Gamer Raffle: Call of Duty Black Ops II – FREE

Dear gamers,

I have a brand-new, unopened DVD with the recently released Call of Duty Black Ops II. You can see it in the pictures. It’s a PC version, and I want to give it for free and in return for absolutely nothing to a deserving gamer who wants to be reunited with the game but can’t buy one for whatever reason.

All you need to get the game is participate in the raffle on Clarissa’s Blog. Just leave a comment with any nickname of your choice and an email where I can contact you to tell you that you have won. After everybody submits their request, I will draw a random name and send the DVD to the winner. Remember that you will eventually have to give me an address in the US where I will send the DVD.

There is a bonus Nuketown 2025 map included.

The winner of the raffle and the happy recipient of this great game will be announced on this blog within a week.

P.S. I want to reassure my regular readers that this game was not taken from N. against his will. He has his own copy of the game that he is happily playing right now.

This post will remain sticky while the raffle continues, so please scroll down for new posts.

Black Ops.Thinking of Jesus: A Guest Post

As I mentioned before, N. is not only the best of husbands anybody could possibly imagine, he is also a passionate gamer. When he discovered a weird form of identity-building in one of the games he plays a lot, he decided to write a guest post for my blog based on it. Check it out, this is really funny.

The GS96 clan supports a nice Free-For-All game server on a map called Array. I play there a lot, because the crispy snowy scenery is like a cool breeze, much needed given the current weather in Southern Illinois.

As usual, the automated console messages urge the gamers to “be respectful”, use “no racist language”, and so on. In addition, there are funny messages that I thought were a form of advertising: “Female gamer? Join GS96!”, “Family friendly gamer? Join GS96!”. I thought what they meant was akin to “Are you breathing? Join GS96!”

However, when “Are you a Christian gamer? Join GS96!” popped up, I decided to check it out. I couldn’t believe it, but this is all for real:

Even though the clan is against racism, it apparently is fine with discriminating by gender or religion.

Anyway, when I first saw the Christian gamer message, I hoped the clan had discovered another Christian commandment that gives a powerful spiritual boost to multiplayer gaming. A good example would have been:

which would have made the lives of gamers like myself so much easier!

Unfortunately, all they came up with is no swearing policy in the “Christian unit”, and the website makes it unclear what the difference is between, say, a female non-Christian gamer and a male Christian one. What do you guys think are the traits of a true Christian Call of Duty player?

P.S. I have a Steam Black Ops account that caught a rank reset bug. I hear it may be cured once you prestige again. If you want it for free, leave your first name and email and I’ll transfer it to you.

P.P.S. from Clarissa: And what is it with the “No strong/bad language” for the Female Channel of the game? With all due respect for gamers, have you, folks, never seen actual women? Is this why you retain the image of females promoted by Victorian literature that shows us as tender creatures ready to wilt and faint the moment we hear a “bad word”?

But seriously, why would one want to have a special channel for Christians in what is obviously a very violent game irrespective of which channel you use? I’m all for this kind of video games because they allow one to sublimate aggression in a healthy way but how is the process different for Christians than, say, Jews or agnostics?

>My Kind of Gamer

>This is really my kind of gamer:

A post in the official World of Warcraft forums has attracted much attention recently. Everbloom, a Night elf Druid on World of Warcraft‘s Feathermoon server, has managed to reach the maximum level 85 without killing a single mod. Everbloom pulled the feat off by only picking herbs, digging up bones and simply exploring the wilderness of Azeroth.

Like Everbloom, I hate games that require me to run, shoot, and feel under pressure. How much nicer is it to walk around at leisure, pick herbs and accumulate points that way. I often set up games on purpose in a way that makes it impossible for opponents to bug me while I’m slowly doing my thing. Life is full of stress, so if I find time to play, I want the game to be as stress-free as possible.
Sadly, I only find time to play maybe once every 3-4 months. Maybe I’ll celebrate the end of the semester with one major bout of gaming.
By Clarissa Posted in gamers

>Hardcore Gamers…

>. . . are all  nuts. OK, maybe not all of them but many definitely are. Which I didn’t know until I posted a review of Civilization V where I dared (and what a horrible thing to do!) to mention that I like Civilization V and didn’t enjoy Civilization IV. Since then, I have been inundated by angry messages from gamers, ranging from mildly offensive to scarily crazy, berating me for expressing my opinion of the game. This is really insane because it’s just a game. And probably now I will be hated even more because this is not a sentence any hardcore gamer ever wants to hear.

I have been accused of being paid by the company that made the game to promote it (I wish, but in what universe would they hire somebody like me who only plays a couple of times a month, at best?) and of never even having seen either version of the game and just writing bad things about Civ IV out of spite (yes, because it cheated on me with my boyfriend.)

So, gamers, please stop writing to me, telling me how Civ V’s introduction of hexes has changed your life for the worse. If you care about it this much, you probably never had a life to begin with. Maybe now is a good time to get your ass out of that arm-chair and go get one.

P.S. My husband’s comment on this subject: “If you spent as much time with gamers as I do, you would know that these people don’t have any sex. At all. Ever. Then, you would be more compassionate towards them.”

By Clarissa Posted in gamers

>Civilization V: A Review

For some reason, Sid Meier’s Civilization V got pretty bad reviews, which surprises me because the game is really great. I loved Civilization 3 and Civilization 2 and played them for years. Sid Meiers Civilization IV: Complete, though, was a huge disappointment. It introduced a lot of components that were useless and led nowhere. Worst of all, it allowed very little choice in game options. I prefer to customize every game according to my very specific preferences, which was impossible in Sid Meiers Civilization IV: Complete. As a result, I only played it a few times and it turned out to be a complete waste of time.

