Halo 4 folks say down with sexism

Creators opt to ban members who make sexist comments.

Female gamers experience an ungodly amount of sexist verbal abuse, even threats, at the hands of male gamers—which, of course, bothers the male gamers who are decent as well as female gamers. To stop this horrible reaction, the creators of Halo 4 announced that they will enact permanent bans to any players making sexist comments during play. The same applies to any discriminatory comments made.

Head developer Bonnie Ross denounced this behavior as unacceptable and offensive, while executive producer Kiki Wolfkill said that Xbox Live can be dangerous to give to adolescents especially.  Yes, I did insert this point to particularly stress that women create these games and that gaming culture most definitely includes many women.

So if players want to respond to a female player with instant comments about her breasts or other sexist statements, they can expect to be shown the door. In turn, gamers who fear playing because of sexism may be able to feel safer while enjoying their favorite pastime.

I wholly applaud this decision and hope that such behavior will set a bottom line for other companies to follow. Sexism and violence against women go hand in hand, and enforcing such respect in any company is a positive step in the right direction.

The New York Times Ultimate Crosswords Omnibus: 1,001 Puzzles from The New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of people open The New York Times every day, not for the award-winning journalism, but to complete the daily crossword puzzle. Crosswords have been a newspaper staple for decades and the expert minds that create these curious puzzles have honed their craft through years of practice and determination.

There are few who would contradict the idea that The New York Times has the best crossword puzzles in the world. Now, you can have one of the largest compendiums of The New York Times crosswords in a single giant book. The New York Times Ultimate Crosswords Omnibus: 1,001 Puzzles from The New York Times has puzzles of all levels from the best of the best to those just starting out in their crosswords hobby.

If you’ve been a fan of crosswords and are tired of the subpar puzzles in most books, then reach for the best with The New York Times Ultimate Crosswords Omnibus: 1,001 Puzzles from The New York Times. You won’t be disappointed in their ingenuity and difficulty. Even veterans of crossword puzzles will get stumped by some of these because they are made by the world’s leading puzzle makers.

There is three years worth of puzzles in the book encompassing the Monday through Saturday edition of The New York Times. The New York Times Ultimate Crosswords Omnibus: 1,001 Puzzles from The New York Times is the leader in crossword books and it will challenge your brain and your patience.

The Ultimate History of Video Games

I remember as child sitting down at the television and playing the Atari for hours. There were more cords coming out of it than the televisions and there was hardly any sound and yet is was awesome.

If you are in your mid-30’s, then you were there at the height of the video game craze and watched is constantly ebb and flow as new games and game systems came into being. We started with Atari, moved to Nintendo to watch Mario save the princess over and over again, switched to Sega because is had 16-bits and then were amazed when Sony debuts is Playstation and then Microsoft kicked tail with the Xbox.

The Ultimate History of Video games helps you fill in the gaps about what happened to all your favorite games, developers and game systems from year to year. How did Sega go from being the top dog to the re headed step child of the video game world?

Can you believe that Nintendo was nearly on the verge of bankruptcy and how a single game brought them back from the brink? Anyone that has spent hours playing the Nintendo Entertainment System and was frustrated by how hard Ghosts and Goblins actually was or wants to why Sega stopped making game systems to instead be a third party developer will love this book.

It takes you from the very beginning to the beginning of the 21st Century without pulling any punches. The authors talked to hundreds of insiders to put this ultimate compendium together.

The Columbus Book of Euchre

I had never even heard of Euchre until I hit college and then it became an obsession and past time that has endured through the years. When I first heard about it, I had no idea how to play. I watched as these two teams talked about bowers and jacks and was completely lost.


As the weeks went by, I began to finally understand and play the game, but it was the messy way of doing things. I learned by doing and lacked any real training on the rules and axioms of the game. I did this throughout college and it was fine.


Once I was out of college and found myself in the real world of Euchre tournaments, I didn't stand a chance. I knew the barroom version of Euchre and not the formal version. That's why I picked up the Columbus Book of Euchre and learned everything I would ever need to know.


It not only taught me the various rules of the game, many of which were ignored in college, but also the various strategies that I had never thought about. I had several Ah-Ha moments in this book when I simply thought, why did I think of that. Many of the subtle nuances of the game are so obvious, but unless they are pointed out to you are just outside your grasp.


It took a few weeks of reading and intense game play for me to get a full handle on everything, but soon I was one of the top players. I can honestly say that without this book, I would not have become half the Euchre player I am today.


Gamebooks and MMORPGs

I am a big fan of the massive online role playing games because they offer an almost never ending supply of quests and social interactions. Developers are always working on tweaking their prized game and adding new content, new quests and new characters.

When they run out of ideas, they simply expand it through an expansion pack and they added a completely new element to the game. When a game comes out and people play it for a while, the game books and strategy guides start filling the stores. People buy these to help get a better idea of the game and to make it through faster.

These games are…massive…and it’s easily to get lost for days or weeks at a time. The guides are great for beginners, but they lose their appeal quickly. If you arrived late to playing the game or an avid player, then the book will be of little help. Developers have tweaked the game and made so many additions that the directions the books give you could be wrong.

