weekend

WRUP: Say it once edition

Most of the time, if you have something to say, you should say it once. That's enough. Just once, then move on. Make your point, make your argument, then move on with your life. If you think that a television show is really bad, say it once. Then don't watch it. Stop talking about it. Move on with your life.

You convince few people by saying the same thing over and over. In fact, you're more likely to sound petulant than sounding convincing. If new evidence arises, that's a different story, but if you're talking about something that hasn't changed since you initially said it, you're not adding anything new to the discussion. You're just repeating yourself, and you're sounding as if that's all you have to say.

So just say it once. For example, this week, just tell us what you're doing in the What Are You Playing comments one time. Don't post three comments telling us what you're doing over the weekend. Just once.

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WRUP: Better living through obsolete technology edition

Are you the sort of insufferable dillweed who wastes everyone's time during a social gathering talking about how humanity should never have moved on from vinyl records or failure-prone game cartridges or whatever else makes you just insufferable instead of Amish? Then you should order our new series, Better Living Through Obsolete Technology! It's perfect for the change-averse weirdo who doesn't understand why no one has not programmed a decent MMO for the Commodore 64.

This comprehensive 18-tape VHS set with an additional audio reading 8-track recording and laserdisc companion series will guide you in the delicate art of yelling at computer salesmen, why scanlines are the best thing ever, and how to scold people for ruining your playback because they turned on a vacuum cleaner within the same time zone. To order, send a personal check (no money orders or PayPal) to the bottom of the trash can and leave your weekend plans in the comments for What Are You Playing this week.

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WRUP: I am not hiding illegal weapons in a lizard edition

Good morning! How are you? I'm good. I'm very good. I am not hiding illegal weapons in a lizard. Can I get you something? Tea, laxatives, snake venom antidotes? There is no snake venom in the tea, nor are there snakes hiding in the bathroom sink. Nothing for you? All right, then. Please, make yourself at home, this house is not infested by silverfish the size of VW minibuses. No one is watching you through a sniper rifle scope that I am aware of.

Are you all right? You seem tense. You are not being set up by the CIA due to being in this house. Perhaps you'd like to watch a movie without any subliminal messages inserted by Fidel Castro? What do you mean I keep saying disturbing things? Every reassurance I give you is factually true, you're really jumpy. Just leave your What Are You Playing entry down in the comments, it won't cause your computer to catch fire specifically.

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WRUP: Introducing the Sega Box edition

Did you really think that Sega was getting out of the console business just because of the Dreamcast's enormous failure? That's just what they wanted everyone to think, releasing a series of terrible Sonic games to lull their rivals into a false sense of security. Now, with Nintendo having just released its own new console, Sega is proud to reveal the Sega Box, on this website for some reason!

The Sega Box features a fully immersive gaming experience with its launch title, Sonic Aquatic, when you fill the box with water and stick your head in. But quickly. It features seven USB ports, four of which randomly work when you boot up the system, and can run off of electricity, kerosene, or ennui. It also features 300 gigabytes of onboard storage which cannot be accessed, a dance pad, an undisclosed number of spiders, and free wi-fi if you're already paying for it in your home. Also, it always answers What Are You Playing down in the comments. You should do that, too.

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WRUP: Parts may fall off edition

Congratulations on your new vehicle! You've made an excellent choice, because now we can feed our families. This money will be a blessing to us. Just to let you know, though, this is a minor thing, but parts may fall off of your vehicle. This is perfectly normal, and it's generally nothing to worry about. Some of the molding might fall off the first time you pass 10 MPH, totally all right, nothing to be concerned about. A mirror or two might fall, but that's normal.

Other parts that can fall off, which are completely expected and should prove no hazard, are the front cowling, exhaust pipes, wheel covers, passenger shielding, and the entire engine. Also, some of these parts may either catch fire or cause other things to catch fire. Last but not least, the soulstone sealing in the caged demon within the vehicle may fall off. That... is actually bad. You should worry about that a lot. Just sign here in What Are You Playing and you're all set, but you also have to tell us if you're a cop.

