Clear your calendar and set those reminders. Gaming's biggest event, E3, starts tomorrow, and GameSpot will be on-site to bring you the first word on what's new from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Watch the Big Three news conferences live, followed by all the expert analysis and commentary you've come to expect from GameSpot.
MICROSOFT - Monday, June 1, 10:30am-12:00pm PT
NINTENDO - Monday, June 1, 9:30am-10:00am PT
SONY - Monday, June 1, 11:00am-12:30pm PT
Check out GameSpot's E3 2009 hub to stay on top of all the show happenings. It's the closest thing to being there.

I can't speak for GameSpot or E3, but, it's good to be able to watch the "Big Three" conferences live, and thank you to GameSpot for keeping us updated.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Sunday, May 31, 2009 0 comments

These things are funny, very cute, and yes, someone I know rather well will be wearing a pair soon as they arrive at my door. This is one of those geek hubbie / boyfriend "Can't resist getting for her" gifts.

I also wish I had thought of this, really, why didn't I.....

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 2 comments

If you see some absolute madness going on with our website today, it's only temporary, promise..honest...maybe.

We're going to push out a few changes in the layout, optimize the overall site, and make some recommended adjustments to improve your experience here.

So, please don't mind the sawdust and watch out for wet paint!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Saturday, May 30, 2009 0 comments

The Creation and Internet bill, which recently failed passage, has now passed.

Presumably, designed to protect the copyrights and property of French artists, say for instance, the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy - Carla Bruni – who released her third album, 'Comme Si De Rien N'Etait' (translation: As if Nothing Had Happened) in July of '08. I don't really want to pick on the man's wife, I'm sure, though I've no first hand knowledge of this, that she's a nice person, certainly more talented musically than I, and sure as hell knows how to marry to further her own agenda, very smart.

(I believe in stating facts and then letting people make up their own minds, so here they are: The French government gave copies of the album to 14, 000 marketing ambassadors overseas. The French treasury purchased the albums along with wine and cheese vouchers as part of the 1 million pounds campaign to promote Gallic culture overseas - my own government is certainly not free from criticism, but France passed this law.)

Back to the legislation, a new state agency will send warning emails followed by a letter to illegal file sharers. If caught downloading a third time, a user’s internet connection will be severed. Good thing I don't live in France probably, I'd hate to have to defend myself as if I were presumed guilty. How are these "illegal downloads" going to be identified? If the file I download is corrupt, or contains a virus or trojan, is this same government agency going to fly to the defense of the French citizen and track down the naughty person who put it there? How many of this "new state agency" are going to surf the internet while at their state sponsored job and be pinged for illegal downloading, since so much of that happens in the workplace?

Many times, I feel compelled to go back to my tried and true statement, legislation can not keep track of, or even begin to hope to keep up with advances in computer technology. The flavor of the day has been for a long time, "torrents", torrent this, torrent that, and a good number of computer users would probably be hard pressed to tell you what a torrent actually is. Next week, month, won't be a torrent that is under fire from legislators, it will be something else, suitably named a "thingamawhoziewhatsit". If we start breaking up data into slugs (not packets) and when able to be tracked, they're called thingamawhoziewhatsit's, legislation will all have to be rewritten to ban these horrible abuses of technological power called, not torrents, but thingamawhoziewhatsit's.

Thank all the powers that be and anyone else I can think of, that I do NOT reside in France. How, are they going to accomplish this, which, according to the majority of French ISP's is going to cost millions of Euros annually to even begin to enforce? Simple answer, the legislation is going to fail, in gamer parlance, "epically". France Digital Copyright legislation pwned by ignorance, that'll be the new headline, and like the French First Ladies third album, it will be "As If Nothing Had Happened".

Darn France for putting me in the same boat as a Socialist Parliamentarian, namely Patrick Bloche, who said the bill was "dangerous, useless, inefficient, and very risky for us citizens". Oh well, he's right.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

If you carefully follow President Obama's announcement regarding his desire to appoint a "Cyber-Czar", you're going to hear something EXTREMELY important at the end. "From now on, our digital infrastructure, the networks and computers we depend on everyday, will be treated as they should be, as a strategic national asset."

