The Stupid Gamer Obituary Section

Xbox
360, Xbox (Age 16 months)

On Sunday, August 5, 2007 of Bountiful, UT; beloved console of Jeff Rivera; rival of Wii and PS3; successor to Xbox; all of Bountiful, UT. Microsoft will receive notification of dead 360 on Monday. A closed casket burial will be held at the local UPS office in Bountiful, Utah. Xbox 360 is survived by roommates Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3, HD-DVD drive, and many more members of the electronic world. Friends and family are encouraged to send money in lieu of flowers that will be donated to the Awareness of Crappy Manufacturing of Xbox Products Foundation. Online condolences can be expressed to

http://stupidgamer.com

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Vacation time

I’ll be out of town starting today until Sunday and won’t have access to the Internet. Please try to live on without me.

In other news, two new writers have been given access to the blog, so when you see one of them post, make sure to give them a nice welcome.

Enjoy the rest of the week!

My DDR Weight Loss Challenge

Ok, so I’ll admit it, I’ve got some love handles, more than just a bit of a belly, and a nice layer of padding around my body. I’ve had it for years, actually. So what I’m going to try to do here is track some weight loss progress by just playing DDR a minimum of 4 times a week for the next month. I play soccer once a week, but it’s not enough to have an effect on weight. The only additional exercise I’ll be getting is maybe some pushups here and there. If I manage to lose weight, it will truly be the DDR. It might be the geekiest way to lose weight, but that’s ok by me.
Right now, on June 7, 2007, I weigh 205 lbs. For every pound I lose, I’ll find a way to incorporate into some sort of site contest. For example, if I lose 8 pounds, maybe I’ll give away at prizes or something like that.

Here are some current pics of me that I’ll have to compare myself to in 30 days. I took these right after a soccer game. I don’t typically wear soccer gear around. By that, I mean never.

A look at the belly:

BellyBefore.jpg
Chubby? Yes. Still sexy? Of course.

A look at my calf to see if there’s improvement in tone or definition:

LegBefore.jpg
IT’S HAIRY! There, now you don’t need to post it.
Wish me luck!

Donkey Kong Arcade Cabinet Restoration

Lately I’ve been getting into arcades again. For the past year I’ve been consumed by them. I can’t pass even the junkiest looking cabinet without approaching it and checking it out. After selling my Bubble Bobble this morning, I decided it was time to get working on my Donkey Kong cabinet. The cabinet is in 100% working order, it just needs some TLC to get back to mint condition.

Step one was general cleaning. I got some of those nifty Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to cut through random grime and tough spots, and just a wet rag and some soapy water for the rest.

After cleaning up everything, I had to replace the marquee light and get the monitor in better working order. Fixing the marquee easy. I just picked up a replacement from The Home Depot for $10 and that took care of that. The monitor image had faded pretty badly, but there wasn’t any burn-in. To make it look new again, I ordered a cap kit from The Real Bob Roberts. There were about 30 capacitors to replace on the monitor board, and it was quite the undertaking (for me) to replace them. Today, I installed the kit, and the results were spectacular. Check out the comparison pics below:

Capacitors (the blue cylindrical things):

Before:

Mid-way through. I had to go back and fix some mistakes after the first attempt. Notice the distortion on the left of the screen and some odd colors:

After (bluriness is due to long exposure time) It looks brand new!

And to think that the magic all happened here…on a crappy old card table in a small area of my garage. Not the most professional place to work, but it’s all I had.

Here’s my list of what I have left to do. I’ll provide updates as I make progress. Since I have trouble finding large blocks of time to dedicate to the machine, updates will be sporadic. By the end, however, it should be an enteraining read. So, here’s what’s left to do:

  • Remove the old, damaged sideart
  • Order replacement joystick (it works now, but it’s worn)
  • Repaint the cabinet and replace the t-molding (white trim around the cabinet)
  • Replace the joystick, buttons, stickers, and control panel overlay
  • Replace the sideart
  • Invite friends over to play!

Selling an arcade cabinet…hard to let go

cathect:
tr.v. ca·thect·ed, ca·thect·ing, ca·thects
To invest emotional energy in (a person, object or idea).

I’ve never really liked selling my videogame stuff, no matter how little I used it. Eventually, however, I learned to be a bit more budget-minded with my hobby, and I was forced to start unloading some of my collection.

