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How Politicians Could Attract The Nerd Vote November 22, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Before we start this article I cannot and will not stress enough in this opening paragraph that this is NOT meant to be a political article. While it does talk about politics, it is ONLY to address an unfulfilled need in the political process. We will not address ANY current political events or reference individual politicians, voters or voting groups. This is just meant to be a fun article by a gamer that also happens to be a voter. If you feel there’s something I’m missing from this list post a comment below but be aware we will not accept any political endorsements in this article and comments of political endorsements will be deleted.

A Presidential Election season is upon us and voters in the US will be going to the polls next year to elect their next President. Among those voters will be gamers of every type imaginable. While nearly every other interest group gets courted by political candidates, to the best of my knowledge people who play games have never been directly courted by a major candidate despite the fact nearly everyone under the age of thirty-five plays video games and that truth has been grossly ignored by those seeking votes for over the last twenty years. If you ask me, gamers are one of the last great untapped majorities out there. Why is that?

I believe most politicians have ignored us because they either lack personal experience with games or they believe the disinformation the mainstream media has been slandering us over for the past thirty years. How can the world’s perspective politicians engage this untapped group? Let’s be honest, plenty of nerds vote and we should have our views taken seriously on the world stage. The US Army actively attempts to recruit us into the military by buying advertising space on video game websites and setting up recruiting posts at gaming conventions. Why don’t politicians try to seek our votes?

I have a great solution on how to get gamers involved in the political process and put politicians interested in courting our votes in a situation they can be comfortable. Why don’t we turn this upside down and have some fun with it? We could create a political convention in the same way we host Comic or Gamer Conventions. (Ed. Note – I know there are already political conventions but they’re meant for political party functions and they’re officially boring.). At those conventions, we could have round table discussions with each attending candidate similar to how we’d host a Q&A for a celebrity. The moderator is welcome to ask questions about the candidates’ life experiences, ask them if they had ever played video games, read comic books or watched super hero movies and get them to mention any specific favorites they had.

The most important part of any political Q&A panel should be a round table debate. Political debates have proven themselves to be useful to the voting process in the past and we could have a little fun with it. At its best, a debate provides potential voters exposure to the candidates views. Many of the perspective candidates who attend may not have earned a elected position yet so we would have to ask them hypothetical questions. This is where we could have a lot of fun. Rather than ask candidates vague questions about things like the how they felt about the hot button topic of the day (that they would probably not be able to impact in any way even if they do get elected) we should be able to ask their opinions about laws that already exist…in fiction.

I’m not kidding, fictional universes like you’d find in Film, Television, Comic Books and Video Games exist in their own split reality with their own rules and laws. Even science-fiction and fantasy universes, no matter what kind of far out magic or technology their fictional society develops, frequently have sets of unique laws their characters must obey

Here’s an example of some fake propositions or laws that have shown up in fiction over the last few years. I know most of these haven’t actually been created in video games but many of these stories are so iconic their plots have been adapted to video games (such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 or Watchmen: The End is Neigh). If the candidate asks us to define the law or cite its source we will provide it but at a penalty. Perhaps they could be deducted a point. Oh yes, we’re gamers, what’s wrong with keeping a score?

  • Prop 10 – (South Park) – Ban all commercial franchises (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc) from operating in a city limits. Essentially, all businesses must be mom-n-pop.
  • Prop 24 – (The Simpsons)Cease all immigration and deport all persons not currently with a valid citizenship.
  • Prop Infinity – (Futurama)Allow Human-Robot Marriage.
  • 28th Amendment AKA Murphy’s Law(The Tick) – To protect themselves from personal reprisal for their actions, vigilantes who invoke this amendment may testify in open court or provide factual witness testimony without having to provide identifying information about themselves.
  • 61st Amendment – (Demolition Man) – Remove the requirement for presidential candidates to have been born in the US.
  • 67th Amendment – (Futurama) Refusal to testify on the grounds your organs will be pummeled.
  • Treaty of Algeron – (Star Trek: The Next Generation) – Established the Federation/Romulan Neutral Zone and stipulated the Federation cannot research or investigate cloaking technology.
  • Superhero Registration Act(Marvel’s Civil War) – All super-powered individuals must reveal their secret identity to the government and receive government training for their powers. Failure to do so will officially brand them a terrorist.
  • Sakovia Accords (Captain America: Civil War) – Film version of the Superhero Registration Act. The Avengers can only operate after being given the explicit permission of a multinational United Nations review panel. They are also responsible for any damage or casualties they cause when saving the earth. Failure to comply with these accords is punishable by imprisonment at a maximum security facility.
  • The Masquerade – (World of Darkness) – Under no circumstances must humans learn of the existence of vampires. Intent to reveal their existence is punishable by death. Turning a human into a vampire without permission by the region’s prince is also punishable by death.
  • Keene Act(Watchmen) – All vigilantism is outlawed unless the vigilante has previously received special exception from the government.

