I dunno if it was apparent to anyone, but I’m a huge Sim geek. I’ve played all iterations of SimCity since its inception, The Sims and various other titles such as SimAnt, SimEarth and SimIsle. I’ve been known to talk about Will Wright like he was God.

I played almost every version of The Sims, including the life-sucking Sims Online. I played Sims 2 when I had access to a PC when it first came out, but alas couldn’t run it on my old PowerBook.

Now that I have my new MacBook, the obsession begins again.

Of course, the first thing anyone does when starting a new Sims game is create Sim versions of yourselves…

Sim Courtney
Sim Courtney

…and of your loved one(s).

Sim Cecil
Sim Cecil

…and then you try to see how they behave.

Upon entering her new home, my Sim was disappointed in my choice of lamps and easy chair, and clapped in delight at the full-size bed. SimCecil loved his little twin bed but hated the bathroom lighting, and immediately went to watch comedy TV.

Our Sims eventually met and exchanged a few words about fortune telling(?) and the weather, then SimCecil decided to put the moves on SimCourtney. She was not pleased.

Funny how much time I end up investing in SimLives. I just gotta be sure to keep Real Life in check 😉

PS3 vs. Wii vs. XBox vs. gamers

This comment at Plastic sums up my sentiments about E3 and the current console wars quite nicely:

Console company A is first to market with its console of generation N. It’s proclaimed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but critics are somewhat reserved because they know there are at least two competing consoles coming out.

Console company B debuts its product at the next big trade show. Bored with console A, which doesn’t have enough games yet, critics proclaim B to be the obvious winner, since it’s so stunning and they just got their hot little hands on it.

Meanwhile, console company C is showing demos and mockups of their product, and everyone denounces it as the obvious loser and points out that that company must be about to go out of business, or at least that they’re about to go out of the console business.

Some months later at another trade show, company C debuts their console and the pundits proclaim that it’s just not as good as the others.

Consumers, meanwhile, tend to buy the console that has the games they want. The manufacturers consequently have their ups and downs but stay in the game. Sometimes a new company enters the market, and perhaps forces out an old one. But, life goes on.

Look, this is just another round of an old cycle. The Xbox is going to continue to be the console of people who want console games that act a bit more like desktop computer games, the Sony will take the middle of the market, and the Nintendo will be the more family and party game centric unit. The only detail will be that the market will shift a little between the three, until a viable fourth player enters the market.

I’m going to stick with my Atari Jaguar for now, maybe buy a few of the games I don’t have yet on eBay. I don’t have time to spend on a new console, and the games aren’t compelling enough for me.

End of line.

This really isn’t a war anyway. No one’s gonna win, per se, we have our audiences and fans and I don’t think they’re gonna change their minds…

gaming offline

On the past two consecutive weekends, K and I have visited the new location of the Legends gaming store (there’s also a more comic-centric store of the same name in the same mall) in Cupertino. I had no idea that they had moved on to a bigger and better location within the mall, and had actually feared that they had closed. The mall that they reside in has faded to a ghost of its former glory, with scattered stores and practically the whole lower level devoid of any storefronts whatsoever. I honestly think that Legends is probably the most successful retail store at that mall.

So we’ve picked up a few purchases there over the past week or two… a new copy of Risk (although we missed seeing the awesome Lord of the Rings variation on the game our first time around, rats!), some Pokémon cards, a few multi-sided dice (geek cred), and a copy of Chez Geek. I am reminded of the great fun to be had with offline gaming… how could I forget, really? The only game I’ve been playing consistently has been the weekly poker game (which isn’t all that bad, of course), and all other gaming as of late has been of the console or computer variety.

Recently, we’ve played a couple rounds of 1,000 Blank White Cards with the core of our poker-playing crew, which has proven to be a great deal of fun, and it’s a cheap game to play (all you need is blank index cards and some pens).

I do so enjoy a good ol’ game night to enjoy the company of friends. That’s what it’s really all about, anyways. I’m considering having a game night during the week on maybe a bi-weekly basis.

I wonder if we’ll bust out the 12-sided die.

There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done

Some of you may know about my affinity for poker. I guess it’s fairly obvious, since my current blog design has a poker-like theme. What you’re not seeing there is my pocket deuces under there, but hey, that doesn’t really matter in this context, does it?

I’ve been meaning to post an entry about poker for a while now, but never got a round tuit. Earlier today, Wil posted an entry about his recent participation in an illegal poker tournament, which kinda lit the flame under my keester for me to write this entry you read tonight.

At a recent gathering of the South Bay Bloggers at Coffee Society, I found out that Buzz and Jonas have both been participating in some friendly local games.

Between sips of his hot cocoa, Buzz commented, “Poker is really big these days, isn’t it?”

I pondered this over my more caffeinated, but oversweetened Neopolitan. I didn’t really think too hard about this before, but yeah, poker has really become a greater phenomenon within the past few years.

With televisions shows such as WSOP, WPT, Celebrity Poker Showdown, as well as Late Night Poker taking center stage, the game has earned quite the high profile in the media. The movie business of late has been a bit slow in picking up the trend, with Rounders in 1998 and the remake of Ocean’s 11 in 2001 (both, I admit, I have not seen in their entirety). As I recall, there was a spike of poker/card-themed movies in the mid sixties-seventies that hasn’t really found its way back into films today. When many people think of a poker movie, they think old-tyme westerns or sixties lounges… maybe this is a stereotype that is on the verge of being shattered.

Back to the coffee talk. I realize that my Neopolitan has more syrup than espresso in it. I also realize that it’s pretty horrid, and put it back down on the table. But maybe a sugar high instead of a caffeine high isn’t so bad after all…

Where was I again? Ah yes…

Buzz says he’s somewhat new to the game, and points out that there is a tremendous amount of people in the Silicon Valley that play poker, and that these groups seem to have surfaced only recently.

“Funny,” I say, “I’ve been playing with the same group of friends for almost a decade now!”

This illicits some oohs and ahhs from the audience. Okay, maybe two.

But I take it in stride. I’m not an expert poker player… as a matter of fact, I don’t think I’m good at all. Although I have been playing for a long time, I am far from being the Big Weiner, especially since we play kitchen-table variety, low stakes poker. When it comes down to it, I play poker for one reason and one reason only… to spend time with the people I play with. To trade clever quips, jokes and insults. To eat Pocky and drink malt beverages (usually separately, but sometimes together, with gastronomical results). To use poor judgement when raising the bet with our pocket fours. Our poker game has always been about having that time set aside each week to enjoy the company of good friends.

That’s the best kind of poker game there is, really.

I have yet to discover the thrill of playing for big stakes at the casino tables, but I think I can wait. So can my money.

And that syrupy coffee drink that I left behind. That thing can wait forever.

geekier than thou

so moby says he’s a scrabble geek.

he says that he’s “ven printed out the list of acceptable two-letter words”. I can say that I had that entire list memorized at one point. S’true. I am geekier than moby. The day is mine!

But I seriously need to refresh my memory… I haven’t played in an awful long time. I am way beneath these guys though. Gotta keep up geek appearances, ya know.

I haven’t read moby’s blog before, save a few quotes here and there, but he seems like a thoughtful bloke.