Your Local Book Store…

John Scalzi has this neat little post over on Whatever
Amazon, Local Bookstores, Me
Go on read the article… I’ll just wait until you are finished….

Are you done? Great, now while I can see Amazons marketing machine saying

“In a free market economy we are just trying to do all we can to create awareness of our brand and drive sales…”

Yep that is right… you have the right to do it… but should they? And should you as a consumer?
Personally I have bought books, cd’s, games etc from overseas – from the Amazon’s, Book Depository’s, Ozgamestore… and all for the same reason… the PRICE.
I have a young family, a mortgage, I am the major bread winner (not discounting the huge amount of work my wife does to help support me and enabling me to be able to do that…) I have to be careful about what I/we spend on luxury items like books…
However, something John wrote really resonated with me…

I have an Amazon Prime account and I get lots of use from it, because where I live often the alternative to buying from Amazon is buying from Wal-Mart, and on that strata of retailing, I’m happy to let them go after each other, with knives and bludgeons. If there’s a locally-owned alternative, however, then I generally go there. I pay extra for what amount to intangibles for me, but what’s intangible to me means a job and a business to someone else. That matters, especially these days.

How do I react to that seeing that I have admitted to using the cheaper overseas option before… I agree with what he has written – I really do! Yet how do these conflicting parts merge? How can I both support local and pay the premium and ensure I met all the other obligations in my life?
It’s really quite easy… I use priorities.
For instance I limit the amount of comics I collect and then buy them from my local comic store. I plan my new book purchases and buy from my local bookstore. I buy 2nd hand computer games from my local gaming store. I have a budget and when it is gone… I borrow books from the library and share/borrow games with my mates… In short I do what I can…
This carries across to other aspects of my life… I don’t always shop at the green grocer or the butcher, we can’t always afford South Coast Milk – but we try and we support when and where we can…
Its all any of us can do.

Gaming News

It’s been a while since I blogged about games…

I finished Half-Life 2 the other day – I borrowed The Orange Box for the Xbox 360 from a friend, had a great time finishing Portal – so much fun! Seriously if you have never played Portal you need too!

Anyway Half-Life 2 was a Loooong game – I almost gave up – in fact I didn’t play it for quite a few weeks but I am glad that I finally finished it, and the ending was really worth a WTF moment!

Anyhoo then I found this video teaser of the up coming Ghostbusters game!!! I think I might need to Sqee! “SQEEE” (with an extra “E”) This is booking up to be a Fun filled game and I will be eager to see what it is really like – I hope they put a demo on Xbox Live…

I have also been playing Raving Rabbids 2 on the Wii – Much fun and a real party game – needed another one of those for when we had a visitor or the nephews and nieces come to visit! I’m just playing it to unlock all the levels so everyone else can play… honest… you don’t believe me!!! (SHOCK HORROR)

Also I have been playing Assassins Creed – another Ubisoft game! and this time the twist is at the begining of the game… it has become a little repetitive but I like the story line and I guess I will stick to it… You play an assassin in the 12th Century… you need to kill people ‘nuff said really! Oh and apparently you shouldn’t kill people in plain sight… but if you run fast enough you get away… mostly! 🙂

Wii Wii Wii all the way home

I got a message from a friend of mine – the subject read “Darth Dalius” I opened it to find this link here.

Star Wars – LightsaberWii.

All I need to say… I am so looking forward to that. I like to play the Wii because it is both fun to do, moving the remote and get involved with the game. As well as being a very social console – whereby I can get my friends and family to be part of the game easily and without much training or skill required.

I played the Xbox 360 the other day with Dazza, that was good fun – we played some demo games – Shadowrun looks to be a really good game, and Colin McRae DIRT was also pretty and a decent fun driving game. The real game we got into was Gears of War a real guts to glory war game. Just like a movie only you play in it. We had fun doing the first chapter on co-op. I still have a little trouble using the controllers – probably too much time in PC FPS, I still reach for the mouse! But by the end I had it all under control and really enjoy our afternoon off… Little too boys let loose with there parents away… except it was our partners that let us loose and we knew we still had things to do once we got home. Fun though I must say.

Also went to see Transformers with Dazza on Sunday night. OK I love the Cartoon back in the day (80’s). I was also lucky enough to have gotten an Optimus Prime for a birthday and I love to transformer him and fight the baddies or drive his big rig around my bedroom. Happy days. Of course friends of mine had bigger and better transformer toys… but they really did make for some fun play time especially when I link it all up with my large collection of Lego and build cities for them to play in.

The movie was good – although I really hate the CG fight scenes where you cannot work out who is fight who and what is happening. I think they need to use real people to model the fights and make them more realistic and not so jumbled that you can’t work out who is fighting who and what is happening (just my rant – I found it the same in Alien vs Predator). Aside from that I liked the storyline – I didn’t like Optimus Primes new colours, and what happened to Bumblebee being a VW…? Money – GM sponsored the movie… I did like the Decepticon being a Ford against the GM Autobots… 🙂 All in all a good enough movie 3/5 from me.

For those who want a trip down memory lane go here and enjoy.

Gaming Related Injury

More horror from the stupid and lame.

A US Doctor, yes I wrote Doctor, has become the latest idiot in a serious of idiocy since the creation of youtube. He claims to have created a new injury namely ‘Wiiitis’, because he hurt his shoulder play Wii Tennis for too long. I am sorry who the hell at the New England Journal of Medicine let this moron publish a letter on gaming related injury – and allowed him to state the term Wiiitis?? Hello WTF!! A JOURNAL allowed this through – oh please tell me this is one of those ‘joke’ letters that the editor makes a little comment on at the end – tongue in cheek kind of thing. I think enough stupid unskilled Gamers have done silly things when they should know better – to not have to make them more popular and create more attention to them by printing letters of there stupidity. OK Rant over!

On the other side I really like my Wii and I like the way I can play games such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance with my friends and Anjel – and that she doesn’t feel like she is being left behind because it IS a fun gaming system that is not too hard to master. I love the little mini games that come with the system, Zelda a little more of a challenge, and all the Virtual Console stuff really sells me. I can play Sonic the Hedgehog till morning and save it turn off the system and start again 3 weeks later where I left off… Brilliant!

Basically the system is easy to use, fun and most of all for me it is equally good as a single player system as it is for multi-player gaming.

I highly recommend it for anyone!