I recently emailed Valve Software to get some advice on working in the video games industry, and one of the tips they included in their response took me by surprise- they stressed the importance of having a good workout regimen.

I enjoy walking my dog and dancing like a madwoman in the privacy of my bedroom, but these do not really constitute “good” workout regimens. This got me thinking… what could us cyberathletes do to get in (good) shape, and still have fun?

The first thing that came to mind, of course, was the gym machine and weight room- it’s a place dedicated to fitness and wellbeing. The honest truth of the matter, though, is that I’d rather shoot a brother than be running for a half hour without getting anywhere. Also, the gym, despite all of the sweat and bad smells, has somehow become a place to pickup, and girls seem to be going wearing pounds of makeup and fancy hairdos. I don’t really get it.

So what does that leave for us cyberathletes?

Squash! – the ultimate 1 v 1!

Squash might involve going to the gym, but you would be playing in a room away from all of the pulsing testosterone and pickup scene.

You’re a gamer- you’re looking to win! Squash is fast paced like a game of deathmatch, and it gives your reflexes good practice. Your opponents will swear you’re wall hacking when you headshot them as soon as they enter your line of vision.

Laser Quest

I played some Laser Quest-ing yesterday, and it allowed me to put some CS strategies to the test. I camped in a corner for awhile shooting people unexpectedly. Other times, I would be running after my enemies while simultaneously shooting at them and dodging their lasers.

Laser Quest involves using tactics from the game- you’re constantly surrounded and you have to figure out how to laser the other players without getting lasered, yourself.

The games are only 15 minutes long, but it is an amazing cardio workout and a great way to practice your aim!

Paint Ball

I personally have not tried this, but I’m hoping to find some friends who will take a n00b like me paint balling this summer. I have heard that the paint balls really sting, and I’ve seen the type of bruising that you can get from this sport. I imagine this could really help cyberathletes, because it introduces the element of pain into to the game. You wouldn’t want to be running around like Rambo spraying and praying in a game of paint ball like you might in a game of deathmatch in Counter-Strike.

GL and HF!!!!!! Over and out 🙂

Facebook Ads

March 19, 2008

I remember the ads being a lot less intrusive when I first joined Facebook 2 years ago. There were your regular online degree ads sprinkled here and there with perhaps an Online Poker ad or two, but it has recently gotten ridiculous. Every time I log in, the first thing I usually see is the text written in the biggest font on the left side navigation which says “Wish You Weren’t Lonely?” My profile had listed my relationship status as “single,” but that ad makes one hell of an assumption! Another ad that I see quite often is one that says “Shopping for a Real Man?” I’m curious as to whether this one is also advertised to people listed as being in a relationship…

When I first signed up for Gmail a few years ago, it was common knowledge that they displayed text based on keywords from your email, but I feel like Facebook is taking advantage of its broad user base and trying to ninja us all! This is not acceptable.

Another type of ad that I found annoying was a Roots ad that used a text overlay with my friend’s name on it- as if she was endorsing their products. I looked through the privacy settings this morning, and learned that to disable this you must go into the “News Feed and Mini Feed” section and then click on the “Social Ads” tab.

Here is how Facebook describes these ads:

“Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Social Ads. Social Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules. You may opt out of appearing in your friends’ Social Ads below.”

Ugh, creepy.

I have since altered my profile to not include my sex or relationship status, but these ads have not disappeared. I am curious as to whether it is because my past information is still stored or it just hasn’t been updated yet for ad purposes.

Mouse for gamer girls?

March 18, 2008

So! I have been using a Logitech g5 mouse for about the past year, and I think that it is come to the time where we should go our separate ways. I felt very excited to have my very own special gaming mouse in the beginning- the extra buttons, the option to add weights, and the enhanced sensitivity settings- but I have since realized that instead of helping in my gaming endeavors, it is instead holding me back.

I can’t really blame Logitech, because women generally do not play a lot of FPS, but I find that the mouse is better designed for a bigger male hand.

I feel like I should buy a new, smaller mouse, that will be comfortable for hours of gaming, and that will help me to pwn n00bs. I have heard that Razer mice are made small, but the problem is that they don’t have any models on display at the stores in my area, and I don’t feel like shelling out a big wad of cash for a mouse that could be less fragalicious than the one that I already own.

Any advice welcome 🙂