Monthly Archives: March 2014

Modern Video Games: Children of Fantasy Geeks and Pixels

Heads bopping back and forth for hours, gazing at a TV screen, in houses all across the country – it was amazing! The wonder of playing Pong at home for the first time seems incomprehensible compared to the video gaming that computers such as Lenovo’s new laptops are capable of today. When you realize this was your grandparents age, it’s pretty mindblowing. Even more amazing is the convergence of technologies and disciplines it took to make video games what they have become. You could get into a big argument over whether the true ancestors of current video gaming were Pong and Pac-Man, or a cult-followed tabletop collection of three role-playing guidebooks, called Dungeons and Dragons.

Separate Beginnings

Video game history starts in 1947 – about the time the Cold War began. Then, as Bloomberg reports, a pair of inventors patented a Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device. Players placed clear plastic sheets with targets printed on them over a TV picture tube, and directed beams of light to hit the targets. That fell as far away from modern video games as role playing games of the day fell from Dungeons and Dragons. Those miniature warfare games were strategy exercises employing mathematical formulas and a variety of dice to recreate historic battles.

It took 25 years for any really marketable video games to reach the market. Most people saw them in movies before they saw these limited release games in arcades. Computer Space, with a screen display appearing similar to the later Asteroids, had been produced in 1971, but still seemed futuristic two years later when says it made a cameo appearance in the film “Soylent Green.” Another early film star was Pong, which took a bow in 1974 s “The Parallax View.” Meanwhile, socially withdrawn number crunchers with rich imaginations gathered their alter egos as wizards, princesses, thieves, and warriors around tables for entire weekends. By then, these fantasy gamers had models of their characters, and often three-dimensional landscapes on which to move them around.

The mental demands of Dungeons and Dragons limited its audience. Involving multiple dice of diverse shapes with complex calculations to determine any outcomes, it challenged players who wanted faster action. Hard as the math was, the imagination could demand even more. The best players maintained their characters for the entire period of the game.

Computers faced similar challenges in computing ability. Both display capacities and their ability to calculate actions lagged behind the market’s demand for both action and interactivity. Air hockey and foosball were then still as popular as many video games in arcades.

Computers and Imagination Marry

That began to change with 1983 s fully animated Dragon’s Lair by Don Bluth of “American Tail” fame, according to Laser disc technology permitted multiple player-driven plots. It was the first truly interactive video game to reach arcades – at least, the first with a plot that the user was able to help shape. D&D fans could be a real knight facing off against a genuinely scary dragon to save a princess lovelier than any prom date they would ever get. As the 1980s advanced, computers got more powerful, and technology got more affordable, the range of video games expanded, but it took a global crisis to make the biggest difference.

With the end of the Cold War, the government opened the Internet – which it had primarily developed as a defense resource – to the private sector. The flood of investment brought in during the 1990s made it seem like connection speeds and microprocessor speeds were in a race to keep up with each other. Now, laptops are able to let gamers fight dragons, or even each other, in Massive Multiplayer Online Games. These have completely developed virtual environments, no math necessary, and high definition images instead of just pixels bouncing back and forth.

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How to Motivate Yourself to Work on Cosplay

I am absolutely terrible at motivating myself, but recently I feel I have gotten better at it. I know myself and many other cosplayers always have difficulty when it comes to finding ways to push ourselves to work on cosplays. It is a tedious task that many of us want to push back…until it comes close to a convention! So, I am now writing various ways that we can attempt to motivate ourselves to work on our cosplays so we are not crunching before a convention

Look at your favorite cosplayer

Any time I feel unmotivated I look at pictures of other cosplayers, especially the fantastic Yaya Han. I admire her work greatly and I want to, someday, possess the skills that she has and the patience. Every time I see her cosplays I get a push to work on my own. So if you have a favorite cosplayer, or multiple cosplayers, I suggest going through their cosplays and looking at them. Look at every detail and think about how you would go about making that cosplay.

Watch cosplay music videos

I adore watching CMV’s, especially Ackson’s, MLZStudio’s, and ChillyWillyTube’s. It is a great way to put yourself at a convention again without actually being in one. Look around at all of the cosplays in the background, the pictures being taken, and of course the cosplayer(s) being showcased.

Sit down and plan your cosplay

Take a few minutes to sit down and think about how you are going to make your cosplay(s). Picture yourself wearing the cosplay after working hours upon hours to complete it! It can help motivate you if you think about the finish product and how excited you are for it.

Take W.I.P (Work in progress) pictures!

What is more motivating than watching your beloved cosplay slowly become pieced together? Take pictures of your work periodically so you can see how far you have progressed. By reflecting on all of the progress you made, you can become motivated to finish what you have started so you can see the final outcome!

Talk to friends while you work!

I ALWAYS start a Google Hangout with my friends when I am going to work on cosplay. Sometimes we all work on cosplay together, and sometimes we just talk about various things. It’s a great way to have fun while working. Plus, once you finish something you have an immediate audience to show it to! Your friends are also fantastic people to bounce ideas off of and to ask advice. If you are stuck in a ruff, who better to ask than your friends?!

