you’ve spent more time bitching about the game now than you ever spent playing it!  8^)

        I’ll post the results when voting ends, and if Her_Royal_Majesty Effigy_Power wants to deign to play along with us on whatever gem we choose, you’ll still be welcome.

      • djsubversive

        your loss. New Vegas is awesome.

        • Effigy_Power

          Somewhat less so on Playthrough #5, but fair enough.

        • djsubversive

           speak for yourself.

  • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

    Patricia Jones! Look out behind you!

    • duwease

      Ah, Brutal Legend.. an underrated gem.  Gameplay spoiler alert:  It’s really a RTS game!  Since they hide that fact til about halfway through the game, it surprises a lot of people..

      • NakedSnake

         Yea really. That was a weird moment when I realized that the game was now a RTS. How many games change genres mid-game?

    • Enkidum

      You’d be playing Brutal Legend on the computer? In which case I got nothing for you, other than that it’s fun. I’ve been playing the shit out of the PS3 version, will probably dip my toe into multiplayer this week. 

      I think the Double Fine overview on this site said something along the lines of “this is what happens when you give Tim Schaeffer a real budget” – it’s a weird fucking mess, but a really fun one so far. 

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        Yep. I was a sucker and snagged it as soon as it was up on Steam, but if anyone’s curious now, it’s part of the current Humble Bundle, so you can get it super cheap.

  • DrFlimFlam

    Probably try to finish off the Armstrong Nebula in ME. I had forgotten that in addition to the general crappiness of controlling the Mako that it is also woefully underpowered, so you get into firefights with random Geth installations and it’s just insane. Sentinel Cmdr. Claire Shepard has got a very powerful layout of weaponry and abilities (it’s kind of insane, honestly – I don’t remember my Infiltrator or Soldier feeling half as powerful), but you still can’t take a direct hit from these Mako enemies, and the Mako itself is such a pain to deal with and still goes down in flames pretty easy, what with that awful shield recharge… ugh.

    My mom loved centipede growing up. This is a hobby for people who’ve never encountered a real centipede.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      I feel bad for GameStop clerks these days. Upper management are being total dicks to them about upselling etc. As if they’re the ones to blame for the company’s sudden reversal of fortune.

  • duwease

    Heading to an out of town wedding for the weekend here soon, but taking the computer to get a little work done, so there may be time for a couple PC games:

    Incredipede:  Awesome little indie game which is lots of fun.  You use a simplified QWOP style interface to control the limbs of whatever monster they built for that level and get to the goal with the items along the way.  Eventually you can build your own.  Charming art style, too.

    Scribblenauts Unlimited:  Just getting into it.. doesn’t seem challenging at all, but the flexibility allows you to sometimes get very creative with the solutions, which can be fun.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      F-yeah, Incredipede.  That game is fun.  I’ve honestly spent way more time in the free-build mode though just experimenting to see what kind of weird, twisted-joint monster I can create.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      Scribblenauts is really the kid of game where you have to make your own fun. My advice: put the adjectives “rabid” and “magnetic” in front of random objects, and watch the mayhem begin.

      • Destroy Him My Robots

        A friend of mine likes Star Wars and goes by the internet handle “AngryKid”. So when we played together, I made the game spawn an angry kid and gave it a light saber.

        It immediately tried to kill a policeman and God. Seemed pretty appropriate.

  • STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM

    MILFs!

    • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

      Hey now, let’s keep it civil alright buddy.

      But if Cindy Cascatio circa 1983 were to step out of a time machine and ask me on a date to Return of the Jedi, oh, I’d accept.

      • DrFlimFlam

         We’ve officially crossed into the weird.

      • HobbesMkii

        What are you doing? That’s someone’s mother!

      • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

        (Must not perve on writers’ moms. Must not perve on writers’ moms.)

        Hey, Cory, your Mom’s hot!

        (Dammit!)

        • Chum Joely

          It’s the cigarette. Number of damns given: 0

      • SamPlays

        No idea what comment was removed but the only thing I could focus on was that cigarette and her child being well within the inhalation zone. Days gone by, indeed. My university still had ashtrays installed in the corridors when I attended. Amazing how much things change within 10-20 years.

