Hope Keeps on Truckin’… or “Bus”in’

The Desert Bus for Hope group is currently doing another event. They are a group that donates to Child’s Play, a charity that  aims to give hospitalized children games to help encourage them during their hospitalization.

The group raises money by being sponsored to play arguably the most tedious video game of all time “Desert Bus” a mini game off of the unreleased 1996 game “Smoke and Mirrors” by Penn and Teller. The Game has you drive an empty bus through the desert from Tucson to Las Vegas. A real life bus trip would take about 8 hours. One in the game takes… 8 hours.

Gameplay starts at 1:50

The game demands your full attention because the bus constantly veers to the right and must constantly be adjusted. If you go to far off the road you are towed back to Tucson. Should you complete the journey you are given 1 point, and since your a bus driver… you drive back. You can drive back in forth until the counter is maxed at 99, which would take around 41 full days. There is no traffic, no real scenery, though at 6 hours in a single fly hits your window.

They are doing 2 full live streams, one of them, and one of the game. They are currently holding a live auction while playing, and have raised over $150,000 so far and are at the 137 hour mark. There still going, so check out the live auctions, special guest chats, viewer contest, nail-biting live gameplay, and DONATE.

Here is their current livestream and donation link:

http://desertbus.org/

Heart stopping LIVE gameplay steam:

http://desertbus.org/popups/live-feed-buscam/

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Music Monday: Too Busy Playing a Game Edition

I got a new game on Friday, and because of it I haven’t had the weekend to go over Music. I woke up this morning thinking, what Band should I write about… then i remembered… The game is “Rocksmith”, the  music game that uses a real guitar. Problem Averted:

Rocksmith:

Rocksmith is a game similar to Guitar Hero or Rockband. The difference is that instead of a plastic peripheral, you can hook up any 1/4″ guitar jack. The quick description of the how it works would mostly talk about the cord that comes with the game. It translate normal analog sound into MIDI electrical signals….Basically Magic.
I’ve put in a solid chunk of time and learned most of a few songs, So here are some highlights.

Radiohead: High and Dry

This guy is playing lefty flip, so the notes are basically upside down.

Great song choice, and one of the first songs that when i finished playing it i instantly started it up again. I have to say I’m pleased that they went the Radiohead route over the Oasis Route. I was expecting to sit through “Wonderwall”, but this was the first song that got me excited about what other songs they were going to have. Nothing like a 90’s chord progression full of Teen angst.

Taddy Porter: Mean Bitch

This song caught me off guard. I had never heard of this one, and I thought it was a late 2000’s pop rock song. Little did i know it was a late 2000’s cross between Blues and Buckcherry. It was fun to play, and has a hell of a hook at the chorus. Taddy Porter is one of the more indie bands that Rocksmith chose. I’ve started giving them a proper listen, and I’m liking it (future Music Monday?)

The Pixies: Where is my Mind

I was playing the recommended songs that the game gave me, and i decided to take a quick look to see if all the songs were already unlocked. Alphabitically ordered by song title, I searched through them all. The last song on the list of at least 40 was “Where is my Mind”. 40 mins later, I was still playing it, and still in the state of catharsis that the song always puts me in. I’ve played it at least once every time I’ve started up the game since. If I had to bet which song i would 100% first, I would bet this.

I’m really enjoying the game, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to start out on guitar. Don’t go into it thinking it will be all fun, because it is more of a learning program then a game.

I was already and intermediate player, but I’ve learned a few cool songs, and the minigames have sped up my scale playing, and chord progressions a surprising amount in just 3 days. If nothing else, it makes practicing more fun, and i don’t think I’ve ever built up callous fingers so fast.

Gaming Disorders

With the release of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim I found myself remembering my times playing the last installment, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I tried to think of what i spent most of my time doing in Oblivion, and i realized something. The thing I did most in Oblivion was Collect stuff. Actually, I wasn’t really collecting as much as I was hording. The more I thought about some of the things I did in games I realized that I was showing signs of behavior disorders in games that I don’t in life.

5 of these Potions are useful, and I won't be using any of them. (jbvw~alluring potions mod)

Lets Start with my first example. One thing I did in Oblivion, and that I’m sure to do in Skyrim is Hoard. Compulsive Hoarding is defined (by wiki ^_^) as “the acquisition of possessions  (and failure to use or discard them) in excess of socially normative amounts, even if the items are worthless.” Something I was certainly guilty of.