I want to educate a little bit today, perhaps someone will actually pay attention. Allow me to give a little professional background on myself, that I generally stay away from, honestly because it causes prejudice and controversy, more often than not.

I am a medically retired United States military veteran, from two branches of service, the US Army and the US Navy. While in the US Navy I was a Missile Technician assigned to a Trident ballistic missile submarine, hey, somebody's gotta do the job. In essence, Missile Technicians, in the Navy, handle the "care and feeding" of nuclear capable missiles. Sounds all fancy and super-duper doesn't it, well it isn't.

You the taxpayer, do not have to worry about "hackers", notorious awful video game players who can cause your life savings to evaporate at the click of a mouse (yeah, right) to be able to interfere with, disable, or in any fashion monkey with the United States nuclear deterrent.

In order for technology, and things have improved and sped up the last few years, to be accepted by the military, absolutely ridiculous standards must be met and exceeded, thus why a screwdriver costs that rumoured 600 US$. The reason is simple, the crew of a submarine can not stop off at the local undersea Wal-Mart and pick up a new screwdriver, "if" theirs breaks, and there is a relatively small amount of room for storage of spares on a submarine. I should know, I've lived on one. That screwdriver is x-rayed, goes underneath scans that most people couldn't afford (without insurance) to have completed on their own bodies for health reasons. Now, I do realize that there is indeed graft and misappropriation in regards military supply funds. So long as there are people, human beings, involved, there will always be graft, call me a cynic.

The point is, such systems as those that control the United States nuclear arsenal are not freaking connected to the internet, they are stand-alone systems, so without a hacker being in physical proximity to said systems (and in my case he'd have had to have been one HELL of a swimmer for that to happen), we're gonna be Ok. "Hackers" was a fun movie, that's pretty much it folks, best part being a young Angelina Jolie.

Declaring "anything" a "strategic national asset" places it under all sorts of new rules, and this becomes dangerous ground, rapidly. During my personal tenure in the military, it was entirely expected that the hull of a ballistic missile submarine, since that was the container for nuclear capable missiles, would be, especially after 9/11 and the U.S.S. Cole bombing would be granted the extra protection they needed by being declared "strategic national assets". They were not. To my personal knowledge, these hulls still are not so classified.

Now, what the hell is going on, when my online gaming and banking experience can become a strategic national asset and the boat carrying nuclear bombs isn't? The mind wobbles under the strain of trying to get that one into some sort of sane framework.

Here's an absolutely fantastic piece, written by Robert A. Miller and Irving Lachow for the publication "Defense Horizons", Issue 59, January 2008. The authors bring up valid points, and in the extreme, nothing can be not considered a national asset.

The problem lies in what a "Czar" is, how they are chosen, their overwhelming lack of oversight (they're not elected, they're appointed) and the tax dollars that are going to be doled out to protect our newest declared strategic national asset. Marines can be deployed and a fence thrown up around the local ISP if things go too far here. The appointment of another "Czar" is not something we need, appointing these "Czars" frankly runs contrary to democratic government. Where are we represented in the process? We elect a President, and suddenly, he can create Czar positions to micro-manage national assets, while pulling in a fat government paycheck. I'm not happy when either party does it, and neither should you be. Less government spending is what we need, not more, needlessly and shamefully.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Friday, May 29, 2009 0 comments

This video is terribly cute and immensely clever. While you're having a cup of coffee and six minutes need to be killed, watch this and grab a giggle with your java. Thanks bobski101.

Hi from Multitouch Barcelona on Vimeo.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

Ok, I love fan hacks of gadgets, I do, I try my hand at it myself, I suck, that's why I post other peoples, they're cooler. This guy though, I see a temptation here to do very, very bad things. Maybe he'll be able to curb his rage and not take out the neighbors, or their poodle, or their kids...

