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Blog Smorgasbord - Black Ops, Trivia and Podcast! And other stuff

Today's blog is a bit of a mish-mash. I don't have one specific topic I want to blog long about, but I have a few short ones.

But first, I wanted to thank Annette for herding my Band of Bloggers #2! It's the first time in a while, and gave me a nice feeling. While I always say it doesn't bother me if I'm not herded, it doesn't mean that it's not nice to show up there once in a while. Wish it had resulted in more comments, but thanks to those of you who already did!

And now on to the short stuff...

1) I'm really enjoying the First Strike map pack for Black Ops. The multiplayer was becoming a little stale, but the map pack brought me back to it. And now that the maps are available in Hardcore mode, I'm enjoying it even more (I really hate filling somebody full of lead and then having them kill me). I don't play zombies, so I haven't used that map, but I don't mind paying $15 for 4 good maps (as opposed to what MW2 did last year). I'm also liking the fact that I'm actually decent at the game, which is making its staying power even better. I actually have a 0.9 K/D ratio (I mostly play Team Deathmatch), and considering I started around 0.65, that's pretty good!

If you haven't taken the plunge for the map packs but you're still playing Black Ops, I highly recommend getting them. A couple of good close-quarters maps and a couple of bigger ones.

2) Another game I'm really enjoying is the new You Don't Know Jack trivia game on the Xbox (it's widely available, but I've got it on the Xbox). I never played the originals, though I always heard a lot of fondness for them when people have talked about them. I knew that I would pick it up if a new one ever came out.

Now it has. And I'm loving it.

As usual, it's hosted by Cookie Masterson, the irreverent host with a sharp tongue and acid wit. The jokes come fast and furious, and while some of them fall flat, there's going to be something coming down the pike that will make you laugh.

You can play by yourself ( yes, Cookie does comment on it, and last night I earned the "Social Outcast" achievement for playing 5 single-player games on a Friday night). You can also play local multiplayer as well as online. Online, you can join a quick match with people you don't know (which is fun in itself, and something I've done quite a bit) as well as create a party match for you and your friends. If anybody wants to play, hit me up for a game!

There are 73 episodes and already two DLC with more episodes (more's coming too, I believe). Each episode has 10 questions and a "Jack Attack" where you have to choose which answer best fits the word and clue given, as they fly at you with eerie music. Because of the episodic nature of the game, you never have to worry about questions coming up that you've already had. As long as you're playing a new episode, you know the questions will be new. Of course, if you play multiplayer, you might get the same episode again and know all the answers. That's an unfortunate pitfall, but unavoidable.

I'm loving this game. If you love triva and comedy, I know you will too.

3) Before moving on to the podcast, I wanted to mention this really quick. Did you see the GI news story about that silly-looking "adult" game for Wii and PS3, called "We Dare?" (Judging by the 34,000+ hits on the news story, I'll bet you did) Since Ubisoft has removed the trailer from Youtube, I can't embed it, and GI's video is not embeddable, so go take a look.

You know you have to, in that same way we say "This is gross! Here, try this!"

I'll wait.

Back? Doesn't this game sound horrible? Yes, the women in the trailer are attractive. The only reason, as a guy, that I would even watch that video more than once, is for that. However, I tried to watch it a second time...and had to turn it off. It's that bad, no matter how good-looking they are.

Who thought this was a good concept? And an age category of 12+ in Europe? Huh?

Since Joe did the news story on it, I didn't blog about it here (though I wanted to). But I did blog about it over on my other blog.

To quote one of my friends: "There has not been a word invented yet for just how mind-numbingly awful this looks..."

I can't help but agree.

4) Finally, I wanted to let you know about the podcast that I do for my work. I work the University of British Columbia, in an office that does professional development for teachers. With lots of inspiration (and you know who you are), we started our own, and we're up to episode 6 (it's bi-weekly).

This episode is especially relevant because we talk about video games and education/kids. Both addressing some of the usual stereotypes and negative thinking as well as highlighting the positive aspects of gaming.

I'd love it if you listened and subscribed, but if not, you can just check out our latest one. I'd love any feedback you might have.

Hope you're all having a good Saturday. And I promise a one-topic blog next time.

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