Bill Loguidice's blog

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New Reviews for My Xbox Book

The reviews are starting to roll in for our new book, My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE. You can see a few of the reader reviews from the Amazon link, listen to the Lautering Bytes Podcast segment discussing it (starting at ~18:12 mark; great comment: "...the manual you wish came with your Xbox..."), and a Game Vortex review. Of course, we can't forget Matt Barton's mention of the book at the end of Matt Chat 137, which covered Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. As more reviews come in, we'll of course keep you posted.

My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE is available from booksellers everywhere in both paperback and ebook formats. If you have a copy and posted a review, let us know, or just sound off in the comments below. All feedback is much appreciated. Enjoy!

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Dragon's Lair: The Sexiest Videogames of All Time (01)

In Armchair Arcade's fun new series, we ask the provocative question, "What makes a particular videogame sexy?" Each week's feature will explore some of the many intriguing approaches game designers have taken over the years to make their games more sensual, not just with increasingly detailed graphics, but also with romantic and seductive gameplay. While some of the games we'll be looking at are unabashedly low brow, displaying their raw sexuality like a badge of honor, other games in contrast are remarkably subtle, often downplaying their suggestive themes.

This week's entry, written by Bill Loguidice, is on the oft-ported arcade classic, Dragon's Lair. Enjoy, help spread the word, and of course, let us know what you think:

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The Sexiest Videogames of All Time: An Armchair Arcade Feature Series

Despite a certain film critic endlessly proclaiming otherwise, videogames are art. Unfortunately, like any other art form, certain videogame creations are nothing more than quick cash-ins that aspire to nothing more than to pander to the masses. Sadly, this artistic failing too often also extends to videogame critique, with deep analyses and provocative topics side-stepped or avoided completely.

Luckily, because of the unique make-up of Armchair Arcade, we're under no such critical artistic restrictions. As a result, we are free to explore some of these more provocative topics in a way that's both thoughtful and fun, and do so over an extended time period.

In one of the first such series we'll tackle, we ask the simple, yet provocative question, "What makes a particular videogame sexy?" In this ongoing series, we'll explore the many intriguing approaches game designers have taken over the years to make their games more sensual, not just with increasingly detailed graphics, but also with romantic and seductive gameplay. While some of the games we'll be looking at are unabashedly low brow, displaying their raw sexuality like a badge of honor, other games in contrast are remarkably subtle, often downplaying their suggestive themes. This is of course the type of nuance you'd expect to find in art.

Your series authors will be me, Matt Barton, Chris Kennedy, Al Vallely, and Christina Loguidice. Each of these individuals will be responsible for crafting their own entries on a particular game, giving each new piece a fresh perspective on the original question. Armchair Arcade will be rolling out the articles in this series at a rate of approximately one per week, starting with my entry on Dragon's Lair. The rest of the dozens of entries will be revealed over time, like an appropriately slow seduction.

Look for the first entry in The Sexiest Videogames of All Time soon. Read them, enjoy them (or not), but, perhaps most important of all, let's hear those comments and help us spread the word!

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The Last of the Power Personal Computers?

My, how plans change. I was all but dead set on waiting for Windows 8 to come out and then getting a new kick butt PC, but the more the Windows 8 story has publicly evolved, the more I realize that that's probably not a direction I want to go. This led me to go on a search for a new PC now, one that I've decided may end up lasting me until it no longer makes sense to have the type of PC we traditionally consider "killer." Let me explain why I think this is an inevitability...

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Karateka to return on Xbox 360 and PS3 with Jordan Mechner at the helm!

Karateka (Apple II)Karateka (Apple II)To the delight of 8-bit videogame fans everywhere, the legendary Karateka will soon be getting a reboot courtesy of original developer, Jordan Mechner, for the downloadable game services on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. As we know with the long history of Archon remakes, it can take many years and iterations to finally hit on a proper remake formula, but at least Mechner is saying all the right things in interviews, trying to take direct inspiration from the original. After all, although Karateka is a type of playable martial arts film, it kept its gameplay simple and approachable, something fighting games have all but forgotten since the rise of Street Fighter II, and the related over-the-top, combo-heavy, and sometimes button mashing approaches to hand-to-hand combat.

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New Book is Out! - My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE

After announcing only yesterday that the Amazon look inside feature for our new book, My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE, was active, it turns out that it is now available for purchase and immediate delivery almost everywhere in both paperback and ebook versions, though not every bookseller will have both versions available just yet. For instance, Amazon has the paperback version available right now, but not the Kindle version, while Barnes & Noble has the Nook version available, but not the paperback. The publisher has sent various press and review copies out, so I'll keep you informed as new reviews and coverage rolls in. Besides using the look inside features of sites like Amazon and Safari Books Online, you can go straight to the publisher's Website, Que, and download Chapter 2 in PDF format for free (it also includes the Index; just select the sample from the "Sample Content & TOC" tab), which is the networking chapter. While that's not necessarily the most exciting topic in the book, it will give you a great idea of how visual and helpful the whole book really is, with multiple color images, callouts and diagramming on practically every page.

If you or someone you know thinks that the wealth of features available in the Xbox 360 are a bit overwhelming, this is the book that will finally bring it all together and have it make sense, and, unlike the other Xbox 360 books already out on the subject, this one covers all the latest features, including the new dashboard, so what you see in the book is what you'll see on your console and TV. Here's a high-level overview of the main chapter titles in the book:

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Look inside now active for "My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE"!

Our latest book, My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE will soon be available at booksellers everywhere in both print and ebook formats. While you can of course pre-order now for delivery in a few weeks, Amazon has enabled their nifty "Click to LOOK INSIDE!" feature, so you can get a taste of the book's content right now. Let me know what you think!

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Bill's Collection Photos - 02 - Cartels & Cutthroats (1981, SSI), Micro Illustrator (1984, Commodore), and Deathkeep (1996, SSI)

For this second entry in the ongoing series, I've taken photos of Cartels & Cutthroat$ for the Apple II, Micro Illustrator for the Commodore Plus/4 and C-64, and Deathkeep (AD&D) for the 3DO. Enjoy:

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Bill's Collection Photos - 01 - Tomy Mini Arcade (Daring Driver), Ultima 2012 Collector's Guide, Gorf (C-64)

BillBillWhile casual photos and videos are fine for posting something quickly, sometimes readers want a bit more quality. While I'm not going to put a lot of effort into these per se, i.e., you won't mistake these for studio quality, I will take a bit more care in taking and posting anything in this particular series. For this first entry, I focused on three of the most recent additions to my collection, Tomy's electro-mechanical tabletop, Daring Driver, Commodore's Gorf for the C-64, and the 2012 Ultima Collector's Guide. Enjoy:

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Some Truly Miscellaneous Collection Photos (PC, MPT-03, C-64, Atari 2600, Mac, Vic-20, Stonekeep)

Woot! recently had a deal on an 8GB Eye-Fi memory card that I took advantage of for the express purpose of no-brainer automatic photo uploads from my digital camera directly to my Flickr account, which I thought would provide a smoother and higher quality workflow than using my iPhone 4. As such, I set the Eye-Fi up last night and took some very casual photos. While the transfer process really didn't go well (I'll need to experiment a bit more), transferring only two photos correctly and requiring me to manually transfer the rest, the end result was still some photos of recent items in my collection that also happened to be in my staging area, which I decided to share below with some minor commentary so the initial work wouldn't be totally wasted. Enjoy:

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