Lately, I’ve been getting into arcade collecting and restoring. While it’s not the world’s most expensive hobby, it costs just enough that you’ll eventually have to start flipping some of the cabinets you pick up in order to get new ones. Today, I was able to get over my emotional attachment to the first cabinet I ever purchased: a Bubble Bobble game in what I thought was a repainted Pac-Man cabinet. The game is one of my all-time favorites, and a hit with the wife. I picked up the cabinet initially because I was going to gut it, and use it to make a dedicated Pac-Man. Upon closer inspection, however, I found that the cabinet was an old Rally-X cabinet, and not a Pac-Man cab. For me, a bit of a purist, it wasn’t going to cut it. I stripped the paint off the cabinet, repainted it, and made it a pretty nice Bubble Bobble cabinet. Upon sharing this with the BYOAC community, I found that the Bubble Bobble game was in high demand. While I was a fan, I felt that maybe I should put the cab into the hands of a true enthusiast.

So just after work I met with the man who will be picking my cabinet up Saturday morning. He played the machine, admired it’s clean and solid condition, and offered me $300. While I could get more for it, he seemed so happy to have found the game he’d been looking to own since the mid-80’s. I did turn a $100 profit on the deal, but it was the exchange itself that was so satisfying. I’m sad to see it go, but I guess it’s part of the hobby.

The extra money is going to go into restoring a Donkey Kong cabinet that I picked up locally. I’ll post pictures of that process as it comes along.

Pardon the dust…

I’m looking into making some changes with the blog. Some will be noticeable, some won’t be. The changes are to help me achieve a few goals, including:

  • Making the site profitable
  • Establishing a better foothold in the industry
  • Score more content and interviews from developers and publishers
  • Prepare the site to handle game giveaways and contests
  • Improve navigation for the readers
  • Possibly starting the Stupid Gamer podcast

There are other things I hope to achieve with the changes I’m making. If you run into errors or anything weird, just know that it’s all part of my attempts to improve the site. Also, look for the possibility for this blog to maybe expand into a full-blown game coverage site someday. That, however, is still further down the line…

Edit: I’ve got things looking dandy in Firefox, but IE is a whole different beast. The site is looking like garbage in IE…ridiculous.

My 360 is starting to limp

I’ve already shipped two Xbox 360s to Microsoft for repair (which actually were replaced with refurbished models), and now my third system is starting to show signs that it’s going to fail. Last night, in less than an hour of play time, my Xbox 360 froze up four times. Lately the 360 has been freezing on me and it’s been pretty annoying. I haven’t seen any red rings yet, but I get the feeling that they can’t be more than a few weeks away.

So what’s the deal here? Is Microsoft going to keep denying that there are serious quality control issues with Xbox 360 production? How long before the class-action suits start appearing?

I love my Xbox 360, and I play it more than any other console right now, but Microsoft needs to address these issues soon or I’ll be hard pressed to support them in the next generation early on. Until last generation, I had never had a console fail on me (which coincidentally was an Xbox), and now I’m looking at a third console death in less than two years.

Fix your faulty console, Microsoft. And quit charging us each time one of your faulty boxes breaks down.

Seanbaby is a complete idiot

Typically I don’t like to call anybody out, especially a fellow industry member, but I have to share my complete and total disdain for 1up/EGM’s Seanbaby. I know the guy has been around for years and he has his fans and followers, but it seems like every article, podcast, or feature he is a part of is a degenerate piece of trash. This week’s EGM Live featured Seanbaby as their “special guest” and it immediately became a worthless production. Instead of the thoughtful and insightful opinions on current news and events in the gaming industry that we normally get, we ended up with a bunch of fu**s, sh**s, sex jokes, obnoxious noises, and sophomoric humor.

I know that videogames aren’t the most serious subject, but I still think the industry deserves a level of respect that Seanbaby is incapable of having. All throughout the podcast you could almost see the other EGM editors cringing as they forced laughter to avoid awkward silence or to bite back offensive reactions. On my end, I simply waited and hoped he’d bail out sometime soon so the show could go on without him. The frequent use of profanity, offensive words (like retard), and innuendo only highlights the guy’s complete lack of clever thought. The act grew old after a few EGM articles, it’s time that Ziff Davis (or whoever owns EGM/1up these days) realizes that and cuts the guy loose.

Seanbaby.jpg
Seanbaby: The face behind the irritation.

Basically he’s the equivalent of that kid in the 2nd grade that learned four letter words first. Sure, the first time you see or hear the guy’s shtick it’s mildly humorous; but when it’s repeated and recycled well beyond its novelty stage, it grates on the nerves. He’s not funny, not cute, and ultimately not worth paying attention to.

Awesome – Video Games Live is coming to my city

On March 28th and 29th Video Games Live will be playing shows here in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ve never gone, but this year I might have to. The venue is the same place I went to when Jerry Seinfeld performed, and it’s a really nice place to see a performance. It’s too bad that Koji Kondo will only be performing at one of their shows on the tour, but I’m sure the show will still be plenty of fun.
I’m looking forward to it!