15 year old Killed by Ignorant Gamer? Timeout.

I was pointed to this article, today, which will no doubt be picked up FoxNews and countless other websites… I’m sure they’ll want to know the game being played at the time, as well… The headline reads “Video game linked to fatal shooting of 15-year-old.” The video game wasn’t the cause, it was an impatient and IGNORANT 18 year old. He may have been in shock the instant after it happened, but according the article he pulled the trigger twice. He had time to rethink his actions. But he killed a kid over a video game.

Games aren’t to blame, impatience, ignorance, and our still crap-tacular gun laws are. I’m all for gun owners, but there are far too many unregistered weapons in this country.

I need a time out. Lucky for me, I’m out of town this weekend. I was originally planning on making a post telling everyone how excited I was about the recent surge of BKAG submissions, and how I can’t wait to do more, and how I’ll try to update from the road… but I thought this was more important. With my out of town status, I’ll be posting updates and new interviews if I get the chance, but the rest of today will be WinBreak.com’s moment of silence, in honor young Olivier Baptiste, unless I come up with anything related to this specific article.

Better Know a Gamer: Issue #6: TXPaladin

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?
Hi, I’m TXPaladin and I’ve used the Paladin nick for sometime now around the web. I’ve always been a fan of the Paladin class from AD&D and my Diablo II PC gaming days. Plus the Knight Chess piece is sometimes referred to as a Paladin. I’m a big Chess fan and would say that is my all time favorite board game. Paladins are normally good guys and I like to think of myself as one of the good guys too.

Nu: Where are you from?
Well its not everyone that picks TX as part of their gamertag, I hail from the Lone Star state of Texas and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. At least on Live people don’t have to ask me, where are you from?

Nu: How old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?
39 and pushing 40 now, but I’m still a kid at heart and your only as old as you feel really. I’m happily married and the father of two lovely girls. We are a family that has lately started gaming and loving it a lot. I’m a Director of Websites for the American Paint Horse Association. I like music, photography, movies, reading and even writing. Oh and of course playing games too.

Nu: How long have you been gaming in general?
Very interesting… well I could say most of my life. I learned Chess early as kid in Grade School. I remember when D&D and AD&D became big and still have a lot of those original books. I started playing pong back in the 70s , had an original Atari 2600 and loved Combat, Space Invaders, Asteriods, and Pac-Man to name a few. I owned an NES and played TECMO Super Bowl all the time. I later moved into PC gaming and then took about 5 years off and landed finally on the Xbox 360 Elite.

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?
Father’s Day, June 2007 and purchased the Elite. What a great present!

Nu: What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?
First time I got on Live and fired up a friends borrowed original Halo edition Xbox. I was in awe at how fast and easy the box booted up and how cool it was to finally play Halo and later Halo 2 on Live. I joined live in April 2007 and learned my way around on the original Xbox. I think it was cool to do it that way and really appreciate that original system.

Nu: Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?
Part of me would like to say my first of course, but I have to really go with CoD4 and finally completing the Campaign. It was an incredible game and its cool to look back and see that I have that achievement and know I earned it. A couple stages towards the end were really hard and I was about to think that I would beat it. Never give up!

Nu: Are you currently working toward any achievements?
Always I guess, I’ve got a few games I want to do my best to finish the campaign parts as well. Its not like I’m setting a goal to get 1000 on every game, but I want to finish the maing campaigns. I have a couple minor parts to Halo 3 still, GRAW 2, and Assassins Creed for starters.

Nu: What game(s) are you playing the most now?
CoD4, Halo 3, and now the Beta for Battlefield Bad Company

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from your Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox)?
Hmmm, lately its the set lists for Rockband, other then that I listen to lots of Podcasts.

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?
Normally keep the same for a bit, I’ll switch for Play & Wins and stuff like that, but I sport U360 pics the most.

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?
That would be Unscripted 360 at www.unscripted360.com.