Man I want a set. I would love to see what Glaring Madness would do with a pair, probably go medieval all over Michael Vick.

Homemade Real Wolverine Like Claws X-Men - More bloopers are a click away

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Thursday, May 28, 2009 2 comments

Entirely gratuitous and self-indulgent article here, but aren't they all, Sienna Miller trailer still from the new G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra film.

Other than the lovely Miller, I am looking forward to this release. I never was much of a G.I. Joe fantic when a kid, but, this movie seems to be bringing the gadgets, armor, weapons, and black-clad women together that no red-blooded male can resist.

Speaking of what is expected and what has changed, when the word came out that Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity (G.I. Joe) was going to be a UN style force of international operatives, virtual hell broke loose. No one seems to have gotten through their heads yet that you simply DO NOT screw with canon and what the fans have grown to expect. Changing G.I. Joe to the "A Real UN hero"* from "A Real American Hero" kicked the nationalists, purists, and fans in the teeth.

Guess what, they did listen, after the outcry and now G.I. Joe is once again, "A Real American Hero".

Taking a look at the bits and pieces that have leaked out, chiefly concerning the "Delta V - Accelerator Suit", I'm liking the tech. Well, duh, I like Boba Fett and Iron Man, armored protagonists, so Delta V got my attention.

Lots of speculation and fun looks at what armored power suits for military applications would look like have flown around for years. The oldest I personally remember are the suits in Robert Heinlen's "Starship Troopers". The book, not the movies, don't make me hurt you out there. There's basis in reality for this of course, especially considering DARPA drops cash into research projects like Hardiman (1968), Pitman Project (1988), and goodness knows what else is under wraps.

*Note: It wasn't really called that at any point.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

Contact Batman from Your Own Home!

Raise your hand if you remember Batman and Robin "climbing" up the side of a skyscraper in Gotham City, and suddenly Don Ho sticks his head out the window to see what is going on. Yup, I do, funniest thing in the world.

It was pretty obvious, even to an eight year old, that these guys were walking across the floor and pantomining straining up the bat-cables. That hardly detracted from the absolute fascination I had with any of Batman's gizmo's and gadgets.

One of these days, I WILL have a bust of Shakespeare on my desk with a red button under the head that opens up some kind of fun, kooky secret door or panel.

Besides the batarang, batcuffs, bat-belt, batboat, batmobile and that Shakespeare bust, one thing is certainly iconic to the Batman mythos: The Bat-Signal.

Now, unless you want to rent space on top of a very tall building, grab a couple of machinists and an electrician to put yours up, this one will do the trick.

If you've got the "Trophy Room" collectibles itch and you have to have one of these, or a half dozen, just to be safe, click on my link and help me fill my personal toybox up with goodies. :P After all, only 500 of these are being made.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

If you're not familiar with the Frag Dolls, UbiSofts's team of female gamers, it's time for a good old /facepalm. You've missed out on their promotion of the presence of the fairer sex in gaming and denied yourself the pleasure of probably being fragged by someone that you wish you had the guts to talk to.
If you want to, and you probably do, see more of all of the Frag Dolls, head over to their site, for links to their blogs, updates on who may be the newest Frag Doll, more photos, and tell Rhoulette I fawn hopelessly over her (hopelessly cause I'm married and she's got beter things to do :P). Now, since she's studied cultural anthropology and is interested in studies of deviance in online environments, I could probably make an interesting case study...or maybe I could just make up weird stuff for attention, who knows.

I've got a umm, soft spot for redheads, yeah, that's it, riiighhtt. Oh, and brunettes, blondes..umm, forget it, all the Frag Dolls are awesome. But, it's my article dangit, and for my money - Rhoulette is StillPlaysVideoGames: CyberGeek Hottie of the Week!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3 comments

If you enjoy beta-testing (and the goodies that usually go along with the privilege) then take a look at MechDuels.

