Tales from the Borderlands and the Drafthouse Deliver a Social Gaming Experience without Fragging

Categories: Gaming

Courtesy of Telltale Games

The premiere of Telltale Games' and Dalla-based Gearbox Software's Tales from the Borderlands showcased something unique, even in this modern age of lifelike graphics, complex gameplay and being called a "fag noob" by a 11-year-old New Zealander who just fragged your virtual ass.

The new graphic adventure showcased Tuesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson is well written, smart and damn funny, and that's just the first episode. (Audience members got to watch and make suggestions as players maneuvered onscreen through the first of a planned five episodes of the game.)

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The New Borderlands Game Will Get a Premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse

Categories: Gaming

Video games are so powerful these days that they are practically on par with movies in terms of story, graphics and production. That might sound like a step forward until you realize that means that Adam Sandler may one day get to make his own game.

There's actually been a movement away from stories in games as the big studios just deliver more and more virtual killing machines that people can play until their eyes melt. Telltale Studios, however, has tried to make story the reason you play their games and they teamed up with local Gearbox Studios to make a graphic adventure version of their popular Borderlands game to deliver a brand new story called Tales from the Borderlands.

It's so close to a movie that it's even getting a flashy, red carpet premiere this Monday at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson.

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QuakeCon Returns to Dallas Thursday with Exclusive Sneak Peek of Doom 4

Categories: Gaming

Weapons twice the size of this one will be stuck in your face throughout this week's QuakeCon. No, you won't die but your feelings might get hurt if you're a noob.

Not everyone knows that Dallas is one of the hub cities that shaped modern video gaming. Pong started in a tavern in the heart of Silicon Valley; Pac-Man was put together by a team of programmers in another country; but here in Dallas, we gave gaming something it didn't even know it needed at the time: blood, beasts and balls.

Outfits like id Software brought some good, old fashioned digital violence to video games just as the industry reached adulthood, with the classic games Doom, Wolfenstein-3D and Quake. These bloody shooters not only gave the industry a harder, deeper edge than it thought it could go but it also ushered in a new wave of multiplayer interaction and competition that inspired QuakeCon, one of the longest running video game conventions in the industry.

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Help A-Kon Smash a World Record By Dressing as a Video Game Character Saturday

Categories: Gaming

Courtesy of A-Kon
You know you've got one of these costumes hiding in your closet or attic somewhere that's only useful for Halloween, Mardi Gras and coming out to your parents as a cosplayer. Why not put them to good use?

For some reason, this seems to be the week that everyone in Dallas/Fort Worth has chosen to try and earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. We just found out that the Texas Pinball Festival officially won their spot for the "Most People Playing Pinball Simultaneously" and A-Kon announces that they will try to set their own world record at their convention this Saturday. We're sure there's a guy in Richardson who is doing something unspeakable with canned meat products in order to achieve a world record of his own.

This time, the annual anime gathering wants to break the world record for having the most people dressed as video game characters in one place at one time. They seem to have momentum on their side. They are the longest running anime convention in North America and regularly attract crowds that reach into the thousands, most of whom are dressed up as their favorite pixelated brawlers, shooters and magic gatherers.

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It's Official, The Texas Pinball Festival Set a Guinness World Record in April

Categories: Gaming

Photo by Danny Gallagher

The Texas Pinball Festival's attempt to take the Guinness world record for the most people playing pinball at the same time was not easy to pull off . Sure, it's just a group of 200-plus guys and gals standing around new and vintage pinball machines playing as though they were standing in the mini-arcade at the local movie theater from their youth. Guinness World Records, however, is meticulous about confirming even the most mundane details of the most ridiculous achievements. The process involves a lot of paperwork, accountants and (gulp) lawyers. 'Nuff said.

Texas' pinball-heads managed to overcome such extreme OCD-ness in order to win back the glory and pride of America's mighty coin-op arcades by putting the Lone Star State's pinball machines in the record books.

The folks at Guinness World Records officially confirmed that last April's attempt in Frisco to set a new record for "Most People Playing Pinball Simultaneously" at the Texas Pinball Festival is no longer an attempt. It's an actual world record. The statisticians at Guinness confirmed that the 272 people who participated at the Festival on March 28th (including yours truly) are now part of an official world record.

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Screwed by Motherf#$*ing Sorcerers at Alamo Drafthouse's Cards Against Humanity Tournament

Categories: Gaming

Danny Gallagher
Sam and Marion react to a round of Cards Against Humanity (I don't remember the question but the answer was definitely "coat hanger abortions") as part of Glass Half Full's weekly CAH at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Usually when awkward phrases like "some sort of Asian," "Dem titties" and "coat hanger abortions" sneak their way into dinner conversations, it's a good time to wrap up dessert and start making frantic hand signals to your waiter to bring the check.

