1 Notes

GAMERS FOR GIVING 2014

Gamers Outreach Foundation is gearing up for its sixth annual fundraising event, Gamers for Giving 2014! The event is taking place during the weekend of February 8th & 9th at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center.

Activities at this year’s event include…

  • 200 person BYOC LAN party
  • Call of Duty Ghosts Tournament
  • Halo 4 Tournament
  • Killer Instinct Tournament
  • League of Legends Tournament
  • StarCraft 2 Tournament
  • Peggle 2 Tournament
  • Dota 2 Tournament
  • Live stream and more!

As you can see, we’ve got a full show in store! The best part: attendee entry fees and donations we receive during the stream will be used for charity! Event overhead expenses are covered by our partners.

We’re trying to raise $20,000 to build more of these:

Information and registration can be found at http://www.GamersforGiving.org. Hope to see you out there!

4 Notes

100 YEARS… 100 MOVIES

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 2014 is to watch each movie on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movies" list. I didn’t make enough time to complete this resolution in 2013, so I’ve carried it over!

I thought I’d post up my checklist since it’s prompted some fun discussions with friends lately. Here’s what I’ve seen so far…

Last Updated March 3rd, 2014:

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)

2. THE GODFATHER (1972)

3. CASABLANCA (1942)

4. RAGING BULL (1980)

5. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)

6. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)

7. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)

8. SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)

9. VERTIGO (1958)

10. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

11. CITY LIGHTS (1931)

12. THE SEARCHERS (1956)

13. STAR WARS (1977)

14. PSYCHO (1960)

15. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

16. SUNSET BLVD. (1950)

17. THE GRADUATE (1967)

18. THE GENERAL (1927)

19. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)

20. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

21. CHINATOWN (1974)

22. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

23. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)

24. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)

25. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)

26. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)

27. HIGH NOON (1952)

28. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

29. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)

30. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)

31. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)

32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)

33. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)

34. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)

35. ANNIE HALL (1977)

36. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957)

37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)

38. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)

39. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

40. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

41. KING KONG (1933)

42. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)

43. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)

44. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)

45. SHANE (1953)

46. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)

47. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)

48. REAR WINDOW (1954)

49. INTOLERANCE (1916)

50. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)

51. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)

52. TAXI DRIVER (1976)

53. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)

54. M*A*S*H (1970)

55. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)

56. JAWS (1975)

57. ROCKY (1976)

58. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)

59. NASHVILLE (1975)

60. DUCK SOUP (1933)

61. SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (1941)

62. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)

63. CABARET (1972)

64. NETWORK (1976)

65. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)

66. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)

67. WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966)

68. UNFORGIVEN (1992)

69. TOOTSIE (1982)

70. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)

71. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998)

72. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)

73. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)

74. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

75. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)

76. FORREST GUMP (1994)

77. ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976)

78. MODERN TIMES (1936)

79. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)

80. THE APARTMENT (1960)

81. SPARTACUS (1960)

82. SUNRISE (1927)

83. TITANIC (1997)

84. EASY RIDER (1969)

85. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)

86. PLATOON (1986)

87. 12 ANGRY MEN (1957)

88. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)

89. THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)

90. SWING TIME (1936)

91. SOPHIE’S CHOICE (1982)

92. GOODFELLAS (1990)

93. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)

94. PULP FICTION (1994)

95. THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971)

96. DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)

97. BLADE RUNNER (1982)

98. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)

99. TOY STORY (1995)

100. BEN-HUR (1959)

Notes

XBOX REVEAL

I had the chance to play a small part in the recent reveal of the new Xbox console from Microsoft. The video is called “Xbox Anthem,” and is meant to be a celebration of the users, creators, and innovators who make Xbox what it is and help guide where its going. It’s a small taste of the more than 48 million users that comprise the Xbox community.

I have so much respect for the team of people at Xbox. Today’s reveal represented years of hard work and dedication to craft. Big congratulations to everyone who’s been involved! You guys should be very proud.

Cameos at :29, :58, and 1:21.


6 Notes

MY GAMING PC

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I recently finished constructing a new gaming PC. Thankfully, the feeling I get from sleeping better at night knowing I can play all the latest and greatest video games outweighs the fact that Newegg.com now owns a small portion of my soul.

For PC gamers, building a computer is a rite of passage. As a Jedi constructs his lightsaber, so too a PC gamer must construct his own gaming rig (#nerdanalogies). Luckily, while constructing a computer on your own might sound complicated, there are plenty of resources and tutorials available on the internet nowadays to help walk you through the process! If you’re a first timer, Newegg has a great series of videos that will walk you through everything start to finish. Their videos cover everything from understanding what parts to select, to putting everything together and booting up for the first time. I’ve included a link at the end of this post if you’re someone who’s interested in undertaking the process for yourself.