This is the latest offering from Challenge Games, which incidentally, I have mentioned before with their flagship game Duels.

What isn't to like about a game that costs nothing to play and sets you off with those three words? Based on impressions of the other releases from Challenge Games, MechDuels is going to be fun, easy on your time, and suitable for a wide range of age groups and committment levels.

The Beta allows you to begin with two "Mech Chasis", the Jaguar and your weapon, the Stratus Laser. You're given the opportunity of designing your own avatar, your Commander persona, from a variety of human choices with the usual accoutrements allowing you to choose from pre-set weapons, hair, backgrounds, etc., to customize your own look.

Register yourself at and you'll find the beta code for MechDuels on the front page of the website. Take the opportunity to check it out, get a headstart on the competition, help make a better game, and "probably" (based off personal past experience) get a benny for participating and helping to test.

Challenge Games, MechDuels and Duels are trademarks of Challenge Online Games, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Challenge Games was formerly known as Oxygen Games. The owners of this site are not affiliated commercially with the aforementioned entities.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1 comments

Congratulations to Exponential on winning the 2009 World Duels Championship. 1500 US$ richer, and other game goodies to boot, that's a hell of a payoff for playing a flash-based game!

I consider myself a "casual" Duels player, and have been for a pretty decent amount of time. The strategy that goes into building a championship level Duelist is nothing to be sneezed at, currently I'm only ranked 180th in the Top Duelists Ladder. Honestly, I'm just not that good, took me "forever" to get even that far, hah.

If you like a good quick-fix game, no download, no ridiculous signups, no serious committments, then Duels is probably perfect for you. I do admit, if you spend some cash on Duels (entirely optional) you'll probably get farther faster, but the ingame economy holds it's own pretty well.

Yes, if you click the link and sign up, I do get an ingame kickback (tokens for a certain number of signups that anyone can get), but that's hardly why I am blogging about it. It's a good fix, especially on rainy days, and fun. My kid thinks the shadow-fighting mechanic is pretty cool, and he can play it on my antiquated laptop.

From the Challenge Games website: With half a million players worldwide, Duels is an online strategic fantasy RPG where players build powerful characters based on physical attributes, battle experience, special abilities and collectible items, and may upgrade their characters using in-game currency. Unlike many online RPGs which require hours of grinding play to achieve player power and status, Duels is designed to provide compelling in-depth PVP, head-to-head game play in 10 to 30 minute increments, attracting both hardcore and casual gamers for quick-fix gaming.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 2 comments

I have now proudly been labeled "unprofessional" by I began the process of severing my publishing relationship with them, inquired as to the precise means by which I should retain the rights to my already published work, which is an open option at, and was booted out of their forums before the question was answered and without a response to my e-mail request.

A second e-mail was fired off, in response to being "locked out" of the system, to which the " Support" member relayed to me that I had behaved in an unprofessional manner. Maybe they didn't like that I deleted the content from my blog that they were making money off of. As we speak, I'm still on their Top Ten list in Gaming, even with no articles.

Well, I have some information, I'll give it freely to, stop changing your agreement with your bloggers every five seconds and you might retain someone. Expunging your forums of anyone that disagrees with anything at all does is not the way to grow a social blogging community.

On the off chance that someone associated with Today does see this, I am about to use my editorial rights to be incredibly unprofessional, so shield your eyes.

Oh, I have never received any form of compensation from, other than they hosted my blog and ran ads all over it (and by the way, the blogger has zero say in what ads are shown). does not require that a blogger keep their posts, not edit them after publication, or anything at all. So, that e-mailed remark about "deleted before being able to compensate you" is rubbish. At this point though, I realize you probably need that $5.00 or so, hang on to it with my regards.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Monday, May 25, 2009 1 comments

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away or more precisely on May 25, 1977 Star Wars was released for the first time. That makes, today, Star Wars 32nd release anniversary. Fans might argue, they usually do, that only "the Maker" knows when the birthday of the franchise is, but hey, we'll take the release date as good enough for now :)
Well, it's only been said 100,000 times before, but it bears saying again, thank you Mr. Lucas. Now, time for me to go back to Lego Star Wars with my kid, he loves that game :)

