Check Out These 5 Ways for Dealing with Stress and Depression #GSNCasino

help

This post was made possible by iConnect: Influencer Management and GSN Games. I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are 100% mine.

It’s no secret that I suffer from depression and a host of other mental illnesses, but when I find myself down the dark hole of depression, I remember these tips that my therapist have given me. It works for me, so who knows…it might help you too.

1. WRITE

journal

Whatever anger, anxiety, sadness, etc. you have bottled up inside of you, you HAVE to get it out. I know it’s super hard to let all of that anger go, but sometimes you just have to write. Understand it doesn’t have to be your manifesto, it could be as simple as “I hate you.” or repeatedly writing the word “Why” over and over again. Not sure what to write, it’ll flow out of you.

2. READ

bookworm

Grab a book (or a comic) and read. Rise out of the drama, stress and BS that you’re currently in and transplant yourself in a whole new world. Majority of you know I surround myself in comics and get lost in there. I rather get lost in comics than get lost in my mind. It’s a dangerous place to be at times.

3. PLAY GAMES

wheel-of-fortune-slots

Don’t laugh at this one, but my therapist suggested that I distract myself with games. I have been playing Bejeweled 2 for about 6 months now and recently discovered Wheel of Fortune slots from #GSNCasino. You can download GSN Casino on iTunes and on Google Play. They have tons of games, Scrabble Cubes, Deal or No Deal, bingo, and as I mentioned earlier Bejeweled 2. All the games are free to play, but there are in app purchases.

I won’t lie to you, the games are extremely addicting and there have been times when I’m pretty sure 3 days have passed by and I didn’t move. Ok, ok, I exaggerate, BUT the games are fun and if you need to distract yourself from everything else, then GSN Casino is the way to do it. There’s also a community of people who need a break and will pull out their iPad’s and iPhone’s for some friendly competition.

4. COOK/BAKE

beef-stew-recipe

Do you know how hard it is to focus on the crap going on in your life and cook/bake at the same time? Lemmetellya, it’s hard as heck. Go on and put in 1/2 cup of flour in your recipe that really calls for 1/2 tablespoon. Trust me, I’ve done it. WHY? I was in the “what if” cycle of depression. You have to give baking and cooking your undivided attention. It’s imperative or you’re going to end up with some disgusting food and you have no one to blame but yourself.

5. TALK TO SOMEONE

friendship

Pick up your phone and talk to your bestie. Holding all that crap in will never be healthy…EVER. Arrange a Girls Day Out date with your girlfriend, talk to your sibling or mother, or if push comes to shove, talk to your therapist. You have to get it out. Heck, you can talk to me if you want.

These are 5 ways that I handle stress and depression. What works for me, might not work for you and if it doesn’t; find something that will.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrRedditStumbleUponDiggLinkedInEmailGoogle GmailYahoo MailShare

#SDCC Concept Art for The Walking Dead: Michonne A Telltale Games Mini-Series

the-walking-dead-michonne-telltale-games

Concept art from the upcoming The Walking Dead: Michonne A Telltale Games Mini series debuted during the Skybound panel during SDCC.

telltale-michonne-concept-art

the-walking-dead-michonne-telltale-game-concept-art

Here are some live tweets from the panel from the Skybound twitter account.

You can expect to have The Walking Dead Michonne A Telltale Game Miniseries in your hands by late fall.

The Walking Dead Michonne is a 3-part miniseries that explores parts of Michonne character history that is not explored in the comic books or in the TV series, and players will be able to experience Michonne’s world from her point of view. Not only will Michonne have her katana, she’ll also be using a machete.

Fallout 4 Confirmed – Official Trailer

Game Gods be praised! Fallout 4 was confirmed yesterday and Bethesda Studios was gracious enough to give us a trailer to build the E3 Hype train.

The announcement stream today was the trailer on a continuous loop. What do you think? Fallout Hype or nah?

(X360) Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series – Review – Roundup Through Episode 3

 

Come sit on mommy's lap and tell her about your day.

Come sit on mommy’s lap and tell her about your day.

As someone who grew up with point-and-click adventure games, and especially fluent in those published by Sierra and Lucasarts Games, the recent Telltale revival of the genre appears engineered precisely for my attention. As fan-feeding gallivants through various media properties – primarily television and film – interpreted through classic adventure game pacing and mechanics, Telltale’s offerings occupy storyline-focused experiments in guided narrative. The formula seems essentially perfect.

I don’t like Telltale Games.

I remember the return of Sam and Max, formatted into season-long chunks partitioned throughout a year and delivered on cloud-based videogame subscription service GameTap. The notion of returning to one of my favorite adventure games of all time in a perpetuating release schedule was ample reason for excitement. And initially, at least, I enjoyed the experience of returning to the fictional universe of the “freelance police,” a kind of wacked-out, Harvey Kurtzman/Looney Tunes/Dragnet melange that was heavy on surreal and dark humor in a heavily sarcastic script.

The truth is, the Sam and Max Telltale series was not great. Nor is Game of Thrones, several years later.

At this stage, Telltale represent a taste you’ve either or acquired or have possibly grown nauseated by. The years go by, new flavors enter their format (including recent successes like The Walking Dead and the comic book adaptation of Fables), are mashed through their gears, emerging out the other side as a quasi-interactive animated storybook, with omnipresent reliance on Quick-Time-Event (QTE) and time-sensitive dialogue trees. Game of Thrones is no different, although the cultural touchstone that is the HBO series (to say nothing of the novels) ensures that the recipients of this most recent Telltale series have the added draw of purchasing a season pass to get just a few more morsels of story before the proper television series continues this weekend.

