The PA Report investigates advertising on Xbox Live

We’ve been fans of Ben Kuchera’s journalistic and investigative skills since his early days at Ars Technica, and have continued to follow him since his move to Penny Arcade’s PA Report. Mr. Kuchera has written a LOT of great articles in his time, but I think he’s finally outdone himself: a behind-the-scenes look at how advertising on Xbox Live is done. This includes costs, placement, ad development, and everything in between.

This may not sound exciting to a lot of you, but I very highly recommend you read the entire article…it’s fantastic stuff.

The Weekend Album: Mystic Cigarettes

After an 18-month hiatus, our Weekend Album feature makes its triumphant return with a look at the album Mystic Cigarettes, from Saafi Brothers.

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Classic Mondays: Die By the Sword

Classic Mondays makes its long overdue return with a look at this dismemberment-happy PC legend from the late 90′s.

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Die Monster Die!

The very essence of H.P. Lovecraft comes alive on-screen in this 1960’s horror classic.

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After a hiatus of nearly four years, Penny Arcade’s episodic series On The Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness makes its triumphant return by way of a 16-bit RPG with modern gameplay mechanics.

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Still no power

This is a screenshot I grabbed off my phone the day after an insane storm blasted through Maryland. What you’re looking at is an outage map for the immediate area around where we live. Each of those blue triangles represent multiple outage points…in all, our power company ended up reporting a total of 19,727 individual points of failure throughout their system. Some of these problems were as minor as a power box that needed to be rewired, while others were as major as entire substations that were decimated.

Hello, dear readers! It’s been four days since the crazy storms came through Maryland, and our apartment complex is still without power (we had multiple trees down on multiple power lines, and they didn’t get the trees removed until yesterday, so it will probably still be another day or two before we get power back.) Naturally, now that my hand is feeling good enough to type up articles, I haven’t been able to do so! I’m writing this update on my phone, and if there’s anything it’s proven to me, it’s that I hate writing with a touchscreen -_-;;

Brittnie has spent a bunch of time on her Japanese lessons, while I’ve been playing through Unchained Blades on my PSP. We’ve also been playing Skip-Bo on our DS’s together, as well as playing rummy by the light of an LED lantern. Everything has been kept charged up thanks to our UPS. (Side note: for tips on how to keep living the nerd life during a power outage, check out this article we wrote early last year after a snow storm knocked out our power for three days.) Once our power is restored, the Nerd Cave will be back in business, and we’ll start getting some articles posted up. There’s a metric buttload of them floating around my head, so stay tuned!

I’d like to close out this update by taking a moment to give a HUGE thanks to the line workers, tree cutters, call center agents, and everyone else that have been doing 16-hour shifts in 100-degree heat in an effort to get everyone’s power back. Your hard work is highly appreciated!

There will be updates. Oh yes…there will be.

Pictured: my injured hand. Well, not really. But yeah…really.

Good morning, dear readers! Just wanted to provide an update on what’s going on. My hand still hurts like hell, but it’s healing quickly: my fingers can move again, and the swelling has gone WAY down, but I still have limited motion in my wrist and thumb. I’ve spent a lot of my time watching things, since I haven’t been able to game at all (except for Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, since it can be played one-handed.) Expect a deluge of movie/TV show reviews once I can type with both hands again.

When will that be? Well, I’m hoping to start posting again on Monday, but it all depends on how things go. In any event, once I’m able to type again, there will be a lot of back-to-back posting days, something that we haven’t had in a while around here. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!

“OOO, that’s doubley painful!”

In a moment of sheer stupidity, I suffered a hairline fracture in the first metacarpal in my right hand, with the possibility of a hairline fracture in one of my carpals. Suffice it to say, it will probably be another week or two before there’s another post here. The good news is that I’ll have plenty of time to watch and read a bunch of stuff, so when we do return, it will be with a vengeance! I’ve already got articles in my head for the original V mini-series, a series review of The Wire, a series review of every PvP strip Scott Kurtz has put out, a review of horror classic Die Monster, Die!, the return of our Weekend Album series, and much more. In the mean time, check out these posts you may have missed:


Backlog 2012: Chrono Trigger

In our continuing quest to conquer our backlog, we offer up a look at Chrono Trigger.

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20 years later: Blaster Master

After twenty years, I return to the top-down shooting, vehicle platforming world of Blaster Master.

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