In Oblivion one of the main skills I leveled up was healing. Since I could heal myself I probably used a potion 5 times throughout my play-through of the game. However, if you went to my house in Skingrad I had about 2000 healing potions, 2000  fatigue potions, tons resistance potions, strength potions, the list goes on. My character had no need for potions, but every time I opened a treasure chest or looted an enemy I took everyone I found.

It wasn’t just potions either, it was jewels too. These were found throughout the world as a reward, and their only purpose was to be sold at various merchants for gold. I never sold one. I had a treasure box full of the useless things, that even if I wanted something purposeful like a sword, or arrows I never even considered selling. If that’s not hoarding I don’t know what is.

I didn’t just collect a bunch of stuff in games. I needed to have it organized too. Which brings up my next gaming disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). . The game was “Golden Sun” for Gameboy Advanced. Unlike Oblivion, Golden Sun didn’t have storage boxes. Everything I had was on my character, so at all times he looked something like this . 

Another problem I had with Golden Sun was the lack of inventory organization. How did I manage this? Periodically throughout the game I would go to a merchant and sell everything I had, only to buy it back (At a markup). I had to have equipped items first, then other weapons, armor, items, then crap I would never use. Every time I did this i probably lost 20% of the total gold I had, and I’ll just say I did it more than once.

Don’t start thinking I’m only person who acts a bit quirky in games. For instance, I try to be a relatively good character in games, so I don’t steal often. Other people don’t seem to have that problem, so I hear the term Kleptomania being brought up In discussion about games like Fallout;

Things like that might make it a good thing people don’t show these habits outside of games. It certainly wouldn’t hurt being a little more tidy around the house. But while in the real world someone might make a model train-set, or scale version of a castle, in Minecraft you get things like this:

Since there aren’t random massive structures being built all over the world, I have to assume that gamers don’t translate these obsessive projects into the real world. In a similar fashion, I won’t take 10 mins aside to organize my school backpack, but I’ll be damned if my weapons arn’t organized based on magic type. It brings up the question; “Why do these “gaming disorders” only manifest themselves when playing games?”. Unfortunately, like “how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop”… the world may never know.

GTA5 Trailer Just Released @ Rockstar website

The grand theft auto series gets another installment. Rockstar just released this new trailer Nov. 2 12:00

http://www.rockstargames.com/videos/embed/8001

The BIG reveals:

  1. Planes Are Back
  2. Los Angeles, CA themed city
  3. Older Protagonist (possible Tommy From Vice City)
  4. No Release Date

Music Monday: Free to Download Edition

The music is still good, but the economy’s horrible so here’s some free music you can get from:

OcReMiX.org

Overclocked remix is the biggest video game music community on the web. They have an array of composers who take their favorite musical tracks from games and create new music. The music isn’t uploaded by the artist, but filtered through DJ Pretzel who runs the site. He doesn’t allow covers or dubs; To make it on the site you have to use the source material in a unique way that separates it from the original or ReMiX it as he calls it. They were even reconized by the industry and were chosen to make the official soundtrack to “Super Street Fighter II Turbo”.

One thing this site has boatloads of (if you over 15 and played games that is) is Nostalgia. The games from the 90’s that I used to play as a kid (felt old typing that) had really memorable soundtracks.  When I was 10 I played the Legend of Zelda Majora’s mask. If you played it to you certainly would remember (or can currently whistle) the “song of storms”. The track above takes that small portion of the “Windmill Hut” and turns it into a full song.

It’s not all nostalgia though. I haven’t even played most of the games that are sampled, but the songs are good enough that I like them just as music. There is a huge variety of styles on Ocremix.org. You can find a lot of techno, rock, pop, bit tone/ chime, classical, funk, and even a few outlyers like reggae or blues. Here’s a nice fusion of classical and techno that samples music from the indie game “Super Meat Boy”.

Overall, OCremix is a fun site to go to. You can go there and search seriously for new music, or you can spend an hour or so looking up remixes for your favorite game. The community there is friendly and positive. You can even make a request for remixes that you would like. Where else are you going to hear a Godfather inspired remix of the Mario theme.  Factor in that all songs are free to download, and you have no reason not to go.

Here are the download links to the songs i posted: Click Download mp3, right-click one of the mirror links (I use the dreamhost mirror) and save target as.

Remember you can donate to the site, so buy shirts.

Legend of Zelda Remix: SOS – ReMiXeD by – “Saint 420”

Super Meat Boy Remix: mAEt – ReMiXeD by – “A_Rival”

Super Mario Remix: TheItalianPlumber – ReMiXeD by – “M.S. Mehawich”