This new version of the game is a huge improvement on all previous versions, especially the fourth. The graphics are fantastic. The game looks a lot more sophisticated and professionally done. Longer games can get tedious and repetitives, especially for obsessive players like me who need to control every city’s production and every unit’s movements. So it really helps that every technological advance, policy acquisition, creation of a Wonder, or beginning of a new era is accompanied by a beautifully made screen with an interesting quote. To give an example, when you enter the modern era, you hear a voise announce: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!” The leaders of the cultures you meet actually talk to you in their own languages, which is beyond cool.

There are many new options in the game, which initially intimidated me a bit. I can never make myself read a manual or look for help online and prefer to figure things out by trial an error. This version of the game offers such detailed and timely help on every issue you might encounter that learning to play Sid Meier’s Civilization V is rendered extremely easy.

Some of the improvements to the game have been a long time coming. You can now purchase new tiles, instead of waiting forever for your civilization to expand on its own. There are city-states that allow exciting new options for diplomacy. You need to make efforts to make a city-state friendly to you but diligence in this area always pays off. Friendly city-states offer great gifts, as well as timely advice on how to run the civilization.

A big new improvement that has caused something of a controversy among Civilization lovers is that religion is gone and has been substituted by different kinds of social policies that can be adopted at different points of the game (contingent on how fast you accumulate culture.) In the previous versions of the game, religion was somewhat of an afterthought and an eventual useless encumbrance. Choosing a religion made very little difference on how the game was run and it always felt like a needless distraction. Social policy, however, has been very well-thought out and is very sophisticated. You need to choose your social policies carefully because they will have a big influence on how your civilization develops.  

I know people have complained that the game runs slowly and crashes often. What you need to know before you buy it is that you need a new and powerful computer to run it. Read the specs carefully and see if your computer meets them all. If it does, this game will process all turns extremely fast and will not crash. Mine has been working perfectly.

By Clarissa Posted in gamers

>What Counts as a Civilization?

I’ve been waiting for Sid Meier’s Civilization V to come out for a long time. When I finally received the game, I was dismayed to discover that the list of civilizations one can play for in this version of the game runs as follows:

America, Arabia, Aztec, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iroquois, Japan, Ottoman, Persia, Rome, Russia, Siam, Songhai

Do you see what I mean? There is no Spain!! Even though Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, even though Hispanic civilization gave the world Cervantes, Picasso, Garcia Lorca, Goya, Calderon, Goytisolo, as well as 11 Nobel Prize winners in literature, there is no place for Spain in this version of the game. On what planet is Spain less deserving of being named a civilization than France, Germany, and Siam is beyond my comprehension. Spain was one of the civilizations in the previous versions of the game. I wonder what the motivation was behind removing it from the list.

It is equally annoying that the word “America” here refers to the United States. Canada and the countries of Central and South America are completely excluded.

By Clarissa Posted in gamers

>Scrabble on Kindle

Great news for Scrabble-loving Kindle-owners: our favorite game is finally available on Kindle. Unlike Shuffled Row and Every Word, SCRABBLE for Kindle isn’t free. For me, however, the game is definitely worth the price.

I’m fascinated by language games and Scrabble is one of my favorite word games ever. The only problem is that I really suck at it. I’m not being coy about it, or anything. Believe me, my Scrabble skills are abismally poor. A long time ago, I stopped inflicting myself at those of my friends who play this game. I tried playing with strangers online, thinking that, since I don’t know them, I won’t feel bad by making them suffer through the frustration of playing with me. Eventually, though, I gave up after receiving several polite suggestions that I learn the rules before I subject people to my horrible Scrabble skills.

Now that SCRABBLE is available on Kindle, I can gratify my desire to play the game without making anybody suffer. The Kindle version of the game can be played against yourself, against the computer (at various levels of prowess), and against your friends. I was afraid that it would take the system forever to think of a move, but that turned out not to be the case. The game against the computer proceeds fast. There are in-built functions that help those of us whose Scrabble skills are poor. Graphically, the game is beautiful and very easy to play. The only problem with the game is that now I’ve been playing it for 2 days and keep putting off grading students’ exams.

>Another Free Guest Pass Key for Starcraft II

>Here is another free guest pass key for the new Starcraft II. The person who gets here first will be able to use it for free for 7 hours of game time or 14 days from activation (whichever comes first):

7EZD7X-PVYP-NRYRZM-GTR7-V26XWP

Instructions:

1. Go to www.starcraft2.com/guest

2. Create a Battle.net account or log into the one you already have.

3. Enter the Guest Pass Key into the field provided.

Have fun!

By Clarissa Posted in gamers

>Free World of Warcraft Passes

I have two guest passes for World of Warcraft. With each guest pass you can play for free for 10 days.

If you want these guest passes, leave your e-mail address in the comment section or write to this blog’s e-mail at clarissasblog@hotmail.com.

Like last time, if there are more people interested than guest passes available, I’ll pull names out of a hat to see who gets the guest passes.

By Clarissa Posted in gamers

>StarCraft II: A Free Guest Pass

Gamers all over the world have been eagerly awaiting the release of StarCraft II. For ten years, fans of the game have been speculating as to whether the hype will be worth it. Now, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is finally out.

I have a free guest pass that allows you to play the game for free for 7 hours or 14 days from activation, whichever comes first (those who don’t know what will come first have never met a gamer.) So if you are interested in checking out what the game is like through the use of this guest pass, let me know.

Just leave an e-mail address where I can send you the Guest Pass Key in the comments or send it to me by e-mail. I promise that nobody will find out your e-mail from me. If there are several people who are interested, I’ll put their names in a hat and see who gets the guest pass.

For the sake of all gamers, I sincerely hope that StarCraft II lives up to the expectations and turns out to be worth the wait.

Let the Protoss win!