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          All I want from life is to just once have a goddamn smoke on a plane.

          The way things are now, I’ll have to get a LOT richer.

        • SamPlays

          Shouldn’t be a problem if you can make it to certain foreign countries.

  • Destroy Him My Robots

    I got Catherine from PS+ and like it a lot, and not just the stuff between the block pushing. I also couldn’t resist and got Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, which seems to be just fine, but not exceptional. I also also got the Reel Fishing Paradise 3D Mini Version because, you know. So it’s gonna be that and of course my steady diet of Animal Crossing which drives me nuts because I can’t find those damn catfish and water beetles.

  • HobbesMkii

    I’ll play some Receiver without a doubt, and I picked up Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit from Steam on Wednesday, which isn’t as great as its Playstation predecessor from the days of yore I used to play at my school chum’s house, but what can you do?

    I may also break down and purchase the Prison Architect alpha at full price. The video is charming, even as they discuss potentially game-ruining bugs, and while I’m not a big fan of prisons in general, I think the idea of modeling a familiar system a la Dwarf Fortress is a clever one. If someone has a reason why I shouldn’t wed myself to this game, speak now or forever hold your peace.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      It’s something like $30 bucks though which is a lot for an Alpha.  I’m gonna wait my year and a half for an eventual steam sale, or much  more likely, pick it up involuntarily when the alpha ends and a press-hype-train rolls me over.

      • djsubversive

        The ArmA 3 alpha is 30 bucks, and the price is going to jump every time they move to the next step (beta, then final release), so it’s very much worth getting in on it as early as possible.

        Of course, if you’re not a fan of mil-simmy fps games, it’s probably not as big of a deal.

  • stakkalee

    My mom loves cribbage – she learned it from her parents and she’s been passing it along to my nieces and nephews when they get old enough (ie. they no longer attempt to swallow the wooden pegs.)  She also enjoys Words With Friends, and is quite the killer at it.  As for me, this weekend I’ll continue playing Fallout 3 – I think I’ll head for Mothership Zeta which I know gets a bad rap around here.  I enjoyed it the first time I played it; I mean, it wasn’t anything groundbreaking but I wasn’t really expecting anything groundbreaking.  I just want an opportunity to shoot some little green men in the head.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      Crib has always been a huge game in my family, nuclear and extended. We love card games and board games, and crib is both!

      My Grandmother was such a sore loser at cards; it was HILARIOUS.

  • Swadian Knight

    I’ve finally gotten Fallout 3 to run with a modicum of stability on my PC, so I’ll be trying to put a few hours into that. It’s kind of disappointing so far, though – for better or for worse, the game has Bethesda written all over it. I just got out of Megaton, and it’s the perfect example: it seems very interesting and it hooks you when you first go in there, but when it comes to actual gameplay all those cool ideas go out the window and get replaced by the laziest writing ever.

    Don’t think I’ll actually get a lot of gameplay time, though. My mother’s coming over to visit this weekend, so I’ll probably be busy.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      Fallout 3 failed to captivate me, but New Vegas got its hooks in deep.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

       If you prefer an interesting environment and enjoy rewriting the game story in your head, F03.
      If you prefer tighter writing and can be patient with settings/environments that are less interesting than promised, New Vegas.

      • Swadian Knight

        You’re right about that. I love New Vegas, but ruined D.C. is a lot more interesting to wander through and look at than the Mojave.

        What I really like about New Vegas, though, is just how well everything fits together. A lot of the settlements in 3, while very cool and good-looking, just seem to be detached from the world around them.

        In short, if you were to ask me which of the two I prefer, I’d really have to say it’s both.

      • djsubversive

        New Vegas, however, has actual reasons for all of the somewhat-boring buildings and locations to exist. Plus, like you said, the writing is leagues better than F3, but it’s Obsidian, so that’s kind of a “well, DUH.”

        “I use my voice to fight the good fight.”
        “[Intelligence] So you fight the good fight with your voice?”

      • Chum Joely

        I am a big rewriter-in-my-head, I mean hardcore (this is where most of my enjoyment of story-driven games comes from), and for that very reason, I love New Vegas with a fiery passion.

