Posts by gryth

Extra Life 2015

Posted By on Nov 03, 2015 | 1 comment

 Wesley EL small
It’s hard to believe it has been a year since the last time I’ve written about my participation in the Extra Life gaming marathon. This year will be my fourth in a row, and this one is extra special.

Extra Life is a 24-hour gaming marathon, in which participants from all over the world come together to raise money for their local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. This year, I am fundraising for the UCSF Children’s Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco. As you probably know, Amanda and I have had the (un)fortunate opportunity to become acquainted with these hospitals on a personal basis – our son Wesley was born almost three months prematurely and spent his first two-plus months in the NICU. While that NICU was run by Kaiser, he also needed to have a procedure to correct a heart-related issue, which was performed by the great team at UCSF Children’s.

Due to their caring and expertise, Wesley is coming up on his first birthday, and he is doing amazingly well, especially given his rocky start. We are so thankful for all of the medical teams that we have interacted with, and want to make sure that they – and the families that they need to work with – are well-supported and cared for. I’ve always thought that Extra Life was a great cause, but now it is personal.

This Saturday (11/7), I will once again don my headphone, stock up on caffeine, and play for the cause. If any of you are able to help, I would be incredibly grateful. Any amount would be meaningful, and if you aren’t able to donate money, just checking in and lending support would be fantastic. That said, even as little as $5 will help. The money flows straight through to the hospitals, and is entirely used on patient care and quality of life.

If you’d like to make a donation, please head over to my donation page.

Thank you so much, and feel free to pass this along to anyone that you think might be interested!
Read More

Extra Life 2014 is Tomorrow!

Posted By on Oct 24, 2014 |

Extra Life 2014It’s almost here! Extra Life 2014 game day is tomorrow (Oct 25), and I’m almost ready! There are always a bunch of last-minute things to do – try to build a list of games to play (and some semblance of a schedule), install them, make sure I have some non-potato chip snacks around, get plenty of rest – and this year is no different.

First things first, though. I’ve had a great response this year, and together we’ve already smashed my fundraising goal! This is super awesome, and I wanted to thank every one of you that has contributed so far. I also wanted to reach out one final time to anyone that is on the fence. Please do consider donating – even $1 or $5 can make a difference.

Click here to donate!

So what am I playing? I’m honestly not entirely sure yet! This year is a little tricky because I’m not playing any MMOs, which are always a good way to sink 4+ hours into a single thing. What I do know is that I am going to be playing at least one horror-ish game, because apparently the fact that I don’t really like them is a thing now. These are the things I do for the entertainment of my gracious donors!

The games that I know that I’m playing:

  • Alien: Isolation – This sounds pretty awesome in terms of atmosphere and scary factor. A bunch of people agreed that this is something I should play on camera, and therefore I will. I’ve heard varying reports on how deep in you have to get before it’s interesting and/or extra scary, but I’ll push through it for the kids.
  • Dragon Age 2 – So I made it through Act 2 on my initial playthrough before WoW and other things took me away from it. And Telaan swears that the entire point of the game is to watch how little things change within the same world over time. So I’ve started over. I’m a few hours in, and playing a mage this time, so Extra Life seemed like as good a time as any to try to hook myself back on it. Plus, Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming out soon, and I want to be able to play it, but I really need to have finished this one first!
  • Gunpoint – This is an indie game made by Tom Francis who I discovered through The Crate & Crowbar podcast. I really like the podcast, and I finally picked it up as part of a Humble Bundle. I played the first 15 minutes or so, realized I liked it, and decided to save it for Extra Life. Indie games for everyone!
  • Telltale something-or-other – I’m not sure if it will be The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us, but I love playing these things during Extra Life. They take up an hour or two per episode, and are just super fun. Plus, people can get to see the agonizing choices I make.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins – Good mindless beat ’em up that I’m ~10 hours into. Figure I might as well finish it up, and this is as good a time as any! Plus, I’m watching the new Arkham show and random Batman things are always fun.
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Yeah, I bought this one at some point. I will try not to pass out from sleepiness while driving across Europe. Much like a real trucker!

I’m sure there will also be various other multiplayer games, probably a Magic draft, and whatever else I need to keep me going. I usually pick some sort of upbeat platformer because apparently zoned out at 4am is a time when my reflexes get a lot better. Who knew?

