Loot Boxes Are Gambling And Are Ruining Gaming

So the newest hot button issue in the world of gaming is the huge uptick in games having loot boxes. Game companies have been trying to squeeze additional dollars out of consumers for years, through map packs, costume packs, and additional DLC.
But over the last few years randomized loot crates or boxes have started making their way into new titles, going so far as to give unfair advantages to people willing to spend the money.

This week our redneck friend Randy wants to expand a bit on the culture of loot boxes, gambling, and how random garbage in our games (and our lives) are ruining everything.


So we’re about to jump head first into the Summer 2017 anime season, and there’s some shows I’m definitely excited about–the next season of New Game and the second half of My Hero Academia are just 2 examples.

What do you think about shows that really crank up the fan service? Is it funny? Annoying? Just something you need to expect as an anime fan?

But our resident redneck weeaboo Randy wanted to take a good hard (lol) look at the lewdest shows of the Spring 2017 season. There was an obvious choice for what would “likely” be the #1 choice, but then a random other CrunchyRoll show came out of nowhere and shocked him with its sheer WTF-ness. Watch the video below to hear him rant.

OBVIOUSLY, this video is a little NSFW!


Is Amazon’s Anime Strike Ruining Anime?

We’re back and our local redneck (we happen to be in the Nashville, Tennessee area) Randy has a few things to say about Amazon’s Anime Strike. Anime Strike is a $5 a month streaming service for anime, much like CrunchyRoll and Funimation. But the catch with their service is that you must also be an Amazon Prime member to be able to subscribe, as a price of $99 a year.

So with the barrier to entry at around $104, it’s controversial. Even more controversial is the fact that Amazon has been going around buying up highly anticipated shows as exclusives. Just yesterday they announced obtaining the rights to the show “Welcome To The Ballroom”, much to the chagrin of anime fans.

With their newness in the anime game, it feels like their taking their large war chest of money and picking up shows knowing people will have no choice but to subscribe to both Prime and Strike to watch it.

All these points are rubbing people the wrong way. But we’ll let our country friend Randy explain it all in a little more (humorous) detail:


Wow. I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Katsucon in Maryland. It was quite an experience…one that I might wax philosophically on at a later date. But for now, I wanted to show off some of the amazing cosplayers I photographed. I was NOT prepped well to take pictures, to the point where I completely forgot to bring my flash (huge thanks to my friend Jimmy at Angry Dog Studios for lending me a spare!!!)

I also struggled with the wacky lighting there. Basically I’m trying to say “HI HAVE THE SUCK AT CAMERA.” But I hope you’ll still enjoy seeing the work on these cosplays.


The Ten Types of People On DragonCon’s “Marriott Day”

Close up of young couple fighting

Today geeks around the world went through the annual nightmare and clusterfuck of trying to reserve a room at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for DragonCon. Every year, the process is a Bruckheimer-sized assplosion, pissing off everyone that missed out and leaving those that DID get a room in post-coital tears of bliss.

But I don’t want to focus on whether Marriott’s reservation system is a jacked up mess (it is) or if Passkey is a company equivalent to hot street trash (it is). No–let’s instead look at the 10 types of people that show up on “Marriott Day”.

1. The Social Activist



After the annual train wreck you’ve got several people ready to make a Reddit-style movement to somehow convince the Marriott to care that their phone lines were busy and their website sucked. Perhaps they’ll slap some impact font on Grumpy Cat–that should get their attention.




They work in…I don’t know, Public Relations? But they’ve created a better system for reservations while being stuck on hold waiting for an operator. It involves old badges and a lottery and some software and hiring 8,000 additional telephone operators. Often it will include a method to weed out all the “fake geeks”.

“OK, I’ve got an eight-level system where people can test their awareness of Firefly and Troma film quotes. As you attain awareness of each level, you are allowed to get one step closer to a king-size room. Only once you reach the seventh level (a series of drills praising the works of Lou Ferrigno) will you be allowed to know the Passkey website address…Wait, did I just invent Scientology?”

3. The DragonCon Hipster


They hated the crowds and hotel rush at DragonCon before it was cool. They’ve designed several events, adventures, and tournaments that they will be attending instead.

“Oh GOD what losers still want to go to DragonCon? I’ve set up a 5-day sleepover to have a John Ritter movie marathon, followed by a tournament featuring board games based on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. Get on my level slaves to the corporate convention grind.”

But someone has to get those rooms, right? Most people who actually manage to snag a room react in two ways:

4. Sir Humblebrag


They proudly post their achievement in every thread with people still struggling to get a room, because that’s a good idea.

“OMG I have a room and it’s wonderful and OMG hope you get one but it must suck to be you but OMG I have one!!!111:-)”

5. The Silent Type


The other type of person that got a room says…nothing. They don’t want to rub it in, possibly setting off a karmic chain of events that lead to their reservation being sucked into an alternate-universe wormhole, forever lost. Meanwhile, they’re checking their e-mail and credit card charges every 10 minutes for the next 5 to 6 weeks to make sure that it wasn’t some fluke of nature. They want to be happy and enjoy their success, but they have trouble sleeping all the way until they have their room key in their hand about 11 months later.

6. The “First-timer” AKA HOW DO I DRAGONCON?


30 minutes after the rooms are gone, they hop on a random message board and ask…


7. The Daily Saver


These are the people that absolutely refuse to stay at one of the host hotels. They scour the wastelands, searching for the cheapest week-long stay they can find in Atlanta. They also tend to bring George Foreman grills and cases of Cup-O-Ramen.