        And DJ is right, there is stuff going on in all those dead locations– or was, and you can see the traces, and people will talk to you about what happened at a large number of them. Even without very interesting AI-driven “emergent” situations like what Far Cry 3 tried to do, the Mojave Desert of New Vegas is a living world that exists independently of my quest. And that is just awesome.

        Pretty glad it just got chosen as the Game Revue game for this (monthly?) iteration. Meet us at the Gameological Steam group forums if you fancy a discussion.

  • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

    We sat my mom down to try and play Crash Bandicoot Warped once.  She did not like the controls for the game’s 3-d but not really that much 3-d style of movement.  It tainted games for her forever!

    As for what I’m playing this weekend, I’m not sure… I beat X-Com: Enemy Unknown earlier in the week, I lost my second most veteran soldier on a routine abduction mission in Brazil right before the final mission, which hurt me something fierce.  I wish I could say I was strong and never reloaded when someone died but I did, just not that time.

    That close to the end of the game, I felt it was ‘Drifter’s time to go.

    So anyway, I’ll probably chip away at Star Wars: Battlefront II though I’ve been having trouble finding a server that isn’t jankety.  Also, I’ll probably take a whack at my enormous Steam backlog of games.  Maybe Pid or Back to the Future from that bundle I bought without really wanting…

    • DrFlimFlam

      How is BF2 graphically? I tried to play it recently on Xbox and the fog and draw distance is almost unbearable. It doesn’t need to look great; I just want to see what’s there.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

        I’m playing on a pc so I’ve running it max settings and it looks fine for the year it came out.  I’m actually surprised by how much is going on onscreen especially in the mammoth space battles.

    • Chum Joely

      Way to party, party dude!

  • Eco1970

    Gah, Finally, some mentions of boardgames, and it’s Monopoly and Game of Life! :D

    My mum has a DS, she likes that Brain Training game.

    I also introduced her and my aunt to Ticket To Ride last Christmas. At first she was like ‘Ooh, it looks so complicated, I’m not sure I can play that!’

    I am currently playing Skyrim with loads of the mods from Steam’s Workshop. Man, I can’t get over how much I live Steam now compared to how much I hated it when it first came out.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I keep on trying to get people into Ticket to Ride. No luck yet.

  • Effigy_Power

    This is probably my favorite Friday-thing ever, so I called my mom this morning and did one with her. Good thing she gets up at 5AM for no reason.
    Here’s my short version, edited for content, because my mom has a foul mouth.

    Me: So, Mom. What kind of games do you remember playing other than the pelvic penuckle with dad?
    Mom: Language. Well, we played a lot of pretty competitive games at school during recess, mostly Red Rover and just a good session of Hide and Seek with a lot of people. The school had a lot of Irish-American students and so we’d often call the games by other names. Red Light, Green Light was called Mister Fox, for example, or Shamrock Stomp instead of Musical Chairs.
    Me: So you named your games after a country your ancestors came from 200 years ago? I applaud your commitment, I suppose. What about board games at home?
    Mom: My dad was a great fan of the first really big quiz games and he bought quite a few of them. Aunt Rita probably has them all still in storage. I imagine some of them are worth quite a bit now, because we were told to treat them with care and not lose a piece.
    Me: Were they all quiz games?
    Mom: No, there was this silly kids show during the late 50s with this corpulent fellow trying to get children to make their parents buy them these odd novelty games. I remember that my dad came home with Camp Grenada, the game, one day.
    Me: Was that based on that dumbass song from the Stone Age?
    Mom: Oh, it was -expletive deleted- horrible. It made no sense, took 20 minutes to play and my dad demanded we’d listen to the song while we played it. He would laugh like a fool every time.
    Me: Comedy was easier back then. I know you’ve tried a few games when I was growing up, but what about when Michael and Parker were young? Did you try any of their really early consoles?
    Mom: I played that ping-pong game quite a bit with Parker, that was the only game that looked decent on our old television.
    Me: I guess you mean Pong?
    Mom: Yes, Pong. Your brother and I would play for pretzels when it was raining outside and he couldn’t go play with his friends. I got pretty deft at it too, but it got too boring when both players were. Each match would take hours and he’d usually win because I had other stuff to do and had to abandon the game. And of course I am playing games when your nieces and nephews are around.
    Me: That was my next question? Are the games you play as a grandmother different from the games you played with us or even as a child?
    Mom: Oh, they think so, but to be honest, the idea is always the same. They look more elaborate now. Just because Scrabble comes in little cubes now that make a noise doesn’t mean the game isn’t the same. Just cost -expletive deleted- fortune to buy all of them. And everything needs batteries.
    Me: Well, the steam powered toys of your childhood never caught on.
    Mom: Smart mouth. But we used to have to make our own sounds for our toys and games. Now every board game and Barbie doll talks and bleeps and whistles at you. It’s a bit annoying sometimes.