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WRUP: This ham is your ham edition

Hello, reader. Hello, and good morning. Or should I say... good ham? That sounded clever before I typed it out. Look, the point is that I have your ham. This ham right here is yours, and if you ever want to see it again, you... well, you'll look at the header, but if you ever want to have your ham back, you're going to do exactly what I say.

First, go to the nearest Cumberland Farms. Assuming it's near you, anyway, I don't want you to be driving like fifteen miles out of your way. I guess you could just go to a regular grocery store, but... wait, they probably have ham. Depending on where you live. If you live in Israel, there's probably no ham in the grocery stores, right? That would be weird. Or is it weird for thinking that? If you live in Israel, let me know about the ham situation.

You know what, forget it. Just go get another ham and leave your comments on this week's What Are You Playing. I'll give your ham a viking funeral. It's what you would have wanted if you didn't mind me stealing your ham.

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WRUP: Point of order edition

This installment of What Are You Playing will now come to order. We'd like to begin with a few points of order, starting with the most obvious one. No one - and this means no one - is allowed to park cars in Mrs. Orbison's living room. That wall is a load-bearing one and knocking out the scaffolding is really making her angry. Also, absolutely no one is allowed to offer to "comfort her" in the bedroom following the death of her husband, especially after you run over her husband by driving your car through her wall. We're talking about you, Eric. We all know it.

Next point of order: It turns out that sun-dried tomato pizza from down the street is actually really good, so we'll be ordering that after all. Also, no one is allowed to taunt the werewolves after eating it. It's got garlic, but the garlic thing is just vampires. Also, we need to stop smashing empty beer bottles against shopping carts; complaints are coming in. Last but not least, let's not have a repeat of last week's incident. You may now go about your normal WRUP procedures.

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WRUP: New comment system fun fact edition

So we have a new comment system! Yes, really. There's a little FAQ about it explaining everything you could want to know, but what about all of the things you never wanted to know about it? That's what this feature is here for.

For example, did you know that our new comment system comes with integration for Panasonic VCRs? No one knows why comment systems were ever integrated into VCRs in the first place, but now you could get all of our comments streamed right to your VCR. Assuming you have a cable connection and hook it up through your VCR. Boy, VCRs just don't exist any more, do they? That still seems strange to me.

Also, the new comment system is going to get put through its paces! So maybe it's more of just one fun fact, assuming you have fun learning about VCRs. And you can ignore that I didn't feel like scouring Wikimedia Commons for a VCR image. Look, just... it's What Are You Playing, let us know what you're up to in the comments and let's move on. I give up.

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WRUP: Before we're edited edition

You read our articles every day. Most days, anyway. Why don't you read our articles every day? Are we just some fling to you? Ahem. Anyhow, don't you want to know what it's like behind the scenes when we turn in our articles to be reviewed by the Edit-Tron 5000? Now you can learn! Here's what it looks like with our articles before they get edited:

  • Bree: You might not think it, but most of Bree's work is just the lyrics to Led Zeppelin songs with every proper noun replaced with quotes from Bee Movie.
  • Justin: There's always a lengthy digression about the proper way to cook up hot dogs that has to be snipped out. We're saving it for the cookbook.
  • Eliot: Just, like, so much profanity about giraffes.
  • MJ: Every single piece includes portions of a hidden ARG to encourage readers to buy a copy of Galaga for their home video game console.
  • Larry: Lots of musical cues, but every single one of them is for Don't Stop Me Now by Queen.
  • Andrew: If you peek at the source code, there is a hidden field guide in Andrew's work detailing common songbirds found in the northwestern United States.
  • Brendan: Brendan refuses to use capital letters or punctuation until we ship him a fresh smoked ham. The monthly ham budget is significant.
  • Tina: Flawless prose, but it's about the Time Cube.
  • Matt: Love letters to Missingno. Literal love letters.

And now you know! And knowing is... some part of the battle. Maybe, like, a tenth. Let us know what you're up to in What Are You Playing, and enjoy yourself.