Nu: What game are you looking most forward to in 2008?
Fable 2, I’m all about Fable 2 for 2008, this is my must get game like last years Halo 3. That’s not to say something else might end up beating it as my favorite of the year. Last year it was Halo 3 and I’m afraid that CoD4 has edged it out as my over all favorite by the narrowest of margins.

Nu: Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?
I’d have to pick Tecom Super bowl, as simple as it was, I just loved that game and would play it over and over.

Nu: Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?
All the members of the DDB and my co-workers, the Cave Dwellers, and my friends from U360 too.

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?
People from all walks of life play video games and its a really great form of entertainment. I’m happy I finally got an Xbox 360 and on Live and I’m looking forward to many years of gaming and playing games with my family and friends.

TXPaladin, everyone! He runs a heck of a blog of his own. His podcasts have even educated me about some pretty sweet software, and other games I had to check out. If you took the time to go out of the way and read my website, you should certainly visit his! 🙂

Better Know a Gamer: Issue #5: LancerX7

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?
LancerX7. Originally, my name was LancerEvolution7, which was shortened to LancerEvo7, thanks to EzBoard. Then one day, a few of the guys from there and I were having a laugh, and all put X7 on the end of our names, and it just kinda stuck heh.

Nu: Where are you from?
Australia… Yeah, the place with lots of Kangaroo’s and other indigenous stuff..

Nu: How old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?
I’m 21 years old, and trying hard to find more work… When I’m not gaming of course..

Nu: How long have you been gaming in general?
Oh man.. My father bought me a Sega Master System II when I was about 2-3 years old. He claims it kept me quiet, and was the best thing he ever bought, for his sanity..

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?
Not very long unfortunately. I’ve wanted one for a while. I have, however, had my original xbox for a few years..

Nu: What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?
The grenade I threw around a corner in a Halo 3 map, killing 3 people. The whole team knew about it too, thanks to my mic. 🙂 Since I haven’t had the 360 long, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do something awesome.

Nu: Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?
My Guitar Hero 3 ones. I’m not very good, but I’m trying my best. Halo 3 ones are very nice as well..

Nu: Are you currently working toward any achievements?
Quite a few actually. Mainly the Halo 3 ones. Would be nice to have the “Legendary story mode” one unlocked. 😉

Nu: What game(s) are you playing the most now?
GH3, Halo 3 and Gears of War I’d say. To much World of Warcraft too, but that’s a story for another time.

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from your Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox)?
Right now? lol. Muse – Knights of Cydonia.. Once I heard it on GH3, I loved it. Not an easy song to play tho.

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?
Stuck with one since day one. I’m using the one from Perfect Dark.

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?
I must admit, I don’t go looking for xbox 360 news, but to think about 360 sites I know, Winbreak would be it.

Nu: What game are you looking most forward to in 2008?
Guitar Hero 4 and Gears of War 2. I also wonder how UT3 will go on xbox 360..

Nu: Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?
Yeah, World of Warcraft.. The game has be HOOKED. Quake 1 would be next on that list, because it was that game that showed me what FPS fun was all about.

Nu: Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?
Yeah. My mates IRL.. Piddy, Daniel, Dale, Mysterio, SplicerXT and Squida. They all come over to my place and “Skunge”. (Which means we get in Halo 3 online and own it up..)… Oooof!

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?
Hmm.. Stand up to your parents. When they say “16 hours gaming is to much”….It’s not, they’re just jeleous that they couldn’t do it.. 🙂

I agree, 16 hours is just the beginning of some good gaming. 🙂 Thanks for taking part, LancerX7, let’s hope you spread the word of WinBreak intercontinentally!

Better Know a Gamer: Issue #4: KWERTY

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?

My gamertag is kwerty. I’m a big geek and I’ve been writing software for years so a QWERTY keyboard plays an important role in my career and hobbies. I figured that the gamertag qwerty might be taken so I replaced the q with a k because it’s my favorite letter in the alphabet and that is how kwerty came to be.