    You can take the lady out of Ireland (by generations even), but you can’t take Ireland out of the lady, I guess.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      “ Just because Scrabble comes in little cubes now that make a noise doesn’t mean the game isn’t the same. ”

      Mrs. Power telling it like it is.

    • ChicaneryTheYounger

      Oh, you can take the Ireland out there. It’s Musical Chairs and Red Light, Green Light here too.

      • Effigy_Power

        Ah well, then it’s probably an Irish-American thing. They have their own strange little bastardized versions of nostalgic stuff from the Emerald Isle, adapted for life in the US to the point where it becomes unrecognizable.

        • ChicaneryTheYounger

          Seems to be the case, but that’s the way of all things. You adjust to be able to fit into the dominant culture.

        • PaganPoet

          This is probably true. It’s true of the Norwegian/Swedish/Danish diaspora in the American midwest. There’s a woman in my office who is from Norway who said it was amusing visiting Minnesota because all the people there are using super old-fashioned Norwegian sayings and language.

        • Sleverin

           Yet we still have corned beef and sodabread!  My grandad definitely made sure tat we knew that we were Irish!  We celebrated St Patricks Day, cheered for Notre Dame, and ate lots of corned beef and cabbage!  Let’s not of course forget my grandad’s favorite mug that siad “Bah Humshit!” across it!  Not really Irish related, but still, I love that mug.

        • ChicaneryTheYounger

          Soda bread! Shit is bad for you but is it delicious. Potato bread’s great too, but so starchy.

          Yes, we found a way to mix potatoes and bread.

    • ChicaneryTheYounger

      Y’all got Soupy’d.

      • Effigy_Power

        I have disrupted my mother’s busy schedule to gain the attention of a talking internet cat. Mission accomplished.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Goddamnit, Eff. This is too adorable.

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    Huh, when my mum was a kid she played “hide when the soldiers are shooting” and “moving house because yours was burnt down due to hate crime”. And Solitaire.

    These American games sound more fun.

    • DrFlimFlam

      My grandmother played a similar game called “Hide the British Paratroopers because the Nazis are knocking on the door.” Also, “It’s Christmas dinner, we have beans AND biscuits!”

      We live in such a pampered time.

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

        My great grandfather played one called “be a POW during WWI”. I think he was in Ypres? Anyway, yeah, we’re pretty privileged. I’ve only been the victim of one hate crime!

        • Effigy_Power

          Hey, you can feel the warm embrace of hate-crimes despite being privileged. My record is 3 against me with a face full of pepper spray and a water cannon in the back against 2 retaliations with a bruised testicle.

        • ChicaneryTheYounger

          Mine was the beginning of an assault because I’m culturally Catholic, but I managed to talk the guy out of it after he started to hit me.

          Of course my boyfriend of that time ran. We broke up soon after.

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          *offers hugs to Effigy and Chicanery*

          I had plenty of bullying issues when younger, never had to deal with hate crimes, but so sorry you have.

        • Effigy_Power

           http://www.11points.com/images/grammartattoos/whatdontkillya.jpg

    • Jackbert

      My grandma’s favorite games in Germany were “Eat Peanut Butter Because That’s All The American Troops Will Give You,” and “Watch Your Brother Get His Arm Blown Off Picking Up a Grenade.”

      Now she does a lot of crosswords.

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

        Oh, my mum went to the swimming pool once and found a dead body at the bottom of the pool! That one wasn’t a hate crime, just a horrible accident.

        She still cannot swim.

        • Jackbert

          She still cannot eat peanut butter. Doesn’t even allow it in the house.