That’s not likely to happen during the initial quests, but as you go further, it is very possible. The publishers don’t get around to updating their guides that often and then just write a new guide for the expansion. Rather than buying a premade guide from a store, I suggest looking for guides online. There are many game sites that have a special section for strategy guides and walkthroughs. These are updated regularly and new ones are always being added.

Bowling Fundamentals

I have been bowling for many years and there reached a point where I seemed to plateau at the sport. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get my score or my technique to improve. I practiced for hours and hours and I just couldn't make my ball to the things the pros did.

I even had a few of the 300 bowlers give me some tips, but they never helped. I tried looking online and found a little book called Bowling Fundamentals. This book retaught the way I played bowling and helped make be a better player.

The truth is that most people don't learn how to bowl the proper way. When they try to improve or mimic the pros, they don't have the learned skills necessary and so they fail. That's what happened to me. I never had anyone teach me how to bowl the proper way. Everything I learned, I did by myself. Bowling Fundamentals takes the game of bowling and gives you the step by step instructions on how to play the game as it was meant to be played.

No longer did my ball fly straight, but spun and hooked like the pros. I watched as the pins flew when they contacted my ball. It was glorious and I owe everything to this book. If you can’t seem to bring your A-game to the alley and watch as everyone else seems to continue improving, then you need to read Bowling Fundamentals.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or intermediate, you’ll get something from this book.

Little Black Book Of Poker

I recently found out that a very high profile poker community wanted me to write a number of articles on poker playing for them. While I am familiar with several types of poker games and can hold my own with the best of them, I thought it might be time for me to take a bit of a refresher course on basic poker rules and strategy.


The one thing that makes poker unique among gambling games is that knowing how to play doesn't mean anything. Anyone can know the mechanics of playing poker, but there is a strategy that makes it difficult to master. Even the best poker players in the world can have a bad days and lose their shirt at the table.


The Little Black Book of Poker doesn't mess around with the mechanics of the game. Instead, it focuses on strategy and probability. No amateur or professional poker player should ante up at the table without first taking a look at this book. I read it from cover to cover and am confident that if a game of poker cross my path, I can hold my own.


There is an element of luck to the game, but luck can only get you so far. You need to know how to bet, how to bluff and how to read the cards. This books teaches you the probability of certain cards coming up and how to handle the art of bluffing. There are few books on the market that are as useful at The Little Black Book of Poker.

Don't Count Out Your Local Library For Game Books

There are dozens if not hundreds of games out there for you to learn about. They range from the simple to the complex, but if you try to purchase a book about each individual interest, then you could go bankrupt.


It doesn't matter what kind of game you are interested in learning about. It could be baseball, baseball card collecting, football, card games, and it goes on and on and on and on. A quick trip to amazon.com and you realize that most of these books cost $20 or more. You could buy one and find out that it was completely not the one you wanted.


You can visit your local bookstore, but what are the odds they have a decent selection of books about your given subject. One place you can always count on is the local library. Even if they don't have the book you want, then you can have them order it from another library. You have an average of two weeks to read it and by then you can decide if its worth actually buying it or not.


May libraries are keeping up with the times and have different types of e-books available for rent. Don't let a narrow mind keep you from getting the game book you really want and need. A trip to the local library can make the decision to buy much easier and it won't cost you a cent.

The Official Price Guide To Collectible Card Games

I've been collecting customizable card game cards and decks for more than a decade. I have decks from many different sets and expansions and it's hard to keep track. The problem arises that soon many of the games stop production and the values of the cards can quickly skyrocket.


Collectors like me are more in it for the collection more than the price, but when we buy the cards we want to make sure we're paying a fair price. One dealer may sell a card for significantly more than another and you might find one card that costs more than an entire group of cards.


Do you buy it or do you keep looking to see if you can get it cheaper? The Official Price Guide To Collectible Card Games provides the most up-to-date pricing on card game packs and individual cards. They have many different sets available as well, so you don't have to keep buying different books for each card game that you have. This is an indispensable tool for card game collectors large and small.


You can now go into a negotiation armed with the knowledge of how much the cards are worth and keep from unknowingly paying too much. You may still end up overpaying, but at least you'll know it. The Official Prince Guide To Collectible Card Games needs to be in your CCG arsenal or else you may end up getting taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous dealers looking to make a quick buck.

Magic The Gathering: The Official Encyclopedia

Before there was Pokeman and Yugioh, there was Magic: The Gathering. There were collectible card games before it, but Magic set the bar for obsession and card count. Hundreds of thousands of people spend thousands of dollars to collect thousands of cards.


Magic is a prolific game and created the collectible card game craze that swept the nation. With so many cards out there, a collector would have a difficult time knowing exactly what cards he has left and their value in the game. That's why they created Magic The Gathering: The Official Encyclopedia. These books cover more than five volumes and include every card every produced by the Wizards of the Coast's Magic:The Gathering.


It is an essential tool for anyone that collects the cards either for playing the game or for the sheer love of card collecting. Many of the cards displayed are out of print and can only be found on auction sites like eBay. Their value to some is immeasurable and some people wouldn't even know they existed without the help of the encyclopedias.


The bad news is there books are all sold separately, so you're looking at about $20 per book. For anyone that collects the game with a passion, it is a small price to pay. These mammoth volumes will unlock the secrets for the very rarest cards, so they can be on the lookout. You can also use it as a quick reference rather than searching through your deck or card books.