Nu: Where are you from?

I live in Centreville, Virginia.

Nu: How old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?

I am currently 24 and I work for a federal contractor that writes software for the Navy.

Nu: How long have you been gaming in general?

I remember playing Seasame Street math games on my family’s Apple IIe back in the mid to late 80’s. Like most kids, I grew up exposed to healthy doses of Nintendo console and PC games. It wasn’t until ’98 and the release of Starcraft that I started to get interested in online gaming.

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?

Ahh, I remember it like it was yesterday…Standing in line outside of Best Buy on Black Friday in 2006, being chilled to the bone by Erie’s cold bitter winds. It wasn’t on sale or anything but that night I decided I really wanted a 360. It was totally worth it.

Nu: What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?

When I actually killed someone on Halo 3! I was so proud of myself. 😀 (it should be noted that I really suck at Halo 3)

Nu: Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?

Hexic was the first game where I completed all of the achievements. I love puzzle games, but what I love more is knowing that none of my friends have been able to make a flower of black pearls.

Nu: Are you currently working toward any achievements?

I am in a race to beat one of my friends’ gamerscore. I don’t care what the achievements are, as long as I get them. You’re going down RovinRhonin!

Nu: What game(s) are you playing the most now?

My two favorite games right now are Guitar Hero and Geometry Wars. I am about halfway through the Hard tours in both GH 2 and 3. Just a little bit more practice and hopefully I’ll finally be able to play Expert. Geometry Wars just freakin rocks! Watching those bright neon shapes explode is like crack for my eyes. (Don’t do crack kids)

Other than that, I’m trying to catch up on missing achievements in games like GoW and Crackdown.

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from you Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox?

There’s no better way to rock out to a game of Settlers of Catan than listening to Prodigy, or The Crystal Method’s Tweakend album. And of course I save the classic Irish folk music for those intense races on Burnout Revenge.

..Or was it the other way around…?

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?

Lately I’ve been pretty happy with the monkey pic.

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?

Sorry Winbreak, but my time is spent on 360voice.com keeping tabs on how happy my xbox is. Plus it’s a great way to see what my friends have been up to as well. Don’t be too upset though, you come in a close 2nd.

Nu: What game are you looking most forward to in 2008?

THE FORCE UNLEASHED! Plus Gears of War 2!

Nu: Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?

Starcraft on the PC still beats them all for me. I’m really excited about sequel, I just hope they announce a release date soon.

Nu: Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?

I have to give props to crowdozer who is the reason I bought a 360 in the first place. And I can’t forget to mention ScooterMcT who can kick my ass in just about anything Xbox.

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?

umm, thanks for nominating me for the BKAG series. Readers, keep reading winbreak, and winbreak, keep doing a good job.

Another one down! A huge thanks to KWERTY, a long time friend of mine and pretty much the whole reason that I have an Xbox 360!

Better Know a Gamer: Issue #3: GerbilJammer0

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?

GerbilJammer0 The story behind it is kind of boring actually. Everyone knows about the Richard Gere and gerbil rumor. That played a little part. Tha big part is back in the day when broadband first reached the masses… I was still on dial up. Everyone I played against in Quakeworld was high speed whereas I was a HPB. In order to compete, I had to revert to tactics such as hit in run, poke in the booty, and rocket rape. At that time my online persona wasn’t so politically friendly. During a clan match someone said I was as quick as a gerbil and I like to hit people from behind. Naturally it evolved into GerbilJammer.

Nu: Where are you from?

New Orleans, Louisiana

Nu: How old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?

I’m a 28 year old Network Engineer and IT Administrator.

Nu: How long have you been gaming in general?

Ever since 1980. 🙂

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?

Since day one.

Nu: What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?

Just enjoying games with friends and listening to the audible garbage that most people talk.

Nu: Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?