One could make a case that Star Trek‘s Prime Directive should be included on this list. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Starfleet General Order One (AKA the Prime Directive) states no Federation Officer can interfere in the natural process of a pre-warp civilization. They also can not interfere in any culture’s internal matters (like if there’s a Civil War) even if they have a future stake in the outcome of those matters. That is more of a military/naval rule (not a law) and Federation citizens are not legally bound by it so I’m hesitant to include that on this list.

I can’t stress this enough it should not matter how the candidate addresses their views on each of these fictional laws. What matters is if you, the individual voter, agree or disagree with how they choose to answer them. Place your votes accordingly.

Do you think we came up with a good set of fake laws? Do you know some fake laws you think we missed that should have been included? Post a comment below with them!

Half-Life: Alyx Announced November 22, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Well, here it is. The next Half-Life game has been announced, and its coming exclusively to VR.

Half-Life: Alyx takes place between the events of Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2. You play the game as Alyx, Gordon’s partner in the Half-Life 2 games. From the looks of it, we’re going to be privy to a lot of tidbits about the Half-Life universe we had not seen before…and after waiting over a decade since the last official Half-Life game was released…this could not have been more welcome news.

Half-Life: Alyx is coming to most PC VR headsets including Valve Index, Oculus and Vive. God I hope this is coming to the PSVR at some point, I really don’t want to have to build a new PC with a VR headset…

Half-Life: Alyx is coming to PC VR headsets in March 2020. It will be free to owners of the Valve Index.

Shenmue III Unboxing November 21, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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A decade ago when I first started this website I never thought I would be typing these words, but here they are: I hold in my hands a copy of Shenmue III for PS4. We’re going to unbox it along with the GameStop exclusive preorder bonus.

Shenmue III is out now for PC and PS4.

Shenmue III Out Now Trailer November 19, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It has been nearly twenty years since the last time we have played a new chapter in the epic story of Shenmue. Now, thanks to the funding of fans and major publishers, the third entry in the franchise has finally been released. Here’s a special video to celebrate the game’s launch!

We will have an unboxing video up later.

Shenmue III is out now for the PC and PS4.

iOS and iPadOS 13.2.3 Released November 18, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Got some quick news for you guys tonight. A very minor system software update has just been released for iPhones and iPads. The new update, version 13.2.3, contains non-descript bug fixes and optimizations. It should weigh in at around 80MB.

You can download the update right now using your device’s software update feature or iTunes. The update does not seem to have been added to Apple TV.

Halo: Reach PC Release Date November 14, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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At today’s Inside Xbox, Microsoft finally announced the release date of the game most PC players have waited nearly a decade to play, Halo: Reach. Oh and it’s also coming to the Xbox One as paid DLC for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Here’s the trailer.

The game will support native 4K at 60FPS on PC. You’ll probably need to own an Xbox One X to get performance like that out of the console version.

Halo Reach is coming to PC and Xbox One on December 3rd, 2019. It is out now for the Xbox 360.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Be A Jedi Trailer November 14, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Tonight, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will he released across multiple platforms and we can’t wait! Let’s take a look at the last trailer for the game as we wait for the clock to strike midnight!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches at Midnight for Xbox One, PC and PS4.

How to Get the Most Out of the Poke Ball Plus November 12, 2019

Posted by Maniac in How To, Site Videos.
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We are less than a week away from the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch and we decided the time was finally right to do a new how-to video about Pokémon.

The Poké Ball Plus released almost a year ago and is the exclusive controller option for Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. However, most users may not be aware of all the functionality the controller actually has. Here’s a quick rundown of some features you can use right now.

Not enough for you? From what we’ve been told, the Poké Ball Plus will be compatible with Pokémon Sword and Shield when those games launch.

Pokémon Go is out now for Android and iOS devices. Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu are out now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Bawls Cherry Cola Review November 11, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Maniac’s Kitchen, Reviews, Site Videos.
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It has been no secret to most long term visitors to this site we are super fans of Bawls high-caffeinated soda. It has been a staple of LAN parties everywhere for nearly two decades. Earlier this year, the company announced a new flavor was being added to their soda lineup, Cherry Cola.

Bawls was nice enough to provide us a case of their soda for this review. What do you say we try it? Just be aware we are going to say Bawls a lot…

Stay tuned we might be doing more game streaming this week with our supply of Bawls at our side!

Pokemon Sword and Shield – Adventure Trailer November 8, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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We are a week away from the release of the first generational Pokemon games made specifically for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Here’s the game’s newest trailer. Not everything in the trailer is gameplay footage but I think it succeeds in presenting the games’ world. Take a look and see for yourselves.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are coming November 15th, 2019 exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.