This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!

I try to take a week off every year just for Halloween.  This year my coworkers asked why?  I love Halloween.  It is my favorite holiday of the year.  So they asked what I was doing for Halloween?  Where was I going?  What would I dress up as?  Did I like handing out candy?  I answered honestly.

Nothing, nowhere, as nothing and since I don’t particularly like children I don’t plan on handing out candy.  Though if my wife has her say I might have to hand out some when she tires of doing so.

If I’m not participating in any of the traditional trappings of Halloween, why is it my favorite holiday?  I could say it appeals to my inner goth and leave it at that, but that would only be the most shallow of answers.

Well, while fall officially begins Sept. 22nd I have lived in locations which generally do not cool off until much later.  Normally this occurs in the last week of October.  For example here in Las Vegas we still had 90F weather until the 21st or 22nd of October.  After several months of frustrating sun and heat the changing of the season is welcome.  It is no wonder that Fall is my favorite season of the year while Spring is a time of dread.

Then there are the colors.  Black and red are my favorite.  Dark red.  This holiday is all about the dark colors.  Dark purples, dark greens, dark reds, and black abound.  It’s the only holiday whose colors, at least to my eye, aren’t gaudy, sappy or just plain annoying.  I also think this is why my wife doesn’t let me choose anything for our home decorations.  😉

Then there’s the people.  It’s the one time of year people dress up and let go en masse.  It feels far more festive, far happier than other holidays because it is all about the fun.  It isn’t about surviving the winter, about family, religious tripe (though Halloween did start there), the birth or defense of the nation, nor is it about a particular class of people.  It’s a holiday about just goofing off, being silly, and everyone being ok with it.

All in all Halloween is the one time of year when society and the world shifts a little closer to me.  To colors I love, to temperatures I prefer, to not being so stuffy about how to dress.  It’s when I can give a little sigh and feel most comfortable.  And, yeah, it speaks to my inner goth, too.

That is why I love Halloween.  And it isn’t like I don’t do anything to observe it.  What better time than midnight, Nov. 1st, is there to watch Tim Burton’s “A Nightmare Before Christmas”?  What, did you think I had that video up top just because it said Halloween a lot?  😉


PC Gaming Dying, Pah!

Over the years I have heard the PC Gaming is dying trope several times.  It generally spawns from the fact that people look at PC Gaming retail sales, compare it to all the console retail sales combined, find the PC severely lacking and call it a day.  I’ve argued, time and again, that looking only at PC retail sales is to ignore a large segment of revenue PC Gaming generates from online transactions.  In a recent retreading of this argument it finally dawned on me, some of these companies are publicly traded and have to post earnings reports!  Finally, proof!

Back in 2009 PC Gaming retail sales totaled approximately $750 million.  That was out of a $10 billion dollar year for retail sales across all platforms.  However let’s take a look at the report filed by Activision/Blizzard for 2009.  We get the following figures (in millions):

Platform net revenues:
MMORPG – $1,248
PC – 164
Sony PlayStation 3 – 584
Sony PlayStation 2 – 174
Microsoft Xbox 360 – 857
Nintendo Wii – 584

Retail sales that year hit $750 million.  World of Warcraft’s revenues for that year were $1.2 billion.  In fact it beat out Activision/Blizzard’s revenues for any console, nearly matching their revenues for the XBox360 & Wii or PS3 combined.

Clearly counting only retail sales for the PC market is severely under-representing in these comparisons.

Dead Island – [Censored]

About a week back I received a Gamer’s Gate alert, Dead Island dropped in price.  Yoink!  One game off my wishlist.  I haven’t been engrossed in a single-player game like this in ages.  It isn’t the first game to do zombie survival justice, Left 4 Dead gets that nod even though its zombies are more 28 Days Later than Dawn of the Dead.  What Dead Island really has going for it is the visceral melee combat.  It’s the first FPS game where melee combat just works.  A single zombie is simple to dispatch.  Kick them to the ground and hack away.  Most times you’ll lop something off in the process.  A pack of zombies, however, can quickly overwhelm even the seasoned zombie fighter.  The main story line is great.  Some of the side missions are a tad wonky but they do help fill out the experience.  However, the best indicator I can give for how good this game is would be the following:  I have not cussed at a game so often and with such color in ages.

Mists of Pandaria – A Reaction

The following was in response to a fellow OTGer asking who was quitting WoW for TOR based on the recent announcement or just who was leaving other MMOs for TOR in general.  It basically sums up my feelings on the announcement by Blizzard on their next Xpac, Mists of Pandaria.

Continue reading