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WRUP: Jurassic Park is a pretty bad movie edition

It's time for us to just admit this as a species: Jurassic Park is not a good movie. I know, you have fond memories of it; I do too, aside from the fact that I remember being disappointed with it even as a child because it was more interested in "rawr scary dinosaurs" than actually showing off these magnificent, enormous animals. But the movie is about five minutes of cool, memorable moments mixed in with a bland, overlong plot that's mostly just people running around scared as everything gets ruined.

The science doesn't hold up, the characters are thin pastiches (including Jeff Goldblum being slimy enough to leave a residual bad taste in my mouth), and what made the movie work in the first place was how enormously compelling those dinosaurs look. That part still can impress viewers; not much else does. So "Chris Pratt and a team of raptors vs. invisible T-Rex" is really more of a lateral move for the franchise.

That's all, folks. Oh, right, What Are You Playing is here. Let us know in the comments!

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WRUP: Card trick 74 edition

Today's card trick is known as the Ponzetti Reversal. It's called this chiefly because no one ever pays too much attention to card tricks which sound like chess maneuvers, but you can be certain that your audience will be amazed unless they're not.

First, take an ordinary deck of playing cards. Shuffle, cut the deck, and draw seven cards. Ask a participant to take a random card from those seven, but don't look at it. Tell the participant to memorize the card. Then, return the cards to the deck. Shuffle again, draw seven more cards. Tap an island for one blue mana. Grab the bottom card on the deck and ask the participant if it's the right card.

Get angry. Insist that it's the right card. Fling the deck of cards at the participant's head and inform them to find the [REDACTED] card without you, if the participant is so [REDACTED] smart. Break a window. Tell the police officers that you're completely sober. Refuse to put your shirt back on. Slam your head against the inside of the car window. Insist you want a lawyer after hurling insults at the cops for an hour. Let us know what you're playing in this week's installment of What Are You Playing. Lastly, produce the correct card.

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WRUP: Year in preview edition

Well, here we are, a new year. This one has a low bar to clear and it's already not doing a great job. I'd write a four-letter word here that rhymes with "truck," but I like not being fired. Instead, let's just finish with our year in review nonsense by giving you the phrases you'll become intimately familiar with over the next year due to major news stories.

  • January: "It's unclear why so many MMOs are now engaged in cross-promotional campaigns with shaving cream, but still..."
  • February: "A new imported MMO is out, and the studio behind it is very enthusiastic about its chances in the market."
  • March: "The new basketball minigame trend is getting out of hand."
  • April: "It turns out you can't fund your game with a Ponzi scheme."
  • May: "That new import from February is shutting down at the end of the month."
  • June: Reserved for Stormblood.
  • July: "The three new upcoming Hellgate London relaunches."
  • August: "Daybreak has officially announced the shutdown of several games it is not running, begging the question of why."
  • September: "Boy, remember earlier in this year when no one was afraid of the chupacabre?"
  • October: Halloween.
  • November: "This year's BlizzCon featured an unfortunate incident with a snake and far too many computers on fire."
  • December: "Ugh, this year is finally almost done."

Have fun! Let us know what you're playing in the comments, since this is What Are You Playing. It's cunningly disguised, you see.

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WRUP: The sunset edition

At the worst times in my life, I would often watch the sunset. Sunsets are comforting to me. Every sunset you see reminds you that another day is over, that you're going to be living a day further in the future. I never even thought it was possible to be depressed by sunsets until someone first told me that they were the sign of a day ending, of the sum total of everything bad going on. Things are ending.

But I never saw them that way. Sunsets mean a day is ending, but that also means that no matter how bad the day was, it's over now. Tomorrow is a new day, and whatever bad stuff happened during the day that's ending, you'll move away from it one sunset at a time. Every day marks a new beginning, a new start. We've lost, and we've faltered, and we've seen horrible things happen, but it's not the world ending; it's just this day. Each day forward is another day toward a better tomorrow.

Cheers to the end of this awful year, yes, but there's another one coming up, and that means we have another shot at making it better. Let us know What Are You Playing in the comments.

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