Too many to list one.

Nu: Are you currently working toward any achievements?

I don’t really work towards achievements. I usually play a game and then look to see what achievements would make me play that game in a different manner to which I previously played through.

Nu: What game(s) are you playing the most now?

I’ve been playing some Guitar Hero 2 and 3. I still suck. Gears Of War (PC). Also Doom XBLA from time to time. No such thing as l337 skillz in Doom. Just pure fun.

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from you Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox)?

AC/DC, Ozzy, ZZ Top

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?

I try to stick with my LSU pic. I live in Arkansas, and it kills my friends to see the gamerpic every time they come over.

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?

I like a bunch. 360voice.com, winbreak.com, kotaku.com, teamxbox.com, and xbox-scene.com.

Nu: What game are you looking most forward to in 2008?

I am still playing catchup on all the 2007 games.

Nu: Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?

It has to be Unreal Tournament. No other game, not even it’s sequels, captures the refined gameplay.

Nu: Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?

NuAngel and the Hellz clan. A great bunch to sit back and enjoy some games with.

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?

I am not famous. Might be soon because Microsoft keeps trying to make me change my gamertag, but suggests HamsterJammer as an alternative… I’ve got it on camera. And if you are having DRM issues with Xbox Live content, do not give up on getting a fix. Call back and demand for it to be fixed. Call back frequently to aggravate the hell out of them. It might take them escalating your problem to Jesus himself, but hopefully they will fix it.

Better Know a Gamer: Issue #2: Aiya OPPS Sorry

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?

My gamertag is Aiya OPPS Sorry. The main story behind is was actually my brother who wanted to create something funny and unusual. The truly unusual part is that he actually couldn’t spell oops right while creating the gamertag, so my gamertag Aiya OPPS Sorry was born.

Nu: Where are you from?

I currently live in Fremont, California

Nu: How old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?

I currently am 15 years old and am a high school student

Nu: How long have you been gaming in general?

Generally I have been gaming since the age of 6 when i first picked up streetfighter on the NES and have had a blast playing ever since.

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?

About 2 years

Nu: What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?

One of my favorite xbox live moments is whenever I’m able to have a successful experience with any of my live friends on any of my 360 games. The magic and addicting nature of when you just are with that special group of people makes it very hard to put the controller down.

Nu: Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?

The achievement that I am most proud of would probrably be the Win the War achievement from Call of Duty 4 as the storyline for that game was just fantastic and you really don’t need a reward to complete it.

Nu: Are you currently working toward any achievements?

The achievements in Assassin Creed and Bioshock

Nu: What game(s) are you playing the most now?

Call of Duty 4 only because I have yet to pick up Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from you Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox)?

Nothing as I don’t use my xbox as a music station

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?

Stick with one unless I am quite bored with it

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?

Probrably unscripted360.com but if its gaming news in general it would definetly be lagtv.com

Nu: What game are you looking most forward to in 2008?

GTAIV

Nu: Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas

Nu: Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?

There are a bunch and it would take me quite a while to list them all but some are: Automatic83, Sniper N77, Minicleaner, Santakillz, ETJ93, SniperOps, and IIChillywillyII

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?

Check my own blog site 360ution.blogspot.com that I have sadly been neglecting as of late. But will definetly try to update as my personal life clears up. And to check out and hang out with great community sites such as lagtv.com, unscripted360.com, and of course WinBreak.com. Also a huge shoutout to all my friends on live, my clan Section VIII, and in the community anyone who know me as Aiya OPPS Sorry or guywholovesrice.

Thanks to Aiya OPPS Sorry/GuyWhoLovesRice for participating. Not only was he our second Better Know a Gamer, but he was the first one to experience our new automated interview process! 🙂 Thanks for being our lab rat!

Better Know a Gamer, just got BETTER!

We admit it, there’s been a lot of us “getting behind.” I’ve fallen into the traps of headlines and hit counts, rather than actually doing what I set out to do. Well no more.