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

Aeria Games has announced the start of Open Beta for Luminary: Rise of the GoonZu’s, the 2D Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG).
In celebration of the Open Beta for Luminary, Aeria Games will be hosting numerous events. Some of the scheduled events will include:
Luminary Beta Raffle: Players that achieve level 10 will be entered into a raffle where they have the chance to earn up to $100 worth of Aeria Points (which can soon be used to purchase in-game items from the game’s Item Mall).

First place: 10,000 Aeria Points
Second Place: 5,000 Aeria Points
Third Place: 2,500 Aeria Points
All other players level 10 or higher: 100 Aeria Points
Attendance Event: Players that log in and play for 1 hour per day will be able to receive various in-game items based on the number of days they participate.

Luminary: Rise of the GoonZu is a mixture of community, capitalism, and politics all rolled into this truly unique online game. Players can participate in real-time trading of stocks, real estate and other commodities. In addition to this, Luminary gives players who specialize in a craft influence over each town’s economy by supplying the demands for various goods. For those who have a more political aspiration, players can work towards gaining power, possibly even gaining the position of “GoonZu”, the leader of world of Luminary. The GoonZu is elected into power by their peers and have the responsibility of regulating the in game world through setting taxes, creating laws, and electing new officials.
Players are encouraged to find out more and join the beta at the Luminary website.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Sunday, May 24, 2009 0 comments

Anyone who is new around here is probably wondering why on earth we called that category, Not a "Doll". It's a fairly straightforward, though tongue in cheek, play on "action figures", being referred to as "dolls" by people from your Mom to your co-worker who just can't seem to wrap their head around why you have them.

Simple, we never grew up, we still play video games, (hahah) and often, they're a serious investment.

For instance, the current world record for a piece of science fiction memorabilia honestly blew my mind at 576,000 US$. This handsome price for a miniature of the Starship Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation is probably going to fetch the current owner (or owners estate, because this is something you don't part with until death) a really nice return. I'd guess in the 20% to 30% range within the next 20 years, considering the return of Star Trek to the big screen. My personal estimate might even be conservative.

Those of us who don't fall into the category of dropping half a million on our collections, often end up searching through, not Christies, but eBay. Oh, now I hear you, "How provincial, eBay over Christie's indeed *harumph*". Don't knock it people, eBay is a great resource, especially for pop sci-fi merchandise / memorabilia. As I write this, a lower grade Boba Fett action figure, yes, that little hunk of 3 3/4" plastic that orginally sold for 2.49 US$ is now selling for 5,000. Quite a nice turnaround on your investment, let's hope your Mom didn't throw yours out when you went off to college.

Without getting into the perils and benefits of buying and selling on eBay too much, there's some really good advice at Follow the Eight Step eBay Sales Plan. Covering, in easy to read plain language, some of the finer points of selling on eBay, and generally good advice for all online auction sites, it's certainly worth taking a look at.

Some things that aren't covered, are how to use the most often utilized grading services that are particular to collectibles like action figures, vintage toy cars, Pez dispensers, etc. That's a blog post for another day though, until then, may be with your auction.

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

On my way back to Freaky Creatures, after a long absence, I ran into their announcement concerning their new association with the ">Starlight Children's Foundation. Loving kids even before I had one of my own, I immediately headed over to check things out.
Now, a little personal history here, once upon a time, when I actually worked for a living, I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Lee Curtis. Long story short, she was at the studio where I was working fiming Virus. She was very personable and (actually complimented me on my professionalism) impressed me no end with how she cared for and loved her kids. She insisted that a little playground for them be situated near her trailer, her kids were with her while she worked. I also distinctly remember her sweeping me with a Scorpion Machine-Pistol. Ahh, good times, good times. Yes, I did have an extraordinary job.
The reason I bring up all that personal nonsense is that Mrs. Curtis is the spokesperson for the Starlight Children's Foundation. I have an entertainment interest in Freaky Creatures, they have teamed up with Starlight, and Mrs. Curtis (who holds my deep respect as a Mom) is associated as well, this article just seemed kismet.