Anyway, come stop by the Twitch stream and say hi! Pick a game off my Steam list that you want me to play! And wish Liore and me luck!


Read More

Episode 62 of the Cat Context Podcast is now available!

It’s almost Halloween, and in honor of our favorite spooky holiday, Liore, Arolaide and I sat down to talk about scary games and movies, and what gets our blood pumping.

Liore starts us off by talking about the differences in her reaction to scary movies and scary games. Aro is all for them, and she lets us all know (spoiler alert: she really likes Silent Hill 2). I comment a bit on the different types of scary, and what those mean.

Zombies are pretty cool, but are movies handling them as well as possible? What about games? How do we feel about vampires? It’s unclear. We do like scary space stories, though, and the intrinsic terror of being alone in space. Can games handle this within their restricted design… space? Regardless, we think that games could learn a thing or two about pacing from films.

Also, something-something-Alien. And Aro is skeptical when it comes to horror games where you can’t fight back. Liore sighs very heavily at <insert grimdark horror game here>.

To listen, head on over to the official episode page, hit us up on iTunes, check out ourYouTube channel, or simply watch below! Please keep sending in comments and questions, and don’t forget to give us a thumbs up or rate us on iTunes.

Cat Context is part of The Gaming and Entertainment Network. Check it out for other great podcasts!

Read More

Extra Life 2014

Posted By on Oct 14, 2014 |

Extra Life 2014

Extra Life 2014 is nearly here! On October 25, I will be participating in a 24-hour gaming marathon, benefiting Children’s Hospital Oakland. For the third year in a row, I will be joining Liore on the Totally Legit Publishing team to celebrate the positive spirit of gaming to raise money for an excellent cause. There are so many sick kids, and the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals do a ton of good work throughout the year. I look forward to being able to participate in this event all year.

Over the past two years, Liore and I have raised over $2000, and the fundraiser as a whole has collected over $6 million in donations! That’s incredible! But it’s never enough to treat every kid that needs it, and this year we are looking to do even more. I’ve worked with the local Bay Area branch of Extra Life to expand participation, and we are looking to smash last year’s participation numbers. I think we’ll do it! But I need your help.

Please, if you are able, consider donating even $5 at my page. Every bit will help, it’s all tax deductible, and it the funds go directly to the hospital to help provide services for patients. If you feel like participating on the day of the event, I’ll be streaming my progress through I’m taking suggestions on what to play, and I even have a number of game codes to give away throughout the day! Pop in to say hello or join in a game –  or send in something that you’d like me to play. If you donate, I might even listen. Thanks so much!

Click Here to Donate!

Read More

Cat Context

Interested in learning more about the games we cover on the show? Follow the new Cat Context Podcast curated list on Steam!

Episode 60 of the Cat Context Podcast is now available!

This week, Liore, Arolaide, and I talked about the Kickstarter-funded RPG Divinity: Original Sin, the launch of new MMO ArcheQueueAge, and the addictive mobile game Dragon Coins.

Aro has been playing Divinity: Original Sin in co-op mode, and she talks about how much her household has been enjoying the throwback nature of the game. We also learn (again?) that neither Liore nor Elly has ever played Baldur’s Gate, and this sends Aro into a sweary rage. Is it okay for us to skip out on an intimidating classic game because of its depth? Or are we just cowardly monsters?

Liore has spent a lot of time in queues for ArcheAge, and even a little bit of time actually playing. She talks about her early Alpha-colored impressions, and shares concerns about the future of land ownership and its impact on non-headstart players. We all hope that it shakes out and can support both casual goose-pluckers as well as more competitive trade pirates, and think it has a chance to be successful if both groups are happy!

And then… Aro discovers the joys of Dragon Coins, the crazy little Pokemon-style mobile game that we blame Liore for getting us to play! Should we or shouldn’t we recommend this? Who cares, because the monsters are SUPER CUTE! Elly also mentions Magic and eyes glaze over. Liore goes to school with pigeons!

To listen, head on over to the official episode page, hit us up on iTunes, check out ourYouTube channel, or simply watch below! Please keep sending in comments and questions, and don’t forget to give us a thumbs up or rate us on iTunes.

Read More