"Wait, that's tomorrow?"

“Wait, that’s tomorrow!?”

It’s not just that there isn’t enough “game” in Game of Thrones (there isn’t), or that the stylized graphics in the Xbox 360 version fail to impress (they don’t), or even that there aren’t enough autonomous scenes where your characters get to stretch their legs (there aren’t). Furthermore, it’s not that each frantic decision your character makes against the time limit significantly affects the overall plot (most do not factor in at all). If only all of these flagrant, dissonant issues accompanied a brilliant script, I would find myself excusing the weak points for what the game attempts to accomplish, at its core: telling a good story.

As it stands, the story is merely serviceable, although it’s getting better. Essentially putting you in the shoes of a royal family similar in many respects to House Stark, the game presents the Forrestors as store-brand Starks, complete with politically ominous surroundings. This is what it’s like to see the tides of time and power shift, and a once-prominent House lies weakened, undernourished, sacked-upon and objectified by the greed of its neighbors. Much like the HBO show, Game of Thrones floats through several points of view, presenting the dialogue and actions of several distinct characters in creaky, nauseating situations of diplomatic intrigue, tongue-biting humiliation and backstabs.

In a way, Game of Thrones and the Telltale formula seem an ideal and obvious match. If the end result was able to deliver the story free of groans, even if that process was less interactive game and more cutscene-heavy animated film, the entire package would be easier to recommend (which is absurd, as this is a game review). As it stands, however, the awkward design decisions are legion, the interior monologues that characters parrot mostly nonsensical, and the aesthetics seem amateurish with the decades-old quality of their graphics. Less said about them, the better, but the watercolor effect looks embarrassing, with even simple character textures looking like glitches in nearly every encounter.

Even the Coal Boy thinks this all looks sloppy.

Even the Coal Boy thinks this all looks sloppy.

I also wish that the QTEs seemed to work better, as they theoretically harmonize with the pacing dread of the Game of Thrones narrative. Instead, what the QTEs amount to are countless instances where your character is pressured to respond quickly to a question or is prompted for an observation. A timer ticks down, you are offered 2-3 responses or mute silence(which, although an interesting touch, typically provides no gameplay benefit whatsoever), and you sit back and wait for the gameworld to react to your response. If the facial expressions were better detailed or had one whit of subtlety, perhaps this rhythm would legitimately mesmerize, but each character possesses a paltry inventory of 4 meager dramatic masks, usually wholly unsuited to the script itself, cycled through with unintentional comedic effect. The interior narration is even worse, as characters continually orate thoughts to themselves and the player, essentially ruining any attempts at performing dramatic asides.

Those moments when the mechanics actually do seem to work or align with the game’s intent are generally the exception, not the rule. A quick scene where Mira has a limited amount of time to hide in a room is perhaps the least dissonant example. The various tricks in the QTE bag are so incredibly reductive that you are forced to interpret sword fights, dodges, or even clinking wine glasses using the same exact button-pressing routines, giving the game a quality more reminiscent of a Sega CD FMV title than anything on a modern console.

One of the many convincing facial expressions of Gared Tuttle

One of the many convincing facial expressions of Gared Tuttle

The performances overall are a mixed bag, although Ethan’s voice actor is convincing, and the most interesting character is arguably Asher, whose bits of story tend to be more action-packed and dynamic (also, he’s kind of the singular enjoyable badass). As with most any adaptation of TV/cinema in recent memory, the story seems to serve its guest stars, in the form of several lead actors from HBO’s Game of Thrones, all of whom grant brief but piquant readings that only further overshadow the rest of the cast, who expectantly command the main focus of the story. Leana Headey as Cersei Lannister deserves specific mention and delivers an especially noteworthy performance.

I really cannot determine the reason why this is a game rather than an animated film. Furthermore, I played through the majority of these chapters with my girlfriend seated beside me, who insisted that her position on the couch was the preferable one. Nothing seems improved by actually playing the game itself, above simply watching its story unfold. In this sense, the game is an utter failure as a game. Yet the story – though not without its drawbacks – is engaging enough, and certainly comes more into its own with Chapter 3 (and there is nothing as cringe-inducing in this chapter as the song which brings Chapter 2 to a close). The writing seems to find its footing here, and there are enough twists and turns to bring even casual viewers of the HBO series to attention.

Absent of watching an entire playthrough, I cannot genuinely recommend the game or the series overall, but each chapter is relatively brief, and the time you spend with them has definitive value. If the series continues with the momentum mustered in Chapter 3, I may find myself changing my mind in the coming months.

Which is to say: had I simply played and purchased Chapter 1 at its release before 2 and 3 were available, I highly doubt that I would’ve readily returned to these corners of Westeros.

Mortal Kombat X-Official Launch Trailer

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X Cover


Whats happens when you mix the fast paced action of Mortal Kombat and the frantic stylings of the band System of a Down. Quite possibly the most kick butt trailer any game could ever ask for. Today the official launch trailer for Mortal Kombat X debuted after a series of featurettes for game-play and characters released over the last few weeks. Everything that a Mortal Kombat lover could want is here from the gore and fatalities that have become a franchise staple to a story that looks to encompass the future of the Mortal Kombat universe. The trailer was directed by System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian and features the song “Chop Suey!”

I can honestly say I have not been this hyped for a Mortal Kombat game in a while and I am really looking forward to playing this newest installment.

Mortal Kombat X will be released on XBOX One and PS4 on April 14, 2015