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October 29th, 2009

There was a weekly winner from last week who deserved the chance to be interviewed as the featured gamer of the week just like all of the previous winners. Therefore, without further ado, I present ffxi_isamu's interview :-)

1. What was your first video game system and game? my dad brought home an NES when I was 2 years old and put the controller in my hand. people don't believe that I remember that at such an early age, but I do.

2. What do you think defines you as a gamer? I live & breathe video games truthfully.. I'm always checking up on gaming news, even if it's not a game I'm all that interested in. I want to learn everything about gaming.. I'm even employed in the industry. I'm always trying new games and constantly finding something that I love and enjoy playing through.

3. What was the video game and system that really defined how you play games today? probably the first Playstation. I definitely appreciate the Xbox, but with the Playstation (and the two consoles that followed) I really dived into gaming and started to consider it a passion.

4. Who is your favorite video game character and why? Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series. he's one of the most complex characters to ever exist in a video game, in my opinion. and he's just bad ass.

5. Describe your dream entertainment center. What type of TV and chairs would it have? What video game systems? Be creative! I already have almost everything I need for my dream entertainment center, it's just not hooked up >.< I'm a simple guy.. I'd keep my LG HD TV, my Onkyo sound system that is still sitting in the box, my Playstation 3, Xbox 360, & a Wii, and just a comfortable couch or chair.

October 28th, 2009

I know I let this go down to the wire before posting it, but there weren't very many votes to help me decide and the finalists all had amazing entries. In the end, though, the entry I kept coming back to over and over again as my absolute favorite -- and the entry that was tied for first when the poll closed, for what it was worth -- was Joie-de-vivre's.

Congratulations, joie_de_vivre, you have won a new 46" Samsung TV!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed this community as much as I have enjoyed running it. Thank you to everyone who participated, and a final congratulations to all of the winners!
As a final question for discussion, I think that this one really fits the bill: what are the elements that make a video game "perfect" for you? What makes you want to play a video game to pieces and then start all over to replay it again?

I'll be making a post later tonight about the winner of the competition. Thank you to everyone who's put in their opinion about which entry they like the best. I'm very interested in what all of you think :-)

October 27th, 2009

Today is a Tuesday, which means a fun fact about your Xbox 360. Did you know that you can give your Xbox 360 its own blog? It's true!

If you visit 360voice.com, you can create a blog for your Xbox that will let your system update about what it's been up to. If you leave your Xbox alone for long enough, you might even find some entries about how much you've been neglecting your beloved system... ;-)

It's a pretty cool twist on gaming. You should check it out!

October 26th, 2009

Drumroll please

I've spent hours upon hours today reading through the contest entries. There are so many amazing entries that it was devestating to be only allowed to select five. I would encourage each and every one of you to go back and take a look through the entries to the competition.

Thank you very much to everyone who participated. I have truly enjoyed getting to know this piece of all of you, and I appreciate all of the stories you have shared with me and with the community. You are all a group of amazing people.

Before I continue, I'd like to remind you guys one more time to please keep in mind that the final winner will be decided at my discretion. I would like to see everyone stay positive here. I encourage positive comments for those who are named as finalists. Even better yet, if you find an entry that you loved that didn't make it go ahead and highlight it here! Just, please, no fighting and no campaigning or using sock puppets to vote.

Now, it is my distinct pleasure to announce the finalists for the contest for the Samsung TV. Click on the usernames to be taken to the entries.

The finalists are...

Hi everyone! I would like to take a moment to post here and congratulate ffxi_isamu for winning the final weekly contest with her entry here!

I'm still sorting thorough the contest entries. I will have a list of the five finalists up tonight. I am going to put up a poll to see who the community likes the best, but please note that the winner will be at my discretion alone. That means that campaigning for your friends to join the community and vote isn't going to get you very far, nor will using alternate accounts to vote for yourself. Just something to keep in mind :)

October 23rd, 2009

Well, it seems as though this community is beginning to wind down. There are sill some prizes to be won, though! There's this week's contest, where you've been challenged to share your creative idea for a new video game. There's also the "How I Fell In Love With VIdeo Games" contest, where you've been asked to tell us your own version of a love story. I encourage anyone who is interested in either of those contests to go enter right now; time is running out for both competitions.

I'm going to take this chance to outline how next week is going to work. At the beginning of the week, instead of putting out a new contest I'm going to post some finalists from the big contest in a poll. The next two days should proceed more or less as they have for the last several weeks while you guys vote on your favorite entry. This community will end with the announcement of the contest winner.

I'd like to encourage you all to keep an eye on the Microsoft Hulu channel that I introduced a few weeks ago, as there will continue to be cool content posted there in the future. I'd also like to remind everyone of my invitation to create Xbox 360 related userpics and extend that invitation to banners and layouts if you're so inclined. I'll post anything you guys comment with for everyone to share!

Finally, I'd like to ask you guys for some feedback:

What was your favorite part of the community?

The weekly contests (Monday)
The tips and tricks (Tuesday)
The weekly discussions (Wednesday)
The featured gamer interview (Thursday)
The "fun" extras (Friday)
The contest for the big screen TV

How long were you a member of the community?

From the very beginning!
A week or two into things
For the last month or so
With in the last couple of weeks
This week or thereabouts

How were you directed here?

A friend
An interest search
The community was spotlighted
The community was mentioned in News
Something else

That's all I have for today. If I can get my hands on this week's gamer interview I will be making another special update this weekend. Same thing for if I can get any fun screenshots or previews for upcoming games!

October 22nd, 2009

I am sad to say that for the second week in a row we've had a bit of a delay getting our Thursday interview handed in on time. Never fear though -- there are a ton of you in the community, so there are plenty of interviews to be had!

Way back the first week when I posted the interview questions, I asked anyone who wasn't eligible to win a prize to post their answers. Now as we near the end of the community, I would like to invite everyone to post their answers to the interview questions in comments. Some of you have been getting to know one another in comments, so I'd like to have one more way of facilitating this.

For reference, here are the five interview questions!

1. What was your first video game system and game?
2. What do you think defines you as a gamer?
3. What was the video game and system that really defined how you play games today?
4. Who is your favorite video game character and why?
5. Describe your dream entertainment center. What type of TV and chairs would it have? What video game systems? Be creative!

October 21st, 2009

I thought long and hard about a discussion topic for this week, and I finally stumbled on the perfect one.

I've always wondered: how do you decide whether to keep or sell back a video game? What causes a game to become a 'keeper' in your collection? What prompts you to think "I'll never want to play that again?" How big is your video game collection -- and does that have some sort of a bearing on whether you decide to sell back a game or not? Do you regularly cull your video game collection of games you're not playing, or do you decide on a game-to-game basis which ones to get rid of?

I've always been curious about this! I don't think I've ever sold off a video game, so please feel free to tell me all about the experience.

October 20th, 2009

Have you been having trouble with slow Xbox 360 performance? It's possible that if you've been downloading a lot of stuff from the internet (game demos, for example) your cache may need to be cleared. Clearing your cache can help with a lot of performance issues, including speed and funky weird game glitches. It'll also free up some space on your hard drive, which can be a bit of a bous. The big catch is that it MIGHT also get rid of any patches you've downloaded for games (you'd have to redownload them again).

If you'd like to go this route, here's what you need to do:

*Hit the Xbox button and navigate to the System menu
*Select memory
*Select HD
*Select the option to clear the cache

You should see a message if you've done this correctly. It may not fix everything, but it can certainly resolve some problems. :-)
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