“Hell, I’m staying at a Howard Johnson and I could not be happier. I get a free copy of “Just Busted” magazine. DragonConTV? F’ THAT. I’ve got the 700 Club in 3 languages! It’s only a 50-minute walk to the con, plus I saw a sign for $30 Air Jordans that I’m TOTALLY taking advantage of. Sucks to be you Marri-autists!”

8. Controlled Renters

"So what if the other kids are at the Marriott?"

“So what if the other kids are at the Marriott?”

They reserved a room at the Hyatt or Hilton as soon as they arrived for last year’s con. And they’ll do it again next year. And the next. They shake their heads at us with our grand dreams of living in the Capital in Panem. Basically they are the hotel version of your parents wanting you to get a degree in computers instead of music because they don’t want you working at Taco Bell until you’re 40.

“Why don’t you just listen to your mother and get a room at the Hilton? Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you!”

9. The Quitter


Often you’ll find them deciding not to go one year…then quietly returning the next year, asking what the Passkey website address is. DragonCon is the one addiction they just can’t shake. Once they saw the 28th YouTube Steadicam costume montage being uploaded, they started to miss it. After paying less than $5 for a slice of Papa John’s pizza, they really started to miss it.

“THAT’S IT. I’M DONE. IT’S NOT WORTH IT! My Restless Leg Syndrome was going OFF THE CHARTS trying to get a room!”

10. The Hacker


He knows all the tricks to getting a room. Either that, or they assure all their friends that they know the “secret” Passkey address because they decoded the source code of the website. They’re also writing a screenplay adaptation of their hacking experiences starring Ryan Gosling as “Mark E. Marriott”, international sex marine and pro-League of Legends player. They usually have 8 laptops (all Mac) ready to slam the page once the madness starts.

“OK, you have to load the Passkey page when the digits add up to a prime number. So I’ve determined that you hit F5 at 8:57 and 15 seconds. 8+5+7+1+5=29. BOOM. You’re welcome.”

Will we be doing this again next year? Yup, probably. Despite the sarcasm, I love DragonCon. The hotel reservation system is a stressful process–and it is too bad that every person that wants to come down and hang out/cosplay/drink can’t get a room where they want.

So please, feel free to relate your terrible Passkey stories below!

Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013 – Pictures

Had a great time hanging out with friends, hitting the dealer’s room, and taking pics and vids at AWA this year. Hopefully I’ll recap in a little more detail soon. But for now I wanted to post the pictures I took.

Feel free to share these photos–but please leave the watermark on the bottom left and credit this website (Animememe.com). Thanks!

Maybe You Should Refuse That Free Hug…

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Click to enlarge

If you’ve ever suddenly been offered a hug by a stranger while you’re cosplaying, your first reaction is typically “Su..err..wait a..umm, maybe?” You might do it because you genuinely feel honored that someone must like your cosplay. You might do it just to get it over with. Hell, you might love hugs.

But at this year’s Anime Expo, a few hug requests seemingly allowed a group of GoPro-equipped guys to take advantage of female cosplayers.

A self-described stunt/action team called EMC Monkeys wandered around Anime Expo, walking up to unsuspecting female cosplayers, asking for a hug while wearing a chest-mounted GoPro. After AX was over, they compiled the footage into a montage called “GoProHugs: ANIME EXPO ’13” and uploaded it to their YouTube channel. You can see the screencap up top from their Instagram advertising it (I edited out the cosplayer’s chest).

After a few cosplayers reported this to the staff of AX (one of whom was under 18), the AX staff quickly responded with the statement below:

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click to enlarge

EMC Monkeys took the video down, and attempted to apologize using the infamous “half-apology” on their Facebook page. They apologize, but then attempt to explain that the camera really wasn’t hidden, that they yelled “GoPro hug!” as they reached out for a hug, and then pointed out the camera. They even say they aren’t sure if that’s legitimate consent or not.

If they weren’t sure before, I think the Internet cleared that up for them quickly.

A couple other thoughts… Their version of the story runs counter to the stories of several cosplayers who said they never had the GoPro pointed out until after the hug. While allegedly only one cosplayer complained to them, that doesn’t mean that many more weren’t offended. There’s a good chance that many of them were so surprised that they didn’t know what to say. Some people will just say “OK” but are actually offended. They just don’t want to cause a scene in a huge venue.

Also, in their apology they said “it was about hugging not just boobs”. The “#boobs” tag used in their Instagram post seems to run counter to that statement.

Incidents like this make cosplayers feel less safe enjoying their hobby. As someone that likes to shoot pictures and video at cons, it makes it more difficult to ask for a photo when people make bad decisions that make all photographers look like perverts.

Cosplayers should be able to feel comfortable at a convention without having to worry about things like this. But I guess the same rules always apply–have a handler nearby, don’t do anything you aren’t completely comfortable doing, etc…

Now even though something like this gets a ton of attention, 99.999% of the environment at a con is about friends, fun, and showing off your skills. Most attendees are amazing people that love the art, cosplay, and fans that make these events possible.

While I question the sincerity of their apology, I’m sure the EMC Monkeys have walked away from this incident with some perspective. They obviously have a passion for art, video games, and action movies. In this instance let’s hope they just made a poor decision that they won’t make again. Of course, the Internet Hate Machine can fuel the fire on both ends, from people who are offended to people that say “get over it”.

What do you think?