Pancake's better at marketing than I am, apparently.

Yesterday, we announced the Borderlands 2 collector's edition. Someone on Shacknews asked me how big the loot chest was, and since we have a prototype in the office I said I'd take a picture for him to show scale.

I also had my miniature dachshund, Pancake, in the office, and since she's kind of notorious on Shacknews, I figured I'd use her for scale.

I like using yfrog.com (although it's not the best site, I know) for all my phone-uploaded photos (archiving FTW) so I tweeted the two below pictures of Pancake to show scale and then posted them on Shacknews.

Turns out gamers really care about the scale of their collector's edition loot chests and also love tiny dogs. As of this morning, she had 1270 upvotes on Reddit - someone dug her enough to repost the picture. She was also posted on tumblr and was reblogged quite a bit.

Pancake has now won the right to come to the office with me whenever she wants. Sure, she sits on my desk and whimpers after lunch because she knows she gets a treat then. Sure, she sometimes lets out a bark during a conference if she sees a big dog out the window. But she's probably also sold hundreds of collectors editions... So I think overall, she wins at video game marketing.

Conversations from my workplace.

Walking to the bathroom I saw Rocco peeling a piece of citrus in the hallway over a trash can.

"Tobey, is this a blood orange or is it rotten?"

"I don't know, dude, it's got a ton of white pulpy stuff. That's a lot more than I'm used to. Is it red inside? They are really red inside."

"I don't know, I got it from Marin."

"Break it open, let's see."

"Is it rotten?"

"Dude, that looks like a grapefruit." (I smell it.) "Yeah, that's a grapefruit."

"Well can I eat it?"

"If you like grapefruit, yeah."

...And at this point, the gal in the office next to use started laughing so hard she cried.

forays into photography.

so, as you may know, i'm getting married next week. this is rad and all, but what is WAY MORE AWESOME is that i'm getting a full week in maui, sans blackberry and laptop, to do anything in the world i want. it's a gorgeous place, and it's our honeymoon, so i want to have some kick ass pictures. thusly, about two weeks ago, i began my search to figure out what kind of camera we wanted to get.

we had a few options: iphone with a waterproof case when we go in the ocean, point-and-shoot with a waterproof case, waterproof point-and-shoot, or DSLR and some other option of the above.

i went with that last one.

Come out and Play San Francisco: Jericho - An Urban Spy Game

Last night Greg, Mike, and I traversed into downtown San Francisco one more time to partake in Come Out and Play San Francisco 2011. This time we were in Union Square to play “Jericho – An Urban Spy Game”. We knew this about the game: We would be picking up and carrying “spy documents” or defending and stopping spies carrying said documents, and we should bring a hat and a Nerf gun. As an added bonus, we were told that the person in the best spy outfit would win a “special Nerf gun”.

I’m competitive by nature, and really did want a black trenchcoat. However, walking into a store wearing a fedora whilst wielding two Nerf guns was far more embarrassing than I expected it to be.

We were a bit wary of the event after the previous night’s mall debacle, but the lure of Nerf guns is pretty much a Siren song to anyone who likes to play games (come on, you can’t deny it) so at 6:30 PM we arrived (and I was decked out in a double-breasted black trenchcoat, matching fedora, and red scarf tied to look like an ascot).

From the moment we saw the event’s coordinator, dressed in a full tuxedo, the game went from awesome to completely fucking badass.

Come Out and Play San Francisco: Undercover Capture the Flag

Last night, Greg, Cailin, Mike, and I went to Undercover Capture the Flag at the Westfield Mall in downtown San Francisco. We had really high hopes for this kind of subversive play: the game entailed you hunting down players on an opposing team and tagging them by saying "do you have the time?" No one in the mall was supposed to know you were playing and you were supposed to blend in - all the while looking for flags posted on walls throughout the mall.

So, that's what was supposed to go on, but let me tell you how it actually went down.

On streaming technologies.

So, if you know me, you probably know I really like video games, the Internet, and hanging out with people on the Internet and that I meet in the Internet whilst doing things that relate to video games (I, know, I know, it's shocking that with these hobbies I run community and social for a video game company. Shocking, I tell you.)

Anyway, a long, long time ago I was terrified of public speaking, so I joined Model UN in high school because I believe the best thing to do when you are terrified of something is to force yourself to do it. My first conference, I was timid, so the cond one I said to myself "the worst you can do is fail utterly and everyone will laugh at you. Then you will leave this place and never see them again." (motivational speaker I am not.) that tactic worked for me and I ended up winning a ton of awards and becoming president of the club - so I apply it in how I work when dealing with the public facing portions of my job, which are numerous.

While I might not like the sound of my voice, I do a lot of interviews and these days, at work, we have a robust streaming setup. So when Greg bought Dark Souls and told me it was soul crushingly difficult, I thought that I would buy it too (because I'm a masochist) and cord myself playing it for the benefit of amusing my friends.

