by Matthew Hawkins

Jesus Christ, what a past couple of days.

First off, going to have to keep it short and sweet; it’s past 2 in the morning and I have work in just a few hours (more on that in just a bit), plus I’ve been running off fumes for a good while now anyway. Translation: my New York Asian Film Festival 2010 wrap-up must still wait (lol) and my originally planned link dump of random game news is on-hold (which sucks, cuz I honestly have a decent number of wacky stuff that most of the major and even niche sites have managed to miss).

I’m also way late on a bunch of stuff for other folks, some of whom pay for my services; needless to say, I feel like shit about that. Oh, and my big foray into Tumblr that I’ve been telling folks about (and which I might have mentioned here before, I forget)? Don’t ask. So real quick, random highlights from the past few days, before I forget…

- Katie and I went on a cute little double date with Colleen and Travis late last week. Highlight was easily watching Colleen playing Pokemon Snap and Travis as a back seat Pokeman photographer. I also borrowed a bunch of mysterious, all unlabeled VHS tapes from Japan, which Colleen became in possession of from the previous tenant of her apartment. Considering the dude also left behind copious amounts of La Blue Girl, I’m assuming its hentai. Which is cool with me!

- Finally figured out how to get my PSP running custom firmware, 5.00 M33-6 to be exact, to run current software, basically anything that operates under 6.20. Translation: I’ve FINALLY been able to play the full version of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Persona 3 Portable! Plus my copy of Ikki Tousen: Xross Impact is at long last on the way (along with my Momohime statue, which I also just ordered).

- Caught the final two shows in The Brick‘s Game Play festival, Grand Theft Ovi and Modal Kombat to be exact. As with those other shows I caught the week prior, everyone will have to wait for my write-up over at GSW to hear the verdict, for a new column that’s all about video game performance art. Which at this point might finally appear in about 2 years. It’s funny cuz it’s true!

- The Babycastles meetings have been going well. Not sure if I spoke of this earlier, but for the past couple of weeks, a bunch of folks involved in the local game scene have been converging on the Silent Barn rooftop to talk about… stuff. Specifically, how to create a more arcade friendly Big Apple (though in my mind, much of it hinges on the very definition of what an arcade is in this day and age). Long story short, the fruits of such conjecture will be apparent to many quite soon!

- Speaking of, my ears are still ringing from Joe and Mike‘s stellar debut (both performed under the name “Isfet”, which is Salina’s handle on the forum, among other places) at Silent Barn earlier this evening. As promised, a large wall of noise was erected, and it was good. Brought my camera to mark the occasion, but they played in the pitch dark, though I still tried to snap pics. Have yet to check them out, but am pretty sure you can at least make out Joe’s short-shorts and his shiny blue Mega Man sneakers.

Another highlight was Katie becoming acquainted with the splendors of Sumotori Dreams, along with me and Mooney’s in-game antics, specifically how it provided gut busting laughs for a bunch of 40 year old punks (along with ourselves of course). It’s part of Zen Albatross’s Babycastles: A Duel! exhibition that’s still running till next Wednesday.

- Oh, so I finally quit my part-time government goon gig, aka the census job. It was a nice run, but the novelty had worn out quite a while ago. Perhaps I can finally talk my experiences in a tad bit more degree of depth? Well I will say that it’s fitting how, for a job in which on day one a guy pulls a knife onto me (though he wasn’t super serious about it), I get electrocuted on my final day. Wasn’t a super strong shock, but quite stinging nonetheless!

- On that note, and as some might have heard, new full-time job get. It’s a curious combination of conceptualizing and play-testing video game controllers, creating and editing copy, plus photography. Details will come in due time, though it’s worth noting right up front that the job is located in Williamsburg. If that’s not irony, I don’t know what is. Thankfully, I’m the closest thing to a hipster the entire company has, plus the building is sufficiently far enough away from Bedford Ave.

- Back to hanging with buds, in addition to hanging with Phil Fish next week (more on that in just a sec), and possibly Mathew Kumar the following week, Heather is coming to town in a few as well, to perform at the UCB before some big-wigs. I’m assuming Lorne Michaels will be in attendance? But yeah, super psyched, been way too long, though I honestly hope I haven’t passed out by then! Never been so happy to pass on going to Otakon ever.

- But the real big news, which is the main reason why Iíve been so insanely busy over the past week, is this…

… Was gonna make the official announcement earlier today, but got all wrapped up at the new job, enough for Adam to beat me to the punch! Was going to be my first post for the Attract Mode blog and everything. But yeah, it’s gonna be a magical night indeed. Where else can one find:

A. finely tuned, three dimensional (and Canadian) game design, along with the creator himself
B. perhaps the cutest animal rights game ever
C. a Japanese-style dating sim, except all the girls are cripples
D. without a doubt one of the best in the biz when it comes to chiptunes
E. another chance for the public to play the world’s finest (and maybe only) mine cart racing/sandwich making/dating sim ever
F. New York City’s first taste of the hotness that Los Angeles, aka two artxgames, has been enjoying for years now
G. all of the above

The answer of course is G, and it’s all under one roof (actually the basement, which is at least nice and cool, a stark contrast to the shit weather we’ve been getting here, though it’s also somewhat smoky), and for ONE NIGHT ONLY. Not only that, but for those who have been wondering how in the hell they can get their hands on the latest zine… provided both Jim Hanley’s and Forbidden Planet is totally sold… they can pick up a copy at the official “FORT90 pawn shop”!

… Those are first print editions of THREE btw. Meaning they’re chock full of the wonderful typos and bad grammar I’ve become (party) famous for! And for those who wish to stop by (and you totally should), don’t forget to RSVP.

And special thanks needs to go out to Dave for the absolutely gorgeous flyer!

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