So, the partnership between Starlight and FC is pretty simple. From the press release: "Every time you buy a Freaky Creatures product, part of the purchase price goes to the Starlight Foundation. These contributions help provide for the comprehensive programs offered by the Starlight Foundation, such as: arranging family outings and activities, providing in-hospital entertainment, setting up in-hospital play rooms, and creating educational programming to help children understand common medical procedures."

Do the Starlight Children's Foundation a good turn, and gift a child you know, or yourself, with a Freaky Creatures product. It's a fun game and if Mrs. Curtis recommends Starlight, then I feel they've already been personally vetted for me. She's a great Mom.

You can also donate directly to the Starlight Children's Foundation by simply visiting their website, but we are, after all, focusing here on video games and gamers.

*Now, in the interest of full-disclosure, I don't get jack for saying these things, except a personal warm fuzzy*

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Saturday, May 23, 2009 0 comments

If you're a WoW nut, and you probably are, then you know who Amberlash is. The figure is coming out (hopefully) in June.

DC Direct has a pretty good line-up for '09, especially if you're more intrigued with the "art" side of things. Yup, I tell my wife that, "It's art, hon." Yeah, you're right, it doesn't get me very far.

Anyway, for those of you who do get farther than I, you can pre-Order this little vixen from our friends at EE.
Order World of Warcraft Series 4 Succubus Demon Amberlash Figure from Entertainment Earth!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Friday, May 22, 2009 0 comments

Daniel Eindhoven, in the annals of home coilgun research, he's definitely left a mark. I mean, really, this thing could leave a serious mark, if you got in it's way.
Personally, I'm saving aluminum cans and building a backyard kiln to make Al slugs for my own project right now, but this guy, the sheer "looks" of this project could knock you over...
What really impressed me was the fact that this is a single-stage coilgun, as you can see from the video. Multiple coils, to be general, speed up the projectile. This one does amazingly well with only one coil...and only four AA batteries make her portable, sheer awesomeness.
Hat's off to ya mate, now, one I know the aliens are starting up with their probing again, I've got your coilgun and my Alien Altoids to fall back on!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

This is going to be another "Coming Soon". We were in the beta's of Freaky Creatures and followed through to their live realease. So, we want to return to them and see just how Freaky things have become. Stay tuned!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments presents us with the coolest retro blast back to good 'ole Donkey Kong. That monkey sure has gotten around over the years.

One of these days, I am going to have to print some of these fun things out and have a hand at filling the house with fun and totally useless stuff, not that I don't do that already, but I will be able to do it in the name of handcrafting. :P

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar 0 comments

Sleep, that certain knot of peace,
The balm of woe,
The prisoner's release.

I'm certain that's Elizabethan, but, for the life of me, I can't remember who wrote it, so, my apologies to the heirs and assigns of our certainly long-dead poetic contributor.

Yes, worked for far too may hours consecutively, and I had to sleep...sadly, I dreamed of rising gas prices, unpleasant.

On a happier note, we're getting more kinks knocked out, eventually I will be able to write and stop beating up some poor XML. Bear up a little longer :)

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Thursday, May 21, 2009 0 comments

Yes, we're moving, slowly but surely, and this will all be as painless as possible. Thanks for your patience during our transition!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1 comments

Hey folks, the aliens got into my head again, seems the suppressants just aren't working as well as they were. Time to increase the dosage.
So, to please my new alien masters, we've packed up shop and moved. We'll have some growing pains, I'm sure, but, don't forget to update bookmarks, and tune in here while you watch us flounder about in our insanity!

Posted by Erelas RyAlcar Tuesday, May 19, 2009 1 comments