Last night I did one better: using http://twitch.tv/dahanese I streamed myself playing the first hour of the game. Between people on Twitter and Shacknews I think I got something like 200 views (I use ustrwam.tv currently for work so I havent poked around with the twitch metrics - I would love to know how many poor souls were concurrently suffering as I played horrifically poorly.) and while streaming myself doing something personal in my home was slightly terrifying to me (not to mention I was purposefully putting myself in a situation where I would look dumb for the amusement of others) I had a ton of fun with the entire ordeal. From setting up the system (thanks Loiosh!) and learning that MacBook Airs are fucking amazing and can run a high quality stream of two cameras over wireless to having my chat room heckle me and steer me at times towards death and success, everything was awesome.

I understand now why Greg likes streaming his live D&D sessions. While he Likes being in the spotlight far more than I do, I'm not without ego, and so even if this is a situation where I am the fool rather than the rockstar, having a crowd to cheer and laugh and enjoy is really welcoming.

I knew when I bought Dark Souls that it wasn't my kind of game. I like beating on things, but I am terrible at learning to be defensive and subtle when slashing away at enemies in video games. That's one reason I love Borderlands, for example: group play and as Brick I could run in and bash people in the face with my fists while my fiancé (playing the sniper) laughed at me through his rifle scope. I also rally don't ke things that are punishingly difficult - I challenge myself enough in life - I like the option to drop a game to easy and cruise through it after a difficult day. Dark Souls has none of this, but because of that, it makes for an awesome game to watch me play, and it also is an awesome game for my to have a group with me while I play so perhaps I can make it to the end.

Okay, maybe making it to the end is overzealous, but I'm looking forward to being back home next Monday so that I can figure out how to make the image quality better and stream again. And not only that, I'm a lady thinking s out buying direct feed inputs to stream games from my desktop or direct from my consoles. I mean, if people will watch me and through the amazing connectedness of a live stream hang out with me, think of how many video games I minght playnthat I've previously set aside. Who knows, may e someday I'll play one I'm actually good at (although I'm sure the ones I am terrible at are far more fun.)

So I'm taking requests on what you guys want to see me play in the future and inviting you to watch me through the next week or so with Dark Souls. I think live streaming is awesome and have thought so since we started doing it at work over a year ago, but I never realized how much I'd enjoy it for my own personal use.

Thanks, Internet! You win again.

On social media.

Recently, people have been talking a lot about social media and, frankly, the term has quite the bad reputation. As someone who makes a living off things that include social media, I often jump into these debates and someone on the internet asked me to write up my thoughts on the topic. I have many thoughts, so I'm keeping this one general: I could go off on emerging media, experiential and interactive marketing, or even experimental marketing - likewise, I could rant for hours about the value of community and how it's morphed and grown immensely in importance over the past few years. But today, I'm keeping it simple, and I'm talking about "social media" as a generality. Consider this my starting rant (although I hope I'm not too ranty, or worse, preachy). If you like it, let me know if you want to hear more (and what you want to hear more of).


on how i'm going to get to gold status on american airlines this year.

so, i'm sitting here in texas talking to my amazing felicia about how i don't know what time zone it is and how i should potentially go eat dinner, and it occurred to me how insane my travel has been and will be this year. i've already stated in the office i'm making this into a fun game and trying to reach gold status on american - but i might even be able to go beyond that.

let's sketch out what i've done so far this year:

3 days in Dallas, dev trip - (12, 13, 14) American Air

3 days in Vegas, event - (6, 7, 8) Virgin (folly! not reaching my goal!)
3 days in Dallas, dev trip (23, 24, 25) American Air

projected trips include:
3 days in Ohio (7, 8, 9)
4 days in Boston (10, 11, 12, 13)
3 days in Canada (14, 15, 16)

3 days in Dallas
3 days in Canada


3 days in LA (barely a trip)

3 days in LA (barely a trip!)
3 days in Canada (MAYBE)
***VACATION - potentially Australia, likely Vegas***

4 days in Seattle

I will also take one, hopefully two trips to NYC for my family - and I will probably have to take one or two short trips for another project.

Thank goodness I love my job, eh?

on the topic of video games, social networking, and the fact i'm not working right now.

frequently, i talk about the internet, forums, twitter/facebook or other social networking with both incredulity and disgust. it's not really disgust - it's really fascination and admiration and a little bit of embarrassment - but i find myself saying stuff like "and i find that hilarious and awesome and it also makes me want to punch myself in the face a little bit." for example: i have a lot of work relationships that are maintained and thrive via twitter. now, i love twitter. not only is it awesome for 2K Games, but it's also awesome for me - for example, my best friend felicia just moved to australia. if i ever want to talk to her, texting is out of the question, but twitter is just as (if not more) effective. and there are also nifty bonuses like meeting people from the microsoft team that unless they tweeted, i really would have never known. example on this: last night i was playing fable III on my 360 and i was invited to play a racing game (NFS) with e from MS. never met the guy, only ever tweet with him, but spent over an hour kicking the shit out of some MS guys (and other folks who i didn't recognize) in a smash-em-up game.

What the hell is Jejuning?

If you've been following my Twitter account for any length of time, likely you have heard me say at least once that I have been Jejuned. If you are confused, this blog post is for you. It probably won't make you any less confused, but it will at the very least explain what the hell I mean when I turn the word jejune into a verb.

First, some backstory.