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Gaming News Extravaganza!

The holiday season is fast approaching, and so, like a herd of digital wildebeest designed to trample the Simba of your financial stability, are a slew of games either you or your insufferable children will find utterly irresistible. In deference to the Donkey Kong on so many of our backs, a few news items from the world of gaming.

1. Rock Band Song List Released

I dont know about you guys, but Guitar Hero 3 has dominated most of the free moments of my life this week. A very dear friend purchased it and brought it over for all to enjoy, and enjoy we did. Aside from some nagging cosmetic changes due to Harmonix giving up the reigns (the lead singers giant, poorly modeled chin is something out of an existential nightmare), its fairly solid. The timing is ever-so-slightly off compared to GH2, but youd only know that if you were a loser like me who plays it incessantly, and the song list is one of the strongest of the franchise.

No wonder then, that Rock Band, Harmonixs own genre-expanding entry into the beat game market, shares five of its tracks with its discarded stepson. The rest of the tracks mirror the same sensibilities: a good mix of thrashers, emo and classic rock, and a complete list can be found here. Now all youve got to do is assign some friends to each instrument and start pretending you have musical talent.

2. Virtual Theft Case Actually Taken SeriouslySecond Life, a massive online "game" (in the loosest sense of the term) has spawned more bizarre sex/gaming news than I care to relate, probably because its essentially nothing more than a giant chat room with graphics and places where furries can go to dance provocatively with one anothers avatars. The latest is this article about 36 people suing some guy for stealing the code for virtual sex toys they built and distributed for actual, American, God-fearing cash.

Upon reading the article, my first response was to wonder what broader implications this case will have concerning things like virtual property, intellectual theft, and the like. My next impulse, which totally superseded my first one, was a deep sense of sorrow that in the event this case makes it to the Supreme Court and sets any sort of legal precedent, our children will henceforth learn about a burgeoning sector of law by reading about the case of the stolen dildo blueprints in their Social Studies classes.

3. Theyre WHAT now?! Thats AWESOME!Smash Brothers: Brawl for the Wii was already easily the most exciting game of the season for me: the other installments have been incredible, this one promises to utilize the Wiimote in new and arousing ways, and you get to play as Sonic the Goddamned Hedgehog, far and away the video game character with whom I associate the most fond childhood memories. Yes, I was a Sega kid; sad for me. But now I know all the heartbreaks, all the Sega CDs and 32xs and Dreamcasts have been worth it, because the new Smash Brothers game is going to include a level design feature.

At last, no more jumping from giant retarded pink ball to giant retarded rock-snake or knocking your opponent across the screen only to be hit by a car and fly off the level. Finally, I can craft the perfect Smash Brothers level: a single platform, floating in black space, with a smaller platform suspended above it. Ahhhh. Just imagining it feels so damn good.

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Michael Swaim

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