Jay Button

As I write this column, my cryogenic tube is being taken out of storage to freeze my body until next fall, as I do every year when Community’s season ends. Last week we got the last three episodes of the third season, including one of the best representations of video games I’ve seen on TV. That is not to say it was a super-accurate example of a video game or the development process of making a game, but it was in-jokey, sincere and, most importantly, fun. And isn’t that what video games are all about? READ MORE

If you’re actually nerdy enough to come to this website, and even then actually read this column, you probably saw The Avengers in theaters this weekend. Heck, everyone did. I certainly did. And not just that, but I went to the midnight premiere. At a theater an hour away. And I got there at 11 a.m. and subsequently sat through every one of the Marvel Studios films leading up to The Avengers. What does this have to do with video games? Almost nothing.

But I wish it did. READ MORE

Warning: there are no video games in this post! It’s all card games from here on out.

At first, Cards Against Humanity seems familiar, but its uniqueness quickly sets in. Many compare it to the more popular Apples to Apples, and with good reason: mechanically, the games are essentially identical. At least insofar as they even have mechanics. But one very important thing separates them both: sense of humor. By which I mean Cards Against Humanity has one. READ MORE

It’s finally happening once again. PAX East is upon us as it comes every year, and yet each is always more exciting than the last. My buddy Tom, some members of my sketch group and I will all be skulking around the floor looking for deals on games and screwing around and maybe meeting you! I want to get to know each and every one of you who’s coming to PAX East this week. I mean it, if you’ve ever spent any time on Snackbar I owe you at the very least a hearty handshake or a big manly hug. So be sure to tweet at me and let me know you’re on the floor. READ MORE

I use the Internet, but I don’t have all day to be surfin’ around looking for news and things on different websites. Reddit serves as a great aggregator for everything related to my interests. I just tell it I like things like ‘board games’ and it will give me all the Internets about board games.

So naturally, most of my feed is dominated by video game posts as I subscribe to several gaming-related subreddits like /r/Games, /r/RetroGameSwap and /r/GameCollecting. But by virtue of the sheer bulk of information posted to Reddit, patterns will emerge. Eventually you start to see the same old crap again and again and again. Here are a few I’m particularly tired of. READ MORE

PAX East is finally rearing its head once again, and I could not be more excited. Some members of my sketch group and I will be tooling around on the con floor shooting goofy stuff while I’m not covering the show for Snackbar. But even with all that screwing about and mischief-making, I’ll be setting aside time to see as many panels as I can. The panel schedule has been released, and we can all start laying out our plans for maximum con enjoyment, but there are so many! So I thought I’d let you know about a few of the panels you absolutely should check out at the show. READ MORE

Despite being one of the most popular franchises of this generation, Mass Effect had managed to completely elude me until recently. My cultural blindspots have always been staggering. I’ve yet to play more than two hours of the Assassin’s Creed series, I never saw Citizen Kane and I have no idea who Skrillex is. But this one just made no sense. I love Star Trek and, for that matter, any sci-fi/fantasy property with an expansive and lively universe, so Mass Effect should be a no-brainer for me. And once I got into Mass Effect 2 a few weeks ago, it was. I absolutely loved the game. READ MORE

Advertising can make or break a product. A bad commercial can kill a new game release. Namco’s recent debacle of an ad campaign for Soul Calibur V has managed to alienate and make a large part of their fanbase uncomfortable. This is piled onto criticism that their characters have been oversexed more and more with each iteration in the SC franchise. Or you may remember PSP’s “cheese you can listen to outside” era in advertising. Or the racist billboards they put up in Europe. Or that annoying kid from Role Models. On the contrary, a good ad can really excite prospective players and encourage them to plop down their hard-earned cash on a title. READ MORE

There are many ways in which my brain and personality resemble that of a child, but moreso than any is the way I love the things I love. If something manages to capture the attention of my cold and cynical heart for more than a second, there must be something special about it. This happens so rarely that when I truly enjoy something, I just go whole hog. I’ll snatch up the merchandise, play all the games in its canon and wear my love for it proudly on a t-shirt for the world to see. No franchise in history has been more able to engulf my life in this way than Pokemon. READ MORE

Video game nostalgia is an odd phenomenon. It makes us hang on to outdated technology, spend hours upon hours sewing scarves and hats adorned with the heroes of our youth and get into heated arguments about which entry in a series is better (rather than agree that they’re both pretty great). But rarely does it lead to anything productive. READ MORE