For my fellow enthusiasts who enjoy swapping wish lists, below is the complete report of parts I ended up selecting for my rig. I made a couple of tiny compromises due to some of my first-choice parts not being available when I was ready to order, but overall I’m really happy with the build. The PC below can easily handle anything on the market right now, and should last another few years before I have to consider swapping things out. Feel free to use this as a reference for your build! All components were purchased from Newegg.com, minus the Astro headsets which were acquired from AstroGaming.com.

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Case: NZXT Phantom Black
Blue-Ray Drive: LITEON 
Keyboard: Logitech Washable Keyboard 
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB 
Solid State Drive: Samsung 840 Pro Series 
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 
Power Supply: Corsair 750W 
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 670 FTW 
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77 
CPU Fan: Cooler Master V8 
Mouse: steelseries Sensei 
Audio: Astro A40 Audio System 
Monitor: Asus 23” 5ms Widescreen 

Here are a couple of shots from the build process - including right after I installed the CPU, and pre-testing the motherboard / CPU / GPU prior to plugging everything into my case…

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And here’s the finished set up…

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A few friends have asked about the odd choice of keyboard. I actually stumbled across Logitech’s washable keyboard on a design blog right as it was initially launched on the market. I was primarily attracted to its simplicity and modern aesthetic. To be honest, I don’t find a lot of the keyboards aimed at gamers to be all that comfortable or attractive. I also find a lot of the “extras” (USB ports on the keyboard, buttons for gaming macros, etc) to be cumbersome. But that’s just my opinion and I’m sure there are plenty who disagree. Also, this keyboard is washable! I can definitely admit to having accidentally tipped a few water glasses during the period of time I owned my laptop. Knowing that my parts are both safe and clean is a big plus! 

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If you’re in the process of building your own PC, I highly recommend checking out the tutorial videos Newegg has produced. They’ll walk you through every step of the build, and are a handy reference for those who need a refresher before diving into the process of building a computer! 

Notes

GFG 2013 RESULTS

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Following up on my previous blog post, across the board, Gamers for Giving 2013 was undeniably a success. Counting volunteers and spectators, we had between 550 - 600 total attendees throughout the course of the weekend. All of our headline activities sold out. The LANFest BYOC LAN party actually sold out twice - once with our initial accommodations for 150 attendees, and a second time after we added on 32 seats to our layout. 

Thanks to our sponsors and the student government of Eastern Michigan University, the costs associated with producing the event were entirely covered. All event entry fees, raffle ticket sales, and donations received will be used to directly support Gamers Outreach initiatives throughout the course of the year. In total, our revenue exceeded our fundraising goal and raised just over $15,000.00 for the charity.

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Our event was streamed this year by Shawn “Kona” Warbiany of Kona’s Korner Productions. Shawn and I have known each other for the past couple of years through work in the video game industry and similar social circles. I can’t give the man enough props for all his hard work over the weekend. The live stream generated a total of 340,000 views on the Twitch.tv/LANFest page. Our highest average number of concurrent viewers was 1,307. Both are numbers I’m very pleased with, especially given this was only the second time since 2011 Gamers for Giving has been streamed. Add the fact that the organization doesn’t stream regularly in tandem with our incredibly limited (borderline non-existent) promotional budget, and I don’t see how you can paint the stream as anything but a success.

We also had incredible support from our on-air talent. David “Walshy" Walsh, Mike "hastr0" Rufail, Frank "u4ix" Bowen, Alex "Axeltoss" Rodriguez, and Andreas "nexy" Pierson were able to hold down the fort and keep stream activity flowing throughout the entire weekend. Huge props go out to those guys for volunteering their time and talent to aid in the fundraising efforts of Gamers for Giving.

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Although my identity is heavily associated with the event, Gamers for Giving isn’t a one man show. The event wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the efforts of our crew of volunteers. There were a lot of people behind the scenes working around the clock to make sure attendees were having an incredible experience this year. In my eyes, they succeeded. Feedback we’ve received from attendees has been incredibly positive. The volunteers’ display of work ethic and selflessness was more than any event coordinator could even hope for. I was very proud of our team, and I hope to see the same faces again when 2014 rolls around!

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We’ve posted a full recap of Gamers for Giving over on the Gamers Outreach website, which can be found here. Press coverage of the 2013 event can be found here, and a full album of photos can be found on the Gamers Outreach Facebook page here.

Going forward, Gamers Outreach will be using the funds to purchase additional GO Karts, and deliver video game care packages to troops overseas. News surrounding the initiatives will be posted on the Gamers Outreach website. We actually just delivered a GO Kart to the Children’s Hospital & Research Center of Oakland, California thanks to the crew from Astro Gaming. I’ll be in the Oakland area in a few weeks shortly after PAX East to dedicate the cart with the Astro crew.

Cheers to a great event!