For The Weekenders: The Geekend….

Sometimes, people do so much running around, it’s nice to just chill out in your own den. With friends. And snacks. Maybe some beer. And a video game. Or three.

This upcoming weekend I thought I’d share with you all some games from the vault – 3 video games to be precise that have you using more than just your thumbs. Come on, let’s make it a low key weekend, and enjoy…

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There’s nothing like a good DJ at a party or a venue – a great time in any building is 30% people, 25% atmosphere, and 45% music. I’ve reiterated this in numerous For The Weekenders articles before.

DJing is a shit ton of fun. I did it a few years back and knew not to mention socialized with many of like mind. A few months ago I finally made the decision to give DJ Hero a spin. Pun intended.

All in all it’s a pretty cool game. Though not precisely what DJing is all about (what Guitar Hero related game is, really), the bottom line is it makes for an excellent time when you’re just having a chill time with good friends.

Set yourself up with two turntables (they’re so inexpensive now) and away you go – the instructions are simple, controls easy, and all it takes is an ear for music and good hand eye coordination, then you’re good to go.

It has a pretty cool feature where if you get tired you can just hold down a button and it’ll “spin itself” so to speak – still playing the track you were on to perfection while you’re at the mini bar reloading on American Honey and playing some shot roulette (long story). For those times when you wanna be the party goer and the DJ…DJ Hero’s there to help…

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Alright it’s high time to get up off your bum and move around some. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a fan of extreme sports and video games. Snowboarding, Sandboarding, Surfing, Racing, the list goes on and on.

When Tony Hawk first came out with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, I was one excited kid, probably more excited than the day I got my first ever skateboard…and when he came up with the brilliant idea to take skateboarding games to a whole new level with Tony Hawk Ride, it was like I was that same little kid all over again.

I know, this game has been out for practically ages now – but it still deserves recognition.

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A lot of people say this game is hard – I beg to differ. A lot of people say this game doesn’t work properly – again, I beg to differ. First off, the whole reason why noone can seem to ge the controller going, is simply because of the fact that whoever wrote up the user manual fucked up pretty bad in explaining things.

The “skateboard” (which kind of reminds me of the hover board on Back to The Future II) has a sleep function, and instead of taking the batteries in and out to get it going, you merely have to hold down the PS button on the side of it for a hell of a long time – about ten seconds – and you’re good to go.

In terms of getting your character to actually go, that’s simple too – as long as you’re playing like you’re actually skateboarding – standing there lifelessly isn’t going to help your character pop that kickflip anymore than if you were to sit there and not move your thumbs.

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The game itself is great for a workout – the first time I played it, I was sweating exactly how I would if I were actually at the park skateboarding. Every trick you pull you have to make the movements as if you’re actually doing it – it’s a great core and lower back exercise, so it’s something good for

A) if weather isn’t letting you skateboard and –

B) if you feel like getting a workout but don’t want it to feel like…working out.

Tony Hawk Ride is also multi-player – so go ahead and have fun watching your friends try and “bust a move” too.

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But let’s say you’re really, really not into those kind of simulation games and you want the real deal. That’s cool – I’m like that too sometimes. Fortunately, Rocksmith can help fulfill that gnawing desire for authenticity.

It also gives you a good excuse to go and pick up that REAL guitar you’ve been drooling over in the display window for the past two months.

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Yeah. No plastic guitars here. Billy Talent would be proud. What can I say, the game actually teaches you how to play guitar, instead of just following along to some random colored buttons and insane (not to mention non-existent) fret patterns.

Think of Rocksmith as an educational tool, more than a game. It has a really great A.I. function that creates an instruction course tailored for you and no one else. It tracks your movements, your progress, knows when you start getting a certain section of a song down-pact, then increases difficulty accordingly.

It’s like, if [insert your favorite guitarist’s name here] came to your house and said “hey, let’s play a few sets – go easy, be cool, and try and keep up.” It’s casual like that…cool.

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It lets you pick the songs you like, play them, play them, and play them until you master them. It feeds a passion in the most constructive, and awesome way I’ve seen any video game since Gran Turismo 3 and 4 do…

…and the best part? When you decide to get up and leave the room – your den, your living room, your bedroom – the knowledge comes with you, and you can play that same piece anywhere, anytime.

Do something fun for you this weekend.

As always…

Stay Awesome.

– Rego

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Musings Episode 15: Let The Music Play…

So I was brushing up on my knowledge and doing my homework this weekend on some great new speakers I’m considering buying for my car…

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…when I came across this little snippet from Sonic Elextronix:

“As an object vibrates it produces a mechanical disturbance in the medium it resides in, which results in the creation of a pressure wave which travels through that medium (air usually). This pressure wave impacts objects around the source, causing them to vibrate and resonate at different frequencies.

