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R.I.P. Epinions, from a former Games Advisor.

February 26th, 2014 by

epinions_RIPToday, I’d like to take a little time to talk about and mourn the closure of Epinions. For those somehow unfamiliar with the site, Epinions was one of the earliest user-submitted Internet sites preceding Yelp by around five years. For a couple of years, I was a Games Advisor.

Epinions specialized in consumer product reviews and gave a voice to the voiceless. It brought people together in a way that, until that point, was relegated to primitive message boards and the awful world of chat rooms.

Epinions, at least in the early days, was what represented the best of the Internet.  People were on their best behavior, building a reputation with other members over time for the way they conducted themselves on the site. Reputations mattered and being in a coveted Web of Trust meant others would check you out. This sounds ridiculously archaic in the age of Twitter, but it was amazing for the common man back then.

Being the best wasn’t enough. Writing wasn’t enough. To truly reap the rewards, one had to interact with other writers. These interactions paid dividends, both literal and figurative, and helped guide the way people began to interact on the site.

Crude allegiances of like-minded people coalesced. Site-specific lingo, such as “revenge rating” and “rubber stamping” were coined in the early days of the site.Whereas the Internet as a whole runs like the Old West, Epinions ran like some Internet form of Utopia. It was the Internet with accountability rather than anonymity.

Unwritten rules formed, like an early set of netiquette, formed. Most people believed it was common courtesy to at least click on what they had written if they clicked on your article. Turnabout is fair play, after all. At the beginning of this Dot-com Boom era, those clicks quickly added up into real cash at three cents per member click.

There’s this Rob Gordon quote in High Fidelity, perhaps one of the most quotable movies for elitist nerds such as myself, that really sums up what made Epinions so special for so many people.

What really matters is what you like, not what you are like. Books, records, films… these things matter.

Epinions exemplified that notion, however shallow it may be.

App Store Birds: A Diagram

February 25th, 2014 by

flappy bird tiny wings angry birds

All the data you need, and not a single number in sight.


Review: Hoplite (iOS)

February 16th, 2014 by

hoplite magma fortress
Hoplite is a strategy/roguelike that seems simplistic at first sight, but quickly bares its fangs. Does it get too difficult too quickly, or is it worthwhile?

Video Games Made Into Romance Novels

February 14th, 2014 by
fierce moves
There’s a reason ‘shoryuken’ has both ‘Ryu’ and ‘Ken’ in it.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we though we’d share with you something we ran across a while back; something romantic for all you swoon-happy mongrels out there. Why don’t you kick back, grab a few chocolates out of that heart shaped box, and stuff them straight into your mouth-hole while you enjoy these classic video games reimagined as cheesy romance novel covers.

Punch-Out’s Little Mac is coming to Smash Bros.

February 13th, 2014 by


Today’s Nintendo Direct kicked off with a punch. It was like a kick-punch, though.

Little Mac, the undersized underdog from the Punch-Out series, was announced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U.

For people like me who grew up with 007 373 5963 deeply ingrained into our very being, this is terrific news. Seeing as my friends would only play Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Assist Trophies turned off, this makes him pretty much all new for me.

Crap... don't let Anita Sarkeesian see this screen.

Crap. Whatever you do, don’t let Anita Sarkeesian see this screen.

For those of you keeping score at home, this brings the current playable character count to 23, still a far cry from Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s 35 selectable characters. More names will be announced, surely, but Mega Man versus Little Mac is kind of a dream come true for me.

“The size of the fight in the dog” was kind of my mantra growing up.

Even If You Dislike Dhalsim, You’ll Love This Tattoo

February 13th, 2014 by
dhalsim tattoo foot
Click the pic to appreciate in full-sized glory

Someone found a way to make Dhalsim a lot less annoying!

We don’t know who’s foot that is, or who inked the tattoo, but damn if this isn’t one of the coolest Street Fighter related artworks we have ever seen on someone’s leg.

Dhalsim tattoo is pretty darn slick, incorporates person’s appendage into the artwork [eventhubs]

The Legend Of Cross-Stitch: A Link To The Past

February 12th, 2014 by
zelda cross stitch
Click the image for the full monty

Here’s a riddle: What takes 9 months to make and is more precious than life itself? No, not a baby. C’mon, man.

The correct answer, of course, is this ridiculously fantastic cross-stitch of Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, arguably the series’ finest entry. This is the work of redditor tibtibs, who’s dedication to making awesome things is commendable.

It took me 9 months to complete it, but it’s finally done! [r/pics]

Just a few hours until Flappy Bird is no more.

February 9th, 2014 by


Likely inundated by his sudden rise from obscurity to the top of the App Charts and the subsequent fame that comes with it, Vietnamese Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen is doing the only thing he can to get his life back to normal.

Dong Nguyen stated on his Twitter account, @dongatory, that he’ll be removing it from the App Store in 22 hours. That was 19 hours ago. So by my math, that means you’ve got something like um… airspeed velocity… obviously Mario World… carry the remainder… Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop… one… two… three. Yes, you have three hours left. Thanks, Mister Owl!

Flappy Bird currently brings in about $50,000 a day in ad revenue according to this interview from The Verge, but sports stars and lotto winners can tell you that mo’ money equals mo’ problems. There’s no telling how many family members have already hit him up for cash or how many reporters have reached out for an interview about this game whose reviews seem about on par with The Mountain Three Wolf Moon shirt over on Amazon.

Way to go, Internet. You made a guy rich and possibly break down.

If you, like me, have somehow managed to avoid the Flappy Bird phenomenon, now’s your last chance to do it.

Let’s see what all this fuss is about. And… download…

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