Featured Image Taken By Ithlia Lin

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Get a First Look At Neal Adams’ BATMAN – ODYSSEY Comic Book!

Oh Yeah Boy & Girls! Today, July 8th, is the day the very 1st issue of Neal Adams’ BATMAN: ODYSSEY from DC Comics comes out!! So, please be sure to remember & hit your friendly neighborhood comic book store! Shown down below are a few examples of the artwork & it looks pretty cool! But I knew it would because the impressive art of Neal Adams is always a Batman Fan favorite! Be sure to click on the examples shown here because they’re actually large & very detailed. Also, I predict that this 6-issue series will be a total success, I’m really excited!

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BATMAN MEETS JOKER – Jim Lee and Mark Hamill

I randomly came across this photo the other night & thought it was pretty cool. It shows the famous Comic Book Artist Jim Lee ( Now DC Comics Co-Publisher ) with Actor Mark Hamill, who did the voice for the Joker in the “Batman: The Animated Series” TV Cartoon & the “Batman: Arkham Asylum” video game. Mark Hamill was also in some movie called STAR WARS that I hear was pretty good.

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Oh yeah! Check this out!! Our friend Ruben went & made himself a Life-Size Statue of BATMAN from The Dark Knight movie!! I’m really proud of this thing, it’s so cool! Ruben lives in Chile & one day he decided that he wanted to create a Batman statue for himself. So, he made this one with resin, polystyrene and rubber. It really looks great! I love it when Bat-Fans get totally creative & are inspired by their love of the Batman character. This is the perfect example. Thank you Ruben for sharing your wonderful pictures, I appreciate that. Now, get busy making a JOKER, ha!

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Video – New BATMAN UNDER THE RED HOOD Clip Introduced by Bruce Greenwood

The MTV Splash Page just released a new video clip recently from BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD. In the beginning there’s a very short intro by Batman voice actor Bruce Greenwood. Then, we get to see some more action from the movie. This new animated film from the DC Universe will be released on July 27th, 2010 on DVD & Blu-Ray. The Premiere will be this year’s San Diego Comic Con & most of the actors will be there. That list will include Bruce Greenwood ( “Star Trek” movie ), John DiMaggio (“Futurama” Cartoon ) as the Joker, Jensen Ackles (“Supernatural” TV Show ) as Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris (“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”) as Nightwing.

Movie Trailers – Movies Blog

CLICK HERE For More Batman Under The Red Hood DVD Video Clips!

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New BATMAN CONVERSE Shoes and Sneakers – Gotham City Style!

DC Comics announced recently that they have teamed-up with Converse Shoes to bring a new series of sneakers with graphics of their comic book characters. Well, a few pair have the Dark Knight himself, the Batman! Check out the pics up above & start drooling! Also, if you’re interested in finding a store location, or seeing all the other shoes they have, then check out this LINK.

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Vintage 1960’s BATMAN TOYS Advertising!

OK, as a Major Batman Toy Collector I’m usually obsessed with finding good reference material showing the older vintage toys & items. Scanning through old store catalogs, newspaper ( and comic book ) ads, & wholesale pamplets you can discover a treasure trove of items you have never seen before. Shown up above are 2 great examples. One is an old ad for a Batman Yo-Yo from the 1960’s called the BAT-YO! It was manufactured by the PLAY-MORS Toy Company. It looks like they used some Carmine Infantino-inspired artwork, cool! The next picture is another ad, this one is from an old 60’s comic book ( exact issue unknown ) showing a special “Life-Size Batman poster” you could order…for one dollar, ha ha! Now, I’ve seen the actual poster before & it’s really nice. Sadly, I have not found it for my personal collection just yet but someday IT WILL BE MINE!!

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New 2011 BATMAN HALLMARK Christmas Ornament Sneak Peek – 1966 Batmobile Car & More!!

Over at the awesome CAPTAIN TOY website they have some wonderful photos of all the 2011 Christmas Keepsake Ornaments that Hallmark Cards plan to release next year. The main one that most Batman Fans are going to be really excited about is the 1966 TV Show Batmobile Car designed by George Barris!! They will also be making ones of Catwoman ( modern version ), Harley Quinn with Hammer, & a Silver-Age Batman! If you visit the site they also show all the others & there are some really great ones! My personal favorites include: The Peanuts, Toy Story, Tom & Jerry, the new TRON movie light-cycle, Green Lantern, Superman, Indiana Jones in the Snake Pit, Rosie The Robot from The Jetsons Cartoon, a cool Star Wars one with Han & Greedo ( Han shot first, ha! ), & many many more. Just click here to check them out, LINK!

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Cool Photo of The Super-Extreme BATMAN FAN!

The Bat-Blog recently made a new friend named Salvatore. He lives in Belgium, which is pretty cool, & he’s a super-major Batman Fan! What, you don’t believe me? Well, check out this photo and then you’ll agree. Here he is sporting his brand-new Batman Baseball Cap/Hat, Batman T-Shirt, Batman Tote-Bag, AND Batman Belt Buckle!! OK, now do you believe me? I thought this pic was kinda funny in a very clever way, I mean, he’s so serious! I wanna thank Salvatore for allowing me to post this photo, BATMAN ROCKS!!

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