In the insanely popular card party game Cards Against Humanity, those aren't fighting words. They're winners ... at least if you play your cards right. The Alamo Drafthouse's alcohol delivery wing Glass Half Full started a month-long CAH tournament this month every Wednesday as part of their ongoing effort to bring DFW's game lovers something to do outside of their friends' dining rooms and basements. Being a longtime lover of gaming and particularly this unique mix of strategy and cringe humor, I had to jump into the fray.

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Texas Pinball Festival Organizers Go for the Guinness Record Book

Categories: Gaming

Photo by Danny Gallagher
A pinball-phile tries to go for the "Grand Finale" on Bally's "Theatre of Magic" pinball machine, just one of many at the Texas Pinball Festival's recent world record event in Frisco.
It was just before the start of the Texas Pinball Festival, the annual gathering of pinball enthusiasts and collectors who brought their prized machines to Dallas/Fort Worth over the weekend for three days of quarter-less play, and an odd quiet filled the 30,000-square-foot play area.

Machines from pinball's heyday filled the space at Frisco's convention center, and their silence made the room seem like an abandoned amusement park in a Scooby-Doo episode. I half expected to see cobwebs hanging from the once mighty machines, but they all looked pristine and polished. A handful of machine owners and venue organizers scrambled to get ready for what could be a historic day in pinball history.

This year's festival featured an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the Most People Playing Pinball at Once, a record set last year in Canada by just 100 people. The pressure could not be bigger for the organizers, who were trying to simultaneously manage the festival and coordinate the movements of 300-plus people, all to preserve America's pinball honor.

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Press Start to Play: Video Game Composers brentalfloss, Mega Ran and Danimal Cannon Talk Music

Categories: Gaming

Courtesy of Mega Ran
Video game artists brentalfloss, Mega Ran and Danimal Cannon make up the Total Desstruction Tour who all will make a stop tonight at the Boiler Room in Deep Ellum.

Video games have become such a huge entertainment force to be reckoned with that almost every aspect of their development can be classified as its own art form.

Old and new school graphics have carved out a genre in the street graffiti movement. Titles like Rockstar's LA Noire and Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain used groundbreaking motion-capture technology to put real actors' movements and facial expressions into a playable video game the same way that a camera would for a traditional movie.

Even the music that punctuates and heightens the emotions of a video game is celebrated with its own medium that offers more than just cover songs of the tunes that stick in our heads and are often recycled as ringtones on smartphones. For these arrangements, musicians use the sounds from those games and even the gaming hardware to compose completely original tunes with as much melody and heart as those that are composed and recorded by a 40-piece orchestra with an egotistical musical legend at the helm.

"It's gained a whole new level of respect for what I can do and accomplish," said Raheem Jarbo who is better known under the moniker Mega Ran. "It showed me there was no limit to my creativity and imagination and that I could make original music that sounded like it could be in video games but could also be completely original."

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The Alamo Drafthouse Bar Will Hold a Cards Against Humanity Tournament With Drinks, Prizes and Stephen Hawking Talking Dirty

Categories: Gaming

Photo by Danny Gallagher
The correct answer, of course, is "An erection that lasts longer than four hours."

Board games are starting to make an interesting comeback. People are starting to realize there is a wider, more creative selection than just uber-complex role playing games and Monopoly, a game invented in 1904 that's still being played to this day despite the fact that no one has ever finished a round without dying from boredom or a knife fight.

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Duke Nukem's All Out of Gum and Legal Options as Another Lawsuit Looms Over the Game's Storied Franchise

Categories: Gaming

Courtesy of i eated a cookie/Flickr
Duke Nukem's going to need to pool all of his poker winnings and cut back on the Cubans if he's going to overcome his latest lawsuit.

Alien ass-kicker and record-breaking misogynist Duke Nukem has gotten into a lot of scrapes over the years, whether it was preventing a race of aliens from using their spawn to take over the planet or getting back at them for daring to take the Earth's babe resources. He's been relatively successful at keeping them at bay (depending on whom you ask and how much patience they have) but apparently there is one enemy even a roided-up egomaniac like Duke can't escape, no matter how many RPGs he fires at it: the court system.

The troubled video game franchise is in trouble again, this time from the Plano-based studio that helped bring the big lug back to life after a 13-year absence. Gearbox Software filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Northern District of Texas court against 3D Realms and Interceptor over their latest attempt to bring us a Duke Nukem game that doesn't suck.

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