    • PaganPoet

      Ay, c’mon. I understand your point, but people find games to play in horrible situations too. Even the Somalian refugees I work with (Somalia has to be in the running for current worst country in the world) talk about the games they loved to play (mainly soccer and something with colored stones that’s kind of like Chinese checkers).

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

        I’m just joking, Pagan. There were real games played, I’m goofing.

        • PaganPoet

          Ah, sorry for getting all serious then, heh. Yay moms!

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

       You could’ve written dialogue for DS9′s season one Kira Nerys.

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

        I have no idea what that means, but thanks?

  • aklab

    My mom has never played a video game, but we played lots of board games when us kids were at home. Risk was always fun, because my older sister always felt too guilty wiping out another player and ended up sabotaging herself. Also lots of Clue — we had the “Master Detective” edition with new characters and weapons.  And a card game called Phase 10 that I remember being pretty fun. 

    Myself, I’ve barely played anything this week as I’ve got tons of work to catch up on, but I hope to put some more time into Psychonauts!

    • Fluka

      Risk: destroying families since 1957.

      (Seriously.  My father and uncle didn’t talk for like a month due to one particularly contentious betrayal.)

    • Effigy_Power

      Does any family not have a heart-wrenching RISK story? So here’s mine:
      I was allied with my sister against my brothers and we were losing slowly, mostly because I didn’t want to give up Western Europe to a flood of troops coming from Russia and North Africa, whereas my sister tried to fortify North and South America. We got into a huge argument while my brothers were taunting us and eventually I kicked the couch table over and the pieces went everywhere.
      My dad rushed in and immediately blamed my brothers for once again messing up the living room with their toys, so they got into a scrape while I called my sister a traitor.
      My mom came into the room, yelled at us all and everyone, including my dad, stomped into an individual room, slammed the door and pouted.
      This went on for 6 hours while my mom had a glass of wine and ordered pizza. Eventually the smell of slowly coagulating cheese managed to bring us back together, but it was a bad fight.
      Neither my 2nd brother knocking up his girlfriend in College nor my coming out sparked a reaction anywhere as incensed.

      • aklab

        Is there any other game (board or otherwise) that matches Risk’s ability to tear apart families? I sure can’t think of any. 

        • DrFlimFlam

          I think it’s due to the time it takes to play it as well as the inevitability to how it proceeds after a certain point.

          At least that’s what I thought. I played some Facebook knockoff a few years ago and was constantly chided for not playing it “correctly.” Nothing makes people have a good time like being told they’re doing it wrong.

        • neodocT

           Uh… Monopoly?

          I’m game to play Risk with my brother, but not Monopoly. Never again.

        • Effigy_Power

          Monopoly and Stratego are similarly awful.

        • aklab

          We played Monopoly too but it never descended into sobbing recrimination like Risk…

        • Flying_Turtle

          @neodocT:disqus My family never played Risk, and perhaps that’s for the best. Monopoly isn’t much fun with them, though, because everyone’s so afraid to lose that they won’t trade, so everyone’s trying to bankrupt everyone else by charging $18 rents. And then they wonder why the game takes so long. We tend to go with Apples to Apples and similar games, where no one really seems to care who wins.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I don’t play Risk with my step-dad because he’s a Dice Nazi. If you don’t roll them with gusto, it doesn’t count when you get a favorable roll. Also, because dastroying him at Risk would just make him grumpy.

      I hate playing games with poor sports. Still trying to teach FlimFlam, Jr. that losing every once in a while is part of winning.

  • Cloks

    I’ve been feeling kind of burnt out on video-games after plowing through most of Fez. It was really enjoyable for the most part but it gets a bit repetitious.

    Thinking about picking up Odama for the GCN or playing some of the other titles that I purchased and never beat: Paper Mario, Metroid Prime, Pikmin… the list goes on.

    Also, speaking of parents and games:
    I’m not sure what my parents played as kids but my dad has told me that the last video-game he played was a Star Trek game from before computers had graphics. My mom apparently used to play Tetris and some early PC trivia titles.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      I mean, yeah, don’t pass up the Gamecube.  If you think Fez was “neat but rote,” though, Pinball Strategy may not be for you.  That said, I love that thing and Vivarium so much.

      I’d also hear arguments that any of the series you mentioned are the best of their generation, so those are musts.