When a pressure wave impacts our eardrums, they vibrate and in turn our auditory system converts these vibrations into electrical signals that our brains can convert into sound. Remove our auditory system and sound would not exist to us, all we could do is feel low frequency pressure waves that vibrate our skin and bones.” – Sonic Electronix

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…this really got me thinking – sound is more important to us than we may think. Music, to be more specific is more important to us than a lot of people realize…and it’s not just music, but the type of music…and there are a lot of genres out there.

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Music can make our mind swing from one thought to another, our heart skip a beat, and our feelings range from mood to alternate mood.

More importantly, music can actually bring success – not just in the monetary sense, but all aspects of life…and you don’t necessarily have to be the lead singer in the band, for lack of a better analogy.

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There have been studies that state music increases performance and concentration, and often improves work productivity.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

Music in my opinion touches us in a way that nothing else can, affects us more than anything we ever encounter, and relates to the things aurally, instead of orally – that we feel in different parts of our lives more than just regular words do.

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It breeds success no matter what the genre, it’s merely dependent on person and preference. Think about it – when you get ready to run track, do you prefer silence or have you got the Crystal Method blaring from your ear buds? For many, this could be either or.

How about when you wake up in the morning and your alarm goes off – do you wake up in a better mood with an annoying buzzer blaring in your ear, or do you just kind of, “float” out of bed to the sound of “Wish I” by Jem?

Without even realizing it music can change, and often enhance your mood. Your thinking. Your way of doing things.

Personally? I’m a fan of numerous genres. When I wake up in the morning, most days I prefer waking up to the sounds of artists like Jem, Frou Frou, or Bitter:sweet. Days that I choose to sleep in, it’s a bit different.

Certain beats set a person in different mindsets when they kick off their day. I’m a fan of the previously mentioned artists because well, I like being woken up to the sound of dreamy, melodic tunes with a sultry, sexy voice to go with them (obviously, Bruno Mars is a serious exception – sorry buddy, you’re not my type, just cool). It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Usually I’ll carry on with this type of music until post-breakfast. The relaxed beats and slow rhythm help me get my thoughts “sorted” for the day, meticulously organizing my to-do list like a filing cabinet, ordered by priority and urgency. It also drowns out the sound of the blender in the morning.

While it mixes everything into this deliciousness.

While it mixes everything into this deliciousness.

Some people are different, this is just me.

Workout wise, I’m all over the board. Some evenings I’ll be dripping with sweat to the sounds of Shaka Ponk, Powerman 5000, or Nickelback (yes, their later stuff – you haven’t heard them until you’ve heard “Gotta Get Me Some” – shutup). Other evenings I’m all for listening to Daft Punk.

Ever noticed how when you step into a gym – a big one, how the music tends to be different in different rooms/areas? In the cardio section, you’ll find something techno or club – anything that has what I call a “jumpy” beat to it.

But then when you switch to another floor or room, and you step into where they have the free weights or machines, it could be rap or rock playing – a slower, more “hard core” beat – because psychologically and physically – lifting requires rhythm, pace, focus.

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These are just a few examples. Now I’m not much of a weight enthusiasts, because I believe you can get ripped without having to bench 300lbs. I barely use any weights and still look athletic as hell.

In fact, check out “7 Weeks To Getting Ripped”, for free, and see how you can carve your own Adonis/Aphrodite body.

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Anyway, cotinuing with the current subject, before I wander into discussing fitness and nerd out on topics like ADL and DOMS, different wave patterns in different music affects different parts of our brains.

So for yoga, there’s relaxing music – allowing us flexibility and focus – for strength conditioning, rap/rock – cardio, techno/club…and the list goes on and on. This is just a generalization but the variety is huge.

I know whenever I have small house parties, if it’s a group of friends and there’s one or two in the kitchen, another manning the bar…and a few sitting around conversatin…artists like “The Jojo Effect” really kick off the night right ;).

Music can enhance conversation, instill confidence, erase sadness, bleed out pain, bring people together, and describe the things that can’t be said through something strictly visual.

When I write or am working on a project, I’m a HUGE fan of music that gives off a creative, “quintessential” vibe. There are times when I can write in complete silence – and then there are times when one beat can make the words pour from my mind to my fingertips faster than a GTO reaches the finish line. There are beats that can make me add humor to my writing – and even a bit of fun underlying meanings.

Music, is a gift to the soul…it is one of the few things left in today’s time, that still pushes past the often detached feel of technology and convenience, and no matter what, at some point, brings together humanity.

Like the legend Jimi Hendrix once said, “Music is my religion”.

Stay cool.

– Rego

Musings Episode 15: Let The Music Play… is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life