Feb 18 2009

The King is Dead! Long Live the King!

The XBox 360 I bought back in spring 2005 died its inevitable death the first week of January of 2009, and I finally received the refurbished unit back from Microsoft last Friday. I hooked it back up over the weekend just to make sure it actually does work, but I found myself with a dillemma of sorts that I’m sure is becoming a more frequent occurrence as console gaming continues to become more and more mainstream with each passing year.

I’ve had plenty of friends go through Redmond’s red-ring-around-the-rosie routine with their XBox 360s to know that I wouldn’t be receiving my unit back within much less than a month’s time (and to the person they were all correct…). With a substantial backlog of games still unplayed from the gluttony of last fall coupled with the fact that I have a shit-ton of prepwork to do for my upcoming Games & Literature course that starts in April, I rationalized buying a stripped-down “Arcade” SKU of the 360 that would allow me to keep on truckin while I simultaneously awaited the return of my recently-departed.

You already know where this is heading: it’s an embarrassment of riches, right?  Two XBox 360s! No problems there, right?

Umm, not quite.  I mean, it’s a nice problem to have I suppose, but it’s a problem nonetheless.  Anyone who has had a matching pair of anything will inevitably feel this way, I think.


I’m curious to know what ya’ll have to say about this, and even more curious to hear your suggestions for what can be done to maximize a 2-XBox household.  (Besides, of course, shoving them up my ass…I already gave that a spin when the towel method failed, but that’s already a lot more than you needed to know.)

Jun 3 2008

FWR Episode 003

This week we get back on schedule with a bonus two-fer and very informal Episode 003. Shane gets way up on the mic and Trevor really hates it when E disses Powell’s. Some of the things we informalize on:

In-house podcasts from Microsoft, Bungie, Insomniac, and Capcom.

Easter eggs after credits (in Iron Man), ownership, individuality, Ronald Reagan, and labor unions.

Shock jocks, vinyl, enhanced podcasts, and fear of a fragmented reality.

Be sure to leave us a comment here at the blog, in our Facebook group, or at the Gmail address on the right. If you’re a reader as well as a gamer, you should probably get involved in the first FWR Book Club discussion that we will be fostering through the month of June, 2008. Thanks for listening.

Jun 2 2008

FWR Episode 002

In the first of two episodes this week we present an industrial-strength Epsiode 002 looking at gender issues and Objectivist philosophy in BioShock. Along the way we also discuss:

Netwurker Mez and Abby B.’s thought-provoking feedback, and the FWR Book Club.

Confusing stereotypes and relationships in Grand Theft Auto IV (see Daniel Floyd’s Video Games and Sex).

Another round of podcast reviews: Cheapy D complains on the CAGCast about their stagnant 11,000 member listenership and some interesting analysis of the new Indiana Jones flick by the 1up Yours crew.

As always, be sure to leave us feedback in the comments section of the blog, in the iTunes Music Store, and in the First Wall Rebate group on Facebook. We look forward to your input.

May 21 2008

FWR Episode 001

Episode 001 of FWR is now ready for your consumption. This week we discuss the thorny issues of intellectual property, copyright and ownership, and cast an eye towards the future of digital media distribution. Trevor manages to say “very” at least 30 times and Shane rescues the podcast from the Skype goblins.

But more specifically:

We discuss feedback on our Facebook forum by Netwurker Mez (read about the Versional) and Abby B. on last week’s show.

Join the FWR Book Club by checking out Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader, Edited by Hilde G. Corneliussen and Jill Walker Rettberg.

Trevor’s podcasted Games and Lit class: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3

We welcome your comments, questions, and criticisms here at the blog, our Gmail address, and our Facebook group. Thanks for listening.

May 15 2008

FWR Episode 00

This is Episode 00 of the First Wall Rebate Podcast. Here are some of the things we talked about:

Sloppy energy drink analysis on Giant Bombcast.

Brilliance of the Game Theory podcast.

McKenzie Wark’s A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory.

Heather Chaplin’s excellent article on Grand Theft Auto IV at NPR.

Our theme song, the title of which Shane horribly mispronounces, is Sitges Savepoint by Random. The music used to transition toward the end of the show: Ballistic Panic by Nullsleep. Both are available via the Creative Commons directory at 8bitpeoples.com.