      Verdict From Last Week: Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed is much less interesting than Mario Kart GC, but it is the better game and therefore the best kart racer yet made.

      Outrun 2 could not be topped without making the game not Outrun, and it is the best racing game ever, handheld, arcade, PC, or console.

  • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

    I’ll have to try to get to some of the games I’ve got on Steam that I haven’t played much of yet, like Snapshot, Limbo, Cave Story, and Machinarium. Maybe I can work on Braid and Closure some more too. And maybe I’ll jump into Portal 2?

  • boardgameguy

    taught my mom LOST CITIES the card game and she loves it. that makes me happy. otherwise, grew up playing all manner of card games with my parents and also BOGGLE. still love them all.

  • exant

    I’ve been playing Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon in 15 minute chunks throughout the week. I think it’s a good game and the voice acting makes it a great game. I’m a sucker for really good voice acting, which something I love in Dota 2. I also haven’t played Far Cry since the first game, so the formula hasn’t staled for me yet.

    I also picked up Monaco and played it a bit with a friend. The Hacker and Lookout are seriously rigged, especially as a 2-person combo.

    I grew up playing a game called “Nertz”, which resembles Quadruple Solitaire mentioned in Matt Kodner’s interview, with a few interesting changes. It’s still my favorite card game, because it gets really ridiculous and rewards dexterity and strategy at the same time. 

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    In in of those rare periods of time where her bipolar cycle and my gaming habits happened to line up, my mom and I actually played Ocarina of Time together tag-team over the course of a week immediately after it was released.  Our minds were in perfect sync and working together we solved the puzzles and beat the bosses in a synchronicity that was nothing short of miraculous.  There were a few other times where our interests linked up so perfectly, like when we both found ourselves inexplicably addicted to UPN’s “Nowhere Man,” spending hours delightfully plotting out theories of where the show was heading (hint: to our dismay, its actual destination was in the name of the program all along).  I still hold those as happy memories to counteract what she like most of the other time, which I won’t go into but the word “bipolar” can clue at least some of you into.  Ah gaming, thy sweet taste is bittered not from within.

  • ProfFarnsworth

    Having serious issues with Disqus right now, and probably will for the next few days.  ProfessorFarnsworth will attempt to finish Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.  He will then attempt to find a cheap copy of Fall Out: New Vegas to play for the Game Revue, or Continue on with KoTOR II.

  • Uncle Roundy

    My mom was in high school during the Atari and the first wave of arcade popularity. In those days Centipede was her jam. I don’t remember her talking about any other games from that era. I think arcades and the disposable nature of the gaming experience and how quickly it took away hard-earned money were why my parents viewed video games largely as toys that wasted one’s time, even as games were starting to get more complex and deeper into things like story and theme.

    She played a few other games during my childhood—certainly more than my dad. She was a beast at Dr. Mario, often starting on level 20 at high speed. She could take all comers. I don’t remember her ever losing a two-player game. She was also pretty great at Minesweeper. We had a pen-style mouse, sort of a precursor to tablets, and she got really good with that thing, with a record somewhere in the single digits of seconds on Beginner and something like 93 seconds on Expert.

    Nowadays she does some of the phone gaming. She plays all the “with friends” games, and I’ve caught her on occasion dinking around with games like Cut the Rope and Doodle Jump. I wouldn’t call her a gamer by any stretch but she is definitely into some on occasion.

    As for me, I’ve got a couple things going on over on the ole YouTube channel: Chip’s Challenge (a tile-based puzzle game from the early 90s—originally released for the Atari Lynx, but I’m playing the arguably better-known Windows version) for my main project, and Threads of Fate, one of Square’s single-disc non-FF RPGs from the PlayStation era, on the side.

  • matts_grandma

     Matt, the day after we instituted Grandma Rules where you could fiddle the outcome (when you were four years old) you announced that we would no longer be playing Grandma Rules because you wanted to play the “right” way.

    • ChicaneryTheYounger

       Is this real?

  • http://twitter.com/jessefuchs Jesse Fuchs

    Going to Jersey tomorrow, and me and my mom will probably play a half-dozen rounds of Dominion, as we tend to do now whenever I visit. In other news, my mom is awesome.