Our flagship segment, Better Know a Gamer, is going to to be made even easier. One of the early problems was a glitch in the mail server eating our messages… then it became a bit of a sloppy mess and I was losing email addresses just because of my own foolish actions. People volunteered, others were nominated, but the questions weren’t getting sent out. Well now I want you to know that you can nominate yourself, or nominate others – entirely through automation. That’s right, by visiting the Better Know a Gamer Submissions page, you can enter your gamertag, the gamertag of the person you’re nominating, and their email address – they will then receieve the BKAG questions! Once they reply to the email and I have their answers, it’s just a short matter of time before I post the whole thing up on the site.

See how easy it is!? Now, get to nominating – keep me busy!!! 🙂 Nominate ALL of your friends, if you want! Just keep the list growing! I’ll highlight all ten million Xbox Live users if you want me to! It’s up to you! 🙂

Visit the Nominations Page now!

First day of Spring… Dashboard Features?


It’s officially the first day of spring, and even though people have been begging for a new dashboard update since January, little is known about what we can expect from the Spring 2008 dashboard update. Some people think this time around may be just a few clean ups and tweaks… simply tidying up after all of the major overhauls of the previous pair of updates (adding the entire marketplace blade, integrating with LiveMessenger, Friends of Friends, Profiles…). Perhaps some attention paid to the “Achievements” button on the games blade (which, after enough games played by an individual, becomes an almost painful browsing experience). Some people think that this update (as rumored with the last several) will finally include some form of formal clan support. Some people think there will be a way to hide YOUR name from showing up on someone ELSE’S Friends of Friends list. Some people think there will be the ability to add a custom background to individual blades of the interface, rather than selecting one picture for all of them. Still, others, expect larger friends-list support.

The list of suspected dashboard features goes on, but we’re keeping our ear to the ground for anything even semi-official. Some “very” cool (according to Major Nelson) features have been in the works that didn’t make it into the last update may be included in this one. So cool, in fact, that he had to take some time to explain the coolness effect to “e.” All of this can be found in an older podcast… but who cares about all that… we just want the meat’n’taters. I’ll keep my eyes and ears wide open for you all, you keep checking back here.

Until then, feel free to start a discussion about what kinds of features YOU would like to see in this or future dashboard updates. We all love filling out a wishlist!

[Update 1]: 34% sales boost in Feb puts 2008 on track…


2008 is looking like it’s going to be another historic year for video games. Reuters (by way of USA Today) and The Associated Press (by way of The New York Times) are reporting that Video games are selling 34% better than the were this time last year. Is it that there are more games, better games, or just flat out more gamers? Ever increasing mainstream popularity among video games is certainly worth consideration, and was the topic of discussion in a recent GamerScore Blogcast episode. Based on those NPD numbers everybody likes to toss around, you can’t deny Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is partly to thank for this huge boost in game sales.

[Update 1]: As a side note, market analyst Jesse Divinch and pals predect that the 360 will regain its long held sales lead over the Playstation 3 in March and April, but they also expect the 2nd place contest to remain close.

The Xbox Live Police

I’ve never been huge on just linking off to other people’s sites, I really like to provide good analysis and news updates of my own. You know, unique content (what an idea, right?). But this article is just a bit too good to pass up.

Kotaku is running a story on The Xbox Live Police – the people working behind the scenes to make sure that, when we file a complaint, Xbox Live users can get their just desserts. Operative word being “just.” Sure, everyone has filed their share of complaints, but these are the people who take them seriously.

From the article:
Any complaint that’s not a duplicate, however, gets looked at. Every single one. In many cases, the violation is clear, and they can move on to any possible punitive steps. But for others, things can get messy. Where does good-natured [smack]-talking end and genuine offensive behaviour begin? Just because someone finds something offensive, does that mean it is offensive?
…Keep reading on Kotaku.